author, Interview, reading, writing

Author interview: Leonard D. Hilley II

This #SymposiumSaturday we welcome author Leonard D. Hilley II With two books scheduled for release this year, and 9 already published there’s bound to be something to suit everyone’s taste.

About the author

Tell us a little bit about yourself. (Author Bio)Me with Mustang

Leonard D. Hilley II grew up in Fort Payne, AL, where his never-ending curiosity introduced him to the world of biology and books. During his youth he was an avid insect collector and reared butterflies and moths. His love for science eventually merged with his writing. He currently resides in Marietta, Ohio, where he writes science fiction thrillers, epic high fantasy, and YA mysteries.

Education: B.S. Biology; MFA in Creative Writing

What are your hobbies?

For years I was greatly interested in Entomology, which is often hinted at in other books like Devils Den and Predators of Darkness: Aftermath. I believe the world of insects (butterflies, moths, & beetles primarily) caused me to look deeper into the environment, which also makes me as a writer strive to show the details of the characters’ worlds. I drew comics for several years as a child. I love fishing, hiking, and exploring caves, too. I love being outdoors whenever I get the chance.

Which writers inspire you?

As a teenager, I read Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber, which opened my mind to the world of fantasy. In 1993, I was introduced to Dean R. Koontz’s books, and immediately began writing again. Due to personal things in my life prior to 1993, I have quit writing for ten years.

For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or paper/hard back books?

I read all editions of books. Paperback is easiest, but I’m getting more fond of the Kindle now since you have hundreds of books to access when you’re not at home.

 What are you reading at present?

Richelle Mead’s Succubus Blues

 What is your favourite book and why?

The Servants of Twilight by Dean R. Koontz is probably at the top of my list since it is the book that snapped encouraged me to return to writing.

What is your favourite film/ series and why?

So many. Hard to pinpoint one because I love each for different reasons. Finding Forrester with Sean Connery is one that I’ve watched numerous times. It is about an aspiring writing student who accidentally stumbles upon an author who has become a social recluse. The author becomes the students mentor and in ways, they save one another.

 What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?

Celebrating my 23rd wedding anniversary with my best friend and our two children.

How do you relax?

Read, television, and travel (hiking, nature walks)

 What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read everything you can. The more you read, the larger your vocabulary is. Never stop writing. Keep writing. Revision is key in writing. The first draft is great, but then the real work begins.

About writing

What made you realise your calling as an author?

I knew at an early age. I loved books and was reading at age 3. In primary school I had read every book on the library shelves. When I ran out of books that interested me, that was when I began writing my own. I wrote my first novel at age 11.

Where do your ideas come from, what inspires you?

I really wish I knew where they came from. Often an idea catches me offguard. Predators of Darkness: Aftermath began from a single sentence right before I had laid down to sleep. I wrote it down, went back to bed, and then the next two paragraphs came to me. I got up and wrote them down. Had I not, I’d have lost those words, I’m certain. I just finished the fifth book in that series and started book six—all evolved from an opening sentence.

 How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It really depends upon the book. The book I finished in February took 14 years to complete. Forrest Wollinsky: Vampire Hunter took 22 days.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I never outline. I follow the characters and see where they take me.

 What is the hardest thing about writing?


 What is the easiest thing about writing?

When I find the answer, I will share it. 😉

Do you ever get writer’s Block and if so, how do you deal with it?

I don’t think I really get Writer’s Block, but there are days when the words don’t come as easily. I’m generally working on 2-3 projects and move to a different one if the pace on one slows down. Sometimes taking a walk or driving allows me to focus more on the characters.

 How many books have you written, which is your favourite?

I will finish book 11 this week and begin revisions. I don’t have a favorite. Since writing a novel is often compared to ‘birthing a novel,’ it would be like trying to pick a favorite child.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am wrappiing up Forrest Wollinsky: Blood Mists of London this week. This is the second book in the Vampire Hunter series. I have the ideas set for Book 3, and strangely enough, three chapters from the end of this one, there is a foreboding for another book after the third one. Great when that type of insight comes to you.


About the books

What genre are your books?

I write sci-fi thrillers, epic fantasy, PR/UF, and YA mysteries.

 What book titles have you released so far?

 Predators of Darkness Series:

Predators of Darkness: Aftermath, Beyond the Darkness, The Game of Pawns, Death’s Valley, and The Deimos Virus: Target Earth (June 2016).

Chronicles of Aetheaon Series:

Shawdirea [Book One] and Lady Squire: Dawn’s Ascension [Book Two]

Devils Den

Succubus: Shadows of the Beast

Forrest Wollinsky: Vampire Hunter (Vol. One)

Forrest Wollinsky: Blood Mists of London (May 2016)

Who is your favourite character and why?

Morton in the Predators of Darkness Series. He’s a genetically created cat with the ability to talk. One reviewer called him “Garfield on steroids.” A lot of fans love Morton, and when I started book six this month, it was great having him visit me again.

Where can we buy it/them?

All my books are available at Amazon. Paperbacks are available via Amazon or through other major bookstores.

 In what formats is your book available?

Kindle and paperback. Shawndirea is also in audio. Forrest Wollinsky is in audio production, as is Lady Squire: Dawn’s Ascension

When is your next book due for release?

I have two that should be out in May. Although I may wait until June to release The Deimos Virus: Target Earth.

Book titles and synopsis:

Devils Den


Twenty years have passed since a young man disappeared inside Devils Den never to be seen again. During this time the haunted cave has lain dormant, but the legend of its evil has not died. In fact, what lies within has awakened and prowls Cider Knoll one last time, seeking to offer a final blood sacrifice in order to gain immortality. Such a sacrifice must be pure and untainted, but finding an uncontaminated soul in a corrupt world is nearly impossible.

Horror spreads through rural Cider Knoll when another teenager, Justin McKnight, vanishes inside Devils Den. As the search and rescue begins, Sheriff Hopkins is baffled on how to continue searching for the boy when the only clues end at a mysterious wall inside the cave. When search efforts are about to be abandoned, an unexpected man shows up with an age-worn book that has disturbing revelations about what had actually occurred twenty years prior. And according to the predictions inside the book, they have little time to find Justin before he becomes the next victim.

Succubus: Shadows of the Beast

NOTE: Formerly published under pen name T.W. Mordrake.

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance:


Entering the real world after college often educates one to the true horrors of the harsh obstacles life has to offer. For Kailey Yates the discoveries are far more terrifying and dangerous. Two days before she graduated with a degree in investigative journalism, her brother Vincent is found dead in his swimming pool with a syringe stuck in his arm. His death is ruled as a suicide, but Kailey doesn’t buy it.

She suspects Vincent’s new wife Cassie is the one who actually killed him. Her suspicions are drawn from his rapid health deterioration during his short six month marriage. During one of her last Skype conversations she had with Vincent, Kailey’s roommate Raven witnesses their conversation and immediately senses that Vincent is being soul-drained by a succubus. Since Raven is a witch, Kailey has no doubt about her friend’s perception and concludes that Cassie must be the demon responsible.

Kailey leaves Boston and flies to Seattle for her brother’s funeral. While there she investigates the circumstance surrounding his death. She uncovers dark information that leads her to Nocturnal Trinity, a nightclub in the heart of Seattle. And worse, the underground club is run by a powerful alliance of vampires, demons, and witches that wish to protect Cassie at all costs, which includes killing Kailey or anyone else if necessary.

Forrest Wollinsky: Vampire Hunter

lh1“Killing Vampires Since 1888.”

I was born in Bucharest in 1880 in the heart of the vampire population. At eight years old, I was considered a freak of nature since I was already the size of an adult male. Other children my age, and some of my teachers, shunned me. Being rejected by one’s peers cuts deeply. Then I met my first werewolf and discovered a master vampire was plotting to kill me because of what I am. From that moment, my destiny stole my future aspirations all men grow up wanting. This is how my destiny begins.


Forrest Wollinsky: Blood Mists of London (May 2016)

Whitechapel, London: 1888



A ravenous madman stalks the foggy streets of Whitechapel, savagely butchering women

during the dead of night and mysteriously disappearing without a trace or even an eyewitness, which leaves detectives at wit’s end to find the murderer. The newspapers named the serial killer Jack the Ripper, but Forrest Wollinsky believes this sinister phantom is actually a master vampire who has ventured far from his homeland for one reason: unrelenting vengeance.

However, stopping this vampire won’t be easy. He’s the most powerful vampire Forrest has encountered to date. Slaying this vampire requires Forrest to align himself with unusual creatures he never knew existed, but even then they have no guarantee of success.”

Predators of Darkness Series:

Predators of Darkness: Aftermath,

The world wasn’t supposed to end like this . . .

Fear What Comes In The Darkness


The desolate streets of downtown Pittsburgh are a constant reminder of the missile attack that forever changed the lives of the surviving scientists and students hidden in the fallout shelter of Helmsby’s Genetic Research Center. Believing themselves to be the only survivors, they station themselves inside the center until food supplies near depletion. Thinking the fallout has lessened, they emerge three years later to discover strange creatures patrolling the streets in search of human flesh and blood. The creatures possess the ability to shift their genomes and alter their appearances by realigning their genetic sequences.

Daniel Hutchinson, their leader, teams with Lucas Ridale and together they set out to scavenge the area for food and supplies with the hope to find other survivors. But Daniel’s most recent journey uncovers mysteries more frightening than the shifters. He discovers the tip of Pittsburgh has been fenced off from the rest of the area. Low-flying helicopters observe the streets, making him ponder the question: Were the shifters released as simply part of a military experiment with humans being their prey?

Beyond the Darkness,

The Darkness Continues . . .


Three years have passed since Daniel and his friends escaped the terrorizing, bloodthirsty shape-shifters in Pittsburgh. While his friends have moved forward with their lives, Daniel cannot. Still haunted by the harrowing ordeals he had suffered, he believes that the conspiracies inside TransGenCorp have not ended. More shifters exist . . . somewhere.

Then, Daniel receives a phone call from his best friend, Lucas, which bolsters Daniel’s paranoia even further. Lucas is being charged with the murders of two U.S. Senators and guards. Lucas insists that his clone is still alive and committed the murders. To get proof, Daniel needs to talk to Dr. Helmsby, but that means Daniel must return to TransGenCorp, making him face his nightmares all over again.

The death of the two senators catches the attention of FBI Director Mike Carpenter and agent Kat Gaddis. Surveillance footage of the murders puts them on the manhunt for the clone before he kills again. But finding him isn’t an easy task, and dead bodies are piling up. Daniel, his family, and friends go into hiding. Kat and Carpenter hope to find them before the clone does. Otherwise, the clone will kill them all.

The Game of Pawns,

Pawns are Expendable . . .


Twelve execution-style murders have occurred in Newark, New Jersey, in less than a week. Each murder has a calling card – a red pawn on each corpse. Kat Gaddis and Lucian investigate the homicides and discover the last four victims were employed by GenTech, a company that recently merged with Mech Cybernetics. After FBI director Mike Carpenter shares evidence with Kat, they soon discover political ties and corruptions that place Kat’s life in direct danger. New players emerge and what seems like serial murders suddenly becomes a struggle for biotech knowledge and power. Kat is thrust into their game – The Game of Pawns.


Death’s Valley,



“Everyone dies . . . eventually,” she said.

Mitch Niles’ first investigative assignment for the Kat Gaddis Agency lands him in the dark city of Salem, Oregon. The two gruesome murders in Salem point to the grim speculation that more shifters or genetic monsters have emerged.

But Niles’ discoveries place his life in direct danger as he uncovers more grave secrets in the dead of the night. The shutdown of GenTech and Mech Cybernetics had left one miscreant scientist still on the loose. Alpha. The hunt to find him continues so they can shut down his operations before his genetic soldiers mature.

After Matthews escapes from prison, Lydia goes rogue, accepting her life as the assassin General Idris created her to be. Lucian nears death, as the genetic enhancers that keep him alive are no longer working. Hired assassins pursue Joe-Shadow-talker for the alien skull and are more than willing to kill him or anyone else that gets in their way.

The Deimos Virus: Target Earth (June 2016)

The DeimosVirusebook

A devastating virus spreads through the Deimos Station killing fifty-six people. Dr. Carter is somehow immune and the sole survivor. Vowing to avenge the lives of his colleagues and his lover, Carter takes two vials of the contagious lethal virus to Earth with the intention to infect and kill Boyd Grayson, the owner of Grayson Enterprises. He holds Grayson responsible for their deaths. His blind vengeance dismisses the fact that there is no cure, placing the entire world population at risk.



Chronicles of Aetheaon Series:

Shawdirea [Book One]


Often the smallest unexpected surprises garner the most demanding dilemmas, which

proves to be the ordeal that entomologist Ben Whytten faces. While netting butterflies to add to his vast collection, he mistakenly sweeps what he thinks is the most spectacular butterfly he has ever seen into his net. Upon examining his catch, Ben is horrified to discover he has captured a faery and shredded her delicate wings into useless ribbons.

Devastated, Ben vows to take Shawndirea back to her realm, Aetheaon; but he discovers that doing so places their lives into immediate danger. To get to Aetheaon, they must pass through a portal rift deep inside the haunted cavern, Devils Den.

Once they cross the rift, Ben enters a world where mysteries, magic, betrayal, and power struggles await. He must adapt quickly or die because Aetheaon is filled with enchanted creatures and numerous races where chaos often dominates order. And since Shawndirea’s destined for the throne of Elvendale, opposing dark forces plot to prevent her from ever reaching her kingdom again. The faery’s magic isn’t enough to fully protect them, so he must trust other adventurers to aid them during their journey.

Lady Squire: Dawn’s Ascension [Book Two]


To what end would a princess go to regain her rightful throne?

The City of Hoffnung Falls:

After a coup led by Lord Waxxon kills the beloved half-elf queen of Hoffnung, the rightful heir, Lady Dawn, is forced into hiding. Disguised as a lowly squire to one of the throne’s faithful Dragon Skull Knights, she sets out with her knight to find others of the Order to gather forces to bring Waxxon’s reign to an end. But her identity must remain a secret, even to the knight she serves because Waxxon has set a bounty upon her head and his ruthless henchmen are searching Aetheaon to locate her. But she is not without hope, as warriors, a wizard, and rulers of all races also seek to pinpoint her location so they can aid her in reclaiming Hoffnung’s throne.


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