First tell us a bit about Delaney. What attracted you to become a writer?
I’m not one of those people who always wanted to be a writer. I wrote fiction in high school, and I even won a few contests, but after high school, I stopped writing fiction altogether. In 2009, I got the writing bug and decided to start writing it again. My first novel was published in November 2010.
A bit about me: I enjoy reading. I mostly read romance, but I also read mysteries and thrillers, and nonfiction, such as biographies or books about major events in history. I enjoy writing, of course. Cooking is one of my favorite pastimes, too. Occasionally, I take cooking classes, but I’m always experimenting in the kitchen by trying out new recipes. I also love to travel.
Tell us about your latest book. How did you come up with the concept of this story?
My latest book is Here Comes Trouble, and it’s the third book in the Hawthorne Family series. I got the idea for the story when I was writing the second book. In the second book, A Hard Man to Love, Matthew was adamant about not falling in love and getting married because he was young and still had wild oats to sow. So I decided that I would make him fall hard, and for someone he wouldn’t expect to. He’s very experienced sexually, and I decided to make him fall in love with someone who is the opposite of him. Lorena was a virgin when they had their fling, but she’s the only woman he ever fell for and wanted to have a future with.
I see your books everywhere! How did you build such an impressive platform in such a short time? What promotional methods have worked best for you?
Do you? Lovely! Lol. I think the best marketing tip I can offer is to consistently put out new books. Last year I had four releases, and this year I’ve released two and plan to release two to three more. The only other advice I can offer is to treat your readers well. I always respond to comments on Facebook or emails that I get. I want readers to know how much I appreciate them. I also have special contests for my fans—things that only they can win. (For instance, two of my fans won the chance to be written into Here Comes Trouble as secondary characters.) They’re loyal to me, so I’m loyal to them.
With the success you’ve found so far, do you feel there’s more pressure on you now?
A little bit. I want readers to like the next book as much as they liked the last one. You’re a writer, Stacy, so you know how hard it is to put your “baby” out there for the world to critique. I’ve gotten better, though. I’m more confident now, but that doesn’t mean I’m slacking. I’m always trying to improve my writing.
Being an author of black romance, how do you feel when people say that black people don’t read romance novels?
I could easily go off on a tangent here, so I’ll keep it brief. Lol. I don’t know where this misconception came from, but people who say that are mistaken. Not only do black women read romance novels, they’re extremely supportive of black authors.
What do you like most about being an author in the digital age? What do you dislike most about it?
What I like most: the ease with which I can promote and market while sitting at home in my PJ’s! What I dislike the most: the amount of time it takes to market and promote; but I’ve learned a lot in the almost two years since I’ve been published, and I’ve become better at managing my time across platforms. There’s still room for improvement, but I’ve come a long way since I first started in the business.
What’s your best selling title? What about it do you think made it have such an impact?
My bestselling title is my first book in the Hot Latin Men series, The Arrangement, in terms of number of units sold. It’s been on the market longer, so I think that’s why. My fastest selling title is A Hard Man to Love—the second book in my Hawthorne Family series. It eventually went all the way to number one on Amazon’s Multicultural Bestsellers List, which shocked me. But of course I was happy readers embraced the story and the series so much! I think that book was so popular because the hero, Derrick, was introduced in the first book and wasn’t a very likeable character. You could say he had issues—and I think he just made an impression and readers were anxious to read his story. He’s a very alpha male, so you either love him or hate him.
Do you ever do book signings and if so, do you find them relevant in today’s industry or do you feel you reach more people with online promotion?
Because all of my books are ebooks, I don’t do book signings. I do plan to have print books by putting books in the same series together in an anthology. I don’t think book signings are as relevant as they used to be, but that doesn’t mean readers don’t want to meet their favorite authors. They come out to conferences, and big names can still pull readers in for signings, but I think authors are having to get more creative to draw readers to events.
Have you enjoyed your journey as a published author so far? Do you have any regrets about the choices you’ve made?
I have enjoyed my journey so far. No regrets worth mentioning.
Tell us a bit about your column in Night Owl Reviews Magazine. How did you become a contributor to the magazine?
One day the editor put out a call for columnists, and I pitched the idea of having a column that focused on romance novels with protagonists of color. I suggested several names, and she liked Love and Romance in Color, and I’ve been a contributor ever since. I feel like I’m making a small contribution to exposing readers to books they might not otherwise read.
Some people believe that commercially-published authors and self-published authors are in competition. As an author who has done both, what’s your take on this?
You know, I get a little tired of the us-against-them arguments. There’s enough pie for each of us to get a slice. I think people need to worry about writing good books and getting the word out more than dividing up into tribes and attacking each other. Each author’s individual situation is different, and we don’t know what a person’s reasons are for the choices they make.
Do you promote your self-published novels differently than you do your commercial work?
No, I promote them both the same.
Erotica dominates the ebook market. As a writer of sensual and sweet romances, do you think that your success is contributed to you filling a niche for audiences who prefer sweet romance?
Not really. I’d like to do even better, but I think I’ve had modest success because of the reasons I listed above: I consistently release books and I’m loyal to my fans.
What makes Delaney Diamond tick?
Hmm…good question. Lol. I’m a fairly easy-going person. I avoid negative people like they have leprosy. I’m at a place in my life where I want to concentrate on positivity, not negativity, and I surround myself with people who have the same attitude. I like to have a good time and hang out with my friends. I don’t like confrontation, but I hate meanness or any type of cruelty, so that’s the one thing that will push me over the edge and make me get upset.
What’s something that you would tell a new writer that you wish you’d known when you started in the business?
Experience is a good teacher. If you’re overwhelmed right now, don’t worry. It gets easier.
What book of yours would you love to see on the big screen and who would you want to play the main character?
Can I name two? Fight for Love. I’d love to see Franky G or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as my Latin hero, Rafael Lopez. Johnson isn’t Latino, but he and Franky G have the right build to play the part. I’d like to see The Temptation of a Good Man on the screen. Darrin Henson would make a good Roarke Hawthorne. He’s even the right height!
I know you’re big on cross promotion. Do you feel that helping other authors has contributed to your own success?
Yes, I do. Authors are an amazing group of people. If I help others, they will help me, too. I’m surprised by the generosity of other authors because it was totally unexpected when I started in this business. I assumed authors considered each other competition. While we are to some degree, there’s also an understanding that we can help each other. Sometimes someone will retweet my news or share information about my book on Facebook, and it only makes me want to do the same for them because I appreciate it so much.
Have you ever considered getting out of commercial publishing to self-publish for good? Why or why not?
Yes, I have thought about it. I could see myself moving in that direction because I could set my own timelines and maintain control over the entire process.
Name one author you admire and why.
Maureen Smith. She consistently churns out good books, and I’m never disappointed when I read one of hers. I literally have to make sure I have time to read her novels when I sit down because I won’t be able to stop reading. Lol.
You’ve done quite well with your self-published titles. Do you feel that it’s easier for an author with a platform to do well self-publishing versus a newbie?
I think it helped me that I already had books out before I self-published, but it’s necessary for success. I have two author friends who recently self-published their own titles, and they’re doing quite well. The playing field is wide open, so anyone who wants to self-publish can do well if they write a good book and do a good job marketing.
What words of wisdom do you have for newbies starting in the industry today?
Step one: Do your best to put out a good product, which means write a good book, get it edited, put a good cover on it, and then put it out into the marketplace.
Step two: Repeat.
Thanks for stopping by, Delaney!
Thanks for having me!
Who doesn’t love a bad boy?
Lorena Vega knows better than to have anything else to do with Matthew Hawthorne. Then he comes to her and asks for her help in writing a proposal for a grant to benefit the community center where he volunteers. She agrees to do the work, but she has her guard up, because having Matthew in her life again is a problem she doesn’t need.
Matthew still carries some guilt from when he hurt Lorena. Seeing her again for the first time in months makes him realize what a huge mistake he made, and he wants another chance to be the kind of man she deserves. He’s determined to win her back and prove he’s not the player he used to be, and nothing will stand in his way.
Not even the new man in her life.
Furious, their brown gazes locked, both of them refusing to look away. Perhaps if they had, the frigid tension in the little office wouldn’t have mutated into something familiar. The air became charged, and insidious warmth, slow and sneaky, crept through her limbs.
“For someone who’s over it, you sure are mad at me,” Matthew whispered. “Makes me wonder if there’s something else behind all the anger.”
“There is. Hate.”
“Nah. I don’t think so.”
Without warning, he reached out and removed her glasses. Lorena grabbed at air as he lifted them above her head. “I need those.”
“You only need them for reading. You can see me just fine.” He stepped closer again, and this time she could feel the heat from his taut, hard body.
“Stop. Right now.”
“Don’t look at me like that,” he said.
“Like I hate you?”
He didn’t even flinch. “No. Like you want me.”
“It’s your imagination.”
He lowered his gaze to her lips. “I wasn’t lying when I said I miss you.” His voice had dropped lower, deeper.
He was doing it again. Making her weak. Melting her bones, her muscles, her willpower to resist him. Three months wasn’t enough time to get past her feelings, and they were so easily reignited by him.
I hate him. I hate him.
She internally chanted the words in vain. Because she could smell him now. His drugging masculine scent, overlaid by the subtle tone of sandalwood in his cologne, had her stomach bunched up.
His pupils expanded, and she couldn’t look away. “God, I miss you,” he said, as if to himself.
He lowered his head to hers, and his thick lips came within centimeters of her own. If she raised up a fraction, their mouths would connect.
“I miss you, baby,” he whispered, his voice rough and dark. His warm breath swept lightly across her lips, and he reached up and gently traced her jawline.
Sparks flared on her skin where he touched, and her heart constricted as she struggled against the awakening of feminine desire. He still had the same effect on her. Slowly but surely, he was hypnotizing her, and if she didn’t do something fast, she’d be lost. He’d gain the upper hand.
How dare he? How dare he do this to her?
With his mouth positioned temptingly above hers, she did the only thing she knew to do. She did something drastic—sure to break the spell and drag her back into sanity.
She brought her leg up and kneed him in the groin.
On Friday, I’m having a big bash on my website with lots of giveaways, but I’m also giving away a prize today! Contest is open to international participants. Prize: an ebook of your choice of any of my books published before Here Comes Trouble. To enter: In the comments below, tell me what one of your favorite pastimes is. Deadline: You must enter no later than 11:59 PM EST today. The winner’s name will be posted in the comments below before 10 am EST tomorrow with instructions on how to claim your prizes.
Winners will be chosen by random.org.
Delaney Diamond writes sweet and sensual romance novels with multicultural characters. You can enjoy free reads and the first chapter of all her novels on her website.
Blog tour schedule: http://delaneydiamond.com/2012/07/16/here-comes-trouble-virtual-book-tour/
Website and blog: http://delaneydiamond.com
Facebook fan page: http://facebook.com/DelaneyDiamond