On this edition of Friendly Fridays, I’d like to introduce a longtime family friend, Dellani Oakes.
Oakes went to school with my parents back in the good, not-so-old days of their college years and has worked for the last few years in romance and science fiction. Settled in Flordia, she is a indie and small press publisher and has been writing full time since 2002. Dellani has published five books and several short stories. Her newest novel, Conduct Unbecoming is a sequel to her Teague McMurtry series following The Ninja Tattoo. Today she joins us from her blog over on http://dellanioakes.wordpress.com/.
Thank you Dellani
April, thanks so much for inviting me. I’m delighted to be here.
AH: First off, let’s let the readers get to know you. What genre do you write in?
DO: I write mostly romance, though different permutations of the genre. I have an historical romance set in St. Augustine, Florida in 1739. I also have contemporary romantic suspense novels, a sci-fi (futuristic romance) series as well as a romantic suspense set in 1976.
AH: Will you tell us about your latest book?
DO: My latest book is called Conduct Unbecoming. It’s a contemporary romantic suspense set here in Florida. It’s a sequel to my novel, The Ninja Tattoo and features a few of the same characters, as well as adding new ones. A body turns up on the beach and Teague’s friend, Nadeya, is the prime suspect. Her best friend, and ex-girlfriend of Teague’s, asks him to find Nadeya and keep her safe.
AH: What was the inspiration behind your current novel?
DO: Several friends read and loved The Ninja Tattoo. One in particular simply adored the main character, Teague. She asked—more specifically, demanded—that I write another book with Teague. She wanted to be in it and she wanted to kiss him. I’d already toyed with the idea of doing another book with Teague and Vivica, so I did. Adding Aileen was easy. She’s a great character and I foresee her coming into other books in the future.
AH: Will you tell us about your writing process? Do you listen to music or have a specific place you like to write?
DO: I describe my writing process as well oiled chaos. I don’t have a set time to work, but snatch time throughout the day, to write and read through things. I also spend time preparing for my radio shows (I do 2 a month) and set up my blog pages and twitter feed.
AH: Music is a must when I write. I frequently use music to block out the sounds of the household. I often use it for inspiration, particularly if I am pacing a fight scene.
DO: My office used to be the north end of the dining room, but since our middle son moved, I took over his bedroom and made it my office. It’s pretty cluttered, but it’s comfy. It’s nice to be able to get away from the noise so I can concentrate on my writing.
AH: Now. For some fun questions:
Cats or Dogs?
DO: I love both, but I’m allergic to them both—especially cats. I like the independence of felines and the unyielding adoration of canines.
AH: What is your favorite thing that you’ve ever written.
DO: Oh, that’s a tough one. I love most of my books (others I just like a lot). Admittedly, I’m very fond of The Ninja Tattoo, but I also love Conduct Unbecoming. A lot of that is because I, too, adore Teague. He’s a very special guy. I also admire Vivica, who has her vulnerabilities, but steps up when she has to.
AH: What is your favorite class in DnD or other Fantasy based RPGs?
DO: Depends upon the game. I’ve always loved magic users, although I ran a dwarf warrior in one game. (He died horribly) When I played Ultima Online, a world wide online RPG, my favorite character was a bard. The bards could make monsters and animals fight or play music to keep things peaceful. Comes in handy on a dungeon dive. I still liked my spells, though. I really love hurling fireballs at things.
If it’s something like Cyberpunk, I’m gonna choose to play a solo. Since most of our games turn into firefights, I like to be able to defend myself.
AH: Which of your characters would most want to punish you for what you’ve done to them?
DO: Hard to say. I try not to torture them too much, but sometimes it’s inevitable. Probably Frank Atherton, in the novel Bad Fall, which I’ve been sharing on my blog. He’s shot at, brain washed, tortured, kidnapped, brain washed again and nearly freezes to death. I think he’d have quite a lot to say to me, were he to come alive. He’d have to thank me too, though. He gets to have some pretty hot love scenes with Marka.
AH: What is your least favorite word?
DO: If we put aside the vernacular, which we shall, my least favorite word is nice. It’s over used and sort of a wash out. It’s not like splendid or spectacular. Nice lies there taking up space when another, better word could be used instead.
I had a high school English teacher who said, “There are two words I never want you to use in this class. One is Nice, the other is Swell.” That has stuck with me all these years.
AH: And finally, what is your favorite book?
DO: Must I have but one? That’s like asking me what my favorite band is. If I were to choose the first book to really impact me, I would have to say Star Man’s Son by Andre Norton. I became a non-reader in third grade. I had a teacher and school librarian gang up on me, telling me I couldn’t possibly read a particular book on my own because it was too advanced. I read on a sixth grade level at that time. Nothing on grade level interested me at all.
My mother took me to the city library and introduced me to a friend of hers, who was head librarian. She took me to the young adult section and told me I could pick any book I wanted. I remembered Andre Norton’s name because my mother had met her. I plucked Star Man’s Son off the shelf and read it at least a dozen times. That book is one reason that I write sci-fi now.
Dellani also runs a radio show on Blog Talk Radio 2x a Month. Go check her out!