Month: August 2016

An Interview with the Author: Tiana Laveen

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If you weren’t a writer, you’d be— 

A psychologist. A find the human mind fascinating.

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Does the writing get easier with each book? Or does it get more difficult because you’re also growing as an author with each work?

I have found that it has gotten increasingly harder. Coming up with new ideas hasn’t really been a struggle for me, but as I grow in my craft, I put myself placing higher standards for myself each go round. I am my own worst critic. I am harsher to myself than anyone else could possibly be. Therefore, I am constantly searching for what I deem as my own personal milestones for each and every novel I write. I am the type of author who will pre-edit a manuscript to death. By the time my editor and Beta Readers receive it, I’ve toiled over the thing and re-written various scenes countless times. It gets to the point where I have to say, “Tiana, stop stirring and serve the meal. You’ve done your best.”

Are you an active participant in the cover design of your books? 

 I am extremely active. The covers you see on my books were my ideas entirely. I chose the models, the artwork, etc. What I do at that point is take my collection, hand it over to my graphics guy and he does an amazing job with translating onto the cover what I’ve told him I want. I am very hands on and meticulous when it comes to my covers. If the models don’t match how I described them in the novel, I have a big problem with that. I’m also an artist myself (draw and paint) so I know what I want because I’m quite visually inclined. This is the reason why I also enjoy having artistic control over my book trailers as well.

I know some authors who hold several advanced degrees, and several successful authors who don’t hold a single degree, do you think it is necessary to have a college degree to write?  

I do not think it is necessary to have a college degree to write good books. I believe what is Grindnecessary, is raw talent, a willingness to grow and learn, dedication and a few good mentors along the way. There must also be a basic understanding of sentence structure, word flow, scene analysis, etc. I myself have a degree in Business Communication and a certification in human sexuality. It has definitely aided me, but I still believe I’d be just as able to write books without it. One thing that we in this modern day have as authors that many others that preceded us didn’t have is Google. LOL. Seriously though, research is at our fingertips and the ability to feed our minds with new information 24-7 is virtually inescapable. Whatever we are struggling with to learn about, we can study in the privacy of our own homes. No more strolls to the library required. (But at times I wish they were. Libraries are awesome, but I digress.) What college does is help ‘train your mind’ – but that can also be derived in other ways. I believe a degree helps, but it sure is not a necessity. Some of the best authors we enjoy do not have a college degree and we love them as well as their books.

What do you think every writer should know about character development?

TheNword I’m not certain I’m the right person to ask this question, yet some of my readers would argue I’m a great choice to prose such an inquiry. I am very big on character development. However, keep in mind, I tend to write long books. (books meeting or exceeding 100k words.) For readers who simply want a quick read that moves super fast, then character development is less crucial. For readers who want to dance inside of the mind of a character, know where he/she came from, understand their motivations, comprehend why they have done what they’ve done, wore the attire they placed on their body that morning and chose the profession that they have, well then yes, character development is essential. To answer the question – I think ever writer has to do what feels right to them. I believe in listening to the character, and really trying to understand them and that will allow the writer to see just how much or how little needs to be shared. It also depends on the writer’s writing style. Due to my love of human psychology, a character’s motivations, childhood etc. are personally important to me, therefore, I share it with my readers as well.

About Tiana

Bio (brief): Tiana Laveen was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She moved away, and now lives inside of her mind, but her heart is occupied with her husband, two children, and twisted imagination. She is a uniquely creative and innovative author whose romance fiction is geared towards those who not only want to temporarily escape from the daily routines of life, but also became pleasantly caught up in the twisted, well developed journeys of her unique characters. 

Website: http://www.tianalaveen.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TianaLaveen
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Author-Tiana-Laveen-154736031305671/
Other Social Media

https://www.instagram.com/tianalaveen/


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An upcoming event! Interracial Romance Authors Expo.

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I will be there. Hope to see you as well.

KASSANNA

I wanted to let y’all know wayyyy ahead of time that there was something special headed our way. 🙂  For those of us that read and write Interracial Romance there will be a conference on May 16, 2015. A year away! Yes, this sister can plan. Where you say? It will be held in Orlando at the Buena Vista Palace, Walt Disney World. Come on peeps, do that rump shaker dance with me!

Convention-button-250x250Click the picture to be taken to the site

I will be attending this Expo with some of today’s hottest IR Authors, Dahlia Rose, Aliyah Burke, LaVerne Thompson, Ancelli, Jeanie & Jayha and Tressie Lockwood just to name a few of them.  Not to mention the various vendors  and swag galore I heard will be given away. This is an epic event and will only take place for one day. Psst…come closer. *waving* Come on a little…

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Watching: Straining for The Strain

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the-strain-season-3-posterIt is finally here.

Season premier night!  I can’t stand it I am so damned excited. It is an ambitious show that still needs to work out some of the finer details in characterization, but I am wondering, are they getting it right?  

We know Eph is spiraling because he not only failed as a husband but also as a father long before the Master rolled his Vampire Bukkake spewing ass into town.

Fet is heartbroken. Setrakian has his own agenda which keeps placing them closer to to death.  The Master has a new body and then there are the street loaded with worm spitting vampire makers. And this fucking dude!

the-strain-richard-sammel

We all have our hopes of what we want to see in the show, but let’s be honest, everything can’t be Medieval porn with flying dragons or a an ass kicking zombie killing former sheriff.  Sometimes we have to sit and watch the magic develop. I am not expecting the first few episodes to be that great, we have to get back into the groove of the show.  We must be reintroduced to the characters, their plights and their pains.

So we can connect.

Empathize.

Then cuss them out for being so damned stupid.  Some are already spewing worm like venomous barbs of contention.  However,   of the Collider posted   1 DAY AGO that she is simply disappointed.

 “How disappointing it is then that what comes next is more of what came before. Thanks to a small time jump, we don’t pick up with our heroes on the run, but right back in Brooklyn under the protection of Councilwoman Feraldo. Fet is using his encyclopedic knowledge of New York’s underground tunnels to help the military hunt down The Master, Setrakian is hard but slow at work translating the Lumen, and Eph is, as ever, drunk and kind of the worst, devasted by losing his son to The Master. He’s ostensibly upset about the whole Nora thing too, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by the way he only brings her up once, and essentially only as a cover story.”
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“As for Zack, he’s obviously still the living worst, and now that he’s finally reunited with his mother, he spends most of his time whining about how much he misses his dad. I swear, this fucking kid… Ultimately, instead of finding our characters at the start of a new chapter, we find them somehow regressed back to what is essentially same old, same old and the first three episodes are spent catching up instead of moving forward.”- http://collider.com/the-strain-season-3-review/
the-strain-season-3-kevin-durand
I am going to watch simply for entertainment value, then take it from there.  I will keep you posted.
Join The Master’s Army at 10p on FX

Reading: GhostWriter by Tiana Laveen

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I am sick as a dog.  

My two week whirlwind trip has whirled the wind right out of me and I am whipped. I am bedridden nursing a horrible cold, but lo and behold, I feel cheerful.  Tiana Laveen’s new book Ghost Writer is out.

Synopsis:

Sloan Kenneth Steele, a popular NYC author, has recently uprooted himself from the stony, callous grip of Manhattan. Wishing for a fresh start after an ugly divorce, he relocates to the city of Maxim. He is still close enough to his adult children and grandson to feel at ease, but there are enough miles between them for him to relish his newfound privacy. Besides, Sloan believes that home is truly where the heart is. What the notorious skeptic fails to realize is that his new life would have its fair share of things that go bump in the night. Not one to easily scare, Sloan ignores the odd goings-on in his newly renovated property, and immerses himself deeper into his work. As time wars on, he gets to know the locals and the place he now calls home. Then, a chance encounter at a grocery store in the wee hours of the morning weaves a path straight into his heart…

Emerald St. Claire is a divorcee with an army daughter. A bit of a hermit, she does enjoy the company of others from time to time, as long as it doesn’t infringe on her passion – fixing the beloved worn and broken. Emerald loves her ho-hum routine, taking comfort in the predictability of her life … until Sloan enters the scene. The two forge a fast friendship and romance, but as Emerald gets to know Sloan better, she realizes he is not what she expected. He is more than she ever anticipated – a tapestry of manliness, suaveness, and contagious humor.

On his part, Sloan finds in Emerald what he always desired – someone he can depend on, a person unafraid to love and be authentic, regardless of who is watching, even if that ‘who’ is the ghost that dwells in Sloan’s remodeled historic home. The house has a troubled history, and so does Sloan. This begs the question: Who is haunting who?

On their independent journeys to self-discovery, forgiveness, and love, they find surprises around each and every dark corner. Will Emerald be able to endure a love that is unexpectedly meshed with the paranormal, and will Sloan finally become a believer in not only ghosts, but the resilient spirit of the human heart, with its ability to heal?

Here is the trailer.

Link on Amazon.

About this book:

This is the first book of a series (Raven Maxim); however, EACH BOOK IN THIS SERIES IS A STAND ALONE, FULL LENGTH NOVEL. What that means is there are no cliffhangers and no one book in this series is contingent upon another. All of the books take place in the same city: Maxim, New York. The reader may go in chronological order in reading each book released, skip about, or even read them in reverse. It is completely up to the reader. Some of the secondary characters will show up in other novels in the series, but such appearances will not impact comprehension and enjoyment of the series. All the books in the Raven Maxim series are classified as romance novels, and the subgenre varies from book to book. 

CONTENT WARNING Label

PLEASE READ: This book contains topics that are adult in nature. These adult themes/topics cover a gamut of subjects, including but not limited to:

1. Graphic depictions of sexual acts/sexual intimacy
2. Child abandonment
3. Mental illness and depression
4. Unnatural Death
5. ‘Lightweight’ chilling/ supernatural elements
6. Divorce
7. Periodic mentions of drug use
8. Homophobia
9. Racial tension/ethnic subjugation
10. Profanity

Damn!  I am reading this one right now!

What I am Reading: 30 Days

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30 Days by [Larsen, K.]30 Days by k. Larsen

Abused by her husband. Dealing with the loss of her only sister. A suicide attempt that doesn’t end in death and a husband who wants her inheritance. Elle’s life is a catastrophe. But she has a list and thirty things she’s determined to accomplish. Love isn’t on that list but it comes crashing unexpectedly into her life.

Ryan’s current lifestyle requires a lot of funds, he likes his toys. He married his wife knowing she had a hefty inheritance and is bent on securing it for himself by any means possible.

Boxing coach and personal trainer at the gym he co-owns, Colin’s content with his life. Until a chance meeting with a woman eating alone at a restaurant sets his heart in motion. As secrets unveil themselves his only goal becomes holding on to what he’s found.

Dr. Rand is floundering in the wake of his wife leaving him. His alimony payments are forcing him towards bankruptcy at an alarming rate. When he’s offered a large lump sum that would solve his problems, he takes it, condemning an innocent woman to a life of misery.

Amazon Link

Day 11: Bainbridge, Georgia

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So, I have to stop here to do some research.

I am thinking my character grew up here in Bainbridge, Georgia, moved to Atlanta, then on to Charlotte.

She went to church here. Baptized and everything.

Her Momma was the housekeeper (well maid here).  This is what started her making up great stories in her head to alter her reality.

It’s a work in progress. I will keep you updated.

I am heading home tomorrow.

Tired, but enriched.  Talk to you soon.

Still love you.  I still mean it.


Day Ten: Portland, Oregon

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Yeah, this is what I really came for.  The Alaska thing was a big boondoggle. Portland.

Paul is tired of this.

He wants some more of this.

So we are headed here.

to get a feel of this.

and this

Because Paul’s full time job is the Postmaster here.

Yeah.  Ms. Fancy Pants living here.

I can’t wait to write this.

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Did you come up with a name for her yet?