Tuesday, October 19, 2010

~*Author Spotlight on Delaney Diamond*~

CK:  Hello folks! Today, welcome Delaney Diamond.

DD:  Hello everyone! It’s great to be here. Thanks so much for having me, Charisma. This is a wonderful thing you’re doing.

CK:  Where did you submit your first story?

DD:  My first story is The Arrangement, which is due for release on November 12th. I made a simultaneous submission to three publishers. Amira Press was the first to contact me with interest in the story and a contract. Once I accepted, I immediately contacted the other publishers to let them know I had accepted an offer.
The Arrangement

CK:  Please, tell us, what are the pros and cons of being a published author?

DD:  Pros: Having people read your work and enjoy it. It’s gratifying when someone sends you an email or makes a nice comment about your work.

Cons: Having people read your work and not enjoy it. LOL. I know not everyone will enjoy my writing, but I’m not looking forward to reading bad reviews. It’s all based on each individual’s opinion. Another con is having people look down their nose at the romance genre. It’s the best-selling fiction genre, so consumers obviously enjoy the writing and the escapism the genre offers.

CK:  Would you do us the honor of providing a sneak peek of your most recent project, if possible?

DD:  I’d love to! The Arrangement is the first installment in my Hot Latin Men series. In this story, Brazilian millionaire, Leonardo da Silva, is still seething from when his African-American wife, Alexa, walked out on him four months ago. Now she’s in his office asking for a business loan to help her brother. Instead of a loan, he’s willing to give her the money, but only if she resumes her role as his wife for the next two months. She reluctantly agrees, and she soon finds herself wishing their arrangement was permanent. But when she finds out about Leonardo’s betrayal, there may be no way for them to mend their broken marriage.

I’ve included a link to the teaser trailer for the book, and below is an excerpt.

“Let go,” she whispered. She was fighting him as much as her body’s reaction to his touch.
“Not yet.”
Leonardo tugged, and she fell against him, her breasts crushed against his hard chest. He clamped his arm around her waist so she couldn’t move. His eyes darkened as he felt her soft, supple body pressed against him. That wasn’t the only physical manifestation of his desire for her.
Alexa felt him harden against her thigh, and she was swamped with feelings that she hadn’t felt in so long, her knees weakened.
He lowered his head against her neck and inhaled in deep appreciation of the flowery scent of her skin. The tip of his tongue traced a sensuous arch along the shell of her ear.
Alexa closed her eyes and felt her body melt into his, his heart thumping beneath her palms.
“I can’t wait to get you back into bed,” he said huskily.
His hand lowered to her bottom and squeezed the flesh with possessive fingers, kneading it in a way that brooked no argument that it was his right to do so.
Alexa resisted the urge to grind against him. Her body was on fire with unrestrained need that she’d locked away and held behind a façade of cool indifference.
“Maybe this time I won’t let you leave.”
Alexa’s startled brown eyes locked with Leonardo’s hard black ones. She tried to wrench herself from his grasp, but he wouldn’t have it. He held her fast in an iron grip.
“You said two months,” she reminded him. “You can’t force me to stay with you indefinitely.” She successfully disengaged herself from his arms. He coolly looked down at her from his superior height, as if the heated response of their bodies pressed against each other had never taken place. “It was a mistake for me to come here.”
She grabbed her purse and rushed toward the door.
“You can have the check, Alexa,” Leonardo called before she could make it to the door.
When she turned to face him, she saw he held the check in his outstretched hand. Her stomach was in knots, thinking about her brother and what she would say to him if she showed up without it.
“Two months, Leo, that’s it.” She spoke in a firm voice, disguising how upset she was. 
“Two months, Alexa, and then you’re free of me.”
With as much dignity as she could muster, Alexa bumped up her chin and took the few strides back to Leonardo. She slipped the check from his fingers and moved to escape.
His voice halted her at the door. “No ‘thank you’?” he taunted.
“We both know that’s not how you expect me to show my appreciation,” Alexa said woodenly. She stared at the dark oak door instead of turning to face him.
“Well, at least thank Xander, for getting my wife back for me, even if it’s only temporary. By the way, he gets the check today, and you move back in tomorrow. I’ll have my assistant call you to make the arrangements to have you move back into the house.”
So soon. Of course he wouldn’t waste any time, but still . . .
Alexa twisted the knob and hastily exited Leonardo’s office.

CK:  Please share one of your earlier novels with us. 

DD:  Well, my “earlier” novel was written when I was 14, and I’m sure you don’t want to see that. It was a romance, and I named it Captured Heart. I still have a copy of it. It was 89 pages typed on a typewriter. My friends read it  and liked it. However, The Arrangement is my first published work.
CK:  What are your future goals?

DD:  I’d also love to have “best selling author” in my bio one day. Also, I’m a virtual assistant, freelance writer, and copyeditor. My goal is to give up my day job and write full-time, but I’m realistic because I know how difficult it is for authors to make a living at writing. Nonetheless, like they say, I plan to shoot for the moon, and even if I miss, I’ll be among the stars.

CK:  If your books were turned into a movie, but producers wanted the heroine to be white and the hero black, would you allow that?

DD:  Interesting question. I hope they wouldn’t do that, because that’s not how I envision the characters, and there are certain traits each character has that are unique to their personality and defines how the other characters view them. I think some of the sense of what the characters think and feel would be lost, particularly when those thoughts and feelings are related to race. However, if they could do it in a way that wouldn’t lose the true character, I would be fine with. There are lessons to be learned in the stories that are more than skin-deep.

CK:  Also, I was in Walmart the other day, and saw many varieties of books, with the exception of interracial. How does that make you feel?  Do you foresee interracial romance (not erotic because of children) books in Walmart in the near future? Any ideas on how we in this genre can make it happen? Charisma’s inquiring mind wants to know!! LOL

DD:  I definitely foresee interracial romance in major retailers in the near future. It’s unavoidable. Pew Research analyzes demographic data and found that 14.6% of marriages in 2008 were interracial or interethnic. It’s a sign of the times, and retailers will eventually pay attention because they want to sell merchandise. People in interracial relationships clamor for books that reflect their relationships, not to mention people that aren’t in those relationships find the stories intriguing.

It’s really just a matter of time, and this genre will continue to grow as people like you bring attention to it and cater to the needs of its readers.

CK:  Do you see yourself writing in other genres in the future, and leaving erotica/erotic romance behind? If you were to spring into another genre, becoming even more successful than you are, would you deny you once wrote erotica?

DD:  First, let me clarify, I don’t write erotica. I write sweet and sensual romance. However, if I did write erotica, I wouldn’t deny it any more than I would deny writing the stories I do currently.

As for writing in other genres, I would never leave romance completely behind. I’m a hopeless romantic. I would like to dabble a bit in the mystery/thriller arena because those are my second favorite type of book to read (after romance novels), but even then I would incorporate romance into the plot.

CK:  What are your hobbies?

DD:  Cooking is one of my hobbies. I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen. I also like writing and reading (of course), swimming, traveling, and watching movies.

CK:  How do you unwind?

DD:  I get out of the house! Because I’m a writer and the nature of my job, I have to get out of the house to unwind, because my home is my workplace. I either go to a movie or out to dinner with friends.

CK:  Do you mold your characters strictly from imagination or from those you cross paths with in everyday life?

DD:  Mostly imagination, but I do incorporate a little bit of what I experience in the world around me. Not just people I cross paths with, but characters I read in books, movies I’ve watched, and television shows.

CK:  Do you allow your muse to take total control, or do you create an outline before writing? 

DD:  My muse takes control. I’m not much of a plotter. If I had to do an outline before I started a story, I would never start, because when I start writing I don’t know all the details. I have a few ideas in mind, and I start there. Once I start writing, the story eventually evolves. Once it evolves and I have a few chapters, I start to organize the different chapters in order using an Excel spreadsheet. I know some writers draft the synopsis first, but that’s the last step for me after I’ve written the story.

CK:  What methods of research do you utilize? I know, I know! The internet is available, but do you scour the library as well? LOL

DD:  What did we do before the internet, right? I don’t research at the library much—at least not for romantic fiction. For my nonfiction writing, I do use the library databases. Sometimes I try to get the research firsthand. For instance, if I’m curious about a certain profession, I would ask someone in that profession whether or not the behavior I’ve written is normal or what a typical day would be like. 

CK:  Inquiring minds what to know, where can you be found on the internet?

DD:  Inquiring minds can find me at www.delaneydiamond.com and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Delaney-Diamond/138335572874239

CK: What advice would you like to pass on to aspiring authors?

DD:  1) Learn all you can. That includes reading books and attending workshops and working on your grammar. 2) Join a writing a group. In the romance field, you would want to be a member of the Romance Writers of America. It’s a great way to network, meet agents, find out about workshops, and have access to experienced authors who can help you. 3) Finally, get a critique partner or join a critique group. It’s important to get your work critiqued. It’ll only make you a better writer.

CK:  Delaney Diamond, thank you so much for sharing.

DD:  Thank you so much for having me! It’s been great. I want to remind your readers they can purchase my novel, The Arrangement, on November 12th at Amira Press.

In closing, allow me to offer a brief excerpt to tease and tempt them:

Lifting Alexa up into his arms, Leonardo exited the office, and they were through the doors of the bedroom so fast he must have taken the stairs two at a time. They disrobed quickly, kissing and nipping at each other as each inch of flesh was exposed. But Leonardo had plans for her. He lifted the belt of the silk robe from the floor and held it aloft for her to see.

“I want to make sure you don’t go anywhere.” 

         As if she would leave now, knowing what was so close. Anticipation licked at her spine, and heat warmed her inner thighs when Leonardo bound each wrist to the cool iron bars of the bed. He was focused, resolute, testing each knot before he began.

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