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The Perfect Deception (The Shady Sisters Trilogy)
Prior to becoming a full-time author, Lutishia enjoyed many different careers. They all, however, had one thing in common – they all were linked into a “world of words”. From administrative assistant to radio personality to actor to managing editor and senior writer for a holistic magazine,words have always been the magic that made Lutishia’s world go ’round. Probably one of the spins that would most surprise readers is the fact that Lutishia was a rapper! That’s right, for a short stint in the 90s, Lutishia was billed as “The Rhaptress” (a combination of a rapper and an actress), and toured with other singers and musicians throughout southern CA. She’s happy now to beat out a rhythm on her keyboard…songs in the key of “writer” that she hopes will inspire and entertain!
BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
One day, this amazing story simply began downloading in my head. It was awesome, just like a movie. The woman, now known as lead character Jacqueline Tate, gave me the basic premise, which I immediately fleshed out into an outline and shot over to my editor, Selena James. She loved the idea, as I did, and approved it right away. There were still a couple books due before I’d get the chance to dive into this brave new world but once that happened I was in seventh heaven. I’m releasing the sequel to The Perfect Affair titled, The Perfect Deception on November 25, 2014!
BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Absolutely. I believe that all of who we are, where we’ve been and what we’ve learned inspires all creative artists, be they writer, actor, singer, painter, etc. That being said, I am also a voyeur with a chameleon-like personality so it is easy for me to relate to and describe a lifestyle or situation very personally and vividly while having no personal experience on the matter. I think my background as an actor helps me in this as well.
BPM: Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when? Do you have a special time to write?
I am blessed and thankful to be a full-time author without a set writing schedule. Most days, I’m writing, editing and/or promoting something and when not doing that handling the business aspects of my company, Lovely Day.
BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
That’s basically what happens when I send the book off to the publisher for its first edits. When it comes back to me, there have usually been a few months in between and I see the story with new eyes. Inevitably, this leads to positive changes and sometimes whole subplots newly formed.
BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?
Ella, they come from the Universe! Sometimes that’s as easy as the character tapping on my shoulder, as Jacqueline Tate did, or through a pow-wow with my editor or literary friends. Other times inspiration comes from hearing a news story, watching something on TV or overhearing a conversation. I’m constantly being inspired which can be both a blessing and a challenge all at once! For the most part, my novels are plot-driven by very strongly identified characters.
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?
The Shady Sisters Trilogy is a fascinating new contemporary fiction series about women who find themselves in interesting and precarious romantic situations. In the debut novel, The Perfect Affair, we meet a woman who finds Mr. Right just when she’s about to give up on the game. When she finds out he’s married…oh well. Jacqueline Tate knows this is but a minor inconvenience because she always gets what she wants!
BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
First of all, I must say that I am absolutely in love with these characters and with this book! There are so many layers to both of them; complexities brought about by some of the very things I mentioned earlier that make us who we are: what we know, what we’ve learned, and experiences we’ve had. On one hand, Jacqueline is a woman with whom most of us is familiar – we either know her or someone like her. She’s attractive, smart, with an exciting career. But like so many women, this success doesn’t translate into the relationship department. I believe readers, like her friends in the novel, will want to know why, and will root for her to find this happiness.
Dr. Randall Atwater was fun to write. First off, it’s the first time I’ve dealt with a scientist which considering how bad I did in chemistry, was a bit intimidating, even fictitiously Ha! But I loved showing this guy who came from a tough background but because someone recognized and showed interest in his passion, was able to rise above his situation and achieve success. He’s special because of his character and integrity, even when situations around him contradict these parts of him.
BPM: Can you outline some areas where your characters dealt with issues that are in current affairs?
Absolutely, Ella…I write in real life! J A few include the challenges some single women face in finding a “good” man, honesty and integrity in relationships, the value of sisterhood friendships and the act of giving back.
Dr. Atwater grew up in the Anacostia Projects in Washington, D.C. He knows what it’s like to feel hopeless, to see no way out. He’s also well aware that less than 50% of AA males graduate high school, with more ending up in prison than on a college campus. As a way of giving back, he sets up a program called Atwater’s Achievement Module that tutors junior high and high school students in science and math, and encourages them to look at the world of science as a possible career choice.
BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
While writing, I tend to go on just as wild a journey as my readers do! Aside from knowledge constantly picked up by research, the characters and situations in this novel reminded me of the inherent power within us all. The same as I mold these characters, so are we molding our very own lives. We hold the pen and we are the story. The beginning, middle, end, how it flows and what genre we’re rocking, a thrilling suspense or hardcore mystery, a vanilla romance or full-on erotic saga….every page, every chapter of our lives is up to us.
BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? How do you go about reaching new readers?
I want readers to finish this book, and shout, “Oh. My. God. Lutishia Lovely wrote the holy hieroglyphics out of that book!!!” And then I want them to tell everybody they see about it, and encourage them to take the journey, too!
BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author?
Success for me as an author is the same as that of me as a person: to be happy, healthy and able to wake up every day doing what I love. Writing as a full-time author allows me to live comfortably, even though being my passion it is something I’d do for free…and have.
BPM: What is your favorite positive saying? Where do you find your daily inspiration or muse?
Gurllll…never ask a Libra her favorite anything! We can never narrow the choices to just one! But a foundational favorite would be this: I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me.
BPM: Were there any challenges in bringing this story to life?
Because of the complexities of the characters and nature of the storyline, this was probably the hardest book I’ve ever written. It is fast-paced, with plots and sub-plots, making it logistically difficult. Thank Spirit for editors is all I can say. It took all of them, me and a few angels to keep everything straight.
BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like to accomplish after the book is released?
The Perfect Affair will be my first NYT Bestseller, after which I will be approached by several major studios resulting in a bidding war that will reach seven-figures. Everyone will be talking about it, even CNN, causing the rights to the entire trilogy to be snapped up internationally. The books will then be translated into at least 37 languages and place me on the Forbes list. So, not a lot of big expectations, Ella. I try not to aim too high.
BPM: You are just too funny! What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject?
It is to do all of the above! Ultimately, I want to present my absolute best work with each release and if I’ve done that, then I will have done all of these things.
BPM: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?
Independently publishing my first novel, was an invaluable school of hard knocks regarding the publishing industry. It forced me to learn all aspects of the business, primarily that at the end of the day that is what this creative endeavor is…BIZ-NESS!!! I will always be grateful for that experience.
That being said, releasing a quality product through self-publishing is not for the faint of heart. It is hard, exhaustive work, forcing you to constantly juggle a dozen hats from a dozen perspectives. The digital revolution has eased this somewhat, but with this convenience has also come a flood of badly written, poorly edited novels. The craft has suffered because some do not take the time to fully hone their craft before selling their wares.
The advantages are that you are your own boss, and can write the story exactly as you want which, in some instances, is the disadvantage as well, along with challenges with distribution, promotion and being recognized by traditional outlets.
BPM: What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
I love social media as a marketing addition. It allows me to get up-close-and-personal with Lovely readers; and to interact with them on a regular basis. I’ve networked, promoted, shared, and sold via various forms of social networking. Facebook is the one that I use most often and for that reason alone is the best for me.
BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Like my novels, I am a constant work in progress, holding the pen to write the next scene of my life. I am on a journey and am thankful for all of those who come along for the ride. Readers can keep in touch and find out about various rest stops, drive bys and travel destinations by joining my newsletter at: LutishiaLovely.com, liking me on Facebook at: authorLutishiaLovely and following me on Twitter at: lutishialovely.
BPM: Finish this sentence – “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors… ”
“My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors: to write flawlessly, and live fearlessly.”
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The Perfect Deception (The Shady Sisters Trilogy)