The first romance novel I ever read was Cinderella! I devoured Disney’s version of romance until I was eleven, and then I discovered Mills & Boons. In those days kissing was the most explicit intimacy disclosed: the hero and heroine went to bed and came out the next day with smiles! I had no idea what happened, but I was intrigued. My mom had shelves and shelves of them. Over the long summer breaks, I barely left my bedroom! My busy parent had no idea what I was up to. I’ve always been fascinated with love stories. I started writing in college, but I never expected anyone would ever read my whimsical musings. LOL! Now years later, after husband and kids, and a solid career in finance I’ve started publishing those early ideas.
I write my stories so that every woman would be inspired to find the other half of themselves. With every story I tell, my Caribbean sisters are highlighted. Our culture is a melting pot of all ethnicities, where love has no color. We love who we love and make no apology for it. These stories are also infused with my love for sports and action thrillers. I’m an avid sports fan. Tennis, football, track and basketball are my favorites. I devour dramas and action movies. So it’s to be expected that my books have a healthy dose of adventure.
Writing romance novels has been a dream I never knew I had. It was born out of suddenly having a little extra time with the kids out of the house. I absolutely love this creative outlet.
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?
Jimmetta, thank you so much for your interest and the invite to share my experience as a writer. I won’t say that I was called to write as much as I would say I am compelled to write. I have always written. Instead of dolls or toys, I used to receive books as presents. So, my head was always either buried in a book or watching television. LOL! Head always in a cloud! Writing was a way for me to document my musings. What frustrates me about writing? Time! I just never seem to have enough time to write.
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 interracial/multicultural romances. Our world is so rich with cultural and racial diversity and I love exploring that, but also highlighting how love and romance unites us. I love action, sports and paranormal, so my books may have some or all of these things in them. I believe that we all have someone out there specifically fashioned for us and I hope that my stories inspire the reader to find their special partner. Of course, as a Caribbean person, I love to include in every book someone from the Caribbean or Caribbean ancestry.
3) What projects are you currently working on?
Readers would remember the Obsession series – the first two books, Secret Obsession and Primal Obsession. I am currently writing the third book, which I am thoroughly having fun with. It has a bit of paranormal, action and lots of love.
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?
LOL! Every time I finish a book is an achievement! God, I can remember by first book as though it was my first child! And every book since has felt like a birthing. Not as painful, but just as euphoric. Where do I see my career in five years? My goodness, I hope I still have fresh stories to tell in five years!
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
Rejection – sigh! My first editor once told me to never read negative reviews – so now I don’t – as a result, I ignore the negativity.
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?
LOL! Schedule? Outline? Hell no. I write when the mood strikes me. I have no idea what I am going to write. I could be out on a run or in the shower and a character comes to me that prompts the first spark of the story. After that, the story just pours from my fingers once I’m on the keyboard. Sometimes, I can’t even remember what the hell I wrote, and I am just as surprised as the readers when I read the stories back.
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?
Listen, age is truly just a number, and sometimes the only difference is in experience. The older we get the more cynical we become or more disillusioned by life’s lessons. So, if there are any hindrances, it’s that or not – age could more likely enhance the writing.
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?
I am an avid reader. God, I am always reading. I love to read. But, I never read serious stuff – life’s too real as it is. I can’t remember the first book that touched me emotionally. I have always read, even romance novels I remember reading my mother’s Mills and Boons. I can’t say I have a favorite author either, there are too many authors that I love to read – from Judith McNaught, Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey in historical romances, Maureen Smith and Brenda Jackson in African American romances, to Lynne Graham, Michelle Reid and Lucy Monroe, Suzanne Wright, etc., etc. On my Kindle now is “Return of the Moralis Wife” by Jacqueline Baird. See – old and new – I’ve never stopped reading!
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?
The current state hasn’t affected me too significantly, other than curtailing my travels. Ultimately, I am a home body, so I hardly notice the isolation. LOL! The current state has probably helped my writing because I have more time, but otherwise, not much has changed.
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 don’t know enough about the publishing industry to comment on it. Other than being rejected by a few publishers when I first started, I have self-published ever since and never looked back. I would have to review what being a hybrid author would entail if presented with it. I never say never to anything.
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?
Wow! I don’t really know if writing helps me to cope or not because I have always written, mostly in my head, but now I finish it in the form of a book. Writing is part of who I am, and it has always been. I once had an interviewer get really upset with me because I didn’t have writing on my resume, and I was shocked at how upset she got. I am an accountant and banker by profession. So, I don’t look at writing as something that is part of that professional resume. Writing to me is as essential as breathing. It’s part of me, and I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t.
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