PWLGB: When did you decide you wanted
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
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
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
YS: Letting God be in control a little bit
more. Right now, we're battling!
PWLGB: What advice would you give aspiring
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
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.