Monday, June 18, 2007

JUN07 FEATURED AUTHOR: AlTonya Washington

SORMAG: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

AlTonya Washington:
AlTonya released her first novel with BET/Arabesque in 2003. Since then, she's released titles in the contemporary and historical romance genres. The award-winning author celebrated the release of her 9th novel "A Lover's Mask" with Harlequin/Kimani. This SC native now resides in NC where she works as a Senior Assistant for a college library. She's a huge movie buff who loves to cook (and eat!!) and read. She will release her 10th novel "Pride and Consequence" in November this year.

SORMAG: Tell us about your current book?

"A Lover's Mask" is Book 3 in the Ramsey Series. In this installment, we get to know Fernando Ramsey and Contessa Warren. Fernando is the middle son of Marc and Josephine Ramsey. Those who've read the first 2 books ("A Lover's Dream" and "A Lover's Pretense") know that Marc is the resident "bad guy" of the family. Fernando is something of a black sheep as well having spent time in both a juvenile facility and correctional institute during his younger wilder days. Contessa, the Chicago publisher introduced in Book 1, is intrigued by the gorgeous bad boy and ignores every order she gives herself to stay away. Her publishing house is in the process of producing the long-awaited Ramsey biography and Contessa is on the brink of uncovering yet another scandal involving the powerful clan. While bringing down Marc Ramsey is a definite possibility, will she also bring down Fernando- the man she's falling in love with?

SORMAG: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

For this series I like for readers to take away a sense of satisfaction from every Ramsey novel they read. I want them to take with them the fact that they've become inter-woven with the characters and their dramas. I'd also like for them to leave with their curiosity peaked-what will happen next? And how will it happen?

SORMAG: What led you to the idea of writing this book, and then to the actual writing of it?

My relatives always tease me about writing a book on our family. An intriguing idea-but I'd rather focus on the dramas I could conjure in a fictional family. I was captivated by the relationship between the twins in Karen Moning's Highlander novels and then the idea came to me for Quest and Quaysar (the twins from Books 1 and 2 of the Ramseys) From there, I got the idea for a family filled with beautiful men and deadly secrets-the Ramsey series was born.

SORMAG: Do you ever have a hard time letting go of a character after the novel is finished?

I have a VERY hard time letting go. These people are so real to me it's scary. This is what I've enjoyed about writing the series-I have the chance to revisit them-find out what's going on in their lives. In the Ramsey series past characters play large roles in the progression of the storyline.

SORMAG: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That strong characters actually drive the story-the author thinks he or she is in control, but it's the characters that push the plot, the actions and the twists. It's difficult to describe and something I never believed when other authors spoke of it, but it is very true.

SORMAG: What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

That it's not as easy as it seems. So much goes into creating a story that's not only interesting and sexy for the readers, but for the writer as well. These intriguing characters don't come to mind over night (not always). Developing them, the way they talk, look, think...these must be people you want to think about every day and night. Readers only see the finished product-I did before I actually became a writer. It's incredible and beautiful-how involved the entire process is.

SORMAG: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

I've started reading the "In Death" series by Nora Roberts writing as JD Robb. Currently, I'm on Book 12 "Betrayal In Death".

SORMAG: What do you do to make time for yourself?

Watching movies, taking bubbles baths, reading...

SORMAG: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

My email address is: and they can visit my website at

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