LaConnie Taylor-Jones, author of If I Were Your Woman, stops by to on her virtual book tour this week to share her literary journey with us.
LaConnie, please share your writing and publishing experience with us:
Becoming a writer was never something I was particularly interested in or even considered doing. Honestly, I was content being an avid reader. I didn’t know it then, but my writing career really began in 1979 when my college roommate handed me a tattered copy of The Flame in the Flower by the late Kathleen Woodiwiss. Instead of studying for an organic chemistry mid-term the next day, I spent the entire night reading one of the greatest romance novels of all times. And just in case you’re wondering about that exam, wonder no more. I flunked big time! Overnight, I’d transformed into a hopeless, never to recover, romance-a-holic.
So, what made me take the writing plunge?
It was the challenge from my late husband in the spring of 2003 that made me seriously consider writing. One night I was in bed reading a romance novel and unfortunately, the story wasn’t for me. It was pass midnight and my husband, obviously tired of hearing me whine said, “Honey, if you can write a better book, do it. Now turn out the lights, please.” So, I did.
The inspiration for my stories comes from my experience as a health educator. For the last twenty years, I’ve taught health education primarily to African American women in community-based settings. Oftentimes, before I can lecture on the risk factors associated with chronic diseases disproportionally impacting African Americans, I first have to deal with the soci-economic deterrents these women face. Generally, the premise of my books centers on a health and/or social related issue.
I’m not sure what I love most—reading romance or writing it. And you know what the best part of writing is? I can stay home all day in PJs! It’s been a wonderful journey so far. I’ve met some of the most incredible authors and connected with so many supportive readers. And I’m thrilled silly when a reader takes the time to contact me and say they could relate to my stories and characters because they’d been in a similar situation. What a blessing it is to know that in some small way, I’ve helped someone, somewhere. What more can a woman ask for?
Now you’d think that once I became published, I’d won the battle, right? Aaah!!
The war hadn’t begun, yet.
Why didn’t someone sit me down in a chair somewhere, and tell me all the things that come after the book is sold? With an already hectic schedule, how would I ever find a way and the time to pile onto my plate the other necessary components that have absolutely nothing to do with the creative aspect of writing such as: deadlines, industry networking, and the granddaddy of them all, promotion? There are a few more I could add to the list, but you get the picture.
To sum it all up, I’ve learned two important lessons on this literary journey. First, it’s not for the faint at heart. On any given day, it can test the fortitude of the mightiest. Secondly, if you can’t accept constructive feedback or rejection, you might want to keep the day job because this isn’t the gig for you.
About the Book
Tinsel Town is about to learn a few lessons from a Southern doctor with the courage to win the heart of a man who swore no woman ever would. If it doesn’t have a scientific basis, Dr. Laney Olivia Houston doesn’t believe in it —and that includes love at first sight. But she meets Raphael Baptiste. One encounter is all it takes; and she realizes her life is changed forever. Jazz musician, Raphael Baptiste is no stranger to women or their beds. When an illness strikes, his life is thrown into turmoil. But the quiet Southern belle sees beyond his past and bitterness. She sees a man who could love. . .
About the Author
Award-winning author, LaConnie Taylor-Jones, a native Memphian, is a health educator consultant and holds advanced degrees in community public health and business administration. The mother of four and resides with her family in Northern California.
For over twenty-five years, Ms. Taylor-Jones has been an avid romance reader. In the summer of 2003 a challenge from her husband made her seize the opportunity to blend her enthusiasm for teaching health, social responsibility and social justice with her love for reading the genre. Her experience as a health educator sparked a multitude of storylines and her romance, which she defines as the spirit of adventure, played a pivotal part in her road to publication. In a little over four years, she’s authored three full-length novels. In 2008, Ms. Taylor-Jones was the recipient of the 2008 Romance Slam Jam Emma Award for Debut Author of the Year for When I’m With You.
Ms. Taylor-Jones is an active member of the Contra Costa Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the African American Community Health Advisory Committee and the Black Women Organized for Political Action.
Website – http://www.laconnietaylorjones.com
Follow the tour all week, leaving a comment at each stop, and be entered to win a new Kindle Fire HD courtesy of LaConnie!
Follow the tour