Monday, June 17, 2013

I recently had the opportunity to chat with one of our Black Rose authors Lilly Gayle.  She was kind enough to take time out of her busy writing schedule to discuss her upcoming release, Embrace the Darkness and give us a look into her world.  Pull up a seat, grab a cuppa and join us. 

Lilly has also been kind enough to offer a prize of print copies of BOTH Out of the Darkness and Embrace the Darkness to a lucky reader.  What a wonderful way to be introduced to her work!!! To be entered into the drawing please leave Lilly a comment. 
Thank you for joining us today.  I am excited about your upcoming release!!! Let's jump right in!!!

 How many books have you written?

  I’ve written two paranormals, Out of the Darkness and its sequel, Embrace the Darkness my latest release from The Wild Rose Press. I’ve also published two historical with The Wild Rose Press, Slightly Tarnished and Wholesale Husband. I also have one self-published western historical. Then there is the medical thriller and time travel that will most likely, never see the light of day. The medical thriller was the first book I ever wrote once I decided I had no desire to write childrens’ books for anyone other than my own children. That book was written on my very first computer in 1996 on Lotus Works and saved on 7.5 inch floppies. Needless to say, it no longer exists, which is probably a good thing. It was crap.

Well I can say that we at TWRP are extremely happy that you kept writing after your first attempt.  And I am sure that your children were thrilled to have a book written especially for them by their mom!!!!

 Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?

 Trust me, I’m not getting rich off my writing so I’m either crazy or truly love writing. Some days, I’m not sure which.

When was the first moment you felt comfortable saying, “I am a writer?”

 Sometimes, I’m still not comfortable saying it. Lol! I often feel as if I’m a child playing dress up in my mommy’s grown-up shoes. Then I look at one of my books and realize it’s true. I’m an author. I fell in love with writing in the 8th grade but years later, college and life got in the way. I still talked about my writing dreams to my husband and in 1995, he bought our first computer and told me to stop dreaming and start writing. Since it had been so many years since I’d tried my hand at writing, I took a mail-order course on writing for children and teens. My first stories were children’s stories I wrote for my girls who were still young at the time. Then in 1996, I wrote a medical thriller that sucked. Eventually, I joined RWA and my local writers group. I studied. I wrote, and I submitted. But only my family and closest friends knew my “secret.” I didn’t tell anyone else until after I signed my first contract with The Wild Rose Press for Out of the Darkness on Mother’s Day of 2009. The book was released one year later.

I will be happy to tell anyone that asks that you  are most definitely a writer!!!!

 What type of stories do you like to write and why?

 I write paranormal and western romances because I grew up watching paranormal and western television shows and movies with my dad. And I write historical romances because of a love of history passed on to me from both my grandmothers and my mom. History was always one of my favorite subjects in school and after I got married and had children, our family vacations often included side trips to museums and state historic sites. Luckily, my daughters never complained and my husband enjoys those sort of activities as much as I do.

 What type of stories do you like to read and why?

 I read multiple genres from horror to romance, but romance novels are my favorite because I truly believe life without love is a life not worth living. And, I love a happily ever after. If I want tragedy and heartache, I’ll watch the news.

So very true.  We all need a little bit of "happily ever after" in our lives and your stories give us that and so much more.

When do you write (daytime, nighttime, on your lunch hour, before the kids get up, after everyone is asleep?  In large chunks of time or stolen snippets?)
I work a day job as a radiologic technologist/ mammographer at a local hospital. M y schedule is Monday through Thursday from 6:30 to4:30 or 5:00. I get up a half-hour earlier than I need to so I can spend a half hour each morning either writing or promoting. Then I spend about an hour after I get home writing and promoting. My husband is in route sales, so depending on what time he gets home, I may slip in a couple of hours of writing time before or after supper. Both my girls have moved out, but I still hold to family traditions and serve supper at the dinner table each night. After supper, if my husband falls asleep and none of my favorite tv shows are on, I write until bed time at 11:00. And since Fridays are my day off, I have the whole day for writing, blogging, and promoting. Some days, I spend more time on Facebook and Twitter than writing. Those are the days I wish the internet didn’t exist.

 LOL, I know exactly what you mean.  I sit down at my computer after having a very stern  talk with myself to stay focused but then I find myself on Facebook or searching for  something on the internet.  It seems more and more authors are finding themselves writing much like you do, fitting in short sessions here and there.  I have to say though that it certainly works well for you!!! :)

Where do you write?
I have an office in my home where I do most of my writing. But we have a camper permanently set up at the beach and I like to sit at the kitchen table or out on the deck under the awning and write if the muse strikes.

When do you read?

I used to read 2 or 3 books a week, but now, I spend that time writing, blogging,   or promoting. So, the only time I read is on the weekends or on vacation. Where? I usually read sitting on my porch swing or sitting on the beach when we can get away.

I sooooo hear you.  I actually have actually come to look forward to long car trips    when I can bury myself in a book or magazine.

Where did you get the inspiration for Embrace the Darkness?

Embrace the Darkness is the sequel to my 2010 release, Out of the Darkness. I hadn’t planned on writing a sequel, but Gerard demanded his own story and several fans made the same request. I got the idea for Out of the Darkness after reading a Dean Koontz novel about a man with Xeroderma Pigmentosum, a light sensitivity disorder that requires those who suffer with the condition to avoid sunlight or risk disfiguring burns and deadly skin cancers. While researching XP, I saw a re-run of the Jean Claude Van Dam movie, Universal Soldier and the book more or less wrote itself. That’s never happened before and hasn’t happened since. The sequel was much harder to write and although I have a rough idea for two more stories in this series, life has gotten in the way and I haven’t written them yet. But I will, and God willing, TWRP will publish them.

You certainly created a wonderful and unique world with your Darkness novels.  I look forward to seeing the next stories.

Where do you go to think?

To the beach or to bed. Seriously, I’ve solved many plot problems in those twilight moments between being awake and falling to sleep. In those few minutes, I’ve often crafted dreams in my head that plot out some of my most pressing plot related problems. The only problem is, that once I figure things out, I can’t get back to sleep.

What is your least favorite thing to do as an author? Allow me to clarify: query, write a synopsis, write a blurb, market, you get the picture.

 Marketing and promotion. Not only do I suck at it, but I feel conceited telling people to buy my book because they’ll love it. Growing up, my parents taught me not to brag. I was raised to believe there is no such thing as the best or worst at anything, and I passed that humility on to my own daughters. I think both my girls have more self-confidence than I ever had, but I never wanted them to think they were better than others. And for some reason, that mentality is so ingrained in me that it makes it harder for me to self promote.
How long did you write seriously before your first book was published? 

Thirteen years. Over the years, I received dozens of rejection letters, some of them more encouraging than others. But it wasn’t until one of my critique partners suggested I submit to smaller presses that I found TWRP and submitted Out of the Darkness. And the rest, as they say, is history. 

 Do you have an upcoming release?  You do! Oh please tell us all about it. 
 Embrace the Darkness releases June 21! I’m so excited. ETD is the sequel to Out of the Darkness. I know it’s a long time coming but the book took a whole different direction than the one I intended  but things finally came together and the book is better than I anticipated.

I would certainly say it came together!!!  Your characters jump off the page and the story keeps you guessing until the very end.  

I know that beyond writing and your family you have another subject that you're passionate about.  Can you share that with us?

On a personal note, my life took an ironic turn in 2007. I’ve been a radiologic technologist since 1982 and while I’ve also performed mammograms in the past, I didn’t become board certified until 2006. I’d been having mammograms since 1995, but since I didn’t have a family history of breast cancer and I’d never had any symptoms or problems, I only had one every other year. Once I became a mammographer, I figured I needed to practice what I preached and follow the FDA and American College of Radiology guidelines and have an annual mammogram. Despite some recent government recommendations, the FDA, ACR, and American Cancer Society recommend annual mammograms for women forty and older. So, in June 2007, I had my annual mammogram although it had been eighteen months since my last, normal mammogram.

At that time, our facility still had film screen rather than digital mammography. And as the first film dropped from the film processor, I hung it on the viewbox and saw something I never expected. On the right breast, there was a spiky, new lesion seen in both projections. Even before the radiologist read the films, I knew. I had breast cancer. I underwent a biopsy, a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. I’ve since had two additional biopsies, that thank God, came back negative and I continue to work as a mammographer. I had no family history, no lump, and no symptoms of breast cancer. In 2007, 70% of all new breast cancers were in women with no family history. Today, that number has risen to 80%. So, no matter what the government recommends in its efforts to decrease anxiety from “unneeded”  biopsies in women who have annual mammograms before age 50, as a mammographer and breast cancer survivor, I highly recommend yearly mammograms starting at age 40. Trust me.  From the POV of a mammographer and breast cancer survivor who’s had two positive and two negative breast biopsies, I would rather have ten “negative” biopsies than an undiagnosed breast cancer that goes untreated until it is too late to cure.

I think that it is so important to share that information.  As you said you were in what was once considered a low-risk group, yet found yourself facing the unthinkable.  I truly believe that it's voices like yours making a difference.  Thank you for taking the time in an already busy life to be such a voice.

And thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to chat with us today!!!  Now back to work writing those next books!!!  :)


Lilly's Bio:

Lilly Gayle is a wife, mother of two grown daughters, and a breast cancer survivor. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and little dog, Teetee. Lilly works full time as a x-ray technologist and mammographer, and in her spare time, she writes paranormal and historical romances.


You can find Lilly at:


Lilly’s latest release, Embrace the Darkness is available from The Wild Rose Press at:




An experimental vaccine gives vampire Gerard Delaroche hope for the first time in two centuries--until two people are brutally murdered, and he suspects a conspiracy between vampires and mortals. To solve the crime, he must put his trust in a beautiful detective. But is former soldier and MP turned detective, Amber Buckley, a threat to his existence? Or the answer to his prayers?

Amber Buckley and her partner are assigned to do follow up interviews in the Lifeblood of America slayings. Amber believes she and Reid are just new eyes on a cold case. That is, until she meets Gerard Delaroche. Something about him teases long-buried memories Amber would rather not chase. However, the two join together, falling into more than resolution of a murder case. It seems Amber has some dark secrets of her own.

To find their way into the light, Amber and Gerard must first EMBRACE THE DARKNESS.



He rolled his eyes and huffed. “Stop pretending ignorance. You know what I am.”

“A vampire. Really?” She wanted to scoff, but a chill shivered over her skin. He wasn’t dead. And she’d shot him.

Maybe he was wearing Kevlar. But wouldn’t Kevlar show through that tight-fitting shirt?

Perhaps not. Still, there had to be a logical explanation.

Ignoring the warning bells clanging inside her skull, she shoved the Glock back in its holster and reached for the beer she’d deposited on the counter. She took another long, hard pull on the bottle, hoping to douse irrational thoughts.

Gerard inhaled sharply. His eyes devoured her.

Despite renewed fear, she managed to set the bottle back on the counter without dropping it.

He’s not a vampire. He’s not a vampire. He’s not a vampire.

“I’d give anything to drink beer again,” he said in a reverent voice.

Amber nearly laughed aloud. Her shoulders sagged. Gerard Delaroche wasn’t a vampire, and he didn’t want to drink her blood. He wanted a beer. Like a normal guy.

Hell, he probably was normal. She was the one off her rocker.

“Want one?” She forced herself to meet his intense stare.

He smiled. “Can’t. Vampire. Remember?”

Like that was something a girl could forget. It wasn’t every day a hot guy claimed to be a vampire.

Hell, maybe he was a vampire. The man could stop bullets with his chest.

He took a hesitant step closer. She stiffened and took another cautious swallow of beer. He stopped three feet away. Good. Sexy and crazy was a dangerous combination.


  1. Definitely looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for sharing.

  2. As someone diagnosed at 36 (now 12 years ago), I am totally behind you in your comments about early and regular testing.
    Best of luck with your books, from your pink ribbon sister & fellow rose

  3. What a terrific interview. It was great getting to know you Lily. Best of luck with your newest book. It sounds intriguing. Barb Bettis

  4. Thanks for stopping by, ladies. I'm off to the day job now to squish more boobies and I'm running a bit late, but I had to stop by and say hi. Charlotte, you are my "hero!" I know what it took to get through breast cancer at 47, but my girls were almost grown by then. I can't imagine going through it at 36, esp. knowing what I do about this horrible disease. In most cases, the younger you are at diagnosis, the more aggressive the cancer. So KUDOS to you for passing that ten year mark. I pray we've both beaten the C word permanently!

  5. Great interview and I'm 100% with you on the marketing thing. I just want to sit and write, have someone else sell Have read both of these and waiting anxiously for the next one! Thanks.

    1. Thanks, Donna. Can't wait to read your latest release!

  6. Ditto to your comments and Donna's, Lilly, re: marketing vs. writing. Balancing the two is a real challenge.
    Love the interview, blurb, excerpt, and wish you much success. Books look great!
    Love historicals, too, of course, as I write a couple different genres, but historicals are my favorites :-)

  7. I write historicals too. ;-) Working on one now while I'm plotting out my next book in the Darkness Series.

  8. Hello Lilly and Lill! I enjoyed the interview.

    Congratulations on your new release, Lilly. Love the covers and the story sounds intriguing. I wish you all the best.

    Callie Lynn

  9. Lilly,
    I agree balancing marketing and writing can be challenging. Wonderful interview. Congrats on the new release!

  10. Nice to learn more about you and your books. Great excerpts!

  11. Thanks for stopping by Callie, Mariposa, and Barbara. Should be choosing a winner of the books soon.

  12. And the winner is....JL Sheppard! Congrats, JL, I'll be getting an email out to you soon. And thanks again to everyone who stopped by.