Interview With 2020 Debut Laynie Bynum!

In 2019, we made it our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and spread the word about their debut novels. It was such a success last year that we decided to continue the fun this year as well! Follow us this year as we pick the minds of the 2020 debuts and chat with them. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, Twitter chats and more!
At the end of 2019, we Tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books. We ended up finding Laynie Bynum and her novel ADELINE'S ARIA, and we have been interested in it ever since. We are so excited to have Laynie on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 

Laynie Bynum

Laynie Bynum is a Young Adult author from Birmingham, Alabama who writes everything from Contemporary Romance to Urban Fantasy. She is inspired by the works of her favorite authors including Sarah Dessen, John Green, Cassandra Clare, and Neil Gaiman. When she isn't crafting characters who reflect her never-ending wanderlust and love of music, she is the Marketing Manager at Magnolia Press and a contributor for Alabama Family Connections Magazine. She is also the Vice President of Communications for the Young Adult chapter of Romance Writers of America. In her personal life, she strives to be an excellent mom to her two children, her “bonus kids”, and the small army of woodland creatures she has amassed including a turtle, rabbit, and hedgehog.

Keep up with Laynie: Website / Twitter / Goodreads/ Instagram

The Book Bratz: First of all, congratulations! How does it feel to be a debut author?
Laynie: Incredibly exciting but also terrifying. You spend years and years learning to write, you take this tiny grain of a concept and work hard to make it the best story it can be. You revise, you edit, you delete scenes you love, you add scenes, you let it rest, and then you do it all over again. Your characters become your best friends. Their world becomes your world. And now, it’s going out on its own. There are no more changes that can be made. The book no longer belongs to me. It belongs to the readers now. Letting go of that control and just hoping that people love it as much as I did is a lot of pressure. But at the same time, I can’t wait for the world to meet this characters on the chance that they do love them as much as I do.
The Book Bratz: In your opinion, what's the best part of the writing process? What's the hardest?
Laynie: I have a tendency to get in my own head a lot. Creating and writing help me channel that energy into something productive instead of letting it get to me. For me that is the best part. I am constantly sitting around thinking of plot ideas and characters rather than worrying about things I can’t control. It’s done wonders for my mental health. For me the hardest part is the business side. I am a creative, introverted person. I like the indoors, books, and getting lost in other worlds. Throwing myself out of that comfort zone is hard, but necessary. As backwards as it sounds, that’s why I’d like to have as much contact with my readers as I can. That way instead of talking to a room full of strangers (or a social media platform full of strangers) about my book, I’m just hanging out with friends. It takes a bit of the awkwardness and anxiety out of the mix. 

The Book Bratz: Where did you get the inspiration for ADELINE'S ARIA?
Laynie: There was no one big inspirational moment for Adeline’s Aria. I started it as a short story for my best friend who I had drug into one of my own celebrity obsessions. She read it and was like, “This is great, but what happens next?”. Which meant I needed to write more. Before the first draft was done, the main characters were an important part of our lives. 

The Book Bratz: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest?
Laynie: My favorite and the hardest are the same character. My real life is full of people struggling with something. Often it is mental health problems. Sometimes it is sexuality. Sometimes it’s family issues or past trauma. I wanted Addie’s world to reflect that too. But doing so meant trying to show those delicate situations with as much grace and authenticity as possible. Skylar, Jude’s brother, is the most easy-going and lovable guy you will ever meet, but underneath all of that, he’s struggling with quite a bit. He puts all of his issues to the side to help and be there for the MC until he lets it build up too much and can’t handle it anymore. Skylar, to me, echoes the same sentiment that Robin Williams did when he said, “I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it's like to feel absolutely worthless and they don't want anyone else to feel like that.” It was difficult to me because his journey is so important, to the series and also for the readers who may be in a similar position, and I wanted to make sure I wrote it as well as it deserved.

The Book Bratz: Music is a big focus of the book. Was music important to you during your teenage years as well?
Laynie: It was. I was the kid with headphones in all of the time. I was hanging out in shady music venues and bars when I was much too young and just hoping not to get kicked out. I have no shame in saying that I was an emo kid. I am still a little emo, just not so much a kid anymore. Music and lyrics saved my life at times. It gave me a home when I felt lost and showed me how universal human emotions could be. A 40 year old man could write a lyric and it would be exactly what I felt but didn’t have the words to say as a 16 year-old kid. 

(Embarrassing photo time. Teenage music-obsessed Laynie at Warped Tour 2002 with Benji Madden of Good Charlotte. )

The Book Bratz: What do you hope that readers will take away from ADELINE'S ARIA?
Laynie:I always read these billionaire romances or rockstar romances and the main characters were always so put together. If I was thrown into that world, I’d be a mess. My anxiety would be out of control. My insecurities would run wild. While they were entertaining, it always made me feel a little like this situation couldn’t happen to me because I didn’t wear heels or have my life figured out. I wanted Addie to be a dumpster fire the way I was a dumpster fire. She trips over her own feet. She never says the right thing when she wants to. She wears converse instead of high heels and jeans instead of dresses. She doesn’t feel like she belongs in that world. I wanted her to be flawed and real so that girls like me could read the book and know that they are just as worthy of a great, world-altering love like you read in romance novels. That what matters is their heart, not their clothes or their pocketbook. 

The Book Bratz: Do you plan on returning to the world of ADELINE'S ARIA in the future, or do you have any other projects in mind? Can you tell us anything about them?
Laynie: There is actually a prequel to Adeline’s Aria where you get a glimpse of Jude and Lana at the very beginning of their relationship contract called Lana’s Lullaby. People reading this blog post can get it for free hereAlso, while I can’t say too much, Adeline’s Aria is the first in a series. Book two, Skylar’s Song, throws Addie and Jude into a house with his entire band while Infernal Echo records their next album. Friends become enemies, enemies become friends, and Addie’s world gets turned upside down (again!). There are also novellas coming for the side characters. Watch my social media for how to get your hands on Cameron’s Cadence and Patrick’s Playlist, which will be coming this spring/summer. 

42443300. sy475

Title: Adeline's Aria
Author: Laynie Bynum
Publisher: Fire and Ice YA
Publication Date: January 28th, 2020

Summary: Addie is a small-town high school senior with a best friend to take care of and college plans to figure out. Jude is a British rock star turned actor and one-half of Hollywood's favorite "it" couple along side his co-star Lana Thatcher. When the two cross paths at a music festival in Addie's hometown and begin an undercover whirlwind romance, the press becomes vicious, his faux fiance flames rumors, and Addie must decide if her "dream come true" is worth the nightmare it is turning into.

Thank you so much to Laynie for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about ADELINE'S ARIA and can't wait for it to be out in the world on January 28th

Celebrate So Excited GIF by Hey Violet

No comments

Please note that if your comment doesn’t appear right away it’s because we have to approve it & Make sure to clock the "notify me" box so you can check back once your comment has been approved! ❤️