I’m a happy girl these days, y’all. After the release of my ninth novel, The Follow, I am on a self-imposed writing break. Besides the occasional blogging and freelance pieces, I’m resting my fictional writing chops so I can recharge. This is also a great time for me to catch up on my GoodReads TBR (To Be Read) pile and that’s where today’s author comes in.
I met DL White out here in these Twitter streets and I’m so happy I did. Her novel Brunch at Ruby’s is my current literary obsession because DL can craft women characters extremely well. The dialogue, the side eyes, the sheer intelligence – DL has it down pat! She explores the depths of our experiences with candor, wit, and grace. It’s one of those reads where I want to finish it so I can get to the second book, Dinner at Sam’s, ASA-fucking-P.
Read below as DL talks about that novel, what moves her about bringing two characters together in love, and her words of literary wisdom for her #authorbaes!
In a few sentences, tell us a little about yourself.
I mean, I’m just a gal from the Northwest USA tryna make it here in the south, LOL. I’d much rather have my face in a book than anywhere else but if I can hear ocean waves and dig my toes in the sand while reading, that’s a perfect day to me. Aside from reading, I love coffee, hard candy, brunch, sitting outside, and water, water, water. I’m pretty much a nerd, so if there is a cool pen or gadget, I’m all over it. No food in the fridge but a MacBook Air and iPhone 7. That’s me.
What do you love most about the craft of writing?
I’m not creative in anything but written word. I’m not an artist. I can’t sing. Dancing is either a 1-2 step or I look like Elaine Bennis. I feel like writing is the one thing I do well. All I do is write. I love when an idea comes to me and it starts plotting itself in my head. I’m more excited to write the thing than people are to read it. I just want to see how the movie plays out in my head. I read my books back and I think, ‘Wow… I made that!’
Tell us about your latest project.
My most recent release is Dinner at Sam’s. It’s a story about Vanessa, a soon-to-be-divorced real estate agent—if she can find an attorney to get her SOB husband Warren out of her life. She’s rejected as a client by the city’s most vicious divorce attorney, but catches the eye of Gibson, her son. The attraction and draw between them is immediate, steamy, and mutual.
But Vanessa isn’t looking to pick up a new man—certainly not her divorce attorney. Gibson can’t stop thinking about Vanessa, but he also can’t ethically date his client. So there’s nothing to do but get her divorced—quickly—so he can have her to himself. That is, if his career at Kincaid Family Law doesn’t implode first. Then there’s the matter of a huge secret that Vanessa is hiding, one that she fears will drive a wedge between them.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was in the 3rd grade, making stories out of spelling words to make the assignment more fun. It was my escape and something I did well, that produced something that people liked to consume.
~’I want the freedom to not have to follow the romance blueprint for every book.’~
What drew you to writing romance?
I have no idea, honestly. My brain just automatically goes toward the connection between the two main characters. I love new beginnings, I guess, and I love the idea that two people that never even knew each other existed could be the perfect person for someone else. I always try to wrap some other story up in the lovin’ and I like to say my stories lean more toward women’s fiction with romantic elements. I want the freedom to not have to follow the romance blueprint for every book. But we always get a happily ever after!
Which book(s) have influenced your writing style the most?
Probably Terry McMillan and any of her books but Disappearing Acts was the book that hit me the hardest. I love her straightforward style; she just tells the story, you know? And Tayari Jones – Silver Sparrow is my favorite from her. I love how her stories unfold, how the visual forms itself in my mind just from the words. I love beautiful writing. I’d like to be personable but still have the writing sound like poetry. I read quite a bit and I like to think that every book I read informs my style and expands my mind.
Name three of your best writing tips.
1) Read. Read. Read. If you don’t read, you don’t write well. I know you think you do, but think again. READ, in your genre, outside your genre. Read for pleasure and read for study of craft, but PUT BOOKS IN YOUR FACE.
2) Know yourself and how you write and do what makes the words come, what pushes you toward THE END. Every rule of writing comes with a caveat, and that is that IT WORKS FOR THAT PERSON. Find what works for you, hit your stride and DO THAT THING.
3) Write your first draft—we call it the #shittyfirstdraft, even if it isn’t shitty. Then step away from it for a few days. As long as you can. Get some objectivity and space from the words you’re no doubt in love with, those scenes that replay in your mind. Read some stuff. Get real critical. Unlock those chains you tied your inner critic up in. Then go at your manuscript and edit like your life depends on it.
Dead or alive, name the writer you wish were your mentor and why.
So, I know me and I know I don’t deal well with being told what to do and someone being a ‘mentor’ to me kinda rubs me all kinds of weird ways. I’ve had some good DM convos with great writers, asking pointed questions but as far as ‘guiding my writing’ and my career… nah.
What would you say is your own interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if it’s interesting, but I have to read a little before I write. Not anything difficult or deep, that’s going to make me mad and feel like I could never write like that. Just something entertaining that makes me feel like, yeah. I can do this! #Leggo! I call it foreplay. : )
Shout out an indie writer whose work you love.
Dear. Goodness gracious, my brain just broke. I have a ton of authors on my autobuy list. I couldn’t possibly shout a single person out. I just want all my #authorbaes to know they INSPIRE and MOTIVATE me to be a better writer. My stuff has to sit next to yours, so you bet your butt I’m making it the best it can be.
Do you have any specific writing goals in your radar?
Right now just aiming for ten books published, then we’ll see where we stand. Until then…..fun, fun, fun.
Thanks for joining us today. Readers, feel free to stalk this sexy author at the following links:
Website & Blog: http://www.thesweetescape.net