Delizhia Jenkins is an Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance author who currently resides in Inglewood, CA. The love for writing began in elementary school when the passion for storytelling developed into a journey of writing. Over the years, she honed her craft for storytelling and the written word by excelling in subjects such English and English Literature; and by indulging in her favorite past time which involved reading the works of Anne Rice, K’Wan, Christopher Pike, Carl Weber, Omar Tyree and finally the late L.A. Banks. J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood also claimed her heart and author Karen Marie Moning joined the ranks of Miss Jenkins’ all time favorite authors.
Miss Jenkins began publishing in 2013 with her first African American romance novel, Love at Last. After that, it was realized that her true magic rested in her writing about the ancient, the esoteric, and the supernatural. Moreover, since 2014, after her release of Nubia Rising: The Awakening, Miss Jenkins remained true to herself and her calling. And of course, being a true romantic at heart, it was important for her to fuse romance with the paranormal with a dash of “color.” Miss Jenkins prides herself on writing for “the woman without the fairytale” and of course bringing magic and melanin to each book she writes.
Follow Miss Jenkins on the following platforms:
Twitter: @septembershope or hunters_vampire
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
I started writing poems and short stories in the third grade because, well I lived in my head a lot. However, it wasn’t until the fifth grade when I declared to my teacher that being a writer is what I wanted to become. I did not see any other path for me and little did I know at the time that writing would indeed be the direction I would continue in. I love writing – always did. Writing offers more than just an escape for me. It provides a freedom to explore my thoughts, my fantasies; to create the worlds I see from within… When I write, I express my godhood, my ability to create. The only time when I experience frustration when writing is when writer’s block sets in. I hate that because that means I have to take a break from it.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
I write in the Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance genres for adults and young adults. Readers can visit my website (missjenkinsbooks.com) or check me out on Amazon.
3) What projects are you currently working on?
I am working on several stories that will be featured in upcoming anthologies, one of them specifically for a Black Lives Matter project. I am also working on a world building series collection spearheaded by Jessica Cage (she is amazing by the way) called Rise of the Elites. There are other stories that are in different phases of completion that I am working on as well but I will not announce the titles until its near time for release.
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
Being recognized by my peers and new readers is something that has been a significant accomplishment for me thus far. I feel like I have come a long way from where I first started seven years ago. In five years, I see myself with a major title like NYT Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller. I see myself doing speaking engagements and transitioning over into film.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
I don’t pay it any mind. I understand that me as an author and as a person or just my work in general is not going to please or appeal to everyone. Fortunately the number of people who like me/my work outnumbers those who don’t. And also, criticism/rejections are opportunities to reflect and learn which areas of my craft I need to strengthen.
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
I am most productive during the early mornings of Saturday and Sunday or on my days off, so I try to really stick to my weekend writing schedule. I do outline but most of the time I never stick to it and it takes me about 2-3 months to complete a novel.
7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
No, its never too late to become successful in anything. Time is fluid and when you begin is where you begin. A 53 year old could publish his/her first book today and somehow become an overnight success versus someone who published sooner and has yet to achieve any form of success. It just depends on the person.
8) Are you an avid reader and have you always been? What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
Growing up I was an avid reader. There wasn’t a book nailed down that I wouldn’t read. The first book series that I became emotionally connected to was the LA Banks’ series The Vampire Huntress Legends. And right now, I have been too occupied with my own stories to read anything new.
9) How has the current state of the world affected your writing? Because writing is an isolated practice, do you find it easier to deal with quarantine? Has it stifled your creativity or has it made you even more driven to get things done?
Good question. No. My writing has not been affected much since quarantine. If anything, I have more energy to write and create since I am interacting with less people.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry as it is being represented today? Do you lean more towards traditional publishing or self-publishing as a preference? Does being a hybrid author interest you?
I try to avoid speaking too much on how the publishing industry is being represented as it is being represented today. That’s an “off the record” conversation. I would like to experience being traditionally published, however I do enjoy the autonomy of being an Indie author, so yes, being a hybrid author would be of interest to me.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
I think within in my art and just me as a person is what I refer to as magic – an indescribable something, an energy, a knowing – that draws people in. My journey as a human in this realm has been an interesting one and the “journey” is a key component of my writing. My characters are on a journey and the readers are joining them on their journey, just like we all are. And I think that most of us have forgotten that regardless of the chapter we are in currently (as it pertains to our lives) it is still part of our stories. I have certain spiritual beliefs that are carefully woven into the fabric of each of my stories and whether or not a reader picks up on it is entirely up to that person. But when I write, I am most truthful about who I am and who I believe myself to be which helps me be more empowered in my purpose.