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Interview with Liley Cruz

A Little Something About Liley:

Liley Cruz is an indie author/slasher junkie from the East Coast. Black & Pink are her favorite colors and she's obsessed with writing (why choose?) stories with multiple love interests much like in her book Caught In Between. She also very much enjoys chatting with the women of her book club on a daily basis—they keep her sane. Thank goodness!

Halloween and Christmas are her favorite holidays. She also enjoys rainy gray days where you can probably find her somewhere under a hoard of blankets and pillows reading a dark reverse harem while wishing she could jump right into the story itself and live as the MC.

Questions and Answers:

1. What made you want to be an author?

In mid-2019, I began reading heavily because I was suffering from extreme bouts of anxiety. My love for reading sparked my interest in writing. Now I'm obsessed and couldn't imagine doing anything else with my life.

2. Typically, what was the timeframe it took you to write your books?

Because I'm also a Patreon, Wattpad & Inkitt author, my update schedule is pretty consistent with weekly uploads. But it wasn’t that way in the beginning, and it took me two years to finish my first book, Caught In Between. But thankfully I’ve practiced time management and it took three and a half weeks to finish my most recent published book, Hell Night: A Dark & Bloody Anthology which is now available on Amazon.

3. Are you a planner or pantser?

I admit when I first began writing, I was a bit of a pantser. I lacked a bit of direction, and it was quite a hectic writing environment for me. Thankfully after finishing my first book, Caught In Between, I learned how to hone myself in and plan better for my upcoming books.

4. What would you say is your unique writing style?

My writing style is ever-growing. I definitely don’t write the same as I did when I first began writing, so I’m still trying to find my niche. But it is true to myself and how I speak with my friends. It may not be for everyone, and that's okay.

5. Whether it be traditional, self, or story book apps. How did you find the publishing process?

Because I didn’t have a lot of writer friends when I began, I found the process of self-publishing extremely difficult, especially when dealing with KDP, which is very temperamental. Publishing was much easier when I uploaded chapters to Wattpad or Inkitt. But I love that even with the mistakes that I’ve made, it’s helping me grow. It's a learning process, and for that, I am grateful. I like to be knowledgeable about everything I do, so if I have to mess up a few times to get it right, that’s fine with me. So, I'm learning to be better.

6. How much of your process includes doing research into your subject matter or plot?

As I stated and my earlier answer, I really do try to be knowledgeable about things that I write because I don’t want to come off as ignorant or disrespectful of specific plots or subject matter. Plus, I’ve always thought that knowledge is power, so the more you know, the better. One of the things that I’ve really learned through this writing process is that you are never done learning, and it’s an amazing feeling to know something you didn’t know yesterday.

7. How old were you when you first discovered your passion for writing?

Growing up, I always loved watching coming of age dramas like Dawson's Creek and One Tree Hill, and I always wanted to write my own TV show. So, my passion has always been there. I just didn’t start getting serious about writing until a little over two years ago.

8. When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing with your time?

I enjoy reading so much but if I’m not doing that. I’m talking to my girlfriends or binge watching a reality TV show. Don’t judge me, reality TV is my guilty pleasure, and I will not apologize for that, lol.

9. Is your family supportive?

My wonderful family is hugely supportive. Though I have banned some of them from reading my works (my dad especially), they all support me one hundred percent. My amazing boyfriend is the real MVP.

10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself in creating your books (characters, location, plot)?

For me, when I first started reading, as I mentioned before, I was suffering from extreme anxiety, and it was helpful to get lost in somebody else’s world. With being able to upload on Wattpad, Inkitt, & Patreon, there are so many open lines of communication with your readers. So, for me, the most pleasantly surprising thing is finding that people are able to get lost in my story, and it helped them, whether it be through my characters or that the story takes place in the city that they live in. They love it and it means everything to me.

11. What is your favorite component about the genre you write?

I know that a lot of erotic romance writers have gotten crap because people assume that what we write is just porn. But I personally enjoy the fact that in this genre, the characters develop emotionally through their sexuality. Mainly because I love writing reverse harems, I just enjoy being able to you create a safe space where my main character is sexually liberated and is in a judgment-free zone to live her best life.

12. What advice would you give to help others become writers?

If you’re thinking about writing: Do it! It doesn’t matter if you believe you are not good at it. Just do it because you can always learn to be better. There is nothing more fascinating to me than knowing that every single piece of fiction that I’ve ever read sparked from someone’s imagination. The story came from their mind. It’s just one of the most amazing things to me.

13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Yes, because I upload on platforms like Patreon, Wattpad, and Inkitt. The lines of communication with my readers are incredibly open, which I enjoy. My readers are always supportive of everything that I do. Whether they agree with it or not, they trust my process. My readers are f*cking amazing!!!

14. Do you like to create books for your target audience?

To be honest, when I started writing, I didn’t create books with a target audience in mind. I just wrote for myself, and I think I’m still just writing for myself. Is that selfish? I don’t know. But it’s true.

15. What pulls you in about a book? Do you read a book based on the cover or the summary?

I honestly go into books blind, or at least I try my best to go in as blind as possible. I just don’t want anything to influence how I feel about a book that I’m reading. Much like food and eating with your eyes, book covers are always what real me in.

16. How do you handle writer's block, and what do you tell other aspiring authors who may be fighting or fearful about hitting that wall?

I haven’t mastered writer's block for myself by any means, so I don’t know what advice I would be able to offer another writer. Sometimes what works for me when I'm stuck on a chapter of a certain book, I will go work on something else to get those juices flowing and come back to it at a later time. But when that doesn’t work, I make myself write and push through the wall.

Final Note: I have to say that this author feature is one of the highly anticipated features I have done. I have been following Liley Cruz for a while and I have always admired her ability to take her readers down a twisted, yet beautifully paved path to an ending you may or may not have been expecting. Her latest book is an anthology filled with three tales filled with steam and debauchery. Hell Night looks like it keeps to its end of the bargain from start to finish. Liley Cruz is talented and should be taken very seriously. I cannot wait to read more from her.

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