Made in America

Author Spotlight: Shalonda Phox

Name: Shalonda Phox  

Hometown: Metairie, LA

Book: Simone.

Genre: Fiction

DP: Describe your book in 10 words or less. 

SP: Juicy and a great read.

DP: What made you want to write your book? 

SP: Well, I always wanted to write a book, I just needed to take the time to do it. I didn’t know where the words were going to come from, but I knew I wanted to make my mark on life somehow. I was also going through a divorce and needed something to take my mind off what was going on at the time.

DP: How long did it take you to write your book? 

SP: It took about six months to write my book.

DP: How do you choose the names of your characters? 

SP: Most of the time it just comes to me! I think to myself, “How would this name fit this particular character?” and then the selection just pops up in my head. Sometimes I would search online to look up a name if I can’t make a proper decision.

DP: What do you do when you have writer’s block? 

SP: When I have writer’s block, I get away from my workspace–no matter the time–and I walk around my neighborhood. I find that walking opens my mind and allows me to get my gears going again.

DP: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? 

SP: My favorite part to write was the telling of how Simone’s parents met back in the 70s. It was my favorite part to write our of the book because I am sort of fascinated by the culture of the 70s.

DP: If you were stuck on an island and had to have one person from each category with you, who would they be and why? 

SP: One character from your book:  My main character, Simone. We have a lot in common, so time would fly by just with us blabbing away about our lives, making jokes while surviving on the island. 

One fictional character: Nola Darling from Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It. It is a series on Netflix that tells the life of this independent artist. She reminds me of myself in my younger years and I believe we’d mesh well, with discussions of life, men and art.

One famous person: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I would love to pick his brain on what he thinks of society as a whole and if he thinks we have truly progressed when it comes to equality and tolerance.

DP: Besides writing, what are your other interests?  

SP: My other interests are shopping, dining out, walking, listening to music and I am an amateur at playing guitar.

DP: Do you keep a journal? 

SP: No. I do not keep a journal because every time I started one in the past, I never kept up with it.

DP: How did you celebrate the publishing of your book? 

SP: I smoked a cigar.

DP: If your book was made into a movie, who would play the main characters?   

SP: If I had the pleasure of my book being made into a movie, I would have model Mame Adjei as Simone, Ryan Gosling as Michael and Wilson Cruz as Adon.

DP: What did you enjoy most about working with Dorrance Publishing? 

SP: I enjoyed how they kept in touch with me over the tiniest detail and were considerate and professional at the same time.

DP: Five favorite books of all time?

SP: Little Black Girl Lost Books 1-5 by Keith Lee Johnson

DP: One sentence of advice for other writers? 

SP: Never stop writing no matter how long it takes to finish your book–I guarantee someone will love it!

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