Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Angie "The Shoe Diva" Daniels

From the moment I met Ms. Angie Daniels I knew she was a DIVA. What impressed me was she made no apologies for it. When she steps into a room it is with the grace of Grace Kelly, and the confidence of Patti LaBelle. There is no pretenses with Ms. Angie. She is who she is and I love her for it. Ms. Angie is the true definition of a HOT MAMA! 

Since she has a book coming out on August 25th, this is a good time to give her some shine. 

Ms. Angie, take center stage and shine! 

What do people think when they first meet you?
I don’t know. I guess I need to ask them. LOL. I hope they think I’m very approachable, beautiful, and crazy as hell.

Three words that best describe you.
Confident, sexy, and beautiful (what else would a diva say?)

Books that influenced you the most.
I get ask that question a lot and it’s hard to say. I think any book I have read has influenced me in some shape or fashion. I love to read and reading is what inspires me. As I writer I find myself dissecting stories, looking at the way the author created the characters, the way the visual picture is painted. There is much more to books than just mere words.

How do you unwind?
An apple martini and HGTV. LOL (I’m cracking myself up). Usually a few rounds of kickboxing does the trick.

What does nobody know about Angie Daniels?
What nobody knows is Angie Daniels can’t keep a man! LOL I’m a whole lotta woman to deal with. Few people know I am currently serving active duty with the Virginia Air National Guard. I work long ten-hour days and then run home, slip off the boots and slide my feet into a pair of stilettos in order to get those creative juices flowing for an hour or two before bedtime.

What do you prefer, traditional or self-publishing?
I prefer self-publishing, however, I think every author should try to go the traditional route. It’s a great way to get marketing and to build a fan base. Once you do, you will truly appreciate being self-published because you’ll have complete control of every aspect when it comes to your work. The experience has been liberating.

Share your insights on becoming a USA Today Bestselling Author.
I was at work when I received the call from Yvette Hines and I was floored. I didn’t think it was going to happen. Multicultural box sets don’t make the list, but we did it! I was in a daze for the rest of the day. I’ve been doing this for fifteen years so it’s a wonderful feeling. It’s a wonderful reward. (The new title looks amazing on my book cover). LOL Hitting the USAT list was a collaborated effort that took strategic marketing and the support of our fans to make it happen.

What motivates you to write?
I’m going to have to say my fans because there are many days I rather just take a month off, but then I’ll receive an email from a reader and it just gives me the energy to keep going.

Good People are hard to find. So when you come across one you do all you can to share their shine with others. Angie "The Shoe Diva" Daniels is such a person. 

Was there ever a time you wanted to step away from the literary game?
Yes, absolutely. When you’re writing for a major publishing house and they’re ripping you off that’s enough reason for you to say to hell with writing. It just isn’t worth it. It was the readers that convinced me to stay. They enjoyed my work regardless if it’s traditional publishing or self-publishing, just as long as I keep writing. That’s the pay off.

Tell us about Put Your Name on It    10&keywords=Angie+DanielsThis is a story that I spent almost a year trying to figure out how to make it work. Claudia Winters is in love with Maximillian James unfortunately he’s possibly the father of a baby by another woman and despite how Claudia feels she doesn’t do baby mama drama She tries to resist temptation only Max plans to prove to her that regardless of the circumstance her heart belongs to him. He has turned out to be one of my favorite characters to create. The book drops 25 August 2015.

Is this book a part of a series?
Put Your Name on It starts where Say My Name left off and is part of my Decadent Delight series. It goes way back to A Delight Before Christmas with Reggie and Berlin. The books center around five gorgeous milk-chocolate general contractors in the heart of St. Louis. I’ve always had a love for men who used their hands.

What motivated you to write this story?

The readers. They have been asking for Max’s story so I had to find a way to make it happen. I hope they like what I came up with. This is the largest book I have written in years. 95,000 words to be exact.

Who is up next in the series?
Trey and Mia will be the next story to unfold. Not sure when that’s going to happen. I have a few other stories to release before them.

Overall, how many books have you written?
I don’t know. Really I don’t. I lost count. Between Angie Daniels and my pseudonym Sasha Campbell I know it’s more than 30. I feel blessed to still be writing after fifteen years.

You spread your wings a little in 2014 to add acting to your resume. How was that experience? Unbelievable! I’ve been acting up all my life, but working on The Heart series was truly an unforgettable experience. I didn’t know how much hard work was involved, and I was nervous as hell but as the actors grew close and became more like a close knit family, it became so much easier to relax. I’m ready to get started for season two.

If you could turn one of your novels into a motion picture which would you choose and why?
Probably In The Company of My Sistahs. That is one book that is still dear to my heart. I love crazy chick flicks when women can let their hair down and act a fool. That book gives readers a taste of just about everything.

I hope you enjoyed a moment with the one and only Angie. 

Ms. Angie, thank you for taking the time to share a little of you with the readers. May you continue to shine with each step you take.  

Until the next time,
Iris B 

Friday, August 14, 2015

I'm late and I blame Bridget Midway!

Let me fan girl for a moment.

Bridget Midway is awesome. Just freaking amazing with the pen and telling BDSM stories that can't be classified as "Mommy Porn."

Take Slave To Love, which I have been reading non-stop. I let things let deadlines pass. Sorry for the late post, but reading about Taren and Jace transported me to another world.

Bridget called Jace her onion and when you read this book, you will understand why. Now, you will be doing yourself a disservice if you don't read Love My Way  first. I re-read it before diving into Slave To Love. 

I was so into these books that I forgot Preseason Football had started. And if you know me, you know that is some big time ish!

Here's what I learned as a writer reading Bridget's books, RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH.
I also learned, when life gives you 50 Shades, become a shade tree. Oh, Bridget did that without being mean or nasty. I wish she'd teach me that.

And now I want a whip! Not just because I'm going to be Catwoman for Halloween and the new Heroes-Con in Charlotte, but because I think there is a Domme in me. (Does that really surprise anyone?)

But, umm, Bridget, my book is not signed! LOL!

Getting to Know New-to-Me Multicultural Authors

Last month I made a dark, deep confession over on Contemporary Romance Cafe, where I also blog each month. In my post, Celebrating Diversity in Romance (or Why #WeNeedDiverseRomance), I recounted the disturbing realization I arrived at in the months leading up to the release of my debut novel, Making the First Move, released in 2013.

Diversify Your Shelves Campaign photo courtesy of Kelly Garbato.
It suddenly hit me that I was a black author of romantic fiction, writing about black characters. Yet, I'd read ZERO black romance.

I know. BAD. Really bad.

I was a voracious reader as a kid, gobbling up the work of authors like Judy Blume and Paula Danzinger and reveling in the joys of classics like Little Women and Pride and Prejudice -- two of my favorite books still. Yet, I can't recall a single book that I read back then written by a POC author or featuring POC characters.

As an adult, when I started reading fiction again, I consumed mostly chick lit, women's fiction and the occasional literary fiction. Through recommendations or library displays I stumbled across and came to adore authors like Pearl Cleage (LOVE. HER.), Benilde Little, Bebe Moore Campbell and Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez. Still, in the scheme of things, this represented a very small proportion of the books I was reading.

Once I became a reader of romance, I read mostly mainstream novels. I wasn't actively looking for books by black, Latino, Asian or Native American authors because I made the false assumption many open-minded readers make. I was simply looking for my next good book, expecting that books by POC authors would be among them.


After decades of that experiment, I can tell you with great certainty that relatively few multicultural books found their way to me. So it was time to change things up.

I sought out African American romance. In doing so, I discovered fabulous stories by authors like Farrah Rochon, Beverly Jenkins, A.C. Arthur, Brenda Jackson, Francis Ray and Rochelle Alers. I've been kicking myself for not discovering these authors sooner.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when author KM Jackson started the #WeNeedDiverseRomance campaign, as an extension of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. I got how important it was to bring awareness to the imbalance in the publishing industry and on local library shelves when it comes to diversity. The movement calls for new voices of color in publishing. But it is also very much about making people aware of the wealth of fantastic authors in a rainbow of shades and ethnicities who already exist and have been doing the damn thing for years. 

The #WeNeedDiverseRomance movement isn't just about making mainstream readers aware of books by POC authors. It's also about making POC readers aware that those books exist and need to be supported with our dollars. This movement has also led me to discover fabulous authors of Indian, Asian and Latino descent. Authors I probably wouldn’t have discovered, had I not been actively seeking them.

It made me want to do my part to "bang the drum" as Kianna Alexander likes to say. So I began a series of interviews with POC authors over on my blog, Recent interviewees include Elle Wright, Erin Ashley Tanner and Tasha L. Harrison. (If you're a POC author, you can request an interview slot here.)

When did you first discover African American romance? Who are some of your favorite POC authors?

Diversify Your Shelves Campaign photo courtesy of Kelly Garbato.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Beautiful hats, beaches and books!

What better way to kick off the summer than with fly hats, readers and books. The Hot MAMAs spent a wonderful day in Greensboro, NC with readers. The Fly Hat Society Meet and Greet was a huge success with hats in a multitude of colors and styles. Thanks to the Greensboro Central Library for putting up with us. I had the honor of joining some of my favorite authors, Bridget Midway, Cheris Hodges, Iris Bolling, Kianna Alexander, Loretta Walls, Reese Ryan, Yvette Hines and even Altonya Washington who was unable to attend sent a video. I think I can speak for all of the authors when I say we are so thankful for our readers. As the summer moved forward I headed to Myrtle Beach to hang out with A.C Arthur at her beach bash. What better way to spend the day and nights than at the beach with sun, sand, readers and books. We had so much fun. I hadn’t laughed so hard in a very long time. From the hula hoop contest where my old school self showed the new school how it’s done to the grown and sexy hour hosted by Yvette Hines, Bridget Midway and Sienna Mynx . Even the battle of the sexes where Cheris Hodges and I faced off with Keith Thomas and Roy Glen and yes, before anyone ask, the women won! I needed help though. My questions were really hard. Who cares what the voltage of a car battery is anyway. I know how to jump one. Hehehe. I found out later the men didn’t know either. I can’t wait to find out what the coming months will bring forth.

Monday, August 3, 2015

There's no escape. I'm a SLAVE TO LOVE.

Hi, Kittens!

So this is it. If you weren't at A.C. Arthur's Beach Bask in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, you weren't on the ground floor to get my highly anticipated (hopefully) sequel to Love My Way called Slave to Love. It's published by Phaze Books and will be released tomorrow, Tuesday, August 4th. I cannot wait for this release!

This is ten years in the making. I had never planned to write a sequel, mainly because I didn't think I could top Love My Way, and, logistically, I didn't see how a submissive would be able to pick her Dominant. With some age, wisdom, and a bit more in-person BDSM research, I figured out how the scenario could work. I just hope that readers dig the story. I know I had fun writing it.

I did something in this book I had never done before. A couple of readers contacted me before I started writing this book and asked me if I would include them as characters in any of my books. Because it was the readers that prompted me to write a sequel, I thought this would be the perfect book to include them and some other readers. I just hope they still like the story and me after the read what I did to them in the book. Definitely a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.

After this release, the next book will be Is This Love?, also published by Phaze Books. That book will be out in time for my event in November, "Kickin' It with Adrienne Kama and Bridget Midway." I'd like to say that I'll never include readers as characters again because it was so difficult to be "mean" to them in the story, but I have this third book and I have already started it.

To make sure this book gets released on time, I need to go and get to work.

Stay sexy,