Q&A with Nikki Kelly

by Nikki Kelly

Pages: 416, harback
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: October 7th 2014

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.
On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely Allie – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.
In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?
Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

with Nikki Kelly

What inspired you to write Lailah?

I had a dream about a girl assisting an injured Vampire in a derelict building. When she finally looked over her shoulder, her eyes flipped from a sapphire blue to a blazing red—that was the first time I met Lailah.

YA is such a massive genre right now, what made you want to write for a Young Adult audience?

Best advice I ever received: ‘write what you love and write what you know’—for me that was YA fantasy with a whole heap of swoon!

Random #1 Eric Northman turns up at your house. Do you invite him it?

Erm, hells yes! Look up the word YUM in the dictionary; I am sure you will see his face…

How did it feel to see Lailah on the shelves for the first time?

It was an amazing moment, one that I will never forget. I was actually a few days into the Fierce Reads Tour and was in the company of Marissa Meyer (Bestselling Lunar Chronicles). She took me to a Barnes and Noble, where they had our books at the front of the store on full display.

(Note: How much like Bridget Jones do I look in this photo?!)

Who was your favorite character to write and why?

That’s really hard, Lailah probably. The book is written in first person, therefore I feel closest to Lailah. That said, Gabriel and Jonah are both pretty fabulous to write, in fact writing Jonah’s short story from his POV for wattpad was a really thrilling experience!

How much research went into this book?

A fair bit! Lots of scientific research, in order to put a science to the myths… and also a lot of research on the locations, as I like to visit to get a sense of the place first hand.

Random #2 I know you love your tea, as any true Brit should. But what’s your favourite kind of tea?

Twinings English Breakfast, I share that love with Anastasia from Fifty shades!

If you could pick anyone, whom would you cast in a movie adaptation of Lailah?

Gabriella Wilde

Who was your least favourite character to write?

I loved writing all of them, I guess Hanora ticked me off a few times... but, again, I was writing from Lailah’s POV so naturally she would irk me!

What’s the most challenging part of the writing process for you?

I prefer writing swoon worthy scenes, action scenes, and world building scenes… I get bored easily describing settings, which is another reason I like to visit the locations first hand so I feel inspired!

Random #3 Vampires or Werewolves?

Vampires obvs! I do not care for the Werewolves… not one bit.

How did you go about creating a strong female protagonist?

Through an arduous, grueling journey! When we meet Lailah she lives a confusing existence, she’s wary of people, and is quite timid. As book1 goes along she finds her inner strength, but she gets saved a few times by the ‘guy’ in the first installment. Book2, she comes into her own much more, and by book3, well, she’s standing fully on her own two feet.

 Lastly, are you #TeamGabriel or #TeamJonah? Come you can tell us ;)

If I told you, I would have to kill you…


  1. Amazing interview Mily! And you know very well that Nikki is Team Fence for now!!

    Love all the GIFs!!

    1. hehe I do but I thought I would be cheeky and see if she who answer :P

  2. Nikki, I always pick vampires too ;) Werewolves are ewww.... Great interview, Mily :)