Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Interview with author Leonard D. Hilley II

Today, I'd like to welcome Leonard D. Hilley II, author of Predators of Darkness: Aftermath, which I just reviewed earlier this week. Read my review.

Q. Welcome to My Book Retreat! As you know, I loved Predators of Darkness: Aftermath. In that book, you bring a very dark world to life. Where did you come up with the idea of this world? 

This came to me as a gift from my muse. I never planned or outlined this novel. The opening sentence came to me one night before I was going to sleep: "Dropping a cat from the top of a ten story office building was not the best way to remain hidden, but it was necessary." Needless to say, this grabbed my attention, and I had to write it down. The rest evolved from this one line.

Q. A prominent theme in your book is genetics and cloning. Did you focus a lot on genetics when you were pursuing your degree in biology? 

The idea for this novel came to me in 1996, just a few weeks before I went back to college after taking a few years off. I had planned to pursue my degree in English, but with this opening and knowing the cat shifter was created through genetic manipulation, I decided to finish my biology degree. I wanted the scientific background necessary to make the novel sound feasible and realistic.

Q. The characters are very well developed and seem quite natural and realistic. Did you begin writing with certain characters and character traits in mind? 

One by one these characters appeared in the novel. My last semester in 1998, I took two creative writing classes under visiting professor, Chris Offutt, who now works as a script editor and has written several episodes of HBO's True Blood series. I had turned in the first chapter of this novel to the class for feedback. Everyone loved it, but he pointed out, you don't have one chapter here. You have five or six. He demonstrated what he was talking about on the chalkboard and it clicked. Suddenly these characters became alive on the page, and I could hear them talk and interact. It was an amazing insight.

Q. Did you write Predators of Darkness: Aftermath as the first in a series, or did it just turn out that you had more story to tell once it was complete? 

Actually, after finishing Aftermath, I thought I was finished. I didn't see a series. About six months later, the characters began to interact in my mind and suddenly, more dangers arose and they demanded the situations to be resolved. Where they have led me has been a fantastic joy ride.

Q. What are you working on now? 

I'm finishing Devils' Den, the first book in a dark fantasy series. This is something I had written over 12 years ago and revising.

Q. What genres and authors to you most enjoy reading? 

I love thrillers, sci-fi, and fantasy adventure novels. I'm a huge fan of Roger Zelazny, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King. Which authors have influenced you the most? Koontz for suspense building and Zelazny for character/world building.

Thank you so much for visiting with me here at My Book Retreat! Is there anything else you wanted to share with my readers?

Thanks for the interview!  Please let your readers know that all Kindle editions of my books are currently priced at $2.99 each.  Also, Predators of Darkness: Aftermath, Beyond the Darkness, and The Game of Pawns are now printed in paperback under my publishing imprint: Deimosweb Publishing at much better prices than previously available.

Great! I noticed Predators of Darkness is also available for $2.99 as a Nook Book as well. If you haven't read my review yet, go read it now. I loved this book and hope you take advantage of this low price to check it out too!

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