Sammie tells you a vivid story of her life being flipped upside down taking you on a journey you won’t ever forget. From her childhood with a racist grandma to her dopefiend mom to being daddy’s little girl. Her daddy finds a new way of hustling that would lead to lies, blackmail and even death. Sammie goes from the hushful, naive little patsy girl to a deranged girl with a gun strapped to her hip. Sammie will have you on the edge of your seat as she tells her tale of the many twists and turns in her life. At least that’s what she says, or is she just blowing smoke?
Get to Know Shiana:
1. Can you tell your readers about who you are and why is writing your passion?
Well Shiana is my pen name Ellisa Jones is my real name I am a Mother, Writer, CEO, Crochet Designer Administrative Medial Assistant wow the list goes on.
I had my first book published in 2011 under my other pen name Lesa Jones. I am now CEO and author of my own company called Purple/Blaquk Rose Publishing LLC that I am just starting. I was born in Jackson, Mississippi, but now I live in Milwaukee, WI with my two girls Nesa and Nellie.
I enjoy writing it’s a creative way for to me to take myself into another world through my writing. I like to introduce my characters in a way to make my readers fall in love with them. Once my readers fall in love with them; I then put my characters through drama then I pull them out of the drama. It’s exciting to live through the eyes of a fictional character and to have readers go through the journey with me.
2. What inspired you to become a writer? Why?
As a child, I never thought I would become a writer; I wrote stories as a way of escaping my home life. I wrote in a journal and as a teenager, I wrote plays, short stories just to have been doing something besides staying in trouble, but I did enjoy writing. I put myself in trouble through my writing. I read a lot growing up from urban, street,
mystery, horror, and true crime. I used to think that those authors did a fabulous job, but I didn’t think I had the dedication in believing in myself to go beyond just the short stories I wrote. I felt that I would not be able engage my readers and keep their attention through a whole book I feared that. But teachers and friends kept telling me I could and that my work was good. I never thought that, years later that I would have made that into a dream then a goal. Now that I have I enjoy and love writing and will continue to write as much as possible.
3. What are some ways you tend to market your work to help you get a whole new set of audience?
I really enjoy the footwork in my city actually getting out and talking to people one on one. I like to get new readers that never read a book in their life, but are willing to read my book. When I am marketing my work I notice when I have contests for upcoming models to grace my book cover this helps me to gain them as a reader as well as their family and friends. Having an actual person on my cover that I can talk to it helps to get my books in the model’s hand and in their city where it may be harder for me to gain those readers. I don’t exclude online networking either, but putting the foot work in and actually making my presence known does help me to market my work one on one.
4. What are some inspirations behind your characters in Sammie Says? How did you come up with them?
Wow, well Sammie was actually named after a close friend of mines name Sammy he’s a male, but I wanted a girl as my man character. The inspiration behind Sammie was I wanted to tell a teenager’s girl story dealing with life. Sammie’s life is very crazy she has a racist grandma, crack head mom and her daddy is a hard working struggling man that is trying to keep his family together. Due to Sammie being mixed she has it bad in both worlds neither the whites nor the blacks are excepting her. Peer-pressure I have her faced with a lot of what teenagers go through now days. Sammie’s story just took a role of its own and I let it play out having my readers become very emotional because of all I put Sammie through and also have my readers dislike a few people.
How I came up with them was I wanted to add a bit of what goes on in the real world into Sammie’s story. From the struggles of living from house to house, to the racist grandma, to her having a father that actually want more for his daughter that he’s willing to do whatever he has to do.
5. Do you like to see yourself as writing one type of way or do you consider yourself to be versatile?
Very versatile I don’t just write one genre. Like my short stories Kitty Box 1&2 those are my first erotic stories. Boy Toy is urban fiction, Taurus: She’s a Beast is street fiction, V (Vee) Target is what I consider to be urban fiction, street fiction, urban mystery. Sammie Says is urban mystery and urban fiction. Also Kitty: Twist ‘n’ Turns I did something different with this book I took Kitty out of an erotic tale and gave her a storyline this one I consider to be erotic, urban fiction with a little thriller to it.
I am very versatile in my writing I enjoy thinking outside of the box and have my readers in awe and not able to predict what’s going to happen.
6. What is more important to you, characters or plot development?
Well of course I want my readers to get to know my characters to be able to feel their pain and understand them. I also want my readers to be able to understand where the story is going and how I the writer will get my readers there. Throughout my story I want my readers to continue to get to know the ups and downs to my characters as the plot thickens. So I really can’t pick one over the other because I never want a reader of mines to ever say that they couldn’t picture my story as they read then that means I didn’t develop my plot well enough. I also never want my readers to ever say that they didn’t feel any connection either happy or mad with one of my characters. That will tell me that none of my characters caught my reader’s attention. What is a story without the both of them?
7. What advice would you give a new writer?
Research, research and more research know what you are getting into. Understand the business, and no you won’t make millions off your book. Understand that your books won’t sell just because you stamped your name on a book cover you actually have to put yourself out there talk to readers, bookstore owners go to book festivals other author’s book signings. Ask questions to other authors just because one author didn’t give you the answer there are more that are willing to help you.
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