>An Interview With Leonard D Hilley II
GNOH – Hi Leonard, how are things with you?
Things are great. Thanks so much for this opportunity!
GNOH – Can you tell us bit about yourself?
I’m a biologist and graduated from Morehead State University in 1998. I have a wonderful wife of eighteen years, three children, and two grand-daughters.
GNOH – What first inspired you to put pen to paper?
I started reading books at the age of three. I fell in love with them. I grew up before cable television and video games, so I didn’t have those as distractions. My sister and I constantly used our imagination. We both made our own comics, and I wrote my first novel when I was in the fifth grade.
GNOH – As a new author how have you found it getting you work out there and recognised?
The new age of social networking is one of the greatest ways to “meet” new people and promote books, but it also takes a lot of time. I’m learning more and more every day. I never knew so many book lovers blogged about books. I’m grateful every time someone reviews my books.
GNOH – So what is the draw of Science fiction for you?
As a child, Spock on Star Trek intrigued me. The vast possibilities of other worlds, races, and technology astounded me early on. At age eleven my father took us to see Star Wars. The vivid graphics and sound effects captured me. I began writing short stories and my first novel.
GNOH – Who are your literary heroes?
Roger Zelazny hooked me with his Amber series during my teens. When I met my wife, Christal, she introduced me to Dean R. Koontz and my drive to write intensified. I read “The Servants of Twilight” by Koontz and loved the multiply POV switches he incorporated into his book.
GNOH – Can you tell us about your debut novel Predators of Darkness: Aftermath?
Three years after several missiles hit downtown Pittsburgh, the scientists and students emerge from the fallout shelter inside Helmsby’s Research Center. When they enter the streets to return home, they discover blood-thirsty creatures that can shape-shift from dog/cat forms into horrible monsters. Nearly two dozen survive and turn the research center into their fortress, and only send out Daniel and Lucas to find food and supplies. But, on the latest trek, Daniel discoveries the tip of Pittsburgh has been fenced off by the military. Black helicopters circle the outskirts of the fenced area and makes him wonder if the military has imprisoned them to be the shifters’ prey.
GNOH – From reading the synopsis there is quite a bit of science mixed into the story, how did you come up with the idea of shifting genomes, and how much research did you go into this?
The initial idea for the shifters first came to me in 1996, long before so many authors began writing books about shifters. The idea stemmed from the opening page where Daniel drops the shifter cat from the top of an office building. The cat, of course, survives the fall and shifts into a hideous creature. This all came to me just a few weeks before I enrolled at Morehead State. Rather than pursue an English degree, I graduated with a B.S. in biology so I’d have better knowledge about genetic technology. Both English and biology have always been dear to me.
GNOH – How important is world building to you?
Very important. I write from a visual sense, probably a lot different from other authors. I see the world around my characters almost in the same way I watch a movie. The visual effects are in my mind and I try to put what I see on the page. I’ve had many readers comment that they sense the novel’s environment to the degree that they feel like they are there. That’s always a good thing to know.
GNOH – What do you think makes for a good read?
For me, I love a book filled with tension, surprises, and great characters. I want to identify with the characters and their dilemmas. I attempt to write every novel like one I’d want to read.
GNOH – I see that you are turning it into a screen play, what does this involve, and have you made any changes to the plot to accommodate the story for the big screen?
Screenwriting is a totally new way of writing for me. I had taken a screenwriting course at Shawnee State University two years ago. Ann Linden was the professor who taught it. About a year later, I solicited her help, and she’s co-writing it. The hardest part is taking a 340 page novel and cutting it down to 120 pages. You do lose a lot and some scenes and subplots tragically must be cut. We have less than nine pages to cut and it’s finished.
GNOH – In an ideal world who would you like to see in staring roles?
Hugh Jackman comes to mind for Lucas. Andy Whitfield (from Spartacus series) for Daniel, the lead role. Jennifer Aniston for Julia. Arnold Schwarzenegger for one of the scientists.
GNOH – What other projects are you working on?
I’m currently working on the fourth book in this series. I doing a final revision of the first novel in my dark fantasy series as well as a picture book for children.
GNOH – What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully a lot more books to write and a movie deal would be fantastic!
Thanks, again for the interview.
Please let people know that Predators of Darkness: Aftermath is currently only available in Kindle/e-Reader formats through www.ebooksforpleasure.com