Welcome to Flashback Friday! Today I am showcasing author Alicia Joseph in a previously posted interview with me. She is the author of “Her Name,” which is her debut novella. Now available on Amazon.
Published on 12-Dec-14.
Hello everyone. It’s time to take a little break from your holiday shopping to stop by here. Today I am featuring the author Alicia Joseph, author of “Her Name.” Recently I finished this book and can tell you that it is one you want to tell your friends about. Let’s welcome Alicia.
“She Believes the beautiful woman she dreams about is the real love of her life.”
What is your story about?
First, I’d like to thank you, Ms. Lawler, for having me on your blog and for giving me the opportunity to talk about my book, “Her Name.” “Her Name” is a romance about a woman, Madison, who believes the beautiful woman she dreams about is the real love of her life. Madison dreams of actual moments taken from her real life that were recreated in her dreams to include this woman. The dreams are so vivid that Madison believes the two women shared a life together and is certain this woman is her destiny. She falls in love with this woman through her dreams and it takes complete control of her life. Her best friend and sister urge her to seek psychiatric help because they don’t understand how she can love a woman she has never met – outside of her dreams.
What or who inspired you to write “Her Name?”
This story was one hundred percent inspiration based. Most stories I write are influenced in some way by someone in my life, but it has never been as strongly based on inspiration as this story was. The entire book – everything that I wrote – was written with the image of one woman’s face in my mind.
What was the deciding factor for your book title? Did it just come to you or did you try different ones?
The title of the book came fairly easily. I usually wait until I’m finished writing a story before I start thinking about the title. The majority of “Her Name” is told without the reader knowing the name of the woman in Madison’s dreams. It’s one of the added complications of her loving a woman she’s never met – not knowing her name either. But near the end, we discover the woman’s name and it’s a pretty pivotal scene in the book. In fact, it was while I was writing the ending scenes that the words “Her Name” rolled off my lips and I popped up in my seat and said, “That’s the title! I have my title!” Lol. And I never thought twice about it, which is rare because it’s very difficult for me to come up with titles and I’m always changing or second-guessing my choice.
What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main character for this story?
Above anything else, Madison had to be genuine because in a very materialistic and possession-driven society, she is a woman who, more than anything else, craves love. She doesn’t dream of big houses, fancy cars, or lavish vacations. All she desires is to find the woman she is destined to spend the rest of her life with. It is so simple, but very powerful. Madison is nearing forty years old and her life isn’t anywhere close to where she’d thought it’d be. She had expected to be happily married with children by the age she is now, and the fact that she is still single and going to bars, as though she were in her twenties again, depresses her.
Did you do any types of writing while you were in school?
I was a bit of a late-bloomer when it came to writing. I didn’t attempt my first crack at writing a novel until a few years after college. Some authors wrote a lot in high school and won awards and scholarships, but I didn’t really study the craft until college. But I was always drawn to writing because I was an avid reader at a young age. I loved books and definitely used them as my escape from my life when I needed it, but I lacked the confidence to put pen to paper and really believe that I could be a writer some day.
Was there anyone in your life who was an inspiration for you to write?
No one in my family was creative, either with words, music, or drawing. I didn’t have anyone encouraging me to get into the Arts, not that I was discouraged when I expressed interest in writing, but I had to discover that on my own. Writing wasn’t something I grew up around. But my dear friend Tony was definitely the most supportive person when it came to my dream of becoming an author because he always reminded me I was a writer, even when I didn’t feel like one. I remember being at bars in my early twenties, (fifteen years before I would finally get my first book published), and Tony would tell everyone we met that I was a writer. It embarrassed me because I knew I was far from being any good at it, but, that was the time I needed to be told I was a writer the most because I was so unsure and lacked confidence in my ability that I may have given up. So, really, by my friend constantly reminding me what I was, he kept my dream alive for me for over a decade because that’s how long it took me to finally achieve what I’ve always wanted to do. What a great friend, right?
Do you have anything specific that you like to say to your readers? Can you elaborate on what has worked for you?
Above anything else, I really want my readers to feel. I want to take each person reading my book on an emotional journey so profound that they feel a deep connection to the characters, and the characters stay in their minds after they’ve finished the book, even if it’s only for a couple minutes. I’d like my stories to inspire people to reflect on their own lives and I hope it’s in a positive way. Since Her Name is my first published book, I can’t really say what has worked for me because I’m new to everything regarding publishing, and let me tell you, there is a lot to learn. I’m keeping myself open to advice and luckily I’ve gotten a ton of support from my fellow authors at my publishing company, Musa Publishing. I’ve found there are a lot of support groups for writers and it’s wonderful the way writers help each other. I think that’s important because I really feel that regardless of genre, we’re all in this together. Our competition isn’t with other writers, but with every means of entertainment that keep books out of people’s hands. Writers encourage people to read and that’s why we’re all on the same team.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I am an aunt to nine nieces and nephews, so spending time with family is a priority of mine, always has been. I also love animals and I volunteer at an animal shelter. I’m involved with a group which protests pet stores that sell puppies bred from puppy mills, which are most pet stores. I’m very dedicated to closing these mills down because the living conditions the dogs are forced to live in are inhumane and horrendous. I am very pro-shelter dog. I have a Pit bull mix that I rescued and I love him dearly. Adopt Don’t Shop is one of the mottos I live by.
What has been your favorite part of being an author? The least fave?
My favorite part of being an author is being an author. Lol. Just writing and knowing that this is what I do is very exciting, but of course it’s not all I do. I do wish some day I could support myself with writing (the wish of all writers), but I’m enjoying this right now, whatever this is. I’m too new at this to have a least fave. Ask me in a couple years.
What was the last book you read?
The last book I read was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
Where would you go for your dream vacation? Would you ever use that location as the main location in a future story?
I don’t have a dream vacation. I like being close to water but don’t care much for lying out in the sun all day. Going any place with someone I love would quickly become my dream vacation. As for locations in future stories, I’d be more inclined to set stories in run-down, dead-end towns than a perfect, shiny vacation spot.
What is in the works next for you? If you can’t share, I totally understand and respect this.
I can share. Thank you for asking. I have another lesbian romance, “Loving Again,” coming out possibly in February 2015. “Loving Again” is a story about a woman struggling to move on from the sudden death of her long-time partner. She meets someone and the two strangers discover that one moment in their past had brought them together in a way neither woman could have imagined.
Here is an excerpt from “Her Name:”
She held me like she knew me as I cried in her arms. We lay on the bed, on top of the covers, as streaks of sunlight peeked through the curtains. She leaned against the headboard and cradled me in her arms, rocking gently. She had a tender, motherly touch, and the harder I cried, the closer she held me.
“Let it out, baby,” she whispered. “Let it out. I’m here.”
I wept freely until, slowly, my cries faded to whimpers, and soon, all I heard was the steady sound of my own heavy breathing. She pressed her lips against my forehead, kissed me, and told me she loved me. I wrapped my arms tightly around her. “I love you, too.”
I opened my eyes to darkness as I reached my hand to the other side of the bed. It was empty. I quickly sat up and wiped the tears from my eyes, not believing I had dreamed of the same woman and had again woken up looking for her.
My book can be purchased at the links below:
Please visit my blog at www.aliciajoseph.com
You can also follow me on Twitter @JosephJody76.
I’d love to hear from you and I follow back!
My Facebook Author Page can be found here:
My book was recently reviewed on Inked Rainbow Reviews by two reviewers. You can read the reviews here:
“Her Name” was also reviewed on Rainbow Book Reviews two times.
Thank you for having me, Ms. Lawler. I enjoyed my time here.
I want to thank you, Alicia, for stopping by. I, too, am a big animal lover and support the work that you do. Please do check out Alicia’s links. This book is fabulous and one that I highly recommend. Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for my review of “Her Name”.
Until Next Time,
Before you go take a look at my links:
Stay tuned for my Enlightened Desire book trailer. Coming soon!
Printed With Permission