Hey guys, I got to do an interview with young adult fantasy author Laney McMann as part of the blog tour for her newly released novel, TIED. I’ve read it and enjoyed it. If your down with some YA mythology give it a read. So let’s lead off with the interview so you can see what this Laney person is all about.
Alex Nader (AN): There is quite a bit of lore and mythology in Tied, did you have to do a lot of research for the book or was it mostly stuff you already knew?
Laney McMann (LM): I had pieces of information—beliefs, ideas, thoughts, and a lot of fascinations, in my head, but I did a ton of research before I started writing TIED. Unlike the more well known types of mythology, Greek for example, the lore in TIED is lesser known, so the information sort of went around in circles. It was a challenge to decide what to use, what to leave out, and how to incorporate my own ideas in order to create an interesting and cohesive story.
AN: Mythology can be tricky like that. Did you start with the idea for your story and make the mythology fit the story or was it the other way around?
LM: You know, it was neither, really. A grain of an idea just came to me one day, and as I researched that idea, I wrote my thoughts down. The story kind of morphed itself into what it is over time after that. I didn’t plan anything out. For example, originally, there wasn’t a romantic aspect at all, but the more I wrote, the more it seemed really obvious to me that Layla and Max needed to be more than just friends.
AN: Without giving away any future spoilers, do you have much more planned for Layla and Max? Or are you still just going with the flow?
LM: Much more planned for Layla and Max. Wish I could say what. Can’t though. I will say that they are in for a bumpy ride.
Although I’m a pantser at heart, I’ve learned that when writing a series, you need to have at least some overall sense of where the story is going. I’ve always known how it would end. That being said, I still let the story, and the characters themselves, drive everything forward, I just try to steer a little more now. 😉
AN: Nothing better than watching your own character grow as you write them, I guess. Actually, I’m not sure now that I think about it. My characters are still pretty juvenile. Speaking of, did you set out to make Tied a YA novel?
LM: Yes, I did. I’m a YA reader, and writing young adult stories comes naturally. I have one story in progress right now that would be considered New Adult, but all my other projects are YA.
AN: Who are some of your favorite YA authors out there right now?
LM: I’d have to say Suzanne Collins, Michael Scott, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, and JK Rowling. But beyond YA, because I read that, too, I have to tout my favorites. Anne Rice, George R.R. Martin, and of course, Tolkien.
AN: Love me some R.R. I’m halfway through Storm of Swords right now. I had to read it after watching the latest season of the show. I’ve got too many questions to wait another 10 months to get answered. I digress, back to the Q & A thing here. Okay, let’s go hypothetical. You’re stuck on Pluto all by yourself with nothing left to do but wonder why it’s not a planet anymore and a Merry Magical Martian Magic Maker appears and offers to bring you two books (one fiction, one non), one movie plus the appropriate viewing device, and two albums. What are your choices?
LM: I’ve read all the books in A Song of Fire and Ice series so far, and I’ve never watched the HBO version. I just can’t do it, yet. I can never watch something, and then read the book. Ever. So, I stayed away from the get go. Eventually, I’ll get to the HBO version. I feel like everyone is so far behind where I’m at in the series. ;P
To your main question … You know you’re backing me into a corner. No possible way I can choose only two albums. What I say today, will change tomorrow. So, first … a fiction book. I took all night to think about this. First, I said, The Witching Hour by Anne Rice, but then I thought … well, I don’t know. So, I think in all honesty, it would be The Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling. Yep. I’m a HP geek. For me it has the humor, the fantasy, the mystery, the mythology, all wrapped up in one. Love that book.
Non-fiction? A book about how to survive alone on Pluto with only two books, a movie, and two albums.
Movie? Without even having to think, it would be Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
Now, albums … ugh. I can’t pick. I’d want to create my own compilations. I’ll just cheat, cause I can, and say that M83 would be on it, the Cocteau Twins, The Cure, Beach House, Coldplay, The National, Mumford & Sons, Polica …. see, I can’t stop. ;P
AN: I’m going to be the millionth person to tell you this, but the show is great. Damn, near identical to the first two books as far as that goes. As far as being behind I’m actually really surprised no one has spoiled anything for me yet. Note to commentators: Spoil the show for me and blood will flow, I mean serious, crappy horror movie amounts of blood.
I feel like I’ve gotten off topic and if anyone has written a book about how to survive on Pluto it would have to be that Bear Grylls guy, I think he could pull it off. I guess the brings me to the end of my interrogation. As a parting give us three reasons folks out there should pick up a copy of Tied.
LM: Yeah, I hear HBO has done an awesome job with it. Love Tyrion in the books. And completely off topic, love Bear Grylls, too.
I wouldn’t say that TIED is a typical paranormal romance, and for me, that makes it a bit refreshing and original. It’s a dark story filled with unexpected paranormal twists and fantastical turns that hit on a lot of genres. It has the paranormal elements, some mystery, mythology, a little history, romance and of course, fantasy. Hopefully readers will find it as fun to read as it was to write.
All right folks, that’s what she had to say. That was my first official interview, hopefully I didn’t suck. Now, that you’ve read this interview you might-as-well read about her book TIED. At the bottom you can enter to win, or just, you know, go buy a copy. Whatever.
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.
Add to Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16107050-tied
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You can also contact me by email at: laneymcmannyaauthor(at)gmail(dot)com
Buy Now links:
One signed paperback copy of TIED, 2 E-book copies of TIED, and 2 signed TIED bookmarks
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