Author Spotlight – Ileandra Young
Meet UK Lesbian Fiction Author Ileandra Young (Bold Strokes Books)
Ileandra will be publishing her debut lesbian fiction novel, Both Ways, with Bold Strokes Books in November 2018. Both Ways is a paranormal urban fantasy, and is book 1 of the S.P.E.A.R. Mission Files.
Determined to solve the case, Danika’s only lead is Rayne, a vampire whose power and beauty mask a kind and gentle heart. They race against time to find the missing boy, dodging vampires, evading SPEAR agents, and fighting the attraction that sparks between them. When the stakes rise ever higher, Danika is forced to put her life in Rayne’s hands, but can she really trust a vampire?
We spoke to Ileandra about her debut novel and her writing plans for the future.
(a) Tell us something interesting about your debut novel, Both Ways.
The most interesting (and exciting!) thing about Both Ways is the world it opens up. All through the book I’ve littered references to a wider, bigger world than the one Danika experiences and soon I’ll be able to dig deeper into the world of werewolves, fae and other nasty gribbles, as well as what’s happening within S.P.E.A.R.
(b) What got you into writing?
I’ve always written, I feel this is probably the most clichéd answer, but it really is the truth. When my peers at school were chasing boys, testing make up and gushing about pop music, I’d hide from them in the computer room and make up stories about girls who were far more like me (the weird one who preferred books, reggae music and animals far more than that other stuff).
And from there, the habit continued, first as a means of catharsis when my parents divorced, and then to explore and understand myself and what I now understand to be my bisexuality.
(c) Can you tell us about your writing style? How do you decide on plots and characters? Are you a planner or a pantser?
Hahahaaa, are you kidding? I don’t think I have a particular style; my writing is all over the place.
Once upon a time I pants’d for my life, especially around November for NaNoWriMo. These days, my writing has a little more control, in that I do tend to outline and plot fiercely before I begin. Not sure why though, because once I put fingers to keys and the words start pouring, my characters take me on a heap of adventures that all the planning in the world couldn’t have anticipated.
But most often, I begin with an idea, usually a ‘What if?’ which leapfrogs into ‘And how can I fit vampires into it?’ And no, I’m not kidding, I adore vampires.
(d) If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything differently?
If I were to start over, I would work harder to trust my instincts and my craft. I know all creatives have a strong streak of self-doubt or uncertainty about their work, but if that had held me back less at the start, who knows where I’d be at this point? I might also have invested in some dictation software to spare my poor wrists the RSI.
(e) What is next for you? What is your next project?
The next project is actually deciding which project to work on. There are so many ideas fizzing in my head right now, the battle is to sort them into a more manageable order.
However, if you promise not to tell anybody, there is a little secret I can share. An idea has been brewing for sometime, one that appeals right to my inner geek; a dual plot-line romance which takes place at and during a LARP event (which, for you slighter cooler folks is Live Action Role Play). I would also love to push further with Danika and Rayne along with the rest of my gun-totting S.P.E.A.R. agents. They’re such a fun bunch, I’d be sad to let them go.