You Asked, I Answered
Reporting Live from Behind the Pen
Shaye’s question: What was your inspiration for your next novel?
The idea for My Three Beaus came to me in a dream. When I woke up, I got up and wrote a short blurb about it and less than a year later, I finally sat down to write the story. Paige C. Webb is a figment of my imagination. She’s a woman who’s not afraid to live life on the edge. She’s confident, yet insecure at the same time. She’s a good example of how a woman can date multiple men, but not be physically intimate with them all. She also shows that women have commitment issues too.
Yolanda’s questions: (a) I am currently reading your book, My Invisible Husband and I am loving it. I want to know, what type of research you do for your novels?
Most of my ideas for my books hit me while I’m sleeping. I dream movies and if I get up the next morning and write the idea down, it stays with me. I don’t really do detailed research for my novels. I let the characters do their thing. For my first novel, Roses are Thorns, Violets are True I did a little research to see if it was realistic for twins to be at odds and once I found out that there were statistics to support it, I allowed the twins to have their way. If you’ve read the book, then you’ll know that these two sisters—Rose and Violet are like oil and water—they don’t mix. But because those characters were meant to be at odds, I would have written it that way even if the statistics didn’t show that sibling rivalry exists amongst twins. My Invisible Husband stemmed from one question that I’ve heard over and over…”So, when are you getting married?” I’ve either lived or visited most of the places I mention in my novels. It helps to have been there when writing those scenes.
(b) Also, I'd like to know how you decided on your publisher and if you think you are a perfect fit?
Believe it or not, I’m self-published. I’ve been blessed. I’ve received many accolades as a self-published author. Being on the Essence Bestsellers list, the Dallas Morning News Bestsellers list and also being mentioned in national publications such as the New York Times and Writer’s Digest are a feat for any author. To know that it has happened while self-published brings tears to my eyes sometimes. I am currently in search of a publishing home. So if there are any publishers out there looking for an author who can write exciting stories with a twist, email me (smile).
(c) Do you use any writing software? If so, which one?
I don’t use any writing software. All I need is my keyboard, Microsoft Word, and a good CD and I’m good to go.
Anonymous’ questions: (a)What do you think about the current state of AA industry?
The AA industry is changing. Only time will tell whether it’s for the best or not. Being optimistic, I think it is. There’s a huge audience for AA fiction, so I’m excited about the recent news.
(b) Do you think there is a lack of creativity in some of the writers (referring to the number of books that have a similar plot)?
What’s that old saying, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” 50 authors in 50 places in the world can have the same idea, but it’s how they tell the story that makes it interesting. Let’s use the model example girl meets boy, girl/boy breaks up with boy/girl, girl and boy reunite. I’ve read this type of situation over and over, but what makes me want to read the same type of story again and again is the author’s ability to take a used concept and make it theirs. I think an author has to have their own writing style and if they do, then even if they use a similar plot such as in the example above, the reader will find the story interesting.
Janice-NYC’s questions: (a)My Invisible Husband is about a woman that pretends to be engaged and then married and your new book My Three Beaus is about a woman afraid of commitment and ends up with three marriage proposals. My question to you…do you ever feel pressured by family or friends comments about not being married and not having children?
No, I don’t feel any pressure. It can get annoying to hear “so when are you getting married,” but there’s no pressure. Why? Because I’m the one who has to live with the consequences. If I had gotten married to the last guy I was with, I would be going through a divorce right now. As far as kids, I don’t have any. I wanted to be married first and then kids; but since I haven’t been married, I haven’t been trying to have kids.
(b) Do you desire these things, or are you content as you are?
I’m content and confident that the man God has for me is out there and will find me. In the meantime, I believe in living life to the fullest. I’m back on the dating scene and taking it one day at a time. Not having kids right now is a blessing. I have a niece and three nephews to pour my motherly affections on and when I get tired, I can always send them back home to their mamas (smile).
Mahaira’s questions: (a) Looking back was there something in particular that helped you to decide to become a writer?
I think it would have happened eventually. I got my first diary when I was 9 and I’ve been writing every since. Originally I had planned on being a professional writer when I retired. But life is full of changes, so in 1997 (after losing my Dad…Princess Di’s tragic death), a revelation hit me to pursue it. I started off sharing my poetry with others and then I felt more confident and started sharing my short stories. Readers feedback was positive and then I finally got the nerves to write novels.
(b) Did you choose it or did the profession choose you?
The profession must have chosen me. I originally went to school to be an Engineer.
(c) If you were stranded on a desert island and had your pick of anyone to be stranded with, who would it be?
The man God has for me—whoever he may be.
(d) What three items would you HAVE to have?
My Bible, a laptop with a solar powered battery so I can journal my experience and hopefully it’ll come with a little black box—that seems to never be destroyed, and a pair of shoes (because I would hate to walk barefooted all of the time…smile).
If you could meet one of your characters, which one would it be?
Byron in My Invisible Husband. He has all the characteristics I want in a man.
Michelle’s question: If you could enact any fantasy you have, what would it be?
I don’t know if I can post it here (my mama might log on…smile). I’ll keep it clean.
My fantasy would be to have a nice romantic life not just dinner with Shemar Moore, Morris ChestNut, Blair Underwood, or Denzel Washington. Use your imagination.
Leah’s question: What's been the most disappointing thing you've encountered in regards to writing and publishing?
Waiting on a major publisher to take notice. But I decided a long time ago to take a chance on myself and I’m so glad I did. Right now I don’t have anything to prove. I’ve already proven that I can get on bestsellers lists. And that’s with a limited distribution channel. So if it was a broader distribution channel, the sky is the limit (smile).