Interview with author Vonda Howard
I love writing stories that are filled with passion, intrigue, and compelling story lines. If it doesn’t feel good to me when I’m writing it...I won’t write it. I love books that grab you, pull you in and hold you. I love story lines that keep you guessing too. I wrote my first self-published novel named “Diamond Lives, Platinum Lies” in 2007 which has received shining reviews. My second book, “It’s Always the Pretty Ones” was released in 2008 and has received glowing reviews as well. In June 2009, my dream came true when I signed on to Anexander Books.
BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
I truly think it is my family. They are there for me when I start to doubt myself, or when I need another set of eyes to look over something. They are my biggest cheerleaders and that means a great deal to me.
BPM: How much of what you write reflects on your outlook on life?
It depends. I always feel like characters are like your kids. They all carry a bit of you in them when they are created. I agree sometimes I let a little of my views on certain things leak out through my characters, but only when it is relevant to the story.
BPM: Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
I would say my mentor is my publisher Torrian Ferguson. (The best publisher in the world, by the way). He has really taken me under his wing and let’s me dig around in his head whenever I need to. He is fair and honest...all the things I want to be as a writer and business woman.
I find my inspiration in everyday things; music, nature, my favorite movies, my friends and family. I truly believe that the best fiction comes from real life!
BPM: What do you think of the increasingly fortuitous sex in African American literature?
I don’t mind the sex IF it add to or is relevant to the story. I personally am not a fan of the really XXX-rated scenes and the really harsh language, but I don’t knock anyone’s hustle. If it’s not your thing, just don’t buy it. ;o)
I love writing sex scenes that are erotic and steamy, but also fit in line with what the characters are involved in or going through in the story. I don’t think just throwing sex all over the book is good for the storyline or the readers. Just like in real life, it should mean something.
BPM: Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers...
Good question! My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... That love IS possible for everyone and it can be beautiful whether it be with yourself or with that special someone.
BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters.
The book series (The D-Cup Divas) spotlights the lives of four confident, successful plus size women:
Chandra, he sassy, take no prisoners, very well to-do psychiatrist that has a hard time letting her iron clad guard down in the area of love.
Rossalyn, Chandra’s little sister, who is the mediator of the group. She tends to want everyone to get along and tries to see the good I any and everybody.
Lanora, the oldest of the group, but the most active. She is a total sex kitten that loves it anyway and anywhere she can get it.
Samantha, the domestic goddess. She loves her family and her husband. An avid church-goer and “goody-two-shoes” as Lanora calls her. She loves everything in its place and is a huge perfectionist.
BPM: Who are your favorites? Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
I would say Lanora is my favorite. Even though I am just getting started on her book it has been so much fun writing her in the first two! She is an open book, and a bit of a trouble maker. She always has a smart comeback for anything. I would say parts of her do remind me of someone in my life. (I won’t call her out though...LOL)
BPM: What role do you give the " mean-spirited" characters? Do you have such characters?
The books do have antagonists. I always write the bad guys to be wake up experiences for the main characters. Just like in our real lives, sometimes we overlook or miss certain things in people we should notice. Also sometimes we want something so badly, we ignore the warnings or open ourselves up for heartaches. I want my “bad guys” to have a purpose in the main characters lives. Whether it be something they ignored by being selfish or negligent, or whether they bought it on themselves.
BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
I wanted to write a book(s), that highlighted plus size or curvy woman the way MOST of us feel! We are not low down, on drugs, miserable, on welfare or depressed. Like me, they are all beautiful, confident and successful women! The books do not condone unhealthy living. None of my characters are huddled over cheesecake or inactive. The purpose was to spotlight the girls that will never be a size 2, 6, 9 or ever a 12 or 14. They are about seeing these women and realizing that, “hey, I’m beautiful and sexy too!”
BPM: Take us inside the book. What are two major events taking place?
I would say; when Chandra is confronted with the thing she wants most, but is too stubborn to accept it. Then when she is confronted with not only her bad decision making, but finding this out at a REALLY serious life or death moment in her life.
BPM: What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
I would say in the current book, it deal with the issue of women who get all the accolades and success they want, but then turn around and say that, “They don’t need a man” or “A man can’t do anything for me that I can’t do for myself.” A lot of times we can get so hard on the outside and full of ourselves that we miss the good men you are looking for.
BPM: What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
I would say that mine shines a positive light on plus size woman and the sex scenes go ALONG WITH the story and are not just thrown in.
BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
Well, aside from the huge popularity of the D-Cup Divas Series (in which all the books are set to come out concurrently), I also have The very first D-Cup Divas Dialogues coming in October of this year! It will be a showcase talent that just oozes love for the plus size figure. There will be monologues from each of the characters in the series, spoken word, poetry and short story readings. It is going to be a huge event! You can get more info about the casting calls and the event itself at http://www.thedcupdivas.com/. I will also be writing more books that feature plus sized heroines in upcoming books under the D-Cup Divas™ line.
BPM: How can our readers reach you online? Share with us your online contact info.
I can be reached at my website: http://www.thedcupdivas.com/ or http://www.lavondahoward.com/.
You can also get in touch with me on Facebook (VondaHoward).
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