JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Deliah Lawrence, author of Gotta Let It Go
Moments before Deidre Hunter signs the papers that will end her marriage to her cheating husband, her best friend and divorce attorney gets murdered. Devastated by this tragedy, she sets out with one intent: to find the killer.
In the midst of the investigation, she finds herself attracted to Hill Harris, the handsome but elusive homicide detective assigned to handling the case. Despite his warnings to follow proper police procedures, she strikes out to uncover clues on the crime-ridden streets of Baltimore which forces her into dangerous circumstances and potential heartache.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Gotta Let It Go?
Deliah Lawrence: I’m an avid reader and a TV junkie – love all the crime dramas. I also know a lot of interesting people from all walks of life and have friends who are police officers and who are attorneys who practice criminal law. So, I pulled my inspiration for Gotta Let It Go, a romantic-suspense novel, from a combination of these sources.
But the push for this novel didn’t come until after I took a creative writing class and submitted the first chapter for review. I received such great feedback that the professor told me to stop dabbling and pursue my writing more seriously. I listened and that’s how Gotta Let It Go came to be.
JP: What sets Gotta Let It Go apart from other books in the same genre?
DL: I think what sets Gotta Let It Go apart from other books in the same genre is that it’s filled with unpredictable twists and turns that keep the readers glued to their seats wondering what’s going to happen next. Also, the novel allows the readers to become invested in the characters, some of whom they could recognize as a friend, lover or next door neighbor in situations that could be familiar to them.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Gotta Let It Go getting out to the public?
DL: As a new author, I had to create buzz for my book through marketing efforts on various social networking platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc). My family and friends also helped a lot by spreading the word to others. I did book give-a-ways, book signings, entered writing contests and participated in book festivals, so I could meet and greet readers and fellow authors.
Through these efforts, I was able to reach a larger audience by doing interviews on Blog Talk Radio, by being a guest author for a local book club and by winning a Finalist Award (multi-cultural fiction category) in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. My goal is to continue finding new avenues to increase my visibility in print and in person.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Gotta Let It Go?
DL: Some writers have a set schedule where they write during a certain block of time every day. That would be ideal, but not for me. I write when my creativity kicks into high gear or when I have a thought about a scene or when a character has something to say. This could happen at any moment. If I’m not near my computer, I grab the next best thing either a pen and paper or my tape recorder.
It took me a year to complete the novel. This included rewrites, editing, and more rewrites. Also, this time included having my writing critique group and others read the novel and provide feedback and finding someone to create an eye-catching cover. This was a learning process for me and one that I think has prepared me very well for my next writing project.
JP: What’s next for Deliah Lawrence?
DL: Now that I’ve started on this literary journey, I hope to continue to polish my craft and give readers what they want. I’m very excited about working on my next project (a standalone novel), Love, Honor and Contempt, which is a family drama set in Washington, DC. I’m also working on some short stories and generating ideas for the sequel to Gotta Let It Go.
Starla Faye (Two Talk Books Radio Host, www.twotalkbooks.com, Publisher & Self-Publishing Coach, www.zlpi.us): “Gotta Let It Go, what can I say that will do this debut author justice. As a publisher and radio show host, I receive books from all genres. I have never personally been into ‘romance’ novels and I typically give them a pass. Gotta Let It Go was different; it held my attention from start to amazing finish! If I had to pinpoint the magnetism, I would have to say the mystery and each well-developed character. You know a book is good when you’re pulling for the guy you know you’re not supposed to like! Oh my, my. With each written word, you see someone from around the way that you ‘used’ to know that could very well be the one you’re reading about! I thoroughly enjoyed the read and I cannot wait for the sophomore project to see where Deliah takes us. Thank you for a great ride my dear Sister.”