Interview with Melissa Turner Lee

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Title:  Forever Layla

Author:  Melissa Turner Lee
Published:  May 27th, 2014
Publisher:   AltWit Press
Word Count:  68,000
Genre:  NA Time Travel Romance
Recommended Age:  15+
What if the woman you envied most is the person you are destined to become?
In 1994, high school senior David Foster was the lackey and soundboard geek for his best friend’s grunge band. During spring break, the band lands a dream gig playing at a motel in Myrtle Beach, SC. David expected all the girls to ogle the guys on stage, but when a beautiful blond “Bond Girl” approaches him and calls him by name, he’s shocked to find out she knows more about him than a stranger should.
She even knows about his notebooks and his visions of time travel.
What she thought was a quick time-travel-sightseeing trip takes a surprising turn when she meets the young adult version of the man she’d heard stories about as a child. His fairy-tale romance with the woman he’d loved, Layla, inspired her to accept nothing less than a love just as strong…but hopefully not as tragic. When she won’t tell the younger version of him her name, he calls her Layla–and the world as she knows it changes forever.

Layla looked down at her salad. “At least your mom cares about your future. She’s just trying to get you somewhere good in life before she lets go.”“Maybe.”

“But she’s wrong about what you’ll become. You will never be a dentist.”

“Because I’m going to discover time travel. So you really are from the future.”

Layla leaned in closer to whisper, “Do you see how hard it is for me to let you pay for my meals? To let you so much as put a bandage on my knee when I can do it myself. If getting to the airport is all I needed to do to get back to my work and my life, don’t you think I’d do it?”

I leaned in to whisper, “So is this conformation that you really are from the future? That this isn’t a hoax?” I was so close to her again. Her fragrance was everywhere, filling my senses. I could feel her presence and it electrified the air between us. My heart raced as I stared into her eyes that were huge saucers of warm hot chocolate.

She was in the same trance, looking back at me and having trouble forming her sentence. “I…can’t…tell…you.” She swallowed.

“I think you already did.” I knew in my heart I was having a moment. It was just like the flashes that I had to jot down in my notebooks. This wasn’t just the attraction between a guy and a pretty girl. This went deeper. This was more. She was my future. Just as much as that vision of how time travel would work. I was seeing into my future and all the potential that came with it.”

I leaned in closer. I didn’t want anyone to hear the craziness of what I was about to say. “What if you are Layla? THE Layla. What if you are the catalyst sent to get me on the path to my destiny? What if you and the time travel go hand-in-hand and there cannot be one without the other? You want me to accept that I’m never going to be a dentist. Well if all you are telling me is true, maybe you need to accept that you are never going back home. You are Layla.”

She pulled back and took in a quick breath at my last statement. She looked like she was going to speak but never did. Maybe she was having trouble processing the idea.

“If I’m to be a time traveler and it all starts with my great love for the beautiful Layla and you have shown up in my timeline and I automatically call you Layla. Then you must be Layla. You either believe the stories you were taught or you don’t. Or maybe you liked them better when they were for someone else and didn’t require anything from you.”

She said nothing as I watched her take it all in. Her blonde hair was messy from the ocean breeze by the pool, but I liked it like that. It reminded me of how she looked when she got up from bed. She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. I could hardly believe I was sitting at a table with someone like her. It almost made her story unbelievable because there was no way that I’d end up with a woman like her.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” She asked, her eyes becoming even more wet with emotion.

“Like what?”

She blinked and swallowed. “Like I mean everything to you.”

I thought about her words and what she had told me about my future. I thought about the time travel I’d told no one about. I thought about the notebooks and the Cheerwine and Philo T. Farnsworth.

“Because maybe you do.”

Interview with Melissa Turner Lee

1) Would you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?

I’m a mom of 3 boys who rediscovered my dream to write during my 11 year season as a stay-at-home-mom. It has been a dream of mine since childhood. So glad to finally be sharing the characters living in my head with others.

2)  Which project are you currently promoting?

Forever Layla is my new project. It is a time travel romance set in 1994. I think of it as a cross between The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Notebook because there is time travel and some notebooks involved.

3) Can you tell us what the book is about?

That is a very difficult question to ask an author and get an answer that doesn’t sound like a ramble. The story centers around a young woman suddenly called “Layla” by a boy named David who is on the verge of becoming a man in 1994. She knows the stories of David and Layla and something about the idea that she might be Layla, freaks her out. But at the same time, she has always wanted to be Layla because the stories she heard as a child included David’s great and determined love for his Layla. That love extended beyond time and tragedy and ends up being important to many. To be Layla and loved like that comes with a lot of responsibility and sacrifice.

4)  How did you come up with the title for this book?

-My titles just come to me like my stories. I can’t explain it. The closest to explaining my process is by having you read the book and see how David invents. My process is like his. The ideas just show up and I write them down.

5) What inspired you to write this book?

It showed up and I had to.

6) What made you decide to become a writer?

I don’t think I did. I really want to quit most of the time but I can’t.

7)  What genre do you generally write?

Paranormal, Supernatural etc. Anything weird but always with a romance.

8) What character out of your most recent work do you admire the most and why?

Layla is very independent and strong and determined, but David is unrelenting so both of them.

9) What other projects are you currently working on?

Pauline Creeden and I will be working on Armored Hearts 2

10)  When you begin a new MS, does it start with an idea, concept, or both?

Shows up almost complete with characters, story and title. Some changes might happen during the writing process but not much.

11)  What is your least favorite part about getting published?

The story everyone reads is never to the level it was in my head. I’m always trying to photocopy it as exact as I can so I can share it well.

12)  Was the road to publication a long one for you?

It took a few years.

13)  Do you use a pen name? If so, why?


14)  Where do you see yourself in five years?

No clue. If I can get a day job I really love, maybe doing that instead.

15)  What is the best advice you can give to a new author?

Study craft books. Figure out what works for you and start writing.

16)  Where can the readers find more information about you?

Facebook Melissa Turner Lee

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About the Author:
Melissa Turner Lee is a stay-at-home mom of three of the CRAZIEST boys ever. She’s also the wife to a wonderful man she met when at 17, who is also the inspiration behind her awesome Painter series. Melissa has a degree in Journalism and Marketing, which she has never used. One day her husband sent her to the local book store for a day to herself. Melissa picked up Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and her life changed. She remembered being 17, falling in love. But most of all she remembered herself. She’d become “Mommy” and forgotten all about Melissa, the girl who dreamed of being a writer, but suddenly she remembered and the writing started. And It hasn’t stopped.
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • Signed, print copy of Forever Layla and swag.  Ends  June 13th,11:59 pm (EDT) .
Giveaway is US only.

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