Lily writes in a few genres, paranormal/horror, and erotica. In keeping with my blog the answers are to my questions are reflected with the paranormal side of Lily's writing.
Where did you get the inspiration for your latest story?
My latest story is Right To Silence, which was released in January and is the fourth novel in my Paranormal Detectives Series. I can’t say I was really “inspired” to write it, more than I had no choice.
When I originally began the series with Stake-Out (which was published in 2015), it was supposed to be a short, bloody standalone, but once I finished the book, I started thinking about the epilogue I’d written and immediately a further adventure for poor Detective Danny Mancini came to my mind and it all just kind of snowballed.
The only part of Right To Silence that was really inspired by anything was part one, which focuses on my characters Brighton and Mark and their two lifetimes in love. I’m a member of the LGBT+ community, and I thought it was important to show an everlasting love between these two male characters while remaining true to my storyline. Otherwise, I can’t cite any inspiration: it was all just a blur as the characters grew and the Underworld of Chicago expanded.
How much involvement do you have in the cover design, and how important do you think book covers are?
I have nearly complete control over my covers at Vamptasy Publishing.
Rue Volley does the art, and every time I need a cover I get to choose the stock photo (or I could hire an artist if I wanted to draw something original) and I send it to her with specific things I want on there. Most of the time, though, I tell her to take the photo and do whatever she wants with it. She’s a brilliant graphic designer, and I’m glad to work with her.
Covers are so important. Just like with food, we read with our eyes. If a book looks appealing, there’s a much better chance of a reader wanting to buy it.
I have bought books solely because I like the covers before (that’s how I started reading Darren Shan’s work as a kid, and Stephen King as well!), so I know the importance of a good cover. If you take time to make the outside appealing, then nine times out of ten you’ll have a better interior as well (editing, story content, etc.).
If you've spent time researching for your book, how difficult is it to not overload the reader?
I never researched until my latest project, which was set in World War Two (Never Again, releasing December 2017), and yeah it was hard not to overload the book with facts, because the facts of the Nazi regime were what was so important to the narrative and the adventure the main character goes on,
But for me, when I’m writing my Paranormal Detectives Series, I set it in my hometown of Chicago, so even without research, I still have to remove needless facts about the city when I have my characters go hunt monsters in some of my favourite locations.
(Like book three, Life Sentence, saw them fight off a horde of demons inside Wrigley Field!)
Can you tell us about your work in progress/next book idea?
My very next book will be book five of the Paranormal Detectives Series, called Last Rites.
It’s going to be released on June 14th from Vamptasy, and will see the current story arc wrap up completely before book six releases a year after that. It’s going to be very emotional and darker than my other work for a myriad of reasons that I can't talk about because of spoilers. I’m really excited about it, as it has been one of my favourites to write, and it also introduces the character of Sean Wireman, a male siren who will star in my December release, Never Again. The blurb is below.
Power is the deadliest desire.
With Leander put to rest and the Paranormal Investigative Division taken care of by the Coven Mistress, Danny and Angelica are finally ready to take some time for themselves while Angelica gets used to her new role as the Empress and they make their relationship official.
When people close to Angelica are murdered by what seems to be a rogue vampire, their sabbatical is cut short in order for her to find the perp and execute him or her.
But this is no ordinary vampire. When the truth is revealed and secrets come to light, it will prove to be Danny's biggest test of faith yet, and Angelica's reckoning of her past, present, and future. Most of all it will raise a single question: just what makes a monster?
Has a character ever surprised you as to where they want to take the story? And if so, tell us about it.
Man, you have no idea! They do it constantly. In Last Rites, my female lead, Angelica, demanded a very particular ending. I mean she was vehement, and I wrote it. Then I re-read it and decided to defy her for the very first time and wrote a different ending. It felt good but extremely odd!
With Never Again, I had all these characters pop up and want cameos, in a story where they didn’t belong! It was like a free-for-all in my head. And then in the last few chapters, one character decided to speak up and say they wanted to change the whole ending and means for getting there.
And “no” was not an option! It’s so crazy when that happens, and it feels like I might be losing my mind when it happens. It’s almost like automatic writing, where I’m not even the one writing the story. I love it!
Lily, thank you for taking the time to answer the questions for my blog, just one more…you write across genres, do you write the stories separately, or at times do you hear characters calling and write both genres at the same time?
Normally I stick to one story and genre at a time, but I have a release in the adult genre coming on April 27th, and I wrote the story (it’s a short novelette) right in the middle of writing my paranormal war novel, so it can happen that I mix what I’m writing. It really is just based on what characters call me (unless I have a deadline!) and demand my attention.