LJ DeLeon is the author of the Warriors for Light, an urban fantasy series that is available in eBook format. LJ dropped by the virtual offices to chat up her books.
[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[LJ DeLeon] I’m an Army brat, former CIA Intelligence Analyst, & best-seller of action adventure/urban fantasy romance. Honor: the ultimate seduction.
[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about your Warriors for Light series?
[LJ DeLeon] Warriors for Light is about the eternal struggle of good versus evil, made more difficult by not always knowing who is who. To quote Captain Kirk of Star Trek, “Good can triumph over evil, but it must be very, very careful.” I love complex characters, where even the good can step into shades of gray, and the bad will sometimes even surprise themselves.
There are four worlds in the series. The Abyss is the Dark Lord’s domain. hIfreann is the Goddess’ domain and that of her Paladins (the Seraphim—archangels to us norms) and the Saraph—über shapeshifters who can assume any shape but in battle are fire-breathing dragons. Otherworld is where the Fae and most other magickal creatures live. And finally, but not least, is Earth, where human norms unknowingly live beside magicks, some Fae, were-animals, and half-breeds of all the species.
Each world has its own rules and inhabitants. For the most part, they didn’t mingle until the Dark Lord decided he wanted to rule the other three worlds. Now demons roam Earth. Human norm society has been turned on its head. Belief systems are in turmoil. It has become a world where the young Eagle Scout next door just might be a were-eagle, or your favorite running back is a werewolf, or—gasp—your benign-looking Senator is a black magick mage. But worst of all, humans who have always viewed themselves as being at top food chain, suddenly discover themselves prey.
[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the series?
[LJ DeLeon] I’m not sure. I think because I read so much as a child, worlds of demons, angels, fae, weres, humans, and other creatures seemed normal to me. When I started writing the Warriors for Light series, I discovered notes I’d made about characters and worlds in folders and binders. One thing I wanted was to have multiple and continuing characters. My motto. “Honor: the ultimate seduction,” is the foundation for the series and each story.
[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the series?
[LJ DeLeon] Wow, it would be tracking all the characters, types of demons and their abilities, and what happens to each character in each book. To help, I’ve created a Warriors bible, as they do for TV series. Each world and character has her/his/its own page, which includes everything about them, and how they grow in each book. Yet, it’s still hard tracking it all. Thankfully, my critique partners and beta readers can recite dialogue and point out errors.
[Manga Maniac Café] Why do you think the urban fantasy genre is so popular? What made you decide to write your own?
[LJ DeLeon] Urban fantasy allows us to look at Earth and its problems, yet it isn’t our world. It’s a perfect escape from today’s problems and fears, and focuses on love and good triumphing over evil. As for writing in this genre, I’ve always wanted to tell my stories in this genre. I’ve co-written under two pen names and solo under another pen name for ten years. It just took those years for me to grow as a storyteller before I was able to carry off writing Warriors for Light.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?
[LJ DeLeon] I joke that writing intelligence reports prepared me to write urban fantasy. Not true, okay, not completely true. Throughout my youth, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Tolkien, The A Wrinkle in Time Quintet by Madeline L’Engle, and host of others delighted me and paved the way to thinking outside the box, which in my former profession proved invaluable.
[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?
[LJ DeLeon] I need quiet, direction, and a plot. Yes, I plot and map out my stories before I write them. My series has too many characters, worlds, and plots. I need to know where I am going with the overall series, how this story advances the series, how the romance fits into the series because Warriors for Light is also action adventure, and ensuring I don’t make mistakes with reoccurring characters or the magical worlds I’ve created.
[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[LJ DeLeon] Not that I remember. I think my mother read to me while I was still in her womb. I was always read to and wanted to read as soon as I could and started first grade reading at a fourth grade level. However, for my eighth birthday, my grandmother sent me an Isaac Asimov anthology of the best in Science Fiction short stories for the year. That turned me onto reading fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction.
[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[LJ DeLeon] LOL, when not writing I’m reading. I also love to travel, visit family and friends, and go to the movies—yes, I’m a movie junkie. But I’m lucky, my small, Southern town has a $1 theater, which shows first run movies before they are released for rental. So, I see a lot of movies.
[Manga Maniac Café] Thanks!
You can learn more about LJ and the Warriors For Light series by visiting the following website.
You can purchase the series from your favorite book seller, or by clicking the widget below: