Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Chit Chat with Author Renee Daniel Flagler of Raging Blue

Blue Holiday has decided to call foul and leave her destructive marriage. But her cheating husband, Jaylin, decides he needs her money to survive and insists on a rematch. Usually, Blue would be game, but after discovering the depths of his depravity, she drops him from her roster of eligibles.
Unaccustomed to rejection, especially from his wife, Jaylin decides to take what he feels is rightfully his. Problem is, he forgot a woman in love will put up with a lot. But a woman enraged, she’ll let you think you’re winning, just before she snatches it all.

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How did you start out your writing career? Well, I’d been a jack of all trades and was tiring myself out trying to figure out which thing I was supposed to focus on. I even prayed about it to ask God for direction. Eventually all of those other interested literally fell away and the only thing that remained was writing. Then I prayed for the time and opportunity and got laid off! The first thing I did was look for another job. I got one and lost that too. I started a new job, again, and met my editor. A woman and now very good friend who was an editor for one of the journals that my company published. She was also an avid reader and I shared my book with her. She loved it and told me I should finish it and she edited it for free! Then I got laid off from that job and started writing full time! Prior to that, I have always enjoyed writing and as a marketing professional, I’ve done a lot of writing in my career. I’m also a freelance journalist and have written songs as well. I just love to write.
What did you learn while writing this book? While writing my new book Raging Blue, I learned how to stretch and challenge myself. This book is slightly different than my others but has an equal amount of drama. I think challenging myself, helped to enhance my writing.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book? The same thing with all my other books, to give readers something to enjoy, something that would make them think, and something that would make them gasp and say, “No She Didn’t!”
What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why? The main character, Blue, showed up in my head first. For a long time I wondered what this black woman with these Blue eyes was all about. Finally her story came, but first, I knew everything about her such as her background, family relationships, etc. Ultimately her story with her Basketball star husband began to unfold—a little violently at first, I must add.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author? How people would receive you. I’m been blessed to be well received and it still feels like the first time when someone praises my work.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most? I am head over heels about this writing life. I love everything about it—coming up with stories, creating crazy characters and putting them into interesting predicaments. I love book events, I love reading, I love talking about books. I love meeting people who are just as excited about books, reading and writing as I am. I would change this for the world.
How do you conquer writers block? I have an interesting technique that I derived from one of my MFA classes. I but out headlines from magazines and newspapers. When I find that I feel stuck, I will just pull headlines from my collection to help boost ideas. It works every time. I teach workshops on how to apply this technique and it hasn’t failed me or any of the folks who has taken my workshop yet.
What books are on your to read list? The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis. Friends & Foes by ReShonda Tate Billingsley & Victoria Christopher Murray, and Shed, by Dr. Ian Smith, because I need to lose some weight!
Has having a writing career always been your dream? No. Writing had always been a passion, but it became my goal when I published my first book.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer? Hone your craft and never stop improving upon it. The learning never stops. And when I say hone your craft, I don’t only mean to continuously improve upon your writing, I also mean that you should always be in learning mode when it comes to the industry and the world of writing as a whole.
What is your writing process? How do you feed your writing muse? I don’t have a seriously disciplined method. Sometimes I start with my characters. I’ll “court” them and get to know them as intimately as possible. Sometimes I’ll start with the plot. I’ve outlines some books and other’s I’ve just jumped in and started writing because I’d been arrested by an idea that wouldn’t let me go. I feed my muse with continuous learning. I love to see evidence of my writing as it enhances. I read a lot as well.
Within the next five years what stage do you expect to be in your career? Although, I’ve been a this for 8 years, I feel like I’m finally beginning to hit my stride. I want to continue putting out books that people enjoy reading that also make them think and gasp. I plan to put out at least one book a year and journey into new genres. In five years I see myself having at least five more fiction books on the market if not more. I also see a children’s book and a romance line and a non-fiction book as well. I’ll never stop writing.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? I’m also a marketing professional and a freelance journalist. I have marketing clients and spend time working on articles for the publications I write for. I’m very active in church and a local organization. I’m also a mother and a wife so there’s not a whole lot of spare time to speak of. But what I enjoy the most is hanging out with my family and friends or curling up with a good book and a cup of gourmet tea!
What do you do to interact with your readers? In every way possible, I’d like to think. I engage my readers through social media, in person at events as well as through email. I enjoy chatting about books in general discussing what we’ve recently read or what we would recommend.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book? The next book is Still Raging, which is the sequel to Raging Blue. The drama continues when Mia faces a reality that she dredded, yet created by her own hands, Blue is being stalked, and Peyton steps into the forefront with a world of issues of her own.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website). Readers can reach me through my website, www.ReneeDanielFlagler.com, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+ and email, rflagler@aspicomm.com.
The book is currently available as an ebook in all places that ebooks are sold, and through the publishers website, http://www.sittingbullpublications.com/.

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Review 5 stars

When it comes to telling a story there are a few ingreidents that make or break a novel. Passion, emotion, and authentic grit are only a few words to describe Raging Blue. This novel is an emotional rollercoaster that grips you from the beginning until the end relentlessly never letting you go. Blue Holiday is a woman scorned, broken, and in need of a love that will set her soul on fire. Unfortunately her husband does not see it that way. Chaotic events lead the reader down a path of powerful awakenings and questionable morale. I found myself cheering and relating to Blue like I do so many women in my personal life. Flagler has the ability to write from a woman perspective without being cliche or stereotypical. A powerful voice in women's fiction and refreshing perspective on an old tale. Renee Flagler is welcome presence in a evolving industry and I can't wait for the next book.