1. What inspired you to write Melody, your most recent thriller? Is it based upon real-life events?
I wrote the first draft of Melody years ago and though I honestly can’t remember how I came up with the premise, I did come up with the story because I’ve always been attracted to thrillers and mysteries. It was the first suspense novel I’d written and it awoke a hunger in me because I love to read mysteries. It is not based on any real-life events. I don’t incorporate any part of my life into my writing. I simply write what comes straight from my head.
2. Have you always wanted to write in the thriller genre? And what first attracted you to the genre?
Yes. I’ve always read mystery/suspense novels and I love films of this type as well so that’s why I started to write it.
3. Do you have any obsessions and could you please share a few?
Some of my obsessions would be writing (of course), music, movies and doing hair and make-up. I love to dress up and fix myself up and do hair. I used to model but I always liked fixing myself up as a child. It's fun just to play around in the mirror, LOL.
4. Music and art are often touted as inspirational to writers. Has music or art inspired you? If so, how? And if not, are there other objects/elements (in nature or otherwise) that have inspired your work?
I am a music lover but it hasn’t any influence on my writing. I am more influenced by books that fit my genre, also movies and other authors. But mostly my imagination.
5. Most writers will read inspirational/how-to manuals, take workshops, or belong to writing groups. Did you subscribe to any of these aids and if so which did you find most helpful? Please feel free to name any "writing" books you enjoyed most (i.e. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott).
When I first started out I read some of the writing books but to me, the best research I found was from other authors and online. I learned more from different types of articles and writing forums than I ever did from a book. I find information on the net more relevant and more up-to-date than a lot of those how-to books.
I never was a fan of manuals because that particular author’s word (who wrote the book) is taken as law but in writing, different things work for different people. I don't think any writer has the same experience as anyone else. We can all share our paths and what we've done, but no writer can say what's best for anyone else. Publishing is a game of chance no matter how talented and determined you are. I would recommend the plot books from Writer's Digest that show authors how to construct different genres. They helped me in the beginning and I still refer to them sometimes to help me with a story.
6. In terms of friendships, have your friendships changed since you began focusing on writing? Are there more writers among your friends or have your relationships remained the same?
I am a very solitary person so I don't have a lot of friends. In fact I only have one friend who is my best friend. She's an aspiring writer and poet and we have a lot in common. I never had a lot of friends because I don't trust people and I just like to stay to myself. You won't believe how solitary I am, LOL. I keep my writing life separate from my personal life and I am not friends with any authors. I do have authors I converse with and they are acquaintances, but they are not considered friends. I don't get on that level with people in the industry.
I always remind myself that, no matter how friendly they are, these people are competition and writing (though I love it), is still a job and career for me. I think it's wise not to get too close and personal with some writers. The few writers I speak with regularly are through the Internet. I've never ever met them in person. I also have seen from the sidelines how authors burn each other when they get too friendly. There is a lot of jealousy in this business and so you don't keep friends long if they are authors too. I hope this doesn't seem cold because I don't mean it that way. But I think anyone who has been writing as long as I have and have seen the mess and drama that I have in this business will agree that keeping your personal life out of the industry and away from other writers is best. I'm also very private so I don't like people in my business whether they are authors or not.
7. How do you stay fit and healthy as a writer?
It’s the same as just staying fit normally. I eat right, TRY to get rest (which is difficult as a writer) and overall just make sure I’m doing the best I can health wise. It doesn’t matter the occupation, really. Writers should remind themselves that resting is important. We often try to work on so many projects at once and that can be unhealthy and stressful.
8. Please describe your writing space and how it would differ from your ideal writing space. (Please feel free to include a photo or two of your workspace if you like).
My writing area is in the den. Since I've never written anywhere else, I'd have to say this is my ideal space too. I love my workspace. As far as how it looks, I’ll let the photo speak for itself, LOL! It’s funny but for concentration, I find a messy workstation better for me to deal with. When I write, I have papers all over the place. I am constantly doing research, jotting down notes and ideas, so being neat all the time isn’t possible.
9. What current projects are you working on and would you like to share some details with the readers?
I am always working on something. My agent happens to have three brand new manuscripts of mine that she’s shopping around. I have started a mystery and suspense series starring the detectives from my last novel, Melody. I have been focusing on that series and have already completed two books for the series. Since January of this year I've already finished four books and I just started another one this week. I'm on a roll!
Thank you for the opportunity! I enjoyed the interview!
Thank you for joining us here at Savvy Verse & Wit.
Thank you for joining us here at Savvy Verse & Wit.
About the Book:
Melody is a mystery involving two stories of "deadly" passion. Melody Cruz is certain her sister's new boyfriend, the wealthy, charming, and handsome Keith Taylor, has a dark past that he will do anything to hide. At the same time, a man named the "Albany Predator" has been brutally raping black women throughout the city, and Melody is convinced that her best friend is the rapist's next target.