Today I welcome the delightful Laila Blake to my blog. Like my books Love’s Destiny and Love’s Spirit, Laila’s book By the Light of the Moon is also on sale for $1.99 through Amazon during July. Welcome to my blog, Laila! Please tell us a little about yourself.
Of course, thank you for having me! My name is Laila and I was born and raised in Germany. After studying
I live alone with my cat in a small flat in Cologne and I am a pretty nerdy person: I love Doctor Who and Game of Thrones as well as Community and Parks & Rec, I scour the internet for indie folk singers and get all too addicted to social media and weird little research projects.
You are a woman of varied interests in addition to being a published author! How did you celebrate the publication of your first book?
I haven’t yet. My father brought over sparkling wine and I didn’t drink it – we had tea instead. I once listened to a James McAvoy interview that I very much connected to: he said that for the first few years of his career – and in a way still – he always felt as though none of it felt real or stable, like he was just waiting for someone to pull the rug out from under him, laugh and shove him back where he came from. Just as though celebrating or believing would jinx it somehow. I am not a superstitious person, but I haven’t yet felt safe enough to celebrate if that makes any sense at all.
It surely does make sense. I admit to some of those feelings myself! Speaking of feeling unsure about things, how do you handle spicy sex scenes and relatives? Are your family and friends supportive or do they choose not to read your book because of its sensual nature?
I have to admit – I have a killer advantage. As I am a native German, my family has a really hard time reading my novels in English. So I don’t have to worry about every single thing or choice of kink etc.
However, they know there is erotic material in my novels and that I write erotic short-stories for various anthologies and it’s pretty much a non-issue. My grandmother is an artist who did nudes, my mother does art around vulvas from time to time and I don’t feel like it is a particularly taboo subject in my family.
Sounds like you have a wonderfully open-minded family! Has writing changed how you read books now?
Definitely. To be fair I have been writing in one way or another all my life so this has been a happening for a long time. Reading has been a learning opportunity for me for a long time but never more than now. And I learn from the ones I dislike just as much as from the ones I adore, reading is education and joy at the same time. Even a book I dislike gives me ideas for blog posts or helps me understand what it is that they are doing exactly so that I can avoid it.
Is there an aspect of writing that you favor over others, e.g. dialogue, exposition, description of a scene, setting, or character, etc.? Is there one that is more difficult for you?
I can’t think of anything in particular that I favor – mostly it’s in the balance, isn’t it? If I had to write five pages of only dialogue I would stop enjoying it as much as I do. There is one aspect, however, that will never cease to challenge me more than any other: action sequences. It’s just something that I am not particularly interested in – in movies, that’s when I reach for the drinks or check my emails and if, by chance, they cropped up in a book I read, I tended to skim over them. So now I have to figure out how this stuff works – this is probably one reason why I prefer to settle conflict through diplomacy.
Do you work with a conference partner, writer’s group or other organization? Where do you get support?
I do have a writing partner. She is my best friend and a wonderful writer to boot. By the Light of the Moon is actually dedicated to her because her support has been so absolutely essential to the completion of my first novel.
We read each other’s manuscripts, ask each other for support, give each other that burst of upbeat hope when we feel down – and we also co-write some of our stories.
What are you currently working on?
I just finished editing the second part of my Lakeside Series – the sequel to By the Light of the Moon and now I am editing a co-written erotic romance, writing an erotica romance novella and a YA piece.
What is the best piece of advice about writing that you ever heard or read? What would tell aspiring writers today?
Don’t rest on genre expectations of mediocrity. I am still working on this myself because it’s not easy, but I truly believe it is the only way for me and us writers in general to make a difference. I read a lot of reviews that can be summed up as “I hated xyz because I expected something else,” and this both saddens and inspires me. Don’t stop searching for ways to surprise just because it’s risky – it keeps your mind and creativity alive.
Also: read outside your chosen genre. Read, read, read in general but don’t fall into the trap of just reading what you want to write.
And third: Know the market, love the market, work the market. We live in really exciting times where the publishing industry is changing forever. We can be part of this engine of change or we can sit there and grumble until it leaves us behind.
I am going to listen to your advice as I work on my current novel that is not fitting easily into any one genre. Thanks so much for visiting with me today. I wish you the best success with your writing.
Contact Laila at:
Buy Laila's Book at