Please welcome to my blog today Author Lutishia Lovely. Thanks for joining me.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was a little girl from a small town with big dreams, who grew into a grown woman living in the big city and making them come true!
What do you do when you are not writing?
I’m a chef in my own mind and love to cook vegan and vegetarian cuisine. I can cook soul/southern food without using meat that will make you want to slap your mama or yourself! LOL! I also love to travel, especially internationally, and have visited almost two dozen countries and forty-two states. I refuel my own creative juices by reading great books and enjoying other cultural arts such as museums, movies, live theater and concerts.
Do you have a day job as well?
I am blessed to say that for many, many years being a creative artist (actor/producer/director/writer) has been my full-time gig.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
My first original pieces were poetry, written in middle school. The first version of my first book, Sex in The Sanctuary, was finished in 2004.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I didn’t. When I wrote Sex in The Sanctuary, I knew nothing about genres or the publishing industry. Until then I’d only written screenplays, stage plays, poetry and songs, so there was a long learning curve in this process.
Where do you get your ideas?
They come in various ways, from different places. The Hallelujah Series came from Spirit. The first title, Sex in The Sanctuary, was whispered into my ear, along with the directive that it was a book, not a play, as I’d first thought. Sometimes a character invades my head with their story and demands it be told, as happened with Jacqueline in The Perfect Affair, part of the Shady Sisters Trilogy. The Business Series was inspired by my love of cooking. An artist can be inspired by many things, especially what’s happening in and around them. So, know if you’re doing something that I find intriguing, it might end up in my book!
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I work with an outline but am not married to it. Sometimes a character or situation will take the book in a direction that is different from the outline. In most cases I let it flow and when I do, the product is always better than the original idea.
Is there any author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Many books have influenced me, from childhood until now. Naming them all would be a long list. On the short one of those books that most transformed my life would be Understanding/Releasing Your Potential, two books by Dr. Myles Munroe and the Bible, especially the Hebrew/Greek edition. As for authors of fiction, I am constantly inspired by great books of all genres.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Because I didn’t know to expect any and was working with crazy faith, I had zero challenges with getting an offer from a traditional New York publisher. I went to a literary conference, gave a copy of my independently published Sex in The Sanctuary novel to someone working a booth and got a book deal. More than a decade and dozens of books later, I am still published by Kensington Books.
Working out that first contract was another matter! That took months but, in the end, the challenging process was hugely beneficial because that’s how I got my agent. We’re still together, too!
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
In an ever-changing industry, our marketing strategies shift as well. Right now, social media is a huge part of marketing, as are newsletters, conferences, networking and book clubs. For a project next year, I will be employing unorthodox methods to reach people who may not be a part of the literary community but will be interested in the subject matter. I stay open to new and fresh ideas.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
No, but I have lots of ideas for books that have not yet been written. Stay tuned!
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
My next release will be First Husband, book #10 in the Hallelujah Series. Readers have been waiting a long time for this one, as contractual obligations pushed the project back, and they won’t be disappointed! A release date hasn’t been finalized but it will release in 2019.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
There is at least a little reality in most fiction, and in my books as well.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I’m still writing First Husband, so we’ll see, but I find the subject matter quite intriguing. It is about two ministers living the gay lifestyle on the down low, set against the backdrop of silence, ignorance and hypocrisy on homosexuality and other sexual matters perpetuated in the Black Church. One of the things I most love about the Hallelujah Series is that each book grapples with topics that are seldom discussed, at least openly. I expect this novel to be a book club favorite. There will be LOTS to talk about!!!
How did you come up with the title?
Years ago, my editor saw an announcement in a New York paper, a church anniversary for a pastor and his male partner. It read, “Pastor and First Husband So-n-So invite you to…” Right then I knew that someday I’d use that title for a book.
What project are you working on now?
My company, Over the Rainbow Media, is working on several projects for 2019-20. One of them involves the Hallelujah Series. Leading up to the release of First Husband, we will be re-releasing the first nine books of that series. It’s been more than a decade since this series began and there are thousands, millions who still haven’t heard about it! First Husband is the tenth book of the series. We’re planning an extravagant release party and other festivities to celebrate the series that has maintained popularity for more than a decade.
Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know?
First, Queenie, I’d like to thank you for inviting me to appear on your platform. That you are one of the readers whose enjoyed the Hallelujah Series is a blessing. Your support is very much appreciated. To answer your question, in my world there is always a lot going on. The best way to find out the latest is by visiting my website, LutishiaLovely.com.
A Date with Destiny Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Date-Destiny-Hallelujah-Book-ebook/dp/B01ISAIA7I/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8