Usually when asking an author to answer my questions I want to get to know his/her work more in detail and only after that build the courage to do so. I made an exception with Leylah Attar because I LOVED “Mists of the Serengeti” and I desperately wanted to get to know her better, to understand the behind the scenes of her work and connect to this beautiful author who captured my heart. So, here it goes, Leylah Attar agreed to answer my questions and I KNOW you will love her!!
Ramona: To begin with, please share with us something about you that you want your readers to know.
Leylah: Last year, in a holiday interview, I said I like fruit cake. PLEASE DON’T SEND ME ANY MORE FRUIT CAKE, you guys. I have learned my lesson 😂😂😂
Ramona: What is your main inspiration for your books?
Leylah: Inspiration for my books comes from everywhere – a person, a song, a news article, the way the sky looks in the morning, a music video, a receipt, the way someone ties their shoe-laces or eats a sandwich. I can’t always pin-point it because it’s a combination of so many things – conscious and unconscious, real and imagined.
Ramona: Do you listen to music while writing? Or do you have some habits while doing this?
Leylah: I usually have a playlist for crucial scenes in the book. Music helps me capture the tone, the pace, the feeling, and sometimes even the characters I’m trying to convey. When I’m writing, however, I retreat to my cave. I need a room, a window, my laptop, and silence.
Ramona: Which literary character do you most resonate with on a personal level?
Leylah: Does it have to be from one of my books? I tend to gravitate towards complex characters, like Lisbeth Sanders from Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series – the cold gaze, the questionable morality, the underground pursuit of justice, the seeming lack of emotion. A unique psychiatric profile. She is both a victim and an avenger, a nerd-hacker and a warrior. I love that she doesn’t fit any box or stereotype. Plus, I would totally rock the piercings and tattoos in the literary world, seeing as I’m too chicken to get them in real life.
Ramona: Tell us please why would you recommend “Mists of The Serengeti” to a reader who is dying for a good love story.
Leylah: “Mists of The Serengeti” won the 2017 Indie Reader Discovery Award for fiction, and has close to a five-star rating on amazon, over a year after its release. Pick it up if you’re looking for something that is both heart-rending and uplifting…at times funny, at times poignant, and moving towards an epilogue that connects all the dots.
Ramona: If you had to choose only a couple from your books, which one would it be and why?
Leylah: That would definitely be Ken and Judy – secondary characters who make a brief appearance in every book of mine. You might not remember them, and you never know when they’re going to show up, but my regular readers have so much fun when they find them!
Ramona: Which are the messages you try to send to your readers through your stories?
Leylah: My primary goal is to entertain and engage the reader. Whether s/he picks up on any messages is completely subjective. What speaks to one person may not speak to another. The same is true of music, movies, dance – any creative venture. If a reader enjoys the book or if it stays with her in some way – that makes me very happy!
Ramona: If given the opportunity to do it all over again, would you change anything in your books?
Leylah: Yes! I would totally build in a soundtrack if I could. How awesome would it be if you’re meeting the hero for the first time and helloooo? Cue the epic music!
Ramona: What is you biggest dream in terms of collaborations?
Leylah: Ha! I feel sorry for whoever has to collaborate with me. I wish I could work from a nice, neat outline, but that process has never worked for me. I usually have a few scenes in my head but getting from Point A to Point B is a very organic process for me. I have no idea how many chapters, or how many pages it will take to get there. I tend to feel my way through. It allows me to get more creative, but I’m sure it would drive the other person crazy.
Ramona: How was the day you received 2017 Indie Reader Discovery Award for Fiction?
Leylah: I don’t remember the actual day, but I remember the feeling very vividly – getting the notification, and feeling like I had been handed the BEST gift ever! Being able to write stories, and to have people read them is a gift in itself. Receiving the IndieReader Discovery Award was a huge honor, and something I will always hold close to my heart.
Ramona: How is your relationship with your readers and what surprises do you have for them in the near future?
Leylah: My readers have added so much to my life, I can’t even begin to express my gratitude! Every day, they surprise me with their love, support, and enthusiasm. I have made so many great friends, and met so many amazing people, it’s hard to imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t hit ‘publish’. I can’t wait to share my next book with them. It’s got all the elements they love, but with an added splash of humor.
For more on Leylah please access the links below:
Official site: https://www.leylahattar.com/
Goodreads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8126161.Leylah_Attar