SC: When did you decide you
wanted to write?
SS: Well Shay, it actually wasn't
until I was almost thirty years old! I have always had a love for reading since I was about 8 years old, but I never thought
I could really write a book! The more I read books by my favorite authors, the more I was inspired to write.
SC: How many novels in all have
SS: One. "Behind The Screen"
is my first. I'm currently working on my second novel.
SC: How long did it take you
to write your first novel?
SS: It took about two years
before I finally finished it. I could have had "Behind The Screen" finished in six months, but I kept putting it on hold.
SC: Where do you get your inspiration
for your stories?
SS: My inspiration comes from
real life experiences. Either my own or those around me.
SC: What made you decide to
write a story like Behind the Screen?? Are the characters based on real people?
SS: I decided to write Behind
The Screen when I realized one of the reasons Internet Dating doesn't work for many people, is because they rush into
it. I met my husband online, and we have a few married friends who met the same way. Everyone thought our story was so amazing.
But because I kept it a secret for so long that I was doing the online dating thing, most of my friends and family thought
I'd just met some man over the Internet that I barely knew, and jumped up and married him in a couple of months. Not so! So,
I decided that that's exactly what my first novel would be about--a women who meets the man of her dreams online.
Only thing is, I added a whole lot of fiction and drama. The only real characters in the book (although all of their actions
aren't real) are Kyla and Charles. So Pleeeease don't ask me if I really know a Tasha, Fonda or any of the other characters.
I swear that I don't! Ha! Ha!
SC: Can you tell us a little
about the story?
SS: Yes, Kyla Sullivan is a
divorcee. She has two kids Malcom and Amber. Being a single mom, and trying to balance motherhood and dating is difficult
for her. But she manages, her kids always come first. The story starts out with her ending a very stressful relationship with
an older man. This is a man she started dating not long after her divorce, so she feels that maybe she rushed into things
and should chill for a while. She tries putting dating on hold. But, her loneliness and libido won't let her. So, a co-worker
introduces her to Today's Singles, one of the hottest Online Singles sites around. She joins a message board and
this is where she meets Charles Stone.
Charles Stone, also a divorcee is
a bona fide playa. Period! He has no interest in Kyla unless she can give up the goodies. Plus he thinks she's probably crazy
or desperate like most of the women he meets. When he realizes that Kyla is different, he changes his attitude towards her,
and starts developing a friendship with her. The two are best friends first.
SC: Do you plan to write a sequel
to Behind the Screen??
SS: I'm still undecided. I've
gotten quite a few requests though. The second novel I'm working on is not a sequel.
SC: Did you self-publish?? If
so, how was that experience?
SS: Yes, and it was a wonderful
experience! But... I don't plan to self-publish my future novels. When you self-publish you have to do everything
yourself and with my touring and everything, I just don't have enough time anymore. I self-published to learn the ins and
outs of the industry first. I have learned so much! I'm positive I wouldn't have known as much as I know now had I not self-published
first. If you can do it, this is something I recommend all aspiring authors to do.
SC: What feedback have you received
SS: The feedback has been phenomenal!
It has inspired me to keep writing.
SC: What authors do you admire?
Did one of them inspire you?
SS: Kimberla Lawson Roby. That's
my girl! And Eric Jerome-Dickey, that's my writer boo! Both of them have not only inspired me, but have been great mentors
(in one way or another) as well. Oh, and Roselyn McMillan. I've never met her, but she's also been an inspiration to me. I
love her books!
SC: Is writing your only passion?
SS: No, music is my other passion.
It's still in my blood.
SC: Where do you see yourself
in 5 years?
SS: I see myself as a household
name, and making the national bestseller list. I see my books being turned into movies. (don't we all? :) And I see
myself branching into screen writing and television script writing.
SC: What advice would you give
SS: Write about what you know.
If you don't know about something do the research. Continue reading books in the genre which you want to write, but also broaden
your reading to other genres. It really helps! Research the industry as much as you can. And last but not least, if you have
the means to do it, self-publish first!
SC: What would you like readers
to learn from your stories?
SS: Mainly, that this thing
called life is not easy, but you can find peace and happiness. It starts within yourself. I would like for them
to learn something from each story. For example in Behind The Screen, that patience is a virtue.
SC: Are you working on another
novel? What is it about?
SS: Yes, it's about a woman
who has what most would call the perfect husband. When he dies her life is turned upside down. The story tells how she must
deal with this and how she moves on with her life. That's all I can give up for now. (smile) It's going to be pretty
dramatic and suspenseful.
SC: Where can people purchase
SS: In any Barnes & Noble,
Walden's, B.Dalton, or Borders Bookstore. Also online through Amazon.com. Some African American bookstores carry it as well.
If you don't see it on the shelf you can always ask the bookseller to order it. I think it takes about a week for them to
get it into the store. If you don't wish to wait a week, just send me an email. I have a few copies on hand, and
can Fed-Ex them right out. Behind The Screen is available in paperback and hardcover.
SC: Do you have a website?
I now have a literary magazine as
well called The Literary Source. That web address is: www.literarysource.com