Your latest novel WANNA GET TO KNOW YOU came out in October. Tell us about it.
It's about a young woman who has problems letting go of her bad breaks. As a result, she's not living life to the fullest. This story focuses on her fear and her journey to move beyond it. She also has an unusual occupation (for a woman) that I found very interesting to write about.
What are your three guilty pleasures?
I know I watch way too much boob tube. But I can't help it. I love TV and at one point it was my job to watch it. Very cool. I worked as a television critic for a couple of years early in my journalism career. So my three top guilty pleasures are TV shows, of course. My newest favorite is Nip/Tuck on the FX. I'm also a reality TV show junkie (America's Next Top Model, The Bachelor/The Bachelorette, Survivor etc.) I love Lost, too.
There is the rule (and I have NO idea who began it) that says writers should write EVERY DAY. Do you follow this rule? Do you have a writing schedule? Do you think "serious" writers should have schedules? (LOL-TRIFECTA question here!)
It's good to write everyday, and I used to write everyday, but that was before I became a mommy for the first time. I'm home with my 11-month-old son. I can only write when he naps. He averages two naps a day and they only last about an hour each. When he naps I often have to decide what to do. Do I eat lunch? Take a shower? Finally brush my teeth? Do a load of laundry? Prepare dinner, etc.?? Sometimes I do some of those things and manage to squeeze in a page or two, but it's very difficult these days. By the time my husband comes home and takes the baby, I'm too exhausted to write.
I usually need a chunk of time--like at least three hours straight to get on a roll with my writing. So these days I don't get much serious writing done until the weekend or maybe late at night when my husband and the baby are sleeping.
I think writers should do what works for them. Some people aren't wired to work well with strict schedules.
What is the one thing that makes you feel the most feminine, and why?
Gonna pass on this one. Not sure how to answer it without sounding weird!
Many of your novels fall under the genre CHICK LIT. Is this your niche? Do you plan to venture into other genres?
I started out in romance, but my writing voice has always been colloquial and hip, I'd like to think. And I enjoy creating quirky characters. I incorporated humor into my St. Martin's Press releases. I've always been drawn to flawed heroines, who feel more like real people. These days, I'm *not* chucking romance completely, but I think chick lit might be a better fit for me. Just wished I'd realized this sooner. But I'd also like to do straight women's fiction/family drama.
I'm no prude and I'm not all that conservative. I have written hot love scenes in the past, but there seems to be a growing emphasis on hot/sex/hot/sex/hot/sex/hot/hot/ butt-nekkid/sweaty/explicit sex in fiction. I'll only go so far in my books, but it seems the envelope keeps getting pushed. I'm just not that interested in trying to keep up so hopefully there are still enough people out there who want to read a decent story with interesting characters that doesn't come pre-packaged with an orgasm. :-O
You have very eclectic taste in recording artists, actresses, hunky actors, etc. For example, your favorite recording artists run from Beyonce to Tears for Fears, and hunky actors go from Shemar Moore to Paul Walker. What do you credit for your varied tastes?
Hmmm, I'm hard to pin down. I just like what I like and what I like is all over the freakin' map :-). I got exposed to a lot of different people and things at a young age.
Though you are African American, though your novels do feature African American main characters, your books have a very multicultural feel to them as if anyone and everyone can and should pick them up and enjoy. Do you think your eclectic tastes help in writing your novels?
Yeah. I'm very much into trends/pop culture. That was my newspaper beat at one time, too. I try to incorporate lots of references to what's hot and happenin' now and a lot of that transcends race because there's been a blurring of what's considered "black" and "white". I mean, look who is buying rap these days. My own music collection includes Tupac/Nelly and Clay Aiken (from American Idol).
If you had three pieces of advice for the aspiring-to-be PUBLISHED author, what would they be?
*Write what you love.
*Try not to become too obsessed with the market, but be familiar with the market.
*Study your craft as much as possible. Stay hungry and always try to improve. Try to read at least one good writing craft book (on plotting, characterization etc.) a month.
Check out Reon's website: http://www.reonlaudat.com!