Welcome to YA Books Central’s “Indie Superstars” column. This monthly event will spotlight the best and brightest of the indie community.
You don’t want to miss out on these talented authors!
This week we’re interviewing Lela Grayce, Author of Ashes of Blood.
Caitlin Haines: Can you tell us a little about Ashes of Blood?
Lela Grayce: What a loaded question! Authors struggle with summarizing but I’ll try. Ashes of Blood is an Urban Fantasy series based in a world where supernatural creatures surged into our world through Rips which are gateways between worlds. These supernatural beings have intermingled with humans and procreated. The offspring of these unions are mixed species people that are commonly called Mutts. Nik, the FMC, has no idea what sort of races she is mixed with. Her powers are strong and not something found in other Mutts. Her abilities put her in danger while also being a valuable asset to the mafia gang her best friend, Syd, runs.
Caitlin: This series, The Dragon Mafia Chronicles, mixes the intensity of mobsters with magical creatures. Where did this idea come from?
Lela: The strongest being in this world is dragons. They collect and hoard things, keeping to themselves, and challenging other dragons for assets and territory. Sounds like how a mafia gang is run to me.
Caitlin: If you could be any magical creature, which would you be and why?
Lela: A griffin.
Caitlin: Your worlds are always so full of magic and imagery. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Lela: I read a lot. Haha. I’m an avid reader, have a crazy imagination, and sometimes inspirational dreas.
Caitlin: There are also special gifts that some characters have, correct? Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Lela: Shifters and dragons have the same ability in that they can shift into animals or reptiles. Fae, or post-apocalyptic hippies as Nik would say, have mental abilities. Witches can channel energy through chants or magical ingredients. Mutts have abilities that coincide with what they are mixed with but they are usually weaker than full-blooded supes.
Caitlin: Though I haven’t read this book yet, I’ve read your others, and one of my favorite parts of your stories is the characters. They’re always so lively and well developed. So, who is your favorite character in this first book or series and why?
Lela: Nik. By far. She is hilarious and probably the funniest character I have written but don’t tell DeeDee.
Caitlin: Were any of the characters based on people you know?
Lela: I usually base my FMC on some sort of aspect of myself. With Nik it was humor. Now Kreed the love interest, I based him off of attributes that I admire about my husband who is an army veteran.
Caitlin: What is one thing you have to have while writing? (Music, snacks, drinks, etc.)
Lela: I like music but it can get distracting. I do like snacks. My favorites are peanut M&M’s, Fiery Hot Cheetos, coffee, and sunflower seeds.
Caitlin: Can you share anything about what you’re working on next, other than the final book in this series?
Lela: I’ve actually been co-writing plus working on another solo series. We just revealed the title and blurb for the first book. (I’ll add them below) As for my next series it’s fantasy academy. It’s based in a world called Riseon that is plagued by invisible creatures that have a taste for human flesh. The beings blessed or cursed to fight these evil creatures go to a school to learn skills they need to fight them. My FMC is not one of them but is chosen to be one. She’ll have to navigate the school, stay out of the cross hairs of the elite, enter into a forbidden relationship, figure out who is playing games with her life, find her sisters soul mate, all while protecting the friends she’s made and keeping them out of danger. It’s going to be wild! I can’t wait!
Meet Lela Grayce
Lela Grayce lives in rural Wyoming in a small college town. She works for a non-profit organization and loves what she does for the company. She is married to her best friend and hero. By day she is a working mom and wife but by night she is lost in dreams, moonlight, and delusions that she is, in fact, Batman.
Do not serve drinks to a dragon mob boss. They bite. Zero stars.
A century ago, rips in reality appeared all around the globe, allowing creatures from myth to surge into our world.
All now walk the earth in an established hierarchy of power. At the bottom of that chain are mixed-species Mutts… like me. My abilities should be minimal. Yet, after an unfortunate run in with a dragon mob boss, the thirst for my blood quickly becomes his obsession. Violence. Seduction. Bitter betrayal. He will stop at nothing to use me as a pawn in his dark agenda. My only ally is Kreed, a pureblood Zavarian, who will push his own annoyance at being saddled with a Mutt aside if it means bringing down the dragons.
But when someone I trust betrays me, suppressed memories resurface to remind me of how destructive my power can be. No matter how I fight it, a rain of ash and blood is coming. When it stills, will I be the healer of the people… or their destruction?
Fans of Sarah J Maas, Leia Stone, Jaymin Eve, Wendy Higgins, Jennifer Armentrout, and Laura Thalassa will love this Urban Fantasy story full of dragons, betrayals, and some sizzle. One-Click your copy today!
Enter to win an eBook copy of Ashes of Blood (international) in this