Make Mine a Heel, discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.
DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Make Mine a Heel?
SUENAMMI RICHARDS: This book is loosely based on a couple of things that I love which are professional wrestling and professional football. It started as a tongue in cheek comedy book, and went on to become one of my more interesting story developments. The characters are career driven and focused on goals beyond the normal 'boy meets girl' scenario. The story talks about trying to deal with a myriad of sometimes confusing relationships that can develop when you have a high gloss, sometimes high glamour or profile career to consider. It really delves into ideas about societal standards and thoughts on normalcy.
DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?
SUENAMMI RICHARDS: When I start to develop a character I start with a personality trait and then build a history that would produce it. I start to imagine childhood experiences and understand how they would shape this person. I add a couple of quirks that I've noticed in people I've known that I find really adorable and telling. I find that when you start with this 'childhood' idea, the characters nearly develop themselves. It's these instances in childhood that make them individual because while they can be similar, no two experiences are the same.
DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
SUENAMMI RICHARDS: Because of the nature of the novel I think my ideal readers are people in entertainment professions, or those who are fascinated by entertainment professions. Romance is usually thought of as being for a female audience only, however I discount that. I believe a well written book has a very broad audience that really excludes no one. I just know that some of the humor of the novel is 'stage' humor so people who understand production would get a kick out of it.
DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?
SUENAMMI RICHARDS: Well I've always written it seems. I would enter school wide poetry contests and always rank in the top 5 if not 1st. As I got older and was accepted to a Performing and Visual Arts specialty high school, I began to explore scriptwriting and musical composition in addition to my Visual Arts major classes. As I put myself back through school, writing became my way to stay sane. This novel is technically my 3rd completed novel. I have 2 others that are part of a series that I have not released yet.
DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?
SUENAMMI RICHARDS: Well I usually settle on a topic. I write short stories and flash fiction. This usually stirs up ideas in me. I take some queues from television. I love the social sciences so I involve lots of history, psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, and women's studies in my stories. I like for my characters to be arts savvy and somewhat book smart about some subject so constantly staying up on these subjects is what I rely on the most.
DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?
SUENAMMI RICHARDS: I've always loved the charm of a Johanna Lindsey novel, the seduction of Elizabeth Lowell, and recently the realism of Anne Stuart. I love the wit of Terry Pratchett, and the patience of Neil Gaiman. I'm fascinated by the minds of Neal Stephenson, J.R.R. Tolkien, and early Stephen King. The author that most inspired me to write is Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series which to me created this new facet of romance that was more about the growth of the characters' relationships as opposed to the 'hooking-up' aspect that some romance takes on.
DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?
SUENAMMI RICHARDS: Without doubt that would be Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age.
DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?
SUENAMMI RICHARDS: I have profiles set with Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Smashwords. I have an author's Facebook page and Twitter account. I have found Book Blogs to be a very helpful network in the idea that there are people who can see to each other's needs. You have book writers and book bloggers, it's a match made in heaven. I am currently developing a website, and scripting scene ‘reenactments’ for my completed novels.
DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?
SUENAMMI RICHARDS: There is no self publishing development tool that has a better community than the Kindle. When you compare it to other self-publishing options and machines the others seem to leave the author floundering. Within this publishing world you have a true sense of actual community. With the countless bloggers dedicated to it, the authors that promote it, and Amazon's open community for authors, it is an idea ‘first’ self-published book environment.
DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?
SUENAMMI RICHARDS: I would advise planning your steps so that you don't spend so much time 'spinning your wheels' as it were. Give yourself firm deadlines for writing, marketing and whatever other development you need. Make sure you have a good product first and foremost. Get some of your fiction, or non-fiction savvy friends to proof for you. Don’t be shy, request that they write reviews. Then solicite other book reviews to do the same. Most importantly don't be discouraged by reviewer rejections or bad reviews. There is a place for all types of writing, just keep plugging away until something fits.
DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In addition to her artistic endeavors, professionally she has been a successful graphic designer for years, mostly in magazine publication and editorials. She has designed for multi-billion dollar corporations including General Motors, Bank of America and real estate giant Coldwell Banker to name a few.
She began writing romance as a hobby as she completed her Bachelor's of Science in Simulation and Digital Entertainment, and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science in Learning Technologies. Originally hailing from Dallas, Texas she now calls the SOWEBO district of Downtown Baltimore home.
Read her blog, find her on facebook, and follow her on twitter.
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