In Times of Trouble
by Yolonda Tonette Sanders
Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. I'm so happy you could join me today.
BK: Looking out the nearest window, describe the scene you see.
I see trees gently blowing in the wind. Squirrels are running up and down the trees and eating the peanuts my husband throws out to them each morning.
BK: Tell us about your office. Is it a mess like mine, or is everything in its place?
Ha! I would categorize my space as an organized mess. My desk has papers all over the place and yet I still know where everything is. The desk is pretty much the messiest part of the room.
BK: I love it - "Organized Mess", I'll have to remember that one :). What is a must-have, such as coffee or a favorite pen, that you need to write?
I must have water and scrap paper. The water is definitely needed as I drink at least 6-8 glasses each day. When I am writing, I often find myself talking out loud, repeating character lines and so my mouth sometimes get dry. The scrap paper is for me to jot down ideas when I am not ready to pursue them at that particular time. Usually these ideas are about something that will occur later in the story on which I am currently working.
BK: Do you like to write in silence, or do you need music or background noise?
Most of the time, I write in silence. I turn off the television and silence my phone. If I cannot silence my phone because I need to be available for kids or my husband should one of them call, I am generally pretty good at ignoring other calls. I have special ringtones programmed in my phone for several people, thus I don’t need to look at my screen to know who is calling. There are times when I cannot avoid having background noises because other people are in the house. In those instances, I have learned how to black out things around me in order to focus.
BK: Tell us a bit about your hero/heroine, and their development.
In the beginning, Lisa is very self-righteous. She seems to have a motto of “once guilty, always guilty” because she is unmerciful to anyone who has made a mistake in life. As the story progresses, I really like the way she develops a sense of compassion and humility. Unfortunately, it takes a crisis for her to get there, but she does.
BK: As a writer myself, I'm always curious how other writers get through stumble blocks. When you find a story not flowing, or a character trying to fight you, how do you correct it?
I move on and begin working another scene. I often find that this helps me connect the dots to other parts of the story. Or, I realize that the part on which I was stuck will not work and I come up with a completely new idea. The bottom line is that I keep going. I never completely stop. I press my way through until something works out.
BK: Using the letters of your first name as an acronym, describe your book...
BK: How did your writing journey begin?
It began with one single idea that would not leave me alone until I made a commitment to pursue it. My first novel, Soul Matters, was the start of my officially becoming an author.
BK: Using the letters from the word, Summer, how would friends and family describe you?
BK: What is the craziest thing you've ever written about, whether it got published or not?
I don’t think I have ever written about anything truly crazy as my writings have all been purposeful. Now, if you include the chronicles of my personal journal, that might be a different story as I have used it to vent from time-to-time. In that case, I am sure there are plenty of crazy things documented, which will never be published! I would tell you what I wrote, but I have sworn myself to secrecy. lol
BK: Tell us one thing you've done in life, that readers would be most surprised to know.
Sometimes I act silly and make up raps about random things for absolutely no reason at all. No record company will be offering me a contract for any of my raps. I know that I am horrible (so does my familyJ)! It’s just for fun.
BK: What can we expect from you in the future?
My next release in April 2014 will begin a mystery/suspense series. I also have a young adult story that my agent is currently shopping.
This or That...
Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi
Night Owl or Early Bird? Both at times, but most often early bird.
Fantasy or Mystery? Mystery
Pen/Paper or Computer? Computer
Pizza or Burger? Pizza
Rock or Country? Country
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Beach or Mountains? Beach
Thank you so much for having us as one of your stops today. It has been great getting to know more about you and your book, and wish you the best of success!
Thank you for being a wonderful host. This has been fun.
About The Author:
Yolonda Tonette Sanders took a leap of faith in 2004 when she resigned from her job with the State of Ohio after only three and a half years to focus more on writing. It was a leap that she has never regretted. In 2005, her debut novel, Soul Matters, was published by Walk Worthy Press and Time Warner (now Hachette Book Group). In 2008, her second book, Secrets of a Sinner, was published by Harlequin/Kimani Press. That same year Yolonda started Yo Productions, LLC, a Christian based literary services and theatrical entertainment company, which she used to launch and create her first stage production. The theatrical version of Soul Matters debuted successfully in September 2009 at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Since then, Strebor Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, is planning to release four of Yolonda’s titles by April 2015. Currently, Yolonda resides in Columbus, Ohio and is the loving wife of David, proud mother of Tre and Tia, and joyful caregiver of her mother, Wilene.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster/Strebor Books
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Divorced, single mother Lisa Hampton is grateful for a fresh start after a humiliating scandal forced her to relocate from Maryland to Ohio. Her biggest issue nowadays is dealing with her rebellious teenage daughter, Chanelle, who is one smart comment away from being toothless!
Other than the stress of dealing with Chanelle, life is perfect. Lisa has a new beau and a steady job that allows her the opportunity to rub shoulders with very wealthy and influential people. She is best friends with Isaac and Olivia Scott, an extremely rich and powerful couple.
When Chanelle accuses the Scotts’ son of rape, Lisa learns how quickly her friends become enemies as Olivia and Isaac use their wealth and power to manipulate justice. The Scotts prove that they are willing to go to extreme lengths to protect their son, even if it means destroying both Lisa and Chanelle in the process.
Hearing the sound of her mother's footsteps descending the hardwood stairs, Lisa leaned back on the sofa so as not to appear overly anxious.
"Chanelle still hasn’t made it home?” Her mother’s wire-framed glasses rested at the tip of her nose while a large green robe concealed her body.
"Nope. . ."
"Did you call Jareeka’s?”
“Yes; her father said that she and her mother are away for the weekend.” She felt herself tensing with every word.
“What about RJ? Have you called him?”
“He hasn’t seen her either.”
“Well, don’t come down too hard on her. Maybe she didn't know Jareeka was out of town and when she found out, she decided to hang with one of her other friends instead. Now she should’ve at least called and told you, but she was probably so happy to get out the house that she forgot. Poor thing; it seems like she’s always on punishment. Sometimes I think you’re too hard on that girl. I don't want to meddle—"
"Then please don't," the thirty-eight-year-old interjected in the most respectful tone that she could conjure up with a clenched jaw.
"All right. I'll keep my opinion to myself, but I was merely going to say that you may want to consider extending Chanelle's curfew. She’s practically an adult and it’s time you start treating her like one. Maybe then you’d be less likely to run into this problem."
An electrifying jolt shot through Lisa’s body. The way she disciplined Chanelle had become a constant point of contention between her and her mother. Thank goodness Hattie would soon be moving into her own apartment! Lisa could not wait!
“That makes absolutely no sense!” she fired back. “What she is, is irresponsible. Why should I reward her for not being able to honor her curfew? And anyhow, she wouldn’t have been on punishment recently had she not been so smart at the mouth.”
“I wonder where she got it from . . .” her mother replied cynically, quickly disappearing into the kitchen and returning moments later. “Good night."
"The same to you,” Lisa replied, continuing to stew as the clock read 1:21 a.m. The only other noise she heard was the emptying of the automatic ice machine until ten minutes or so later when a car pulled into the driveway. Lisa’s heart began racing when she saw flashing blue and red lights from the window. It wasn’t her car as she had thought, but a police cruiser. A gut-wrenching fear fell over her. Had something horrible happened to Chanelle? She felt guilty about being so angry and the missed curfew was now a minor issue compared to the concern that her baby might be lying in the hospital somewhere. Lisa was horrified by the unlimited possibilities of things that could’ve happened to her daughter. The pit of her stomach knotted as she sprang from the couch and raced to the front door.