Celebrating POC Authors in Fantasy: LaLa Leo
LaLa Leo has been writing since she was a small country girl growing up in southern Virginia. However, she didn't begin her professional writing career until November 2018 at 31-years-old. She tried everything under the blazing sun from healthcare to customer service, computer science to community management, and excelled. However, she began soul-searching for something much more fulfilling. Throughout her journey, she discovered that one thing never changed... her willingness to help people. She found out that she could fulfill her calling best by pursuing creative entertainment.
During her earlier creative growth, she learned to write, paint, and play several instruments including violin and piano. LaLa Leo published her contribution to the Atlantic Island Universe by Fredric Shernoff (her debut publish in December 2019). Alongside writing the first book of her own spinoff trilogy for the Atlantic Island Universe that published on May 25, 2020, she is also creating her own magical universe in OsDio: Requiem Unrequited.
OsDio is an epic urban fantasy fiction YA trilogy as an unorthodox coming-of-age story of Afro-Grecian deity descendants. She is also an administrator (and/or moderator) of several writing groups on Facebook including YA Fantasy Readers Skylar James Promo Group, BGBFS Writerly Chat, In the name of nostalgia, and more. Her writing portfolio can be found on Wattpad, Medium, Curensea, Vocal, and Inkitt. She enjoys spending time with her children, traveling, reading fantasy and horror, gaming, watching anime, traveling, and anything that appeases her sweet tooth.
Interview with LaLa Leo
What genre(s) do you write in?
Poetry, Horror/Thriller/Suspense, Flash fiction, Erotica, Fantasy, Urban fiction, Historical fiction, YA, Science fiction, Dystopian and post-apocalyptic literature, YA, nonfiction, and more
When did you decide that you wanted to write in your Genre?
Ever since I was a small girl, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. I fell in love with literature, storytelling, and diverse vocabulary. A love of words led me to desiring to create something meaningful, beautiful, and memorable just as almost everything that I've read has impacted me throughout my life.
What things in your life do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from almost everything around me. My children and watching them grow, Music which is my first love, my unique relationship with my significant other, being outdoors in nature, watching TV shows, movies, and anime. I also love playing games in an immersive way. I enjoy exploring new worlds and simultaneously trying to create and envision my own.
What is the purpose of your writing? Is there a specific message that you hope to convey?
Since I began professionally writing in November 2018, I am sure there is a specific purpose for it all. I am on a journey of self-discovery and aspire to find it along the way. There is a message in everything. Oftentimes, we don't find that message until we are looking back in reflection (or in retrospect).
How much of yourself is reflected in your writing?
Almost 100%. Many of the characters that I create have pieces of me in them. That makes it easier to relate to them and write them because most of them share the same beliefs and ideals that I do even if they are nothing like me (in the way of looks and personality, etc.).
What can readers expect to see from you in the next year? Any new releases, features, or celebrations?
My second book of the Destiny series that contributes to expanding Fredric Shernoff's Atlantic Island Universe is set for release on October 5, 2020. I am very excited to continue this very special project and find time to work on my own. I am working closely with my illustrator at Middnite Designs to bring the next character of the OsDio series to life. It is overdue and I am elated to continue working with her. Aurora is next on the list to bring to life. OsDio is an epic urban fantasy fiction trilogy that I began writing in 2018. I have aspirations to adapt the trilogy into a graphic novel and future animation.
Captured by Supreme Leader Tiberius, the residents of the Ophiuchus struggle to survive in this tale that takes place during the events of Atlantic Island!
Having narrowly survived his trip to the surface, Brayton searches the island for his missing friends. Meanwhile, Tiberius seeks to uncover the truth about the new arrivals, revealing a shocking link between the Ophiuchus prisoners and the island's dark leadership.