When I first started looking at becoming published one of the things I did was research various contests. I came across the Aspiring Author Contest given at the yearly Romance Slam Jam, a conference recognizing African-American romance. Doubly excited I researched more and came across one of the main women behind it, Deatri King-Bey. Deatri is my guest here today and I’m very excited to learn more about her publishing history and why she offers so much help and advice for aspiring authors out there. Enjoy!
Hi Deatri and welcome! Let’s start at the beginning, tell me about yourself?
I entered the publishing world as an editor at Third World Press, the oldest African-American owned publishing house in the United States. I’m a fiction developmental editor and a multi-published, award-winning women’s fiction and romance author. I’m also a die-hard read-aholic. There are months I can go without writing but I read every day. I’ve been married twenty-six year and am happy to report that I’ve had many more good days than bad in holy matrimony. I have three of the greatest daughters ever along with three grandbabies and three dogs. Hmm, I seem to have a three thing going on.
Sounds like three is a good number for you :). That’s interesting that you started as an editor, how did you jump from that to being published?
I began writing on a dare from my sister. We were in the bookstore and I was complaining because I continually picked bad books. She said if I thought I could do better, to write a book. Next thing you know, I’d caught the writing bug and haven’t stopped.
I can relate to that. Many authors will write the books they’d like to read. Tell me about your book(s).
Here’s the back cover blurb for The Only Option, my newest contemporary romance.
Sane upwardly-mobile women don’t agree to enter into arranged marriages… Or do they? Control freak Jonah Tazi comes from a long line of arranged marriages, but the thought of his parents picking his bride never sat well with him. Time is working against Jonah, so he reluctantly agrees to allow his father to find him a proper bride. Then he meets Isis and becomes infatuated with the vibrant, funny, and talented woman. A powerful man used to getting exactly what he wants, exactly when he wants it, he is unprepared when Isis doesn’t agree to his proposal immediately. Now he is determined to convince her (and everyone else) that he and Isis belong together. Jonah intends to be her only option. Isis Michaels has always been sheltered by her father. The tables have turned, and now she must shelter him. Isis rearranges her life and will do whatever it takes to please her father during the time he has left—almost anything. It becomes clear that he wants to see her settled before he passes. Is marrying Jonah, a man she’s emotionally and physically attracted to but just met, her only option?
Oooh, that sounds like a fun premise. I know you’ve got several books available, which is your favorite and why?
My favorite book is always the one I’m currently writing. By the time I finish writing, editing, rewriting, marketing a novel, I’m ready for the next book. I’m currently writing two books. For those of you who follow my Write Brothers series, you’ll be glad to know I’m writing Uncle Joe’s story. I’m also writing Amber (one of the Precious Jewels) story.
With everything that you’ve got going on, when do you make time for writing?
I write most mornings before I go to work.
That’s impressive, I’m scrambling to get out of the house and get a cup of coffee before work! You write in several genres, is that challenging or something you enjoy?
I read just about every genre and love to write in different genres also. I always tell people I have a short attention span so I need lots of options to keep from going crazy.
You have a book offering advice for newbie authors, and you put together the Romance Slam Jam, what makes you want to give back?
I’ve always been a teacher of sorts. It’s just what I do.
Would you like to let people know more about Romance Slam Jam?
This eighteen year old conference is THE event for readers and authors of Black romance and women’s fiction. It is more of a family reunion where we celebrate our love of the genres than a conference. At this year’s event we’ll be Romancing the Big Easy in New Orleans May 7-11. Hope to see everyone there: http://www.romanceslamjam.org
I’m hoping to convince my hubby to make our anniversary trip in New Orleans so I can attend. Last fun question, if money were no object what hobby would you have?
I love to cook, but hate cleaning the dishes, so I’d probably cook and hire someone to clean up the mess.
Co-sign with you on that one! How can people find you online?
http://www.DeatriKingBey.com has links to all of my websites and social media spots.
Synthia, I just wanted to thank you for the fantastic interview. This was fun.
Thanks, Deatri! I really enjoyed this interview. Everyone be sure to visit Deatri’s website to learn more about her and her work.