Okay, more about me….
Tell us how you got into writing
I grew up around books and readers. Our home was like the neighborhood library; carrying authors ranging from Enid Blyton to Stephen King, J.K. Rowling to Charles Dickens. I read everything and was well ahead of my peers when in English and Reading. Interestingly enough, despite being a veracious reader I was never inspired to create stories. The only writing I did was class assignments.
I got into writing in college. I was doing a particularly hard unit and needed a lighter unit to balance it out, so I registered for a creative writing class. Basically I was only in that class because it was a ‘bird’ class a.k.a A’s were flying all around and it didn’t require too much effort.
And that’s when I discovered that I could actually do this.
Every time I read a good book, it inspires me to become a better writer. Every time I read a bad book, it challenges me to write the same story but in a better way.
Let’s just say that I discovered my aunt’s secret stash of Stephanie Lauren, Nora Robert, Jackie Collins books. #TheAddictionIsReal.
Where do you get your story ideas from?
I’m a writer. Anything you say can and will be used in a book.
Honestly, my ideas come from my daily life experiences; the people I hang out with, the shows I watch, the strangers I see, the books I read… I have so many draft ideas that I’m scared I’ll never be able to write them all.
What are themes that keep coming up in your work, and how do your personal feelings come out in your books?
Themes that regularly come up in my books include redemption, second chances, loyalty and devotion to one’s family. I’ll admit, I have strong feelings about each these themes. I think everyone is redeemable but that does not mean that we are obligated to give them a second chance – they have to work for that. I think faithfulness, loyalty and friendship are essential for any relationship to work – even more than sexual compatibility.
That being said, I try not to preach in my books. I just let the characters take me where they want. Let me give you an example. I can’t stand cheating. I can’t stand cheaters – I’ve been burned before and always say that it’s a walking out offense for me. But In Daddy’s Home, Lucky cheats on Zain. Lord, I did not want that couple to end up together. In fact I brought Eli in just so he could be the guy to take Lucky’s place. But those two nutcases just kept gravitating towards each other and Lucky was super-persistent until I just threw my hands up and let them be.
Most of your books have an element of suspense. What drives your obsession with mystery subplots?
I can’t help myself.
I love a good plot twist, not to mention I’m addicted to investigative shows. Castle, NCIS, Luther, Psych, Rizzoli & Isles Mentalist, Monk, Republic of Doyle… if there’s a crime drama out there, I’ve watched it or I’m about to watch it.
A lot of readers have commented about the strength of your female characters. What parts of you are in them?
I spend such a long time with my characters that inevitably bits of me bleed into them. But mostly they are based on the collection of women in my life. I was fortunate enough to have been birthed by one of the strongest women. Because of her, I naturally gravitate to women and friends who have some spine; be it the ‘in your face’ kind of spine, or the silent strength spine that only emerges when you push them into a corner.
That’s not to say that my characters can’t be weak or are admirable all the time. Oh, no. They have flaws too. But I try to push them to realize these weaknesses and work on them before my books end.
I choose to write mostly women of color because we need more books out there that feature us in a positive light.
Where are you in the world and what does your writing space look like? And can we get a hint of behind the scenes
I live in Nairobi, the cool Capital city in Kenya. It’s a pretty terrific and fast-paced city. Happy, ambitious and welcoming people, delicious but sometimes strange food… and the night life is EVERYTHING. My writing space is a dedicated corner in my living room, though I will sometimes to the roof of our apartment building if I need a change in scenery.
Now that I’m writing full time, my routine is pretty fixed. As soon as I’m awake (6 or 7) I brew a cup of coffee or herbal tea then sit down to write. I write non-stop until I’ve finished one chapter in whatever book I’m currently writing. Usually I’m done by lunchtime. After that my day is up for grabs; cleaning the house, hanging out, going to the market, gym etc.
Married? Single? Asexual? In love with your cat.
Sometimes coupled, sometimes single…. It’s complicated. No cats or kids either.
Ha! Wouldn’t you like to know?
A lady does not tell. But I can tell you this; I’ve only voted twice.
What are a few books that you love and that you’d recommend readers check out?
Wah! Where do I start? I read everything. From Better Ford to Liliana Hart, J-Peach to Elle Wright…. I love reading. If you’d like to find out what I’m currently reading or to recommend something I should read then you should join My Book Club.
I love Bette Ford’s Prescott Series, anything by Liliana Hart and Street lit fiction author J. Peach’s books. Right now I’m obsessed with Elle Wright’s, Edge of Scandal Series (African-American Romance).
So that’s me in a nutshell. Thanks for coming to my website. Don’t forget to join My Book Club so you can get an email whenever I drop a book or if I’m handing out freebies, discounts, bonus chapters and more goodies. You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and check out my Wattpad page to follow as I write rough drafts of books. And please, if you like my books, tell your friends and family. Without you sharing my work I would be nowhere in this writing business.