JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Toshia Shaw, author of High Stakes
(Purple Wings Publishing)
High Stakes is a gripping and fast paced drama guaranteed to expose the cunning and slick nature of the real “Sin City”, giving you a peek inside the shrewd world, exposing the myth: What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.
Shauna, Dawn, and Felicia are best friends who are bonded as “partners in crime” while trying to survive in Las Vegas. Their friendship quickly begins to unravel when Dawn’s fiance, enters the picture. Although happy for their friend, Shauna and Felicia quickly begin to question the validity of their friendship when they aren’t allowed into Dawn’s new picture perfect life.
Desperate to keep her old lifestyle a secret from her fiance, Dawn comes up with an elaborate scheme to make sure she weds at any cost. When her fiance’ attends a bachelor party where he meets, and instantly falls for, Shauna; Dawn’s relationship is compromised.
When dealing with matters of the heart, all bets are off. Felicia is caught in the middle. When it proves too much, she goes against her better judgment and becomes lost in her own world where promiscuity and drug abuse become the major players in her life.
Each girl is dancing on the stage of uncertainty. When the curtains are drawn and the neon lights go dim, who will wind up with the standing ovation? High Stakes, sometimes when you gamble a little, you wind up losing it all.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write High Stakes?
Toshia Shaw: I got the idea to write the novel High Stakes after having experiences and friends in the exotic dancing industry. I also interned at a runaway shelter where I saw young girls night after night who were caught up in the nightlife in Vegas.
Las Vegas, is unlike any other city in the world, with its own unique culture, and adult entertainment is at the center of it.
JP: Men and women alike generally feel like they understand the whole world of stripping, strip clubs and women who are available for bachelor parties. What are some of the things that High Stakes do to shatter those shallow believes and enlighten readers within its pages.
TS: Las Vegas has built its whole image on “What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” with an abundance of cable network television shows and movies based on the nightlife here. Therefore, people have this whole preconceived notion of what Vegas is. However, they have no idea of what really goes on here, the vulnerability of the women and men who put themselves out here for the sake of keeping up with this image and to pay the bills.
They have no idea of the racism in the stripping clubs and the whole ‘normalcy’ of the adult industry in Las Vegas. Nothing is taboo in this city and around the famous strip. Then there is the a whole other culture, the suburbs where if you can go for months without even being affected by the strip or its entertainment!
It’s like two very different worlds! High Stakes gives you a view of the two very different cultures, without apology. The book will take you through a full range of emotions with its brutal honesty. It won’t be the same story that is being told over and over again about strippers and those women.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to High Stakes getting out to the public?
TS: As an author, the keys to my success for getting High Stakes out to the public is the power of social networking and the Internet! Without the Internet, High Stakes would be just another drop in the bucket. However, utilizing social networking has been my 1 main key to success!
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish High Stakes?
TS: My writing process has been altered significantly, High Stakes was written in the early 2000s when I had a lot more time! Now my writing process comes in shifts. There will be those times when I have to grab my recorder to record notes.
Overall, I either rise very early (4:30 am) or wait late (9:30 pm). I have to have solitude to allow my thoughts to flow. High Stakes took me approximately 9 months to birth.
JP: What’s next for Toshia Shaw?
TS: Well the fans are demanding a sequel to High Stakes, which I have been writing for sometime now. It’s called Roulette. Then there will be another book in a completely different genre. I plan to finally get my short film into the Las Vegas film festival next year.
I want to focus on helping others bring their dream of becoming an author come into fruition. I have a lot of projects on my plate, so I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon! The book is distributed through Ingram, Baker & Taylor and can be purchased everywhere! Thank you Joey for this opportunity! I appreciate you!