#WriterWednesday- Interview with A.T. Hicks!

This week I introduce you to another great author, A.T. Hicks! She stopped by a few weeks ago to share how she cracked the mystery novel code. This weeks she’s back to tell us why she writes and offers a few tips to aspiring authors.

Welcome back, A.T.! 


What inspired you to write?

 I wasn’t really inspired to write so much as reminded that I could. One day, desperate, I was trying to figure out where my talent lay. What was I supposed to be doing? At that point in my life, I was a directionless college student without the goals and drive that those around me seemed to have. I prayed. The next day I wrote my very first poem. And within a year I wrote my first novel. Albeit a terrible one, but a novel nonetheless! My inspiration for books lies in the madness of everyday life, in the nuances of human behavior, and…in court TV!

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

At the moment, I’m focused on writing a series of not so cozy mysteries featuring amateur sleuth Peaches Donnelly. I love cozy mysteries and have read tons of them. However, I noticed none were written by black authors. I figured I’d change that. However, I wanted the plot of Peaches and the Gambler, my first cozy, to have plot elements that were far more risqué than your traditional cutsie-cutsie cozy. So, with that in mind, I got to work. So, I guess you could say I chose the genre and not the other way around.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Unless I get really busy with my day job, I write nearly every day. I try to stick to around 1500 words a day. But as usual, this goes awry! Novels generally take me two to three months from start to finish.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

 I write all my novels in front of the television while talking to my husband! In addition, I’m not one of those writers who, if they stop, the writing muse disappears. Quite often, I’ll write a paragraph or two, in between cooking dinner.

MJ: Sounds like me this evening! I was cooking and writing at the same time!

Are you a pantser or plotter?

 I’m a panster with a bit of plotter thrown in for good measure. I usually have an idea and run with it. However, I spend a lot of time in my head plotting. Thus, the characters are already well-developed. I generally know exactly what’s going to happen in a book, save a few minor details.

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share an example?

My stories are almost inevitably ideas I’ve gleaned from a combination of watching the news, reading police bulletins and watching court TV. The development of the character for Peaches Donnelly was shaped around one of my girlfriends whose life–I swear to God–is a bad comedy. Every time I spoke to her something funny was going on with her or one of her two daughters. She was too funny a character to pass up. She IS Peaches Donnelly! The car chase in my second novel, Peaches and the Baby Mama, actually happened in real life. It was a story I saw featured on an episode of Judge Alex. It was so unbelievable and ridiculous; I just had to use it!

MJ: Ha ha ha!!! Art imitating life!

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

 I know this is probably clichéd advice, but write all the time. Learn how to shut people out. Put down your phone! Also, watch plenty of TV. That’s where I get all of the characters for my books. Nothing comes out of a vacuum and certainly with the characters in my books, this couldn’t be more true.

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

I’m self-published. I’m sorry. I’m an Indie Writer. I believe that’s the politically correct term these days!

What are your current projects?

 I just completed Peaches and the Baby Mama. The next novel in the series is Peaches and the Cross Dresser.

Peaches and the Gambler Silhouette

 

Buy Now!

What does a strip club, a dead man and a Dove ice cream bar all have in common? Peaches Donnelly.

Peaches Donnelly has a major problem: she’s just been fired. Unaccustomed to filling her days with nothingness, she embroils herself in the murder of a childhood friend. However, standing between her and the solving of this heinous
crime are two pesky daughters, a selfish opera singer sister, the diet from hell and two sexy men she can’t resist.

Add to this bubbling pot a hasty decision to go undercover as a stripper and you have a story rife with drama, laughs and a little dash of danger.

Follow Peaches and the always funny cast of characters in this first installment of a rollicking series of cozy mysteries.

 


 

Peaches and the Baby Momma

Buy Now! 

 

Bodacious beauty and Baby Mama Extraordinaire Cecily Washington has it all: a Child Support Portfolio that would make any Gold Digger proud, a sprawling McMansion filled with expensive goodies, and a closet full of designer shoes that would bring a diva to tears.

When Peaches is invited to a party at the uber wealthy Cecily’s home, she jumps at the chance. However, poison is in the air when local daycare owner and president of Peaches PTA, Stacey Howard, storms in and confronts the Baby Mama about the torrid affair she is carrying on with her husband.

When the housekeeper finds Cecily dead the next morning, the victim of a vicious—and some think well deserved—knife in the back, Peaches sleuthing/nosy instincts kick into high gear. Stacey Howard is the prime
suspect. But the list of Cecily Haters is long and illustrious. Accepting a lucrative wager to solve the crime before local police, Peaches puts her amateur detecting skills to work to root out the well-to-do Baby Mama’s
murderer.

 

About the Author:

When A. T. Hicks isn’t penning outrageous fiction, she’s shooing a renegade tomcat out of her garden, trying to prevent her escape artist dog from slipping out under the fence once again and negotiating with her teenaged daughter to complete her chores.

Twitter     Blog/Website     Amazon     Email

Thanks for stopping by to share your books with us!

MJ

Related articles

To Blog or Not to Blog?

blogThere was a time when I didn’t spend much time on the internet, much less read or follow a blog. Yet, in the last 3 years, I’ve become an avid blogger! Who knew? During this time my blog has undergone several revisions…from colors, to layouts, blogging platforms…and most importantly, what I blog about.

So, why did I start blogging? The answer is simple….to become a better writer.

Sounds crazy, right?

When I started blogging in 2009, I had no idea what I would write about. I mean really, at the time I was a stay at home mom who was attempting to write a book. What did I have to talk about? Hmm…kids, the community, my dogs. BORING!!! Who wanted to read that? LOL! In the beginning I had about 4 people who stopped by to read what I wrote. And that was only because I asked them to check it out. I had no idea how to format a blog post or how long it should be. Adding a picture was a hair pulling experience (did I mention I wasn’t THAT computer savvy?). Yep…suffice it to say I didn’t blog very often. Those blogs are still available if you’d like to read them:

 Four Miles and Counting….(my very first post!)

…Two Pit Bulls, One Paper Clip and a lap top to put it all in! (the next daring endevor!)

I know, I know, the big question is: did it actually help your writing?

The answer: YES!!!! (Seriously, take a look back then and now and you’ll see my writing technique has changed though my voice is pretty much the same.)

What are the benefits to writing a blog? As I stated above, writing a blog helped me find my writing voice, or rather, get comfortable with writing something, having people read it. Getting used to receiving comments and feedback about my blog post helped me get used to the idea of reading reviews as a published author. You can’t please everyone and of course everyone will not agree or like what you have to say. As writers, we have to get used to that idea. Why not do that with a blog?

And as they say about anything you strive to get better at: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE and you will improve. I strongly suggest that if you are an aspiring author looking to practice the craft of writing, start a blog! Find a topic or subject that is important to you (your writing platform or niche), and use it!

As time went on, I gave up on my blog for several months until I discovered my blog niche was writing about my experiences as an aspiring author. The more information I ran across, practiced, or new technique I found, I wrote about it. Sharing my story led me to other writers who were doing the same thing I was. Forming connections with other writers lead to networking, networking lead to learning new writing techniques from more experienced writers…and well, here I am today! It took a lot of work and continues to take a lot of work to keep this blog going, but I am proud to say that as of right now, I have over 900 blog followers.

I guess what I have to say and share means something! Thank you guys!!!

The question I am asked most by writers who would like to start a blog but fear they will never have a following is: “I have something to say, but who is going to read it? How do I promote my blog?” The answer is simple. If you’re tied into the major social networking sites: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Stumbleupon, etc., your potential readers are right there waiting. Choose a snazzy topic, a witty title, develop your layout, and use those free social networking tools. Before you know it, you’ll have a blog following, too!

Good luck and happy blogging!

MJ

Interview with Ebony Nicole!

I recently met Ebony Nicole on Facebook and was thrilled to find yet another writer from Atlanta. Every morning I log onto Facebook and see an encouraging word. It is inspiring to see someone take time out of their day to leave a word of encouragement for others.

Ebony author pic

Welcome, Ebony!

What inspired you to write?

My inspiration to write branched from my poetry. I have been writing poetry since middle school. Then in 2004/2005 I started my novel Destiny Is All I Need, I put it down for years. Then it 2011, I started writing Let God Forgive Him and that became my first published book. Writing has always been a part of my world, I just had to embrace my gift and share it.

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

I do not write in any particular genre, I would rather say I write about real life topics and put my own little twist in it. If I had to choose though, it would be Drama/Romance. (If that is a category) I’m still learning about Genres, it is still new to me.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

My work schedule remains the same when I’m writing.  I do most of my writing while I am at work. But for the most part, I write whenever I FEEL it and that can be at any time of the day or night.

 

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

My interesting writing quirk is Emotions, I write from what I feel most of the time. If it’s that, then it is from what I see around me and that is a driving force for me alone. Lately, whatever I see and hear ends up as a storyline for me. I cherish this because; I think that is the gift that is given to all writers. It’s our way of expressing ourselves through, Writers.

 

Are you a pantser or plotter?

I would consider myself a panster, I say this because everything comes to me and I flow from that. When I say “come to me”, I call it my gift that God gave me. So many thoughts, storylines, and titles come to my head, as any other writer and I just let it flow. Doing this allows the creativeness to flow and it’s not forced. This is the best way to write in my opinion, because once you get into that story, things are bound to change.

 

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?

I would have to say my writing is a combination of all of these.

My first book is based on a true story (Let God Forgive Him) my second book (Destiny Is All I Need) has some real life experiences with a combination of things that I have seen around me. I like to use that to my advantage, it always work in my favor. What better way than to use the things that you see around you every day?

 

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

I would advise them to be themselves in this writing industry; there are so many Authors that are trying to be like that next one. No two people will ever be the same; people will respect you and your work more, if you just let it flow. When it comes to learning, I was told to “Do my research.” Well, in my opinion, the best research you can do is through experience. Everything will pan out or you, once you are in it for a while. Some things will be harder to learn than others. Lastly, don’t allow anyone to mislead you, if you do not feel it in your heart, don’t go through with it. Everybody is not here to help you. It’s up to you to recognize the good from the bad.

 

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

 I am signed with a company but she still labels us as Self- published.

What are your current projects?

Currently, I am preparing to release my Poetry book, Penetrations of A Soulful Heart, that one will be followed by my Encouraging words book which, I titled Ebony Nicole’s Encouraging Words. By the time those are released, I hope to be done with my third novel, entitled You Can’t Weather My Storm.

 

Pink Publishing Sales Link     Twitter     Facebook      Google+     Blog/Website     Email

 

 

Let God Forgive Him-full cover

 

 

Let God Forgive Him

Based on a True Story”

Writer EbonyNicole

 

 

 

Touched

I was touched at a young age.

I still don’t know how I can live with this pain,

But I still love this man. 

I suffered through the most precious years of my life.

Trying to find my way and do what was right,

But all I could see was the pain inside.

Holding in tears that damaged pride,

Crying day in and day out as the world passed me by. 

No one knew of all this pain and hurt I had inside

As I did things out of anger or just because I thought I could. 

I even did shit ‘cause I thought it would make me feel good.

I didn’t have the guidance I needed to make it through another day,

Didn’t even have the courage to pray and say what my heart really wanted to

say. So, here I am, still lost and trying to find my way,

But, through it all, I must stand.

Never again will I be touched by another man.

 

Excerpt:

Chapter 1: Jewels’ Confession

 

“Mama, please, don’t make me go back there!” Jewels pleaded.

“Go where, baby?” Shelia asked her daughter.

“My daddy’s house,” Jewels answered as tears fell from her eyes.

She looked at her mother, but the words wouldn’t come out. Shelia opened the car door for her daughter, but she didn’t force her to talk under the condition she was in. All kinds of thoughts were going through Shelia’s head as she drove down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, towards their apartment. Shelia glanced at Jewels every now and then to make sure she was okay. It had been a while since Jewels had lived with her mother.  Shelia was in the process of getting her life back on track after having been strung out on drugs. Shelia had made the decision to let Jewels stay with her father until things got better for her.  She was now in her second year of being clean and sober, so getting her babies back was the next thing on her list of things to do. Drugs had consumed her life at one point, but Shelia was now a perfect example of someone who had overcome her addiction.  She was showing the world that only the strong survived.  Pulling up to their apartment, Jewels followed Shelia’s lead but took slow strides with her head hanging down.  Shelia grabbed Jewels’ chin, forcing her to look up, and said, “Baby, hold your head up.”

Now headed up the stairs, Shelia noticed that Jewels had stopped walking.  She thought she’d heard her say something.

“Mama, he rapped me, and I don’t want to live with him anymore. Please, can I come back to live with you now?” Jewels said.

Shelia felt as if her legs were about to give out, so she held on to the rail of the stairs.  She could see the pain in her daughter’s eyes and knew she wasn’t lying.  Her hands shook as she attempted to make it up the stairs to unlock the door.  Jewels was crying, trying to think of a way to tell her mother how her daddy had raped her. She was eight years old when it had happened, too young to understand anything. Having to hold this secret for four years had damn near killed her, but this was the perfect time to tell her mama what had taken place. They both cried as Jewels poured her heart out to her mother. The next day, Shelia took Jewels to the doctor for a full check-up.  This was the beginning of a long journey.

 ####

 

Destiny Is All I Need

Destiny Is All I Need

Chapter 11

The Check-Up

Crystal

 

 

 

 

Excerpt:

“Who is your doctor, ma’am?” the dark skinned receptionist asked.

“Dr. O’Conner,” Crystal answered.

“May I tell him who’s here?”

“I’m Ms. Simmons. I have an appointment.”

As the receptionist paged Dr. O’Conner, she realized she had seen this woman a few times before. The receptionist wondered how many appointments one patient could have in such a short period of time.

Crystal didn’t wait for Dr. O’Conner to respond to the page. She walked straight to Dr. O’Conner’s office.  You would have thought it was her office the way she sauntered in without a care in the world. Happy to see that he was alone, she gave him a hug and rubbed her hand up and down his back. He returned the favor with no hesitation. The hug lingered on for a few minutes followed by a passionate kiss. They had been secretly dating since Crystal was released from the hospital. Destiny had been taking very good care of her and so had Dr. O’ Conner. To her, everybody had a purpose in her life, and she was more than happy with the attention. Crystal had never had sex with her doctor, but, right now, she wanted him to take her right there in his office. She made sure he knew that by slowly taking off her shirt, pants, and all of her underclothes. As they dropped to the floor, Crystal saw the look of shock on his face, but she was ready. Dr. O’ Conner locked his office door and followed her lead. After removing everything from his desk, Crystal got on top of it, laid back, and waited. Taking control, Dr. O’Conner kissed her from head to toe, caressing her body.  As she anticipated his next move, quiet moans escaped her lips. He teased her body. Her heartbeat increased. As she wondered if he knew she had never been with a man before, she started to panic.

After turning Crystal over on her stomach, Dr. O’ Conner was now ready to please her. While rubbing his fingers around her clit, he was surprised at how her body responded to him. She swelled under his touch. He continued until he heard the wetness of her pussy. He slowly inserted one finger, then two. As he made circular motions in and out, he noticed she was tight, real tight actually.

“Am I your first, Crystal?”  He asked.

“Uh…yes, is it a problem?” Crystal questioned.

Instead of answering, he increased the speed of the circular motions he was making with his fingers and grew more aroused as he heard how wet she was getting from his touch. This excited him more than anything, and he knew she was pleased by the way she moaned louder and squirmed around on the desk. After removing his fingers, he slowly inserted himself into her wet pussy. Crystal closed her eyes and whispered, “Go slow, baby.”

Then, she began to rotate her hips a little. This was a strange feeling at first, but she liked it.  She wanted him and liked the way he took his time with her. As they got more into it, she scratched his back as he rubbed his fingers through her hair. Neither wanted to stop, but they knew this wasn’t the time or place to really get down. Crystal wanted him to get back to work but not before his tongue showed her pussy some attention. With two orgasms down, slightly exhausted, Dr. O’ Conner gave her what her body was asking for. Now this, she was used to. As his tongue swirled around and around, she threw it back at him.  With her legs wrapped around his neck, she was loving this!  After orgasm number three, they brought the session to an end. Dr. O’ Conner gathered their clothes and invited Crystal to his personal shower. Entering together, they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. Half of his day was gone already, but he didn’t mind at all.

####