When did you decide you wanted to write?
I've always been an avid reader, and one to pen short stories in my spare time. It wasn't until 2002 when
I decided to step out on faith and write my first novel.
How many novels in all have you written?
I have four published novels and about five novels that are partially completed.
Do you have a favorite?
I enjoyed writing all of my books, but I would have to say that In My Sisters' Corner is
How long did it take you to write your first novel?
I started Anything Goes on February 5, 2002 and completed it four weeks later.
Where do you get your inspiration for your stories? Are the
characters based on real people?
A lot of my stories roll off the top of my head. For the most part, all I need is a title and
I can create a novel from there. I was blessed with the gift of creativity. I use it to its fullest potential. However,
I do use the characteristics and personalities of people I know to develop my characters. My friends get a great kick out
of seeing themselves in print.
After writing your first novel, did you self-publish?? If so, how was that experience?
Yes, I self-published and I loved it and still loving it. Self-publishing has been the most rewarding
experience of my life. I couldn't imagine reaching the success that I've reached without the hands-on knowledge, organizational
skills, tools and business sense I've gained over the last three years. BUT, don't get it twisted. If I am approached by a
mainstream publisher, I will definitely hear what they have to say.
What feedback have you received from fans?
The feedback has be overwhelming. I receive criticism, good and bad, on a daily basis. I am honored
to have people read my work and positively and constructively critique it and give me story ideas. The readers have been just
as enthused as I've been. Saying things like, "You should have Raven do this," and "Morgan should poison Arthur," and things
of that nature. I love it and welcome all emails. I respond to every email or letter I receive.
What authors do you admire? Did one of them inspire you?
I admire all authors. Writing the novel is easy, but when you have to hit the pavements to market
and promote it, I admire you! However, I was inspired by Collen Dixon. She made the whole writing and self publishing
business look fun and easy. I latched on to Collen, as well as Brenda L. Thomas and I didn't let ago until I felt I was ready
to fly on my own. You have to grow thick skin in this business in order to survive.
Is writing your only passion?
No, life is my other passion. I love living life and I enjoy people. I'm a little social butterfly.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I see myself with a small publishing house and enjoying the fruits of my labor, in my
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
One of my favorite authors is Eric Jerome Dickey. I read an online interview he had given some time
ago. In that interview, he was asked the same question and his response was, "Do not write as though someone is looking over
your shoulder. Write for you." That is the advice I would give. And, research the publishing and writing industry until you're
blue in the face. Never, ever, embark on anything without doing your homework.
What would you like readers to learn from your stories?
Funny you should ask this question. I received an email from an acquaintance who felt I should reflect
more positivity in my writing, as well as uplifting the community. He also felt I should teach in my writings. Teach
what? I write to entertain myself and I hope that readers will come away from my novels entertained. If readers come away
feeling fulfilled in one form or another, it is a blessing.
I did receive an email from a sister who thanked me for writing In My Sisters' Corner. It
helped her to overcome the issues she was dealing with within her marriage and the infedelity of her husband. I'm glad she
was able to walk away with the feeling that she was a strong black woman and could overcome any obstacle, as did the
characters in the novel.
Are you working on another novel? What is it about?
I'm taking a breather! I just completed Sweet Revenge, the long-awaited sequel to
Anything Goes. You can visit my Web site at www.jessicatilles.com to check out the excerpt. However, I do plan to start a new novel next month. I'm not sure what it will
be about, but I can assure you it will be good. *smile*
Where can people purchase your books? Do you have a website?
My novels are available at bookstores everywhere, just ask for it, as well as Amazon.com, and www.jessicatilles.com. If you're in the Maryland/DC/VA area, you can pick up a copy of any of my titles at Karibu Books.