Hi everyone! My name is Leila Gaskin and I am the author of the urban fantasy novel Hot Flashes. I hail from Richmond, Virginia and am the oldest of five children. My parents instilled a love of the written word and turned me into a lifelong acquirer of books. Writing is my passion.
2) How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I could hold a crayon in my chubby toddler hand. The good news is my stories are now legible thanks to my laptop and tablet.
3) Do you have a favorite place to write?
I have a nook at work that is quiet and gives me privacy during my lunch hour to concentrate on my current project. Only my boss knows where it is.
4) Why did you decide to write Hot Flashes?
Hot Flashes came about as the result of a writing exercise for a class I was taking. As it evolved, I wanted to tell a story of a woman who was trying to do all the right things while feeling like nothing was working. Discovering she was a dragon added an entire level of complexity as she tried to reconcile her life.
5) Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
I love all my characters. But the one who surprised me the most was Myrna Hixson, Ella’s mother. She started as a self-absorbed, bitter old woman to a person you wouldn’t mind getting to know. Creating the mother/daughter relationship was fun.
6) How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
The Chancellor would qualify as my least favorite, but very important to the story. Even before you realized his secret (no spoilers), he was a despicable individual.
7) Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
After having my beta readers take their whacks at Hot Flashes, I felt it was important to get a set of impartial eyes on the project. I hired an editor to help me find my weaknesses and plug story holes. She came highly recommended and I am grateful for her input.
8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m an executive administrative assistant for the corporate IT division for a Fortune 500 company. Every day is a new adventure as I manage calendars and organize events. I play a mean game of calendar Jenga.
9) Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I am a voracious reader. Currently on my e-reader are Sherrilyn Kenyon, Seanan McGuire, James Rollins, Eilene Wilks, Bill Blume, Kevin Hearne, and Mercedes Lackey. I tend to read all their books multiple times as I enjoy their storytelling.
10) What are the rules you follow when naming characters?
When naming pets, the rule my family follows is we have to be able to yell the name out the back door and understand it (according to my mother, the same rule applies in naming children). When I name a character, I don’t want it to be so strange that it’s off putting. In the case of my Drakkon folk, I’ve tried to make it so everything is pronounceable by sounding things out.
Thank you for having me.