The Oprah show gets credit for Murder on the Down Low. I can still remember the day I watched in stunned silence as Oprah interviewed JL King, the author of On the Down Low. He boldly professed to sleeping with men, but at the same time, claimed that he was heterosexual. His shocking revelations about the secret world of men on the “down low” really shook me up. The very next day while I was driving to work, the plot for Murder on the Down Low came to me: What if attractive, successful African-African men were being gunned down on the streets of L.A. and no one knew why?
2.) Has the success of your books changed your life and if so how?
Other than making my life much more hectic, not really. I still practice law full time. It's quite challenging to work, promote my books on the weekends and still find time to write. But I love writing and I love meeting fans even more.
3.) Do you do anything different on your book tours? I’ve read where a mystery writer with a cooking theme brings cupcakes on her book tours. Another writer with a music theme to his books brings his guitar and sings a few songs. Do you have any quirky things you do at your book signings?
Wow, what great ideas!. I guess I'm not that creative. LOL! I usually read a few snippets that I think will pull the crowd into the story. A friend suggested that I have actors play the characters, essentially turning a chapter into a live play. I'd love to do that one day.
4.) Do you have a favorite character in Murder Down Low and if so why?
Without a doubt, my favorite character is Special. She’s savvy, street smart, and sexy and more often than not she goes with her emotions no matter what the consequences. That makes her both challenging and fun to write.
5.) Is there any question than interviewers don’t ask that you wish they did? Would you like to ask that question and answer it here?
That question would be, "How do you handle rejection." Even though I have four published novels, I still face rejection. I actually self-published Murder on the Down Low after it was rejected by eight publishing houses. My advice is, don’t let anyone deter you from pursuing your dream. Most successful authors experienced years of rejection. John Grisham, for instance, received 45 rejection letters and self-published A Time to Kill because people told him no one wanted to read about lawyers. How wrong they were! So if you think you have a marketable book, don’t give up on your dream. My goal is to become a New York Times bestselling author and to eventually write full time. I recognize that few authors ever achieve that level of success. That fact doesn’t stop me from dreaming big. I feel very strongly that there’s a significant market for my legal thrillers and I’m confident that I’ll eventually break out of the pack. Until that happens, I plan to continue writing, publishing and watching my fan base grow. My best quality is my ability to get back up after a fall. The publishing industry may knock me down, but I’ll keep getting back up again and again and again.
It is always exciting to hear what published authors have to say about how they got there and their thoughts on their work. Thank you so much for sharing!
My thanks to Ms. Young for taking the time to respond to my questions.