Interview with Author: Shewanda
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I’m a Boston girl hiding out in Miami. Shh, it’s warm here and I plan to stay.
When did you begin writing?
Growing up, we didn’t have much money for books. I had this voracious reading appetite as a kid, one that couldn’t be satisfied with frequent trips to the library or an allowance that permitted two paperbacks a month. Heaven forbid a story ended the “wrong” way; I’d hunt down a white-lined sheet of paper and pencil to grace the book with a more appropriate finish. Library books went back with these alternate endings stuffed in. Eventually I went on to write novels for myself to tide me over whenever a bookstore visit had to be skipped.
Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration drops in like life, in that it just sort of happens. Still, I don’t wait on it to write. It may hit mid-keystroke with the memory of a comment someone made or drift in with the cascade of a fallen leaf. I never question the muse god.
Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? I research points of culture like food, music and religion. I double check small points like geography and street orientation and work until I feel comfortable with whatever it is I’m describing. Tons of research is what made Love Edy a smooth read, even though I had some familiarity with the subject matter.
Is there a message conveyed within your writing? Do you feel this is important in a book? I never try to deliver “a message,” subliminal or otherwise. I don’t have an agenda. My only aim is to entertain and leave readers with something to think about. If I manage to do that, then I’ve succeeded.
In what formats are your books available?
Love Edy is available in paperback through Amazon, on Kindle, on Nook, ITunes, Kobo
Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited?
The Crimson Footprints series is available through the same vendors.
Do you read work by self-published authors?
I read good books, period. 🙂
What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers?
Don’t lose sight of working on your craft. It’s easy to get bogged down in the extra stuff: reading how-to books, chasing what feels like goose eggs, but don’t forget you’re a writer first. Which leads to my next point:
Write every day, even if it’s only a few sentences on your cell phone—just do it, no excuses.
Don’t stay down. We all get discouraged. So, yes, throw yourself a pity party if you feel the need. But don’t you dare stay till dawn.
Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?
I’ve just released my fourth novel, a YA romance titled Love Edy. Best friends since birth, Edy and Hassan face all the drama and conflict of high school life, but nothing so challenging as their growing love for each other; it’s a love that stands against centuries of tradition and threatens to tear two families apart.
Right now, I’m hard at work on Book Two in the Love Edy series.
When Edy Phelps falls hard for her best friend, she knows nothing can come from it. Forget actual chemistry, or the fact that she cherishes his mother more than her own; centuries of tradition say that Hassan will grow up, marry the girl his parents pick, and forget his best friend: the dancer with the bursting smile. Except he can’t. In a world erupting with possibilities for the boy with a body of steel and dreams of the NFL, everything seems promised while nothing at all is; when he’s denied the girl he wants most.
Two hearts. Two families devoted through generations of friendship. Could Edy and Hassan really risk all that? And yet … how could they not?
About Shewanda Pugh:
Shewanda Pugh debuted as an adult contemporary romance author in 2012 with the Crimson Footprints series. Shortlisted for the AAMBC Reader’s Choice Award, the National Black Book Festival’s Best New Author Award, and the prestigious Rone Award for Contemporary Fiction in 2012 and 2013, she has an MA in Writing from Nova Southeastern University and a BA in Political Science from Alabama A&M. Though a native of Boston, MA, she now lives in Miami, FL, where she can soak up sun rays without fear of shivering.
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