Please tell us a bit about yourself:
Well, I live in central Louisiana with my family. I have a half-crazed calico named Zoe. Currently I’m catching up on the TV show Arrow so I can jump in watching the third season and watch The Flash spin-off. I’m the oldest of four, and a massive Dark-Hunter fan.
Tell us about My Name Is A’yen:
It’s the hero’s story, A’yen. And he’s a humanoid alien. His life has been on hold for the last year, and he’s mourning the death of his lover when he meets the heroine, Fae. She’s looking for A’yen’s homeworld. That he doesn’t believe is real. Along the way he discovers there’s more to her than meets the eye, and he comes to believe his homeworld was real, and that they’ve found it. But of course it’s not that easy. There’s a powerful group that doesn’t want this planet found, and they’ll stop at nothing to make sure it remains a myth.
What inspired you to write this particular story?:
A’yen walked into my head in a dream on the night of May 16, 2012. I was spinning my wheels on the novel I was working on at the time, and decided to dive into this strange world and see what happened. Every day was an adventure, because I had no idea what was going to happen next.
Please share a favourite snippet from your book:
Pink tinted her cheeks, she stared at her shoes, and her fingers stopped their gentle massage. A’yen lifted her chin with his finger, to see her eyes. “We weren’t that loud. Pete is very good at tall tales.” He ran the tip of his thumb along the bottom of her lip. “The point is, the way I talk to people above me terrifies my mother. It’s a miracle my mouth hasn’t gotten me killed.”
Pete giggle-snorted. “It almost did that one time. Remember? I went down with you and Wayan to a festival on Centron.”
A’yen grinned at the memory. “Oh yeah. I told the governor’s wife if she didn’t get her hands off my ass and out of my pants I was going to break her fingers.”
Fae covered her mouth in a failed attempt to stifle a laugh. “I bet you did.”
“In my defense, I had no idea who she was, but her bodyguard had me on the ground in two seconds and almost broke my fingers. Then I had to apologize to her and the governor before they’d let me leave. If the governor hadn’t found it so funny, I’d be dead.”
Which comes first for you – a character's looks, personality or name?:
For my heroes, they come to me with all three. Looks, personality, and name. The heroine I usually have looks and name right off, but finding her personality is often a challenge. With Fae, A’yen’s heroine, it took two drafts and a class at a writer’s conference to figure her out. Sometimes I still feel like I don’t know her as well as I should.
Any tips for aspiring authors?:
Finish your first draft!
Questions for fun:
If you had the power of time travel, is there anything you would go back and change? Why/why not?:
I wouldn’t change anything. I’ve watched too much Doctor Who and Star Trek and learned my lessons about changing the past. It never works out like you intend. There is one event in my own life I wouldn’t mind erasing, but at the same time without that event I wouldn’t be where I am. And I don’t want to lose where I am.
What super-power would you choose?:
Flying! Then I could go see my besties in Iowa and New York whenever I want.
If you could have three wishes, what would they be?:
Hmm.... I really don’t know. All I know is I would abide by Genie’s three rules from Aladdin: No wishing for more wishes. No wishing for someone to fall in love with me. And no wishing to raise the dead.
Coffee, tea or wine?:
None of the above. Coke and hot chocolate are my weaknesses. And I’m in love with a drink at a local restaurant chain called Sex in the City.
What is your favourite book? (aside from one of your own!):
That’s like asking a mom to pick a favorite child! Currently, I guess I’d have to pick Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I have a MAJOR crush on Ash. As in before I started answering these questions I downloaded a wallpaper of his god seal from Sherri’s website...
Favourite genre and why?:
Romance! It’s 98% of what I read. I love everything about it. When I’m reading a book that’s not romance, or doesn’t have a strong romance sub-plot, it can be a chore at times to make progress on it. I’ve been working on A Storm of Swords for a month now.
Purple. Most of my clothes are purple, my computer is purple, my Nook cover is purple, my favorite eyeshadow set is purple, the quilt on my bed is purple, my favorite hoodie is purple. I kind of have a problem...
Upcoming news and plans for the future?:
Books two and three of A’yen’s Legacy will be out next year, and there are more to come! I have four and a half written, and another two planned. And I’m sure there will be more after that, I just haven’t met the characters yet. There’s also a prequel story I hope to get up some time next year as a permanent freebie. I’m looking forward to attending my first RWA conference next year too.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!
Thank you for having me.
Bio: Rachel Leigh Smith writes romance for the hero lover. She lives in central Louisiana with her family and a half-crazed calico. When not writing, which isn’t often, she’s hanging with her family, doing counted cross-stitch, or yakking about life, the universe, and everything with her besties. There may also be Netflix binging . . .
She blogs sporadically at www.rachelleighsmith.com, can be found on Twitter @rachelleighgeek, and hangs out on Facebook, www.facebook.com/rachelleighsmithauthor. You can sign up for her newsletter here.
They've taken everything from him. Except his name.
The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A'yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master's murder, has sucked the life from him. Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant.
Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and is determined to prove it. And win A'yen's trust. But she's a breeder's daughter and can't be trusted.
Hidden rooms, information caches and messages from a long-dead king change A'yen's mind about her importance. When she's threatened he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Breeder's Association's radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.