Meet Author Chanta Rand

Posted on November 14, 2011

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Tell us a little about yourself. I’m a mother, a wife, and author, and a radio host.  I’ve been writing since 1991 but didn’t get published until 2010.  I have a passion for history, and I try to put a little bit of this in all of my novels so I can continually educate my readers.  One day, I hope to retire to a tropical island where I can lounge around in my bikini all day and sip White Russians.

When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax and have fun? Travel and collect Native American pottery.  In a world where everything is stamped with “Made in China”, I like to buy American.  Nothing is more American than the original natives who were here BEFORE Columbus.

What is your favorite novel and why?  Roots.  So much history, legacy, drama, pain, celebration, and hope.  It’s a literary masterpiece.

What was the last you read that you enjoyed and why? Escape to Falmouth by Lena Joy Rose.  It’s a great historical romance between a Cherokee maiden and an escaped slave.  It’s got adventure, mystery, and romance – my favorite literary elements.

Tell us about your latest book?

Signs of Love: Twenty years ago, Vaughn “Chiller” Jackson was one of the most sought-after entertainers on the face of the earth. His pretty boy looks and soulful R&B ballads put him on the most wanted list of virtually every industry label. But even the brightest stars fade, and now the only people who want him are the ones who work at the IRS. Deep in debt, Vaughn turns to his manager, who proposes a shrewd rescue plan: A dating show based on the twelve zodiac signs. All Vaughn has to do is allow the cameras into his life for twelve weeks while he eliminates eleven bachelorettes to find his “soul mate”. Doing the show is easy; the hard part is keeping Sloane Young, the hard ass IRS auditor off his back.

Sloane Young knows she’s everything Vaughn Jackson doesn’t want in a woman. She’s conservative, hard-headed, and bossy. When the two get together it’s like oil and water. But she’s also smart; she’s got the perfect formula to get Vaughn out of this mess – if only he’ll listen. When Sloane makes the ultimate sacrifice to help Vaughn, she finds herself caught up in the outlandish world of reality TV. Before long, everything she’s worked so hard for is in jeopardy, and she finds herself in the unlikely position of choosing between Vaughn and her career.

Is this a sign of worse things to come? Or is it a sign of love?

Where can readers purchase your latest book? Signs of Love is my latest novel available on Amazon

What other titles have you written?

  • Pharaoh’s Desire (Historical romance set in Ancient Egypt
  • The Highest Bidder (Contemporary romance about an NFL quarterback who falls in love with a doctor)
  • Dirty Laundry (A chick-lit tale about three girlfriends and their quest for romance)
  • Opposites Attract (Coming December 2011)

If you could change one thing about your writing career thus far, what would it be? I would have self-published from the beginning.  I wasted time waiting on publishers and agents to tell me what’s hot, when I should have just trusted my instincts and believed in MY story, not the story they wanted me to write.

What do you find to be the best and worst part of being an author? Worst: Not having enough fingers to type all the novels I have swirling around in my head.  Best: When a reader contacts me and tells me how wonderful they thought my story was.  Yeah, I have high self-esteem, but good feedback is one hell of a boost to my ego!

When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route? Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a big proponent of self-publishing.  For authors, it’s a no-brainer.  Some of the benefits are greater royalties, no constraints on your literary ideas, total design control over the book’s title, content, and cover.  I had a bad experience with Red Rose Publishing.  Late royalties and poor communication from the publisher left a sour taste in my mouth.  The last straw was when I got a post-dated check!  Then and there, I decided to be in control of my own destiny.  Self-publishing allows me to do that.

Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author? I’ve learned more about the craft of writing.  I’ve taken helpful workshops from places like SavvyAuthor.com.  I’ve joined online writing groups, which has helped me network with other authors and received some valuable advice. I also host a bi-monthly radio show called The Chanta Rand Show on Blogtalkradio.com. I interview romance authors and I discuss the romance industry in general.  Talking with others who share my love for this industry really keeps me involved and constantly learning new things.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

  • Be true to yourself and write what you like.  That way if it sells, great. If not, at least you’ll have written what you like, and that’s what it’s all about.
  • Put out a quality product free of errors.  Readers work hard for their money and they don’t want to waste it on a book riddled with bad grammar and typos.
  • Opinions from agents and publishers are subjective.  Don’t change for anyone else.  If you want to write a love story about an alien and a wolf, by all means do it.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.
  • Rejection is part of life.  It happens to the best of us.  Herman Melville was dead for years before anyone appreciated Moby Dick.

What do you have on the burner for the next year? I’m working on the sequel to my best-selling book, The Highest Bidder.  The sequel, Love Blitz will be available in February 2012.  It’s rated T for Tantalizing!

How can readers reach you? I love to hear from readers.  You can reach me on my website:  www.ChantaRand.com or my blog: www.blog.chantarand.com

Dee here: I’m so glad you came by Chanta. Thanks a whole lot and a bunch.

 

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