I would like to welcome N.D Jones to my blog today. She is the author of the new book, Of Fear and Faith. Stay tuned for details where you can view the book trailer, participate in a giveaway, and download a copy of the book at the end of the interview. But first, let’s get to know a little about the author…
Tell me a little about yourself.
I live in Maryland with my husband and two children. Having earned an M.A. in Political Science, I am a dedicated educator. I taught high school social studies for nine years, serving as the chair of the department for four. Currently, I am a professional development specialist with a local Maryland school system, working on increasing student achievement through teacher and administrator self-efficacy. I am also a continuing education student pursuing my doctorate in education in Community College Leadership.
A desire to see more novels with positive, sexy, and three-dimensional African American characters as soul mates, friends, and lovers, inspired me to take on the challenge of penning such romantic reads. I am the author of two paranormal romance series: Winged Warriors and Death and Destiny. When not reading for school or work, I enjoy snuggling up with historical and paranormal romance novels, as well as comics and manga.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I began writing because no matter how many romance novels I read or listened to, paranormal or otherwise, I was often left with the feeling of being left out. What do I mean by that? What I mean is that African American love, even in the 21st century, isn’t a part of the popular social media complex. It’s evident in most of the novels in bookstores and libraries, as well as books turned into movies. So I asked myself: Where is my story? Who’s going to tell my story? Then I stopped complaining and decided to write the stories I wanted to read. And maybe, just maybe, people will read my stories and see a bit of themselves and their special love between the pages of my books.
What is your most interesting or craziest writing quirk?
I don’t think I have a particularly interesting or crazy writing quirk, and this may not qualify, but I tend to write my action sequences like comic book scenes. Well, not exactly, but I use a lot of SFX when I write my action sequences. Not POW, like in old Batman and Robin comics, because, well, that’s just a little too corny nowadays. But thud, crack, smack, pop, yeah, you’ll find those sound effects in my stories. What can I say, I enjoy comics, so I find nothing wrong with adding a bit of a comic book flavor to my novels. Now that I’ve answered the question, maybe that is a tad quirky. You decide.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Book creation is a long process that extends far beyond churning out a quality manuscript. I now understand that writing a good, engaging story is the least stressful and difficult part of the creation process. Everything that comes afterward, marketing, manuscript submissions, publishing, etc. is what most surprised me about the process of creating a book. The process is huge and sometimes daunting. Naively, I once thought that writing a good book was my biggest hurdle to becoming a saleable author. It’s important, no doubt, but so are many other aspects of the writing and publishing business.
What has been your favorite book to write?
My favorite book is one not yet released. It’s the second book in my Death and Destiny Trilogy. I love what I was able to do in that book in terms of character development and their magical abilities. As a paranormal romance writer, I go to great lengths to show the paranormal aspects of the story. Preternatural beings in my stories must demonstrate to the reader what makes them awesome and frightening. For me, that means letting them cut loose and showing what they are about. I was really able to do that in the second installment of the trilogy, even more so than I did in the first novel. The scenes of magic, godly power, and were-cat might are among my favorite scenes in the novel. Outside of, of course, the quite, tender, sensual moments between Sanura and Assefa.
Which character has been your favorite?
I love all of my characters, even the ones who make a brief appearance. They all serve a purpose and have a unique personality that makes them special and memorable. But Assefa Berber, the hero, is my favorite character. He’s sexy, handsome, intelligent, and sensitive. Assefa is a cool, cultured badass who is quite literally swoon-worthy.
What advice would you give new/up and coming writers?
The best advice I can give a new writer is to be patient with self, perfect their craft, and cultivate grit and perseverance. Above all else, a writer must believe in their capacity to become a great author.
Which writers inspire you?
I’ve learned a lot from reading and enjoying books by Cynthia Eden, Mary Balogh, Lisa Kleypas, Nalini Singh, Jeaniene Frost, and Kelley Armstrong. They are different types of writers, crafting romantic stories in intriguing and engaging ways. Whether paranormal, suspense, contemporary, or historical, each romantic tale by one of these writers is, in a way, inspirational to a new and struggling author.
What genre are your books?
I write paranormal romance, but my books have aspects of other genres, such as fantasy, suspense, and thriller.
What draws you to this genre?
I very much enjoy listening to and reading romance novels. But I favor books with more than romance as part of the plot. Paranormal romance allows me to explore the complex mind and heart of my romantic pairings while giving me the opportunity to be wild and inventive. With paranormal elements in my stories, I get to write about different cultures, creatures, and mythologies. I can begin with the “known” elements of shape-shifters and witches, for example, and turn that completely on its head, defying nothing but readers’ preconceived notions.
Anything else you would like to say about writing? Encouraging words for potential writers?
To potential writers, I would add that it doesn’t hurt to try or to ask. I tell my children this all the time. If one fails to try, they may never get what they want. If one fails to ask, then the answer is always no. But if they go for it, afraid but not paralyzed by fear, the doors they thought closed to them just might open. Granting them access to opportunities and life experiences they may not have had if they’d failed to try or to ask.
Death and Destiny Trilogy 1
Of Fear and Faith
By N.D. Jones
Genre: African-American, Contemporary, Fairy Tales/Myths, Paranormal, Shape-shifter
Before trust and love can take hold, grow solid roots, and blossom into a reality larger than self, fear must be conquered and faith embraced. Yet fear of an ancient prophecy, of burning magical power, and a broken heart, Sanura Williams, psychology professor, is unprepared when Special Agent Assefa Berber enters her life, hunting a preternatural serial killer. Assefa’s intelligent, chocolate eyes and intoxicating aura signature stirs her fire spirit but frightens the woman.
In a world where all is not as it seems, Sanura and Assefa must battle the gods’ first creations – vile predators who threaten the safety of humans. Each confrontation, each bloody clash, will bring Sanura and Assefa closer to fulfilling the prophecy of being the Fire Witch and Cat of Legend – the ones who will save humanity from the Water Witch of Legend.
Death, godly magic, and physical attraction draw Sanura and Assefa to each other, but fear and faith will determine their destiny.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/g_QvkLjHEIo
N.D. Jones lives in Maryland with her husband and two children. While she likes to read historical and paranormal romance novels, as well as action-packed comics, she enjoys writing love stories with three-dimensional and positively depicted characters of color.
On Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Pe9JKj
On Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1SWcgyF
On Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1QYqOfL
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