Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Welcome author Dana Littlejohn today

Thanks for stopping by to talk a little about your writing! Let's jump right in.
When did you begin writing and why? I’ve been writing all my life really. I completed my first short story when I was twelve inspired by a dream I had.

Do you have a favorite genre? Is it the same genre you prefer to write?
I really like reading historicals and magical fantasy type books. I don’t write them because I don’t want to ever confuse one of my ideas with something I read and enjoyed.

Do certain themes and ideas tend to capture your writer’s imagination and fascinate you?
Not really. My mind tends to be all over the place. I like a variety of things.

Do you have a favorite author who introduced you to the genre?
I love Piers Anthony’s Xanth series. It ignited my love for fantasy and magical books. I continue to read that series. The first historical I read was by Bertice Small about her amazing character Skye O’Malley. It was the third in the series I think. It was good I searched for the first two, read the third again and then tracked down the rest. I’ve been a fan ever since.

What advantages or challenges does a writer in your genre face in today’s fiction market?
I think a major challenge is there are so many authors out there doing what I do. It’s hard coming up with different ways to make myself stand out. An advantage I think is you get to stretch your imagination and test boundaries to be able to stand out.

Tell me a little about the characters in Tri-Romance.
Opal and Pearl Jefferson are twin sisters. With their friend, Debra Flores, they own a beauty shop called Double Your Beauty. They have been single but openly on the dating scene for a while. Together they came up with their ‘no strings attached’ rule and made a pact to live by that standard and remain single. Unbeknownst to Opal and Debbie, Pearl had been dating the same man for many months. That relationship thrusts them into one of their own even. Even as they fight against it, all three women conquer personal demons, old habits and experience new things to find love and keep love in their lives.    

Where’s the story set? How much influence did the setting have on the atmosphere/characters/development of the story?
This story takes place in Indianapolis Indiana and partially in New York City. Both of the city settings have a big influence on what’s happening around the characters, but growing up in Indiana give the characters a different mindset and makes their time in New York relevant to the story.

If you had to write your memoir in five words, what would you write?
This was a hard question. If I had to use just five words they would be eclectic, motivated, crafty, ‘crazy’ and open minded. Those seem to sum up how I approach life’s ups and downs, problems and day to day things.

How often does your muse distract you from day to day minutiae?
Man! All the time! I carry a pad with me at all times because conversations between characters jump up in my head so I write them down just so I can move with what I was supposed to be doing. Or situation would spark a story idea for me so I’d jot it down real quick before something else distracts me and I forget it. I even write down distinctive facial features or personality quirks that catch my eye to make my characters more real.  

What do readers have to look forward to in the future from you?

I’ve got a few things coming later this year and next. Ivy’s Hot Shot (African American, suspenseful, contemporary, lightly erotic romance, 10/2016), The Fun Hose (African American, erotic romance, 1/2017) and The Seven Year Switch (BDSM, Female Dom, interracial romance, 8/2016) will be out in ebook and print later this year. I’m working on a vampire romance series called The Dioni Clan (erotic, interracial romance). I’m hoping to have it ready for release at the start of 2017.

Tri-Romance is a contemporary, interracial, multi-cultural, sensual, lightly erotic, woman’s lit romance novel.

Twin sisters, Opal and Pearl Jefferson, and their best friend Debra Flores were living blissfully by their ‘no strings attached’ rule, enjoying the many comforts of a good life. All was well in their world until Frank, Jake, Doug and Rakim entered into it. When one of the girls abandons their well-practiced rule and falls in love, does her decision throw a monkey wrench into the lives of everyone else around her? Or does it open up the possibility for love to capture them all?

Excerpt: PG13
“What if he just wants to be with me to see if, you know, the grass is greener?”
Her sister laughed. “It doesn’t take eleven months to check out the grass, honey. If that was his intention, he’d have checked out your grass and left a long time ago.”
“Stop making up reasons to sabotage the relationship,” Debbie told her. “You already have you guys married, divorced and you contemplating celibacy. You’re on an emotional roller coaster and nothing has even happened yet. You’ve made it these past eleven months. He’s obviously happy and so are you.”
“Yeah, but we haven’t been out. Mostly we’ve only kept to ourselves.”
“Oooh. So you think that he stayed in house the whole time you guys have been together?” her sister surmised. “Only walking out his door to go to work, huh?”
Opal looked at Debbie and they both laughed.
Pearl wrapped her arms around her chest. “I’m not stupid, Opal. I know better than that.”
“Pearl, if that man wanted another woman I’m sure he’s had plenty of opportunities to have one. Especially with all the good qualities you just named off. Women probably throw themselves at him all the time because of that, but he chooses to come back to you,” Debbie reminded her.
“At least give the man a chance to fuck up before you condemn him,” Opal suggested.
Pearl relaxed letting her arms fall to the table. “Yeah, I guess you guys are right.”
“Now, tell us why you left last night? Did his pretty face say something stupid?” Opal said giving her a nudge.
“No, his stupid roommate not only walked in on us, but he stood there watching us for who knows how long. I was so embarrassed I just ran up out of there. I didn’t want his roommate to find out about me like that.”
Debbie mouth dropped open. “He watched…without being invited? Mmm, hmm, he was definitely in violation for that one.”
Opal scoffed. “That’s messed up. Before you left you should have introduced the back of his head to one of the pots in the kitchen.”
Pearl chuckled. “Yeah, well, I was focused on getting out of there.”
“And what did your white boy say?”
“He was pretty pissed at Joe, that’s his roommate’s name, and he followed me to the door trying to get me to stay. He wants me to come over tonight, so he can make it up to me,” she said, fiddling with her fingers.
“And you’re going, right?”
Pearl shrugged.
“I don’t know, Pearl, if what you say is true, he doesn’t sound half bad to me.” Debbie looked at Opal.
“Don’t look at me. I’m reserving judgment until after I meet him face to face.”
Pearl sighed. “I don’t know. I’m still afraid.”
“You’re just gonna have to suck it up. That’s the risk you take when you fall in love. If it doesn’t work you chalk it up as another lesson learned in the never ending game of life.”
“That’s easy for you to say when you’re on the outside looking in.”
“All right, if you feel that way make him stay. Daddy used to tell us we were Jeffersons and if we wanted something we had to work to make it a reality, Pearl.”
Pearl tapped her chin as she thought then grinned. “Hmm, so I should let him make it up to me?”
Debbie nodded. “Absolutely. Show that slimy roommate of his you can still hold your head up high.”
Opal slapped the table. “So it’s settled. First go show that roommate what you’re made of and then get your Jake ready to meet us. It’s way overdue. No more stalling.”
Pearl nodded. “I know. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you guys sooner.” She leaned across the table and grabbed their hands.
“No more secrets, all right?” Debbie said.
“Okay.” Pearl looked at her sister.
“No more lies…ever.”
“No more secrets, no more lies,” Pearl promised. She sent a look to the clock then stood. “I have to go. I’ll talk to Jake tonight, okay? Love you guys, see you later.”
“Bye. Come on, Chica. We should get going, too.”

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 Meet the Author and their Links

Dana Littlejohn was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but has called Indianapolis, IN her home for over 20 years. She fell in love with writing early in life and even had an ongoing story in weekly installments in junior high school. Dana put her love for writing on hold to enter the adult world of working and to start a family, but in 2003, with encouragement from her husband, she picked up her pen again.
To date she has written 3 full length novels, 13 novellas, 42 short stories and has had her stories in 3 anthologies all under her own name and a pseudo for another genre. Her do-do list grows daily and new ideas flow freely. Keep an eye out for what she has coming next.


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