Layton is a bestselling author who writes across multiple genres, including mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and fantasy. He is the author of the popular Dominic Grey series, as well as other works of fiction. His novels have been optioned for film, nominated for multiple awards (including a finalist for an International Thriller Writers award), and have reached #1 on numerous genre lists in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. His latest Dominic Grey novel, The Shadow Cartel, was a #2 overall bestseller on Amazon UK. Layton is also the co-editor of International Thrills, the online magazine of ITW (International Thriller Writers).
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, a seller of cheap knives on the streets of Brixton, a door to door phone book deliverer in Florida, and the list goes downhill from there.
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
Not having to report to anyone but myself, and embarking upon the creative process every single day.
What made you start writing?
A came upon it a little bit by accident. While I was working as an attorney, I set out to write a novel that I felt I needed to write. Not because I was a novelist (I had never written a word of fiction, outside of my legal briefs), but because I had a story I wanted to tell. During the process of fumbling through that first novel, I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that writing novels was what I had to do with my life.
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
Legions of them. Here’s some on the fantasy side: Neil Gaiman, Lev Grossman, Terry Brooks, Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, R.A. Salvatore, China Miéville, Anne McCaffrey, David Eddings, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Robert Jordan, Ursula K. LeGuin, Joel Rosenberg, Madeleine L’Engle, Roger Zelazny, and Lloyd Alexander.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
Hire a great private editor as soon as you finish your first novel, no matter the route of publication you plan to take.
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
A read a bit of everything: genre fiction, literary, nonfiction. I do tend towards fantasy and crime, because I write in both those genres. It’s hard (impossible?) to be a writer of a certain genre without being a super-fan.
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
Salomon. He’s a 2,000 year old wizard (give or take) who has spent his life exploring the secrets of the multiverse.
Which book do you consider a must-read?
I think that depends on the reader. My favourite book of all time is The Magus by John Fowles.
If you could live in a book, which one would it be?
Interesting question, and a tough choice. I wouldn’t mind if the Oasis from Ready Player One was real, though without the dystopian trailer parks.
We all know the phrase “the book is always better than the film.” Which film would you like to see remade as a book?
Inception by Christopher Nolan, written by Dan Simmons.
Thanks to Layton for talking to us today.
The second installment in The Blackwood Saga, Spirit Mage, is released today! Check it out on Amazon!
You can find more from Layton on the links below: