Thursday, September 21, 2017

Interview with multi-genre novelist Layton Green

Multi-genre novelist Layton Green is here today and we’re chatting about the first book in his new Blackwood Saga fantasy series, The Brothers Three.

Layton is a bestselling author who writes across multiple genres, including mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and fantasy. He is the author of the popular Dominic Grey series, as well as other works of fiction. His novels have been optioned for film, nominated for multiple awards (including a finalist for an International Thriller Writers award), and have reached #1 on numerous genre lists in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. His latest Dominic Grey novel, The Shadow Cartel, was a #2 overall bestseller on Amazon UK. Layton is also the co-editor of International Thrills, the online magazine of ITW (International Thriller Writers).

In addition to writing, Layton attended law school in New Orleans and was a practicing attorney for the better part of a decade. He has also been an intern for the United Nations, an ESL teacher in Central America, a bartender in London, a seller of cheap knives on the streets of Brixton, a door to door phone book deliverer in Florida, and the list goes downhill from there.

Welcome, Layton. Please tell us about your current release.
I started with the idea of ‘what do I really want to read?’ I love epic fantasy, I love fantasy novels that transport characters from our world to another world, and I also love urban fantasy. I decided to meld all three, and the world building—the alternate-reality New Orleans—just sort of took off. After the brothers reach the new world and team up with a dangerous adventuress and her band of mercenaries, The Brothers Three follows a classic quest motif, a journey to an abandoned keep, and it’s the first in the series (The Blackwood Saga). There will be five in total.

What inspired you to write this book?
My love of fantasy.

Excerpt from The Brothers Three:


If only all nights were this sultry, all moons so bright and clear. The tendrils of Spanish moss dripping from the oaks whispered adventure in Will Blackwood’s ear, made him long for gallant quests and fiendish dungeons and exotic, leather-clad heroines.
With practiced flair, Will threw his cape over his shoulder, pulled on his gauntlets, and twirled his sword above his head. Then he shut the trunk of his Honda Civic and trudged through the parking lot to the employee entrance of Medieval Nights, a joust-themed dinner theatre in New Orleans.
To make ends meet, Will spent a few nights a week engaging in staged battles with a staff of fellow underachieving twenty-somethings. Once Will stepped into the pennant-lined arena, the music started, and the crowd of children and bored retirees screamed at the top of their lungs for blood and victory, he knew he was as close to Middle Earth as he was ever going to get.
After dispatching two trolls and a papier-mâché dragon, Will changed into a pair of Carhartt pants and a T-shirt and headed to the House of Spirits, a funky little joint where his brother Caleb tended bar.
It would be the same routine: two draft Abita Ambers to take the edge off, a little online gaming back at the apartment, and then asleep by midnight so Will could wake up at six a.m. for his day job as a general contractor’s assistant.
Just like every other night, just like every other morning.
Right before he walked through the beaded entrance of the House of Spirits, Will felt his cell buzz.
The text was from his oldest friend, Lance Wesson, whose name Will envied for not sounding like a hobbit’s.
Lance had enlisted in the Marines after high school, then joined the New Orleans Police Department after returning from active duty. Will’s history of severe panic attacks, which had started after his father died, prevented Will from joining any profession involving danger or stress. Lance was sympathetic and let him ride along on calls he knew wouldn’t involve any risk.
Will texted back.
            Will sighed, running a hand through his blond hair. What would be his next big vicarious adventure, staking out jaywalkers?
He always felt patronized when he rode with Lance, but he had trouble resisting the siren call of potential excitement.
            Will’s fingers flicked across the keypad.
Will stepped outside to wait. His quick blue eyes roamed the darkened street, all too aware that nothing truly mysterious lived in the shadows of New Orleans, or anywhere else on Earth.
 Why had evolution enabled human beings to develop such potent imaginations?
* * *

What exciting story are you working on next?
The fourth book in The Blackwood Saga

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I came upon writing a little bit by accident. While I was working as an attorney, I set out to write a novel that I felt I needed to write. Not because I was a novelist (I had never written a word of fiction, outside of my legal briefs), but because I had a story I wanted to tell. During the process of fumbling through that first novel, I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that writing novels was what I had to do with my life. I think anyone who completes a novel should feel like a writer!

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I write full-time now, six to eight hours a day, at least five days a week.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I “hunt and peck” with two fingers. It gives me time to think about what I’m writing.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A paleontologist.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’d love for you to check out my work!


Thanks for joining me here today, Layton.

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