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Thursday, May 9, 2013


 Today, I have the very great pleasure of welcoming Author Lilly Gayle on my blog. She talks with me about her book EMBRACE THE DARKNESS and what inspired her to write it. 

What did you see, hear or dream that inspired your book? 
Embrace the Darkness is the sequel to Out of the Darkness.  I got the idea for Out of the Darkness after I read Dean Koontz's Fear Nothing, the first book in his Moonlight Bay trilogy. The main character in the series has XP--exeroderma pigmentosum. I was fascinated by the idea of a "real" disease that prevented the sufferer from venturing out in daylight without risking severe burns and skin cancers. I read all three books in the series and began researching the disease while contemplating ideas for a vampire book. Around the same time, I saw a re-run of the old Jean-Claude Van Dam movie, Universal Soldier. And by 2005, I had completed my first draft of Out of the Darkness. It sold In 2010 and readers kept asking when Gerard, (a secondary character in OTD), would get his own story. And three years later, Embrace the Darkness was published. So, I guess that means my production time between books is getting shorter. Lol!

It sounds like you spent a lot of time working out the details and story lines for both books and they sound terrific.

Which one of your main characters came across strongest to you?

I guess most people would expect me to say Gerard, since he's a vampire, but I think Amber came across as the strongest. She's a former army MP turned detective and she has attitude. While trying to solve a murder, she learns vampires are real. She's fighting an attraction for Gerard because she sees him as not just a possible threat to mortals, but as a conflict of interest. She's also struggling with PTSD and a dark past she'd rather forget. But she's determined to stay focused, solve the case, and get on with her life—she's just not prepared for Gerard to be a part of that life.

There’s such a great love for vampires and the abilities they all have, especially the sensual natures that tend to ooze from most. Your heroine sounds like a real head case, but that she manages to keep herself from falling apart by sheer strength of will and determination would make anyone identify and fall in love with her.

How long did it take you to fall in love with your Hero/Heroine?

I fell in love with Gerard in book one. It took a while to fall in love with Amber. Originally, she wasn't supposed to be Gerard's love interest. She was just a secondary character. But along about chapter 10, I realized the book wasn't working the way I was writing it. So, I made Amber the heroine and things just seemed to click.

Did you borrow certain traits for your characters from someone
you know personally? 

I don't write people I know. But many of my characters have traits (both good and bad) from people I know in real life and from characters on television or in the movies.

Which ones?    Can't think of anyone off hand—not that I'd admit to. Lol!

You’re the first author I’ve interviewed who will admit to using traits they’ve seen in people they either know or have seen on television or movies. Me, I tend to use a few character traits from strong people who have helped me during dark times of my life.

Is this book a single category or can we expect to see more of your
characters in a series?

EMBRACE THE DARKNESS is the second book in the Darkness Series. I have at least two more books planned, but I just don't have as much time to write as I need.

I know the problem concerning time. Not enough hours in a day or days in a week.

What is your most difficult “no-no” when you write? (Show vs. tell, dialogue, plot problems, passive voice, etc.)

Writing a sympathetic heroine. Sometimes, they come off bitchier or tougher than I intend. I don't have that problem with my heroes. I guess because I have to make myself think like a man. For every action or word spoken, I ask myself, "Would a man say that?"  or "Would a man do that?" When writing in my heroine's POV, I don't think about it as much. It comes more natural, so I often subconsciously assume the motivations are as obvious to the reader as they are to me. My critique partners keep me on track, though….most of the time. Lol!

Oh yeah, thank God for critique partners!

When you take a break from writing, what do you do to allow your brain
time to regroup?

Watch television, read, go to the beach with my husband, get outside, or have a glass of wine or dark, German beer.

Relaxing in any way possible is a necessary part of any writer’s life. We’re already thought to be crazy. LOL!

Would you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser? 

Both. Once I get an idea for a story, I start making notes, delving into my characters backstory, learning their goals and finding out what motivates them. Then I usually write a story outline and I start writing. But it never fails. Somewhere around Chapter 10, my characters take on lives of their own, taking the story in directions I never anticipated. Rather than making them toe the line, I go with it. Sometimes, it's a good thing. Other times, it leads to massive rewrites and plot adjustments.

I’m a diehard pantser, but I think I’m going to have to try and outline some things in order to keep from letting my characters have complete rein over their stories. After all, I want to keep getting my books out there.

In one sentence, tell us what your book is about.

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

Excellent one liner. It’s enough to make me want to read it.

What is your one “guilty” pleasure?

Wine and dark German beer. Oh, and cheese cake. Guess that's more than one.
We’re allowed more than one! Why not? It’s healthy to keep our imaginations well fed.


An experimental vaccine gives vampire Gerard Delaroache 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 Delaroache. 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.


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 an X-ray Technologist and Mammographer. In her spare time, she writes paranormal and historical romances.

You can find Lilly at:


  1. Hi Lilly and Lisa!
    I really enjoyed this interview and hearing more of the 'behind the scenes' in the writing of one of my favourite series. I absolutely ADORE Lilly's books. Lisa - you HAVE to read these. I was one of those readers clamouring to hear Gerard's story. Love him so much!
    Tell me - does dark German beer taste anything like Guinness? Yum!

  2. Hey LaVerne, thanks for the plug. And right back at ya. I loved Affinity.

    And, IMHO, German Beer tastes better than Guinness. I've also tried a couple of dark Russian beers that are pretty darn good.

  3. Hi Lilly,
    Great interview. Isn't it strange the things that can spark an idea for a novel? I sympathize with not being able to find enough writing time. Hope you have great sales, Embrace the Darkness sounds great.

    1. Thanks Katherine. My problem is having too many ideas and not enough time. lol!

  4. Hi Lisa and Lilly.
    Loved the interview, ladies. It's always exciting to learn about unusual 'real' situations that can trigger our story ideas. Your books sounds lovely, Lilly. Best of luck with the release. And it sounds like I'll have to try some different beers, too. LOL.

    Barb Bettis

  5. Thanks for stopping by Barbara. And yes, do try a dark German beer. Spatan is one of the best.

  6. Great interview! I have both these books and can't wait to get to them. Good luck, Lilly!!!

  7. Thanks Sandra. I hope you enjoy both stories.

  8. All of Lilly Gayle's books are worth a reader's time! From the First, OUT OF THE DARKNESS until her last, EMBRACE THE DARKNESS, she keeps you entertained with suspense, romance, action-filled and can't put down until the last page is read! Can't pick out the best because all are the best, as you are reading them.
    Thanks Lisa for having Lilly on your blog!
    Hugs Lilly!
    A fan!