Q+A w/ an Author You Need to Know
Welcome to installment, #4 with Author, D. L. White
Sharp and witty with spot-on timing, D. L. White is an author with something to say. Her characters are real and relateable; they're the kind of women we all want on speed dial and at our brunch tables. Let's get to know the author behind, Brunch at Ruby's.
Q: WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
A: March, on Altus AFB Oklahoma
Q: WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE WRITERS?
A: Tayari Jones (My FAAAVE), Terry McMillan, Bernice McFadden, Eric Jerome Dickey, Rachel Howzell Hall, Tasha L. Harrison, Nia Forrester
Q: DO YOU KNOW THE STORY OF HOW YOU WERE NAMED?
A: Mom said she was flipping through a book and saw the name Dominique. Decided that was my name and never wavered from it! My aunt found my middle name, Latreece, somewhere and they thought it went well together.
Q: What is the first book that made you cry?
A: Columbine, by Dave Cullen. I sobbed all the way through that book.
Q: Does writing energize or exhaust you? A: It depends on the phase I am in. In the beginning, I am soooo excited to put words on paper OMGGGG LET’S DO IIIITTT. And then I get to act II, past the introductory part and into the nitty gritty and I. am. Exhausted. The best sleep is the sleep after the book is done.
Q: What is your writing Kryptonite? A: In my process, I need to read for inspiration, to prime the pump, so to speak. I call it foreplay. I read a chapter or two of a writer that I just enjoy reading. I can’t read anything super deep or extremely beautiful and breath-taking in that moment, because it demotivates me. I’ll never be able to write like that and I’ll be depressed. I need to read a writer who is simple and effortless, sometimes something just FUN, but still good writing.
Q: If you’re afforded the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?
A: Anywhere the sand is soft, sugar white sand and blue-green water and warm air. I’m HOME.
Q: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
A: Original. I can’t write to trends and I don’t write fast. I write what comes to me.
Q: When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?
A: Emotion is not usually difficult for me. Sexy? PSSSHH. I need to be in the MOOD. I skip all sex until the second round of writing. Draft Zero is usually barebones, stuff happens. Then I go back and finesse, add emotion, add action. And I work on those intimate scenes—what leads up to them, what seems to come naturally. To do that I find an author who is really good at writing ‘THE SEX’ and read. I find stories on Literotica or random internet stories of sexual encounters. That points my brain in the right direction. Like, I like how this story starts this way, but what if…. Then I let my brain take it from there. I am about as romantic as cardboard so I often have to remind myself that these people love each other, they can’t keep their hands off of each other, they NEED each other. Try to bring that out in every action and interaction.
Q: What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
A: The original creation. I loooooove editing and rewriting, shaping and polishing. Creating? UGH.
Q: Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.
A: Maxine, Brunch at Ruby’s. Max was so difficult to write because I had to get to know her first, figure out her story. And once I did, she became my favorite because she is so complicated but so staunchly MAXINE. She does have a character ARC, but she doesn’t change, per se. that’s what I love about her. She’s still gonna get on your nerves, but there’s growth.
Q: What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
A: TBH someone said my writing reminded them of Terry McMillan and I swooned! I love her, I’ve read a lot of her work and I love her laid back, fly on the wall style. I’m so pleased to be influenced by her and I’m actually happy that influence comes through.
Q: What’s your favorite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you? A: I love the gulf coast. It’s just… so pretty and warm and relaxing. It’s where I go to forget everything, and it’s no wonder it’s easy for me to write there. I just love the laid-back beach bum feel there. Someday I am going to book myself a whole week and just… BE AT THE BEACH, MAYNE.
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