You see this silhouette and immediately you will connect it with best-selling author, Delaney Diamond, writer of ‘sweet & sensual romance with multi-cultural characters’. She now graces my Chat Chair to share some insights into who she is as an author. Just in case you’re not familiar with her body of work, feel free to click on the covers below, they are Amazon linked. Grab your coffee or tea and get comfortable as we get to know a little bit about Delaney Diamond!
Who is Delaney Diamond? What does your daily life revolve around?
I’m a former CIA operative who retired ten years ago after being shot down over the jungles of Central America in a botched mission.
I wish. I’m so boring, but here goes. I laugh a lot and I’m pretty easy going. I’m fiercely loyal to the people that I love, and I hate meanness. I’m the middle child of three. I have an older brother and younger sister. No kids, but I love spoiling my niece and nephew. I’m very close with my family. I get bored easily, so I’m always looking for something new and interesting to learn to challenge me. Cooking is one of my hobbies, and I also enjoy traveling.
My favorite movies to watch are action movies, romantic comedies, and thrillers. My favorite color is yellow. My favorite season is spring. I’m an ice cream addict. My favorite flavors are Haagen-Dazs’s pineapple-coconut and rum raisin; Breyer’s rocky road; and Blue Bell’s pistachio almond.
During the week, my life revolves around my writing, doing research, my new website Romance Novels in Color, and a small business that I run from home. Sometimes I dodge phone calls from people who think I’m “not doing anything” because I’m at home. On the weekends I hang out with my friends by going to dinner, the movies, or just chilling at someone’s house.
Delaney, tell us where you are from.
I was born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands
How was life growing up? How does it affect your writing?
My life was very simple. We didn’t have much, but I was very happy. I walked to and from school every day, uphill, both ways, in the snow…Okay, no, but I did walk to and from school every day. It was that kind of life, where parents didn’t have to worry about someone snatching their kid. Everybody in the neighborhood knew you, and their parents knew you so you could never get away with anything, but you also felt safe in a way that many kids won’t be able to experience nowadays.
My experiences growing up haven’t affected my writing—that I can think of. I was basically a good, boring kid who never got into any trouble. My parents were protective of me and my sister, so I lived a very sheltered life until I went away to college. The things that affect my writing are the experiences I’ve had as an adult, now that the rose-colored glasses have come off.
What motivates your writing?
The desire to tell engaging stories about love and romance. There’s so much negativity and sadness in the world, I like to think I’m adding something positive and entertaining – something that makes people feel good when they’re finished. Even if the road to “The End” was kind of rocky.
When did you know you were a writer?
Hmm…It started when my first ebook was published, The Arrangement. It was so exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time, wondering if people would like it or hate it. Lol. More than anything, what proves to me that I’m a writer is that I can’t stop writing. I’d done some writing in high school and won a few contests, but it was never something I aspired to do. It just sort of happened, and now I have all these ideas. It’s been a creative outlet for me that I never knew I needed.
How much of what you write is based on personal experiences?
There are bits and pieces of me in some of the heroines, as well as my life experiences in some of the stories, but to be honest, not much. A good number of my books take place in Atlanta where I live. The Hawthornes – from my African-American series – own property on St. Simons Island, which is a beautiful place off the coast of Georgia that I’ve visited several times. Rafael Lopez, the Latin hero in Fight for Love, was inspired by one of my exes. I chose Ecuador as the setting for Private Acts because it was a country I’d always wanted to visit. I was finally able to do it last year, and I’m so happy I got the opportunity to cross it off my list.
Outside of my personal experiences, I get ideas from the news, books I read, movies I watch, and experiences of people that I know.
Share with us your writing process.
I don’t have much of a process. I’m not a very organized writer. I don’t do outlines, although I’ve tried several times to make them work. When I sit down to write a story, I’ve already done some preliminary research and have ideas in my head of how and where I want the story to go. I gather my notes that I’ve scribbled or typed into a Word document, combine them with what’s in my head, and I just start to write. I write when I’m in the mood—usually early in the morning or late at night. I also write out of order sometimes. For instance, I may be at chapter three, but I’ll write a scene that may later become chapter ten because it’s more vivid in my mind and I don’t want to lose it.
What genre do you read? What authors do you admire?
I mostly read mysteries, thrillers, and romance, but romance is my favorite genre. In order: contemporary romance, historical romance, romantic suspense. I admire Maureen Smith. I’ll read anything she writes, and she never disappoints. Her heroes are so sexy and her storytelling is second to none. I also admire many of the Harlequin Presents authors because they write such passionate, heart-wrenching stories. They’re often over the top, but I’m fine with that because they’re a nice escape. I’ve discovered some really cool indie authors whose books I now devour because they keep me engaged, such as SK and Nia Forrester.
Those two are great examples of gifted writers! What advice would you give others about writing?
- Learn all you can about writing and the publishing industry. The industry is constantly changing, so you have to stay abreast of the changes.
- Treat your writing like a business (even if you only do it part-time), not a hobby, and you’ll find not only success, but happiness. My favorite quote to go along with that is by Confucius: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
- Invest in yourself. If you don’t spend money to put out the best product possible, why should anyone spend money to support you?
- Hire a CPA. Trying to save a few hundred bucks by not getting a qualified accountant could cost you thousands. You worked hard for your royalties. Keep as much of them as you can.
- Experiment with your writing and your marketing. What’s the worst that could happen? When you answer that question, then you’ll know what to do.
- Learn to write grammatically correct prose that is as error-free as possible. You’re not shooting for perfection, but writers should understand the art of writing. It’s important to know the rules so you’ll know when to break them for effect.
Is there a pivotal lesson that you’ve learned in life that you would like to pass on to others?
A few years ago I became physically ill from the stress of my work environment. When I left, I decided I was never going to work for anyone else again. I also decided that I wanted to be happy and keep negative people far away from me. So far so good.
I am so sorry to hear that you had to undergo such a terrible experience. I am sure I speak for many in being happy for your recovery. Your experience serves as a lesson for us all.
What would you like people to know about you that they might not know already?
I think I’m funny. I have a dry, sarcastic sense of humor which doesn’t always translate well on paper. For the most part, I save my antics for my family and close friends.
Finally, tell us what are you working on and when can we expect a release?
I have a serial story running on my blog called The Blind Date. It’s an interracial romance and the tagline is One night changes everything…again. It’s been fun interacting with readers each week as the story unfolds. I’ll be wrapping it up in mid-June.
I was working on my second sweet romance in the Bailar Series, but I set it aside. Now I’m working on More Than a Mistress, which I’d like to have released late summer or early fall. It’s another interracial. The hero is Argentinean and the story chronicles his relationship with a woman who was supposed to be just his mistress, but she comes to mean much more to him.
I’m also planning a release for the winter. The book is untitled, but it’s the first book in a series about an African-American family that owns a brewery in Seattle, Washington. I visited Seattle last year and thought it would be the perfect setting for this story. I’m currently doing research, but the storyline is really coming together in my head and in my notes, so I’m excited.
Well I’m sure I speak for many when I say all your new projects are greatly anticipated! Thanks so much for dropping by! It has been an honor to have you in my Chat Chair! Click here or on the link below to see the YouTube trailer for this fantastic book (one of my fav’s). Continue below to read an excerpt from Delaney’s, A Hard Man to Love.
A Hard Man to Love
Hating him is easy. Loving him is hard.
Derrick Hoffman never quite got over not having a relationship with his biological father. The woman he was seeing is pregnant, and there’s no way he’s going to let her raise his child without him—even if it means coercing her into marriage.
Eva Jacob made the mistake of falling in love with Derrick, a man she knows is incapable of love. After their breakup, she discovers she’s pregnant. When she agrees to a loveless marriage, she tries to shield her heart from further pain. But she soon discovers that the heart wants what the heart wants, and her heart wants Derrick’s love.
He stepped closer, eyes filled with purpose. Eva inhaled sharply, overwhelmed by his commanding presence. “I want my child to be with me at all times. I want us to get married right away.”
She gaped at him, thinking her hearing must be going bad. If she didn’t know better, she’d say he just asked her to marry him, but that would be ludicrous. A chuckle of disbelief broke past her lips, and she clamped her hand over her mouth when his face hardened.
“Did I say something funny?”
“I’m sorry, I could have sworn you asked me to marry you—sort of.”
“I did.” His solemn expression swiped the smile from her face.
“You—you can’t be serious. People don’t get married nowadays because they’re having a baby.”
“In case you didn’t notice, I’m not ‘people.’ No kid of mine is going to grow up without knowing me.”
“I agree, but I don’t see why we have to get married to ensure it.”
“Because I’m not satisfied with occasional visits. I want my son or daughter in my house, and I want to see them every day—not when it’s convenient for you.”
Eva stepped back, putting her hands up in a defensive motion against him. “Wait a minute. You’re serious about this?”
“I’ve had plenty of time to think, and it could work.”
“No, it can’t!” She swallowed to calm her frayed nerves. She sounded hysterical, while he remained as cool as a tall glass of iced tea. Before she would have welcomed a proposal—such that it was—but a wedding because of her pregnancy was the last option she’d ever considered.
Lowering her voice, she said, “We don’t have to get married. Besides, we don’t even—” She stopped, finding it difficult to say the words, but managing to muddle through. “We don’t love each other. We were already broken up when I told you I was pregnant. I don’t want to marry you, and you don’t want to marry me. Having a baby is not a good enough reason.” She took a deep breath and gradually released it. “We need to come to another arrangement.”
“All right,” he said, which only unsettled her nerves even more. She had a feeling she wouldn’t like his next words. “Then would you be willing to let me have the baby after it’s born?”
Her eyes widened, and she recoiled from him. “You really are insane, aren’t you?”
“What’s so insane about a man wanting his child?”
“Let me guess, a father’s not as important as a mother, right?”
“I never said that. I know how you feel because I never knew my father, either.” A common thread between the two of them, but whereas she’d seen it as a pain they could share, he never wanted to discuss it. “But a child needs its mother.”
“And its father.”
His implacable expression worried her, and she tried to mollify him. “And you’ll have all the access you want.”
“I don’t want access.”
“Well, if you think I’m going to hand my daughter over to you after she’s born, you are sadly mistaken.”
He froze, staring at her. “Daughter? You know for sure it’s a girl?”
Eva paused and nodded. “Yes. This week I found out I’m having a girl.” She’d chosen to get a 3-D ultrasound done to determine the gender of the baby.
His gaze lowered to her stomach. “A girl.”
He seemed stunned, as if hearing the sex of the baby really brought home the fact that a life was growing inside her. He ran his hand down the back of his head, across the black silk of his hair—hair she’d lovingly caressed with her own fingertips. She could almost feel the texture of it.
Eva’s voice gentled. “Derrick, I know why you’re saying these things, but you never have to worry about me cutting you out of your daughter’s life. She’ll know you love her. The relationship you didn’t have with your biological father has no bearing on your relationship with our daughter.”
He lifted his cool gaze to her face. “How much?” He pulled out his phone.
She frowned. “How much what?”
“How much will it take for you to give her up once she’s born? I can be very generous. I have my accountant on speed dial, and with one phone call, I can have any dollar amount you request transferred into the account you choose within minutes.”
He couldn’t be serious. “Wait, what?” Eva shook her head in confusion. “Did I hear you correctly? Did you just offer to buy my baby?”
Delaney will always hold a special place in my heart. The encouragement through her blog was the final push I needed to begin writing again. I know I am one of many fans that she makes feel special because of the time she takes to bond with us. Please continue to follow Delaney Diamond on her Delaney Diamond blog, on her Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble pages.