Author Spotlight: Layla Dorine


Layla Dorine

For my latest Author Spotlight I’m joined by the wonderful Layla Dorine. We talked about her love of storytelling, her very busy year so far, and how her first book was seventeen years in the making.

Over to you Layla…

First things first, please introduce yourself!
Hi, I’m Layla, originally from the East Coast and now living in the Midwest, I’ve seen all but 1 state, Alaska, which I plan to venture to next year. I write LGBTQ fiction and romance and love telling the stories of quirky characters falling in love. 

Tell us a little bit about your writing style.
Dialogue and scene driven, I love bringing the reader into precious moments in the characters stories and showing how they are able to grow from their mistakes and misconceptions. Most of my characters are misfits or some kind, many ride motorcycles, play music and like to roam the highways. Restless wanderers, I love exploring what they are searching for and how it changes them to find it. Plot is super important in my stories, with several layers of subplots and lively, engaging secondary characters to help expand on the experience. 

Describe your books in only three words.
 Angsty Rebel Bikers.

What are you working on right now?
Holy crap, this has been a busy year. My next book is releasing on Aug 11 and it is a Lion Shifter MMMMM Harem book. It’s fated mates, new shifter colony, lions struggling with how they fit together and how they want to build on the sparks they are starting to feel the longer they dwell in the same home. 

My latest release just came out on the 9th of last month, it is part of the Pride Pet Play series and it’s called Painted Love. In it, Garrett, A sexy fireman and major Daddy, has two beautiful pets, one, Mouse, a kitty he has at the start of the story and the other, Cassidy, a ferret who they meet early on. He so enchants them that they just have to know more about him, just as I hope readers will want to learn more about the trio that make up the story. 

As for right now, I am working on my Road to Rocktoberfest novel Shattered Chords, in which two members of a broken up band attempt to put a new one together, all while preparing not only for Rocktoberfest, but for some major changes in their lives. 

Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of?
The first. Guitars and Cages was 17 years in the making. It was birthed out of an online wrestling roleplay game otherwise known as Efedding, and with the encouragement of some of the other players, I decided to take the storyline I’d been developing for years and turn it into a full fledged novel. The success of that book when it first released back in 2015 pushed me to keep going, and it’s been nothing but new stories ever since.

What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer?
A love of storytelling. I always loved to read, and I always loved to listen to people tell stories of their adventures or misadventures depending on what unfolded. My first job was in a bookstore. Surrounded by all those books and comics I just knew that I was going to add to the shelves one day. I always had good creative writing teachers who encouraged me, even when regular English teachers did not because of my Dyslexia, so I’d have to say that it was a combination of things that left me longing to be a writer and pushing to achieve my dreams.

What inspired you to start writing?
Learning that S. E. Hinton had written and published The Outsiders when she was only 15. I actually started writing my first book at 12, which in today’s terms would be considered fan fiction of The Outsiders. I never finished it, but it sparked the urge in me to keep trying to tell stories and collect characters and scenes. 

What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”?
No typical writing day, though I do write everyday. Sometimes it is in a notebook and sometimes on the computer. In spring and fall, I prefer to take my notebook out into nature somewhere and just sit and listen to the bird and the wind rustling the trees and wait for the characters to talk. I always read over the material from the day before in preparation of the new days writing session, and will often wake in the middle of the night to jot down ideas or even whole scenes and they unfold in my head. 

What comes first for you – the plot or the characters?
The characters, they start talking and the story grows from there.

What’s a book that you wish you’d written?
Rhone’s Rebel by T. L. Travis. It’s an absolutely amazing rocker boys book and her work is truly inspiring. I have loves reading everything of hers and this one just hits me hard in the feels. I wish I had conceived of this story. 

If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Pet Play, I’ve absolutely fallen in love with writing Pet Play and Daddy/Little stories and could see myself only writing them for the rest of my career. 

What would be your three desert island books?
The Outsides by S. E. Hinton. The Lords and the New Creatures by Jim Morrison. An American Night by Jim Morrison.

If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast?
I’d love to see Guitars and Cages made into a movie, with Charlie Hunnam playing Asher Logan. 

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about?
I love taking nature photography, I absolutely love to go on long road trips and go hiking in the woods. I’ve been a martial artist studying Tae Kwon Do for over 15 years, and I love growing vegetables in my garden and turning them into amazing dishes after they have been harvested. I own a Harley and love to go on long motorcycle rides, and during the winter, I can often be found reading or watching movies. 

Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur?
It’s kind of a toss up, I was really into dinosaurs when I was a kid, and read all the books that I could about them. I’ve also visited the museum of natural history several times and the dinosaur exhibits were always my favorites. Stegosaurus has always been at the top of my list for favorites, along with triceratops. Okay, so I have to admit, there is something a bit punk rock about both of those dinosaurs as well as the Ankylosaurus. 

LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, traveling, and visiting museums and haunted places. Layla got hooked on writing as a child and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.

For more information on Layla and her work you can visit her website, where you can sign up for her newsletter, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.