Intimate Conversation with AlTonya Washington

Intimate Conversation with AlTonya Washington

AlTonya Washington has been a published romance novelist for 10 years. In 2013, her Harlequin Kimani novel "His Texas Touch" won the Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Series Romance of 2012.  She also works as a college Reference Librarian. As T. Onyx, AlTonya released her latest erotica "Ravenous: Ruler of Perfection II" in 2013.  In November she released "A Lover's Debt," the 17th title in the Ramsey Tesano saga.

BPM: Do you write full-time or part-time?  Do you write every day, five days a week? 
This is a tough question because I write ALL THE TIME- however I do still have “a day job.” A few years ago, I decided that becoming a librarian was something I very much wanted to accomplish. I reached that goal and now work as a college reference librarian. Writing though, is my absolute passion and something that I aspire to one day do full time in every sense of the word. Right now, I write pretty much every day as I’m blessed to have both a traditional and independent writing career. They keep me very busy. I don’t really carve out a special time or place to write (I’m blessed in that I can write pretty much anywhere)- but when crafting a love scene I do try to work on that material late afternoon/early evening at home with a special playlist going.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it? 
I actually used to do that a lot more often when I was just starting out with my writing. There are so many titles that I crafted early in my career and then went back to revise or rework years later after I’d learned more about the techniques that could really make my stories sing.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
My ideas come from all over the place- I can watch a movie or TV show, see a person walking in the background of a scene and suddenly be hit with an idea. Sometimes, I’m reading or listening to a book or even a song and some aspect of it sends me off on this wild tangent and I find myself concocting all these scenarios- a few of them have been powerful enough to make it to the rough draft/final draft stage. My books are very much character driven. For me, if I’m not invested in the characters- who they are, where they come from, why they think the way they do…then it’s near impossible for me to care about what else is going on in the story. I craft the stories that I, as a reader, would want to spend my time with and hope that other readers will want to spend their time with them too.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle? 
When Ice Melts is the story of Rakim Transou and Icia Graham. The couple was torn apart when Icia suffered a traumatic event on the eve of Rakim’s college graduation. While the romance between these lost loves is the most prevalent aspect, I would consider it more of a suspense given the intricacies of the plot regarding the secondary characters and the vivid roles they play in story. The book is available in print as well as electronically via Nook and Kindle.  It’s also available in the Apple, Sony and Kobo stores.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
This book deals with a lot of difficult topics, spousal abuse and revenge among them. I think what stood out to me most during the writing of this story related to revenge and how far people will go to see that it is carried out. What’s more, people fulfill their needs for revenge in very different ways. The complexities of characters and how they are motivated to act is a major reason why my stories revolve so heavily around them.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject? 
I think I set out to inspire and entertain mostly. I believe reading is the most enjoyable and limitless way of escaping the pressures of life. I like for my readers to feel immersed in a world totally different and intriguing from their own for however long they are absorbed inside the pages of my work. If the reader is somehow educated by what I have to share, then I’m elated by the fact that they were able to grasp an additional slice of enjoyment.

BPM: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?
Well I’d say the main advantage is that it’s all you- it’s all YOUR vision, your words, you control it all. Sadly this advantage can also be a disadvantage as it is ALL YOU.   Every glitch, every typo…these are all on your plate. It’s very necessary for an author to be diligent in seeing to every detail- not only as it relates to the copy, but also the cover art, the publishing platforms used, how the work is marketed. Self-publishing has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, but that reward does not come without a tremendous amount of hard work.

BPM: What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you? 
I think it’s wonderful. For me it’s wonderful in moderation- I’m not on my Facebook and Twitter feeds every day and when I am “socializing” there it’s not always for the purposes of discussing my latest book.

I’m enjoying social media a little more each day and I’m very happy that I’ve not become addicted to it. I can shut it down. I am; however, happy for the chance to communicate with my readers or followers as a person- one who likes to read, enjoys movies and music, one who watches way too much TV and loves to talk about it, one who from time to time shares a funny story about her crazy kid. I’m pretty long-winded so Facebook works best for me when I really want to share something intense with my reader-friends or have a lot to say about a new book coming out- it allows me to share snippets of work and I prefer it for book chats. I enjoy Twitter very much! 

I mostly use it to go on and on about all those TV shows I watch. I also quickly share with my readers news about my work- new projects, release dates and audio snippets that I tend to record throughout the year.

Connnect with AlTonya Washington