Sunday, December 18, 2016

Holiday Interview with Author A.D. on this Sunday, December 18, 2016




Let me be the first to say Welcome to Arlena's Blog Page for My Interviews with Various Authors

Happy Holidays to all.....and let's welcome this Sunday, December 18, 2016 Author A. D......

A.D. would you please tell us about yourself... such as what would you like for your readers to know about you? ex. Your hobbies....family...likes/dislikes...  You can do a
biography of yourself here if you would like...  which may include many of the questions below. I think you have several occupations….a teacher and something with the airlines? Any pets?


I notice you use your initials A. D. instead of Anita Davis.  Is that a little confusing at times for your readers? 


        Hello!  My name is Anita Davis, but when thinking about establishing my brand as an author, I wanted a name that would also sound good if I branched out into singing as well. I thought simply using my initials would cover me well in both fields, so I go by A.D. People mainly communicate with me on Facebook via my personal, but I do have an author page, @theauthorad, that I would love to use as my main author platform on Facebook. People who know me as an author, generally refer to me as A.D. I am 33 years old and currently single. Being single affords me plenty of time to follow my dreams and not have to consider someone else’s desires at the moment. I am a woman of many trades. I am a licensed cosmetologist and worked in a salon in my early twenties for a while before I decided I wanted to do something different. I went to Northern Illinois University and ultimately earned my Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education with an emphasis on teaching middle school language arts and social science. I worked at an elementary school for seven years as a writing teacher. Being in that position helped me to hone my already critical eye to view writing from a different lense. I loved teaching writing and would often have to write examples on demand for the students to show them the process that a writer goes through to come up with ideas, first draft, etc. Although I had always been an avid reader and always wrote, whether it was short stories or in a journal, constantly having the discipline of writing in my face as a teacher reminded me of how much I actually loved writing. Five years into teaching, I decided to pursue a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Upon completion of the degree, I knew in my heart that writing is what I absolutely wanted to do. My passion shifted from being a classroom teacher to writing on a more full-time basis that I resigned from teaching. I went headfirst into writing and thought my first book, “Underneath It All” would make me millions overnight, thus providing me with no need to get a 9-5. I was wrong. When it hit me that I would still need additional income to sustain me until my books “put me on top” (LOL), my friend suggested that I become a flight attendant. I was opposed to the idea at first. Flying is not a passion of mine, but the more I thought about all of the benefits of being a flight attendant, the more I realized it could be the best fit for me at this juncture of my life. I applied and was hired at a regional carrier and after my first year, I settled into loving it. It truly affords me a lot of time to do what I love, write. So yes, I am a flying, teaching, (I still sub in a few school districts), writer. =)


·         As far as my day to day life outside of writing, teaching, and flying, my hobbies include reading, working out, doing arts and crafts, singing, and SKATING (not roller blades, but quads.) I do tricks and all on my skates. I don’t have any pets. 

Where are you from? Where are you living now?  Where would you like to visit in the near future and why?


            I am from Chicago; born and raised here. While my city gets a lot of flak for the violence that occurs in it, it really is a great city. I mean it has to be, it helped to make me! LOL
There are so many places I want to and will visit in the near future, but my top places are: Italy, Paris, Dubai (I have a story that I am eager to write that will be based here), Greece, and Thailand. I want to visit those places because I’ve seen pics that showcase how beautiful they are and know they hold a lot of history and rich cultural/tourist experiences worth partaking in.



What did you want to be when you grew up besides being a writer?  When did Anita know when she wanted to be a writer/author? 

·          I grew up thinking I would be a cosmetologist. Being a writer or a teacher never crossed my mind all the way through high school.


·         As I mentioned earlier, my time spent in the classroom made me realize I wanted to write, but the exact moment that it really became tangible that I had to pursue it was while teaching a narrative unit one year. My eighth grade students were not interested in the unit per the district samples provided. I knew I needed to get their attention and nurture it so I sat down in front of them and typed and talked my thoughts out (pretending to struggle with thoughts to show them that was okay for writers) on the laptop and they saw my words on the projector. I brought the characters and the plot to life right in front of them. I enjoyed it because it eased them into working on their own stories. The next day, they bombarded me to continue writing my story because they just needed to know what happened next with the plot and characters. Moments like that were euphoric and confirmed to me that there were people who would actually want to read all of the stories I had in my head.


How did you get started as a writer?  What's the best thing about being a writer?

     I would say being a writing teacher was my start at writing as I do now and by the time I finished my masters, I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that’s what I wanted to do. In fact, my first two books were two of the three stories I submitted for my thesis for the program. I was hooked and ready to hit the ground running as a writer upon my completion of the program. The best thing about being a writer is the freedom of thought. I love being able to choose how I want the characters’ stories to be told, even though they tend to take over and tell their own stories. LBS. There’s a saying that a reader can easily live a thousand lives via books. I believe the same can definitely be said for writers. Another thing I love about writing is that when done carefully, it should cause one to have more empathy for humans. When we write we have to create background stories for even the most unlovable characters. In doing so, it temporarily causes us to identify with them, at least to explain why they are who they are and why they do the things they do. With the understanding that humans are complex, that same allotment should be given to those we see daily. That’s not to say that any and all behavior is acceptable because of one’s background, but a writer should be slower to judge others because of the space we have to put ourselves in often to tell the antagonists story. I know for me, being a writer has made me more down to earth and compassionate than I once was. LBS

Where do you like to read?  Can you name the readers  a few books you have on your currently to read pile? 

·          I like to read any and everywhere, whether it be on the plane or my comfy chaise lounge in my living room. The key for me to enjoy reading, is to do it uninterrupted. I loathe when someone interrupts me while reading. I get so annoyed. LOL.

I have a lot of books in my “to be read” list, but those at the top are “Between A Rock And A Hot Mess” by Phyllis Bourne, “Breaking All The Rules” by Rhonda McKnight, “Mr. Right Next Door” by Farrah Rochon, “Passion Unlimited” by Delaney Diamond, and “The Wish” by Francis Ray. By the way, that was tough to narrow down trying to read those ASAP because there are so many others downloaded on my Kindle that I can’t wait to dig into.

How was life growing up and how does it affect your writing at this point in your life?  How do you come up with your hero/heroine that you write about in your novels?  What do you think about 'Standalone Reads' and as compared to 'Series - Book 1’ as you write your novels?  

·         My life was very interesting growing up. Blessed is the ultimate way to describe it, but overall, it forced me to be more of an introvert and by nine years old, reading became my ultimate escape from reality than it ever had before that point. Being comfortable with isolation is a trait that kind of works well for authors. With what we do, we can be in isolation a lot of times. Some people cringe being left alone with their thoughts, but for me, I thrive in those moments. I get to hear the characters and their plots and move forward writing their stories. I recently realized that maybe because I haven’t had my “happy ever after” just yet, that I guess I subconsciously don’t give my characters a “happily ever after” by the end of the book. However, for some of the characters, they eventually get in latter books if they are a part of series.

·         I get inspired by so much so I don’t necessarily pinpoint people to say “oh, they inspired me for this character”. There may be a theme or an ideology I want to convey, so I just build characters and a plot around that most of the time.

   In relation to what I think about, ‘Standalone Reads’, I love them. I’m an impatient person and I always want to know what will happen next as soon as possible, so to wait to find out something about a character until the next book can be nerve wrecking for me. But at the same time, a good series can make you feel at home with the characters. It gives you a chance to go and grow with them over the course of several books rather than a thrilling journey in just one book. Honestly, I set out to only write standalones because I foresaw how much attention would need to be given to writing series, but, my characters and their storylines said otherwise. LOL. They wanted some “to be continued” moments. I do have a lot standalones already plotted out and eager to write in the near future. I’m a proponent of both.

What motivated you to become a writer, what is your inspiration and what is your resource process when you are preparing to write a novel?  How long does it generally take you to write and finish up your novels?  What should readers expect from your stories?  Do you do your own book covers or do you have help?  They all are simply all beautiful.  [I plan to show each one in this interview down below with your book covers].

·         What motivated me to become an author was realizing that I had the gift to write and I could actually make good on all of the stories I had imagined and plotted out in my head ever since I was  little girl. The desire to write taunted me so until I knew that it’s what I wanted to do, what I’m supposed to be doing.

·          My inspiration for my stories comes from everywhere: a song, the sun shining, hearing laughter, wind rustling through a tree. I’ve just learned to be observant and attentive to everyday life.

·           My process of writing starts with visuals. I’m the type that likes to see charts and list out what I need to accomplish. That crosses over to writing when it comes to me using outlines for my books. When I initially get the vision for a book, it is very detailed and lengthy as I write it down. When it comes time to write said book, I generally turn most of the sentences from that initial synopsis into chapters and the fill in the rest of the plot from there.

·         The time it takes to write my novels varies. I talked out “Catch Me If You Can” in like a week, but then it took me about three months to read through and make sense of what my voice program thought I had said. LOL. Because I love to write and being a flight attendant affords me so much time to write, if I stick to writing daily, I can finish the first draft of a book in a month if I finish a chapter a day.

·         As I mentioned earlier about me not having my happily ever after just yet, readers should expect not to necessarily experience such for my characters in one book. What the characters go through generally expands over the course of a year and so they may need more time, or another book, to get to their happily ever after, if they ever do. I tend to model my characters’ lives to mirror reality for many people.  Problems we experience in life may not get solved in one year, so I make that same allotment for my stories. Outside of not necessarily getting happy endings in the book, they can expect for it to be told in such a humorous and emotional way that they’ll look forward to reading the next book in the series to see if the characters will get to the their happily ever after.

·       Yes, I do my own book covers. It is a part of my writing process. I honestly don’t feel right with starting the book until I have completed the cover. As I mentioned as one of my hobbies, I love art. Creating my book covers gives me that release.  

     Now, could I get you to list all of your books you are author of.... in order that you wrote them and the year that each one was published and also may I have the genres? Are they on Kindle format or paperbacks? 



  
1.
Underneath It All (Sisterhood Chronicles Book 1) Feb 16, 2014 (Christian Fiction/Contemporary Women’s Fiction)


  2. After All Is Said & Done Sep 20, 2014 (Contemporary Women’s Fiction)


3. Catch Me If You Can (Forever Friends Book 1) Jun 11, 2015 (Contemporary Women’s Fiction)


4. Discovery (The Sisterhood Chronicles Book 2) Mar 26, 2016 (Christian Fiction/Contemporary Women’s Fiction)


5. It's Complicated (Forever Friends Book 2) May 12, 2016 (Contemporary Women’s Fiction)

6. Untold (Sisterhood Chronicles Book 3) Nov 4, 2016 also Paperback (Christian Fiction/Contemporary   Women’s Fiction)   All are in both Kindle and Paperback


By the way I have had the privilege of reading all of your novels that are so very well written and my reviews can be found on my blog page:   
Arlena's Book Reviews at https://arlenasbookreviews-arlenadean.blogspot.com 

moving on...


A. D.  Are you working on your next novel?

I just finished the fourth and final novel in the Sisterhood Chronicles Series, “When It Happens To You”, about two weeks ago. It will be released by March of 2017. I’ve already started on a new one in which I’ll give the characters a happily ever after by the end of the book.

Now, which of your novels would you say were your favorite and why?

         Honestly, when asked which of my books is my favorite, I always say it’s the one I’m working on because I see my growth as a writer in it. But if I were to pick from those readily available to readers, I would say “After All Is Said & Done” and “It’s Complicated”, because of the complexity of the characters and the subject matter presented in them. But then again, I’m quite fond of my latest release, “Untold”, because of how quirky and intriguing to me the main character Renee is.  

      Have you ever tried writing any Poetry if not would you ever consider it?  If you have would you care to share with us some of them?
  
   I do write poems from time to time, but I wouldn’t compile them into a book of poetry. When I write poetry, it’s simply just a personal release for me. There are poems that I wrote in “Underneath It All” that you can check out if one reads the book.

     
       Do you have a Blog page if so what will we find on it?

           I don’t have a blog page at this time.

Are you a self-publisher?  Is so what is that process like? If not who is your publisher?  Would you ever consider co-authoring with another author? 

          Yes, I’m self-published. I enjoy it other than having to do all of the marketing for myself. If possible, I would love to just focus on the creative aspect of writing and maturing my craft as a writer, but being self-published calls for so much more than that.
·       Yes, I’ve been really thinking about co-authoring with another author(s). Perhaps a Christmas anthology.
·    
       What would you like the readers to take from your novels?

·        I would like readers to take away from my books the belief that they can overcome any adversity they face and give life a chance to be enjoyed.

What is the best thing about being a writer?  Have you ever been bothered with ‘Writer's Block?’

         The best thing about being a writer is never being alone. LOL. My characters are always talking to me. 
         No, I don’t get writer's block. I have the opposite good problem, blocking out new book ideas to complete existing ones.

 What is your favorite word and why and your least favorite word and why?

·        Apparently, for a while, my favorite word must have been “purse”. I had my characters “pursing” their lips as a means to show they weren’t convinced by what others around them were saying. But once I recognized my over usage of the word, I retired it. LOL.  In response to my least favorite word would probably be “I can’t”. I hate to hear people say that because I believe that all things are possible.

What was your very first book you ever read that you truly loved?

·          I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember so I would say that the very first Babysitters Club book I read was my favorite, but in my latter years, I would say that I treasure is the first Vanessa Davis Griggs. The book reignited my passion to read since it had waned amidst all of the academia I was dealing with. (Forgive me for not remembering the particular title at the moment).

Do you have a favorite sentence from any of your books? If so, what is it? What would you say are your 5 favorite words? 

·    My favorite sentence that I can think of now would have to be from “It’s Complicated: Forever Friends 2” at a point where the main character Melanie has to address a woman meddling with her at a sip and paint outing. “…You’re talking about me not loving myself, but you and I are the same color and yet you have on foundation that’s three shades lighter than what you are. Really, who’s fooling who?” I like how Melanie points out the irony of what the woman had been saying to her that night.

·   In relation to my favorite words, when people ask me what I’m doing, my running response is, “Getting my life together.” LOL
      
Do you have a pen name?  I notice you also go by A. D.

·              A.D. is my pen name. Again, I would like to go by A.D. in the literary world.

     What genres do you write and why? 

·          I enjoy writing Christian fiction because of my personal beliefs. But my books also fit under the women’s contemporary fiction category of literature and I enjoy writing in that genre because I Iike writing contemporary stories that I can relate to and would want to read. I do plan to release romance novels in 2017.

      How much of what you write is based on personal/real life experiences.  When writing do you use paper and pen or computer? 

·         What I write is based on my imaginings of what could possibly happen in life, but they are not my personal stories. When I write, I definitely do so on my computer unless I’m on the plane, and then I’m writing on my phone. My thoughts come too fast to bother trying to capture them with a pen and paper.

      Please share with us of your writing process...ex. Do you write while listening
 to music ...if so....who may we find you listening to?

·         When it comes to my writing process, as I stated before, after I have written down the synopsis for the story, I either interchange doing the cover first or the in-depth outline and then I begin to write the story. If I’m on the plane, I can’t listen to music while I write, but if not on the plane, I love to sit in a café-like restaurant called Panera Bread and write. The atmosphere just breeds creativity for me. If I choose not to go there or am not on the plane or in a hotel room, I’m in one of my writing rooms in my house listening to some neo soul or Dusties in the background while I write. I find that if I don’t have music playing in the background, the silence of my thoughts can get too loud for me. It’s deafening not writing to music for me. Weird hunh? 

     What genres do you love to read and what five books would I find stacked on your bookshelf that you have read?

·         As of late, I really fancy reading romance novels. For a long while I borrowed books from the library, so there wasn’t an immediate need to purchase books. Once I caught a hold of the e-book craze, I started downloading books, so I don’t have many paperbacks, but I love to hold a book as I read it. As a flight attendant, it’s more convenient to have my books stored on an electronic device. But then again, as an author, I feel I should have an impressive paperback collection. LOL.  On my shelf, you would see all of the books by Sherelle Green, my books of course, Janelle Smith Toussant’s “Ninth Ward Blues” and three of E N Joy’s books. Again, I’m working on building my paperback library.

      What authors do you admire and why?   Do you belong to any 'Book Clubs beside Arlena’s Reading with Friends? [Smile] on Facebook. If so would you like to share it with us? 

·         One of my favorite authors I admire is Vanessa Davis Griggs. I love how she can have multiple books portraying some of the same characters and yet each one adds different layers to the character’s stories. I think she is absolutely great at writing engaging and fresh books in a series. The authors I currently have a close eye on are Farrah Rochon because her romances are so endearing and plausible. I actually feel like I’m in the fictitious towns that her series are based in. I also admire Delaney Diamond. Her first work I read featured a mechanic as the heroine. She had me hooked from there with the woman having such an unconventional occupation. I love how she gives fresh takes on descriptions and avoids using clichés when writing. I also love Sherelle Green’s books. I pay attention to her writing because it is concise and yet so vivid. I can really see her characters in the way in which she describes them as if I were watching a movie. Their storylines are believable and not so falsified in an attempt to give the reader a happily ever after.

·          No, I’m not a part of a book club at the time because I know that I wouldn’t be able to give it the attention it deserves since I honestly spend a lot of time writing, and plus, I’m generally out of town for work all the time and would miss many of the meetings. But I am a part of a group of writers in Chicago known as Book Euphoria where we meet as often as we can and write together and we also came together to create more literary events in Chicago. We host a book fair twice a year, in March and November, called Book It. We just wanted to provide a platform for authors to showcase their books and connects with local readers.

      What would you like your readers to know that they may not know about you?

·          I’m very passionate about anything in relation to teaching and academics.  And on the contrast, I love to joke and smile. When they see me, they will generally see a wide grin plastered on my face. I truly believe life is meant to be enjoyed.

What may the reader find you doing when you are not writing and working on your novels?

·         When not working on a novel, I’m mainly reading other’s works or binge watching a series on Netflix. 

      What advice would you give other aspiring writers about your writing in general?
  
·         I would tell aspiring authors not to let anyone dictate what they should write and to not let anyone hinder them from accomplishing what they hope to gain with their books whether it be the theme or even just publishing them.

What advice and motivation would you give a reader who would like to become a writer/author?

·          I would tell a readers who wants to transition into a writer/author to always stay a reader. Meaning, never become that author who feels they never have time to read. I think it’s crazy to be an author and yet never read or barely make time for it. In doing that, one leaves out the possibility to really mature their craft.

      Please share with us what you are working on at this time and can we expect a release date soon/or any other thing(s) you would like for your readers to know about you and your books. 

·          As I said, I just finished writing “When It Happens To You: Sisterhood Chronicles 4” a few weeks ago and it will be released in March 2017. I’m starting a book in January called “Lights, Camera, Action” and it will be released in July 2017. Definitely be on the lookout for that one because there’s a special add on to it that I’m certain readers will be pleased with.

·         As far as what I want readers to know about my books is that, although I wrote them and may have a bias towards them, I just want people to know that my books are entertaining and not to be afraid to give them a chance.

      Please tell us about your latest novel and how you think people are responding to it?  

·        In relation to how I think people are responding to my latest novel, “Untold: Sisterhood Chronicles 3”, it just came out November 5 and it seems to be going under the radar. Hopefully, people will get into my books and see my growth as a writer and really enjoy “Untold” by the time they get to it in its series. The main character Renee and her storyline is definitely read worthy.

      How do you relate to how your readers respond to reviews of your novels?

·         In response to how I react to reviews of my novels, I’m just grateful to anyone who buys my books, let alone read them and then take the time to leave a review. So when possible, I sometimes reach out to the person with sincere gratitude thanking them for reading my work and leaving a review, especially if they enjoyed it. =)

       Do you prefer paperbacks or ebooks or both for your novels deliverance? 

·         In reference to how I deliver my books to the public, paperbacks are a must have for me because I travel a lot promoting myself and my books and people love to see and hold the product I’m asking them to take a chance on. I make it my business to always have physical copies of my books, but I definitely make sure the e-book versions are readily available in this technologically advanced era.


  Have you ever thought about doing audio?

·         Making my books available on audio is not an immediate concern of mine because I know that the cost for quality recording, etc. is significant. I’d like to tap into that media form when my budget will allow for it one day.

      Please share with us anything not covered above you would like to share with your readers at this time.

·         One thing I would like to mention to readers is that because I didn’t write the Sisterhood Chronicles books back to back, my Forever Friends series interrupts it. So although Untold is book #3 in the Sisterhood Chronicles, it’s technically book #5 in the timeline of the characters’ lives between all five books. Please forgive me you all if this may be confusing, however, my characters have minds of their own. Lol




    Another thing that I would like to impress upon my readers is that my writing journey is definitely about maturing my storytelling with each book. I hope they see that too as they take this journey with me from book to book.


Please leave us an excerpt from your any of your novels that you think the readers would enjoy...... 

                    Discovery: Sisterhood Chronicles 2 Excerpt....

..    “Hi Auntie Paula.” Pam sang as she went to the dish rack to grab a cup.
“Hi Pammie. How are you doing today?”
“She would be doing a lot better if she used her head instead of her hormones.” 
“Momma, please stop being so dramatic. I know I made a mistake, but you don’t have to keep throwing it in my face.”
“Well, I ain’t gon’ do it behind your back. Open rebuke is good for you.”
Pam stood silent brooding. She wanted to let her mother have a good tongue lashing at times, but she knew better than that. She took a big gulp of her water trying to calm herself down. “Don’t worry momma, as soon as my place is done I’ll be out of your hair.”
“You’re not in my hair, you’re in my house. I raised you better than being somebody’s fool. I don’t understand why you didn’t do your homework on him. I don’t care how charming he may have been, you shouldn’t have been his fool. Ain’t no man worth your salvation. Had you took the time to get to know him, brought him here to meet us, I would have been able to judge his character. That’s why your brothers’ marriages have lasted as long as they have. I met their wives, assessed their characters, and confirmed to both of my sons that each of their women were a great catch.”
“Eilene, be quiet. You aren’t always right. Sometimes you have to let kids learn from their own mistakes.”
“Kids? She ain’t a kid. She’s thirty-two years old.”
“I know that momma, you remind me of my age and what I did every day.” Pam took a deep breath. “I wish you would be here to comfort me while I’m learning from my mistakes instead of condemning me. You make me feel like I’m not wanted here.” Pam stormed out, but her exit wasn’t as productive as she would have liked it to be. She ended up in her room in her parents’ house." 


    A.D. where can we follow you?

     www.theauthorad.com
    Amazon.com/author/theauthorad
    Goodreads A.D. 
     Facebook @theauthorad
     Twitter @theauthorad
     Instagram @theauthorad

      A.D. I want to thank you for this absolutely wonderful interview.  I have learned so much about you that I know your readers will enjoy knowing.  You are truly one super lady and I am so glad to have met you personally and know that you are a real 😊 person and truly a author of some wonderful novels.  For all readers who haven't picked up one of Author A. D.'s novel please do ...you will not be disappointed at all.  At the bottom of this review please feel free to leave A. D. a comment.   Thanks!  



     Let me wish you a Merry Christmas 2016 and a Happy New Year 2017. A.D. please keep on doing what you do so well and that is writing well written novels for your readers.





.B