Friday, March 19, 2010

Interview with LaConnie Taylor-Jones

Tell us all about you, the author. And then tell us about the person behind the author. 

From the author side, I’ve published three full-length novels. In 2008, I was the recipient of the 2008 Romance Slam Jam Emma Award for Debut Author of the Year for my debut novel, When I’m With You, that was published in 2007. I released my second novel, When a Man Loves a Woman in 2008 and back by popular demand, my latest new novel, If I Were Your Woman, was release March 4, 2010.

On the personal side, I hail from Memphis, Tennessee. For the past twenty years, I’ve worked by day as a health educator consultant. By night, I’m full time president, taxi driver, cook, pot washer, referrer and mother to the four Jones kids.

How long have you been writing and what has the experience been like for you?

In the summer of 2003, I seized the opportunity to blend my enthusiasm for teaching health, social responsibility and social justice with my love for reading the romance genre and a multitude of storylines began. However, four years came and went before my debut novel was published in November 2007.

Do you credit anyone with helping along the way to becoming a writer?

Without a doubt my author mentor, Beverly Jenkins.

What motivates you to write?

The inspiration for my stories comes from my experience as a health educator. For the past twenty years, I’ve taught health education to African Americans in community-based settings. Oftentimes, before I present a lecture, I find myself interfacing with students and listening to the soci-economic deterrents they face.

How does writing affect you in other areas of your life?

No book is worth sacrificing the relationship I have with family or anyone else who is important in my life. Therefore, I’ve learn to put my writing in perspective. I never allow my personal time to interfere with writing time and vice versa.

Do you write full time or part time?

A writer is someone who writes stories. An author is someone who sells books. Therefore, I consider myself to be a full-time author.

How long did it take to write If I Were Your Woman?

I wrote this book during an extremely challenging period in my life. Three weeks after signing the contract for this title, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. For six months while we went to chemo three days a week, I lugged my laptop with me and wrote. I didn’t realize it then, but the personal experience of dealing with cancer enabled me to become a better writer and tell this story from a much deeper perspective.

Sadly, my husband lost his fight on January 13, 2009. Despite the tremendous void in my life, I’ll always be eternally grateful and remember the thirty-five wonderful years we were blessed to spend together.

As far as marketing, do you do more online publicity or print/radio/TV promotion? What seems to work best for you? Feel free to share any publicity tips you might have.

The publishing world has definitely transitioned into the digital revolution. Therefore, I find that my marketing is exclusively on-line.

How would you describe your writing style and how did you come up with it?

When I first began my writing career, ‘unique voice’, ‘interesting story premise’, and ‘strong characterization’ kept popping up. Did I know what any of this meant? Uuh…didn’t have a clue. Interesting story premise, huh? Hmmm…let’s see. What if I took a real-life issue and put a romantic spin to it? And since a romance novel centers on the love between two people and provides an optimistic ending, the only thing I needed to do was connect the dots.

What is your writing process like?

It begins when I stumble down the stairs, groping in semi-darkness for my best friend, the coffee pot. The illuminated numbers indicate one o’clock in the morning. The duties of mother, maid, cook, chauffer, doctor, business owner and referrer have ended, and it’s the right time for me to write!!

Tell us about your book(s) in as many words as you'd like.

WHEN I’M WITH YOU - When your life has been terrorized by violence, how do you manage to go forward, looking over your shoulder at every turn? This is the daily question that haunts Caitlyn Thompson. Caitlyn is soon to meet the man who will make her want to stop running, want to trust and love again; Marcel Baptiste. It will take a will of iron and a courage she didn’t know she possessed to battle her fears and open up to the wealthy entrepreneur. But when violence comes knocking again, will she have the courage to face her biggest nightmare?

WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN - Nursing administrator Victoria Bennett has soured on love. She has sworn off men; they bring too much drama and too much pain into her life. That is, until she meets pediatrician A. J. Baptiste, a single parent who is determined to woo her. A. J. will stop at nothing to have her, and Victoria finds her resolve put to the test…but is this a fight she really wants to win? 

IF I WERE YOUR WOMAN - Tinsel Town is about to learn a few lessons from a Southern doctor with the courage to win the heart of a man who swore no woman ever would. If it doesn’t have a scientific basis, Dr. Laney Olivia Houston doesn’t believe in it —and that includes love at first sight. But she meets Raphael Baptiste. One encounter is all it takes; and she realizes her life is changed forever. Jazz musician, Raphael Baptist is no stranger to women or their beds. When an illness strikes, his life is thrown into turmoil. But the quiet Southern belle sees beyond his past and bitterness. She sees a man who could love. . .

How do you come up with the titles for your books? What about the character names and topics? Why did you choose to write on these specific topics?

In all three cases, I wrote the story first, then selected a title I felt captured the essence of the story. As for the character names, there really wasn’t a method to the madness.

I would say my experience as a health educator played a pivotal role relative to the premise of each story.

What's coming up next for you? (Upcoming books)

Currently, I’m working on a couple of romantic suspense plots

Where is your book available and where can we find you online to learn more about you or your book?

Readers can click on the link of each title for more information:

When I’m With You

When A Man Loves A Woman

If I Were Your Woman

Last question, I've read "If I Were Your Woman," and I'd love to interview you live. Would you do me the honor?

Absolutely!!! Give me a date and time and you’ve got yourself an interview.
A word from Vee:  Awesome!  I know you're promoting like crazy right now, so I'll give you a minute to catch your breath and I'll be in touch very soon.  And thank you so much for stopping by VJBS.  I've got nothing but love for ya.  Peace, my friend.  I wish you so much success.

If I Were Your Woman official book trailor: