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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Intro: Everything I Miss At Home

Everything I Miss At Home is a sexy and dramatic thrill of a novel that's emotional highs and lows read like a roller coaster ride. Karma, lust, ambition, greed, and life collide as fading athlete Nikki Brown, her corporate upstart girlfriend Erin Powell, and Erin's sexy assistant Devyn McAllister play winner take all with each other's lives. The debut novel from author Dawn is a deliciously addictive narrative that feels like a dark fantasy solidly in touch with real life. Dawn effortlessly directs Everything I Miss At Home from the boardroom, to the bedroom, and to the streets crafting a suspenseful, salacious, and soul stirring look at love and life through the character's eyes.

Interview with the author:

. Everything I Miss At Home is an intense ride. Erin, Devyn, and Nikki experience crazy highs and lows. Where did the inspiration come from to write this novel?

Everything I Miss At Home came from lots of imagination, discipline, & life experience. The three main characters represent three distinct personalities but thru their experiences we can see and feel reflections of ourselves and other people we've met during our lives. Some parts of that book are my diary, some are my daydreams, some are my nightmares.

2. Everything I Miss At Home resonates because this book feels so real. What was the hardest part for you to write?

As much grandeur and entertainment I wanted Everything I Miss At Home to have, the novel has a very voyeuristic feel to it. The influence of music dictated the first person writing style in Everything I Miss At Home as well. I feel the first person is part of why music can feel so close to our spirits and hearts. With that said, there are parts I thought were too intimate. Not just the sexuality, the cursing, the growing pains, the cruel way that life gives and takes sometimes.... Everything I Miss At Home is like watching someone and reading their thoughts without them knowing it. Part of me wanted to soften it up, but I thought of the Quentin Tarantino's of the world, the Sapphires, and decided against it. If I ever pick it up, parts of the Everything I Miss At Home are hard to read because its so emotionally raw. So bottling that intensity and maintaining it throughout the novel was difficult on me emotionally. Like actors can get lost in their character, so can the writer.

3. What is your favorite part of Everything I Miss At Home?

Maybe the Dream II party... That's the night that sparks a change in Erin. I think that's when her confidence steams ahead into arrogance territory. Devyn has this open eyed curiosity and naiveté about herself. This night, Erin establishes the role she wants Devyn to play in their experience together professionally and personally. Nikki seems to finally feel good about herself as a person, even though she almost begins to mimic Erin's materialism because Nikki's new esteem almost comes more from the things she is now able to buy herself than from her talent and drive.

4. What does Devyn, Nikki, & Erin have in common with you if anything?

Devyn and I have shared experiences. Erin and I both love Jay Z and have virtually memorized his entire catalog. If you were to ride in my car, you'd hear every Jay Z album ever made. Nikki and I love basketball. I hadn't played ball since I was a teenager and Nikki actually inspired me to get back in the gym. I can hang with 20 year old boys now. :)

5. What did you learn from Erin, Devyn, & Nikki or from writing Everything I Miss At Home?

Erin taught me to watch my ego, to be conscious of the way I treated people. Devyn taught me to be wary of people like Erin (joking!!) No Devyn taught me to take off the blinders in my life. To not be so driven by feelings and emotions. Nikki taught me never to let go of my dream or my heart, because if you are always playing catch up in life you might lose your destiny.

6. What can readers expect from the follow up to Everything I Miss At Home, My Secret Enemy?

Readers can expect to see the evolution in each of the individuals. The presence Erin, Nikki, & Devyn had in each other's life leaves all three of them as changed women. The funny thing about change is much as things change, the more they stay the same. Lola Worthy has a more prominent role in My Secret Enemy and her insight is fresh air compared with Erin's brilliant swagger, Nikki's street edge, and Devyn's perceived weakness. Lola is strong and feminine, money driven but not obsessed. Lola is refined and simple. I think lots of readers will identify with her once they get to know her more.

7. What were some unintended outcomes from the completion Everything I Miss At Home?

I managed to humanize homosexual characters and make them completely relatable to heterosexual readers. I get emails from people that thank me for healing the divide between cultures of gays and straights, especially in the black community. That was unintentional. Everything I Miss At Home is far from a coming out story, its a life story where the characters happen to be lesbians. The story transcends homosexuality and is more about human nature. In my personal life, it made people look at me differently. People had expectations from me to sell a million books with no huge machine behind me at first. Initially the sales were VERY modest, and this huge accomplishment of writing and finishing and putting Everything I Miss At Home in the marketplace was dwarfed by first week sales. The release of Everything I Miss At Home made the love of my life more attracted to me, but the initial sales made it easier for the love of my life to leave me. Those things stick with me and motivate me and brings me to higher level of consciousness about my life.

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