Coast to Coast Romance

Interview with Laylah Roberts

December 05, 2021 Ann Jensen & Skylar West Season 1 Episode 17
Coast to Coast Romance
Interview with Laylah Roberts
Show Notes Transcript

A little about Laylah…

Laylah Roberts Lives in New Zealand and writes books with alpha overprotective heroes and heroines. 

With a strong theme towards Daddy Dom’s and Cowboys

Favorite written book: Protector Daddy 

Favorite set of main characters? Sunny and Milly – quirky characters 

Hardest book to write? Daddy’s saving grace

External inspiration for your series? – I start with a character or scene 

Plot or Prance? I write the plot but it does veer, the plot can alter 4 or 5 times.

Odd inspirations? Real People?

Do you fully develop characters from the beginning?

Do you set a number of books in a series in advance or if their successful do you keep writing?

I keep going until I run out o characters or time.

You’re from N.Z, but write American characters have you been to the states?

Yes – Disneyland and Texas. Hoping to visit Montana in the future. 

Do you like to read the reviews? I generally avoid them

A fun fact you can share about one of your stories? 

What can we expect from you in the near future? Crime boss daddies coming in 2022

Follow Laylah



Contact Information:

Ann Jensen

Skylar West

Hi, I'm Ann Jensen coming to you from the east coast of New Jersey. Hi, I'm Skyler West coming to you from the west coast of Canada. We are two Romance Writers using our life experiences to break down and share with you all things romance, how you find your next book boyfriend, discovering genres and tropes and looking at what works and why. What doesn't work and why. Welcome back to coast to coast romance. Today we have one of my favorite authors on Leila Roberts. Welcome to our show. And it's wild. Laila, Laila, Lane, Leila. I'm so glad you're here. Thank you. Pleased to be here. So please, the technology work because I'm really not good at that site. It's a struggle. It's a daily show, because I swear the machines are coming alive. And they're just coming. My destiny? Yeah, I just hate it. Oh. Well, for me, it wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't ever evolving. It's like I just figure something out on a platform or whatever. And all sudden, something's changed. Or they come up with a new version. And currently, Samsung has just gone from like a nine to a, I don't know, a 20 or something. And I'm like, oh my god, stop, stop. I can't take it. Alright, for those people who are not your superfans, like we are. Tell us a little bit about yourself. My name is Leila. I live in New Zealand. And I like to write books with very alpha over protective heroes in them. And here are ones that are often a little bit quirky, been writing for probably 10 years now. And mainly what I write now is Daddy DOM moments, but I still love my cowboys. So that's me. I'd like to talk a lot about myself. I don't think anyone does. It's okay. So I've read a few books. And I love that you have such different styles. Depending on if your daddy DOM is more into kind of more of a little more of the possessive like use you have a quite a wide range within your daddy DOM stories yet. So I'm quite character driven, I think in the way I write my stories. So I really like to think about how this character is reacting to everything that's happening. And so I think that's why, yeah, it comes like that, because you're just really tried to get into character, I guess. Yeah. And you've managed to do something that I had seen other authors try to do, but I always laughed when I ever read. You've managed to do a motorcycle daddy's book, and have both the grit of the motorcycle and the sweetness of the littles. I just read your most recent one. So I'm like Yeah, it's interesting that because I guess they're a little bit darker in some ways, because the MC romance, but I don't, I don't go to into the MC with the you know, that some other Romance Writers might have just to keep them a little bit more lighter for the daily downside. But yeah, it's it was fun to kind of work that all out. And then of course, I've got the fox in that series, who's an assassin who, you know, everybody's kind of loving. So it's sort of their antihero. But yeah, he was a character that I didn't expect everybody would want more of. So when I wrote him, he wasn't actually going to appear in all the other books. And then, yeah, he's fun. He's fun. Yeah, yeah, he sort of was one of those characters. You didn't ride expecting him to be so popular. And Buddy, he is. Okay. So now I'm gonna ask as a fan, cat and her daddy. Yeah. Or papi? Yeah. Yeah. Is do they have a book or they have a book coming in, or they have a book coming out. So they don't already have a book, whether it will be like a novella, or whether it'll be a full book. I'm not entirely sure yet, but they will appear as characters in the new series I've got coming next next year. So we do get to know more about them. Because I know I read the book. And then I was like, wait, I need to search her backlist to see if I miss the others. There's a lot of characters. There's a lot of secondary characters. I know. I have a fondness for secondary characters, but I always write them a book. So that's awesome. What is your favorite book that you've written? Well, it's like choosing a child. I've only got one child, but choosing a favorite book is pretty hard. I have I do have ones that I tend to favor more like, probably protected. Edie is one of the ones that I really liked riding and then Sonny and Duke story motorcycle, Daddy, you know, that one came so easy. It just flowed in. Yeah, I really enjoyed writing that. But I think there's always kind of books in each series that may be like a little bit more than the other books? Yeah, you feel? Yeah. What about a set of main characters? Do you have a favorite? You know that that one set that one dying girl that just kind of warm your heart more than maybe than the others? Yeah, I think again, like Sonny and Millie. Really? Were. Yeah, the ones that really got to me, Millie, because what she was fun to write I love quirky characters. I always wanted to write like a rom com romance type thing. And she was kind of my, you know, that he found that you? They, it seems like all your books technically exist in the same universe are the same? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. All the so the Montana debt is in the MC did is they you know, they interconnect. So they are differently and they're not very, you know, they're in the same state. With my other series. I do that a little bit, too. So there's a wee bit of Haven moving into the dorms series, the old fashioned series leaving and you know, I do like to connect that which sometimes I think it's a bit confusing for people who come along you to me, I didn't really think about when I was doing, I just write them. And then they're like, how do they all fit together? And I'm like, Oh, how much? Probably? Someone's gonna have to do like a Venn diagram of all the I know. And then lawyers from here and haste. Yeah. And especially when you put in the reverse Terry books, like, I almost thought I needed like a family tree, but you know, showing where all the characters come in. So one day, I might actually have to do that. And it'll be easier for people, I think. So what do you what do you think was your hardest book to write? I was thinking about this. And I think her daily saving grace was really hard to write. And the reason it was because it did really well, actually. And the reason I think it was so hard to write is because there were two strangers loving the same woman, rather than two guys that were already together or two guys that knew each other, you know, they sort of had to sort of figure out how are these two guys going to fall in love with the same woman? But she here? So that made it a bit tricky? Yeah. And then the ones with more characters are always a bit harder to write. So the reverse harem books are more difficult, because you've got more people more personalities. You got to you got to give them more equal time it can get Yeah, difficult. Yeah, yeah, those ones are a bit trickier. They tend to be a bit longer take me a bit longer as well. So do you do you have like an external inspiration for your series? Or do you just start, you know, with a character and then the secondary characters? Yeah, yeah, exactly. Often I start with a character. And, but sometimes I start with like, a scene in my head. So in here, I did a which is in can beat T. All I had was the scene where she's in, like a hole in the ground. And this head pops over and says hello on the Fox. I'm like, okay, so then I had to write that whole book to get that scene in there, because I knew that was where it kinda, you know, almost ended up it was almost in sound like, oh, it was tricky writing the book to fit in the same, but then other books like Master BOMA. Like, I just had the first line of the book in so yeah, I just started off with the first line and rotate, but often it's the character. But yeah, these scenes sort of come to you. Come to me anyway. And then I have to try and fit them in. So you do plot or do you panted or do you just go? Yeah, so I try to plot because otherwise I lose track. That's not the beast, it's sticking to the plot. And then the book will take its own tangent. And we'll go somewhere completely different. So I'll end up probably with four or five plots written throughout the book, is I changed my mind and we move somewhere else. Yeah, not not that the characters are taking control or any No, not at all. Intro or so? Yeah. Oh, that's awesome. So are you it's been interesting for Anna and I did have just talked with so many different authors. It's been such a blessing to actually have this podcast, we can kind of get behind the scenes with so many really cool people. But I always find your everyone's individual process so fascinating. And I know someone that we talked to mentioned that literally they heard one line in a movie and it sparked an entire series for them. Does anything like that around for you? Yeah, no, I think yeah, that's true. You just see something on TV or something somebody does and you think, you know, I could write a whole story have that? Yeah, no, definitely. I definitely find that as well. And I don't, I don't have a lot of free time. So I don't watch a lot of TV. But every so often year, something like that will happen. So you can kind of grasp inspiration from anywhere. It's something nice too. Yeah, yeah, that's right. Yeah. Wonderful. Have you ever plucked people out of your real life and based some characters around them? Are? I haven't they dying for me too? Yeah, yeah, I get asked about that. From my friends. But no, I haven't. The probably one would get jealous of one God and and the other didn't. That could cause a problem. I could see that. No, do you fully develop your character before you start the story? Or do they grow as people as you're writing? I mean, they can. Yeah, yeah. They always grow in, they do things in you think, ah, or they they introduce sort of, like, sometimes I think the family is one thing, and then partway through there, you know that he changes. I'm just doing that with a story now. Where his historical background kind of changes halfway through the story, and just made more sense. Yeah. So now they definitely change. So you don't have a problem taking a left turn when the characters tell you to steer? Oh, though, that can add to editing issues. Go back to the beginning. And you're like, I have to change all of this. Yeah, yeah. And take me ages to eat it. I think in comparison to what I went, how long it takes to write editing. Yeah, can take me twice as long. So just change and change. I've done that. It sounds like much like me, you're you're very character driven and plots, and everything like that has any other than the Foxy, you mentioned haven't have any characters come out of nowhere. And you're like, Okay, I guess you get a book. Yeah, they they do that to me all the time. They pop up all the time. And I'm like, this time, I'm not putting in all these secondary characters that everyone's gonna love book bowl that night. They pop up constantly. Yeah, yeah. I don't. I don't think I go into a book with too much of an idea of other characters. And then they just come. Yeah, generally, the opposite. What about if you had fully intended to use the secondary character, but all of a sudden, because maybe your plot has shifted? You've had to remove them or regulate their role? Yeah, much smaller. I know that's happened to me. I did, I had to think I eliminated a character. Can't remember which book just because there was too much going on. Just it was too much to keep up with it. So yeah, I scraped them just to make things a bit easier. And they didn't add anything to the story. So they weren't necessary. And sometimes you have to do that. You think you have these grand plans with everybody? But if they're not, if they're not really needed, then sometimes they just you know, get in the way. Get in the way. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Now, do you usually have like a set number like, Okay, I'm only going to do 15. Did you know Montana daddies or attend a mountain or whatever? You know, number? Yeah. Or do you just not? I'll keep writing. I'll keep writing until people. There's no side characters to Yeah, exactly. I'll just, yeah, no, I just keep going until I've run out of characters or I've run out of Yeah, people time, I guess. Because I do like to start off my new series. And then having too many series going at once is a problem for me. Now, it's interesting, because you're from New Zealand, but you write your characters in the US have you spent time here. I have. So back when I started writing I wrote for Laura's cave. And they really, I think wanted things US based in. I love the US in so we visited for the first time. Was it 10 years ago now. And then we went back probably we took my daughter back about two or three years ago. Yeah. And when we went back a couple of years ago, we took her to Disneyland, of course, that we visited Texas, which I've always wanted to visit. And so I really think next next time we visit which you go to Montana, they haven't been there. I've been to Montana and I'm Canadian. Yeah it's really yeah, we've been to several several places. We love it. Love it so much. So yeah, but it does make it a bit interesting writing. So I have a lot of help going through my books to pick out all the Kiwi British things that I put in the in I don't even realize I mean, I've been doing this for a while, but I still Make a lot of mistakes. Well, I think it happens to like I have an author friend who is has lived in England and Italy was raised. So her grammar school years were in Italy, and now resides in England. And so she'll say things that she will have, and something that you'd think of in Italy, and it's something you would think of in English. And then she's writing an American book, and it kind of dives and spirals in amongst the data. It's just natural. It's just who you are how you think. Right? Yeah. And I think sometimes, too, because we have, you know, British influence. We have American and some I don't actually know, sometimes we the words have come, you know, that's true. Yeah. Yeah. And so there was a saying, and I had to ask him, I read a group, you know, because people saying it, we don't say that. And, and they were coming back actually, with all I know what it is. And we say something like that here. And we say, so you know, it does depend we live in the States to is which sayings you use. So that's confusing as well, because I just come from a small country. We all pretty much the same. With Tiny mice. We have a phrase book for life, whether you know, you know, you're from South Jersey or North Jersey, because you use in a sub versus hoagie versus, you know, poor girl versus Yeah. So no, it's the US is someone saying they don't say that in the US. It's like, where in the US, don't they? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That was fun. You did one. In was it? Australia? Right. One of the I did do one Australia. And I've actually got a book I did in New Zealand as well. One that's with a publisher. So yeah, it is fun. And then I've put on Kiwi characters into my books. Yeah. And Australian characters. And yeah, I like to do that to just mix it up a little bit. Yeah, yeah. I think readers like it too. You have, you have a method for keeping everything straight, or just? Yes. So I have a whiteboard in my office here where I have stuff for the emcee days written out, because that's kind of tricky, because it has this overarching plot, and, but I'm terribly disorganized. And I don't have things. Like years ago, I went to a Romance Writers thing where they were teaching you about doing character Bibles and stuff. I thought, that's a really good idea. And then I never did it. I do have a reader who loves doing spreadsheets, and she helps me out with writing things into spreadsheets for me. So I can go back and see where I've used, you know, what names I've got, you know, and things like that, because I've even doubled up on names in the same series and just, you know, and then comes to me, and it's just sticks in my head. So it's really difficult to get a name to change a name once you've got it. But um, so yeah, so she, yeah, she's helping me get more organized. That's fabulous. Yeah, like, I need a reader like 999. She loves she loves doing spreadsheets that she's in heaven as well. So yes, I wish I was more organized with things like that. But that's just who I am. Now, are you one of those authors who likes to read their reviews or? Reviews? Yeah, yeah, I do avoid them. I probably used to back when I started off. And I found that we just stopped me, it would stop me in my tracks from being creative, because I'd be worrying about what people wrote. And I'd be trying to, you know, change and so I had to stop. Yeah, I had to stop reading them in order to keep moving forward. Now, is there a just like, a fun fact that you can share with us about like, one of your stories like, oh, this person came out, you know, came out of nowhere or, you know, something that we you know, people might not know why certain things are a certain way? Well, I mean, I did yeah, already. Fox did definitely come out of nowhere. And now over arching. Yeah, and now he's in every book seat, too afraid. And I think I'm gonna have to put them in every book now. Well, what am I gonna do? He wasn't even a character at the beginning of do concern his book, like he just popped out of nowhere, absolutely. In the book, and I was like, Oh, hello. And so yeah. So that, that has been very interesting for me to try to work out. He's like, Where where's Waldo? Like, now that I've read in, you know, I've read through all the books like by Book Three. I was like, Where is he? Like, that's like, who's gonna turn out to be him? Yeah, and I think he he works like in the back of my head. brain like and he just sort of pops in. I couldn't even think about it, but he just sort of is the so yeah, it's he's strange character. Yeah. Very fun though. It's been very fun to put him in. And I just love, like my Raiders rule. Like we need a fan page for him for just the Fox on Facebook. So he's got his own group, his own fan page, but it's pretty awesome. Hilarious. That's awesome. Alright, so what what do we have in the future for Leila Roberts? Okay, so we're still finishing off the while we're still got plenty to write and Montana deities in the MC days. And then I've got a new series my crime boss steadies coming next year, but some of those secondary characters moving over into that series. And yeah, that's where we're going. I just keep just keep writing characters keep coming. So just keep going, huh? That's awesome. Yeah. And hopefully, we can start moving around the world again, and I'll be back in the States wanted me to do a book signing. Oh, it's in Dallas. But the same year that you know, COVID hidden, everything went crazy. And it was going to be my 40th birthday in New Orleans. So you know, we've still got all that plan. We've got to get that done once we can. Yeah. Oh, you get to hold it off. Hold it off. I'm holding it off until I get to New Orleans and then I'll turn 40 So I like that idea. I'm gonna hold off mine too. Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. Sorry. Yeah, sorry. I get a few years out of it a few years out and onto my kidding. I always wanted to go to New Orleans or New Orleans. I think if you say it, it's original French version, right? Yeah. Hey, people don't like history. Say that. Okay. But yeah, I sad that I didn't see it before the big Katrina storm. Because I know that it changed a lot of things in the course we have that very good friend of ours, Ruby Kane, who is in that area in Louisiana, and they just had that other storm just in the last few years. They're still recovering from that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I would I too, would like to go maybe during Mardi Gras, and just be part of that incredible culture. Yeah. Yeah. No, I was really disappointed that you know, what, no kidding. The funny part is I was actually I had a flight to New Zealand for my day job. And I, it was two weeks before New Zealand locked itself down. And they were like, Ooh, let's put it off. And then New Zealand locked it down and I dead's not unlocked since so no. Sorry. It's it's pretty impossible to get into the country. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Which part? Were you flying to Auckland? Yes, Auckland. Yeah, yeah. I have a friend. And is it Turanga? So Tehran? Yeah. Tara? Yeah. Yeah, it's nice. Yeah. Yeah, I'm down, down further down on the South Island. So yeah, no, I, it was funny, because they were like, oh, you know, are you willing to go to New Zealand has like, like, and your pain and yeah. What part of this isn't working for me? Yeah. For me was the way that it would work is like, I could extend it and the you know, but the, you know, work would still pay for the flight there and back. So I'm like, so I'll just extend my holiday. Yeah, but now who knows what'll know? When or how it'll happen. But now. Scholar and I have been talking like someday we're just gonna do like a worldwide book tour. And just just, well, we'll call it a book tour. But really, it's just right. Yeah, going around the Havoc seeing the sights. We're just a couple of nice authors getting into a whole world of trouble. Mm hmm. Well, thank you for coming on the show. It was begin. Thank you. really grateful you're able to carve this time out for us. Thank you, Leila. You're welcome. And thanks for asking me and having me. It's been good. It's been fun, just like a chat. Everybody join us next week. Thank you for listening to coast to coast romance. I'm Ann Jensen. And I'm Skylar West. If you'd like to contact either of us our links are located in the show notes have a great week thanks so much for joining us