Today, I have author DL White in the interview chair. She’s here to talk about her latest romance release A Thin Line. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
1. Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
DL White: Before I begin writing, I usually have the characters all mapped out, from the hero/heroine to their families and friends.
2. What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
DL White: It depends on who I am writing. IF their profession is detailed, I read books / blog posts/ articles about that subject. Last year, I wrote a cancer survivor, so I spent weeks with my head in blogs and forums about cancers, survival rates, experiences, fears, joys. But nothing gives you knowledge like talking to someone who knows what they’re talking about. For this book I had an attorney read it and tell me where I was completely off and had no idea what I was talking about.
3. Do you see writing as a career?
DL White: Nah…I could never see myself living off of my writing proceeds. It’s a lucrative side gig that pays for techy toys and vacations. I love my full-time day job and I plan to stay there. When I retire and I have the security of a 401K and insurance, I’ll write full time.
4. What do you think about the current publishing market?
DL White: I’m a self-publisher, but of course I have my eye on the traditional market. I think if they don’t come into the present times, in a hurry, they’re going to be in huge trouble. Indie is choking the life out of romance, in my opinion. Don’t even let other genres catch on.
Trad publishing also has a great deal of work to do with regard to publishing work that is not by white men and women. Let us tell our own stories. Paying a white author several million dollars to tell a story that isn’t hers to tell is a slap in the face.
5. Do you read yourself and if so what is your favourite genre?
DL White: I like mysteries, crime thrillers, legal thrillers. I love a police procedural, anything about a medical examiner… all of that. Not much of a cozy mystery reader because it’s too cute, not enough teeth to it. Horror goes too far past the thriller mark but those crime and legal dramas hit just right. I also read quite a bit of Black romance.
6. Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
DL White: I need something to ignore. I usually bring up my white noise app and do brown noise (like the sound of an airplane interior, or a clothes dryer).
7. Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
DL White: One at a time, usually. If I write more than once, they both sound the same. I also take long breaks between books otherwise the next book sounds too much like the book I just finished.
8. Pen or typewriter or computer?
DL White: Computer. My brain moves too fast to hand write anything. I just get frustrated and move to computer.
9. What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
DL White: I just had these stories I wanted to tell, and felt like I could tell them well.
10. What’s a day in the life of an author?
DL White: I work full time, so I get up and go to work everyday. I don’t write on week days, but I’ll nit pick and edit what I wrote the weekend before. If I’m mid-project, I’ll write Thursday night, Friday night, get up early on Saturday and Sunday and go write from anywhere from 8-10AM to 2-4 PM. Then I edit during the week.
YES I edit while writing. I cannot move ahead until what I previously wrote is right on the page. It works for me. Might not work for others.
11. Is there any advice you would give new authors?
DL White: Write. Don’t worry about a single thing until you have finished that darn book. Write the book. Know yourself and your work style and know that that won’t change when you sit down to write. You won’t suddenly turn into a morning person if you’re usually a night owl. Be yourself. Write that book, then worry about selling it.
12. What makes a good story?
DL White: I need to know who the major players are and why I should care about them and what’s stopping them from getting what they want. If those elements are compelling and interesting enough, I am in.
13. What are you currently reading?
DL White: I am currently eading like four books. I almost always have legal thriller going and I read a lot of advance reader copies because a) I am too spoiled to wait for release day to read some authors; b) I like knowing I am helping pre-publication buzz for a good book and c) it helps to keep the book budget down.
14. What is your writing process? For instance, do you draft an outline first? Do you write the chapters first? What are common traps for aspiring writers?
DL White: I need to know the characters (the who and the why does anyone care???) and how I want it to end. Then I start writing. Sometimes details reveal themselves in the first few chaps and I find that hard to plan. Once I am a couple of chaps in, I stop and take stock in where I am and where I need to go. And I do a very loose outline from there.
I almost always know what I want the ending will be, just not how my characters will get there.
15. What is your writing Kryptonite?
DL White: Trying to write before I am ready. Most of my full-length novels have to sit and marinate for a least a year. Six months at the least. Very few books were imagined and written in months. I just don’t work that way.
16. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
DL White: I can only write what comes to me. The one time I tried to write to a trend, it was a miserable fail. Never again.
17. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
DL White: Don’t stop writing. And pick up that reading habit.
18. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
DL White: I super enjoy writing men. I think it’s hard to not write them as Alpha holes or the sex-crazed freaks that they’re painted as in most of entertainment. Men aren’t dumb or lazy or heartless. They have motivations that aren’t always obvious, that are obfuscated by whatever male conditioning they’re taught to participate in.
19. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
DL White: From original idea to the end? About a year. Sometimes more. The shortest I’ve ever written a book was about 9 weeks. It was a short one, not too deep.
20. Do you believe in writer’s block?
DL White: I absolutely do. It absolutely exists (for me) and I absolutely have to come up with strategies to combat it. I absolutely do sit at my desk in tears because I want desperately to write but I have nothing for the page, for the story, for my characters. Writers who say it doesn’t exist should amend that it doesn’t exist for them, then direct the person asking about writer’s block to a resource that can help them.
Title: A Thin Line
Author: DL White
Blurb: Angie Blake and Preston Reid are oil and water, fire and ice. Whether it’s in the courtroom, where they’re always in opposition, or in their personal lives, they don’t mix.
Nearly two decades have passed since they were high school sweethearts and split in an emotional firestorm, but their best friends are dating, and now engaged so they haven’t had a moment’s peace from each other. And they won’t get one since the soon to be newlyweds have roped Angie and Preston into planning their destination wedding. They’ve been tasked with organizing the most romantic, memorable event of their lives without tearing apart the lifelong foursome in the process.
Angie and Preston are wise to this game. This clever ploy to push them back together in the hopes that their long-dead romance will rekindle couldn’t possibly work.
There’s a thin line between love and hate.
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I usually work in my living room, on the floor in front of the television. My laptop sits to my left, all my notepads to my right, my files directly in front of me. Every few hours, I have to get up and walk around, grab some water, make some coffee.
By 10 AM, I have already been working for hours, after pulling a late one the night before. I am stiff, and not for any good, fun reason. My first conference with Preston and Philip Bailey is next week. I need to be ready.
Running forces me to concentrate on not dying instead of everything else going on in my life, so I change into a tank top and yoga pants, grab my phone and earbuds, ID, debit card, and keys and shove them into a small sack that attaches to an armband. I hop in the car and drive to my favorite park with a running trail.
The day is sunny, the air is clean, and the flowering trees and shrubs give me pretty scenery to focus on while I heave and pant for a few miles. I’m sweaty, but I need snacks before I head back home to work, so I swing into a Publix grocery store parking lot, giving a wave to the symphony of car horns that sound off.
A bag of tortilla chips and a jar of medium salsa make it into my basket. I walk past jars of cheese dip… and then walk back. I reach for one, pick it up, then frown while I read the label.
Is there even any cheese in this stuff?
The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. A familiar spicy citrus blend with musky notes wafts behind me. Fuck.
My shoulders drop. “I was having such a good day.”
I put the nacho cheese back and turn my head far enough to glance at him out of the corner of my eye. He looks nice for a late Saturday morning— jeans and a black button-down shirt, far enough open at the collar to see tufts of chest hair.
If I was looking that hard.
He smells good, like…he hasn’t been home from his date last night.
I am instantly disgusted. And then angry at myself for being disgusted.
“What are you doing in here? You don’t even live over here.”
Preston’s chuckle carries over my shoulder as he steps close so close to me, the soft cotton of his shirt brushes against my skin. “You don’t own this side of town. I had a meeting over this way. I saw you leave the park, then cut across two lanes of traffic to get over here. I wanted to see what had you in such a hurry.”
He peers into my basket. “Chips. Salsa. This is how you fuel after a run?”
“Can’t get anything past you, Reid.”
“You don’t eat this shit all the time, do you? I mean, you can’t. Not with everything you’re working with.”
I turn to find him eyeing me, head to toe. It reminds me of that day in seventh grade when he couldn’t stop staring.
“If you don’t want anything, I have shit to do, Preston.”
I want to walk away, but that would leave him staring at my ass. So, I stand with an irritated tilt to my head, hoping that incites him to move.
“See, Evangeline… here’s me being nice to you.” Laughter pokes at the corners of his mouth as he splays a hand over his chest. “And here’s you treating me like shit. You reap what you sow.”
“Anyone can pretend to be nice. Especially when I know there’s ice behind that smile.”
“I don’t pretend to do anything.” He props an elbow against the shelf and leans in. I can smell the mint in his toothpaste. “I’m generally a nice guy.”
“Men that have to tell people that they’re nice usually aren’t. So, I beg to differ.”
“You probably beg for a lot of things.”
“Never had to, actually,” I shoot back, my eyes narrowing. “How about you, Reid?”
“You and I both know that I’ve never had to beg.”
He stares at me. I stare at him and refuse to look away. Preston finally breaks the stalemate.
“Tell you what. Put this shit back. I’ll take you to breakfast. Maybe this is why you’re not competition in the courtroom.”
“No. But thanks.”
“No?” He seems genuinely surprised that a woman has turned him down. “What else do you have to do?”
“I’m in the middle of a case that I will win because I will be prepared. Opposing counsel looks to be busy trolling the grocery store for ass.”
“Oh. I wouldn’t worry about that case, Angie. There’s no way you’ll win, so relax. Let’s go eat.”
He reaches into my basket and starts restocking my groceries.
“Hey! Give—” I reach for the bag of chips, but he grabs for my hand and doesn’t let go. Instead, he gently pulls me down the aisle. “Preston! I said—”
“I heard what you said. Come anyway. I’m hungry. You’re hungry; you almost bought nacho cheese sauce. Do you know how much sodium is in that shit? It’s not even cheese.”
He tilts his head in a nod toward the door. “We’ll go to Grand Luxe. You love that place.”
I feel shitty about it, but I immediately stop protesting. I do love Grand Luxe Café. Our families used to go there together all the time.
Do I want to put up with Preston for chocolate chip pancakes?
DL White is an Atlanta based author of women’s fiction and romance, centering Black men and women. She began seriously pursuing a writing career in 2011.
She has a deep and abiding love for coffee and Sunday Brunch, especially on a patio, but her true obsession is water— lakes, rivers, oceans, waterfalls.
By day she is an Executive Administrative Assistant for a billion-dollar beverage brand. By night, when not writing books, she devours them and blogs reviews and thoughts on writing at BooksbyDLWhite.com.
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