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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

SPOTLIGHT: A Shattered Lens by Layton Green

A Shattered Lens 
by Layton Green

A detective investigates the murder of a teenage golden boy that has rocked a small town--and the chief suspect is the victim's mother.

Annalise Stephens Blue is a Creekville high school student with plans to become a world-famous filmmaker. As she begins filming an exposé of the town called Night Lives, she uncovers more than she bargained for: on the very first night of filming, she stumbles upon a murder in the woods, and flees the scene steps ahead of the killer.

Detective Joe "Preach" Everson is called to investigate the murder. The victim, David Stratton, is the town's golden boy and high school quarterback. A modern version of what Preach used to be. Not only that, the boy's mother is Claire Lourdis, a beautiful divorcée who Preach fell for in high school. She is also the main suspect in her son's murder.
Despite the cloud of suspicion hanging over her, old feelings resurface between Claire and Preach, straining the detective's relationship with his girlfriend Ari, a prosecutor in nearby Durham. As Preach delves into the secrets lurking beneath the surface of the town and searches for a missing girl who may have witnessed the crime, he must put his own feelings aside and pursue the answer to a terrible question: is a mother capable of murdering her own child?

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Layton Green is a bestselling author who writes across multiple genres, including mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and fantasy. His novels have topped numerous lists (including a #2 overall Amazon bestseller) and have been nominated for major awards, including two finalists for an International Thriller Writers award. Layton is also the co-editor of International Thrills, the online magazine of International Thriller Writers (ITW).

In addition to writing, Layton attended law school in New Orleans and was a practicing attorney for the better part of a decade. He has also been an intern for the United Nations, an ESL teacher in Central America, a bartender in London and a seller of cheap knives on the streets of Brixton. Currently based in Durham, North Carolina, Layton has traveled to more than sixty countries, lived in a number of them and has a burning desire to see every country, city, beach, moor, castle, cemetery, twisted street and far flung dot on the map.

Layton Green is an international Amazon Bestseller, with his books spending time in the Amazon top 50 in the U.S., Great Britain, France, and Germany.  The Shadow Cartel was an Amazon #2 overall bestseller. The Dominic Grey series has been 10 Ten Overall in Mystery/Thriller/Suspense, Top 5 Action/Adventure, and #1 Horror.

What does your writing process look like?
 I work a full day during the week. Most of it is writing, but I also work in marketing, publicity, editing, plotting, research, interviews, and other random tasks.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process? Your writing Kryptonite?
Great question! For me, knowing what to keep in the final draft is extremely hard. Balancing all the editorial advice, and the story that exists in my head, versus what works on paper.

How many hours a day do you write?
About 6.

Do you have any strange writing habits?
I am terribly vanilla when it comes to my writing habits. I produce better work within a routing: wake up early, guzzle coffee, write while my brain is fresh. 

What is your least favorite part of the writing / publishing process? Favorite part?
My least favorite part is writing the first draft. It’s hard. And I suppose it should be, if we’re doing it right. I still love it, but it’s really, really hard to face a blank page. On the other hand, I love editing, making a gem out of coal.

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Interesting question. I can’t recall a specific experience but being an early reader probably instilled that concept in me from an early age.      
How long does it usually take you to write a book?
My first one took a decade. Now it takes me about 6 months for the first draft  - though often there are years of plotting and thinking about characters (off and on) before that draft begins.

What are you working on now? What is your next project?
I’m working on the second novel in the Unknown Nine Trilogy; the first will be published next March. The next project after that? I’ll let you know when I figure it out!

If you could cast the characters of any of your books for a movie, who would play your characters?
 The Dominic Grey series has been optioned, so I’ll speak to that. I’d love for Christian Bale to play Dominic, who is a lean, brooding, badass type of guy with inner demons. I mean, ‘natch. And you didn’t say I couldn’t reach for the stars!

For Preach and Ari, the leads in the Preach Everson novels including A Shattered Lens), hmm. I haven’t thought about that yet. Maybe Tom Hardy for Preach, and Shannyn Sossamon for Ari.

Do you read your reviews?  Do you respond to them, good or bad?  Any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I do read them, though I probably shouldn’t. I like to know what people are thinking about the novels.
I would never respond, no. I deal with the bad ones by immediately reading a good one.

If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?
I’d like to be a detective solving crimes against children around the world.

What's the best money you ever spent as a writer?
 Hiring my first private editor (Richard Marek).

Have you ever gotten reader's block?  How did you get out of it? (and yes, I meant reader's) :D
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
 A dire wolf. Wait, are those real? Maybe just a wolf.
What authors have inspired you?
 Here’s a small sample in mystery/suspense: Dan Simmons, Charlie Huston, James Lee Burke, Barry Eisler, Dostoevsky, Agatha Christie, Edgar Allen Poe, Dashiell Hammett, Scott Turow.

What's one piece of advice you have received that has always resonated with you?
The best thing you can do as a writer, after finishing a novel, is to start the next one.

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