Nana's love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she borrowed from her cousin on a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana at a precocious thirteen. She's been in love with kick butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.
Waiting for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, Nana, meantime works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is. Though, until that ninja job comes through, you'll find her acting out scenes for hubby and puppy while catching up on her favorite reality television shows in sunny San Diego.
Game Set Match
Off the court, tennis star Jason Cartwright’s playboy image is taking a public beating. On the court, he’s down forty-love. A knee injury is shutting down his game, and the paparazzi are splashing his love life on every magazine. A comeback is in order, but the makeover he needs to save his faltering career is in the hands of the woman he loved and left fifteen years ago.
While single-mom, Izzy Connors, sees people for who they really are through the lens of her camera, even without it, she knows Jason isn’t the star he appears to be. Although his charm and good looks haven’t dimmed since he broke her heart, all she sees is his wasted talent and playboy lifestyle.
Can Izzy put the past behind her and help Jason get his game, and his image, back on track? Or will the click of her camera shatter his world as well as his heart?
How did you start out your writing career?
I've always written, but as a child of strict Ghanaian parents, any career that wasn't engineering, law, or medicine wasn't a viable option. I didn't have the courage to start writing with publication in mind until about ten years ago out of dissatisfaction with my PR job at the time. Who knew you had to be perky and love people in order to do PR?
I still have a day job, but no more PR for me. I'm a software project manager by day.
What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned that I truly could do anything. GSM was my third completed novel and the first one I'd written without a prolonged break in the middle. As I wrote and applied the learnings from all the worshops I'd taken, I realized that somehow, I'd become a writer.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
To become a NYT bestselling author. Kidding...mostly. I wanted to write a book that would entertain. I wanted readers to fall in love with the characters as they fell in love with each other. Hopefully I managed that.
Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be?
Ha. No. Alas, I still have to go to the day job. I had this picture of me sitting around in my pajamas all day as I spilled out sparkling prose. The reality is, between, my day job as a project manager, my husband and new baby, I eek out writing time between diaper changes and during lunch.
Which five characters (can be from books, movies, or tv shows) would you invite over for dinner and why?
This is one of the best interview questions I've ever had!
Clair Huxtable (The Cosby Show) because she was just awesome. You need a strong woman in charge to organize the troops.
Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) Because she loves her family fiercely, is strong and capable of enormous love.
Jason Bourne (The Bourne Identity) I like having a bad ass as a dinner companion just in case something breaks out.
Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye) - Because you always need one misfit at a dinner party
Gabriel Aubry (Halle Berry's ex man) - Just cause he's pretty :)
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
What? Only three? I could go on forever with these. But I will follow the rules.
I wish I'd known how to build a cohesive plot.
I wish I'd known that a cute meet and sizzling chemistry do not a story make.
I wish I'd known how much work I'd have to put it and what I'd have to sacrifice to get here.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
The Do: Write. The book will do you no good in an unfinished state.
The Don't: Don't listen to anyone who says you can't. You'll find that all kinds of things and people will act as obstacles. But if this is your dream you won’t let anything stand in the way of it.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
That it's the hardest job you'll ever do and saying something along the lines of "Oh, I've always wanted to write a book, but I'm just too busy," or "Writing a romance book is easy right. Just follow a formula," will make the writer crazy enough to do something drastic.
What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?
Best advice: Always be professional and courteous. You never know know who is in a position to help or hurt you. Like any day job, the world is just too small and you don't want to stick your foot in it.
The worst: To give an agent exclusive reading rights. Agents have a lot on their plate. I've had one or two who didn't get back to me for six months. If you give them an exclusive, it could be months before you hear anything. All the while, your book is sitting on the shelf.
What is something readers would be surprised you do?
I also take photographs. It's my other outlet.
If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?
That's easy. Elizabeth Bennet. She's spunky and doesn't back down from what she believes is right.
Our theme this month is The Business Of Writing. Can you offer any advice about the business side of writing?
I will pay it forward with the same advice that I got. Be professional. Do your research. Know the agencies you want to submit to. Only send them what they ask for. Get their name right etc.
Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?
That I am loved.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
I'm working on a series. Each book will feature one of three best friends living here in San Diego.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Feel free to email me @: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit me@: http://www.nanamalone.com/
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