Q & A: Danette Majette
The Urban Book Source
How has your experience been as an author in the emerging genre of street lit?
It has been great. I’ve learned a lot, experienced a great deal, and continue to grind everyday.
How do you come up with the themes and titles for your work?
My first two books were from real life experiences. The title “I Shoulda Seen it Comin” came straight from the heart. I shoulda seen my old flame coming! That’s for real! It’s a lesson for all females out there, young and old. However, my new book, “Good Girl Gone Bad” was a collaborative effort between myself, and some of the staff at LCB.
What's your next book going to be about?
It’s about three women who transform from good girls to bad women after they are all faced with financial hardships. They mastermind this elaborate scheme to get the money they so desperately need In the end, they plunge into a ruthless game of sex, betrayal, and survival. It’s crazy, but a good read. I’ve gotten great reviews thus far.
Should every book have a moral or message to it?
Not necessarily…it depends on the author’s intent. I can’t speak for other authors but I like to send a message in my books. I want to not only entertain my readers but give them information that may help them if they’re in the same situation as one of my characters. Although we read novels for enjoyment there are many teachable moments.
Tell us how you write. Do you ever get writer's block? If so, how do you get over it?
I write mostly late at night when nothing is on television and there are no disturbances. I do get writers block occasionally, and when I do I close my laptop. I go do something else for a while then I come back. Sometimes it works…sometimes it doesn’t! I’ve even cried before hoping I would be able to finish my novel successfully.
How do you feel about the covers with half naked models displayed on them?
It’s all in how you take it. For years women of many races have been displayed in different industries showing sex appeal, Marilyn Monroe, Pamela Anderson, Sophia Loren, and Buffy the Body Builder just to name a few. However, now that it’s black folk that we are discussing people want to make it as derogatory as possible. I personally don’t see anything wrong with sex appeal as long as it’s tasteful. The cover is what sells the book. Our readers are adults and if they don’t like what’s on the cover they have every right to leave it on the shelf. My book “Deep” has a half naked woman on it and everyone thought it was hot! I write for an adult clientele, not teenagers. I didn’t get one message that it was in anyway offensive to anyone. My mother even liked it and understands who I’m catering to.
What would you change about the publishing business and why?
I would increase the amount shelf space for African-American titles. There are so many books out there that when your book hits the shelves it’s got to sell like crazy or be replaced within a month or two by the next hot, new book.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to write fiction?
Absolutely…start by taking some creative writing classes, it gets the juices flowing. In addition, I had to brush up on my grammar just to make sure things were making since before being sent off to an editor. Lastly, I would recommend reading author’s work with different styles of writing. Read, learn, then craft your own style.
If you had to choose between being a better creative writer or technical writer, which would you choose and why?
I’ve worked in retail most of my life. And so it’s in my blood to be creative and fashionable. However when it came to writing reports for my boss and our buyers I’d pass the buck. All I wanted to do was dress people up…I would let my assistant deal with all the number stuff. It’s the same thing when I’m writing. I’m creative, but I sometimes need help putting it all together so that it flows correctly. So I would have to say I wish I were a better technical writer.
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