An author always has to be at the ready to pitch her story and make a reader HAVE to buy the book – how would you pitch CROSS MY HEART to us if you only had 50 words to do so?
Cross My Heart will take you on a rollercoaster ride through the up’s and down’s of love. Follow David and Kia through their journey into each other’s arms. Their story will make you laugh, turn up the heat, and keep you craving for more.
Every story has a backstory, that event or experience that sparked a story to life…what is the backstory of CROSS MY HEART?
Cross My Heart actually started out as another story called “The Key”. I had written one page and then it just sat in the files on my computer for a few months. I got the writing itch one day and opened it back up. Then the characters basically led me through the story. It was a pretty easy write.
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Most recently I’ve been into sappy movies, the ones that make you cry, LOL. “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” and “Spanglish” have me bawling like a baby every time. I also love music and dancing so either I’ll turn up the stereo and jam in front of the mirror singing and dancing to some reggae or I’ll read while I listen to Billie Holiday.
At the end of the day, what do you hope the reader will get from reading CROSS MY HEART?
I’m a hopeless romantic, so I guess the “love can conquer all” idea and life’s too short to be bitter. Also, no matter what happens in a relationship, stay true to yourself. It’s so easy to get caught up and “settle”, but eventually you have to speak up and do what’s right for you and your happiness.
What is the ideal space for you to write?
Anywhere that I’m comfortable. Although I’m usually sitting at a computer desk, I’m not opposed to grabbing a notebook and sitting by myself on the couch while I write.
CROSS MY HEART is published by Pilot Publishing; was PP your first move for the novel, or did you pursue other avenues with the book? Talk to us a bit about your journey to publication and how you ultimately became connected with Pilot Publishing.
Honestly when I wrote Cross My Heart, I wasn’t intending on getting it published at all. I just wrote it for fun, but then everyone kept telling me that they loved the story. One day, I was talking to someone on MySpace who told me about this self-publishing called site Lulu.com. I posted my story there and got some good responses. Leila Jefferson has a novel called “Survivin’ Tha Game” on that site and the synopsis for her novel interested me so I sent her an email asking if we could switch stories. Unbeknownst to me, she was already involved with Pilot and loved my story so she sent my novel to them. And the rest as they say is history, LOL.
Do you have a standard process to your writing? Are you an outliner or a jump-right-in writer?
No, I don’t have a real process. I usually just jump right in after some brainstorming and let the characters of the story lead me.
Do you ever listen to music when you write? If so, what songs were on your CROSS MY HEART “soundtrack”?
Do I listen to music when I write? ALL THE TIME! LOL Slow jams help me concentrate and I can get lost in my own world. I listen to anything written or sung by Alicia Keys, so that includes both of her albums, as well as songs sung by Mario, Christina Aguilera, and Keyshia Cole. I also love to hear Musiq Soulchild, India Arie, and Floetry while I write.
What’s your favorite thing about CROSS MY HEART?
My favorite thing about this novel would be that with the way I wrote the story, the reader is actually taken on a journey and grows with the characters.
What three adjectives best describe CROSS MY HEART?
Cross My Heart is witty, real, and heart-warming.
What three adjectives best describe YOU?
I’d like to think that I’m funny, LOL. I’m generous and nonchalant.
How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?
I love, love, love to read any and everything. I never stick to one particular genre. I love music. I’ve been singing since I could talk. I also love watching basketball, football, and boxing.
As a published author, what advice might you offer to writers hoping to get published?
Read everything you can get your hands on. Knowledge is definitely power, and I believe you have to read to know what it takes to write a good story. I would also tell them to follow their dreams no matter what anyone says.
If there were a soundtrack to your life, what would be THREE MUST-HAVE TRACKS on that disc?
There would be more than three songs on my soundtrack, but since I have to pick, “It’s Whatever” by Aaliyah because I’m extremely laid back. Also, “Around the Way Girl” by LL Cool J. And “Time” by Musiq because I truly believe that everything has its time, place, and reason.
What are you currently working on?
Well, there were so many requests for a sequel to Cross My Heart that I actually started writing it. This novel will start a few months after where the first novel left off. And there are a few other projects and ideas that I’m working on as well.