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Q&A With Yasmin Shiraz

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Meet Yasmin Shiraz
Author of "The Blueprint for My Girls and Exclusive"

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It all started with her exclusive interview with the brightest star that the music business has ever seen...

Inspired by her life as a popular magazine publisher and entertainment writer, Yasmin Shiraz tells the could-be love story of journalist Tisha Ariel Nikkole and red-hot rapper Shout.

Tisha is sick of the groupies having all the fun and has decided that she’s gonna get a rapper all her own. Shout, the hottest rapper in the country, is her obvious choice. But, with Shout’s lust for groupie companionship and easy sex, does he have other plans? Vindictive music executive Jordan Ellis can’t keep her mind off Shout and is willing to hurt anyone who comes near him. Add high-powered, short-fused publicist Boom Tillman to the mix and a lesbian prostitute and this book goes places only an industry insider would dare. By the end of this drama someone’s on life support but who will it be?

This racy story follows a cast of entertainment executives who will soon discover how access to the right person at the right moment can change the course of the future.

PWLGB:  When did you decide you wanted to write? 
 
YS: I've been writing since I was 7 or 8 years old. My mom gave me a journal to get me started.
 
PWLGB: How many novels in all have you written?
 
YS:   I've written 1 Novel: Exclusive, and I'm writing the sequel to EXCLUSIVE right now. It's called PRIVACY. But, I've written 2 non-fiction books, The Blueprint for My Girls and The Blueprint for My Girls in Love.
 
PWLGB:  How long did it take you to write your first novel?
 
YS:  Forever. It took me a year to write it. I worked with two different editors. I really wanted it to be a great book so I took longer than I needed to. :)
 
PWLGB:  Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?
 
YS: I'm inspired by the situations that I go through in life. EXCLUSIVE was inspired by one of my meetings with Damon Dash. I was a hip hop magazine publisher prior to publishing my first book.
 
PWLGB:  After writing your first novel, did you self-publish?? If so, how was that experience?
 
YS:  I self-published EXCLUSIVE. And it was a totally different experience than publishing The Blueprint for My Girls. I learned a lot more about adult bookclubs when publishing EXCLUSIVE that I hadn't known before. I love African American writers.  In publishing EXCLUSIVE, I just learned that there are so many people out there who enjoy a good story. So, it's encouraged me.
 
PWLGB:  What feedback have you received from fans?
 
YS:  Most readers have been emailing me telling me that they cannot wait for the sequel. The feedback has been tremendous. Whenever I write a book, I'm very nervous about what people will think about it. So when I started to receive feedback on EXCLUSIVE, I was extremely happy and extremely thankful.
 
PWLGB:  What authors do you admire?
 
YS:  I admire so many authors for so many different things. I admire Iyanla Vanzant for realizing that the AfricanAmerican community needs to be uplifted. I admire Zane for writing her work the way that she wanted. I admire Terri Woods for handling the publishing business in the way that she has. I admire E. Lynn Harris for not being ashamed and being willing to share. I mean the list goes on and on and on.
 
PWLGB: Did one of them inspire you?
 
YS: So many authors inspire me in different ways. Brandon Massey inspires me to simply write better. Zane inspires me to write faster. Mitch Albom inspires me to share my life lessons in my experiences. Again, the list goes on.
 
PWLGB:  Is writing your only passion?
 
YS:  No. I've been a successful entrepreneur for over 10 years. I'm very passionate about empowering people to be in control of their lives and to become business owners!!!!
 
PWLGB:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
 
YS: Letting God be in control a little bit more. Right now, we're battling!
 
PWLGB: What advice would you give aspiring authors?
 
YS: If you can believe in your story, than others will relate to your story. Be encouraged in getting your book out into the world.
 
PWLGB:  What would you like readers to learn from your stories? 
 
YS:All of my books are inspired by my real life situations. So, I want people to hurt when my characters are in pain and to realize that we cannot continue to judge people when we don't really know what they've been through. I want people to be real with themselves and each other.
 
PWLGB: Are you working on another novel?
 
YS:  Yes, PRIVACY, the sequel to EXCLUSIVE.
 
PWLGB: What is it about?
 
YS:  It follows the 4 main characters of EXCLUSIVE, the rapper, the journalist, the publicist and the music executive. A groupie says she's pregnant, the rapper ain't buying it, the journalists' hair is falling out, the music executive wants revenge and it rolls on from there...
 
PWLGB:  Where can people purchase your books?
 
YS: Independent Black Bookstores, Amazon.com, www.yasminshiraz.net. But you can also ask for them at Borders, Barnes & Noble and Waldenbooks. They will order it there if they don't already have copies on hand.
 
 PWLGB: Do you have a website?
 
 
Thanks for having me. I hope you all enjoy EXCLUSIVE. Spread the Word. Without you, book reading and writing wouldn't be possible.

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