Jen: This weekend we welcome Imari Jade. Imari and I met when we both worked at StarDust Press (now defunct) and I was assigned to be her editor. When I recently came across Imari on Facebook, I had to ask her to be a part of the blog. Imari, will you please share a short bio with us?
Imari: Hi, my name is Imari Jade and I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. I’ve been writing for a while and in 2006 signed on with StarDust Press with my first erotic holiday novel, “A Christmas to Remember” followed up with “Death Takes a Holiday” (both edited by Jen). Currently I write for several publishers, Midnight Showcase Fiction, Sugar and Spice Press and Carnal Desires Publishing.
Jen: Tell us about Oasis and where it’s available.
Imari: Oasis, is a funny and romantically sexy tale about a young photojournalist named Charisma and her adventures with Shakir, a Nubian prince. It’s available at Sugar and Spice Press. http://www.sugarnspicepress.com/
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Imari: I started writing at an early age, probably in my teens. The first novel I ever published was a story titled “A Christmas to Remember” back in 2006 with StarDust Press. My first short story, “The Night is Still Young” was published “Aim Magazine” way back in the 1990’s. Yes, “A Christmas to Remember” was definitely my call story. StarDust Press was just opening and I entered their writing contest and won a contract.
Jen: How does your family feel about your career?
Imari: I think they have finally accepted that Mama writes erotica. My kids are all grown now with kids of their own and are very proud of what I do even though the still don’t have a clue how much time it takes to write a novel. They aren’t around when I’m up at four in the morning trying to meet a deadline because I had to babysit their kids the night before. My mother is waiting for me to publish my vampire series, and my sister still thinks I’m going to hell (smile.)
Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?
Imari: Peace and quiet, an idea and a sense of humor.
Jen: What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?
Imari: The Happily Ever Afters. I like when romances work out even when you have two characters that are the complete opposites.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Imari: The most challenging aspect of writing is the actual following the outline I’ve developed. I start off pretty good but my characters sort of take control, and my stories end up a lot differently than I envisioned them. The easiest aspect of writing is coming up with story ideas. All I have to do is go on the Internet and read an article and ideas pop into my head.
Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Imari: Well most writers know it’s not the money. The most rewarding aspect to me is when fans and fellow writers tell me that they’ve read my story and that they liked it.
Jen: Do you become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting them go, or are you happy that their story is told and you can move on?
Imari: I get attached to them but I am glad when their story is told and I can move on. I have one novel I’ve been holding on to since 1996. I’m in the process of editing it for hopefully the last time. I love the characters and the story is funny as well as scary. I hope to finish it up soon and submit it.
Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?
Imari: Laurell Hamilton. That young woman can write. I have her latest book sitting in my cart at Amazon at this very minute. If you haven’t read anything by her please do so this weekend.
Jen: What did you do to celebrate your first book?
Imari: I think I ate a lot of chocolate and then I chatted on-line with my fellow writers at Star Dust Press.
Jen: What has been your highlight of your career to this point?
Imari: Actually having seven stories in print at the same time last year.
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Imari: What free time? When I’m not working my full-time job, writing or baby-sitting, I’m probably sleeping. Actually I watch Anime. I’m hooked. I can’t go to bed at night without turning on the Anime Channel and I’ve spent quite a fortune collecting DVDs.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Imari: I just signed four new contracts with four different publishers. I think a nervous breakdown may be next for me (smile). I have a novel titled “In Love with a Dark Stranger” coming in July 2010 with Midnight Showcase Fiction, a novel titled “Someone to Depend On” with Total E-bound, a novel titled “Prophecy” with Eternal Press, a short story titled “Hell and High Waters” with MoonGypsy Press, and a yaoi novelette titled “Bitter Fruit” under my new pen name (to be announced in the near future).
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Imari: Sure. What do you think of e-books and do you prefer them to paperback books? Why?
Jen: Readers, we don’t have a contest this weekend, but Imari is planning something special for the release of “In Love with a Dark Stranger.” She wants you to know that she is from New Orleans so anything goes. Check at her site in the coming months for more information.