Thursday, March 23, 2017

Naima Simone Interview


Hi Naima.  Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews.  How are you?
I’m doing won-der-fuuul, Kim! Thank you so much for having me! Wait…that sounded dirty, didn’t it? Hah!

My mind didn’t even go there.  Before I forget, congratulations on becoming a USA Today Bestselling Author!  Khloe and Niall must be thrilled.  Speaking of Mr. Hunter do you think his head swelled with that news and the news that he’s your favorite hero?
Thank yooouu!! I’m still hanging out somewhere around Cloud 19. LOL! And that it happened with The Millionaire Makeover is awesome because it’s one of my favorite books. And Niall’s reaction? Something like, “This is news? Of course, I’m your favorite, yeah? I thought everyone knew this…” *snicker*

I love him.  I discovered you with your Bachelor Auction series.  Can you tell me how you came up with idea for the series?
Actually, it was my editor who brought the idea of the auction to me. And at first, I was like, oookay. LOL! It took me a moment to wrap my mind around it since it was different from my previous books. But once I did, I was all in! Then we added the masquerade and fairy tale elements to make them even more fun. I’m so glad I didn’t say, Nah, that isn’t me. Because it ended up being one of my favorite series. Can I say that about my own books…

Yes you can.  One of the reasons I love reading your books is because you write heroines I want to know.  They’re either ones I can relate to or ones that I wish I was more like.  These ladies are funny, bold, sassy, at times comfortable in their own skin.  The adjectives can go on.  How much of yourself do you put into these ladies?
I think most authors put a little of themselves in their characters, whether it’s the heroine or hero. I try not to inject too much of myself in my heroines because I want them to be unique to not just the story, but to the hero as well. But I think adding bits of myself is unavoidable. And for the very reason you stated. I want a heroine I can relate to. That readers can relate to. And who hasn’t experienced low self-esteem or body self-consciousness? Rejection or family issues? And going along with their journey of acceptance or over-coming is one of the joys of reading their stories—and writing them.

Can you walk me through what it’s like to write a book?  I know the end objective is to have a HEA or a HFN.  But how do you decide what road to take to get the characters there?
Imagine pregnancy. You have those blissful moments where you’re full of wonder and happiness. And then there are those yucky or pain-filled moments where you’re screaming, WHY WAS THIS A GOOD IDEA??? Yeah, that’s what it’s like to write a book. LOL!! Seriously though, for me—because every author’s process is their own—I start with the characters. Who are they? Where are they from? What is their family life like? What are their careers? What are their strengths, weaknesses, issues? What is holding them back from being truly fulfilled? Then I put them in situations that challenge their weaknesses and even their strengths. What will make them grow emotionally, personally? What circumstances and hindrances will they have to face and conquer? From there, the story unfolds. And it’s not always easy to write, because some days the words flow and some days they’re like, Hell to the no. LOL! But the goal is their HEA together and as individuals.

How long does it generally take you to write book?
It totally depends on the book. I’ve written a 55k book in six weeks before because the story just seemed to write itself. And then again, a 60k book has taken me four and a half, almost five months to write because I just couldn’t seem to find the right words. Not that I didn’t love the story, because I did. But it just took longer to write. I will say, the closer it gets to deadline, the more the words seem to flow. LOL! It’s a phenomenon!

I’m a daddy’s girl.  I have to say I LOVE the relationship you and your father have.  What’s the best childhood memory you have of the two of you?
LOL! I’m SO a daddy’s girl! Unashamed to admit it. If we let two days go by without talking, we’re like, What’s wrong with you? What’s going on? LOL! I don’t hold him up on a pedestal, because I know my father has feet of clay. He’s made sure my sister and I know he’s not perfect, and I think it’s why we have such a good relationship. He’s like, Hey, learn from my mistakes. Still doesn’t mean, I don’t admire, respect, and adore him. He has such incredible insight and wisdom, and I know I will get nothing but honesty from him. I love the guy, what can I say? LOL! One of my best childhood memories is simple. He and my mother instilled the love of reading in us very early on. And just about every Saturday, my father, sister and I would get dressed, and instead of going to the mall, we’d go downtown to this wonderful, slightly dusty, used bookstore. I mean, imagine Belle in the Beast’s library. Books everywhere. In bookcases, bins, boxes. We would spend hours there—no exaggeration. I found romance novels, books on Greek mythology, Archie comics, the Sweet Valley High series… He never found it odd that we would rather spend all that time searching through books with him than go shopping or hang out at the mall. Later, he told us he was thankful because we saved him a lot of money by preferring used books to clothes shopping. LOLOL!! Those were some of my happiest moments! We still go to our local used bookstore and spend hours.

I love that story.  I believe I heard that writing sex scenes is your most difficult and least favorite part of writing.  You’re a Brazen author.  Wait, sorry.  You are a Brazen Scorched author.  There are more sex scenes and the scenes have to be hotter than hot.  How did that come about and how did you manage to write a scene with a spanking desk?  And dang it, now Google is going to start showing information because I just looked the name up.
LOL!! Ironic, right? But it’s true. My first books were erotic romance. And I wanted to write them because I loved—love—reading them. But one author’s tagline put it perfectly: Sexy reading is damn hard writing. LOL! I don’t hate writing sex scenes, but it is the most difficult for me because it takes a lot out of me. I know what you’re thinking, and get your mind out of the gutter! *snicker* A love scene requires everything be involved: dialogue, emotions, senses, physical choreography, and still move the plot forward. They are important, and often pivotal, scenes in the book for me, so I go in knowing, okay *sigh* let’s get it. When my husband asks me, How’s the writing going, and I tell him, I’m working on a love scene, he knows what that means. ‘Cause he’ll say, All right. Go on and get it done. LOL! One love scene can take me two days to write, because it needs to be sensual, emotional, arousing, and serve a purpose. But, all that said, when they’re done, I love them. And I wouldn’t want to write a book that didn’t have love scenes in them, because they’re absolutely beautiful to me. And they’re part of the characters’ growth, journey and relationship. But damn. Yeah, I need Benadryl when I’m finished—whether I have allergies or not. Haaah!

And blame the spanking bench on author Debra Glass. LOL! She’s just FULL of ideas! I also blame her for the links that had people in Books-a-Million looking at me like I was a freak when they glanced at my computer screen! Hahahahahah!

What’s next for you?
Right now I’m working on a couple of new series that I’m super excited about! That’s all I can say now, except for they’re hot contemporary romances that I had to confer with my husband, brother-in-law and father about. Oh! And two more words: Jason Momoa!! *evil grin*

I can’t wait, for more reasons than one.  Naima, thank you soooo much for taking the time to answer some of my questions.  I have to say, you are just so much fun to talk to.
Thank you!! I always have fun with you, though, so this time isn’t any different.

Thank you.  You are sooooo good for my ego.


The Guarding Her Body Series:
(Clicking on the book covers will take you to Amazon.)

The Lick Series:
(Clicking on the book covers will take you to Amazon.)

The Bachelor Auction Series:
(Clicking on the book covers will take you to Amazon.)

Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey and Linda Howard many years ago. Though her first attempt at writing a romance novel at age 11 never saw the light of day, her love of romance and writing has endured. Now, she spends her time creating stories of unique men and women who experience the dizzying heights of passion and the tender heat of love.

She is wife to Superman—or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent—and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.

Places to find Naima Simone:

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5 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the interview and congratulations on becoming a USA Today Bestselling Author

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    1. Thanks, Janine! I can easily say it's definitely one of the highlights of my career so far! And thanks for stopping by! :-D

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  2. Thank you for inviting me to visit Read Your Writes Book Reviews, Kim! I had a blast hanging with you! <3

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    1. Awww. Thank you. You're welcome back anytime.

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