Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Twinja Book Reviews 3rd Annual Diversity Month Day Seven: Interview with @MyaBlackkoda

It brings us great pride to present our next guest.

Some Romance friends may know her, but if you're just finding out, even more awesome!

She started an event/initiative highlighting inclusion in Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Horror called "Colors in Darnkess." It was so fun, we joined for the fun, and look forward to it next year. You can even get updates on the Facebook Group, with all the lovelies looking and promoting their dark Speculative Fiction!

There's a lot to come from the days ahead, but we're revving up hump day with an awesome interview presented by yours truly!
Without a minute to waste...
Twinja Book Reviews Annual Diversity Month Event Day Seven:
Author Mya Lairis

Thank you for stopping by the blog! Why don't you introduce yourself to readers!

Hello everyone! My name is Mya Lairis and the author of mainly paranormal romance novels. I write both Fm (dominant female) and MM (male x male) books with more than a hint of the supernatural mixed in. I am an avid read and fan of horror and pulse-racing thrillers. I collect kaiju (giant monster) figurines and occasionally I like to dabble in painting of the oil and CGI kind. I have two wonderfully fluffy muses, Cougar and Zoe and we reside in the DMV.

What can you tell us about your journey being an author and creator?

For me, my journey as an author and creator has always been an obsessive and private journey. I was as a child and am still as an adult, the consummate day dreamer. I think as I grow older, I have grown more comfortable with sharing my creations but I still have periods of inclusiveness where I don't promote and get lost in the highs and lows of creativity.

Do you feel there's a difference in being a writer versus an author?

If there is a a difference in the terms and if writer is the more amateurish of the two, I will always consider myself a writer. I genre-hop and pairing-hop with the glee of a a student eager for a challenge. I will try to write anything on a dare, as can be seen in the Free Reads section of my website. I've dabbled in horror and fantasy, with a touch of hard core science fiction that I hope to release in the next year. My journey has always consisted of being okay with writing as an exercise and spiritual need, learning to balance my selfish need to hide away with the flights of fancy against the very real reward of feedback is still a struggle for me.

What can you tell us about your experience growing up?

Growing up, I got my first taste of diversity by reading mythology and folklore books. There was a collection of Mythology from China, Russia, Africa, Europe and others that carried stories from far reaching lands. As the bulk of my early childhood reading was about animals, mythical (Serendipity) to real (Winnie the Pooh), making the transition to thinking of different cultures was not a difficult one.

How can we make the conversation about diversity where it needs to be?

The conversation about diversity, I believe can only be fueled through more content creation and wider distribution. There is good deal of variety available in the literary and film world, but the attention placed on them is often not bright enough. I am biased though, because I was an English major, I lean heavily on the reading factor and think more discussion groups and book clubs would be the perfect place to start.

Do you feel well represented in books and/or media?

I am lucky enough to live in a time when I am certain that there is a good amount of materials both out now and coming out that I can connect with. Through the internet, many independent works and sometimes even mainstream works, I have found that there are some special gems out in the world that touch my soul. In the days before the internet and the explosion of information...this was not the case.

What are creators not doing well when it comes to the conversation of diversity?

This is a hard question in that while most writers may want to strive for diversity, they also want to appeal to a broader audience. I have seen and been involved with issues and decisions made during my creative process and the diverse characters within. I was even told what would sell better and urged to take that path. So, perhaps the hardest thing creators have to deal with is staying true to their visions, in my book.

What has been your favorite character to create and why?

My favorite character to create so far has been Freya Daniels, a werewolf bounty hunter who is as unfeminine and rude as she is passionate. She likes to fight and drink and curse but when put up against the two males that long to and do claim her, she has all sorts of issues learning how to become a mate to them and eventually a mother. Her progression from shit-kicker to matron was not an easy road and it still isn't complete but well she is learning. Having never been a girly girl, and being considered dominant and unruly myself, I had to write someone I could relate to. And I enjoyed it.

What types of books did you like consuming growing up?

When I was growing up, as in during my teenage years, I read a lot of comic books and graphic novels. Marvel, DC, Heavy Metal mags and indie comics. I was able to get my hands on a lot of materials displaying diverse if not supernatural creatures. Skin colors ran the gamut and story lines were bold and exciting. It was a no holds barred medium and I loved them, however I ended up returning back to novels and the depth that they provided.

Are there any books or form of media that you thinks gets representation right?

I don't know if any forms of media ever get 'it' right because that would be calling for me to define what 'it' is in terms of portraying diverse characters. I certainly believe that books are closer to getting the depictions of diversity right than film, more often because there are less hands and executives in the pie. Films tend to be commercially based products meant to appeal to large groups of people, sometimes at the expense of others. Books are and will always be to me, more intimate affairs.
Why do you write the types of books you write, and do you plan diversifying genres in the future?

As a writer, I draw more enjoyment from the craft. I have never been a best seller and my reader base is separated immensely. Some don't read any M/M pairings and others won't touch my het stuff. Some won't touch my horror and well, I have no idea how readers will respond to the science fiction novel I plan to release. But as I said, I love writing...with my writing partners, I will take on a challenge in a minute (working on a zombie challenge atm). I love various genres and I have dreams for all of them. Staying in one pond is not an easy thing for me to do and maybe that is why beta readers call be 'the squirrel'...easily distracted.

What would you tell your teenage self that you wish you knew now about your growth?

Stop playing so many video games and play in your own sandbox, is what I would tell myself. It took a long time for me to stop rolling in the sand of others ideas, before I finally started getting comfortable with my original creations.

Which fictional world(especially if you've created it!)would you want to live in and why?

Okay, I'm hookey as you may already know by reading this, but if I could live in a fictional world, I would live on the werecat reservation that I created in "Thief of His Heart." Living and mining with them, tending to the little cats and partying with the big ones, cooking up special fares both nutritional and alcoholic. I had so much fun world-building with that title and yes...I admit it, I am a cat lady. 

Who is your favorite Book Bae?

Okay so I write my dreams, and I would have to say that I have a wereoctopus prince named Omroku in my collection of shorts called "Challenging the Dark." He is bold, confident, dark as pitch and supernaturally carnal. He was inspired by an actor called Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. He's not the type to back down from a strong woman and he's filthy rich...I mean I let myself get carried away on the whole 'lusted after by a billionaire' concept that seemed so popular a while ago.
If you can have any superpower or supernatural ability, what would it be and why?

Adaptation or having control of my body on a molecular level would be supernatural ability. I would be able to grow gills and survive in deep waters, grow fur in cold environs, breath at high altitudes and survive in toxic ones. I could grow a tail or wings too as needed :)

What is the book that have the biggest impact on you and why?

Edith Hamilton's Book of Mythology, definitely. I remember having a raggedy copy in elementary school. This book birthed my love of the fantastic with its wondrous beasts, fierce maidens and randy gods. Medusa was the bomb. That book gave my imagination wings for sure.
What type of advice can you give to those starting out?

Be bold, let go and create for yourself first, would be my advice.

What sites would you recommend for those trying to educate themselves better on the conversation about diversity in books and media?

We Need Diverse Books
Popular Multicultural Fiction
Best Multicultural Fiction Goodreads List
The State of Black Science Fiction
Colors in Darkness Facebook Page

Finally, where can folks go for updates, and to learn more about your projects going on?

My Official Facebook Page
My Official Website

Heeding her own muses rather than those that belonged to other writers and filmmakers, Mya enjoys crafting erotica and welcomes the opportunity to use her English degree for something other than covering a hole in the wall. She is an avid fan of Godzilla, werewolves and dragons. Mya also enjoys watching the Sci Fi channel while she writes about naughty things, paints, crafts, and plays video games. Visit Mya on the Web at or send an email to her at

Mya is being so kind to offer a book of YOUR choice in our month long giveaway!


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