I’m momma to 4 great kids plus one darling fur-kid, and happily married to my software-developer husband of 20 years. My current working background is in medical administration, but I’ve held jobs ranging from office cleaner in San Francisco to shop-girl at a boutique on Fort Street Mall in Honolulu.
How did you decided to enter the world of writing?
I’d always been a writer since I was little. Writing in some form or another, song lyrics or short stories, was just something I did in my earlier years, besides being a serious reader of all things books. In my 20’s I held to the dream of publishing and started studying the market, reading more books, learning about published authors’ journey toward publication. I didn’t publish till many years later, but I’m glad for the years of knowledge I gained about the industry while honing my skills.
What does your family think of your writing?
They think it’s the coolest thing! My siblings, husband and kids are supportive and good-humored about my work. My mom only ever sees my covers. Like my kids, she’s not allowed to read my books, either, lol. Even if they don’t all read what I write, they’re happy that I’m happy. That said, I must add because I write sensual romance and erotica romance, I do have some friends and relations who steer clear of me and are judgmental, but that’s their choice. Shrug.
I don't understand the people that react judgmental. Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere, inside and out of my head. I also think many writers bring a touch of life experiences into the stories they craft based on people they’ve met, places they’ve been to, headlines or real-life events and experiences of their own.
I think that I agree with you on our life experience shaping our writing. Can you tell us a little about your book?
My current release - Bargain Bride, Billionaire Groom - is a sensual romance about a Maui coffee grower and an Italian businessman. Their marriage-of-convenience gets majorly complicated when they find themselves irresistibly attracted to each other.
What is your writing process?
I start with the concept: faery meets warlord, Greek tycoon sweeps bartender off her feet, boss/secretary. I see the scenes and dialogue play like a video in my head. I know the story arc, beginning, middle, end as well as the internal and external conflicts. I write an unpolished synopsis as a summary. In addition to research, I often use physical calendars to work with timelines. I use sticky notes on calendar days to navigate me through the h/h’s high-points, and disasters. This helps me see the time frame I’m working in. Then I pound out a first draft. And afterwards, the real work begins with editing, polishing, editing.
Lelani, I also do the rough outline and us a calender (lol). What was the hardest part for you when working on your book?
Re-living the passing of a loved one. The heroine’s baby-daddy died before he could see his little daughter born, and she (Golden) had to re-live the scenes and feelings of losing the man she’d hoped to spend the rest of her life with. Writing about her feelings of loss stirred up memories of losing my own loved ones.
I can relate to that. It is painful to hurt or kill your babies. What influenced or inspired you to write?
I think…my kooky family life growing up. Mom was a single parent, widowed at thirty-three, so life for her was stressful with a handful of young kids. Writing must have been a creative outlet and escape for me.
Was there a scene that you didn’t add or you removed in your finished work?
Do you have a favorite character (from you're book)?
I value each one for what they do add, but the heroine’s brother Delgado (Gado) seems to have struck a chord of admiration from readers as a secondary character. Why? I think it’s because Gado possesses the charm, friendliness and qualities found in many local island boys, and when I wrote him, I used different qualities and mannerisms possessed between my two brothers. I adore both my brothers and dedicated this book to them.
Do you already know what to write next?
Can you tell us?
The one I’m halfway through is an erotic romance about a woman with a past, who finds more than temporary work at a vineyard. She finds the love of her life, but once her past catches up to her, she could very well lose her new found happiness, too.
Where can we find more information about you and your books?
My website www.lelaniblack.com
Do you have any last words?
Thank you for having me here, Patricia, and thanks to all who’ve taken the time to visit the interview. I do have a limited promo going on for the Kindle version of my sensual Maui romance, Bargain Bride, Billionaire Groom. It’s holiday sale priced at .99 cents, a 2.99 value! I’ll also be drawing a commenter name for a paperback copy of BBBG!
Lelani it has been a pleasure visiting with you and learing about you and your books. I look forward to finishing my saga. I plan on reading, lol.
My favorite precious stone is? Diamonds!
I want to travel to?
Scotland or Italy! Why? I’ve been to places like Greece, Canada, the Philippines and lived and traveled in various regions of the United States. I also grew up in beautiful Hawaii! I appreciate the deeper perspective and appreciation in others’ cultures that’s gained by experiencing the sights, smells, language and flavors of a different land. I could live two lifetimes without ever seeing all that I want to see of this beautiful world!
I want to meet?
Jimmy Thomas Why? Because 1. He’s hot and 2. He’s hot and 3. I think it’s awesome what he’s done for the romance genre and the literary world with his cover art and ease of availability for writers, contracted to Indie, to obtain them. The diverse images he delivers represents today’s reality of multi-cultural relationships as well, and the sheer beauty of them reaches out to readers. That, and the beauty of those images says so much about him and his forward-thinking ability. He could be the stuff romance novel heroes are made of! Looks, brains, brawn and heart.
I want to invite Ellen DeGeneres to dinner. Why? Because I think she’s one of the most admirable public figures in the U.S. She’s wise, funny, frank and unpretentious.
My dream is to? He he, I have many dreams. I’m a Gemini/Cancer cusp so I have many little, and big, dreams. My dreams change as well over time. But it IS good to have a dream. One was to get published, and I achieved that. Another was to buy a place on one of the islands in Hawaii, and we've achieved that.