Laikyn Meng is a Japanese American indie author. She has penned over forty publications. She maintains a steady stream of romantic expression involving diverse character representation. She is the author of noteworthy series, the female empowered; Femme Fatale, and the family drama; Mum’s the Word. The five-star phenomenon, National Parks. Her poetry and memoirs have appeared in literary magazines. Laikyn’s unique tone is an iconic symbol for her stories. Originally from Idaho, she resides wherever the road takes her and her three children.
Let’s get started with a quick rapid fire.
Q1. If you could be transformed into one animal, which one would you choose?
Q2. Finish the phrase “the way to my heart is…”
Through breaking it.
Q3. Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
Q4. Do you watch shows one episode at a time or binge whole seasons?
Binge whole episodes.
Q5. Would you rather travel to the past or to the future?
Q6. What is your last Google search?
Romance book hashtags.
Q7. What object do you misplace or lose the most?
Q8. If given the chance to start your life over, would you take it?
Depends on if I know what I know now. But no, I wouldn’t.
Q9. What is the best present you have ever received?
Being a mother.
Q10. Describe your style in one word.
Q11. If you were to devote the rest of your life to philanthropy, what cause would you choose?
LGBTQ+, Asian-American Creatives, & Suicide Prevention.
It’s time for a more detailed conversation, Laikyn.
You’ve answered our rapid fire brilliantly, Laikyn. Now, it’s time for our readers to know more about the person behind the book.
Q. Describe your journey so far.
I wrote my first book in the summer after graduating high school. I started publishing seriously in 2019. I have now published over forty books.
Q. So, what books did you grow up reading?
I read a lot of dystopian and fantasy. I am a big Lord of the Rings fan, and creating other worlds unlike ours.
Q. Interesting. Has writing and publishing a book changed the way you see yourself?
I put a part of myself in every book, so the experience of writing a story is very intimate as I translate certain feelings into a character’s world. I see myself from a different point of view and am able to expand my understanding of self and as an author through those glimpses.
Q. Would you share something about yourself that your readers don’t know (yet)?
I write romance, but I have terrible faith and belief in happily ever after in real life.
Q. Now comes the most anticipated question that every author must answer. How do you process and deal with negative book reviews?
They’re right. I take the negative criticism better than the positive reviews. I can justify why a reader destroyed my book, because I am not trying to relate to everyone. I am reaching those who are comforted from my stories. I accept their position and move on, because it isn’t my job to change their mind or convince them my books or brand is worth their time.
Q. What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
The characters. I will think of a scene and see how my characters react to the situation and before anything else is born they come to life through my imagination, where I give them a place to speak and hold space.
Q. How do you develop your plot and characters?
I develop my plot based on my character’s needs. I can assist in telling the story, but know that if I allow it to flow it will always be told in the right direction. My plots always have similar elements, romance, heartbreak, self-discovery, healing and redemption. I follow those themes and shift the story in ways I have never done before.
Currently, I am writing a book where the main character I picked out, actually turned into a secondary character, which has never happened before. I thought I was telling her story, but it was another person who needed the limelight.
Q. What does literary success look like to you?
Finding my loyal reader tribe and being able to bring in enough income to support my household.
Q. Let’s talk about your book. Tell us about it. No major spoilers.
National Parks is a second chance romance told over a decade. Our female main character is Asian-American, and our male main character is Asian/African-American. This story follows their adventures all over the world. They fall in love, they fall a part, they find themselves and they find their way back to each other. This book is about loving yourself so deeply, you can overcome all obstacles.
Q. What part of the book did you have the hardest time writing?
There is this scene where Phoebe (FMC), goes back to her hometown to find more information about her dad. When she arrives, she is faced with her mother and father, and two younger brothers she never knew existed. This scene was so intense and a lot of conflict and self-beliefs came up, it was soul shaking.
Q. If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?
Phoebe, you are a badass, you are infinitely strong. I want to stand in the same bravery and courage you have. Enzo, you are an idiot. But you got where you needed to be and who she needed.
Q. What is your writing process like? Are you more of a plotter or a pantser?
I am a pantser, through and through. I make tons of notes, mainly dialogue or scenes. All out of order, but eventually everything comes together.
Q. Let’s talk about the process of writing. When you’re writing an emotional or difficult scene, how do you set the mood?
I tend to surround myself with that type of feeling. I will read previous scenes I’ve written to evoke those emotions. I will set music to the mood. I sit in the middle of those feelings as if the character were, to make it as authentic, real and raw as possible.
Q. What has helped or hindered you most when writing a book?
What has helped me most is trusting my unique voice, allowing me to write a story my way. What has hindered me in the publishing industry is seeking out advice from authors who can not speak for my experience. Listening to the authors who said this is how I did it. Because everyone’s journey is different and success comes in different degrees.
Q. It’s been fun. Now, before we wrap this up, do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Trust yourself, don’t worry about what anyone else will think of your books. Tell your story, and keep writing the next book. Don’t stop sharing your voice with the world. Get better as you go along.