Meet Author Raynetta Manees

Posted on May 9, 2012

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As you know, I am always looking for another author to follow. I happened upon Raynetta Manees, who many of you may already know, but was new  to me. All I can say is I am so greatful for social media because I’m finding all of these great authors to follow. Anywhooo, allow me to introduce you to Raynetta Manees

Tell us a little about yourself. I was born and raised in Detroit, and I’m a graduate of Wayne State University, with a BA degree in Mass Communications. I retired as a Federal government executive administrator after a 28 year career.  I have an adult daughter and two grandchildren.

When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax and have fun? I’ve been a singer all my life and did some professional singing years ago.  I’m active locally as a karaoke singer.  In 2009 I won the local karaoke Millennium award as the Best Female Vocalist. I love to sew and I’m an avid cruiser.  My guy and I are cruising the Caribbean again this summer.

Tell us something few know about you.

  • When I was in college I partially supported myself by singing at weddings and funerals.
  • When my daughter was young and money was tight I sewed and made most of our clothes.
  • I used to be a Disc Jockey and I have an FCC (Federal Communications Commission) license.

What genre(s) do you like to read? If the writing is good and the subject interesting I’ll read anything, but one of my favorites is science fiction, especially novels/stories involving time travel.

What is your favorite novel and why? There are so many novels I love I can’t name just one.

What was the last novel you read that you enjoyed and why? I recently finished a short novel called Do Over by Jeff Kirvin.  I enjoyed it because it was about time travel and was well written with a profound twist at the end.

When did you begin writing? I wrote short stories and poems as a child, starting at about nine years old.

What genre(s) do you write? So far my published novels have all been romances.  Before my books I wrote short stories and some news articles.  I love playing pinochle and I plan to write a non-fiction “how to play” book one day.

Where do your concepts for your novels come from? All my novels have originated from something that actually happened to me.  For instance the hero in my novella All The Way Home owns and runs a construction company.  This was rooted in an incident years ago when I was waiting at a bus stop and a man operating a bull dozer nearby stopped working to come over and hit on me.

How long does it typically take you to write a book?  It varies. Because of special circumstances I wrote one of my books (Fantasy) in about two months.

Tell us about your latest book? Meeko Moore, a recent Grammy winner, is the stage name of small town girl Tameka Morgan, a deacon’s daughter who is determined her music not compromise her convictions.  But her sleazy manager, Danny Dorsey, repeatedly demands more titillating music and tawdry costumes.  Tameka must fend off his repeated sexual overtures, as well.

Needing time to regroup, Tameka flees LA to return to her Georgia hometown and encounters Tyler Barnett, the handsome new assistant pastor of her childhood church. The town is soon ablaze with vicious gossip about the pair, which threatens both their careers, and Danny lays a revengeful plot thatthreatens their very existence.  Will their love–and faith–be powerful enough to prevail?

There is a major plot twist about two-thirds into the book that numerous readers have loved.

Tell us a little about your main and supporting characters of your current book? Tameka Morgan (AKA Meeko Moore)—Beautiful young Grammy winning pop star from a small town in Georgia whose voice Rolling Stone Magazine calls “one of the most beautiful sounds ever recorded.”  Tameka was raised as a deacon’s daughter and refuses to abandon her beliefs to advance her career, despite the manipulations of her manager.  She worries that her association with Ty will hurt his standing with his congregation and impede his mission as a minister.

Reverend Doctor Tyler Barnett—Handsome young assistant pastor of Tameka’s childhood church who is a former college football player.  Ty drives around in a pink and black 1957 Buick Roadmaster he reconstructed himself.  He works closely with the church youth as a basketball coach and mentor.  Ty is worried that as a country preacher he does not have enough to offer a woman like the lovely Tameka.

Danny Dorsey—Tameka’s deceitful and unscrupulous manager who tries to threaten and trick her into performing music she feels “would make a streetwalker blush.”  Danny wants to control Tameka’s body as well as her career and will use every trick in his dangerous arsenal to get what he wants. He tells Tameka “I made you—and I can break you!”

Eddie Mae McElroy—Tameka’s best friend who is now an English teacher who has her back through thick and thin.  Eddie Mae teaches “good solid standard English” but sees nothing wrong with “a little ebonics between friends.”

Deidre (Dee Dee) Slayton—Once a childhood friend of Tameka’s, Dee Dee now has her eye on Ty and will do anything to keep Ty and Tameka apart.

Margaret Taylor Morgan—Tameka’s widowed mother and role model who runs a catering business.  Margaret is a genteel Southern lady, but she stands up for what she believes in, and one of the things she believes in most is her child.

Percy Stallworth—Widowed church organist who convinced Tameka to go after a career as a singer and who is afraid he is too old for the much younger lady of his heart.

Jesse James—the town sheriff who was Tameka’s late father’s best friend.  Tameka calls him “Uncle Jesse” but he wants to be so much more to Tameka—and her mother.

Reverend Hawkins—Church Pastor who calls Ty his “Number One” assistant and supports the young lovers one hundred percent.  His congregation affectionately
refer to him as “The Hawk,” and Ty admires that the Pastor “always knows how to get gracefully out of a ticklish situation.”

Calvin—16 year old member of the Young People’s Choir who has an out of control crush on Tameka

Melantha (Milo) Gordon—Danny’s young secretary who is the victim of his sexual harassment.

Lincoln Palmer—Ty’s college roommate now a well-known criminal attorney

RandyBarnett—Ty’s older sister who questions his relationship with pop star “Meeko.”

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination? Both.  Some of my characters are total imagination.  But I have to say that for most of my characters I have someone, real or fictional, in mind as sort of the “blueprint” for the character. For instance there is a character named Marcel in my first book All For Love.  Whenever I worked on that character I had in mind the maître d’ from the fancy restaurant scene in the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write? All my books except the first one were written from an outline, required by my publisher.  But for each book I found at points it just didn’t “work” according to the original game plan, and I had to add, omit, or change something

Tell us who or what was the inspiration behind your latest book? So much of my life as a child and young woman was centered around our church.  I wrote Follow Your Heart in response to a challenge.  When I told a colleague I was thinking about writing a romance involving the Black church she told me to “forget about it,” because I could never write a “good” romance with a minister as the hero.  My reply was “Oh, no?  Just watch me!”  I couldn’t be happier that the book has been so well received.  It won an Award of Excellence from the Romance In Color website and Romantic Times called it “…a flawless literary diamond…”

Follow Your Heart is dedicated to my Mom, Lebertis Knight Manees Wright, who passed away in September, 2011.  My mother was the greatest role model for a Christian woman that I have ever known, and since this is a Christian romance this had to be her book.

Where can readers purchase your latest book?

Kindle edition Amazon.com at Follow Your Heart on Amazon.com

Nook edition at Barnes &Noble at Follow Your Heart On Barnes and Noble

Also autographed copies of the print edition of Follow Your Heart and of all my other books as well are available through my website www.RManees.com.

What other titles have you written?

FANTASY, ISBN 1-58314-030-1

A MOTHER’S TOUCH, ISBN 1-58314-015-8, a three author anthology containing my novella, “All The Way Home”

FOLLOW YOUR HEART

Print edition ISBN 0-7860-0560-2

eBook edition April, 2012 ISBN 978-0-9855324-0-6

WISHING ON A STAR, ISBN 0-7860-0423-1

ALL FOR LOVE, ISBN 0-7860-0309-X

If you could change one thing about your writing career thus far, what would it be? I wish that my writing career—and my life—had not been interrupted by health issues, not the least of which was the stroke I had in February, 2011.  But I realize how blessed I am to have recovered with minimal impairment, and I am thankful to be actively writing once again.

What do you find to be the best and worst part of being an author? The best part is being able to, a least for a short while, live in a world totally of my own imagination.

The worst part is the dreaded deadline.

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? My first book was picked up by main stream publisher Kensington Publishing.  I didn’t really choose this route.  It more or less chose me. The book started as a short story, but it refused to stay short.  When I finished it was 93,000 words. My friends urged me to submit it to a publisher.  When I was offered a contract I almost fainted!

How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

It was a dream come true.  I had a small quiet celebration at home with a few family and friends.

What was your reaction the first time you saw your book in the bookstore? I just stood there and stared at the book for the longest time.  Finally I went up to the counter and introduced myself as the author.  It was a small bookstore and it happened that the person at the counter was the owner.  We scheduled a book signing then and there.

Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author? I have a much better understanding of the business end of writing than I had at the beginning.  When I first started I didn’t even know what an ISBN was.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors? Get a copy of The Writer’s Market and a copy of Become a Successful Author by Deatri King-Bey.  Every writer who wishes to become published or continue to be published should have a copy of each.

What do you have on the burner for the next year? I’d like to see my seventh print novel published.  I plan to write a movie screen play from one of my books.  I’d also like to finish my “how to” book on playing pinochle.

How can readers reach you?

My website is www.RManees.com Readers may sign up for my Insider List on this website

My email address is RManees@aol.com

My “snail mail” address is Raynetta Manees PO Box 3203 Southfield MI 48037

My business Facebook page is Raynetta Manees, Author

I am also on Linked In

I welcome questions and comments.

Do you have anything else you’d like to add?

Just that I appreciate the opportunity for the interview and that I hope readers will try my books.

Dee here: Thank you soooooo much for visiting us. You are a new author to me and I look forward to reading your work. And thanks for the little shout out about my book. Feel free to come on back and introduce us to your future books.

I’m baaaaack!!!  Look what I just found

Juggling a career as a TV reporter and raising a grandchild alone is challenging enough for lovely plus size 18 Jolene Jefferies. But then she meets Akron (Ron) Jamison, a strikingly handsome widower with a college age son and teen age daughter. Ron is a carpenter who has started his own construction company and wants her help in convincing the city council to give him a grant to repair old houses in the community. Jolene knows she has her hands full, for it isn’t long before they try to build a house of their own. But will a dark secret from Jolene’s past cause her to lose her career—and Ron’s love?

Amazon Barnes & Noble and she has more books!

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