Intimate Conversation with Shakir Rashaan
Shakir Rashaan currently lives in suburban Atlanta with his wife and two children. Rashaan’s catalog includes the series Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld and the upcoming Kink, P.I., and two novels under the pen name Curtis Alexander Hamilton, titled All I Want…Is You and The Devil’s All-American. Other credits include several anthologies, including the bestselling Zane Presents Z-Rated: Chocolate Flava 3. One of Rashaan’s goals is to educate and titillate while reading his novels. You can see more of Rashaan at www.ShakirRashaan.com.
BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one special?
First, I want to thank Black Pearls Magazine for the opportunity to present my series and my characters to your readers. Now, to give you an idea of what my book and characters are all about. My series, the Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld, is a look inside a world that very few were aware of before the turn of the century and, to some degree, a world that most still don’t have the inside access to: the BDSM/Fetish community, and particularly to my series, the African-American community.
The central characters in this series are a married couple, Kane and Mercedes. In their “vanilla” lives, they are business professionals and parents of three kids, involved in both very much. However, when the kids are put to bed or go to grandma’s house for the weekend, they deal in the “other” side of their lives as a Dominant couple, Ramesses and Neferterri. This power couple is a force to be reckoned with within the Atlanta BDSM/Fetish community, with Neferterri being a co-owner of an adult nightclub and Ramesses helping with the operation of a residence that doubles as ground zero for a lot of the parties that occur in the Atlanta area: the Palace.
I have a special affinity for this couple in particular because they were the first to come from my “NEBU Universe,” which I affectionately termed the creative universe in my mind. You never forget your first, and I have come to love them uniquely for who they are and what they bring to my series: the strength and swagger of the ultimate Alpha Dominant in Ramesses, and the sensuality and quiet power as a complement to her husband in Neferterri.
There are other characters within the series that I’ve come to enjoy and watch grow: the submissives of Ramesses and Neferterri, shamise, Kitana (who would later be referenced by another name, but you will have to read the book to find that out), and Damian, who represents a very misunderstood segment of the BDSM community in the submissive black male. There are also other fringe characters in the series: Dominic (who has a spinoff series in Kink, P.I. coming soon), Amenhotep, who is Ramesses’ mentor and long-time friend, Mistress Sinsual, tiger (another submissive male), there is a large cast of characters that help make this series unlike any other on the market right now.
BPM: Which character or topic in the books can you identify with the most? Why?
Ramesses is easily the character I identify with the most. He and I are like kindred spirits, which gave this book and series such a unique feel. As a lifestyle Dominant myself in the real-time BDSM community, I wanted to give a positive image to those like me. In a literary world that has been bombarded by billionaire Caucasian Alpha males, I wanted to introduce an alternative that readers will fall in love with.
BPM: How do you go about reaching new readers? What would you like for readers to take away from your writing?
Word of mouth has been the best way for me to reach new readers. Because I am an erotica author, especially with the subjects I tackle, I rely on my core readers to help me spread the word. I enjoy interacting with my readers a lot, both on social media and by email because I feel it gives them a personal connection to me and it makes them feel like they’re a part of the “Shakir Experience.” Whether I’m video blogging (something I plan to do a LOT of in the next year), interacting with listeners on my Blog Talk Radio show, The Wine Down w/Sh’moore & Shakir on Wednesday nights at 10:30 p.m. (shameless plug LOL) or doing radio interviews and blog interviews, it gives me new opportunities to find readers who I otherwise would not be able to reach.
As far as what I would like readers to take away from my writing, well, that’s easy: I want readers to walk away from my writing feeling like they’ve experienced something unlike anything else they’ve read before. I want them to feel like I’ve helped them understand things that were once taboo and realize that the people who engage in the taboo are real people, too. Finally, I want them to tell a friend that they’ve found a male author who can actually pen an erotic story that doesn’t feel like pornography. The best compliment I have received from one of my new readers has been the “symphonic” visuals I created while telling the story. She felt she was right there in the action, and it completely engrossed her to the point to where she forgot how much time had passed when she finally put the book down. That is what I hope to make readers feel like every time they pick up a Shakir Rashaan novel…to be engrossed within the “Shakir Experience.”
BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or entertain?
My goal as a writer is to create a cult following. I want readers to feel like they belong to something, a movement, as it were. The books I write detail a sexual awakening that helps people look at these characters and realize that they are not alone in the things that turn them on. Another one of my readers said that when she finished The Awakening, it made her look at the world around her differently, and by that she meant that she took a different look at her neighbors, her friends, her co-workers, and she wondered if they were a part of the “Underworld” also.
My mantras are something that I hold dear to me, and I take them with me every time I put pen to paper. One is, “corrupting minds, one book at a time,” while the other is, “to educate and titillate.” I wondered at one time if I should add the word, “inspire,” to that second mantra, and to a degree, I believe I should because I have inspired a lot of people to take the step to venture out into the real-time Fetish/BDSM world because, as one reader put it at my latest book signing, “Reading your books made that world not seem so scary anymore.” I take pride and I’m humbled every time someone says that because my lifestyle is very personal to me, it is my life, not just something I do on the weekends.
BPM: A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another. Finish this sentence - “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... ”
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers the opportunity to be open and honest about your sexuality and sensuality. It is my hope that when you pick up my novels, that you will be able to take one step closer to the clichéd statement of “living without boundaries.”
BPM: Share with us your latest news. How may our readers follow you online?
Let’s see, there’s so much to tell as of recently, and it’s a blessing to be able to share it with you.
First, I’m enjoying a lot of success with The Awakening, and I’m very grateful and humbled by the support and the wonderful reviews that it has been receiving. The second book in the Nubian Underworld series, Legacy, was released June 10, 2014, and Tempest will be ready to go in December 2014.
I will also have a mystery series coming out sometime in 2015 called the Kink, P.I. series. I have three books in that series that will release, with more to come definitely. I’m also working on a trilogy series with two characters that aren’t exactly getting a lot of publicity: a black female dominant and a black male submissive relationship dynamic. That one is going to be fun to write because it’s a different dynamic than what fans are used to from me.
I have some other stuff upcoming on the anthology front, so definitely be on the lookout for those in the coming months, I have some paranormal erotica coming up, and some cougars are in the mix, too!
Readers can follow me online easily. They can Google Shakir Rashaan or go to my website at www.ShakirRashaan.com and click on the social media buttons at the top of my home page. I’m on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, I have my blog at http://blog.shakirrashaan.com where I will pick up where I left off and I also have my author page at Simon & Schuster, too.
I think that’s about it, at least for now, but with me, you never know what may come up! Thank you again for having me, it has been a pleasure sitting down with you.
Connect with Shakir Rashaan Online
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shakir.rashaan (Timeline)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ShakirRashaanErotica (Fan Page)