The time is winding down and before you know it, Romance Slam Jam conference 2011 will be here. YEAH!!! Wit all the plans Ac has for you it’s definitely going to be fun. The first interview is with an author many of you may be familiar with. Sean Young. Sean has taken a hiatus from writing for a little while but now she’s back with a vengeance. Welcome Sean.
Dyanne: Sean, thank you for doing the interview for Romance Slam Jam. Can you tell us how you got started?
Sean: I’d been writing since I was twelve years old. As the years went by, I’d gotten away from it and just continued to read everything I could get my hands on.
Once I found romantic fiction, I was hooked on it. Then one day my dear friend Jacquelin Thomas told me that the Lord had spoken to her about me. At first I didn’t believe her, but her only response was “I’m not taking it back”. She would call me from time to time asking how many chapters I’d finished on the story she and I worked on together. I actually got tired of her, so I finished the story and sent it in. My thinking was I’ll get my rejection letter, send her a copy and she’d leave me alone. The Lord had other plans.
Dyanne: That has to be a powerful message and a little scary. I love it. Being a writer though, I’m writing a scene in my head about my conversation with God. J Just to refresh us, can you tell us about your works before you went on hiatus?
Sean: My first release TOTAL BLISS gives you a behind the scenes look at what couples go through when they are planning a big wedding. It also introduces the Hart Sisters: Ivy, Rose, Violet and Lili.
WITH THIS RING is the story of Rose Hart and Marc Damon. Rose Hart is a voluptuous woman who in the past has only had her heart broken because of her size. She meets Marc at her cousin’s wedding reception and can’t believe he’s actually attracted to her. Marc is determined to get Rose to see that she’s the one he’s been looking for.
Dyanne: Both of your books just arrived at my house. I’m glad I was able to find both of them. No writer is an island so dish. Tell us who support you and if you want you can even tell us about the ones who don’t.
Sean: First and foremost my family is a major support. I have several good friends that help motivate me to keep trying no matter what.
Dyanne: I’m glad you have supportive friends. No matter long we’re in this business we need our friends. Take us back to the beginning. When you made your first sale did it seem real? Did you believe that you deserved it?
Sean: When the phone rang and I looked at the caller ID, I couldn’t believe it. Demetria Lucas who at the time was working for BET Books said she really liked my voice and wanted to offer me a two book contract, I almost dropped the phone.
Did I believe I deserved it, hmmm, I’m not sure I would say that I felt it was a blessing from God.
Dyanne: Very good answer. If you were just beginning your writing career what would you do differently?
Sean: Believe in my gift more. Stop doubting myself and my ability to write a good story.
Dyanne: Ah, see, Sean, that was part of what I was asking you about. So many of us, especially women don’t believe we’re deserving to have being given gifts by The Creator. But I know your friends keep telling you that you are. What have you learned from having put in your time in the business that you think aspiring writers can benefit from?
Sean: Believe in the gift God gave you. Keep writing and don’t let the rejection and negative comments from others deter you from your writing goals.
Dyanne: Now’s a good time to get your input on the effects of negative comments. I always have to ask authors about reviews and how you view them. Go ahead Sean, what do you think? This is a two part question. Would you like to review a reviewer?
Sean: I think negative reviews can hurt you, but they can also help you. Realizing that it’s only one person’s opinion, you pull out the helpful things and take the rest with a grain of salt. I used to review every book that I read before I became a writer myself. I always tried to be truthful about what I’d read.
Dyanne: On the helping part, most recently something that was given in a friend’s review as a negative that I was in the process of doing with a book I was working on. I made changes in my book based on my friend’s review. Sean, .It’s been awhile since your last book. What are you doing to keep your name and face out there that doesn’t break the bank?
Sean: I try to stay connected with my readers and I would send out e-cards on major holidays to everyone who’d signed up for my mailing list. The e-card membership was $13.00 per year with unlimited cards. I also put a poll out on my website asking the readers which Hart Sister story they’d like next.
Dyanne: I’m going to have to have you tell me more about the e-card membership. By the way, Congratulations on your new release from Genesis Press. Can you tell us about it please?
Sean: Thank you so much Dyanne. You know everybody has a story. The reason they are who they are and why they act the way they do. My friend Alicia Thomas suggested I put Ivy Hart and Jonathan Damon together.
I’m so excited about FROM THIS MOMENT. This is the story about the uptight oldest Hart sister Ivy. In the previous novels we all saw Ivy as what her baby sister Lili called her an “ICE QUEEN”. I knew that girlfriend had some real issues and after some thought and the results of my reader poll, it was time everybody knew her story.
Jonathan Damon has been smitten with Ivy since they met, but he could never get past that wall she’d built around her heart. Well after a chance meeting at a Las Vegas wedding convention, he sees a different side of her. He’s a spontaneous guy and escorts her to the wedding convention awards dinner where she wins the top spot for the new Wedding reality show. They party down and end up getting married. Because she doesn’t have the time to go back to Vegas to get the marriage annulled, she makes him promise to keep it a secret.
Jonathan is determined to keep her Mrs. Damon for the rest of their lives.
Dyanne: Congratulations also on being the first author from Genesis Press to have your book on Kindle. We saw each other at RSJ in 08. RSJ has always made me feel loved. I’ve gone to many conferences but nothing compares to RSJ. What was your most memorable moment about being at the conference?
Sean: Romance Slam Jam has always been special to me. I started attending as a reader back in 2001 when Brenda Jackson and Brenda Woodbury hosted it in Orlando, FL. Some of my dearest friendships to date were made at that conference. You are right nothing compares to it. There is so much love there, the readers are gracious and the authors so kind. When I attended back in 2005 Dallas as writer, the love and acceptance of me and my work was awesome.
Most memorable RSJ: There are so many. I have a memorable moment from each one I attended with my friends: Betty, Michele R, Word Diva, Phyllis, Jeanette, Lisa, Carolyn, Angel. I will say the most memorable from the 2008 RSJ was when Bettye Griffin, Gloria Malette, Crystal Rhodes and I hosted an intimate session. It had been three years since I’d had a book out and thought people wouldn’t show up, but to my surprise our room was practically full. The readers again were so sweet and when they started pulling both my books out of their tote bags asking me to sign them, it made my heart smile that they hadn’t forgotten about me.
Dyanne: Can we have the places you hang out and tell us where you fans can find you?
Sean:Great interview Dyanne. Thanks so much for this opportunity.