Shana, describe yourself for our visitors.
I’m a Christian, a mother, a sister, a girlfriend, and an auntie. I’m also an author trapped in a teacher’s body. It’s a fabulous body, mind you, but I still feel trapped. I love writing. If I could just do that all day, I would. I have so many stories and characters in my head. Maybe I just have a hint of ADD or schizophrenia.
How do you find time to connect with God?
Sometimes it’s hard, but I make time to do it, usually in the morning. I get up around 5:15 to devote at least 45 minutes to prayer and meditation before getting ready for work.
Do you have a favorite bible verse and or quote you wish to share?
“The Lord works everything out for his own ends.” Proverbs 16:4
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
Too many to name—honestly! My favorite author is whoever’s book I read last and loved. Today, that’s Victoria Rowell because I finally got around to reading The Women Who Raised Me. But I’m also going to the bookstore today to buy something else, so I’ll have a new favorite author this time next week.
What are your favorite books?
My favorite books are Native Son and Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Tell us about your journey to publication.
The first time I wrote a book for actual publication was in 2005 when I wrote Suddenly Single. I tried shopping the book on my own for about a year. I got some interest but no actual contract. Then in September 2006, I contracted with an agent. She had my book deal secured within a week or two. When she told me that Urban Christian was interested in signing me, my first reaction was, “Did they read the book?” because it was not written with the Christian reader in mind. I didn’t even know that this genre existed. Apparently, they saw something in my writing that they liked because I got a book deal, and Suddenly Single came out December 2007. Of course, this is the short version. I’m leaving out the dozens of rejection letters I received, the sleepless nights, the cries to God for direction, blaming my mother for making me go into education when I should’ve been writing, and giving up a few thousand times.
Tell us about your current book.
Flaws and All is a story that takes its readers on a soul-searching journey of redemption, sisterhood, and the meaning of conditional love. It’s been dubbed as “Sex and the City meets Waiting to Exhale meets Christ,” which sums it up quite nicely. The five lead characters all face major obstacles and challenges during one turbulent year, ranging from baby-mama drama to infidelity to death, but the bonds of their friendship and their connection to God enables them to get through it all.
What influenced you to write this book?
My editor’s deadline was the biggest influence. I had to submit a book in while promoting First Comes Love. I was running short on time, but I had five other books on my laptop that I’d started on but hadn’t completed. I decided to make the characters from those books friends and combined the stories into one book. The result…Flaws and All.
Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?
My favorite character from Flaws and All is Sullivan Webb. She’s so unapologetically selfish, shallow, sexual, and mouthy. For some reason, I can identify with her the most. I shudder to think what this says about me!
What’s next for you?
I’m finishing Catt Chasin’, which is supposed to come out May 2011, and I’m outlining Still Flawed, the sequel for Flaws and All.
Where can visitors find you online?