I’m pleased to welcome romance author Lilly Rayman as my guest here on Writing to be Read. Lilly is an Australian author who writes both paranormal romance and historic romance, and has short stories featured in several anthologies. I recently met Lilly during a Facebook book event and I’m looking forward to reading her work. (Watch for my review of An Unexpected Mating in future reviews.) Today she’s here to share the details of her writing and give us a glimpse into her upcoming release, An Unexpected Revelation, the second book in her Unexpected Trilogy, which is scheduled for release the end of this month.
Kaye: Hi Lilly. Would you share the story of your author’s journey?
Lilly: I would write when I was a teenager, stories that were a collage of my favourite books that I had read at the time. But then after I left school, I stopped writing, although I did keep reading. After my first daughter was born, I was reading a lot, and I found Wattpad, allowing me to read freely. But after reading a lot of amateur stories that all had the same cliché storylines, I found myself with a whole new story in my mind that avoided those cliché’s. I used Wattpad to write it, and it got great feedback. I was encouraged to add my story to an online writing competition, and it won best work and most popular work. The prize money allowed me to get it edited, and then I published An Unexpected Bonding, book one of the Unexpected Trilogy. I was hooked, and storylines came flowing out of me. I’ve since published a pair of short stories that challenge the concept of HEA, called Mated Hearts, and my first Historical Romance, Red Wolf, which is a story that has been with me for 13 years or so, and I was so pleased to finally be able to write it. I also have an anthology story connected to my trilogy published, and a permafree short story companion novel to the trilogy.
Kaye: When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Lilly: I think I’ve always wanted to be an author, it just took me a while to actually get to this point in my life. I used to write a lot as a child, and then as a teenager I wrote to escape from bullies that tormented my school life. Then life after school got in the way, although I would still read. When I had my first daughter, I found myself once more wanting to sit down and write again.
Kaye: Is Red Wolf the only historical romance you’ve written?
Lilly: Red Wolf is currently the only historical fiction at present that is published, but I have another historical in progress at the moment.
Kaye: What is it that appeals to you about historic fiction?
Lilly: Red Wolf, the prologue was a scene that has been in my mind since I was 19, and beside the strengthening of my use of words, tense ect, it hasn’t changed. The following story that centres around that scene has, and honestly it is a far better story than it ever would have been had I followed the original immature story idea I originally had.
Kaye: You describe your two story combo, Mated Hearts, as a paranormal romance with a western flair. How did you end up with such an unusual genre combo?
Lilly: Paranormal with western flair, means my shifters are cowboys or country folk. My Unexpected Series is set in Texas, and The Last Centaur is set in Montana. As for how I ended up with the unusual genre combo? I guess because I’m married to an Aussie stockman, which is basically a cowboy, and the life we’ve lived, in the stock camps, mustering cattle, catching bulls, attending rodeos, it gave me some experience to draw on. I just couldn’t rationalise a wolf pack running around Australia, so settled for Texas as my setting instead.
Kaye: Besides writing, what are your favorite things to do?
Lilly: Reading, spending time with my family, and working on the farm, which includes feeding cattle and horses, as well as branding time.
Kaye: If you have a blog, how did that start and what is it about?
Lilly: I only have a basic blog on my website, which is to try and keep an online presence when I decided to publish as an independent author.
Kaye: Tell us about your Facebook readers group, Lilly’s Lycans.
Lilly: Lilly’s Lycans is a reader group with style. I’ve been working at building up my group since March, and slowly its building in numbers. I try to have an active schedule of fun posts and encourage other authors to participate twice a week to introduce my Lycan’s to a variety of authors. I also run a reader rewards program, which is a special surprise treat, something different, at the end of every month for the most active member of the group.
Kaye: Which author, dead or alive, would you love to have lunch with?
Lilly: Anne Maccaffery. She was the most talented wordsmith who created the world of Pern, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with every one of her Dragon’s their riders, and all the holders or journeymen.
Kaye: What’s the most fun part of writing a novel or short story? What’s the least fun part?
Lilly: The most fun is creating a story that people can fall into and float through it rather than simply read it. The least fun is when you’ve got two books scheduled to come out in the near future.
Kaye: How do you decide the titles for your books? Where does the title come in the process for you?
Lilly: Some titles come to me with the initial concept of the story. Other titles come to me as I work through the story.
Kaye: What is the working title of your next book?
Lilly: Which one? Lol. I have two dragon stories in progress, Dragon Scorned and Heartstone of Dragons. I also have an historical romance called Roping Her Duke on the Go. I’m also working on An Unexpected Hellhound, which is the final book in my trilogy, and I will be a part of a collaboration and a couple of anthologies in 2019.
Kaye: Can you tell us a little about An Unexpected Revelation and An Unexpected Hellhound? When are they scheduled for release?
Lilly: An Unexpected Revelation is the second book of my Unexpected Trilogy and is due for release on the 30th June. An Unexpected Hellhound is the last book of the trilogy, and I am hoping to have it ready for a 2019 release.
Kaye: What is the one thing in your writing career that is the most unusual or unique thing you’ve done so far?
Lilly: Probably “Love Hurts”. It was a very short story that was published in the Love Sucks: An Anti-Valentines Day Anthology that was released in February 2018. It was a challenge to me as a romance author to actually write something so anti-romance. I am rather pleased with how well it turned out.
Kaye: What do you think is the single most important element in a story?
Lilly: Avoiding the cliché of other books in the genre.
Kaye: With that in mind, can you tell me what makes your books different?
Lilly: The main complaint I had with werewolf stories was the weak knee heroines needing to be rescued by an aggressive alpha who was fated to the complete opposite (who in reality would never work with that sort of personality, they would be beaten and downtrodden). Or the whole element of mate rejection, and the mess that ensues that is the whole basis of the story that just has a reader growling.
Kaye: What do you do for cover art? DIY, or hired out, or cookie cutter prefab?
Lilly: I have the most amazing cover artist who does the most awesome cover art for me.
Kaye: What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Lilly: It wasn’t advice per say that was given personally to me, but rather a book I downloaded by Rayne Hall, The Word Loss Diet. The contents of that book have held with me from the moment I read it and applied it to my first book, An Unexpected Bonding. I try and keep those rules and the advice in the book, at the forefront of my mind whilst I write, and again while I edit. It allows me to present, what I believe is a more professional polished book, since the advice gives authors the chance to lift their work up from the amateur level of writing to a more professional feel.
Kaye: Would you like to share links to your books and website, etc… so that readers who are interested will know where to find you?
Goodreads Author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9866872.Lilly_Rayman
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Lilly-Rayman/e/B00X5CR5QC
Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/LillyRayman0007/
Books – Buy links and blurbs:
Red Wolf (FREE in KU / $2.99)
BUY LINK: Books2read.com/RedWolf
By royal dictate, Lady Jacqueline, tempestuous Duchess of Wolvarden and tall, dark and dashingly handsome Prince Leopold of Mercia, are to be married, whether they want to or not.
Although their first meeting is less than promising, they eventually reach an understanding, but what began as a discharge of duty for Leopold, quickly becomes his most fervent wish.
The only obstacle to Leopold’s desire seems to be Red Wolf, resident champion knight of Wolvarden. Will the only knight able to defeat Prince Leopold stand in the way of his quest to win his duchesses heart?
Meanwhile, danger stalks Wolvarden, and Leopold may find Red Wolf is not the enemy after all.
An Unexpected Bonding: Book 1 in The Unexpected Trilogy (FREE in KU / $2.99)
BUY LINK: Books2read.com/AnUnexpectedBonding
For centuries there has been hatred, bloodshed and killing between the vampire and wolf nations.
After the death of her mother, she was now the only wolf-less member of the Romulus pack, and found it almost impossible to live with them. With the Alpha’s permission she left to travel the country. When she fell in love, she found her place in the world and settled with the man of her dreams on his cattle ranch in Texas. But after nearly a decade away from the pack, Livvie’s life is about to change. Will she embrace this change or fight it?
The vampire, son of the Egyptian Sun God Ra, is wandering. His heart is aching, and his soul is restless. Eventually he finds himself in Texas, working for a beautiful woman with a magnetic pull he does not understand. It’s only when she is taken from him, that he recognises a bond that is stronger than all others. The truth of that bond will shake him to his core.
Will the unexpected bonding between wolf and vampire be enough to overcome the centuries of hatred and bring peace and unity to all?
Will the wolf and the vampire overcome their own heartaches to accept their bonding and let romance evolve?
Best Work and Most Popular Work in the iParchment writing rally 2014.
Mated Hearts (FREE in KU / 99c)
BUY LINK: Books2read.com/MatedHearts
Mated Hearts brings together two short stories from Paranormal Romance author Lilly Rayman. The Last Centaur has Lilly’s “Western Flair”, and StarCrossed is set in Lilly’s home country of Australia and brings a paranormal twist to everyone’s favourite Shakespearian tragedy.
The Last Centaur
Tasunke likes to keep to himself on his modest property on Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Breeding horses are his life and livelihood, after all, he understands horses better than people. One day, Tas finds his quiet existence on the remote plains at the foot of the Rocky Mountains being disturbed when he stumbles across a beautiful young woman in need of help.
Paisley is on the run. An abusive boyfriend threatened to kill her. When she overhears him planning to kill someone, she knows he will make good on his threat. In an attempt to make it back to Canada before he can kill her, she finds her car tumbling off the roadside.
Just when she thinks she is about to die, she is rescued by a rugged cowboy. Can Tas keep them both safe from a murderous boyfriend?
Julie Capaldi; senator’s daughter and Roman Montana; bikie bad-boy find their eyes meeting across the crowded dance floor of the Verona bar. Their love is instant, their mating forbidden.
StarCrossed is the tragic story of two young wolves destined for each other, yet having to fight their warring families for the chance to be together forever. Both stories contain mature content, which includes but is not limited to sexual scenes, swearing and violence.
An Unexpected Mating: Companion Novel to The Unexpected Trilogy (FREE EVERYWHERE)
BUY LINK: books2read.com/AnUnexpectedMating
Will the love of his children be enough to give meaning to his life?
I want to thank Lilly for joining us today and sharing her writings and her thoughts with us.
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