AlTonya Washington has been a published romance novelist for 10 years and is a two time winner of The Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer’s Choice Award. In addition to being an author, AlTonya also works as a college Reference Librarian. Writing as T. Onyx, AlTonya has also crafted a string of very popular erotica titles. Her long-running and popular Ramsey/Tesano romantic suspense series will soon conclude. “Lover’s Origin: Black Island”, “A Lover’s Return” and “Book of Scandal: The Tesano Elders” will mark the last three titles in the saga.
BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?
Hard work and persistence. I recall the early submission letters sent to BET Arabesque. Being consistent in my follow-up correspondence with editors is what I believe got me noticed. From there it was the hard work put into forming my titles that completed the task of getting their interest. Diligence and discipline were the other pieces that proved instrumental in getting my writing contract as well as a degree in library science which is my other passion. I suppose the sense of accomplishment is what truly motivates me.
BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?
My body of work speaks to adult readers who enjoy a good, dramatic story with a dynamic mix of multi-dimensional characters. I suppose authors are the best role models for other authors.
BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
I wrote Between Love and Hate long before I had my first writing contract. The idea came to me at a time when the term ‘male-bashing’ was first being tossed around. I make a point of not doing that in any of my stories (unless it’s with a villainous secondary character ?) I wanted to create a story where both characters were equally endearing, yet guilty of mistakes that I attempted to display equally in amount and magnitude.
BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I enjoyed the dynamic between the main characters Cahlir Decker and Bizay Donneeter especially in their roles as parents.
BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?
The ideas can come from ANYWHERE!! I’m as avid an observer as I am a reader. I enjoy observing others and wondering what their stories could be. Even a phrase or the look one character might share with another in a movie can motivate me to want to delve in and explore the meaning behind such actions.
BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?
Cahlir Decker and Bizay Donneeter had an extraordinary involvement that resulted in more than either of them ever intended. Their connection went deeper than the sexual chemistry that sizzled to life between the powerful corporate consultant and the lingerie entrepreneur. At least, that was what Biz thought until their enjoyable time together ended when she woke one morning to an empty bed and no sign of Cahlir. Biz refused to acknowledge how deeply the man had wounded her-how deeply her feelings for him had grown in the short span of time they had known each other. She was angry and hurt and leaned on a fair amount of hate to survive. Not a bad plan until she received word that her family’s advertising firm was in trouble and that Cahlir was its new owner.
Biz didn’t have time to let fear register over the unexpected turn of events. Fear however, did eventually find its way to the forefront of her mind as did a healthy dose of suspicion. Did Cahlir know that she’d left San Diego pregnant with their child? What would he do when he realized she’d had their daughter and had kept her from him for four years?
BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?
What makes our hero Cahlir Decker so endearing is the fact that he’s a wounded hero despite his alpha tendencies. The death of his first child is a scar he can’t hide. Our heroine Bizay Donneeter endears herself to us in how determined she is not to be hurt. She’s so determined that she winds up being hurt because of the lengths she goes to in hopes of protecting herself from it.
BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?
If so, discuss them. I would suppose our little four year old doll Olivia Donneeter would represent that category. Parents don’t always stop to think of how actions can affect the child when they are so young. I believe we as parents believe that; so young, perhaps the child is unaware of all that’s going on around them. That is so often NOT the case.
BPM: How does your book relate to your present journey?
As a parent I’ve had and continue to have to make choices that will have a direct impact on my child. It’s not always an easy existence, but I wouldn’t trade being a mom for anything.
BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
A lot of my ‘research’ came from within-from where I’ve grown in my role as a parent. I started this book before I became a parent and the amount of personal knowledge I’ve gained since that long ago time is unbelievable!
BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
I wanted to create a well-rounded story balanced with the mistakes and triumphs (lessons learned) on both sides. I believe I accomplished that.
BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
“Lover’s Origin: Black Island”; which is a novella/prequel for the upcoming “A Lover’s Return”, will be releasing in March. “A Lover’s Return” will release fall of this year. I am currently celebrating the release of my latest Kimani title “Embrace My Heart.”
Books by AlTonya Washington
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