Exclusive

Broken at Love by Lyla Payne is her first new adult title. Check out this exclusive interview where Payne discusses antiheroes, becoming a writer and new adult novels.

Tell us five random facts about yourself.

I’m allergic to peanuts, I have a phobia of bees, I eat Chipotle like four days a week, I have the best family in the world, and when I met Joshua Jackson I told him that Charlie Conway (from The Mighty Ducks) was my first crush.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer.

I’ve always been a big reader, and my high school English teacher encouraged me with compliments on my writing. I have a Film degree, and it was in college that I knew I loved writing — I began with screenplays. A few other professors made comments along the lines of, “you certainly have a way with words,” etc. and then one day I had an idea I thought could be a book.

It did turn into a book, albeit a very, very bad book that hopefully no one ever has to read. My first self-published book was actually the fourth manuscript that I wrote, and Broken at Love is the eleventh. At this point, I can’t imagine ever doing anything else.

You are writing in a fairly new category, new adult. How did you know this was where your story belonged?

It actually wasn’t a hard decision for me at all. I see Broken at Love as more of the fun side of new adult, with certainly its fair share of angst and sad pasts, but the issues are generally born of the inherent malfunctions of the uber wealthy. The original idea felt akin to a story arc on Gossip Girl, to me. That show (and most of the CW shows that I love) is pretty much new adult fiction.

Quinn is not the most likable lead male; how did you come up with his backstory, and did you ever think “oh, maybe that’s too much,” with the things he was doing?

Oh, Quinn. I love this question. I did worry some, but I felt as though I needed to be true to his character and not pull any punches. It was ugly at times, but Quinn was narrating and that’s what was happening inside his head. When I got critique and beta feedback, one of my specific questions was whether or not Quinn was redeemed at the end of the story, and everyone said they couldn’t believe they felt that way, but ultimately yes.

The theme of redemption is one that fascinates me as both a reader and as a writer. Some of my favorite literary characters are guys that some might think irredeemable at the start of a story — Chuck Bass, Damon Salvatore, Jaime Lannister — but as we move through their lives and their issues (and usually how much they actually hate themselves more than anyone), we find that we love them in spite of their flaws.

So, if anyone feels that Quinn isn’t redeemed at the end of Broken at Love, it’s my fault as the writer, not his as the character. I don’t think any character is ever truly past redemption if their story is true.

Except maybe Hitler. And Voldemort.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

It started off as something that sounded fun to me – most of my other stories have super high, universal stakes, like the literal end of the world. It was fun to just write about people whose own hang ups and problems were the biggest issue, but it ended up being more than that.

I have a soft spot for antiheroes (I know you’re shocked, right?) and getting to write one of my very own really appealed to me. Also, I miss Gossip Girl and figured others probably do, too.

What was your favorite chapter/scene to write and why?

That’s a very hard question. I almost want to say the scene at the end where we really see Emilie’s scheming streak, but I think my real favorite is the scene on the beach when Emilie and Quinn really get to know one another for the first time. It fills out their story arc, for me, and makes it obvious why they appeal to one another.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

I’ve never actually written a shorter piece, but it’s something I’d love to try. So basically all of the ideas I go after are ideas with the potential to be novels.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

“This manuscript isn’t ready. You’re not ready.” Those early criticisms were hard to hear, especially pertaining to a goal that I was determined to attain, but those critiques pushed me to work harder and become a much improved (but still learning!) storyteller.

What has been the best compliment?

My focus is always characters, so any time a reader really connects with a character on an emotional level, or sends me a message about how they can relate, it’s the best kind of compliment.

Do you relate to your main characters, or secondary characters?

Sure, I do. All of them in different ways, I think, and certainly some more than others. As far as Broken at Love goes, Emilie is really the kind of girl I wish I had been more like in college — confident and self-assured, secure in her sexuality and committed to a life without regret.

Do you have things you need in order to write (ie: coffee, cupcakes, music)?

Coffee, of course. Seinfeld DVDs and Hershey’s Kisses, too.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

I have a day job but no children, so snuggled up at home is my favorite place to write.

What is easier to write, the first line or the last line?

The last line, I think, though that’s a hard question. The first line is harder for me because it sets so much of the tone for the book, but there are aspects that can’t be given away. By the end at least all of the spoilers are out and the characters’ voices are in place.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on another book set at Whitman University! There will be a reveal soon about who the main character will be, along with a short blurb, but I’m really excited. Don’t expect the crowd at Whitman to get a whole lot nicer along the way, but I promise they’ll be fun.

 

‘BROKEN AT LOVE’

When a knee injury ends twenty-year-old Quinn Rowland’s pro tennis career, he’s not only dumped by his hot Russian girlfriend but ordered to attend college by his disinterested billionaire father. A rich kid who’s not used to being disappointed by life, Quinn and his sociopathic half-brother Sebastian create a frat house game intended to treat girls how they see them — as simple game pieces to be manipulated for their pleasure.

College sophomore Emilie Swanson knows Quinn’s reputation — after all, he did send one of her sorority sisters into therapy earlier in the semester — but the game and his charm bring them closer together and soon she starts to believe there’s more to Quinn than people think.

But what if the more is something darker than a game of toying with emotions and breaking hearts?

Quinn and Emilie might be falling for each other, but there are secrets he’s not ready to tell — and lifestyle changes he’s reluctant to make. She willingly stepped on the court, but if Emilie finds out she started out as nothing as a pawn in Quinn and Sebastian’s twisted game, she might never forgive him.

To his surprise, Quinn finds that he might finally care about someone more than he cares about himself…even if that means letting Emilie walk away for good.

Author Bio

I’ve long had a love of stories. A few years ago decided to put them down on the page, and even though I have a degree in film and television, novels were the creative outlet where I found a home. I’ve published young adult under a different name, but when I got the idea for Broken at Love (my first new adult title), I couldn’t wait to try something new – and I’m hooked. In my spare time I watch a ton of tennis (no surprise, there), play a ton of tennis, and dedicate a good portion of brain power to dreaming up the next fictitious bad boy we’d all love to meet in real life.

Links:
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Broken at Love on Goodreads
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Website: http://lylapayne.blogspot.com
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Twitter: @lyla_payne
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Quiz: Which ‘Mean Girls’ character are you?

9:02 am EDT, September 29, 2016

Ever wondered if you’re more of a Cady or a Regina? Today is your lucky day!

To celebrate Mean Girls Day (October 3rd), Episode, the world’s largest mobile network for interactive stories and creators of Mean Girls: Senior Year, has made a quiz to determine which Mean Girls character you are.

Once you’ve found your Mean Girls spirit animal, continue the fun by downloading both seasons of the Mean Girls story on Episode for iOS and Android. Rejoin all of your favorite characters as you navigate everything from new crushes to sorority pledging. You choose how the story plays out.

Read full article

Ever wondered if you’re more of a Cady or a Regina? Today is your lucky day!

To celebrate Mean Girls Day (October 3rd), Episode, the world’s largest mobile network for interactive stories and creators of Mean Girls: Senior Year, has made a quiz to determine which Mean Girls character you are.

Once you’ve found your Mean Girls spirit animal, continue the fun by downloading both seasons of the Mean Girls story on Episode for iOS and Android. Rejoin all of your favorite characters as you navigate everything from new crushes to sorority pledging. You choose how the story plays out.

You go, Glen Coco!

Let’s play! Which ‘Mean Girls’ character are you?

Play Mean Girls in the Episode app today!

Note: This quiz was sponsored by the advertiser.

Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will star Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Count Olaf, and on a recent episode of Live! with Kelly, the actor shared many interesting details about the new show.

Anyone who’s looking forward to the book to film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s wonderful series will no doubt be thrilled to hear what Harris had to say while updating Kelly Ripa on what he’s been up to.

Perhaps most notably, NPH revealed how A Series of Unfortunate Events is being cut up into episodes. So far, the first four books are two episodes each:

Read full article

Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will star Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Count Olaf, and on a recent episode of Live! with Kelly, the actor shared many interesting details about the new show.

Anyone who’s looking forward to the book to film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s wonderful series will no doubt be thrilled to hear what Harris had to say while updating Kelly Ripa on what he’s been up to.

Perhaps most notably, NPH revealed how A Series of Unfortunate Events is being cut up into episodes. So far, the first four books are two episodes each:

Netflix’s ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ episode count

neil-patrick-harris-series-unfortunate-events-netflix

“They truncated all of the books into a two hour movie,” Harris said of the Unfortunate Events movie starring Jim Carrey, noting that it just wasn’t a great adaptation. “And there’s thirteen books in the series. So [Netflix’s take] is more spread out. Each book is going to be two episodes. We did the first four books, the first eight episodes of the show.”

As for the tone of the show? Great news: “It’s super dark,” he said. “It’s a much darker on the take on the material than has been seen before.”

When Kelly asked Harris if her kids could watch it, the actor dropped some interesting information about Neflix’s plans:

“I hope so!” he replied. “It’s not Rated-R dark. It’s the most expensive show that they’ve ever done. It’s the first one they call a four quadrant show, so they’re try to get four different quadrants to like it. So in addition to being for adults and for 20-somethings and teenagers, they want it to be for kids as well.”

Dark, appealing to all ages, and two episodes per book? We are so down.

Netflix has yet to share a premiere date for A Series of Unfortunate Events, but we’ll keep you posted.

Jessica Jones introduced us to Marvel’s live-action Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who has his own show debuting on Friday. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of time.

The mythology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rich and complicated. Not only do you have to remember what’s happened from episode to episode and season to season, it’s also important to keep in mind what’s happened in other shows and movies.

But that’s why we’re here. Looking forward to Luke Cage premiering on September 30? Us too. Having a little trouble remembering what happened in Jessica Jones and not feeling up to rewatching the show from start to finish? No problem.

Read full article

Jessica Jones introduced us to Marvel’s live-action Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who has his own show debuting on Friday. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of time.

The mythology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rich and complicated. Not only do you have to remember what’s happened from episode to episode and season to season, it’s also important to keep in mind what’s happened in other shows and movies.

But that’s why we’re here. Looking forward to Luke Cage premiering on September 30? Us too. Having a little trouble remembering what happened in Jessica Jones and not feeling up to rewatching the show from start to finish? No problem.

Everything you need to know about ‘Luke Cage’

The man

luke cage premiere date

We first met Luke in the series premiere of Jessica Jones and he was in the majority of the episodes for the season. He owned a bar in Hell’s Kitchen and made it a priority to stay away from complications. Too bad Jessica Jones is the definition of complicated. Sweet Christmas.

With chemistry pretty much off the charts, it didn’t take long for Luke and Jessica to start hooking up. Unfortunately, between Kilgrave’s manipulations and Jessica’s lies, the situation came to a head and Luke found out it was Jessica who was responsible for his wife’s death way back when Kilgrave was livin’ large with Jessica at his side.

Luke left after that, but not before he ran into Kilgrave with the intention of killing the man. Instead, Kilgrave used his power of mind control to plant Luke back into Jessica’s life and keep an eye on her until it was time for Kilgrave to use his trump card. He even forced Luke to blow up his own bar.

In a final confrontation, where Kilgrave once again played with Jessica’s emotions, Luke said he didn’t forgive her for killing his wife and, under Kilgrave’s power, attacked her until she was forced to put a shotgun to his head and pull the trigger.

Thanks to Luke’s powers, he survived, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t some damage. Luke was unconscious, and Jessica was forced to bring him to the hospital where Claire used her position as a nurse to sneak him back to Jessica’s apartment and keep an eye on him.

By the end of the series, once Kilgrave was killed and Jessica was arrested, Luke recovered from his injuries and left Jessica’s apartment when Claire wasn’t looking.

The myth

luke cage mike colter

Luke Cage’s powers are not unlike Jessica’s, though where they both share a similar level of strength, Luke has the added benefit of unbreakable skin. The experiments he was subjected to didn’t make him completely impervious to injury, as seen when the shotgun blast rattled his brain so much it did some internal damage. Areas like his eyes are also open to injury, if Claire sticking that needle through the socket is any indication.

Luke is also just, you know, a big guy. Is intimidation a supernatural ability? Because if so, this guy has got it in spades. He’s a good fighter and obviously used to dealing with the seedier side of the city, so even without his powers, he’d be good to have in a fight.

Luke Cage from the comics isn’t much different, though his interactions with other superheroes have given him an additional leg up. For instance, Iron Fist has taught Luke Cage additional fighting techniques, but we haven’t seen that in the MCU since Iron Fist has yet to debut on Netflix and it’s uncertain what their interactions will be like.

Apparently Luke also has a sweet jacket that’s as impervious as his skin. Given all the clothes we see him go through in the trailers for the upcoming season, perhaps we’ll see him gain a useful item like this in the upcoming freshman run.

The legend

luke cage clip

Luke Cage is already making a name for himself by the end of Jessica Jones, and it’s clear that season 1 of his own show is only going to further his story as a legendary hero. If you want to avoid spoilers at all costs, skip this section. If you’d like to get familiar with some of the show’s upcoming new characters, read on.

In Luke Cage season 1, it’s clear that Cornell Stokes/Cottonmouth will be to Luke as Wilson Fisk/The Kingpin was to Matt Murdock’s Daredevil. This is the guy who wears the crown around Harlem (where Luke has recently moved following his interactions with Jessica), and it’s pretty clear Stokes took no time in pissing off Luke.

Mariah Dillard will be an enemy of a different variety, as she’s a powerful local politician who also happens to be Stokes’ cousin. From the trailers it looks like the two are in business together, but the relationship is contentious at best. Alvarez/Shades, an associate of Cottonmouth, is also going to cause some problems for Luke.

On the other side of the line you have Misty Knight, a police detective who has Luke Cage on her radar. She might also be causing some problems for our hero, but she’s definitely one of the good guys. Her partner is Rafael Scarfe.

Claire will also be returning, this time in a starring role, so the hope is we’ll be seeing plenty of the nurse who is heroic in her own way. She might not have supernatural abilities, but she heals who she can, despite their various complications. She’s also there to light a fire up under the asses of heroes who might be losing their way — and she’s very good at her job.

Everyone’s favorite crook, Turk, will also be showing up in Luke Cage, as will Claire’s mother, Soledad. You can also expect Willis Stryker/Diamondback to play a part this season. He’s tied up with Cottonmouth and Shades and definitely has something against Luke. In the comics, they go way back, and Stryker even had a thing for Luke’s wife, Reva.

Here’s the latest trailer for ‘Luke Cage’ season 1

‘Luke Cage’ season 1 will be exclusively available to stream on Netflix come September 30