I’m extremely glad to have Leonard D. Hilley here as a guest. He has written three books in the Darkness Series and the first book will be reviewed here tomorrow.
SK:What inspired you to write a dystopian novel?
Hilley: Predators of Darkness: Aftermath evolved on its own from the opening sentence: “Dropping a cat from the top of a ten story office building was not the best way to remain hidden, but it was necessary.” Everything else (characters, cat-shifter, world setting, etc.) flowed from that. It really wasn’t something I had sat down and planned. More or less, this novel was a gift from my muse.
SK:What would you like readers to come away with after reading your novel?
Hilley: I hope that readers will have made a connection with some of my characters. I want people to feel hopeful in spite of bad circumstances. In my life I’ve had to overcome a lot of obstacles that, at the time seen mountains too high to climb. Perseverance has been the key to my survival.
SK: I found myself relating to Julia so I’m wondering what character do you related to the most and the hardest to capture on the pages?
Hilley:I believe a bit of me is in each character. However, the hardest character to capture in my series has been Morton, the cat. Like a stubborn cat, I can only write him when he decides to visit. When he speaks, I have to write it down.
SK: Morton is a fantastic character, especially because he is a cat. What is your writing process like? Do you outline or just type away?
Hilley: Generally, I revise the pages from the day before and then proceed from there. I never outline my novels because I don’t want to put any restrictions on my characters. Their interactions tend to evolve on their own.
SK: What authors have inspired your writing style?
Hilley: I’m a huge fan of Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Overall, I like Koontz’s style and fast paced scenes.
SK: They are fantastic authors. Now, I understand you are co-writing a screenplay with an English professor. Could you tell us more about how the co-writing process works? And how it differs from writing a novel?
Hilley: Screenwriting is a whole new experience for me. You would think since the screenplay is from an existing novel, writing it would be easier. However, you have to condense a 340 page novel into 125 pages. In our situation, I took the novel’s highpoints and dialogue and wrote out the first rough draft (~168 pages). Ann Linden, my co-writer, has been essential in cutting scenes/dialogue to whittle this down to the appropriate length for a screenplay. We have about 9 more pages to cut
SK.What activity is a must for Summer?
Hilley: I hope to do some hiking and caving. Of course, writing and revising two more novels will demand a lot of time as well.
SK: Thank you so much for proving a great insight into what goes inside the mind of a writer. And good luck with cutting the remaining 9 pages out.
I hope you all have enjoyed this interview session and would like to know more about Predators of Darkness: Aftermath.
Hilley can be found at his blog; his novels are available at Amazon, Ebooks For Pleasure for $2.99, and Smashwords so feel free to check it out. Once again, the review for the first book will be up here tomorrow so come back again.