Mpreg Obsession: Tell us about yourself.
Leyla: I love stories. Reading them, writing them, watching them - I love them all! I was born in Europe and have been in Canada since I was 8. I love the Great White North! I live in Toronto with my husband, two daughters, and our Maine Coon, who may end up on one of my covers one of these days. I have a full time day job that's tolerable and helps pay the bills, but I'd much rather be writing full time. I have an unhealthy coffee addiction and love cheese, Thai food, and Smartfood popcorn. I used to spend hours a day playing farmville...writing is a much more productive use of my time, that's for sure :)
Mpreg Obsession: What inspired you to write in the Mpreg sub genre?
Leyla: I love reading it, and enjoy the fantasy elements of shifters, so I thought it would be a perfect genre in which to dip my toes! And once I started, I couldn't stop, especially once I started making MPREG author friends. They're so awesome and friendly and fun as hell!
I also love exploring and thinking about the psyche of a pregnant man...the worries they'd have, the feelings they'd feel. I just love everything about MPREG!
Mpreg Obsession: What inspired you to write this story?
Leyla: My main characters are a peregrine falcon shifter and a wolf shifter who's a shaman. I was inspired to include a falcon because there's a falcon couple nested at my office building and a lady from a falcon protection agency came by one day and I started chatting with her and learning about the birds...they're so awesome! I'll definitely write more falcons in the future.
And my shaman was inspired by the fact that my ancestors, prior to converting to Christianity, practiced a religion including shamanic elements in Siberia. This was thousands of years ago. I'm very fascinated by the history of my people, and my cover even includes some ancient runes used by my ancestors.
Mpreg Obsession: What are you planning to write next?
Leyla: I'm trying to decide that right now. I want to branch out into non-shifter MPREG soon, and have an awesome series idea, but I also want to keep my Thornhill Alphas series going. I have a couple of characters that still need a story (looking at alphas Jake and Leo here-they both need their stories told).
Mpreg Obsession: What type of research do you do for your work?
Leyla: All kinds. In His Christmas Lullaby, my omega ran a creperie. I had to look up the names of some of the cookware used, and checked a couple of menus online for crepe ideas. I also check behavioral characteristics of whatever animal I'm writing about, and most recently, I listened to recordings of peregrine falcon sounds for a while. That was interesting! In order to write my shaman, I researched the philosophy and world-view behind shamanism and came across some modern practitioners. So fascinating!
Mpreg Obsession: What author would you like to co-author with? Why?
Leyla: Wow, so many authors would fit that bill... a few that come to mind are Lorelei M. Hart and Kiki Burrelli.
Mpreg Obsession: Who is your favorite character you've ever written?
Leyla: It's really hard to pick one. Silas in Love Takes Flight has been a ton of fun to write. From my older books, I'd have to say I love both Adam, the bunny from Guarding His Omega, and his friend Victor McMurtry, an omega vampire! In fact, I can't wait to write more vampires.
Mpreg Obsession: Do you read while writing? Why or why not?
Leyla: I have so many books to read and so little time. Between my full-time job, take care of the kids (usually solo, because my husband works so much), and writing, I have hardly any time to read, which is a shame because I really love reading. I used to read more back when I rode the subway to work. Now, I drive...so...
Mpreg Obsession: What's your writing schedule like?
Leyla: I have a desk job, and when work isn't busy, I do a couple of quick sprints throughout the day. At home, I have to wait until the kids are in bed. They're still young enough that they need my attention all the time. Before I figured out a system for writing at work, I used to stay up until 1 or 2am to write. That wreaked havoc on my sleep and general well being, and I don't recommend it if you have to get up at 6:30am like I do!
Mpreg Obsession: What's the most embarrassing/strangest thing you've ever done or researched for your writing?
Leyla: I'd have to say stuff about beliefs surrounding vampires in Europe way back in the day (strange, not embarrassing). For Crowning His Omega, I wanted to have "original" information about vampires, rather than my second hand observations from pop culture. I wasn't really familiar with them, so I wanted to research the real deal. I learned some weird and interesting stuff.
Mpreg Obsession: Where do you write? Describe your writing space.
Leyla: I write at my desk at work (don't tell my boss), on my laptop while sitting in an armchair in the living room, at a desk in the basement when I need to get away from the kids and on the go on my phone. Basically anywhere when I have the time.
Mpreg Obsession: What was the most valuable writing tips you have received?
Leyla: I'm a perfectionist by nature, which tends to be crippling when writing, so one wonderful "tip", if you can call it that, was to just get the words on the paper, even if you think they're crap at the time. You can always edit it later.
Mpreg Obsession: Who is your writing hero?
Leyla: - Classics: Fyodor Dostoevsky
- modern: Sophie Kinsella
- all my MPREG buds like Lorelei M Hart
Mpreg Obsession: How you celebrate when your book is completed and published?
Leyla: A favorite treat for dinner like Thai mango chicken or something just sinfully naughty like a poutine and BicMac.
Mpreg Obsession: What's on your To Be Read List?
Leyla: All the Vale Valley books. Morningwood series by Kiki Burrelli. Cocoa With His Omega by Lorelei M Hart. Too many to list.
Mpreg Obsession: Are you a plotter or fly by the seat of your pants kind of writer?
Leyla: A bit of both. I often come up with a timeline (very important for continuity purposes and if I don't do this I get lost with what's happening when) and a paragraph for each chapter and take it from there.
Mpreg Obsession: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Leyla: Don't be scared. Just write. You can edit later. Read a lot as well, and especially in the genre you plan to write. Don't take reviews to heart (unless they're really good)!
Mpreg Obsession: What's your favorite snack to have while writing?
Leyla: Smartfood cheddar popcorn and chocolate. I love Lindt milk chocolate balls.
Mpreg Obsession: Would you spend a night in a haunted mansion for $50 million?
Leyla: Yes, of course! I might be scared but imagine how many books I can buy with that kind of money!
Thank you Leyla for taking the time out to answer our questions. For more on Leyla Hunt follow her on social media!
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