What’s Up With Deatri

Posted on February 23, 2011

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Hello Everyone,

February arrived about two minutes ago and is just about gone. Someone stole time from me and I want it back. Sorry this will be so long, but it’s been a while since I really put out news. My last update will be a treat for your reading through the news. It’s an interview with Romance Author Valerie Maarten. So stick around or scroll on down, I won’t be offended. 🙂

Romance Slam Jam Aspiring Author Contest
I’ve been busy, busy, busy getting ready for the Slam Jam, reading, writing, deciding what to send to the editor next and contemplating the meaning of life. As usual, the Romance Slam Jam Aspiring Author Contest I run has excellent prizes. The winners have a chance to be published with one of these fine publishing houses:

  • Grand Central Publishing
  • Harper Collins Publishers
  • Kensington Books
  • St. Martin’s Press

Do you know how hard it is to have an editor from a traditional publishing house read your manuscript? Trust me, it’s not easy and many of our past winners have gone on to become multi-published authors. So please help spread the word.  Romance Slam Jam Aspiring Author Contest

  • Genres: Black Romance and Women’s Fiction
  • Eligibility: If you have not had a full-length novel published by a traditional publisher, you are eligible for this contest. Therefore, if your publishing credits are: short stories, novellas, eBooks, poetry, non-fiction and or you are self-published, you are eligible.

Black Romance Book Club
You know I have my hands into everything, right? LOL. I run the Black Romance Online Book Club and we will be discussing Every Chance I Get by AlTonya Washington this Friday (25 February). AlTonya will be there and I hope you are, too. The discussion goes on all day so pop in and out as you can. You’ll need to join the group to join in on discussions.

Guest Author Interview
With physical bookstores going out of business and the increase in eBooks, it’s getting more difficult for authors to get the word out about their books to the masses. So me being me, will be bringing you short interviews with various authors. Some you’ve heard of, others you haven’t. I hope you find some new authors to add to your must read list.

Meet Valerie Maarten

Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I’m a proud mother of three sons. As I tell people all the time, I have a 25 year old, a 23 year old and an 11 year. The phenomenon about that is: I’m also 25 years old, which means I was pregnant with my first son when I was born. *What? Did I hear snickering in the background?*

Tell us something few know about you.
There’s nothing…I’m “normal” Oh, but there was that time when I…Wait, I can’t tell you about that.

What genre(s) do you like to read?
Believe it or not, I will read just about anything, but my favorite genre has to be Historical Romance.

What is your favorite novel and why?
As an avid reader, I can’t possibly answer that question. I’ve literally read thousands of books over my lifetime. Although I will say that growing up, Maya Angelou was my favorite Author. So if I had to pick, I would pick one of her books. She was very thought provoking and evoked emotions that many Authors usually fall short. She was one of the best, in my opinion.

When did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was in first grade. It used to be a way for me to vent my anger, disappointment, whatever. I would write poems and leave them laying around so my mother would know that I was mad at her. It was the only way I knew how to express myself…through words.

I remember my teacher telling my mother that she thought I would make a great writer someday. At the time, of course, I didn’t look at it as a viable occupation. No one wanted to be a “starving artist.” But, as I got older and matured I decided that I DID want to become an Author. I have a career. I can support myself, so that was not a problem. So, I decided to write more seriously with the objective of becoming published.

What genre(s) do you write?
So far I’ve published Contemporary / Romance / Drama. But I’ve several works in progress that range from Historical, Time-Travel to Paranormal. All romance, of course. No matter what I write, it will always have an element of romance. What can I say? I love love…

Where do your concepts for your novels come from?
Real life. Not necessarily my life, but sometimes from the lives of people I know or situations I hear or read about. My mind is always wondering, “What would happen if…?” So I generally write about more serious topics with a much deserved Happily Ever After.

How long does it typically take you to write a book?
It depends. I am really bad at procrastinating, so it can take months where it should only take weeks. For instance, when I wrote “The Gift of Joy” it took only 3 weeks, but my current work in progress I have been stalling for two months. Granted I’m multi-tasking and can barely eke out the time to write anymore, but usually I can sit down and write 3 or 4 chapters before I even look up. I guess I have to say it depends on how the mood strikes me.

Tell us about your latest book?
My latest book “Second Chances” is a tale about a brother that waits to avenge the murder of his sister, but unwittingly falls for the daughter of the accused murderer that’s been released from serving a 20 year term for the crime. Yet, the daughter still believes in her father’s innocence and continues to try and prove it. Needless to say, it causes an antagonism between the hero and heroine that they must get over if they are going to have their Second Chance at a happily ever after.

Where can readers purchase Second Chances?
Both of my e-books can be purchased on Amazon US, Amazon UK, B&N or Smashwords for any imaginable e-reader.

What other titles have you written?
My first published title is “The Gift of Joy” It’s another serious topic dealing with the pain and anguish of Domestic Violence through the eyes of a little girl named Joy. Although she’s an adult in the story, she still has a hard time because of it…until she’s re-acquainted with Gabe her childhood crush. With his love and assistance, he begins to help her heal and lose the guilt she’s carried as a child for being helpless to change things from her past.

If you could change one thing about your writing career thus far, what would it be?
Oh this is tooo easy. I would change the fact that I waited until now to do something that I loved. I would have started much earlier. In a way I regret those lost years, but I’ve matured and grown so for that I’m grateful.

What do you find to be the best and worst part of being a writer?
The best part of being a writer is receiving an e-mail or PM that your work has touched a reader in a personal way. It gives you a sense of…This is why I love to write, to touch people and hopefully bring an awareness to something that people don’t usually think about.

The worst part of writing is, having to come out of your shell or comfort zone long enough to promote your books. Don’t get me wrong, I’m what people call a social butterfly, but I HATE having to talk about myself. I find more satisfaction in promoting other people than myself. I guess it’s just one of those quirky things that most Authors have to deal with called a *necessary evil*

What do you have on the burner for the next year?
For next year, I’m hoping to be well on my way to sustaining myself by becoming a full-time Author. I know that part of being able to accomplish that is by coming out of my shell, which I’m doing slowly.

My new projects include uniting other Indie Authors by giving them a support system where they can share, learn and grow. It’s a fairly new platform, but has been met with relative success so far. Indie Authors Unite (IAU) has only been conceptualized for less than three months and has already garnered nearly 50 active members. It’s a wonderful place where we go to share ideas, experience and support each other.

I’m currently working on “Forget Me Not” which I hope will be out soon. February is not possible, but hopefully I can have it ready to be published in March 2011. My goal is to have at least 4 titles published in 2011, but at the rate I’m going I’ll be lucky if I can have two new titles out this year. But it won’t stop me from trying.

How can readers reach you?
These are the places I frequent.  Facebook, Twitter, Indie Authors Unite, The Write World Hope to see you all there. Be forewarned, I’m a chatterbox. As all my friends know about me, I love to chat *smiles*

Dee, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity for more people to know me. Most Authors are accused of being “anti-social” but I feel I’m an exception. I love talking and interacting with people…just have a hard time talking about myself. Although…

Well it has been a pleasure having you here. You are a reader after my own heart. Historical Romance is THE BOMB. Beverly Jenkins is my favorite. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of you.

Quick note everyone: Amazon and Barnes and Noble both have free applications you can download to your computer to read their eBooks. That’s what I used until I received an Nook color from the best sister in the world. Now head on over and try Valerie’s books.

Happy Reading Everyone,
Dee

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