Monday, September 30, 2013

Tied by Laney McMann: Interview and Excerpt


Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

LM: I use beta readers. I have a few of them currently tearing apart the second book in the Fire Born Novels series, TORN. My betas are truly awesome. Not sure I could have gotten to where I am without them.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

LM: How wild my imagination could get. I find that when I stop thinking so much and just tell the story, my imagination comes up with some pretty incredible ideas. I've gone back and rewritten sections of TIED, or notes that I'd forgotten about, and thought, "I wrote that?" It's an amazing feeling.

Who are your books published with?

LM: I am published with J. Taylor Publishing, and they have been great. Very supportive.

How do you describe your writing style?

LM: I guess I would describe my style as direct. Definitely dark. I like to stay in the moment as a reader, so I try to bring that immediacy to my stories.

Plotter or Pantser? Why?

LM: I used to be a Pantser, and at heart I still am, but I consider myself a hybrid now. I definitely know where my stories are going. Not every detail, of course, and I still let the story flow and allow the characters to lead, I just give them a little more direction than I used to.

I find that even if I try to plot everything, my brain gets tangled, and for me it leaves so much of the fun out of the creativity. I'm sure there are positives and negatives to both sides.

Are the names of the characters in your novels important?  How and why?

LM: Almost every name in the TIED, and the Fire Born Novels as a whole, was chosen for a reason. And they will be revealed, for the most part, throughout the series. No cheating. ;)

Describe what it’s like to be an author in three words.

LM: Freeing, overwhelming, and gratifying.

Do your friends think you are an introvert or an extravert? Why?

LM: Depends which one you ask. ;) I'm an introvert, but some of my friends would probably disagree with that. I'm pretty quiet for the most part, and I think more than I talk, but there are a few people, and they know who they are, that have seen the side of me that's very ... not so quiet. ;)


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?
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Book Trailer

My window opened easily. The same way it had so many times before. Climbing out on the ledge, I found the ground empty and dropped from the second floor—a jump I'd made a hundred times. In another life.

My feet sunk into the sand, and I followed the well-worn pathway through the dunes. Even the strong evening winds hadn’t misshaped the deep gully. The ocean's breeze lashed at my hair as the moonlight glinted off the water’s surface. Seagulls flew up from their nesting grounds. They should have recognized me, since I’d been wandering at night for so long. Wrapping my arms around my knees to block the slight chill, I settled in the sand, and the birds quieted in a tight huddle, the wind blowing their feathers in awkward angles.

My gaze fell on a figure standing beyond the dunes edge, a shadow hidden within the darkness. My pulse quickened, but I didn't move. Another trick—an illusion. Weary of the games my mind continued to play, I bit back tears and the catch in my throat. I should have been immune to them—the hallucinations—the way they haunted me and followed me, but I wasn’t.

Forcing myself to blink, I turned my head away. The visions had grown worse as I’d become older. I’d tried to convince myself they were nightmares—or weird dreams. Hoped for years they were, but only people who sleep dream.

Unable, or unwilling to stop myself, I glanced back over my shoulder, thoughts flooding my brain. Memories I knew couldn’t be memories but I cherished all the same. For years I’d tried to shake them away. To make myself forget.

I couldn’t.


A stone raps against my bedroom window. I creep over and peer through the blinds.

"You’re late." I lean out over the sill, grinning at the boy staring up at me.

"Come on, let’s go before she comes," he says.

I climb onto the window ledge. "Be nice. She’s my friend."

"Okay. Jump." He waves at me to go faster.

"Move, and I will."

He takes one casual step to the side.

The jump isn’t too high; I make it all the time.

He grabs my hand when I land beside him in the soft sand. "Ready?"

I nod.

"One, two …"

"I’m going to tell!" Benny runs across my yard toward me, her blonde pigtails flapping in the wind. "You’re not allowed to talk to that boy, Layla! Your mom said!"

Max tightens his grip on my hand.

"Shut up, Benny! I'm old enough."

"You’re only nine. Don't go! "

"Three!" Max and I leave the ground.

“You're going to get in so much trouble.” Benny’s yell rings in the distance.

Our feet touch down in the wet grass of the Otherworld, icy sea air whipping at my face.

"Hopefully, she won’t follow us again." Max lets go of my hand.

"She won’t. I told her not to." I lead the way down the cliff face to the ocean.

"She never listens to you."


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.




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