Brought to you by OBS reviewer Autumn
- Be sure to read our review for Lash here at OBS.
L.G. Castillo: I like to listen to music while I shower or while I’m driving to work. For Lash, I was in the shower listening to the song, Broken Angel by Godyva, when a vivid scene (which is now in Chapter 4) hit me. It was immediately followed by another scene (depicted in Chapter 22). At the time, the two scenes didn’t connect with each other. But for some reason the image of a beautiful but sad young man would not leave me and I wanted to know more about him.
Autumn: How long was the process of writing the book?
L.G. Castillo: The actual writing of the book started during NaNoWriMo in November. I completed 50,000 words at the end of the month. Two weeks later, I completed the first draft. So in all it took about six weeks. However, the preparation for it took a couple of months as I mulled over who the characters were, what they looked like, what their personalities were like, and why they acted the way that they did.
Autumn: I loved the cultural references in the book and that your characters all seemed to be a little bit “broken”. Was that a conscious choice on your part?
L.G. Castillo: Yes. As a Mexican American, I’m very interested in reading paranormal romance or new adult books with Hispanic characters, but unfortunately there is not much out there. In my day job, I specialize in teaching psychologists-in-training how to work with Hispanic individuals. I also do research on the Hispanic culture. So, it was natural for me to weave a lot of the cultural references.
I also wanted to show the complexity of the characters so all of them are a little bit “broken.” We all have some type of baggage that we carry around. I wanted to show the reader that we can still be a hero even if were not perfect. Even if a person fails, he or she can overcome and try again. Lash is not perfect, but he really tries hard, and I love him for that! He was able to push aside his doubts aside, dig deep to hold on to his faith in others, and persevere.
Autumn: Did you picture someone in your mind when you created Lash himself?
L.G. Castillo: Yes. I tried to find a photo of how I pictured Lash would look like. The closest I could find was Rodrigo Guirao Diaz, an Argentinian model and actor. He comes pretty close with those gorgeous eyes! Lash wears his hair a bit messy and a little longer so you can run your fingers through it. (grins)
Autumn: What authors are you reading currently and do they influence how you write?
L.G. Castillo: I’m a huge Stephen King fan and his writing style is definitely an influence. His characters are very dynamic and three-dimensional. I aspire to have my characters come to life in the same way he does with his. Another thing about his writing style is that he doesn’t use a lot of description and when he does it is very short. I love that! As a reader, all I want are the basics. Let my imagination fill out the rest.
Another author that has influenced me is Jeff Abbott. I love the way he builds up suspense and keeps you wanting to turn the pages faster and faster, anticipating the ending. He bounces between two plot lines so that each chapter is like a mini-cliff hanger. I tried to do that a bit with Lash. As I grow as a writer, I hope to be as effective as he is.
Colleen Hoover is another favorite. Her books make me laugh and cry. Slammed, OMG! That book was awesome! I love the emotion that she pulls from the reader. She makes you invested in her characters by making them real. I hope to do the same in my writing.
Autumn: Do you believe in Guardian Angels? Do you think that they are actually here on Earth with us?
L.G. Castillo: That’s a really good question. I find that the spiritual part of me tends to fight a lot with the scientific part. There are events that have happened in my life, things that just couldn’t be explained scientifically, that made me believe that there is definitely something more.
Autumn: Can you tell us a little bit about the next book in the series?
L.G. Castillo: Book 2 is a continuation of Lash and will answer some questions that were left open such as: Why was Raphael punished? What happens to Jane? Why is Naomi the seventh angel and not Lash? Why didn’t Luke just kill Naomi right away?
I’m so excited about Book 2. Some minor characters in Lash will re-surface in Book 2. I left hints in Lash as to what is to come. For example, hydrofracturing will play a role in the plot.
This time it will be Naomi’s turn to be tested. Lash will be by her side. So will Jeremy. No love triangles, but there will be sparks flying all over the place. Of course, there will be an HEA for Lash and Naomi, but for other characters, the ending will be, well, you’ll just have to wait and see. (winks)
Autumn: What is the most important thing that you want your readers to take away from the story?
L.G. Castillo: The essence of Lash is based on my favorite quote by Lao Tzu:
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
Lash grew stronger when he allowed others into his heart and placed faith that things will work out in the end. He was intentionally not given any information in order to test his faith.
What I hope what readers will take away from the story is that sometimes our faith in others is tested and because of that we tend to build a wall around our heart. That may protect you from getting hurt by others, but it also keeps away those who want to love you. Like Lash, tear down the wall to your soul and have faith that love will guide you home. In Lash, home is not a place like Heaven for Lash or Welita’s house for Naomi. Home is your heart, your soul, your true self.
Autumn: Is there anything that you would like readers to know about you?
L.G. Castillo: I love listening to people talk and helping them with their problems. That is probably the main reason I went into the psychology field. Of course, being a psychologist, I had to psychoanalyze each one of my characters. LOL!
Thank you to author L.G. Castillo for an amazing interview and a great visual for Lash 😉