An Interview with New Author Laney McMann—Tied

A fellow YA Author with J. Taylor Publishing, meet Laney McMann and her debut Novel, Tied. 

A Bit About The Book

Normal people don’t believe their nightmares stalk them. They don’t fall in love with boys who don’t exist, either.

Seventeen-year-old Layla Labelle, though, is far from normal. Her delusions walk the earth. Her hallucinations hunt her, and her skin heats to a burn every time her anger flares.

Or is that all in her head?

Layla doesn’t know what to believe any more because if none of that’s true, Max MacLarnon must be an illusion, and her heart must still be broken.

No matter how much she wants to believe Max is real, doing so would mean everything else is, too. How, then, is that possible?

The answers lie in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal, and with a curse that could tear Layla and Max apart forever—if it doesn’t kill them both first.

In TIED, book one in the Fire Born trilogy, learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal of demons, and being with Max will put Layla on a path toward her own destruction.

Just how far will Layla go to protect the one she loves?

The answer may never be far enough … away.

And Now For The Interview

Where did the idea for your book begin?

LM: Most of my story ideas simply come to me. I’m not sure why. TIED was a story that begged to be written.

Tell me about your desire to write. When did you know it was something you really wanted to do?

LM: I’ve been writing since I was pretty young. It’s always been a creative outlet for me, and something that came naturally.

When you develop characters, how do you begin?

LM: Since I don’t plot everything out, I don’t sit down and sketch out my character’s. I get a story idea, and I run with it. As the story comes, so do the characters. The more I write, the clearer they all become. It’s like a voice you hear in your head. It guides you. Some people call it intuition or writing from your gut. It probably takes longer and gets me into tight corners at times, but it works for me.

Many authors use a music list or have specific songs when they write. What were a few of your song choices and why?

LM: Yeah, I am a big music fan, and I always write with music. It’s inspiring and breathes life into my stories. I have a 34 song playlist that accompanies TIED (it’s up on my blog). A few of the songs from the playlist are: M83 ~ Wait, Imagine Dragons ~ Demons, and Animal Kingdom ~ Strange Attractor. It’s a wide mix.

How long have you been working with the storyline and characters in TIED?

LM: I started the story in April of 2010, ‘finished’ a few months later. Messed around with it for another year. ‘Finished’ it again. Then I went on submission. So, it was a while.

Where do you write? An aspiring safe place?

LM: I move around. Sometimes at my desk, outside, in my dining room. If there is a perfect writing place, I haven’t found it. 😉

What 1-2 surprises came up as you were writing this story?

LM: Everything surprises me when I write. I don’t plot my stories out, so I am always amazed by where my character’s take me.

Briefly tell me about a memory of you growing up, and how it defines your character.

LM: When I was in the 8th grade we moved across town, and into a different school district—the rival High School district. I knew one other person when I started the 9th grade. ALL of my friends were at the High School I’d grown up thinking I would go to. It was a very humbling experience.

What one piece of advice can you give aspiring authors about making their dreams of becoming published come true?

LM: Keep writing. Follow you heart, and believe in your story.

To find out more about Laney McMann:

Check Out the Excerpt:

My window opened easily. The same way it had so many times before. Climbing out on the ledge, I found the ground empty and dropped from the second floor—a jump I’d made a hundred times. In another life.

My feet sunk into the sand, and I followed the well-worn pathway through the dunes. Even the strong evening winds hadn’t misshaped the deep gully. The ocean’s breeze lashed at my hair as the moonlight glinted off the water’s surface. Seagulls flew up from their nesting grounds. They should have recognized me, since I’d been wandering at night for so long. Wrapping my arms around my knees to block the slight chill, I settled in the sand, and the birds quieted in a tight huddle, the wind blowing their feathers in awkward angles.

My gaze fell on a figure standing beyond the dunes edge, a shadow hidden within the darkness. My pulse quickened, but I didn’t move. Another trick—an illusion. Weary of the games my mind continued to play, I bit back tears and the catch in my throat. I should have been immune to them—the hallucinations—the way they haunted me and followed me, but I wasn’t.

Forcing myself to blink, I turned my head away. The visions had grown worse as I’d become older. I’d tried to convince myself they were nightmares—or weird dreams. Hoped for years they were, but only people who sleep dream.

Unable, or unwilling to stop myself, I glanced back over my shoulder, thoughts flooding my brain. Memories I knew couldn’t be memories but I cherished all the same. For years I’d tried to shake them away. To make myself forget.

I couldn’t.


A stone raps against my bedroom window. I creep over and peer through the blinds.

“You’re late.” I lean out over the sill, grinning at the boy staring up at me.

“Come on, let’s go before she comes,” he says.

I climb onto the window ledge. “Be nice. She’s my friend.”

“Okay. Jump.” He waves at me to go faster.

“Move, and I will.”

He takes one casual step to the side.

The jump isn’t too high; I make it all the time.

He grabs my hand when I land beside him in the soft sand. “Ready?”

I nod.

“One, two …”

“I’m going to tell!” Benny runs across my yard toward me, her blonde pigtails flapping in the wind. “You’re not allowed to talk to that boy, Layla! Your mom said!”

Max tightens his grip on my hand.

“Shut up, Benny! I’m old enough.”

“You’re only nine. Don’t go! “

“Three!” Max and I leave the ground.

“You’re going to get in so much trouble.” Benny’s yell rings in the distance.

Our feet touch down in the wet grass of the Otherworld, icy sea air whipping at my face.

“Hopefully, she won’t follow us again.” Max lets go of my hand.

“She won’t. I told her not to.” I lead the way down the cliff face to the ocean.

“She never listens to you.”

Where can you buy it?

Barnes and Noble

The Giveaway:

One signed paperback copy of TIED, 2 E-book copies of TIED, and 2 signed TIED bookmarks.

About Erika Beebe

Author, dreamer, and a momma to a couple of wonderful kids, I try to live life everyday in hope and inspire others along my way.

Posted on October 9, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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