Music is a passion that rarely ever dies.
While there are so many reasons to be appreciative of James Cameron's Avatar, one thing, in particular, I can greatly appreciate is the way the imagery transcends the screen, the feeling of the fantasy, and the beauty of the detail. LaLa Leo, an urban fantasy author, has captured that essence into her work, and we are hands down a fan! It was such a fantastic opportunity to chat with her on her latest work, and the things that inspired it. TSW: LaLa, your passion for your craft exudes you. We can spin off several words when describing you as a writer, but what are three words that YOU would use to describe your writer's journey? LLL: Rewarding, Invaluable, & Self-discovery TSW: Self-discovery! It is an amazing thing to be able to connect deeper with yourself through your passions. I understand that you are familiar with a couple of different instruments, including the violin. Who is your favorite violinist, and do you still play? LLL: My favorite violinist of all-time is Miri Ben-Ari. She is so awesome! She is best known as the Hip Hop Violinist and is a Grammy Award winner. Ms. Ben-Ari is very inspiring to me and plays with so much passion. I played in my middle and high school's symphony orchestras as a 2nd violinist. Quickly, I became a principal player and played from my 6th grade year until my 10th-grade year. Then I retired to replace that course time with Dental Assisting, which took 2-3 class periods. I think I will more than likely always regret that decision. Yes! I still play from time to time, and my violin is still living with me. Music is a passion that rarely ever dies. TSW: Nice! I am not familiar with her. I will check her out on YouTube. I do listen to violinist Damien Escobar. He tends to cover new songs and has a couple of albums of his own, talented musician. And yes! Music, the passion that rarely dies. That is a quotable statement. I love it. Now, You are quite creative, with creative range, how has this shaped your storytelling? LLL: Tremendously! I draw inspiration from everything around me. My family, my love, raising our children, cinema, and media that we watch, music, being outdoors in nature, dreams. All of it. It has highly contributed to how I craft the worlds that my characters reside in, and equally how I carry myself throughout my own life. TSW: Can we just take a second and acknowledge how majestic you are?! I love it! So, I've read a bit of your blog. Your creative world is one to take in awe. What do you think is one of the most intriguing things about the universe you have set your book in. LLL: One of the most intriguing and exciting things about the OsDio universe is where the siblings reside. They live together on what I guess could be considered a more modern-day Mount Olympus. It is a fictional floating island that cannot be seen by humans that orbits the Earth just outside of its atmosphere. Some waterfalls exude from it, which fills the oceans of the world. There are continuous lunar rainbows and northern lights that phase through the island and a castle where they spend most of their time glaring into a World cloud pool, watching us. The black sands line the shoreline of the crystalline Lake Obi. The caves are houses to papyrus filled with priceless, old-world information that is no longer accessible in languages that are no longer spoken. The rarest creatures and endangered species still exist here. This beautifully wondrous island is a place I call Tropos Ionos. Tropos, to represent how it crosses into the Troposphere. Ionos for the part that falls into the Ionosphere during its unorthodox orbit around the human world. TSW: Wow! Ok, so first things first. From that description that I was able to see this place, and second, the vividness of the mental picture you painted is impressive within itself. I love how you are in touch with your story. I'm sure it's the same with your characters. What or who was your inspiration for your main character(s)? LLL: For Akaiyuu, there was very little outside inspiration from anywhere because I've never seen anyone quite like him. His looks, acts, and magical abilities are truly unique, especially in urban fantasy fiction. One of my favorite anime cartoons is InuYasha, and I was in love with Sesshomaru at one point. I can say that I knew one day that I would create a character with their beautiful silver hair. Other than that, there is no relation. TSW: I guess we can kind of say that your being intrigued by certain aspects of anime characters kind of inspired you. However, it is quite impressive to see the unseen and bring it to life. Speaking of character creation, how were you involved in the concept art surrounding your work highlighted on your blog? LLL: I was heavily involved in Akaiyuu's creation because I had to describe to my illustrator at Middnite Designs how he looked without any reference photos. She did a superb job of breathing life into him solely based on a verbally visual description from what was in my head. She became integrally involved so much that she has read a lot of OsDio, and she knows my characters and can see them just as I do. We are currently working together to bring Aurora to life, Akaiyuu's older sister. From there, we hope to bring them all to life to create a graphic novel and future animation. TSW: This is amazing. I hope you will do a character reveal for the illustration of Akaiyuu. Seeing as how connected you are with your creative works, editing may be hard when removing scenes. Describe one, if any, scene that was edited from Genesis.
LLL: One of my favorite scenes in Destiny: Genesis (Book 1) involves a lost little girl. Though the scene was not removed, it was edited and honestly, better than before, to get my point across. She becomes exhilarated at a certain point, and aimlessly sprints to race the ocean breeze on a cool night alone. It is a beautiful scene that captures the innocence of girlhood and how loneliness can impact that as well as the effects. I am sure that others will be able to connect to it just as I did writing it. TSW: Hey! That's a way to make it work, no need for removal when enhancement is the better option. Are you working on your next project just yet? LLL: Yes! I am currently writing Book 2 in the new Destiny series that contributes to expanding Fredric Shernoff's Atlantic Island Universe. My co-authors (Rennie St. James, Skylar Jaymes, & Dawn Dagger) are also working to contribute to the expansion with their new series (Guardian, Odyssey, and Mosaics). My next book, entitled Revelation, will be released on October 5, 2020. TSW: I love it. Calling all urban fantasy readers, LaLa Leo's Destiny: Genesis is a Must Add to your bookshelf! Now, corny, I know, but we love it here at TSW. Let's have a quick power round! TSW: What do you consider your spirit animal to be? LLL: Lioness! TSW: The highest peak you've ever visited. LLL: The Peaks of Otter in the Blue Ridge Mountains TSW: One character in your book you wish you could be.
LLL: Azalea, Akaiyuu's oldest sister. She is my deity descendant, who represents Love and Peace. She protects the realm of the Stars.
TSW: How can the people connect with you?
LLL: The best way to connect with me is by visiting my website (www.osdio.wordpress.com). You can find links to all of my social media profiles and writing platforms to read some of my work. I also have a public author page on Facebook, where I connect to readers daily! (www.facebook.com/LaLaLeoAuthor)