JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Azarel, author of VIP: Confessions of a Groupie
(Life Changing Books (LCB))
V.I.P. is an explicit tale of two beautiful women both determined to become very important people “by any means necessary”. After living in a world where you’re only cool if you’re the wife of an athlete or a current T.V star, they are both suddenly faced with jealousy and lies.
Neither realize fame comes with a high, and sometimes deadly, price tag. Meet India, the star-struck, money-hungry honey from Brooklyn, who’s dead set on marrying someone well-known – even if she has to steal him from her good friend. In comes Royce, a tantalizing, sexy singer who is searching for fame in all the wrong places. Soon, her past catches up with her and things spiral out of control.
By hook, crook, or the good book, one of these ladies will fall hard. If you think you love Basketball Wives, hold onto your seat. V.I.P will blow your mind!
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write VIP: Confessions of a Groupie?
Azarel: The explosion of Reality T.V. It absolutely amazes me how we watch and truly believe they have the good life!
V.I.P. brings the gut-wrenching truth of how women sell their souls to portray the image that they see on TV. And as everyone soon finds out, the reward is not worth the price they pay.
JP: What sets VIP: Confessions of a Groupie apart from other books in the same genre?
Azarel: I have to be honest. I don’t read books in my genre, so I can’t compare. But I will say this. I’m an incredibly intuitive writer. My characters speak to me, and I only go where I am led. I know, it sounds weird. I take my craft seriously, and my heart goes into everything I write.
So I would say that my passion for this craft, my characters motives, their fears, and their need to succeed no matter what, sets my book apart from others in the same genre.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to VIP: Confessions of a Groupie getting out to the public?
Azarel: I self published my first book in 2002 and hustled them like crazy. Once I saw how lucrative this was, I quit my job as a teacher and started my publishing company, Life Changing Books (LCB).
I studied this industry and learned the ins and outs through trial and error. My only “key” for everyone is to: Hustle! It’s the only skill you’ll ever need!
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish VIP: Confessions of a Groupie?
Azarel: F….O….R…..E…..V…..E…..R! LOL
Aside from being an author, I’m also the publisher of Life Changing Books, a devoted wife, and super-mom to two brilliant girls. So to say the least…my time is precious.
As any author knows, it’s all about discipline. So between making my husband happy, spending time with the girls, and making sure my company is running smoothly, I simply wouldn’t allow myself to go to sleep until a chapter was finished (and there were plenty of nights I saw the sun come up)! LOL
But the dedication I put into what I do is always worth it in the end.
JP: What’s next for Azarel?
Azarel: We’ve had a few companies wanting to work with LCB, but we’re careful. We take the slow road. Timing is everything. But first books to be adapted to film will be One Night Stand by Kendall Banks.
Tressa Azarel Smallwood, CEO of Life Changing Books, is a former teacher who received her BS degree from University of Maryland Eastern Shore and earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching degree from Bowie State University in 1999. Her love for writing sparked a career change in 2002.
She resigned from her teaching tenure in the Prince George’s County public school system to fulfill her dream of becoming an author. After writing her first novel A Life to Remember written in an attempt to help change lives of young men, she launched her own publishing company, Life Changing Books affectionately known as (LCB) under the name of Azarel.
Now with over fifty-eight titles published to date, LCB is one of the most successful African-American publishing companies in the publishing industry. Bestselling titles under LCB’s roster includes Azarel’s titles, Bruised and Daddy’s House, along with the Dirty Divorce series, the Millionaire Mistress series and the One Night Stand series.
As a wife and mother of two, Tressa Azarel Smallwood enjoys spending time with family and friends and lending support to those in need. Azarel’s greatest wish is for every able body to reach out to help someone in need. Visit her at www.lifechangingbooks.net, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/msazarel or follow her on twitter at http://twitter.com/CEOAzarel.