Ley Hayley and the Ford 99 Test


Many of the lords who had come to Westfold for the tournament stayed for several days afterward.

This is the start of chapter six of the novel, and I remember writing this chapter. Well, I remember how many times I tried to write this chapter. I was completely lost in the tension all my characters were feeling when I was writing this, and it gave me writer’s block so bad that it took me two weeks to get this chapter written in the first draft. It was brutal.

The one thing that stands out when I remember working on this chapter was how I broke the writer’s block. When I say I was caught up in the tension my character’s felt, I mean it. I had headaches and muscle aches for days because of it. You’ve heard of method actors? Those guys who spend two months working on a farm in Jamaica to play a slave in a period film. I’m that kind of writer. I immerse myself in the feelings of my characters, particularly my narrator. And sometimes I forget that I have to separate myself from that. So when this tension got to be too much, I had to do something to break it because there was literally nothing I could do to get rid of the writer’s block. And if I didn’t get through this chapter, I was going to be stuck in the tension and the frustration forever.

So I dug through my DVD collection and popped in A Knight’s Tale. Honestly, it fits, doesn’t it? A movie about knights, tournaments, princes and romance. And it was exactly what I needed. I set up my writing desk so that I could watch the DVD out of the corner of my eye while I worked at my laptop. Maybe it was the comedy or maybe it was the fact that it was such a mix of modern and medieval themes, but something about A Knight’s Tale broke through the tension. To this day, I can’t really figure out what it was. But when it comes to the Elemental Royals Trilogy, that movie is my go to when I’m stuck on a chapter.

I can actually remember doing revisions and getting to this line. I had kept the movie on repeat so many times that I could quote it from start to finish without stopping. Sometimes I even fell into a British accent when I was talking to my family for no reason. When I came to this line, I remembered how frustrated I was when I’d been writing this chapter the first time around and I could just feel the tension coming back. I had to take a breath and stop myself. My mind automatically went to my favorite part of the movie, the funniest part in my mind. I sat at my desk, took my hands off the keys, and said out loud, “And one, and two, and Wat doesn’t lead he follows like a girl!”

That was enough to break the tension. To this day when I read that line, I always have to say that out loud. No one gets it but me, so I think of it as a secret between the book and I. Well, now you’re in on it, too.


And there’s more: A GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Books Young Adult

Feature Friday Clubhouse Forest’s Heir

Today’s Feature Friday Clubhouse guest is Ley Hayley

Feature Friday clubhouse


Seventeen year old Rosalind Rowan was born a princess, the apple of her father’s eye. She loves the thick forests and lush meadows of the Forested Land. She is sometimes selfish and reckless, but she is also kind and loves fearlessly. Rosalind—who is known to everyone but the Queen as Rose—is desperately in love with Gavin Ashford, the dashing and intriguing son of an important lord. She wants nothing more than to marry Gavin and live in a country manor, far away from court. Because once her older sister marries, Rosalind must take up the position of Regent of the Forested Land.

Forest's HeirRosalind discovers—in front of the King and his entire court—that she’s capable of powerful earth magic that only the rightful heir can do. Terrified and confused, Rosalind watches her relationship with her sister fall apart as whispers of what happened find their way out of the castle. As the time for her sister’s wedding draws closer, rumors of rebellion seep through the kingdom like a mist. When her older sister dies suddenly in her sleep, Rosalind is forced to take on a crown she never wanted. She sees her dreams of a quiet country life fall apart, but her love for Gavin never wavers.

Andrew Rivers, King of the nearby River Realm and the betrothed of Rosalind’s dead sister, comes to pay his respects to the dead princess. From the first time she sees him, Rosalind is strangely drawn to his charm and kindness. He quickly becomes a close friend to her, although his gaze hinted at more than friendship. Rosalind learns that her engagement to Gavin Ashford has been broken, and that she’s to marry Andrew Rivers instead. Heartbroken by the news and the feeling that Gavin has given up on her, Rosalind throws herself into learning how to run a kingdom. Her only support is Andrew Rivers, who shows her friendship and companionship as her world turns upside down. It’s against her will that she begins to love him.

When rumors turn into reality, Rosalind finds herself in the middle of a kingdom torn apart. In fear for her life, she must find someone to help her take back what is hers. In the end it all comes down to a single question: When the world falls apart, where do you find your strength?

Forest’s Heir is available on Amazon.