To my extreme delight, my beautiful, fun-loving friend and soon-to-be-published author Bayli Lane sat down with me to talk about her new book Becoming More! It was an absolute pleasure so without further ado, here is my exclusive interview with the talented Bayli Lane:
Holly's Reading Hollow: Hi Bayli!! Thanks for letting me interview you! Could you please start off by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Bayli Lane: Well, I'm 23 years old! Graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Communications. I married my high school sweetheart. I'm working on my first novel, Becoming More, and am excited for its release this July.
HRH: What is Becoming More about?
BL: Let's see... Picture this... A girl (Lilly) going off to college with her best friend (Lauren) and boyfriend (Sander). She thinks she knows what to expect for her future. But they are all changing and meeting new people. Insert hot, sexy, tattooed deliciousness that is Colton. She's conflicted between her past and her future and what she wants. The book is about her becoming the girl she was meant to be. So I guess you could say it's not just a love story it's about learning who you are and who you want to become.
HRH: Ooooh, I like that picture!! It sounds wonderful! How has it been going for you, writing your first novel? Is the process what you expected?
BL: Honestly? I had no idea what to expect. I had an idea pop into my head and I just started to write. There is a lot that goes into the process--things I never even thought about. Being a self published author means that every single thing is in your hands. There has definitely been more than I imagined! But I do love it.
HRH: When did you first get the idea for your story?
BL: The idea came to me in December. As funny as it sounds, I was reminiscing over some things that happened to me or my friends in high school and college. So it all started with some scene ideas that I had based loosely on some real life experiences. Then, I decided to make a few characters similar to a couple of my friends.
HRH: After you had the initial idea and started playing around with it, did you know right then that you wanted Becoming More to be your first novel?
BL: I did. I've started a few different story ideas in the past but this one felt right. I could relate to the characters and the ideas just kept flowing. I couldn't get the characters out of my head and knew that I wasn't going to stop thinking about them until I finished the book!
HRH: Oh, that's awesome! So how's it all coming along? What stage of creation is your book in?
BL: It's going well! My first draft will either be finished this week or next week and my editor has already begun the process! So here within the next month I'll be revising!!!
HRH: Wow, so soon! It doesn't feel like that long ago that you first told me about your story idea...You said you think you'll be releasing Becoming More in July?
BL: Yes! At the end of July! I am beyond excited for it!!! I don't have an exact date picked out, yet; that'll depend on how editing goes!
HRH: What about the cover for your book? Have you started working on the cover design for Becoming More?
BL: Yes, my cover artist has begun working on the cover and it should also be finished this month. It's going to be gorgeous!
HRH: I'm sure! I'm so excited to see it! Will it be a steamy cover?
BL: Hmmm... It focuses on the M.C., Lilly...I'm not going to give too much away! hehe!
HRH: Aw, shucks!! I had to try, right? ;) What have you loved most about writing from inside Lilly's head? BL: Watching her struggle with her loyalty. She so incredibly loyal that it ends up hurting her. She holds on so hard to the people in her life that even when it's plain to see that she should walk away... she just can't. I know what that's like. Her inner monologues go from being funny and light hearted to serious and conflicted. HRH: You mentioned two love interests... can you tell us a little bit about them or will we just have to wait a see?
BL: Sure! Sander is Lilly's high school boyfriend that goes to college with her. They have been together for 4 years! He's tall, dark and handsome. He has black hair and dark brown eyes with just a bit of gold in them. He's a very put together kind of guy and Lilly has never questioned whether or not they would be together. They've loved each other for so long it just comes natural. Colton is completely different from Sander. Where Sander is all business, Colton is all art. Colton is tattooed, has a lip ring and brings out a part of Lilly she didn't even know was there. Both men are attractive, of course, but they also hold a unique spot in her heart. Lilly is truly being pulled in two very different directions.
HRH: Sounds like a tough choice for Lilly. Do you have a preference? I know you like yourself a bad boys. ;)
BL: I do have my preference. But I think a lot of women will be able to relate to Lilly's struggle!
HRH: You said previously that your own experiences/friends' experiences roughly shaped this book. Are there any specific experiences Lilly has in Becoming More that you also went through?
BL: Well, I don't want to give too much away but I will share one scene in particular that I love... There is a scene where Lilly goes to Steak n Shake with Colton and they have a fun little conversation where he gives Lilly the cherry in his shake. First, my husband and I have had some really fun times there that go back to high school. AND he has always saved me the cherry in his shake. Always. So that was inspired by my man. :)
HRH: Aw!! I LOVE that scene! (Seriously, love it!) And I love that it was inspired by your hubby! What does your husband think of you publishing a book?
BL: He has been my greatest support. He's read some of my book and has told me "You're really talented, babe." He's the number one person in my life, so hearing that from him, well it reinforced that I CAN do this. HRH: Speaking of talent... do you have more writing plans in store after Becoming More is released?
BL: I do! I know exactly what book I'll be working on next and the characters are AMAZING!!! They make me laugh with how they act together. But alas... I'm not revealing the name for it yet! Just know I'm hoping to have that story out by November (2013)!
HRH: No way!! You're turning into a writing BEAST, Bayli Lane! Haha :) Do you think your experiences with writing your first book will really benefit you as you write your second? November doesn't feel so far off from your first deadline of July.
BL: Haha! I think the experience of writing Becoming More has taught me how to go about creating this next story. I bought a new computer program that is going to help keep me organized which will help A LOT! I'm usually extremely scattered brained! I have Post-its everywhere for Becoming More and it started to stress me out, lol! I think this next book will fly by because I've already have the entire story line set up on this new program and I have already began writing a bit.
HRH: Watch out, world! Bayli's gotten organized! Hehe. So how has your experience in the indie community been so far? BL: I love the indie world! I would say 99% of the books I read are indie books. I'm in multiple groups for Indie authors on Facebook and we all help one another. I love that it's kind of like a family. If you have a question, usually you can message an author and they will answer. If you need support and someone to share information about you--most are willing to do whatever you need.
HRH: I've found the blogging community to be a tremendously supportive one, and from what I've seen of indie community online, I'd have to agree with you! Are there any authors who have inspired you to write? Whether from the indie world or from traditional publishing?
BL: Oh tons! TONS!!! I feel grateful and thankful to all of the indie authors that have published thus far because without them I couldn't have ever imagined my stories being told and out there for others to read. HRH: What are your favorite books you've read recently?
BL: This year my faves have been... Clockwork Princess, Dark Light series, Plastic Hearts, Wait for You, Losing it, Metamorphosis, Wide Awake, Rule, Running on Empty, If Only, and Shark Bait.... And probably a billion more. I have an addiction. HRH: All-time fave?
BL: That's tough. I will forever love the Slammed Series by Colleen Hoover, The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski... Oh and The Mortal Instruments Series and Infernal Devices. But I could go on and on and on. HRH: LOL, I know how you feel! So could I! Apart from writing and reading, what do you like to do?
BL: I like to do things outside whether it's just laying out or going to a baseball game, going on trails, to the zoo... things like that.
HRH: Outdoorsy girl--nice! :) Thank you so much for the interview, Bayli!
BL: Thank you, Holly! This was a lot of fun!
I hope you enjoyed the interview I had with Bayli Lane as much as I did! Remember that cherry scene Bayli mentioned? The one with Colton and Lilly? Well, here it is! (P.S. make sure to stick around until the very end of this post. I have a special announcement at the end that you do not want to miss!)
Teaser from Becoming More by Bayli Lane
**This teaser has not been edited! It can and probably will be changed in some way!**
“So what kind of music do you listen to?” I question and lick some foam off my lips from the root beer.
He watches my tongue flick over my lips and smiles, “What kind of music do you think I listen to?” He answers with another question. Should have known he would do that.
“Well… Let’s see,” I openly look at his tattooed arm and slowly make my way to his mouth where I stare at his lip ring for a little bit longer than I should. He sucks the metal loop into his mouth and lets go of it with a pop. I quickly force my eyes away and look at his ears that have gages in them. They aren’t huge ones but they aren’t exactly small either. Then I look back into his eyes and give him a knowing smile, “Metal.” I state. It isn’t a question. I’m feeling pretty sure of my answer, actually.
He laughs and it makes my stomach flip. Crap. That laugh is something, “Are you judging me by my looks, Lilly?” He raises an eyebrow in mock horror.
I giggle, “Well, am I wrong?”
He laughs a little more, “No not completely. I do listen to metal, but that’s not all I listen to.”
“Uh huh, sure.” I tease.
“I’ll prove it to you.”
Biting my lip and cracking my fingers nervously, “How?” I ask.
“Come watch my band play tomorrow night.” He says seriously.
I almost laugh thinking he’s teasing me. He is not in a band, right? He does look like he could be in a band. I bet the girls would just love that, wouldn’t they? Like he needs any more sex appeal than what he already has. The more I look at him the more I realize he isn’t kidding. He really is in a band. Remember, Lilly, you have a boyfriend. Sure things haven’t been perfect but you love him.
“You’re in a band?” I say, stupidly. He already said that! Mentally I slap my palm against my forehead. “
Yup, Oliver, Jake, and Chris are all in it.” He takes a spoon and scoops the cherry out of his cup, “Want it?” Moving the spoon towards me.
“You don’t like the cherries?” I ask confused. I mean who doesn't like cherries! That’s the best part.
“I do, but yours didn't come with one. I figured after your night you could use a cherry.”
I laugh, “Because the cherry will fix all of my problems?”
“Okay I lied… This is my way of asking you to come to my band's gig tomorrow. Please. Please with a cherry on top?” he asks and plops the cherry into my float.
I start laughing so hard that I have to grip my stomach. Tears are welling up in my eyes. His eyes are sparkling as he watches me laugh and he’s pressing his lips together trying to keep from laughing.
I finally gain control of myself, wiping the tears from my face with the back of my hand, I reach for my spoon and fish the cherry out and pop it into my mouth, “I would have gone without you giving me the precious prize of your beloved cherry. But now you can’t have it back.”
“It was worth it to see you laugh like that.” He reaches over and wipes a tear from my cheek, “These tears are much better than the other ones from earlier.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Becoming More full synopsis:
At first it was all freedom, fun, and games for Lilly Fairfield. Being a freshman in college was supposed to create some of the best memories of her life, especially with her best friend, Lauren, and longtime boyfriend, Sander, by her side. But the excitement begins to slip away when the people closest to her start to change. They begin moving in a direction Lilly doesn't want to go, forcing Lilly to be faced with a decision. Should she fight for her relationships with both Sander and Lauren or move on to something different? Something unknown. Someone like… Colton Davenport. Colton isn't Lilly’s typical type. He's shockingly sexy with his colorful tattoos, shiny silver lip ring, and ear gauges. His smile alone leaves her breathless. Then again, she hasn't had a specific type other than Sander. When she meets Colton she feels an automatic attraction that stuns her into utter stillness. She can’t look away, doesn't want to look away. Lilly must decide between a life with Sander, a life she always thought she wanted, and an unknown path with Colton. Will Lilly make the right choices for her future, Becoming More? **This book is a New Adult Romance- intended for a mature audience.**
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