Building Character with Layla and Samson from The Prophecy

Welcome to my blog feature, Building Character in which you get to meet a character from a book. Talking to a character outside of their book is fun! Huge. Amounts. Of fun. 

This week Strands of Thought is host to Layla and Samson from The Prophecy. It is especially exciting to be a part of their RELEASE DAY! *throws confetti* I love a good release day and I’m thrilled to be a part of this one.

Welcome to Strands of Thought, you guys. Tell us a little about yourselves and what life is like in your book.
Layla:  Hello!  I’m Layla Givens, and this is my adopted brother Samson Mantar. 

Samson:  Hi. 

Layla:  We’re from the kingdom of Vanguard, which means we are super strong.  Our countrymen and women have been at war for centuries with the neighboring kingdom of Etherea.

Samson:  Ethereals do all kinds of freaky mind control.  If you let ‘em, they’ll have you rocking in a corner, sucking your thumb, and twirling a sliver of your hair.  No lie.

Layla: <eye roll>

War and mind control, sounds like a fun place for a couple of teenagers! Or maybe you are more like superheroes at this point. Do you have a sidekick – ha ha - or best friend? 

Layla:  Samson, for sure.  From the moment his family found me on their doorstep, we’ve been inseparable.  We’re only a few days apart in age, so we’re like twins. 

Samson:  Are you serious?  You would be my sidekick, Layla, not the other way around.  I’m faster, stronger, and bigger.  That makes me the hero and you the sidekick.

Layla:  Think again. The hero, or heroine in this case, has to be smart and…

Samson:  Are you saying I’m not smart??

Layla: Don’t give me that look, Samson Mantar!  You didn’t even give me a chance to finish what I was saying.  I just meant you’re impulsive.  The heroine can’t be impulsive.  She has to save the sidekick’s hide when he is. 

Author Erin:  You know the question says sidekick OR best friend, right?


Samson:  I suppose I would accept the title “best friend.”

Layla:  I suppose I would too.

Author Erin:  Thank goodness…moving on…

Oh, hey Erin! Readers, let me introduce the author of The Prophecy, Erin Albert. Nice of you to drop in, Erin. Okay, Layla and Samson, back to you guys. Tell us, what exactly are you up against in your story?

Layla:  My whole life I’ve been hiding from the Ecclesiastics and the merciless Elder Werrick.

Samson:  She matches the Prophecy’s requirements and could be taken to the Ecclesiastical Compound for testing.  Some really sick stuff goes on over there.

Layla:  We don’t know that for sure.  Those are only rumors.

Samson:  She doesn’t take this situation seriously enough. 

Layla:  I’m not the Fulfillment, so it doesn’t matter.

Samson:  Elder Werrick could kill you simply because he thinks you might be the Fulfillment.

Layla:  I’m stronger than he is.

Samson:  Physically, sure, but I’ve heard he has darker powers available to him.

Layla:  You believe everything you hear.

Hmmm, Layla, Samson sounds pretty sincere. I’d take his warnings to heart. So, we’d love to get to know you two better. What would you say is your strongest personality trait?

Layla:  I’m fierce. 

Samson:  She’s strong…there’s a difference.

Layla:  I’m strong AND fierce.

Samson:   <rolls eyes>

Author Erin:  What about you, Samson?  What’s your strongest personality trait?

Samson:  I can’t pick just one:  dashing, funny, charming, strong…

Layla:  <groans>  This list will take all day with his overinflated ego.

Samson:  Hey! 

Layla:  He’s loyal.  That’s his strongest trait. 

Samson:  Yeah, yeah, I like that.  I’ll go with loyal. 

Aw, that’s nice, Layla. It was great to meet you guys. I wish you lots and lots of luck in your story. It sounds like you have a lot of skills, but that a little luck might not hurt. And thanks again, Erin for stopping in too! Enjoy your release day and your release month and your release year…it’s all so much FUN!

Readers, here is a little more on Layla and Samson’s story, The Prophecy:

Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.

Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He's grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear...not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?

Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.

When Nash's secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.

And a little about the author of The Prophecy:

Erin Albert is an author and fitness trainer.  Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word.  She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the "Grammar Police."  In her free time, Erin enjoys acting, running, kickboxing, and, of course, reading and writing. 

Find me online:
Twitter:  @ErinAlbertBooks
If you have a character from a children’s, tween or young adult book that you’d like to see interviewed on Building Character, please contact kaistrand at yahoo dot com.


  1. That was fun! I enjoyed getting to meet Layla and Samson. It's a great way to share about your book characters. Best wishes to Erin, and thank you Kai for sharing!


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