My Interview with Best Selling Author Delaney Diamond
I feel honored to have Best Selling Author and a very dear friend of mine, Delaney Diamond hang out on my blog today! Delaney is doing a virtual book tour and stopped by to introduce her latest release, The Blind Date.
But fiirst, let’s get to know Delaney a little better. I had the pleasure of interviewing her recently and figured I’d share what she had to say:
Okay Delaney, at what point in your life did you realize being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?
I didn’t have dreams of being a writer, so for me it happened fairly quickly after I decided to become an author. The only reason I even tried writing was because people were always telling me how well I wrote, but that was nonfiction—reports, essays, letters, things like that. I had no idea if I could write fiction well, but less than a year after I started, I received a contract for my first book, The Arrangement, from a small press. It was full speed ahead after that.
Between your book writing, blogging, marketing, family and all the other things that can get in your way, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set schedule or do you sort of play it by ear?
I sort of play it by ear, but I really need to follow a schedule. I’d probably be more productive. Lol. I write for short periods each day. Some days are more productive than others. If I find I’m staring at a blank page or struggling to get through a particular scene, I’ll skip it and write a different scene in the book. I also use a timer to keep me on track. I might set the timer to write for an hour and when it goes off, I have permission to check emails or run errands, or play around on Facebook or something.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
That’s a hard question. In general, I think I always struggle with the female characters because the heroines are the ones who get blasted by readers and reviewers. Sometimes I think we’re a little hard on the heroines—myself included. The heroes, on the other hand, are allowed to be a-holes and forgiven as long as he makes the right changes and his actions can be justified. I spend more time trying to fine tune the heroines’ personalities so they don’t come off too weak, too strong, too annoying, too…well, you get the idea.
What do you find to be the hardest part of writing?
The actual writing. Haha. Sometimes I have a great idea, but I suffer from writer’s block. The way I try to work around it is to work on another project, do some research for the book, or write a different section of the book.
Delaney, you know what my favorite scene in The Blind Date was, but what was your favorite chapter (or scene) of The Blind Date to write and why?
My favorite parts were the flashback scenes when they were in Chicago. Even though this is a story about a couple who met and made love the first night they went out, I didn’t want it to just be about that. I wanted to show that they actually had a connection beyond the physical.
In The Blind Date, you get a glimpse of Ryan and Shawna when he approached her on the street, a bit nervously because they were younger and in her words, he was “less sure of himself, though very charming.” You also see them go out to dinner and go dancing.
Rumor has it you’re working on a new series The Johnson Boys. Can you tell us about this upcoming series and maybe a timeline for the first release? Also a little tease would be great?
The rumor is correct! The Johnson Boys is my next African-American family series, similar to my Hawthorne Family series. It’s called the Johnson Boys for now, but I’ve added a sister since I wrote the series name. You know how that is, we adjust as ideas come to us. Lol. The family owns a brewery in Seattle. There’s Cyrus, Trenton, Xavier, Malcolm or Marlon (not sure what his name will be yet), and their sister, Ivy. Right now, the strongest stories in my head are for Cyrus, Trenton, and Ivy, so I haven’t really decided which one I will work on first, but in the meantime, I’ve been taking notes and have written pieces of the stories in between my other manuscripts.
And since you asked for a little tease, below is an unedited snippet from one of the books tentatively titled Just Friends. Lana and Trenton are best friends and she’s just returned from a visit to her family in Arizona. Trenton comes over to see her, but his sweet best friend has gone through some changes that he doesn’t like. Specifically, she’s colored her hair and is now wearing contacts instead of glasses.
Trenton scratched his head. “I don’t understand. What’s going on with you? What’s with all the changes?”
Lana shrugged and started spooning food onto the plates. “Like I said, I’m not getting any younger. I turned thirty two months ago, and it’s time for me to act like a woman and look like one.”
“I liked the way you looked.”
She smiled briefly at him over her shoulder. “That’s sweet, but you’re just saying that cause you’re my friend. I want to know what a man thinks.”
“I’m a man.” What the hell?
She giggled on her way to the refrigerator. “You know what I mean. You’re more like a girlfriend than a man.”
He was slightly offended by the comment, but he chose to ignore it because there were more pressing matters to address. As Lana poured lemonade—hers was good and tart because she made it with fresh lemons and none of that powdered stuff—into two glasses, he paid close attention to her. She didn’t just look different, she was acting different. He hadn’t noticed it before, but she was more confident. It must be the new hair and the contacts. And the shorts. They were the shortest pair of shorts he’d ever seen her wear. They put her legs on display in a way that made him take notice. Had her legs always been that long?
She was small up top but thick on the bottom, and it was never more noticeable than today. Her butt looked round and full, and her hips looked like they’d widened since he’d seen her last.
“No comment?” Lana asked, walking toward him with a glass in each hand. She handed one to him.
“About everything. My new look?” Her voice was soft, disappointed. She’d expected a different reaction, and for the life of him he couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t excited for her.
“You look nice. I mean, you know, it’s different. It’ll take some getting used to.” He took a large swig of lemonade, wishing it was something stronger.
Lol, I can’t wait to read more! Okay, now Delaney I have some random questions:
What’s the most amusing thing that’s ever happened to you?
I have no idea, but I can tell you something amusing that happened to me recently. When my nephew and I came back from vacation this summer, I dropped him off at home. I was walking behind him and fell. I just missed my footing, tripped, and fell, landing on my hands. (Great reflexes, right?) My keys were in my hand, and the car key broke off the keychain. When it broke, the edge cut a gash in my palm and I started bleeding. I know this doesn’t sound funny, but it was. I can’t remember the last time I fell, and it was so sudden and so random that I couldn’t help but laugh.
Could you tell us three random facts about yourself?
Random fact 1: Roaches scare the bejeezus out of me. Especially the big ones that fly.
Random fact 2: I’m not a morning person. I have to force myself out of bed every day. If I didn’t, I’d probably stay there until 10 am.
Random fact 3: I hate carrots.
All right, last question: What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I’m working on The Wrong Man, which is book 2 of the Love Unexpected series. Although the books are connected, they are stand alone stories and don’t have to be read in order. After The Wrong Man, I’ll be working on one of The Johnson Boys stories and More Than a Mistress, which will be another interracial romance due some time next spring. No date yet on either project.
Blurb for: The Blind Date
One night changes everything . . . again.
Years ago, when Ryan Stewart saw Shawna Ferguson, it was love at first sight. Unfortunately, he wasn’t a free man, and his deception caused him to lose her after a weekend that changed his life.
When Shawna’s sister and brother-in-law set her up on a blind date, she has no idea it’s with Ryan, with whom she’d spent a weekend she wishes she could forget. She reluctantly agrees to finish the date with him, but doing so leaves her vulnerable to his charms and the heat he ignited in her that very first night.
Excerpt for: The Blind Date
Her brow furrowed. “Why me?” she asked. “Out of all these women walking around out here.”
“There are other women out here?” Ryan looked around at the pedestrians as if seeing them for the first time. “I didn’t even notice. I only have eyes for you.”
A beat later, they both burst out laughing.
“Good one,” Shawna said. “Have you used it before?”
“First time. I thought of it on the fly. Good though, right?” He stopped grinning and looked her in the eyes to make sure she knew how serious he was. “But I meant it. Let me buy you dinner.”
“Ryan, I’m not interested in seeing anyone right now. You seem very sweet, but I’ll be leaving in a couple of days, so I don’t think this is a good idea.”
He couldn’t let her get away. She had to say yes. He’d come to Chicago to clear his head, and somehow he knew she’d play an important role in helping him finalize the decision he’d been struggling to make.
“It’s only dinner.” He could see her waver as she shifted from one foot to the other and tucked her purse closer to her body. “When do you get off?”
She laughed nervously. “This is ridiculous.”
“No, it’s not. You have to eat and I want to feed you. Makes sense to me.” He hoped that by keeping the conversation light, she wouldn’t overthink it and slip from his grasp, leaving him standing there with no way to see her again. “What kind of food do you like?”
Shawna shook her head in defeat. “French cuisine is my favorite.”
“And when do you get off?”
“I’ll be here at five-fifty, waiting.”
“If you’re not, it’s no big deal.” She shrugged.
He fixed his gaze on her face. “I hope that’s not true.”
She hesitated, tilting her head slightly, brown eyes observing him as if trying to figure him out. She obviously still doubted his sincerity.
“I’ll see you at six, Ryan Stewart.”
Get it now for FREE until October 7, 2013: Amazon
Not only is Delaney Diamond giving away a free copy of her book, she’s having a contest!
Prize: Winners choice of four (4) of the following items: (1) Delaney Diamond T-shirt in large or extra large (2) Delaney Diamond two-tone tote bag (3) $20 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (4) Delaney Diamond keychain (5) an autographed copy of Hot Latin Men Vol. I (6) an autographed copy of Hot Latin Men Vol. II (7) four bookmarks with Delaney Diamond book covers.
Eligibility: You must be a subscriber to Delaney’s blog -http://delaneydiamond.com/blog/. Prizes open to U.S. and international entrants.
How to enter: Correctly match each blog on her tour with its description. Visit the contest post on her website for the details.
Deadline to enter: October 13, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST
Winners will be notified by email and announced on the contest post on her website.
Delaney’s Contact info.