1. For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
(D) I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t telling stories. I started as a child, making up adventures I had with my imaginary friend when I was three and my sister started school. I progressed from there to short stories and plays and eventually to novels. My first finished novel, Indian Summer, was the official start of my writing career.
2. All writers fear the dreaded “block”. Please tell us how you handle it.
(D) I work around blocks. I always have more than one project going at any given time. In fact, I have more than 60 unfinished novels & short stories currently mocking me. If I get blocked on one, I move on to another one. If I get completely blocked and don’t feel inspiration for anything, I take a step back, give myself a little space and do something else until it passes. Blocks are a part of the creative process. Our minds need a little rest time. However, if the blockage persists, I make myself write something (even if it’s garbage) just to shake it loose. Just engaging in the creative process is usually enough to help clear that up.
3. Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?
(D) I’m so glad that you said that. So many people think that all authors are rich and famous and lead exciting lives. Sadly, no. I am a wife and mother and I am also a substitute teacher. If I’m not seeing to the needs of my family, I might be subbing in a special needs class or volunteering with pre-k students. I still cook dinner, run errands, take my son to & from work and do all those mundane, daily tasks.
4. I know many writers keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(D) I don’t hide my writing. I know there are some people I know who aren’t aware of what I do. Writing is such a part of me that I can’t separate it from my daily life. I do, however, use a pseudonym because of the nature of my husband’s job. They may not know my author name, but they know I write.
5. Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(D) Wow, that’s a tough one. I, like you, have many. Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Douglas Adams, Eoin Colfer, Andre Norton, Anne McCaffry, Lewis Carroll, Harper Lee, Elizabeth Peters, Janet Morris.
6. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?
(D) I would love to see my contemporary romance, The Ninja Tattoo made into a movie. The main characters would be: Teague McMurtry – Eric Winter, Vivica Rambo – Sara Shahi, MacCaffrey – Steve Austin, Teague’s cousins, Jed and Joel – Chace Crawford and Matt Dallas.
Little does Teague know that he’s been targeted for death by a violent biker gang led by Vivica’s psychotic older brother. Now Teague must put his skills to the test to protect himself and the woman he loves.
7. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(D) I’m always working on a variety of projects and they’re no secret. I am currently working on the sequel to The Ninja Tattoo called Conduct Unbecoming. I am also editing three other novels for publication sometime this year. I’ll keep you posted on when they come out.
8. Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?
(D) The only ones that should be read in order are my sci-fi novels as they are part of a series. Lone Wolf is book one and Shakazhan (coming soon) is book two.
I also have an historical novel, Indian Summer and a romantic suspense called The Ninja Tattoo.
All my novels are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. The Ninja Tattoo is available only in e-book format. The others are also in paperback.
9. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
(D) The best way to contact me is via Facebook. I have a personal page as well as a fan page there. Fans are also welcome to contact me through my blogs: http://dellanioakes.wordpress.com/ http://writersanctuary.blogspot.com/ http://cerealauthors.wordpress.com/ – a group blog I started http://writemindsauthors.wordpress.com/ – a group blog I’m a part of
10. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
(D) First of all, thank you so much for inviting me to be a guest here. I’m delighted to share my work with everyone. Authors would be nothing without our fans. It’s all very well to write what we love, but if it doesn’t reach our readers, it’s a pretty pointless occupation. I want to thank the people who have bought my books or will buy them in the future. Y’all rock! You could have bought anything, but you spent your hard earned money on me and I appreciate it.
For authors who are trying to find their niche, remember that there is inspiration all around you. All you have to do is open your eyes and your heart and the stories will find you!
(Kam) Thank you Dellani Oakes for sitting down with me today. It was a true pleasure. Come back anytime!