Wednesday, March 5, 2014

An Interview with Indie Author Tinika Ross

Tonight we sit down for an interview with new indie author Tinika Ross as she talks about writing and the release of her first novel Madness.  Welcome Tinika!

DAB:  Was there a point in your life that prompted your desire to write or have you always wanted to be an author?

TR:       I reached a point where I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.  I've always loved to write, but I was very reluctant about becoming an author.  Writing is fun for me, and I thought if I pursued it professionally, it would stop being fun.  I pursued other passions and interests, but they didn't feel right.  National Novel Writing Month came around and I wrote an amazing book so I figured I'd go for it.

DAB:  Where do you come up with ideas for your novels?

TR:       I like to draw from my personal life or the lives of my family and friends.  Music and movies inspire me too.

DAB:  What was the catalyst for this novel's premise?

TR:       I was dealing with some heavy emotions when I got the idea for Madness.  I tried talking to a few people about it, but most of them were dismissive.  They kept telling me to get over it, that I should be okay and move on.  It wasn't that simple though.  I couldn't let it go and it was eating away at me.  So I wrote the novel as a way to purge and express those negative emotions that I couldn't express otherwise.

DAB:  Do you have a character(s) in your novel with whom you closely identify?

TR:       Two come to mind.  Langston and Giselle.  Langston is the female protagonist and Giselle is a woman Langston meets in Paris.

Although they do it in different ways, they try really hard to hide their true feelings and their pain.  They don't want others to see them as weak.  I'm the same way.  I'd rather put on a brave face and push forward than be perceived as weak or damaged.

DAB:  I can relate with you there.  Do you ever have difficulty writing from the point-of-view of a member of the opposite sex?

TR:       Sometimes.  The tricky thing about writing from a male perspective is they don't seem to analyze things as much as women do.  They also respond to conflict differently too.  Sometimes I forget that and my male characters end up being a little more emotional than I want them to be. 

DAB:  How long did it take for you to craft this novel?

TR:       I wrote Madness for National Novel Writing Month in 2012.  It took 27 days to write.  The editing process took a lot longer.  It took about 8 months to get it right.

DAB:  There's the eternal debate whether to outline or not.  What is your preference? 

TR:       I hate outlining.  It makes me feel restricted and sucks some of the fun out of writing for me.

DAB:  I hear you!  Have you ever experienced writer's block?

TR:       Yeah.  It happens a lot.  A few years ago, I had a really bad case of writer's block that lasted several months.  Another blogger suggested that I immerse myself in new and unusual things like sitting in a dark closet.  It worked wonders.  Whenever I get blocked now I do something new or go somewhere new and let my senses and imagination take over.

DAB:  Oh that's fascinating!  I'll have to try the dark closet thing sometime.  Now when I write, I have particular composers and music that gets me in the mood for certain scenes and characters.  Have you ever written to music?

TR:       All the time.  Music helps me focus.  If I'm writing emotional or action scenes, I listen to rock.  For other scenes I usually listen to hip hop, rap, or pop depending on my mood.

DAB:  Do you have any writing pointers for the authors in our audience?

TR:       As cliche as it sounds, write.  The more you write, the better you'll get.  Share your work with others.  This will help you build a platform and a fan base.  Also, share the work of other writers.  It will make their day and could building some friendships.  Most importantly, don't give up!  Keep trying and writing.

DAB:  Care to tell us what is next on your writing horizon?

TR:      Of course.  Right now I'm working on a couple short stories.  Hopefully, you'll see them this year.  I'm also working on a new novel.  This one is about a wannabe rock star that falls on some hard luck.  It should be released in 2015, but there will probably be teasers available towards the end of this year.

DAB:  Now's your chance - give us the final plug for your novel. 

TR:       Madness follows two people: Langston and Tripp.  On her way home from work one evening, Langston has car trouble and gets sexually assaulted.  The same day in Iraq, Tripp and his unit are ambushed.  As a result, Tripp gets a traumatic brain injury and is guilt ridden over the severe injuries his best friend receives.  Through a few chance meetings the pair become friends and try to help each other overcome their issues.

Madness is available on Amazon:

Barnes and Noble:

Virtual Bookworm:

Thanks again, Tinika, for stopping by the blog to share a little about your experience publishing Madness and giving us a sneak peek into your writing world.  Congratulations on this release and much luck with your future work!

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