{Interview/Giveaway} LAILAH by Nikki Kelly

Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1)
by Nikki Kelly
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release 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 ally – 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.

Can you introduce main characters Lailah, Jonah, and Gabriel to readers? Who are they and what do readers have to look forward to upon meeting them?

Lailah is our heroine. Although she is 17 by appearances, she is actually pushing 200 years old! Lailah lives a very mysterious existence: she can die, but when she does, she wakes up again with no memory of what has gone before apart from visions and dreams that she has, which only add to her confused existence. Lailah is seeking answers and searching for a face that appears as far back as her visions go, and she’s on a mission to find the owner of that face.

Gabriel is an Angel Descendant who has gone ‘rogue.’ Gabriel is also hundreds of years old, by Earth’s ‘time’. He’s celestial, as he looks and acts exactly the way you would assume such a pure and beautiful being would. But he has his secrets, and he’s been on a long and arduous journey.

Jonah is a Second Generation Vampire, meaning he was once human but was turned by a Pureblood Vampire (they are the uber-nasties that emerge from the Third Dimension). He’s often referred to as the ‘bad boy’ – dark, brooding, and a little too arrogant for his own good. Jonah, by definition of what he now is, should be dark, but somehow he has found his way back and is fighting to reclaim some sense of who he once was.

 What has the journey been like moving from posting on Wattpad to being published traditionally?

Amazing! Having had success on wattpad and then getting a traditional deal has been the best of both worlds. The readers who read the story when I uploaded it to the community are still cheering Lailah along, and I’m still right there on the site every day! Moving over to traditional publishing doesn’t for one second mean that I have moved away from wattpad; I’m uploading exclusive Styclar short stories there and am still very much a part of the community. Now the book is being published traditionally, it’s in the best shape ever because I have a fabulous Editor to work with, and Lailah’s family gets to grow, finding its way into bookstores and into the hands of more readers! 

What input, if any, did you have on LAILAH's cover design? What were your thoughts upon seeing the final cover?

I  actually didn’t realize the cover was being made when it was, well, being made! My Editor sent me a first look at the image, once they had held the shoot and the Creative team had mocked up the cover. It was at this point that my Editor invited my opinion and any input I might have, but all I could really say was “WOW!” I loved it immediately – everything about it – and I was so relieved because the model for Lailah was PERFECT! I didn’t have anything to say other than “thank you!” to my Editor and Rich Deas and his team for creating such a striking and beautiful cover!

What made you bring angels and vampires together in a new way when creating your world?

I wanted to challenge certain preconceptions and assumptions we make about people and things, such as what we perceive to be good and evil and black and white. Naturally, Angels and Vampires, to my mind, were opposite ends of the light and dark/good and evil spectrum. However, while I used existing creatures in mythology, I tried to spin them, along with the worlds from which they emerged, into something a bit different.

LAILAH focuses on a girl trying to figure out who she is in life, which is something that resonates with teens struggling with the same thing. If you could give any advice to someone trying to get a handle on their identity and their role in life, what would it be?

Yes, I totally agree with you. I often say that Lailah goes through the same things as any normal teenage girl, only she has a few more complications to contend with – you know, being immortal and all that malarkey… 

My advice would be to not worry about knowing ‘who you are’ or ‘what you want to be’ or ‘where you want to go’ if you don’t know it right this second. I think most of us struggle as a teen to find our place, and to know what it is we really want, and often what we think we want isn’t actually the case, and sometimes I think we conform to what others think we should do – or be – as well. I would say listen to your heart and have faith in yourself. If you don’t have the answer right this second, that’s cool, don’t worry about it; one day you will and that day may come from a number of experiences as your life goes on.

Can you give any hints about what to expect in Book 2 for readers already finished and anticipating a long wait until next year?

Book 2 is still a work in progress as this stage (edits) but I would say this…

Where Book 1 is all about Lailah discovering and then accepting what she is…

Book 2 is about Lailah embracing the ‘what’ and the ‘who’ she is now, and of course, this is not an easy journey for our heroine…
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I was born and raised only minutes away from the chocolately scent of Cadbury World in Birmingham, England. So it will probably come as no surprise that when I'm not dreaming in Vampires & Angels, I dream in chocolate! For the past ten years I have lived in West London with my hubby and two dogs, Alfie - the Pug & Goose - the Chihuahua.
LAILAH is my debut novel, and first launched in serial form to wattpad, a readers & writers community. Within just 6months, LAILAH had over a million reads and thousands of comments and votes.
Since then, The Styclar Saga has gone on to pick up a traditional deal with Feiwel & Friends, and LAILAH, the first book in the series is due for release on October 7th 2014.
These days I spend my time balancing my amazing job of writing fantasy fiction, with my other, very important role of Chocolate Connoisseur. I like to multitask and do the two together. It makes me happy.

Win (1) hardback of Lailah by Nikki Kelly (US Only)


  1. This sounds so amazing! I cannot wait to read it myself!

  2. This book sounds really good! I have been hearing so much about it, I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the giveaway :)


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