1.Where are you from?
I was born in a small town called Goldsboro, North Carolina. It’s about an hour from Raleigh, NC. I grew up in the Washington DC suburbs in Prince Georges County, MD. I moved to Baltimore, MD to attend Morgan State University and remained in the Baltimore area for the bulk of my adult life. Recently, I relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina.
2. Tell us your latest news?
Latest news… Let’s see, I just finished my thirteenth book, Unspeakable Proposal. It’s a story about a woman, named Hope, who contracts a beautiful, young surrogate to have a threesome with her and her husband. Flavored with my usual brand of craziness it’s an entertaining read and doing well.
3. When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in the summer of 2004. My son is a filmmaker and while in his last semester of the New York Film Academy in London he had to have surgery for a detached retina. Unfortunately, he had to sit out that semester to recuperate. Understandably he became depressed and frustrated. So, I tried to encourage him to use the time to write a screenplay. He wasn’t interested. So, I bet him a hundred dollars that I could write a novel, before he could write a screenplay. To him it was a sucker’s bet, because I had never written as much as a romantic letter. Long story short, he took the bet and All Mye Queen’s Men, A Love of Her Own novel was born. By the way, he finished film school the following semester and he still owes me one hundred dollars for our bet.
4. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I always classified a writer as a person who received compensation for the books they wrote. Although Amazon paid me for my books, I never really considered myself as a writer until three things happened. One, my books began to consistently achieved Amazon Top One Hundred Bestsellers ranking for their categories. Two, the revenue from my books were consistent and large enough to support my lifestyle. And three, my writing became lucrative enough that I could retire and write full time for a living. By the grace and mercy of God these things all fell into place about a year ago.
5. What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book, All Mye Queen’s Men, A Love of Her Own, was inspired by the various stories that my friends and family recanted about the different men who’d come into their lives. The idea came from the concept that each man we encounter somehow prepares us or shapes us for the man we want to spend our lives with. Women encounter all types of men in their search to find their soul mate. In short, we kiss a lot of frogs before our prince finally comes along. I just thought it’d be interesting to follow one woman’s frog kissing competition.
6. Do you have a specific writing style?
A lot of my readers would answer yes to this question, but I’m not so sure about it. I write mostly in the erotic Romance genre right now. The playing field is tough and very competitive. There are a lot of talented ladies and gentlemen out there and they are bringing some serious heat. So, my strategy to stand out just a little bit is to mix it up and go against the grain. Don’t get me wrong, I lay down some serious fire power, but I also mix some comedic, tragic, dramatic and fantasy elements into my work as well. My goal as a writer is to push almost every emotional button that a reader possesses. I’m a storyteller by nature. I bring that talent to my books to create over the top, no brakes, hands up, crazy, twist and turns, rollercoaster adventures. An avid reader reads to be entertained and that’s my ultimate goal, to entertain them. My style is to pull no punches, or hold nothing back to make sure that my books do exactly that.
7. How did you come up with the title?
The title of my Naked Truth About Love series actually came to me from 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 a statement about love from the Bible. This one passage from the Bible explains the bare bones, butt naked truth about this crazy thing we know as love. This series is about four frat brothers and their quest to find the perfect woman, aka the love of their life. Naturally, no trip to the love altar is ever cut and dry, easy or painless, although in our minds it should be. So I chose this passage and subsequently this title because it was the perfect representation of some of the many things my characters endured in their search for love.
8. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes! True love endures all and in the end, it never fails. My books are Erotic Romances with a lot of emphasis on romance. I’m a romantic at heart. I believe in love and romance and happily ever after. So, my message to my readers is that true love can and will conquer all.
9. How much of the book is realistic?
My books are fiction and I love to take full advantage of my creative right to embellish on the truth or a good lie. No, serious… I’m a fiction writer and thus far my books and characters and scenarios are larger than life, because that’s the fantasy of romance. We live in the real world 24/7. When we read we expect to transcend the mundane and escape our stressful reality and that’s what I try to give to my readers, a believable fantasy.
10.What books have influenced your life the most?
This is corny, and a lot of people will probably say that it’s an attempt to evade the question, but it’s the truth. So I’m going to just list them and move on…. 1. The Bible 2. Concordance 3. Dictionary 4. Thesaurus
11. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I have to think about this one a little bit more. Mentors play such an important role in our lives. I haven’t really had anyone in the literary field willing to extend a Mentor’s Olive Branch to me, yet. I will say that I admire the works, struggles and accomplishments of Brenda Jackson and Zane. I aspire to one day achieve their level of achievement and success.
12. What book are you reading now?
Right this moment I’m reading a pre- release copy of a collaboration novel by Tamika Smith, author of If My Pussy Could Talk and Mia Geyen, a new up and coming writer. The book is titled Lyrics of His Heart and it’s scheduled to drop on 04/15/13. Look for it, it’s a pretty good romantic read.
13. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Actually there are quite a few Newbies fanning the flames that have caught my attention. I’m a coward. If I start naming some and forget others there will be hell to pay. So, I’m going to keep my mouth shut on this one and punk out. They’re all great and I will support them just as they continue to support me.
15. What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on my final installment of the Naked Truth About Love series. The book is called, Love Never Fails. I don’t have a tentative release date but it will probably be released this summer. It’s a big project for me so I want to give myself ample time to do it right.
16. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I’ve received a lot of support and encouragement from several individuals. I’m sorry I can’t name just one or even ten, because if I did then I’d forget or neglect to mention someone and they’d be offended. I also get a ton of support from my Facebook Book Clubs. I belong to quite a few and they are all supportive of my work, so I won’t call any names for the same reason. I would like to say that everyone who has supported, promoted and recommended my work know who they are and exactly how important they are to me. I love you all and I will never forget you.
17. Do you see writing as a career?
Yes! I write full time now and I do a little publishing and ghost writing as well. Normally, I release a new book every 45 – 60 days. I worked in the medical field for over thirty years and retired last March. Writing allows me to relax and enjoy my life without the hassles and stress of money and a nine to five grind.
18. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No! I love my latest book- Unspeakable Proposal. If I really had to do anything different, I would have started promoting it a week or two sooner. Some of my readers would have loved for it to be a little longer, but I hate to drag a good story out. All and all, I’m pleased with the outcome.
19. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Growing up, I remember that my mother was an avid reader. She’d read a 700 page romance novel a week. I inherited her love for books and fascination with romance. I probably was around 15 when I started dreaming of writing a romance novel. Naturally, life happened and that dream was pushed to the back burner for a very long time.
21. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes! Keeping up with the ideas, scenarios and characters that continually pop in my head is my biggest problem. I have a very active imagination and on any given day my brain will come up with at least 3 concepts for a new book. I’m not very organized. I keep telling myself that I should keep an idea journal, but I never do. So, organization is my biggest challenge right now, next to procrastination of course.
22. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t really have a favorite all time author. Honestly, I’m an avid writer and a part time reader. I have so many books on my calendar that I need to write. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time for recreational reading, right now. If you twisted my arm and pinned me down for an answer I would have to say The Apostle Paul. He has always been my most favorite writer and he always will be.
23. Do you travel much promoting your book(s)?
Not really! I’m a Newbie in the literary world. Most people have never heard of me or my books. Most of my sales are through Amazon in eBook format and I don’t really do a large volume of paperback sales. I will say that I have been to a couple of local library events, to meet a few fans and autograph their books, but nothing nationally. Actually, I’ m a home body by nature which makes me a typical reclusive writer who doesn’t venture far from their writing cave.
24. Who designed the covers?
My son, Brandan designs all of my book covers for me. I have final approval on the design, but usually I love the concepts he creates. He also does my promotional materials like banners, posters and trailers. By the way, yes he is available at a very reasonable price if any Indies like his work. Just inbox me.
25. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
For me, the hardest part of writing any book is finding the perfect opening line or scenario. Once that is in place I can usually sail through writing the book. Opening lines are so very important. You have to grab the reader from the very first paragraph. The first line and the last line have always given me the most difficulty.
26. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
The most important thing that I learned from writing my first book is that I can do anything if I just try. The impossible seems impossible, until you accomplish what others deemed impossible. They say every journey begins with the first step. The same theory can be applied to writing. Every story begins with the first word, and every book begins with the first page. Write enough pages and you’ll eventually discover that you’ve written a novel. I’m living proof that it can happen.
27. Do you have any advice for other writers?
This is my one and only advice to new writers. Write! Write everyday… It doesn’t matter what you write, how long you write, or why you want to write it… Just write! If you do this, eventually you will dispel the critics who try desperately to convince you that you have nothing to say. Write!
28. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you! From the bottom of my feet to the top of my head and all parts in between, thank you for allowing me to enter your world and entertain you.
Email me and I’ll send you a free eBook. Don’t forget to specify which eReader you have. You can reach me anytime at email@example.com.
Thanks, so very much Jeff “DJ Gatsby” Wilson for promoting my work and helping me introduce my corky books and my crazy characters to the book lovers in your world. Much love and success to you! Brenda
Follow Brenda Stokes Lee On Twitter @brendastokeslee
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