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Q&A with LaShonda DeVaughn

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Drama is no stranger to Tiara James. When it felt like the world had finally changed the hand that she'd been dealt, reality continued to creep up on her. With a mom on the verge of becoming an alcoholic and an alcoholic crack-addicted father who use to beat her mom in front of her, who could blame Tiara for finding a family on the streets.

Tiara's loyalty to her friends was undeniable. The crew consisted of, Tiara, Tamika, Shavon, Renee, Ke Ke and Karen. They jumped, robbed and fought other girls who stood in their way. When trouble surfaced, the crew had no problems with getting their hands dirty. Tiara was faithful to her crew handling any drama that presented itself. But when jealousy get's the best of friends, things continued to get ugly.

With an older brother Tre James wrapped deeply into the streets becoming a drug dealer at 13, their younger brother Sharod had no choice but to admire both Tre and Tiara's lifestyle. Tragedy continued to hit home and Tiara's life continued to go down hill. She lost people who she loved and trusted the most to death, jail or betrayal. From welfare, section 8, jail, drugs, abusive relationships and lies, Tiara's future seems uncertain. Will she finally rise above the drama that meets her at every corner, or remain trapped in the jaws of the hood? Brace yourself as Tiara James takes you on a rollercoaster ride in her footsteps, in her hood, telling her story.

 

Q&A with LaShonda DeVaughn, Author of "A Hood Chick's Story"
 
 
 
Q:  When did you decide you wanted to write?
 
A:  I decided that I wanted to write once I realized that I had many stories to tell. I always loved writing, English was my favorite subject in school and once I read urban literature, I fell in love with the whole concept.
 
Q:  How many novels in all have you written?
 
A:  My first novel, "A Hood Chick's Story" is my first completed novel, I have others in the works, many others actually.
 
Q:  How long did it take you to write your first novel?
 
A:  It took me about four months to write my novel.
 
Q:  Where do you get your inspiration for your stories? 
 
A:  I got the inspiration for most of my stories through my life experiences. 
 
Q:  Are the characters based on real people?
 
A:  The characters in "A Hood Chick's Story" are made up, however few are based on real people such as the main character Tiara. The inspiration for Tiara's character came from my life, but I made her character endure way more drama. But the people that she lost in her life are the same people that I have lost in my life.
 
 
 Q:  After writing your first novel, did you self-publish?? If so, how was that experience?
 
A:  Yes, I self-published my first novel. It is a great learning experience and I'm glad that I decided to self-publish. Everything that I'm learning I'm definitely sharing with new authors. One thing that I'll recommend to new authors is asking a lot of questions, it's the only way to master something.
 
Q:  What feedback have you received from fans?
 
A:  The feedback has been all positive. They love the book because they can relate to it. Whether you live in or out of the hood you'll identify with some of the situations in A Hood Chick's Story. Even older women come up to me telling me what they took from the book or what part they identified with so this book is not only for teens and young adults, it's for everyone.
 
Q:  What authors do you admire? Did one of them inspire you?
 
A:   I admire Vickie Stringer and Nikki Turner because they are doing it real big right now in this game. I did get inspired by reading about them in a magazine one day and I decided that I would stop talking about it and start being about it. I started writing A Hood Chick's Story and the rest is history.
 
Q: Is writing your only passion?
 
A:  For right now yes, I plan to master this game.
 
Q:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
 
A:  In five years I see myself having a prosperous writing career and owning my own publishing company. I plan to launch StreetDreamz Publications ASAP so in five years it should be an empire.
 
Q:  What advice would you give aspiring authors?
 
A:  Ask questions!!! I can't express that more, if they don't want to answer, keep asking. I ask a lot of questions so that the next time around, I won't need that person or company, I can be my own source.
 
Q:  What would you like readers to learn from your stories?
 
A:   I want them to learn that with every struggle, there is a lesson. There will always be a positive side to my stories, even amongst all the drama.
 
Q:  Are you working on another novel?If so, What is it about?
 
A:  Yes, right now I'm completing "A Hood Chick's Story, part 2." Just when my readers thought Tiara's life couldn't get any worse, part 2 would make you want to jump in the pages to help her yourself. I'm also working with collaborating with two Best Selling Authors on a novel that we plan to have completed by summer 2008, I'll keep everyone posted on my website.
 
Q:  Where can people purchase your books? Do you have a website?
 
A:  Yes, people can purchase my books on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, Borders, www.theblacklibrary.com and bookstores worldwide. My website is www.lashondadevaughn.page.tl and my myspace is www.myspace.com/ahoodchick You can pay through paypal on my website and also learn more about my novel, read an excerpt and stay posted on what's next for LaShonda DeVaughn because I ain't going nowhere.

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