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About Laya V Smith
A more personal take:
I grew up in a very loving and supportive family, but they are also very loud, stubborn, and argumentative. Since I was quiet, bookish and basically took care of myself, I didn't always get a lot of attention. I retreated into myself. I read the books in my family's large home library, many of which had been passed down from my grandmother, herself a brilliant writer. And I have vivid memories of playing alone in my room with my dolls and stuffed animals. I developed elaborate and complex backstories for all of my toys and saw them through hundreds of harrowing adventures. Bit by bit, I became consumed by fictional worlds, both those I read about and the ones I created. The characters became as real to me as any person I'd ever known. As the years passed, those voices stayed with me. Often times I had no control over them. They said and did as they pleased and I was just an attentive observer. Whenever I was anxious, frightened, depressed, or even just bored, I could retreat into my own mind with the people I had created. It became clear to me that those people deserved to have their stories written down and shared, and it was my responsibility to try to learn how to write them well. It was the only way to shut them up.
Now much older, though probably no wiser, I have completed twelve novels, several plays and screenplays, and too many short stories to remember. I write in the genres of thriller, horror, speculative fiction, dystopia and low fantasy. Other than reading and writing, I enjoy stand-up comedy, terrible movies, ugly dogs, red wine, stinky cheese, travel and simply spending time with my friends and family.
Go to Laya's website for free previews, exclusive content, and to keep up with all the latest news and events: https://layavsmith.com/
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Los Angeles, 1954.
Sending a pair of mass murderers to the chair got his name in the papers, but veteran fighter pilot turned detective, Augy Small, couldn’t celebrate. The culprits confessed, but the cops only ever found one body. Who had the killers died to protect?
Katya Tyler, a Russian enigma with a wad of cash in one hand and a hit list in the other, claims to have the answers. First, she wants Augy’s help to bring down a massive underground network of human traffickers.
As the case unfolds, every clue is an echo of his past. The horrors he experienced in the Pacific, shadows of scars he still carries, and rumors of a place long since destroyed. The Lumbermill is back in operation. Every day more innocents are harvested, their screams muffled in darkness. And the only way Augy can stop it is to go back into the nightmare he thought he’d escaped forever.
Life in Miniature – “The first time was the hardest just because I wasn’t sure if it would work. A pair of honeymooners had come to town looking for an isolated getaway, to bathe in the hot springs and enjoy the small-town quiet. They were so beautiful and young: just what our town needed.”
Love Thy Neighbor – “It was a good-sized island, but there was only one house. She couldn’t ask the people whose dinner she’d just assaulted for help. And trying to swim for the boat in this weather could prove fatal. She hoped vaguely that Aaron had been worried enough to follow her, but she knew he wouldn’t dare. She would’ve made his life a living hell.
Yuki Onna – “Three weeks she’d waited for a break in the storm to make the trip up into the Hida Mountains, but it wasn’t coming, and her flight home was in four days. After traveling halfway around the world to visit the village where her mother was born, she wouldn’t let a little snow stop her.”
Grayscale – “When I was twenty the color faded from my world. Overnight I found myself living in a black and white movie. Delayed onset monochromatism, the doctors called it. They couldn’t explain why it happened. I wasn’t a painter or anything, so nobody saw it as a great tragedy. But you really can’t appreciate what it is to mourn green, or say goodbye to purple until it happens.”
Same Old Song and Dance – “What did it matter if somebody learned the truth now that I was dead? It had been eating at me for thirty years so maybe it would a relief to finally air the dirty laundry. In the end, I decided that it was better if I showed him rather than letting him rip apart my entire house looking for it. I reached into the pocket and dropped it in his lap.”
Visitation – “Gathering up the boys’ abandoned candy bags, he noted they were uncharacteristically light. But when he dropped them onto the dining table there was a heavy thump. He poured them out. Under a pile of chocolate and lollypops was a serrated steak knife. Drops of dried blood clung to the tip.”
To Keep Her Safe – “I don’t know what will happen as she gets older. I know she’ll never be soft again, never vulnerable to her father or any other man like him. Over time, scars will grow over the spikes, but they’ll always be there underneath the skin, keeping her safe.”
Unrequited – “It’s best when he’s home, but I’m with him when he’s out too. As he drives to work listening to his podcasts. On his lunchbreak when he drives 2.7 miles to the gym so he can run on the treadmill for 9.6 miles. I’m there at the grocery store, reminding him we’re out of milk. There’s never a time I’m not with him. Even when he sleeps, I’m pressed up against his skin monitoring his heartrate, feeling his breath. Keeping track of his dreams.”
The Curse of Eve - "Eighty percent of mothers attended by medical students fell ill. Half of them never left the hospital alive."
Includes a FREE PREVIEW of the new thriller “The Lumbermill”, available now from Black Rose Writing.