Thank you for allowing me to interview you. So tell me all about you your family what you do, what you read, what you like what you don’t like. In other words—Dish. There are many who put down the romance genre, both writers and readers. I know that readers come from many diverse backgrounds and have a wide range of interests. So I seriously want you to tell us about you, your life, your likes and your dislikes.
Rita: Well, I am 52 and have been married 33 years. I have one son who is the light of my life and he is 31 years old. I work for a major Insurance Company and have been employed here for 30 years. I am in the Technical Services area which deals with the loading of systems, setting them up and trouble shooting. My hobby is reading and I love romance stories especially those that have continuing storylines. I don’t like books that have no storyline and only focus on graphic sex with no romance. I love supernatural stories too and autobiographies of our people and books that make you think. Reading takes me away from everyday stress and puts me in a happy place for at least a little while. I read at least 5-6 books a week when I am in full fledged reading mode or have had an unusually stressful week.
Dyanne: I hope you had a great holiday. Did you get everything that you wanted?
Rita: I did have a great holiday. The only things that I wanted was for my son to have a wonderful Xmas in his first new home and for my Mom to have a special Xmas because she has been dealing with a lot of personal and financial things in ’07. They were both happy and that was the best Xmas present that I could have asked for.
Dyanne: Now for your reading pleasure. What types of books do you like to read?
Rita: I read romance, some autobiographies, supernatural books, spiritual, interracial and inspirational books.
Dyanne: Tell me some of your favorite authors and why. I’m not fishing so you can’t name me, Rita.
Rita: Kimberla Lawson Roby for her Christian fiction stories. A.C. Arthur because of her romance and suspenseful storylines. Celeste O. Norfleet for her continuing stories with the Gates family. Seressia Glass for her interracial stories especially involving the Hughes family. Francine Craft for her great romance stories. Gwynne Forster for her family romance stories especially the ones involving the Harrington family. Martin Brant for his gay themed romance books. I discovered that romance is romance no matter what gender and he has written some great and tastefully done stories. Darrien Lee for family drama filled romance themed novels. New romance author Wayne Jordan for his continuing storylines and his vivid descriptions of the islands where he bases his stories. When reading his books you feel like you are at the location feeling the breezes from the ocean. Melanie Schuster for her continuing stories involving the Deveraux and Cochran family. Brenda Jackson for her family saga’s with the Madaris and Westmoreland families. The men in these stories from her descriptions will have you wanting to move to Texas or wherever they reside. Francis Ray for her family saga’s involving the Grayson and Falcon family. These are some hot men too! Rochelle Alers for her family saga books also involving the Cole family and their friends. They will have you wanting to move to Florida and Mexico. (lol) She also has other books that are great too! Beverly Jenkins for her historical romance books and connecting storylines. Carmen Green for her continuing stories involving the grey eyed Crawford family. I could go on because this is only a ‘few’ of my favorite authors but this should give you an idea of my range of reading selections. (lol)
Dyanne: Have you ever written any on line reviews for the book that you love? How about the books that you hate? What do you think about the reviews on Amazon? Do they influence your purchases or just the opposite?
Rita: I do online reviews on 99.9% of the books that I read especially the books that I love. I do not put negative reviews out there because even if I didn’t like the storyline, I know there will be someone who will. Negative reviews only make me want the book even more. Just because someone else did not like it does not mean that I will feel the same. Different people like different things so even though I don’t agree with putting negative reviews out there, it really does not influence me one way or another. I do feel that if a person does not like a particular book that they should give the author the chance to explain why they wrote the story the way they did by contacting them before putting a negative review out there. That’s just my opinion though.
Dyanne: Rita, I’m sorry for throwing so many questions at you on that last one but I had a reason. In recent weeks four of my friends have decided to give up writing. They’re all published and all talented but they have gotten tired of the harsh reviews. Do you have any words of encouragement to give to those writers?
Rita: Everyone are not going to like what you write but don’t let negative and harsh reviews discourage you and cause you to give up something that you love and is one of your God given talents. Take the negative and make it into a positive.
Dyanne: Rita, I think this will be a standard question I will ask of readers because it’s important for the writers to know this. I know you already know that not everyone like the same things and what one man finds wonderful the next one finds distasteful. What things in books really set your teeth on edge?
Rita: Books that start out great and the more you get into it, the author goes off into too graphic sexual encounters that have nothing to do with the storyline. I want a storyline from the beginning to the end even if it leaves me hanging at the end. At least make sense!
Dyanne: What words of advice do you have for writers that are staying in the game?
Rita: Please stay in the game. You will not write a crowd pleaser every time you put a book out there but there will always be someone who will love it despite negative reviews.
Dyanne: What are your least favorite type of books and why?