Hola lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Taneisha LaGrant
Taneisha is an emerging writer releasing her first poetry book in over five years. She is a graduate of the American Military University and currently resides in Washington with her husband and two children.
Enjoy this sample: Life & Love Volume I: Poetry: Love is a journey. Step 1. Fall in love. Step 2. Experience conflict. Step 3. Move on and heal or heal together. Is love really like this formula though? It all seems so simple.
This volume of poetry is broken up into similar sections where Taneisha LaGrant takes you on the journey of falling in love, fighting to stay in love and learning the most important discovery of it all. The key to what’s missing can’t be found in everyone else but it can be found in this volume of poetry. Stay tuned until the end and you may discover the most important aspect of love there ever was to be discovered.
Why do you write? For me, writing releases me. It gives me a way to express myself when verbal words fail me. It also allows me to create other alternatives to decisions I’ve made or I just use it for creativity and let my imagination run wild.
When did you decide to become a writer? I decided this very early in life. I was in elementary school when I knew I wanted to write. MF: Me too. I think most of us know early on, whether we admit it or not.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? My goal is usually to write anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour on my novel three to five times a week. I try to carve out time before work, during my lunch and after work based on my school assignments. When I get off work, I spend a few hours with my family. They always get the first few hours and after bedtime for our girls, I spend some time with my husband and then I write. I can usually write more on the weekends and have no time limits or set times.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? I think I’ve learned a lot over the last few years which is why it’s taken so long to release another book. I also write longer poems than I used to.
Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? Television can be a distraction for me, so I’ll jot down notes if I have ideas for a particular scene. I always listen to music when I write. I feel like it helps to form the characters thoughts based on the characters mood.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? When I first started novel writing a few years ago, I never plotted and then would come up short. Recently I’ve taken a few writing classes to see what I was missing from my plots. I learned how important outlining is. I have a whiteboard that hangs over my desk now to outline anything I write.
Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website? For my latest book cover I used http://www.selfpubbookcovers.com/ A designer named Mystic did my cover.
Any advice for aspiring authors? Always make time to write. Study your craft. Research and read.
Where do your ideas come from? My ideas are pretty random. I get inspired from conversations, watching people interact or from things my husband and I talk about.
What is the current book you are promoting? Life & Love Volume I.
You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser? From the 6th Month Vow: Today was the day. Matthew hadn’t called much during his trip or texted for that matter. Hopefully he’d text or call soon, she thought as she shopped for the last items that she needed from the store. She just wanted tonight to go perfect after a long day of talking to college admissions representatives and financial aid to prepare for the next term. Talking about her decision would be best in person over dinner and then he could have her for dessert if he liked. The new lingerie had come in just in time for tonight. Shatoya had been so distracted looking at her phone for the perfect champagne that she hadn’t saw the guy standing next to her.
“I’m so sorry. Let me help you with that,” she said nervously attempting to help him pick up the groceries he’d been carrying in his hand. “Please forgive me. I’m usually not this distracted.”
“It’s okay. I’d recommend the white wine over champagne. They pair well with strawberries. I’m Blake.”
Did he always give out his name to strangers? Coming up beside him was a petite model type. It must’ve been his girlfriend or something by the way she questionably stared at Shatoya.
“There you are,” she said before planting a kiss on him. “Hello.” She turned to acknowledge Shatoya.
“Sorry for bumping into you and thanks for the recommendation.” She turned to walk away. It was awkward and slightly uncomfortable but she felt as if they had met before. Now wasn’t the time to worry about that though. Matthew would be home any moment and there were a few things left to finish up. She couldn’t believe that she had forgotten the desert and the champagne or in this case the wine. There were a few selections to choose from. Hopefully Matthew would appreciate all the work she had put into tonight and try not to judge her too harshly.
Do you have any formal education in creative writing? If not are you planning to go to school? Yes, I am currently in school for my Masters in English with a concentration in Creative Writing.
Do you have any “how to write” type books/instructional you’d like to recommend? Currently I’m alternating between How to Write Short Stories and Use Them to Further Your Writing Career by James Scott Bell, Understanding Show, Don’t Tell by Janice Hardy and a few others. They have been really helpful so far. Of course Stephen King’s On Writing is essential to every writer. I own that one also and a ton more.
What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer? I’ve learned quite a few things but I think the most important at this moment in life is that while I can be my own worst critic, if I’m always editing a novel and never moving the story forward, then the story will never be published. It’s okay to review our work but maybe finish the first draft before pondering on just the opening chapter.
Do have a favorite car or truck model? I’ve always wanted a Ford Mustang and a pick up. No idea why. MF: I had a truck, a big silver 2500 diesel 4 door beast. I miss it.
What are some of your favorite books and why? There are so many to choose from, so I’ll narrow it down to my favorite series. The complete Harry Potter series has always been a favorite. It just brings back so many memories from the time that my fifth grade teacher read it the class and used to make us chocolate chip pancakes to sneaking to read it senior year after bedtime. Some of my favorite novels I’ve read as an adult include Brenda Jackson’s The Westmoreland Series because it introduced me into another style of writing. I had never been into romance novels but knew that’s what I wanted to write. It inspired me to begin the research to correcting my books. Since then I’ve read a ton of romance novels and each one is different.
Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published? I haven’t been published long enough to really pay attention to any negative stigmas on being a self-published author. I have realized the differences in the marketing venues and book review revenues. A lot of places don’t accept self-published authors but I know authors who have done both forms of publishing.
What book are you currently reading or just finished? I finished reading Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur last week. I am currently reading Sheryl Lister’s Made to Love You and I’ll be done with that tonight before starting on a book by J.D Mason.
What do your readers mean to you? Without their support my books would definitely be collecting dust somewhere, so I appreciate them taking the time out to read, share or ask questions. It mean s a lot to me that they are interested in my work.
How can readers discover more about you and you work? Readers can learn more by heading over to my website. I have a schedule and like to feature other writers too. It’s also where they’ll be able to see what’s going on or just chat with me. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook.
There ya have it folks! For more about Taneisha and her work, follow the links below: