Look alive, everyone – we’ve got a blog-touring author among us! Give it up for Laney McMann, here to tell us a thing or two about herself and her brand spanking new book, out as of September 9th through J. Taylor Publishing, TIED (Book 1 of The Fire Born Novels)!
Me: Out-of-the-blue icebreaker question: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say the word “red”?
LM: Fire. 😉
Me: Appropriate enough, I’d say. Continuing on in a more authorial direction, what’s the first story you can remember writing?
LM: The first story I wrote was a lame attempt at a fantasy. I think it was something along the lines of Star Wars (I was a Star Wars fanatic. Even had the sound track, and the book that read along with it. Yep). I was pretty young. Don’t judge. 😉 STILL love Star Wars, too. All of them.
I also remember the first poem I wrote. I was about 9, and I switched all the words around on “roses are red, violets are blue …” and turned it into something different. That was a better attempt than the story.
Me: A poem about blue roses? Hardcore! And reminiscent of “The Glass Menagerie”. But I digress, so swinging it back around to you…
According to the bio on your site which I combed like a creeper, your intention was never to write novels for public eyes. Clearly, your intentions have changed. …or they haven’t, and you’ve been most cruelly published against your will! Either way, there’s bound to be a story there, so do tell: How did TIED make the journey from your head to J. Taylor Publishing?
LM: Comb away, Danielle. 🙂
My intention never was to get to where I am today, that’s true. I’ve always written, and I’ve always dreamt about what it would be like to be a ‘writer’, but no one ever knew about my stories or my poems. I didn’t talk about them or show them to anyone. (Well—maybe once or twice I wrote one that I actually gave to the person it was for.) So, I’m not sure how I got here, really. The idea for TIED came at me one day, like so many ideas do, and I sat down and started writing. Somewhere around the halfway mark, I thought … I might have something here. And the story just refused to let me go from there. I swallowed a TON of fear and went on submission. I was shocked, and humbled, and in tears when the manuscript was well received—and then contracted.
Me: That’s a feeling I’m chuffed I can finally say I know. ^.^ Now, here’s a three-part question for you, fellow mythology fan:
1, Which mythological bits and pieces have inspired your writing the most?
2, Which mythical creature do you think is the most totally awesome?
3, How about the scariest?
LM: For the first part of the three-part question, you’re gonna have to read the book. 😉 Because if I tell you, well, that gives some of the story away. #2. Uh, oh … again, I can’t say. I will say that the creature plays a role in the book, though. 😉 3. Scariest? For me, the scariest creatures in mythology are usually the coolest, and the ones I want to write about the most. All of your questions are answered inside the TIED pages. ;P I’m super secretive, aren’t I … ?
Me: Way to spill all the beans, Laney. X) I agree, though, that when it comes to mythical creatures, scary and cool do tend to be pretty closely related.
Back to intel collected on your site’s bio… A self-professed music snob, eh? Depending on how you answer this next question, you and my nitpicky minstrels just might get along: What do you believe it takes to qualify as a great song?
LM: Indeed, a music snob, I am.
A great song? I love music that has layers, is melodic, and has an atmospheric kind of pull— That sounds a bit vague, I guess. Some examples: M83, early Smashing Pumpkins (90’s), Beach House, The Cure, Polica, Washed Out. Just to name a few.
Me: Not counting any of your own creations, who are three of your favorite fictional characters of all time, and why?
LM: Hm … Let’s see. Harry Potter. Frodo Baggins. Love Jaime Lannister, and his brother Tyrion. Jace Wayland, and Ethan Wate. David Talbot. Lasher. Oh, and Jon Snow! I’m cheating. Went way over three. Sorry.
Hey, they’re all male characters. Interesting.
(Me: Sounds like about how my list would go – way over three, all of them dudes. Mine would have way more thieves, though. ^^)
LM: Okay before I start on the ‘why’—this is a major SPOILER section. Anyone who hasn’t read Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings wants to skip this part. Seriously. Skip it.
(You’ve read these books, right Danielle?)
(Me: Yes to LOTR. Still several years behind on HP, but popular culture has caught me up on the gist, so carry on.)
LM: Harry Potter: Loses his parents as a baby, raised by the worst kind of ‘foster’ parents ever, and still manages to be a caring, loving, bad ass wizard who sacrifices himself to take down the WORST, most evil wizard of all time? Enough said.
Frodo Baggins: A humble hobbit who has never even been one step out of his own village (The Shire) in his life, travels across the country on foot, battles an onslaught of Wraiths, gets stabbed, almost turns into one, yet STILL decides to endure the hardship of the One Ring and keep going to Mount Doom (on foot) with Golem as his guide to toss the ring into the burning volcano???
Seriously. Frodo Baggins was one of the best fantasy characters of all time. LOTR is also one of my favorites series of books and movies of all time. All hail Tolkien. Or something like that.
(Me: All hail! *refrains from abandoning the blog post to put on the extended “Fellowship of the Ring” DVD*)
LM: Okay enough spoilers. The rest are all seriously well written, complex characters who I love.
Me: Alright, now you get to count one your own. : ) Who’s your favorite character in The Fire Born Novels, and why?
LM: 😉 Max is my favorite. Hands down.
What I want to do is give you another play by play like I did above—but I can’t do that, obviously, so I’ll try to describe him.
I could say that Max is strong willed, hot headed at times, and kind of a bad ass. That he’s someone who stands up for what he believes in—even when he knows it may cost him what he wants most. But mostly, he’s loyal, and loving, and gentle. He has that unique quality of being strong, but sensitive. Protective, but vulnerable.
I’m not very good a describing, am I? 😉
Me: Not unless you’re trying to describe a dreamboat. And lastly, I’m gonna make you brag a little: What do you think is the coolest thing about you?
LM: About me? I have no idea. I think way more than I talk—not sure that’s a good thing. I’m pretty sarcastic, and most of my friends and family think that’s funny. I’m terrible at describing myself. ;P
Me: Thank goodness for author bios to do the describing for us!
* * *
With a passion for the supernatural and all things magical, Laney developed a voracious appetite for reading fantasy at a young age. A vivid imagination helped set the stage for creating her own worlds and placed her onto the writing path.
By the time she reached her teens, she’d accumulated notebooks full of poems, which led to short stories and finally novels. Young adult dark fantasy, paranormal romance, and mythology are among her favorite genres.
A former classical dancer and chef, she grew up in sultry Florida where she still resides with her family.
You can find my occasional ramblings on Twitter.
Book updates on my author page at goodreads.
My Facebook Profile for inspiration and randomness.
Updates on The Fire Born Novels at my Facebook Author Page
My interests on Pinterest.
And I’m now on Tumblr, too.
You can also contact me by email at: laneymcmannyaauthor(at)gmail(dot)com
* * *
Normal people don’t believe their nightmares stalk them. They don’t fall in love with boys who don’t exist, either.
Seventeen-year-old Layla Labelle, though, is far from normal. Her delusions walk the earth. Her hallucinations hunt her, and her skin heats to a burn every time her anger flares.
Or is that all in her head?
Layla doesn’t know what to believe any more because if none of that’s true, Max MacLarnon must be an illusion, and her heart must still be broken.
No matter how much she wants to believe Max is real, doing so would mean everything else is, too. How, then, is that possible?
The answers lie in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal, and with a curse that could tear Layla and Max apart forever—if it doesn’t kill them both first.
In TIED, book one in the Fire Born trilogy, learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal of demons, and being with Max will put Layla on a path toward her own destruction.
Just how far will Layla go to protect the one she loves?
The answer may never be far enough … away.
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