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.

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Website: http://lylapayne.blogspot.com
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Twitter: @lyla_payne
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Your wish is Marvel’s command. Fans have wanted to see a live-action Squirrel Girl adaptation, and it looks like it might actually happen thanks to New Warriors.

If you don’t know who Squirrel Girl is, do yourself a favor and look her up. Her name is Doreen Green and, shockingly, she can talk to squirrels. (Who would’ve guessed?) But it doesn’t stop there! She’s also got super strength and speed.

Fans have been fantasy casting the role for a while, but when Anna Kendrick said she wanted to play the character, the internet went wild.

Read full article

Your wish is Marvel’s command. Fans have wanted to see a live-action Squirrel Girl adaptation, and it looks like it might actually happen thanks to New Warriors.

If you don’t know who Squirrel Girl is, do yourself a favor and look her up. Her name is Doreen Green and, shockingly, she can talk to squirrels. (Who would’ve guessed?) But it doesn’t stop there! She’s also got super strength and speed.

Fans have been fantasy casting the role for a while, but when Anna Kendrick said she wanted to play the character, the internet went wild.

Shannon Purser has also declared her interest in the role. You’ll know her as Barb from Stranger Things, but she’s also just been added to Riverdale.

Before we can start casting, however, we need a show, and according to TV Line, that show is New Warriors.

Marvel and ABC Studios are currently shopping the project around, which would be a half-hour comedy based on the character. One of the tell-tale signs of a Squirrel Girl story line is its lighthearted and humorous nature, so this sounds like a perfect fit.

TV Line reports that the show is being described as “the junior version of The Avengers,” and that “the New Warriors are a superhero squad made up of teenagers.”

Marvel has, of course, brought plenty of its characters to the small screen and to great success. There’s even a chance that this project could be tied to some of the Netflix properties, as Doreen acts as a nanny to Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ daughter, Danielle, in the comic books.

Just think about that crossover potential.

Are you looking forward to this ‘New Warriors’ show if it stars Squirrel Girl?

Shannon Purser plays fan-favorite character Barb on Stranger Things and now she’s joining a new project on The CW.

A lot of people instantly fell in love with Barb the moment she graced our screens in the Netflix hit series Stranger Things, and who can blame them? She was cool, confident, and not at all worried about what the popular kids thought of her.

Then the Demogorgon arrived. But that’s a tale for another day.

Read full article

Shannon Purser plays fan-favorite character Barb on Stranger Things and now she’s joining a new project on The CW.

A lot of people instantly fell in love with Barb the moment she graced our screens in the Netflix hit series Stranger Things, and who can blame them? She was cool, confident, and not at all worried about what the popular kids thought of her.

Then the Demogorgon arrived. But that’s a tale for another day.

EW is now reporting that Purser has joined Riverdale, the television show based on the Archie comics.

Purser will be portraying Ethel Muggs for at least three episodes.

Don’t expect her to follow in the footsteps of her comic book equivalent, however. Ethel may have a crush on Jughead in the source material, but EW is reporting that she’ll have her heart set on someone else.

Ethel will also be teaming up with Veronica and Betty as they set out to get revenge on Reggie Mantle, Archie’s nemesis.

In July, we brought you our thoughts on the Riverdale pilot after we saw it at San Diego Comic-Con. It’ll be premiering midseason next winter on the CW and provides a darker spin on the original Archie characters as they become wrapped up in a murder mystery.

Though the pilot has already been shot, the remaining 12 episodes have yet to be filmed. Production on the rest of the season will begin in early September, and the show is expected to premiere in early 2017, barring any complications.

Are you looking forward to seeing Shannon Purser on ‘Riverdale’?

The Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Nick Jonas, Dwayne The Rock Johnson-led Jumanji sequel/reboot/whatever has completed its family with the addition of Karen Gilan.

In a Facebook post on Monday, The Rock announced that the Doctor Who alum will be joining Jumanji 2 and rounding out the cast. The Rock bills her character as having “the most important role in our movie.”

“We had to find a girl,” The Rock wrote of casting Gillan in Jumanji 2, “but not just any girl.” He continued:

Read full article

The Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Nick Jonas, Dwayne The Rock Johnson-led Jumanji sequel/reboot/whatever has completed its family with the addition of Karen Gilan.

In a Facebook post on Monday, The Rock announced that the Doctor Who alum will be joining Jumanji 2 and rounding out the cast. The Rock bills her character as having “the most important role in our movie.”

“We had to find a girl,” The Rock wrote of casting Gillan in Jumanji 2, “but not just any girl.” He continued:

A girl who has “Chutzpah”. Guts and talent to stand her ground and hold her own against Nick’s cool rockstar ways, Jack’s relentless energy and genius, Kevin’s masterful timing and skills and the big, brown, bald tattooed guy who just simply stands there and oooooozes smoldering, captivating, sizzling, can’t take your eyes off this brilliant manly man… never mind I got drunk on the ol’ DJ kool aid again.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud to announce a girl who’s playing the most important role in our movie – the talented, beautiful and down for a Scottish fight at any time, Ms. Karen Gillan.

And yes, this is the girl who is so bad ass she shaved her freaking head for Guardians of the Galaxy.

The Rock goes on to promise that “this isn’t a remake or a reboot, but a continuation of the awesome Jumanji story we love.”

Filming begins next month in Hawaii and is slated to hit theaters next year.

Gillan is best known for her role as Amy Pond in Doctor Who and, as The Rock notes, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

original-jumanji-movie

The Jumanji “continuation” has been met with lots of skepticism since the original was led by the late Robin Williams. It just seems like an unnecessary, unoriginal idea.