Shayne's first year out of high school (after meeting mentor, friend, and executive producer, Marcie Gorman), she penned, co-directed, and starred in the feature-length film, The Incubus a paranormal romance, which obtained distribution and opened in over fifteen theaters across South Florida among popular chains like Regal, AMC, and Cinemark. The Incubus has obtained a fan-base of over 60,000 girls online, and has garnered the attention of reporters from the Miami Herald, CBS News, and NPR Radio. Leighton also starred alongside Scream Queen, Tara Cardinal in the film, Legend of the Red Reaper. Now, 20-year-old Leighton is excited to release her debut young adult novel series, Of Light and Darkness, set in contemporary Prague as well as penning several other screenplays, a novel adaptation for Legend of the Red Reaper, an original pop/rock album, and acting in various film roles.
I was fortunate enough to get the chance to read Shayne's debut YA novel Of Light and Darkness: The Vampire's Daughter , which is also being currently made into a movie for 2013! How exciting! The novel was a pleasure to read, and the review can be found Here !
Shayne was kind enough to answer a couple of questions about herself & the OLAD series....as well as give us a Sneak Peak at the sequel to The Vampire's Daughter..... The Vampire's Reflection!
Rola: Hey Shayne!! Welcome to xo’reads. So glad tohave you Here J
Shayne: Hi Rola! Thank you somuch for having me! I am very excited about this interview! J
Shayne: Hi Rola! Thank you somuch for having me! I am very excited about this interview! J
Rola: Before we get into TheVampire’s daughter, I understand that you are not only an author, but also a Singer/songwriter & an actress. People have worked for years, trying to achieve only one of the many things that youhave been able grasp at the age of 20. How were you able to achieve so much, in such a short time?
Shayne: That’s a super flattering question – and took me a few minutes to think of how I was going to answer this one. I absolutely adore what I do. I work very hard every day at my various projects and I talk to EVERYBODY I meet and try to make as many friends as possible. Sometimes, I get lucky and the people I talk to end up beingincredibly talented, like the producers I’m working with now on my album. I don’t watch TV. I rarely hang out with friends. Because I love what I do and I think about it as being fun, I have no problem working hard. Anyone I know whohas achieved a lot in his or her life has always been really dedicated. I guess I owe it to my team who pushes me constantly and that little voice in my head that just won’t let up.
Rola: The Vampire’s Daughter mainly focuses on a Mortal Female, Charlotte, who is adopted by a Vampire docter, Valek. Charlotte is forced to live in a world full of monsters & face the struggles of falling in love, finding the truth & fighting for the freedom of those she loves. How were you able to come up with a completely original story, with the thousands & thousands of identical Vampire love stories out there?
Shayne: I just didn’t want it to be that “typical” vampire story. That was a very conscious thought I had when I first began writing the novel. As funny as this sounds, I always try to think about my characters actually existing in reality. If they were real, in this modern world with war and lust and greed, how would things really happen? How would a mortal find herself existing in this impossible world? Well, my immediate answer to that was, she would have to be physically brought into it by someone magical. How would that happen? And then other aspects of the story started forming from there. I had alot of help from my friends who read my rough drafts and had ideas and things to say about certain events. They helped me to make this the most original vampire story I could make it.
Rola: What was your favourite scene to write?
Shayne: I have a few favourite scenes. I loved the scene in Charlotte’s kitchen, when she cuts her finger making dinner, and Valek comes in and heals her would by kissing her finger. I think that is the most pivotal point in their relationship as they move from a guardian/ward relationship to a romantic one. I thought the images were incredibly seductive. I also loved writing scenes like Mr. Trinozka’s burrow and scenes in Francis’ basement, because those are all incredibly cinematic and visual, and the first stories I’ve ever written were screen plays. So I could definitely see those scenes play out before me with the most vivid detail.
Rola: Other than Valek &Charlotte, Who would be your favorite character & why?
Shayne: I adore Mr. Trinozka. He has to be my favourite because he was based off of my grandfather, who is just as sweet and loving. When I first introduce him as a character, readers aren’tsure if he’s going to be a good guy or a bad guy. I think it surprises them when he really does help Charlotte with no malevolent intentions.
Rola: if you could pick a themes ong for Valek & Charlotte, what would it be?
Shayne: I’ve had this song on my playlist from day one of writing this book. It’s a folk song called “Bloodlust”by Lauren Shera and I think it really sets the tone for their sweet relationship and the tone for the “folky” sort of mood for the rest of the story as well. It’s a little bit of an epic legend, a little steampunk, a little Gothic, and a little vintage. I think Of Light and Darkness is very eclectic, just like this song.
Rola: Charlotte & Valek havean extremely unique relationship. Throughout the novel they face various struggles that put their relationship to the ultimate test. Can readers expect to see more struggles that will threaten Valek & Charlotte’s relationship in the sequel, The Vampire’s Reflection? Will there be another love triangle perhaps??!
Shayne: I am literally laughing out loud as I answer this question. The Vampire’s Reflection turned out to be quite the rollercoaster and I think readers are going to pull their hair out when they reach the end. Thereare so many complications that arise between Valek and Charlotte as well as the introduction of a brand new character,Nikolai AND the return of Aiden. So there arelove triangles abound as well as a few shocking moments I don’t think anyone is going to expect.
Rola: Your debut YA Paranormal novel, Of Light and Darkness: The Vampire’s Daughter is currently being made into a movie... with yourself starring as Charlotte! How does itfeel to not only see your novel being made into a movie, but to also being able to play the role of the female heroin?
Shayne: The process of gettingthis film developed has been both extremely rewarding and challenging. I had the opportunity to get my taste of Charlotte’s character last October when we shot the book trailer in North Carolina. I had the pleasure of acting alongside Michael Welch (Aiden) and to really get my feet wet. It felt very strange in that, it did not feel like my story. It felt like I was acting in someone else’s movie. It was so much fun and I am so hungry to get started on the actual movie. We’ve got some great plans, so hopefully it all pans out. We are working so hard on this project, so we are definitely hoping for the best.
Rola: When Novels become movies,the Fans always anticipate who will be playing their favorite characters; but disappointment is a common factor because a fan’s favorite complaint is that the cast doesn’t live up to their mental image of the characters . Do youbelieve that the cast chosen will fully live up to the image you first painted in your mind while creating The Vampire’s Daughter? Arey ou confident that you will be able to deliver Charlotte’s character successfully?
Shayne: I am really exciteda bout the cast. I think people often get disappointed not only when the actors don’t match their minds eye, but also when they keep seeing the same Hollywood stars pop up over and over again. I think people are craving something new. My husband, Frantisek Mach, is playing Valek. Michael Welch is an extremely talented actor who has been severely underrated by Hollywood. I’ve seen our chemistry when we were all together in North Carolina. We are fresh faces andso far our fan base is excited about that. I think it’s also an interesting spin that this is my story. I wrote the characters of Valek and Charlotte directly after the people who are playing them – so hopefully we can deliver. JThe only thing I can promise, is that we will work very hard to give readers and fans exactly what they’ve hoped for and to do our very best!
Rola: what would you like to tell readers that have yet to pick up The Vampire’s Daughter ?
Shayne: It really seems likee veryone who’s read the book thus far has gone mad for it. They’ve really been loving it and I’m really grateful. If you think you’re tired of vampires, and don’t want to pick up another YA paranormal series, I think you should consider The Vampire’s Daughter anyway. This story is so much more than just vampires. It has a message. It is much deeper than a lot of the other YA’s out there, and even though it’s a fantasy, it is incredibly real. So I hope new readers give it a chance – I know a lot of people will take something away from this story.
Rola: Seperate from the Of Light and Darkness series, are you currently working on any projects?
Shayne: I am being consideredfor a few film projects in development, but there are no promises on those yet.I am also very actively working on my music career– working with Austin Mahone’s official voice coach on my first, original album.
Rola: What Can fans expect from the sequel?
Shayne: The Vampire’s Daughter ended really perfectly. There wasn’t a whole lot of questions to answer by the ending of that book. In the sequel, many new problems arise to challenge the characters. Certain characters get torn apart. New characters get introduced. The Vampire’s Reflection gets even darker than the first book. There is a lot of danger, and horrible things.There are a lot of questions and a lot of mystery. This book is really going to set up the epic third book in the series.
Rola: ..... do we get a little sneak peek at the sequel??!! :D
Shayne: Sure! Here you go:
“Aiden’s back went rigid when he heard the shrill wail of the astronomical clock in Old Town strike midnight. The metallic chime struck his new, nocturnal ears harshly as it bounced around off the baroque fixtures of the ancient buildings. The gears and cogs were even audible from this distance as he pictured the little mechanical men and women coming to life as they danced around the clock face.He closed his eyes against the vibration in his ear. His steel-toed, leather boots splashed in the puddles along the ancient roads of the modern world. He kept his gaze down and his hands in his pockets, his bangs escaping from his leather poor-boy-hat and into his eyes.
Thesquare was still incredibly crowded with dozens of warm-blooded tourists and a few drunken natives. They were all seemingly just getting their evening started, as he was. He studied the qualities about the human movements andtried to match them, as he desperately wanted to blend in. Keeping his gaze low, he never imagined a time when he would become anything similar to that ofhis sworn enemy – the very bane of his existence – that which ended his life a she knew it and all of his possibilities. But none of this would stand in his way now. He would use all of this new found dark power in his favor, as he himself, had become the very darkness he once hated.
There was an undeniable hole fixated in the center of his chest that seemed unfixable now. A pain with every step he took. A missing piece. But it wasn’t her love that could fill it anymore – the warm affection ofthe impossibly mortal girl. He no longer wanted it. She had made such a fool of him. She and her leach. They caused him to be outcast by those remaining of the Regime. Humiliated him. Threw him away and expected him to remain among the dead and forgotten. Something jabbed within his chest then and he felt like it had punctured something. Aiden was toos trong for that. He had a plan – a prophecy that needed to be fulfilled.Vladislov was dead. Aiden was heir to the thrown. The only heir. The Regime needed to be reminded of that.”
...... EEEEP! Aiden has officially gone phsyco... CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS!
Rola: Thanks for the interview Shayne!! It’s been a pleasure reading your novel & having you on my blog!!
Shayne: Thank you so much,Rola!!!! It was my pleasure and I hope to read your review on the second book in the series!Now is YOUR chance to get into The Vampire's Daughter, before the movie & the sequel !
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