The World of Editing and Everything Else

Well, I’m only about half-way done with my first round of edits here. If you’re already an experienced author and are reading this – you are already aware of the painstakingly daunting task for turning your rock into a gem. If you’re a reader and are unaware of the days spent sitting at your computer, while the world passes by outside of your window…welcome! And the first round is just that – the first round. That’s not discuss the several other rounds of revisions that will be made before it’s perfect. Luckily, I’m completely joking about the “painstakingly daunting” part. The truth is, I LOVE this. I think if you’re going to be a writer, you have to be okay with locking yourself in with your computer for days at a time getting lost in your own fantasy. I’m completely in love with my setting, my characters everything. Sometimes (and this may sound a little crazy) it’s like spending time with old friends. I also love my editor, so that makes things all the better too. I’m having fun, and I can not wait for you to read this book!

Last night, I (unannounced) posted another official excerpt from the book, that I want to be my blurb on the back cover. If you did not see the post on facebook, here’s the entire hope-to-be-blurb:

“She heard these last words despite the rushing, like a flash flood through a hollow tunnel that was submerging her. “I love you” rang out so saliently as the rest of her dark world seemed to evanesce into hell. The hissing, the screaming, the pain. And “I love you.” She kept hearing it over and over again until she realized she was speaking the words herself. Too weak to yell it, so it came out in a whisper. “I love you.” She hoped he could hear the thing she wanted to scream to the world. “I love you.” She said for the last time before she melted into oblivion. “

What do you think? Any hypothesis’s (what’s the plural for that word?) on what could potentially be happening in the story? 🙂

I should probably also include the awesome news happening over at my publishing company, Decadent Publishing. They have a fabulous, new project coming soon that will end up to be a sort of cross-over between paranormal romance and rock & roll, which always go very well together! Here’s their official announcement released yesterday:

Decadent Publishing announces the release of a Paranormal-romance fiction anthology rooted in rock ‘n roll and ripped straight off the Sunset Strip.

Run Devil Run, an L.A.-based rock band well known locally for their dynamic live performances, diverse musical talent, and humorous video antics has lent their faces, titles and lyrics as inspiration for a five-book series with the publisher. The stories are penned by popular and award-nominated authors Rachel Carrington, Mari Freeman, Susan DiPlacido, Valerie Mann and Becca Dale, and will be released first in ebook format, then later in print.

“I’ve seen RDR play live several times and they are impressive. When this idea came to me, they were a natural fit. Paranormal romance lends itself easily to the Rock vibe,” says Heather Bennett, Co-owner of Decadent Publishing. “Customers who buy the series off our site will be treated to a free download of the coordinating song so they get the whole multi-media experience.”

Mari Freeman writes,” Music has always influenced my writing, but creating a story, characters and an entire world based on the lyrics of a song has been one of the most unique experiences. The collaboration between Decadent Publishing and Run Devil Run has found a creative way to take that musical influence and share it with readers. Read the book, get the song that inspired it. That rocks!”

So that really rocks, considering perhaps they’ll do more rock and roll cross-over stuff and I sing! woot! haha.

I should probably also mention that I am fickle as hell and I’ve decided to switch it up with a new cover design and some official wallpaper art. I *swear* this is the final final cover. I’m in love with it, and unless I have another fickle moment – which I don’t think will happen – this is it.

So there it is. Those are my updates for now – going to go pick out some songs that Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Qunici Morris from Tantalize would have on her iPod. 😉

More soon, stay tuned!

~ Shayne


Official Website Launch!

Hi everyone!

Since last Wednesday (my appearance on the Jimmy Star Show), a lot of things have been happening with Decadent Publishing, Of Light and Darkness, and a few other projects on my plate.

Decadent announced the release of their first PRINT book – which makes me very excited of course, because I’m obviously very excited to have my own finished product in my hands – tangible, with pages and gorgeous cover art!

Along with a lot of exciting things happening, I have something else to announce that I think a lot of you will be very into. I’ve always thought it important to have a home on the web for readers and fans to gather to discuss that particular book or movie. I’m a sucker for gorgeous, evocative websites that are interactive, and that get people involved.

So I hope you’ll be as excited as I am, because today I am announcing the launch of the official Of Light and Darkness Website!

I’ve included a ton of goodies and features there for everyone to get into. Sarah, our indentured house-witch, has left little notes all over the place for you to follow. If you’re clever, you may stumble upon the locked door to Sarah’s Den – where she keeps all of her magical trinkets and bewitchments. If you wish to make it past the guardian, you’ll need to prove yourself with the answer to an eternal question….

There’s also a bunch of other cool things, like the novel soundtrack, links back to this blog, the goodreads profile, and so much more. And I’ll be updating it a lot – so keep checking back and I hope you have fun!

Book 1 Playlist and The Jimmy Star Show

Hello to everyone again!

Hope everyone is having a great start to their week! I was having a discussion with some of my fellow authors and even some readers, and everyone had some very interesting things to say about the growing trend of “novel playlists” among authors especially in young adult literature.  I know Of Light and Darkness Book 1 has not been released yet, but I thought it’d be a lot of fun to post the soundtrack for my story on the blog today. I hope it will intrigue you and get you excited about what’s to come! After you’re done, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it – whether it’s guessing why I chose to include a particular song (seriously would love to hear theories about the plot…haha), if you’re more excited, or your own thoughts about the usage of novel playlists. Let me know!

Let me preface by explaining how I did this. These songs are listed in order of particular events/happenings in the book, but are not listed according to chapter necessarily. Next to the song and the artist, I have also listed (in itallics) which character’s point of view that particular song is from and possibly a few notes to go along with it. Okay…here we go.

  1. Blood Lust by Lauren Shera – (Charlotte): This is sort of my theme song for the entire book.
  2. In My Arms by Plumb – (Valek): This song is for the moment when Valek finds Charlotte abandoned in the streets of Prague and decides to adopt her. *not a spoiler because this is in the first chapter which I’ve already released for your previewing pleasure1* 😉
  3. Stripped by Shiny Toy Guns – (Charlotte & Aden)
  4. Good Enough by Evanescence/Amy Lee – (Charlotte)
  5. Our Last Fight by Scala Choir – (Charlotte & Valek)
  6. Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambria – (Charlotte & Valek & Evangeline)
  7. 9 Crimesby Damien Rice – (Charlotte & Valek)
  8. Blinding by Florence + The Machine – (Charlotte)
  9. Look After You by The Frey – (Valek)
  10. The Sharpest Lives by My Chemical Romance – (Valek)
  11. Together by The Kin – (Valek)
  12. Escape by 30 Seconds to Mars – (Valek & Aden)
  13. Smells Like Teen Spirit by Tori Amos – (Charlotte)
  14. Gone With the Sin by H.I.M. – (Valek)
  15. Cosmic Love by Florence + The Machine – (Charlotte)
  16. Help I’m Alive (Edit) by Metric – (Charlotte)
  17. Bloodletting (The Vampire Song) by Concrete Blonde – (The Rogue Coven)
  18. Howl by Florence + The Machine – (Valek)
  19. Mi Mancherai by Josh Groban – (Valek)
  20. Numbers by Great Northern – (Valek & The Rogue Coven)
  21. Tautou by Brand New – (Charlotte)
  22. Night of the Hunter by 30 Seconds to Mars – (Valek & Aden)
  23. Running Up That Hill by Placebo – (Valek)
  24. Hurricane by 30 Seconds to Mars – (Valek)
  25. Alibi by 30 Seconds to Mars – (Valek)
  26. Lucky by Biff Naked – (Charlotte & Valek)

Okay guys…that’s it. I hope you enjoy the songs and I hope I showed you some new ones to add to your own library! Have any plot/character theories? Thoughts on novel playlists? Comments or questions about a particular song? Let me know! 🙂

Also…coming up tomorrow at 3pm ET…

The Jimmy Star Show Logo

Shayne Leighton on The Jimmy Star Show – Author of Of Light and Darkness to Guest January 12 2010

Shayne Leighton to guest on The Jimmy Star Show live radio show to discuss her new book, the arts and entertainment. Listen live online worldwide Wed Jan 12 2011 from 3-5 pm ET | 12-2 pm PT at Radio | Visit for details
I hope you’ll stop by and check out the show! Can’t wait to hear/read your thoughts!

Official Cover Art!

So thrilled! Woke up this morning to my finalized cover art in my email inbox. The design is still my original, but is now perfected by Fiona Jayde with the Decadent Publishing flag in the corner (which really makes it official)! I love it! What do you guys think?

That’s all for now. Not a long post today. Just felt like sharing with you all! If you haven’t already, find the title on GoodReads!

Much love,


Feature on

Shayne Leighton’s Debut Vampire Fantasy Novel Get’s Publishing Deal!

Of Light and Darkness is a young adult fantasy Vampire novel set in modern-day Czech Republic. Based on the feature film, currently in development.
Leighton is excited to announce that as of December 31st 2010, Of Light and Darkness has been officially acquired by publishing company, Decadent Publishing ( and will be released sometime in 2011! Leighton releases this book noting “it will be the first in a series of five”. She believes that after the conclusions of other popular teen fantasies such as Harry Potter and Twilight, that her independently-published stories just might stand the chance of contending with the “big guys” and draw people in to fall in love with a whole new cast of characters and creatures.

Of Light and Darkness

Abandoned as an infant in Prague, Charlotte Ruzikova was adopted by Valek, one of the last Vampires left alive by ‘The Regime’. Nearly twenty years later, genocide and war conflicts their secret society nestled in the center of Eastern Europe. But when the dictator in power becomes threatened by evil lurking in Valek’s past and the retaliation he plans for the future, Charlotte must find a way to fight for the only one she has ever loved, and the only thing she has ever truly believed in – and all before the sun comes up.

The Book has a Blog: 

And a Trailer

About Shayne Leighton

When Shayne Leighton graduated the Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr., School of the Arts in 2009, she did not anticipate the success to which her first feature film, The Incubus would grow. After meeting mentor and fast friend, Marcie Gorman, at one of the high school’s productions of Fame, (in which Leighton starred) the two decided to produce what would become Leighton’s launch into the world of entertainment and the written word. The Incubus obtained limited theatrical release in South Florida among popular theater chains such as Regal, AMC, and Cinemark and is now in syndication online. ( Now, almost two years after writing, co-directing, and starring in her second feature film, Leighton receives her first book deal! Leighton is also one of the starring cast members of the fantasy action film “Legend of the Red Reaper”, where she plays the younger sister of the Red Reaper.

Contact Information [Shayne’s official website with links to blog and Facebook.] [Of Light and Darkness Official Blog] [Official website for Decadent Publishing]

Shayne Leighton's Debut Vampire Fantasy Novel Get's Publishing Deal!

Happy New Year! Of Light and Darkness is a Decadent title!

Hey guys! HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone! 2010 was one of the best years of my life! I was lucky enough to see my first original work play out on the big, silver screen! I laughed. I cried. I pulled all of my hair out. I cried some more…and then I remembered how thankful I was for everything in my life, and laughed again. I hope you all had an amazing year as well and I wish all of you many new blessings for 2011. I feel it. It’s going to be a good one! 😉

My new year has already started off with a bang! I am so excited to announce Of Light and Darkness has been acquired by Decadent Publishing and I could not be more thrilled! It has been a long road of about five years total that it has taken me to write, edit and seek publishing for my debut novel. I really hope that you’ll read and enjoy it. I’m a HUGE advocate for independent film, music and now books. I always have been. I think there really is something special about the smaller, more intimate projects. The big guys are great, but once in a while you find those gems when sifting through the obscure. Everyone works so closely with each other and there’s just something really endearing about “grass-rooting” your project. So I really hope that if anyone is reading this, you pass the word along and give independently produced projects as much of a chance as the major ones. 🙂 Because good things can be found anywhere.

Okay, I am getting off of my soap box now. 🙂 Hehe…

So I hope you’ll follow Of Light and Darkness as it begins on its journey to your book shelves at home. There’s going to be a lot of different, exciting things that will hopefully begin happening now. So, if you aren’t sick of Vampires (don’t be…because mine are awesome!) and if you love dark fantasy, shape-shifters, magic, evil, and a good adventure that takes place in an ancient city that actually exists…I hope you’ll get excited about this!

Also, I received some fan questions today in my facebook inbox…and as requested by her, I’m answering them here. 😉 These questions are from Jerilyn. So here goes:

1. know you enjoy singing and stuff.
Is it actually hard to maintain acting, singing, planning and keeping up with everything at once?

Normally, I have to be honest and say that it is not so difficult. I know it seems like I’m doing a lot at once, but normally my projects tend to lead me in only one direction at a time. For instance, right now I am working on a few writing projects. The first being Of Light and Darkness as well as a few scripts, such as a retelling of the classic Phantom of the Opera called, Masque. I’m sure after I finish up a few of these projects, I’ll get called off to focus on something else. 🙂 It’s all about finding a balance, and since I am very passionate about everything I do, that comes very easily to me. I tend to focus on one piece of a project at a given time, and when I feel that I can move on to something else, I do. Eventually it all get’s accomplished.

2. Have you become more popular since The Incubus?

The Incubus has definitely helped me in so many ways. It was a great project (that is still on-going…I have a few surprises for Incubus fans up my sleeve 😉 ) and continues to be the gift that keeps on giving. I’ll go back to what I said earlier about independent projects. The Incubus was very much and independent project that we grass-rooted the whole way. Yet I am so blessed to see that the wonderful team of people working on it have made it so successful. It’s helped a lot of us and I’ll never stop being thankful for that. 🙂 As far as the surprise goes…you’ll all just have to wait and see….



Character Interview: Charlotte Ruzikova

1. Are you mortal or monster?

Mortal. As far as I know…I am the only mortal to live among the monsters of any Occult village. But the Regime does not know. When I was younger, I never understood how dangerous my living there actually was. But I never had a choice. I don’t remember living anywhere else, and as far as I’m concerned, the others accept me for what I am. I live here comfortably as the only human.

2. What was your childhood like? Were you overprotected/sheltered as a child? Did you feel rejection or affection from your family?

I had a lovely childhood. I grew up in a happy, warm home with my guardian and my nurse. Valek was always a little overprotective, but I feel he must be in this situation. When I got older, he let up a little. He had to in order for me to hunt for him. But I’ve always felt very loved, I suppose. I would not change it for anything. I have my freedom when I feel I need it…

3. Who exactly does your family consist of?

My family is my guardian, Valek. I do not call him ‘father’. Like me, he is the only one of his kind to live in our Occult town. I don’t remember anyone before Valek, and I am sure there won’t be anyone after. We’ve always just been two pees in a pod in our home at the end of the square. I look after him as he looks after me…and I pray nothing upsets that.

4. What are some of the daily struggles/things you have to look out for while growing up with a vampire guardian?

There aren’t many things that come to mind. My life with Valek is for the most part…easy. There is the issue of me having to go hunting for him on a nightly basis. It is against the law for him to cross the Occult city borders. The Regime has very strict laws about these kinds of things. However, I can imagine how some people might find the fact that I hunt my own kind for my guardian to be a ‘struggle’. I’ve learned not to view it that way. There is also the issue of my own blood…but we try to ignore those things. When it becomes an issue, I simply leave…

5. Would you change anything about the way you grew up/family life?

I think about it sometimes. Would my life have gone easier if Valek had decided to just leave me in the gutters of Prague? Perhaps. But if given the choice, I would not change anything. For the most part, I am happy. Most of my kind never get to know magic. Magic is my reality, and I’d hate for that to change. There are several things I tend to internalize. I understand that. But I love and revere Valek so much that those things instantly don’t seem to matter…so, I suppose the answer would be no.

6. What are some of the things you do for fun?

I love to draw! Whenever I go outside during the daytime I carry my sketchbook with me. I’m not very good at anything else, like the witches in our town. But I am happy to see my world as a coveted piece of art. Also, when I was little, I claimed a waterfall in the woods near our town. I named it “Lottie Falls”. I love to go swimming there in the summers.

7. What is most important to you in life?

If it were not for Valek, I’d be completely alone in the world. I may even be dead. He is the only one I have, and I don’t give that much importance to possessions. All possessions can easily be replaced. Valek taught me that. I’d have to say that he is most important to me.

8. How do you feel about boys? What are your feelings on relationships?

This question makes me uncomfortable. I…don’t know. Next question.

9. What do you consider to be your strengths/weaknesses when faced with stressful situations?

Because of my upbringing (growing up around magic) I don’t tend to give up or stop believing in things easily. To me, there is always hope. I would say that is my greatest strength. I am always an optimist. However, some may view that as a weakness. I also must admit that I am extremely naive…

10. What/who are some of your biggest influences?

Valek is my biggest influence. He’s taught me everything I know. The way I view the entire world is because of the beliefs he’s instilled. Of course magic is a huge influence. It’s hard to believe anything is impossible when you’ve grown up the way I have. But at the same time…things rarely impress me.

“No more dreaming like a girl in love with the wrong world…”

– Florence and the Machine