Lizzy Gayle | Interview
Imagination Meets Romance
Paranormal romance author Lizzy Gayle joins me today to chat about her new release The Bleeding Heart, book two in The Djinn series.
Welcome and congratulations on your new release! Tell me a little bit about where you came up with the idea for The Bleeding Heart.
Hi! Thanks for having me. My Djinn series was born when I heard a voice (yes writers often hear voices) of a powerful female entity that almost felt like a demon, but wasn’t. When I researched a little I found the Djinn and Leela became clearer. Turned out she wasn’t so bad, just used for her power. I always knew I wanted to do a trilogy with the three Djinn from the origin story I came up with, and Taj, the MC of book two, this one, has always commanded attention. I absolutely love him and he deserves his own book.
I can relate to secondary characters needing their own books! Tell us a little about yourself. What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always been a creative spirit and writing is something that I’ve assumed I would do in my life no matter what else I chose. But it wasn’t until about a decade ago that I took it seriously enough to put in the time and effort required. It was like opening the floodgates and the rest, as they say, is history.
Tell me more about why Taj from The Bleeding Heart is a favorite character of yours.
His personality came through so vibrant and clear that he almost stole the show in book one. He has a quick temper, bawdy sense of humor that he uses as a defense mechanism, and a hidden heart of gold. He’s the bad boy who isn’t really bad, and I guess I’ve always been a sucker for bad boys. So Taj gets the spotlight and an HEA. Though I have to admit I torture my characters. Literally. They earn their HEA.
As long as they get their happily ever after! What time period did you choose for this book?
The book takes place in two alternating timelines, so that Taj’s past mirrors and intertwines with his present. So it goes between modern day and a post-Civil-War era Southern plantation. You get to see him at his best and his worst, and I think it gives a lot of depth to the story. The dual time period is a part of each book in the series.
Dual timelines sound so interesting. Can’t wait to read! So are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you have pre-writing routine or do you just go with the flow?
I have tried so hard and so many ways to be a good plotter, but it always backfires. I suspect it has to do with both my acting background and my spiritual gifts. But even if I plot, the characters do what they want when it comes down to it. And frankly, that joy of discovery is part of why I write, so I’ve learned not to fight it. But, I DO try to write a blurb ahead of time as well as do a beat sheet (Save the Cat) and or think about Lisa Cron’s third rail for my characters.
Story Genius by Lisa Cron is a book I always highly recommend! Describe your brand in three words.
Imagination meets romance
That’s my kind of brand. Here’s a fun question for you: as a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and how is that working out for you so far?
Perfect! I wanted to be an actress, a writer, and something magical. So I got to be an actress for a bit when I lived in Tucson, I’m a published author, and it may not be actual magic (though I argue it is) but I’m also a practicing psychic. Not too shabby!
Not too shabby at all. If you can choose, what are the top three items on your bucket list?
1. See the aurora borealis in person
2. Visit a castle in Ireland
3. Be able to live off my writing!
Come up to Canada to visit me and we’ll go aurora hunting! So what are you working on right now? Does it connect to your new release?
Actually, book three, The Blissful End, and the final book in the Djinn series is almost ready to go! It comes out in April. I’m currently writing book two in my Fantasy Resorts series, which is a sci-fi romance. The first book, Love at 20,000 Leagues, comes out in just a couple weeks from now and the one I’m working on is a Time Travel Resort that goes back in time to the old west and gets stuck there.
Delightful! The Fantasy Resorts series sounds right up my alley. To finish up, are there any words of wisdom you want to share with new writers?
Yes. Don’t give up and write what scares you. Perseverance is the key to success. If you stop trying, you will never win. As for what scares you, I have never gotten better advice that makes me push myself in my craft and I received the same advice from one of my literary heroes, Libba Bray.
Thank you for that excellent advice. Where can readers interact with you or find out more?
Just about anywhere they want! I LOVE reader interaction. You can find all my links from Website (where you can sign up for my newsletter) to Tiktok, FB, Amazon, etc. here: Linktree
Perfect! Thank you for chatting with me today. Let’s leave a link here so readers can find your newest release.
Buy The Bleeding Heart on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09PSK3PPF
Excerpt from book 1, The Binding Stone when Taj is first introduced:
I am wondering what Jered would do if I reached up and kissed him when I hear a voice from behind.
“Oh, it’s you.”
I leap off the bed at the sound, foreign yet familiar. Jered sits bolt upright and reaches for his lamp, knocking the milkshake off the nightstand.
The newcomer sits casually on the windowsill, one leg dangling loose. He’s as tall and well-built as Jered, but his skin is dark and smooth beneath his open shirt and his eyes are two sparkling emeralds, just like mine. I would recognize that impish grin anywhere.
“Taj,” I say.
Part of me wants to throw my arms around him and dance. The other part wants to toss him out the window. One thing’s for certain, he’s trouble.
“Leela, it’s been a long time. Who’s the human?” His eyes flash appreciatively over Jered. Well, this is awkward.
“Who are you?” Jered asks. I can see he’s nervous and rightly so. Taj is Djinn but not under his control. The question really is, why is he here? How is he here?
“Taj is an old friend,” I say. “Taj, this is Jered. Jered, Taj.”
“Friend?” Jered asks.
“Djinni,” I confirm. “Djinni I haven’t seen in a thousand years.”
“Well, it isn’t very well like they’d let us go to parties together,” Taj says, sliding off the sill. He saunters over to the desk and examines the contents. Jered moves to speak, and I throw out a hand in caution. He quiets immediately.
“Are you,” I begin. “Do you?”
“Have a master? Oh yes. A delightful woman bent on world domination, you’d love her, Lee. How about you, Jered? Any evil plots hatching? Armies? Fire ninjas? Flying monkeys?”
“Flying monkeys?” Jered asks.
“Oh you wouldn’t believe some of the ones I’ve seen. I’m sure Lee’s had a few doozies in her day as well.” His eyes connect with mine, and a million memories flash through my mind.
“Taj, how did you find me?” I ask.
“Lee, you’re smarter than that. How do you think I found you?”