1. What is a typical writing day like for you?
I am an early riser, between 4:30 am-5:30 am. Although I
work at home, I shower and dress comfortably so that I
put myself in a work mode. However, there are times
when I work in my jammies, mostly when I'm not
feeling up to snuff. I edit prior writings first.
Then I continue on with writing on the novel due. I
edit my reader e-mails and respond to them before I
take a break around 1:00. I start back up at 1:30 or
2:00 pm and I go at it until around 6:30-7:00. I
recheck e-mail accounts at that time.
2. Do you need anything special to write? Quiet,
music, a special place?
I like it pretty quiet. When I want to evoke a special mood
when writing a romantic scene, I sometimes put on the CD
player and listen to some Luther or Toni Braxton, among
several other artists, especially those from the 70s era.
3. What is the one thing about you that people would
be surprised to know?
My fear of big and small cats.
4. What is your writing process? How does a novel
begin for you?
I first come up with a specific subject
I desire to address. Then I write a synopsis naming my
characters and writing a character sketch in the
process, though I do go back and change names at
times. There are times when I come up with a title for
the novel first and then build the story around the
5. Where did you grow up and do you think it has
impacted/influenced your writing?
I am an east coast kid. I grew up in the small town of
Washington, PA, which is about 36 miles from Pittsburgh,
home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, my favorite NFL team.
The area of my upbringing mostly sparks ideas for settings.
I love the fall months, where the trees change colors.
I also love the snow, when I look outside at it, though I
played in it as a child. I left the area when I was
nineteen and moved to Los Angeles with my parents,
where many of my stories play out.
6. Do you have siblings? And if so where do you fit
into the mix?
I have four sisters and two brothers, a
total of seven when you count me in. My two brothers
are deceased. I am the youngest in the family, often
introduced by the others as their "baby sister."
7. If you could choose a profession other than writing,
what would it be?
Marketing and public relations, the field I worked in before
I began writing.
8. What is your definition of success?
Being genuinely happy with what I do. I believe when we
love what we do we will do our very best at it. Success is pure joy.
9. Who did you share your first kiss with and when?
Robert Keene. He was my husband in a mock wedding at
the church I grew up in. We were around five years old
at the time.
10. If you could have dinner with someone living or
dead, who would it be with and what would you want to
Jesus. Why so many tests, trials, and tribulations?
11. Your favorite past time?
12. What is your greatest fear?
Heights and cats.
13. What writers have influenced you and in what
I read a lot of Daniel Steele and Sydney Sheldon
before African-American writers burst onto the
literary scene. I did read Nikki Giovanni and Mayou
Angelou before then. I didn't develop a desire to
write until I was 43. It was more of a calling for me,
after praying for something to do at home to help me
through a debilitating disease. I read all the early
Pinnacle writers when the Arabesque line first came
out by Kensington Publishing. I was more influenced
by the AA romance writers because I loved to read
romance and it was so nice to read about people who
looked like me and the kinds of stories I could
personally relate to.
14. What is one book that you would insist that
everyone read? (other than your own) And why?
The Bible. Because all the kinds of stories we write about
are actally found in the Bible. I've had people write
to me and ask about the things some of us AA writers
write about, asking me how can we consider ourselves
Christians and write about certain things. (lust and
fornication). My answer is simply this: All these
subject matters are in the Bible: murder, lying,
cheating, mayhem, adultery, fornication, homosexuality,
15. Your favorite fictional character from someone
I loved the female heroine in The Other Side Of
Midnight by Sidney Sheldon.
16. Who is your favorite character from one of your
I would have to say Om'Unique Philyaw. The
novel she was in was my first published, Ice Under
Fire . She was also in the sequel that followed soon
afterward, Fire Beneath The Ice. I love figure skating
and that was her profession. My granddaughter's name
is also Om' Unique, though the novel was written
before she was born.
17. What do you want readers to take away from your
work--other than being entertained?
I try to always convey a positive message of some kind,
one that sparks hope and encouragement.
18. Your favorite saying?
No rain, no rainbow. (a title of one of my future novels).
Today is not the day! (When I'm not in a great mood).
19. Your favorite curse word?
I have my own pronunciation for a couple of words: sheite and
he-double hockey sticks.
20. What is the best advice you've ever received?
The only person you can change is yourself. To thine
ownself be true.
21. One thing that always pisses you off?
Assumptions. When people assume I'm this way or that
way before they ever get to know me sparks anger
22. What are you currently working on and when can
readers expect to see it?
I'm currently working on Beyond Tomorrow, the sequel
to Tomorrow May Never Come, one of my best sellers and
most requested to write a sequel. Beyond Tomorrow should
be released in early 2009.
23. Where do you see yourself in five years?
And how to
you plan to get there?
I try to live in the moment. When we look to the future, we
often miss out on the present. Expectations can often
fuel disappointments. However, I see myself continuing
to write, though I want to breakout into other genres.
I also plan to get myself knee deep into screenplay
writing. The only way to get wherever I'm going is by
hard work and determination.
24. If there was only one thing in the world that you
could change what would it be?
An end to poverty and human suffering.
25. If you had the chance to go back and do something
over in your life, what would it be?
I feel that I'm right where I'm supposed to be,
that I've done all those things God destined me for
so far. Looking back does no good because in reality
you really can't go back there. Looking back may
cause us to miss out on enjoying the present.
Now, tell us a bit about your current book on the
shelves and why should readers buy it?
Forsaking All Others is my Dec 2007 romance release,
Arabesque/Kimani Press. I'm Back!!!! This is the first
steamy novel I've written in several years. My readers
have often asked me if I was ever going to go back to
writing the steamy stories. While my readers say they
love my inspirational writings, many of them admit to
desperately missing my traditional, hot romance
novels. One of my readers pre-ordered the novel
Forsaking All Others and read it. The first line said:
"You are back with a bang!!!"
You should buy Forsaking All Others because this book
is an enjoyable read, a lovely holiday story set in
Aspen, Colorado. FAL has a lot love, steamy romance,
surprises, and delightful twists and turns. For those
of you who have missed my early style of writing
romance, you will be thrilled with this story and