Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you so much for all the lovely emails and comments as of late. Feel free to keep on sending them along, but here are some answers to some of my most frequently asked questions.
Q: Why can’t I get your latest e-book on the Nook, Kobo, Sony — on anything but Kindle?
A: I don’t want to go into too many details about how the sausage is made, but here’s what I like to do with my free time: read and write. I really HATE promoting and feel it takes away from time that could be better spent on writing and reviewing books. Fortunately, the KDP Select program gives me organized ways to avoid off-blog, self-propelled promotion all together. Unfortunately, they demand three months of exclusivity for the privilege. This means that there’s always a waiting period before the book goes “wide.” I hate to frustrate readers who don’t have Kindles or iPads. Here’s what you can do if, like me, you’re not a fan of waiting three months for a book to hit the platform of your choice.
1. Spend more and buy the book as a paperback. All of my books are available in print now.
2. Download it to your smart phone or computer using the Kindle app.
Again, I apologize for the delay, but I can’t write efficiently and promote, too, so I had to make the hard call.
Q: When is your next book coming out?
A: Another reason I truly appreciate the KDP program is that in order to take advantage of the promotions, I have to stick to a firm 90-day schedule. This means that I’ll be releasing a new book once every three months. Here’s what my schedule will hopefully look like for as many years as it takes to finish my 50 Loving States series:
March: Contemporary Romance
June: Paranormal Romance
September: Contemporary Romance
December: The Holiday “Special” – This is a novel which will have some element that’s outside the norm of all my other romances: ex. menage, m/m, non-black heroine, sci-fi — whatever I’m feeling that year.
Q: Can you tell us about the next book?
A: I’m not a huge fan of hearing about books before I can actually buy them — even pre-order status drives me crazy, so I’ve decided to impose my views on the readers. Believe me it’s better this way.
Q: Why did you decide to go indie?
A: I work as another kind of writer during the day, so when I first decided to take the plunge into interracial romance, I did so feeling like I would no longer like to have any kind of boss or editor. Also, I happen to be married to a techie, so many of the DIY aspects of self-publishing didn’t turn me off. However, I remain open to publishing with a traditional press in the future. I would love to see a Theodora Taylor romance in the Kimani kiosk at the supermarket one day.
Q: Why do you review and write?
A: I wrote a super-long post about that. Check it out here: http://irbookreviews.com/2011/12/why-i-review-and-write/
Q: Do you read reviews for your own books?
A: Hahaha — no. I wrote a post about that, too. Check it out here: http://irbookreviews.com/2012/01/how-to-receive-criticism-as-an-indie-author/
Q: I want to review and write, too. Any advice about that?
A: I have a rich life full of close friends, love, family, and a wonderful job outside of my author platform. I also happen to have a great deal of social anxiety, which makes it easier for me not to be a part of the IR writing community — for example I’ll most likely never meet any of my fellow IR authors in real life, and you’ll never find me at any kind of writing conference. To a certain extent being too friendly with other writers compromises the review work I do anyway. There are a couple of writers I no longer cover, because I like them too much as people and fear I couldn’t be unbiased in my reviews. So if you’re like me, go for it. We definitely need more reviewers covering interracial romance. But most writers — especially newbie writers will want and need that community. Think about what you’ll need emotionally as a writer to get by.
Q: Do you have any advice for fellow indie writers?
A: Sure. Write, write, write! Read, read, read! Learn, learn, learn! Use jealousy to your advantage. I rarely get jealous, but I love it when I do, because that means that author has something to teach me. Above all things, attend to your craft. Really love your genre — I don’t understand IR writers who don’t read works by other IR writers. If you can, try not to compare yourself to other writers for either good or bad — it’s a waste of time, just learn from other writers as much as you can. Don’t seek out criticism. Don’t read your reviews. Always be writing the next book. If it comes down to a choice between promoting and writing the next book, choose the next book. Most of all, realize that it’s not about you. It is never about you. It is always about the books. Take nothing personally.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for THE OWNER OF HIS HEART?
A: For whatever reason, I’ve always been fascinated with James Spader’s character, Steff, in PRETTY IN PINK. I thought to myself what would happen if this jerk really fell head-over-heels in love with a super-sweet girl from the wrong side of the tracks?
Q: How did you come up with the idea for HER RUSSIAN BILLIONAIRE?
A: For a while I had an idea kicking around in my head for a huge misunderstanding romance — I used to crazy-love these back in the 80s, but they’ve really fallen out of fashion. Then I saw an item about Naomi Campbell and her Russian boyfriend and it kind of all came together after that.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for HER VIKING WOLF?
A: My best friend is in love with the title character from THOR, and I am not. But I do love shifter romances, so…
Q: How did you come up with the idea for the 50 Loving States series?
A: It’s hard to be black and live in Pittsburgh without coming to develop a true appreciation for August Wilson’s “Century Cycle.” Now, I’m no August Wilson, but I wanted to taking on a writing challenge, which I could pull off within my lifetime. Also, I love to travel, and I figured this would be a great way to write off vacations. My husband jokes that when we retire, we should take one of those around-the-world cruises and write it off with a 50 Loving Countries series.
Q: How do you find time to write?
A: I get up early, and I write five pages a day every weekday, making up for any pages I missed on the weekends. I don’t think about my rough drafts. I save almost all research for the rewrites.
Alright, I think that covers just about every question I’ve ever gotten. If I’ve missed anything, let me know in the comments.