Happy Friday!! You remember a few weeks ago, I had Nikki Kelly here on the blog with an amazing inspirational post about her upcoming Young Adult debut LAILAH. It’s been a phenomenal post, I urge you to check out.

And I couldn’t be more excited to have Nikki here today for a fantastic Interview, and I have another fantastic Giveaway for you at the end!

LAILAH

So welcome Nikki Kelly let’s chat about LAILAH!

Nikki, I am so excited to have you here at the Bookworms again. You know I’m a big fan of you and Lailah so I’m so thrilled to chat with you! 

Thank you so much for having me Danny! I am a huge fan of the Bookworms!! 

This totally made my day Nikki!

OK, I know this will be a question you’ve probably been asked before, but I am such a big fan of vampires that we need to chat about them a little. So Nikki, tell me: why vampires? What makes them so exciting for you? What is so fascinating? 

I am also a big fan of all things vampire! They come in all different shapes, sizes and varying levels of shininess these days, don’t they?!

I guess I just find something extremely fascinating about the idea of these immortal beings, which are immensely strong and powerful, using those traits for good or evil or both! It all depends on the vampire in question; take Jonah, for example – I find him extremely compelling because he’s in a constant state of inner conflict, simply because of ‘the what’ he is. Then you go and throw in ‘the who’ he once was, ‘the who’ he is now and ‘the who’ he is becoming and you have the beginnings of a lovely layered character full of inner turmoil—the best kind to write!

I also personally find something – dare I say it? – incredibly sexy and dangerous about a being that oozes such deadly charm! I don’t write about werewolves, for example, because I don’t find anything appealing about a person who transitions into a large dog and back again – though I have a feeling that might stem from the fact that I have a Pug… 

Do you have a favourite vampire story? (Mine are Twilight – YES Twilight and the Night Huntress series, just to name my absolute favourites!)  

Yes of course! For me it would be Twilight, with The Sookie Stackhouse Novels as a close second! I love what Twilight has to offer: I adore the romance and, while I like my heroines to be a bit kick-ass (something Lailah is growing into as the Saga progresses!), I am a sucker for the damsel in distress routine now and again!

I think perhaps what I like most about Twilight is the idea of coming through a series of impossible struggles and that the reward at the end of the fight is forever. And what I like most about The Sookie Stackhouse Novels is the raw edginess of the characters and the interesting setting.

So, to summarize all of the above waffle…

Twilight – for lovely high-shine, knee-wobbling romance.

The Sookie Stackhouse Novels – for gritty, flawed and riveting characters.

How did you go and develop your own vampire lore, (which I think has some very unique features beside the classic ones)? 

I wanted to ensure that all my supernaturals were as original – and as different – as possible. For me, that stemmed from asking various questions: Where did they come from in the first place? When, and how, did they come to be here? And then the two most important questions (you might notice a theme here!): ‘the what’ and ‘the who’ are they? The final questions, which needed answering, were of course: What motivates them all? What do they want?

In answering all of the above, and borrowing a little here and there from my own belief system, I was able to create new worlds and beings, but utilize existing belief or myth on which to base them. For example, the two worlds the beings emerged from were based on the concept of Heaven and Hell. I then spun that into something else entirely.

I took the myths about vampires and angels etc. and tried to demonstrate how, through storytelling and game of telephone, the idea of what they are has become quite different from the truth – the truth of course being the reality of things in my books!

I think, with all things, it’s ultimately an evolution of story telling. Meyer’s Twilight was an evolution from Stoker’s Dracula. Meyer took the notion of vampires – creatures that are known for being dark and demon-like – and made them attractive and gave them a moral fiber. The vampires in Styclar are, yet again, another evolution of the beings we have come to know as vampires. They exist in a different way, and they play by a different set of rules. 

Lailah is quite a mystery. Did you know exactly when you created her what she was, or was it something that developed while you were writing? 

When I first brought Lailah to the page, I had spent some time asking myself what she was, and then I ended up realizing that the far more important question was who she was. I therefore knew her history, and her beginnings, on the ‘what she was’ front from the outset, but the real journey for me was discovering who she was and that only came with writing her. 

Lailah also doesn’t have much of an idea of who she really is, but it’s obvious that she has already lived a few lives (so to speak. We can’t reveal more; otherwise we would spoil it too much!). Nikki, if you had the chance to live another life during another time, who/where/when would you like to choose? It can be a famous historical figure, or just a time period :)  (I would love to be Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster, as I have a big fascination with English history)  

Great question! If we were talking factually, then Amelia Earhart – she was an aviation pioneer and an author! And though the end of her story was a tragic one, I really want to know what happened! So much so that I would like to be her on the day she disappeared simply to find out! Now, if you were talking fictionally… Doctor Who. So I could fly around in my Tardis and experience all that time and space has to offer!

Let’s talk a little about the boys we are going to meet. Nikki: Team Gabriel or Team Jonah? 

Ha! Nice try, Danny!! I am Team Fence! For two reasons; the first because I genuinely love both ‘guys’ equally, but for very different reasons; the second because, if I did sway more to one Team and I revealed it, readers would likely assume that’s whom Lailah would end up with!

If Gabriel would have to describe Jonah in a tweet, what would he say? 

#Jonah—An unfathomable complication 

And now, if Jonah would have to describe Gabriel in a tweet? 

I am going to quote Crystal from @Crystalbookland here who I think said it best, and Jonah would probably agree:

#Gabriel—Causing trouble since 1839! 

Anything else you’d love to add?  

As I have the stage… ;) I’d love to say a massive thank you to every blogger and every reader who is getting behind the Saga and showing so much love already, before the book is even in stores!! You guys are quite simply awesome; I’m sending many hugs down my wi-fi right now!!

Thank you so much for stopping by today Nikki! 

Thank you for having me! xox

Find Nikki Online

Website | Twitter  | Facebook | Wattpad | Pinterest 

“I was born and raised only minutes away from the chocolately scent of Cadbury World in Birmingham, England. So it will probably come as no surprise that when I’m not dreaming in Vampires & Angels, I dream in chocolate! For the past ten years I have lived in West London with my hubby and two dogs, Alfie – the Pug & Goose – the Chihuahua.
LAILAH is my debut novel, and first launched in serial form to wattpad, a readers & writers community. Within just 6months, LAILAH had over a million reads and thousands of comments and votes.
Since then, The Styclar Saga has gone on to pick up a traditional deal with Feiwel & Friends, and LAILAH, the first book in the series is due for release on October 7th 2014.
These days I spend my time balancing my amazing job of writing fantasy fiction, with my other, very important role of Chocolate Connoisseur. I like to multitask and do the two together. It makes me happy.”

Lailah by Nikki KellyAbout Leila

  • Publication: October 7th 2014 by Feiwel and Friends
  • Goodreads | Pre-Order: Amazon

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is

 

 

Lailah Pre-pub Blog Tour

Visit the other Tour Stops for more exciting content and Giveaways!

Giveaway

 

 Win a ARC of LAILAH! (sponsored from Macmillan)

Make sure to tweet either a  #TEAM JONAH Tweet or a #TEAM GABRIEL Tweet – you will find both pre made tweets in the Rafflecopter! 

US/CAN only – Entries via the Rafflecopter below

I so so love Nikki! Really, I do!

Last time Nikki replied to all comments here on the post, so if you have any other burning questions for her – comment away :)))  and don’t forget to tweet the right Team Tweet :)) 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Obsessive Reader by Night - Scientist at Day! You can also find me on goodreads. I'd love to get to know you so, don't be shy and say Hello!
Christina R. 8/8/2014

If you were Lailah who would you take to prom and who would you take on a weekend roadtrip and why ;)

that’s not taking sides, that’s giving us an idea of what these guys are like ;)

thank you :)

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Nikki Kelly 8/8/2014

Good question!! LAILAH has never been to prom, at least, not as far as she can remember but I think if life were more normal and she wasn’t on the run from a band of pureblood vampires and some dubious arch angels lol then I reckon Gabriel for prom (because he’s very traditional) and would likely dip and twirl LAILAH and slow dance with a smile whereas I think you’d likely find Jonah sneaking in a bottle of vodka and smoking under the rafters !! Road trip wise if I were LAILAH? I’d take Jonah, things tend to get quite interesting when that bad boy vamp is around!

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Mary @ BookSwarm 8/8/2014

Yeah, there’s something about someone who’s deadly and dangerous — so sexy. I like that the author built up her own mythology around them. Looking forward to reading this one.
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Nikki Kelly 8/8/2014

Thank you Mary!! The mythology around the vamps and angels is an original spin, I really hope you enjoy the read and getting know the characters!! Xxx
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erinf1 8/8/2014

thanks for sharing!!! ummm… what is the one thing that you have to have/do while writing?

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Nikki Kelly 8/8/2014

Great question!! I absolutely have to have a pot of tea (English breakfast) made up and placed next to me – I cannot write without tea!! But I’m English so this is probably no surprise!!! Also chocolate biscuits (that’s cookies if you are in the US or Canada) also helps!!

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I am SO EXCITED to read this book!! Nikki Kelly is pretty awesome so therefore her book must be too :) How did you come up with the concept of your book? How long did it take to write? Why are you so so awesome, lovely? ;)

~Rachel (@yaperfectionist)
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Nikki Kelly 8/8/2014

Awww lovely Rachel you are far more awesome my dear!! Sending you all the hugs right now!!! The concept was a mixture of things stemming from a dream I had of lailah, my love of all things vamp and angel and the worlds themselves came from a mixture of my own belief system and spinning existing mythology into someone else entirely!! All in took around 12-18months to write/ revise/ proof/edit as I was doing so in my spare time the second book has taken me more like 6months full time (first draft that it!) awww I love that you think I’m awesome!! *grins widely!! But as I say you are far more awesome!! Xxxx

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I’m so excited to meet LAILAH, and step into this fabulous world with Nikki’s own unique take on vampires. I agree that there is just something so irresistible about the inner conflict/turmoil they (vampires) represent. Thanks for sharing with us about upcoming LAILAH :)
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Nikki Kelly 8/8/2014

Hey kim!! Im so pleased you’re excited !! I do a bad boy vamp ;) something we have in common!! I really hope you enjoy lailah’s journey do stop by on twitter and let me know what you think when you’ve had a read :) xxx

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Vivien 8/8/2014

Do you have any plans for novellas set in this series?

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Nikki Kelly 8/8/2014

Hey Vivian !!
I’m hoping to write a novella set in the 1800 ‘s when Gabriel and lailah first met – I’m hoping to write that next year (early) meanwhile I have written two short stories one from Jonah’s pov set before LAILAH kicks off and one from Gabriel’s POv set in the 1940s – both those stories (each about 5 chapters in length) will be available over the next. 4weeks for free on wattpad!! :) and additionally there will be another short story available in the fierce reads anthology which will release in spring 15 xox

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Ri @ HiveretCafe 8/8/2014

Fab interview! I`m so freaking excited for LAILAH.

Hey Nikki! :) If Gabriel, Jonah and Lailah were an animal, what animal would they be?
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Nikki Kelly 8/9/2014

Hey ri!! I’m so happy you’re excited!! Hmmm interesting question!! I think lailah would be a unicorn !! Not sure about the boys…

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kara 8/10/2014

I’ve looked at this cover at least a thousand times & I’m just seeing a lot of those hands. . .
My question would be do you see pieces of your self in your characters? Funny Fact about you?

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kara 8/10/2014

#TEAMJonah

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Nikki Kelly 8/10/2014

Hey kara!! Yes the grabby hands are super creepy and I think displays the undercurrent of darker themes in the book :) great question!! Yes, there’s definitely pieces of myself across the characters LAILAH for example is stubborn much the same way I am! In fact tbh so much of this book and next books are an amalgamation of parts of my own soul – writing them – the themes, the questions raised, parts of the characters all stem from my life and my being – I feel like I poured all that I am and am still pouring into these stories!!
Funny fact- not sure how funny this is but I listen to the rocky sounds track before writing any action sequences and bop around my kitchen Reinacting the scene where rocky runs up the steps!!
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Pili 8/12/2014

What a fantastic interview! I loved all the questions Danny asked and of course I loved finding out even more things about the Lailah world! Thank you for a great post!
And I seriously cannot wait to see if I’m gonna be #TeamJonah or #TeamGabriel or end up keeping Nikki company being #TeamFence!
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Nikki Kelly 8/12/2014

Tries to lure pili will cupcakes over to the fence !!! It gets lonely here sometimes!! ;)
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Pili 8/12/2014

Add some tea and shortbread biscuits and I’ll be keeping you company there! ;)
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Emily Anne 8/14/2014

Loved the interview :) Also, I *think* I will be #TeamJonah… but I am always terrible at picking sides!

My question: Can you recommend some awesome books to read while we are impatiently waiting for LAILAH to release?

Thanks for the awesome post!
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Nikki 8/14/2014

Hee hee Jonah is proving quite popular!!

Naturally the first books I think if. When asked that question are the grisha trilogy by Leigh bardugo – have you read then? They are sooooo amazing !!! Jessica brody unforgotten trilogy also fabulous (sci-fi/fantasy) the winners curse I am hearing nothing but amazing things and will be starting that one myself soon…

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Chelsea B. 8/15/2014

Hi! I adored the interview, and can’t wait to read Lailah! I gotta say– that is one spooky cover! I think everyone above covered the questions I had! :-)

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Nikki Kelly 8/15/2014

Well, question or not, thank you for leaving a comment!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview, Danny asks great questions!! I really hope you enjoy the story when you read it!! Lots of love Nikki xxx
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Michelle Lee 8/15/2014

I would have to go for TEAM GABRIEL! <3
Nikki, what inspired you to become a writer? and what is your all time favorite book/ novel? :)

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Nikki kelly 8/16/2014

Hi Michelle!!
Hee hee! Glad to see lovely Gabriel getting some support! Jonah, our bad boy vamp seems to winning the vote on Danny’s boards!! I loved reading as a small child, I used to wait for my mom to disappear downstairs after she’d put me to bed and then I’d sneak out to the landing, where the light was on, and read! (I am talking from age 4 here!) so I think books have always been in my blood. But truly, I can track it back to one major moment in my life that made me say, I want to write a novel. That was when my Auntie took me to a Waterstones for my twelth birthday and told me to pick out any book I wanted as my gift. (I didn’t grow up in an environment with a lot of money so this was quite a treat!) I spent hours choosing, and I remember thinking that one day, I wanted someone to spend hours choosing a book and maybe they might chose mine! That was when the dream was born, I think! I can’t answer the second question because my fave book of all time changes frequently!! Lord Of The Rings is always in my top list, but at the moment I am loving the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo… I think they will remain on my top list forevermore! What about you? What’s your fave novel of all time??

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