Encourage, Engage, Entertain...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
What made you want to become a writer? I've been an avid reader and writer all of my life. When I became a language arts teacher, teaching writing to middle school students reignited my passion to write and read fiction. I followed that path to get my Master’s in Creative Writing and going through the program confirmed that I truly wanted to write and be a published author.
Why romance? I write romantic women’s fiction (is that such a genre? Lol) because I believe that love is beautiful and necessary and when writers tell stories of how two people come together romantically, no matter the varying backgrounds they may have come from or the obstacles they had to tackle to be together, I believe those stories linger with people in an awe-feeling kind of way. They tell those who may not have experienced romance yet that it is still possible and to keep believing for it to happen for them. Many romances can also inspire those who are waning in their relationship to reignite the fire between them and to continue to hold on to one another and love each other fiercely.
What has been the most difficult thing about being a published author who writes African-American Romance? For me, the difficulty in writing African-American Romance is that I have to write it from a place of hope rather than a place of experience. I know I have creative license and a very vivid imagination, but sometimes I can over analyze my authenticity to tell the stories and be too cautious when I write. I fear the connection I try to create between my characters may not come off genuine. Also, I have to keep reminding myself that my happy-for-now endings are okay. I sometimes trap myself in a mental box thinking that I can only call myself a romance writer, classify my books as romance if they only have happily-ever-after endings, but happy-for-nows can suffice as well.
What do you enjoy most about being a published author? What I enjoy most about being a published author is the interactions and connections I have made and get to make with readers and other authors. I also love when I get reviews and inbox messages from readers telling me how they really feel about the story and the characters, how they connected with them. That's always such a euphoric moment for me. Priceless people. Priceless moments.
Describe a typical writing day for Anita If I’m writing on the plane, it’s a matter of balancing between focusing on the story and making sure my passengers are cared for. When I get to my hotel room, I workout and then write up until it’s time for me to go to sleep. If it’s an off day and I’m home, I recline on the chaise lounge part of my couch with Criminal Minds or Law & Order playing in the background and type away. Also, I often go to Panera Bread and spend hours there writing, to which I listen to mood music in my headphones while I try and connect with my characters and tell their stories. I don't end my daily writing sessions because of word count, but rather when I finish a chapter or multiple ones.
Pantser or plotter? Definitely a plotter.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing? I love to read and exercise.
What are you views on the lack of diversity in the publishing industry; in particular, the romance genre? What can we, authors and readers, do? The lack of diversity in the publishing industry is disheartening. It’s made very aware to me when during my travels across the country, I purposely step into book stores/book sections in chain stores to see either no books written by black authors or with black cover models. If there are some on the shelves, there are generally no more than six titles that fit the bill. I make it my business to purchase a diverse romance book from that store if I do happen to see one.
In order to diversify this situation, I definitely think authors and readers alike have to continue to financially support diverse authors. The numbers show the big wigs people still want the product.
Something I love to say is read, rate, review, recommend when it comes to books. I believe that if the execs at these companies know that there is big buzz and a demand for diverse books, they may be inclined to keep funding the production of those books. Also, we shouldn’t be afraid to continue indie publishing. There is a strong readership for indies. I know of a few authors who, because of their success self-publishing, were picked up by a traditional publisher. (I’m betting those traditional publishers saw the buzz surrounding those authors and they wanted to be apart of that authors notoriety.) As authors, we must continue to craft intriguing stories featuring diverse characters, whether self-published or traditionally published, because clearly that’s what the readers and many authors truly enjoy.
Readers should continue to purchase books rather than sharing one copy among friends and also, keep requesting the books in the libraries to up the copies available to keep and increase the visibility of diverse books on the shelves.
ABOUT THE BOOKS
Tell us a bit about HUES and what inspired you to write it. Hues is the story of a supermodel keeping a secret from the world due to the shame of it when she was younger. Although she loves modeling, continuing to hide who she really is causes her never to make real connections with people. She’s never been in love and desires it but feels it will elude her because of her secret. However, world-renowned photographer, Parker Anderson, comes along and directly and indirectly changes things for her. HUES is about embracing oneself so that he/she can embrace all that life has to offer.
Without giving away the heroine’s secret, I will say that I have always been fascinated by people who society doesn’t deem ordinary. In regards to the inspiration for the story, I believe I was walking through an airport one day and I saw a person with Liv’s condition. It reminded me that I wanted to tell that kind of character’s story. By the time I made it to the plane, all of the major plot points for the book had been filled in mentally and I began to work on it.
If you had to choose a book from your back list to introduce readers to your work, which book would it be and why? Maybe AFTER ALL IS SAID & DONE since it’s a standalone. If a reader doesn’t mind reading out of order when it comes to series, then perhaps they can start with is IT’S COMPLICATED because although I love all of my books, I really like the story I told in the book and the chemistry I created between Melanie and Aaron.
What’s next for Anita Davis? HUES was supposed to be a standalone, but midway through, the secondary characters, Simone and Desmond told me I had to tell their stories, so the book after HUES, TONES, will come out in the first half of 2018. The final book in my Sisterhood Chronicles, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, and a three book romance series, Love Alive, will also come out the first half of 2018. In all of that, I’ll just continue to mature my craft of writing.
ABOUT THE FANS
What advice would you give an aspiring author? I would tell them to always study the craft, connect with other authors for support (the camaraderie is essential and awesome), and to always write the story(ies) they want to tell, not the ones someone else wants them to write.
Do you have any upcoming events/conferences you want to share with readers? How can readers reach you? As of now, my first event will be in April in Chicago. I’ll be at the booth with Book Euphoria at the Black Women’s Expo. Anyone can access my calendar of events via my website below HYPERLINK "http://www.authoranitadavis.com" to find out more about that event as well as the others I’ll be attending in 2018.
Tell us about BOOK EUPHORIA. The organization you co-founded. I co-founded Book Euphoria, along with authors Sherelle Green, Angela Seals, and Ty Waller, because we had been traveling across the country for book events, promoting our books and connecting with readers, but felt that a big city like Chicago should offer more literary-based events. We wanted to provide more frequent platforms in the city (rather than just one big annual book event) to both promote our books and brands as well as provide a platform for other local, immensely talented authors.