Saturday, December 01, 2012

A Tale of the Other Kind by Leandi Cameron

Kai Emery likes to be indiscernible; however, his infatuation for his classmate, Sienna Fynn, has made his invisibility status all the more impossible to upkeep. His world spirals out of control when he discovers that he is a shapeshifting were-leopard, and finds himself unable to control his newfound anatomy.

An unpredictable vampire enters his life, leading him down a path that soon reveals his destiny, and discloses another world, filled with magic and terrifying darkness. When he finds himself in danger from the god of magic and darkness for disobeying a curse bestowed upon his kind, forbidding him from falling in love with a human, he has to fight for survival, and protect everyone that he loves.

Why teenagers connect so deeply with YA Paranormal Romance/Fantasy
by Leandi Cameron

When I was a kid, there was nothing more magical than finding myself engrossed in a wonderful book filled with magical creatures and horror tales of demons, vampires and werewolves – back then some of these stories seemed to be awfully frightening, yet absolutely captivating.

It transported me to a world where I found myself escaping from the normal mundane life of being a teenager, living a life where the friends I had closest to me being the actual people who were my bullies.

I have grown up now, and have become a much stronger person, and have worked hard at finding my self-confidence again, even though, I must admit, bullies do still exist in the “grown-up” world as well. However, during that time, I realised, that my world of books saved me – whenever I was depressed, or felt down, alone in a corner with no one to call my friend, I knew that I could go home, and I would find a host of friends within my stack of books I picked up from the travelling library, and that is where I would stay for the rest of the day.

Books were my salvation – my escape to a place where I was safe and able to live out the person I was feeling deep inside – the romantic who wished I could find my dark prince who would woo me and sweep me off my feet, ready to save me from the pain I had to endure during my day at school; or the strong female character that wouldn’t allow anyone to stand in her way and who was strong enough to stand up for herself.

A soft person I used to be – yes, she still exists, I must admit, but through my books and the beautifully crafted, strong characters, I have found, one thing that stood out for me – they were determined, and fought for what they wanted in life. And, even though I was a teenager who some nights cried myself to sleep, my books helped me understand that if I wanted anything in life, I must fight for it.

And that I why I feel so connected to young adult (YA) books – they speak directly to the heart of teenagers and to what they go through on a daily basis and what they long so desperately for.

And now, there’s no question about it that this market has skyrocketed and the audience for these types of books are ready to indulge themselves in anything that might transport them to another place. There simply is no steady growth with the YA market – it has already exploded.

But, with that, the readers have become more demanding, the market has become more tough and, therefore, writers are expected to know more about their target markets – if they miss the mark, they simply won’t get the YA market “on their side”.

So, the question is, what are the keys to writing a successful YA novel? It isn’t that simple, but if writers delve deep into their past, and feel what they felt when they too were YAs, then they could bring to life a world that makes sense to any teenager who picks up their books. In a way, having a tough teenage life could even have been the best thing that has ever happened to me as a writer! It has formed me, and given me a greater understanding into the psyche of what teenagers feel when they are in love with a boy or a girl but the love isn’t mutual; it makes me understand how it feels to be the outcast; it makes me know just how insecure one can be about yourself – I’m not pretty, skinny, or curvy enough, or I have braces, my hair is ugly or I’m not popular enough. Having experienced these things makes a writer of YA books indispensible.

When you’re young, everything you feel is much deeper and much more intense. Song lyrics speak to you in a way a grown-up could never understand – because, face it, grown-ups don’t understand – they forget how it was to be there and feel pain, hurt and exhilaration so intensely.

Being a teenager is like electrical currents running through you at all times – nothing pleases you and everything pleases you – all at once. You find a first love and you will experience your first heartbreak, you make bad decisions and will be betrayed by those around you who you trust the most. These are all things that we all have been through, and what all teenagers go through still, today. Nothing has changed – yes, times have changed and kids have better equipment to read their books with or Playstations and PS Vita’s, but they still have to experience what we, grown-ups, had to once experience ourselves.

They have to find ways to make important decisions and deal with the consequences if their decisions were wrong. When they look around them, they all believe that they are the only ones who feel this way, but what they don’t know, is that every other teen around them have to go through the same things, and everyone will make a different decision to the tales of their own lives, which will shape who they ultimately become.

When you are a teenager, everything is utterly intense.

That, however, is why the YA paranormal romance genre is so intriguing to youngsters – it is dark and it speaks to their very core. It takes them to the place they feel inside, and it makes them be something or someone else for the 300 or more pages the book in hand is – a world of escapism.

And that is what YA paranormal romance / fantasy is about – it is dark, broody, mysterious and… intense – just like teenagers.

Leandi Cameron is an award-winning journalist and newspaper editor. She is also the author of YA Paranormal Romance / Fantasy, A Tale of the Other Kind: A Therian Novel and co-owner of multi-disciplinary company House of LeaVik. For more information visit or visit Amazon on

Who or what inspired you to become an author? 

My parents. They were and are both creative and their teachings have taught me to be who I am and what I am today. They inspired me to always follow my dreams. They taught me that it doesn’t matter whether you become famous, but what matters is that you always enjoy what you are doing.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters? 

Kai Emery and his struggle – What You Want by Evanescence

What is your favorite Quote? 

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” ― Marilyn Monroe

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you? 

Be strong, be independent, and always follow your heart.

If you were a bird, which one would you be? 

The Verreaux’s Eagle

If you were a super hero what would your kryptonite be? 

Cute puppies – I just melt when I see them.

Which authors have influenced you most? 

Socrates, Plato, Anne Rice, LJ Smith and, recently, Stephenie Meyer.

What’s your favorite season/weather? 

Summer! I love the sun, and I absolutely adore the weather in our beautiful South Africa. It is always a good time for a braai (bbq), having friends over for a drink and jumping into the pool with your drink in hand.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book? 

At home, with my close friends and family and bottle of champagne.

What is your guilty pleasure? 

Playing Sims.

Favorite places to travel? 

Italy has been my favourite place that I have been yet. However, I truly love exploring South Africa – it is a beautiful place with many hidden treasures and tranquil escapes. I am an avid traveller would love to see multiple places and exotic locations.

Favorite music? 

Classic Rock and Hard Rock. I also indulge in pop music.

In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with? 

LJ Smith.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – YA Paranormal Fantasy

Rating – PG13

More details about the author

Connect with Leandi Cameron on Facebook & Twitter

This tour hosted by Orangeberry Tours :)

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