At this moment I’m working on a new series called Sacked & Tackled. I did something a little different. I’m hoping to have the first on out by March/April 2015 and the second a couple of months after (hopefully)
~Who is your favorite author?
I have loved Barbara Taylor Bradford ever since I read “A Woman of Substance” when I was about 15/16. I was in awe of how she wrote and really wasn’t sure I could ever do anything like that. Still don’t but she’s a great example for me. I do love Anne Rice back when I read “The Witching Hour” and “The Vampire Chronicles.” I look forward to visiting her again now that she’s back on the scene a bit more. I love Ken Follett also. “Pillars of the Earth” is magnificent and I want to read the follow-up. I tend to focus more on books than authors because I don’t necessarily connect with every book despite my admiration of the author.
~What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
I guess I would say focus on the story. For me, I am always working on just having a good story despite trends. I know, now with the Fifty Shades movie, that’s a trend that’s happening right now. Trends don’t last and I made the commitment to focus on the story and just getting better at showing it, not just telling it. Plus, read. It’s harder for me to find time to read because I’m writing and doing other things but I make the time. So focus on the story and keep reading.
~Which of your characters is your Book Boyfriend? Why?
LOL, well, I haven’t really shared too much about Sacked & Tackled but it’s surprising me how hot the first two stories are. So I guess, my Book Boyfriend will be Tobey Fine. The inspiration for him is a real football player who is just gorgeous and I think the way he is…well, you’ll see. So he’s my fave…until Devereaux Cox comes out J
~Are you an organized author or scattered?
I would say more organized. How organized? That depends on what I’m writing. With Eyubea Girls, which is my first historical, I had to be a bit more organized than scattered. I had to research and make notes in comments when something came up. I did have an initial outline but that story just took me to a different place. With Sacked & Tackled, I had a general outline and wrote the rough draft for two books in November. I was organized enough to get the initial story out and just let it go for a couple of months.
~Do you plot out your story or write as it goes?
Both. I typically outline all stories. It helps me to understand it. But there are times when the outline looks like a rough draft because the story’s pull is pretty serious. As I’m writing and trying to connect the dots, I have some idea of where it’s supposed to go but I let the story just pull me wherever it needs to. So I really do it both ways and that’s what works for me.
~Do you have writers block and how do you work around it?
There are times when the characters just don’t want to talk and that’s when I put pen to paper and just try to stoke them. If they REALLY don’t want to talk, I let it be until the story pulls me. I try to work with the resistance and hope it doesn’t get worse to the point of a serious block. So far so good
~What is your favorite genre to read?
I’m into the classics for the simple reason that they are the classics. They’ve achieved that level for a reason and if I have a chance of being decent, I might as well learn from them. PLUS I’ve always loved period pieces anyway so reading Jane Eyre or Pride & Prejudice is what I enjoy anyway.
~If you could go back in time what is one thing you would tell your teenage self?
I would tell her to just be easy on herself and really keep reading. I don’t think I read enough after I decided to put writing fiction aside. It felt too painful to read what I felt I couldn’t do but I couldn’t help it. So I would say just enjoy reading and be kinder to myself as I was going through a lot at the time
~Do you believe in love at first sight?
No. I think love takes time. You can feel a connection, you can feel a pull but I think love is a lot more than that and the only way love can bloom is with the ingredient of time. How much time? That’s a different story and doesn’t have a standard template, I think.
~Name one of your pet peeves?
People who openly covet another person’s possessions/achievements. I get ambition. I have ambition but when someone says that I want this or that and then toss away the work that it takes to get it, I have a huge problem with that. Learned a long time ago to just not be envious or covetous of someone else because really, you don’t know what they had to do or sacrifice to get there.
~If you were a genie, what wish would you absolutely not grant?
I think I would need to test those powers out before I could answer this. I don’t want to limit the possibilities
~Favorite drink? Alcoholic or not.
I drank a Smirnoff Ice recently after about 4 years of no alcohol. I am not a drinker. I do love a good glass of fresh lemonade or any type of fruit drink.
~What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
I’ve learned I can live without a lot of things, believe me. Right now, I’m just focused on my goals and dreams and hopefully getting a GREAT oven soon so that I can do some baking and cooking.
~If you could date a celebrity who would it be and why?
Dwayne Johnson, Shemar Moore, Hugh Jackman. These men have been making me drool for years and well, I’d love to check them out up close and personal.
~Favorite sport/sports team?
Tennis. I’ll follow other sports but when it comes to Tennis, I miss camping out in front of my computer and watching Wimbledon or the French Open. Love Serena and Rafa.
~If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Ackee and Saltfish with fried dumplings or roasted breadfruit. Ackee and Saltfish is the Jamaican national dish. If I had access to fresh ackee every day…the next generation would never know what one looked like. I love it.
~What’s your favorite fast food chain?
Pollo Tropical! I was just chatting with my father about that. Despite living in Miami for over 25 years, he’s never eaten Pollo. I love that place because it’s chicken on the grill, done fresh and just so tasty. Meat is grilled, black beans and rice…I miss Pollo Tropical.
~If you had a warning label what would it say?
Do not awaken in the middle of the night unless you are bleeding or worse. I am not nice when people wake me up at night for stupid reasons
~What is one thing you will never do again?
I will never sit in a hot tub after drinking a bottle of wine. That was the WORST thing I could have ever done and I was lucky I woke up the next day.
~What was your first job?
My first job was a business. I was 10 and found a way to make really HOT/STRONG cinnamon tooth picks that I sold for a quarter each…until I got busted by the assistant principal. Made twenty bucks though and my mother was proud of me for that.
~What is your favorite TV show?
I have discovered Scandal and I want my own Huck
~Do you like to go out or stay home?
I’m a homebody but love hanging with friends. Nothing loud like a club. I mean dinner at a nice restaurant talking or a small pot luck party at a friend’s house until all hours
~Are you a Tom boy or a girly girl?
I don’t normally do the girly-girl makeup thing too often. I love wearing dresses and skirts but at home, pair of shorts or scrubs…I’m in those A LOT these days. I’m practical and have no desire to have weak ankles or bad knees. I do LOVE shoes though…
~What is your favorite holiday?
I love Thanksgiving, which they don’t have here in Jamaica. There’s no present, no shopping for presents, just food and loved ones. I’m good with this.
~What is your favorite/ go to cuss word?
Shit…yep. Because I’m fine when I use that; just annoyed or in a mood. If I’m dropping F-bombs, something is REALLY wrong. Anything worse and it’s like EPIC bad.
~What is one of your phobias?
Spiders. Can’t stand them. Nope
Rough Blurb of my upcoming series, Sacked & Tackled…
It’s finally time for the player to get played.
Tobey Fine, the ‘Blasian Sensation’ is at the top of his game as the face of the Miami Medusas, a Steinger Football League team. When he’s introduced to his teammate’s best friend, the Blasian Sensation comes face-to-face with his reckoning.
Niveah Wallace is the founder of Carmicon Technologies, a software development company contracted to do a pilot game app featuring the Miami Medusas and team rivals, the Atlanta Mercury. If this project goes well, it will put CarmTech on the map.
Still smarting from Tobey’s rejection years ago, Niveah is presented with her chance to get back at him — but forgets that revenge can be a double-edged sword.
Despite their initial fallout, Tobey and Niveah grow close in a way neither expected. But inside the SFL there’s trouble brewing as a piece of Tobey’s past threatens to upend his present and jeopardize his future. He’ll do whatever it takes to keep his love no matter who he has to fight to do it.
Meet Tobey & Niveah (I’m enclosing two teasers. If you can only do one…no problem)