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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chatting with author D.L. Sparks


D.L. Sparks is the definition of doing what it takes to make her dreams come true. She self-published her first novel, All That Glitters, then landed a publishing deal. She blends romance and suspense in her books and takes readers on a wild, page turning ride. But there's more to Sparks than just writing and selling books, she plays it forward in the Atlanta community by mentoring young girls. And girlfriend has a serious shoe game! 

1. Tell the readers about your latest book, Between Friends.

A drug bust gone wrong brings D.E.A. agent Orlando “Trip” Spencer back to his hometown of Atlanta after being gone for years and he’s not the only one unhappy about the return home. Idalis Arrington and Trip have been best friends since they were little. Nothing or nobody could come between them, that’s until she meets Lincoln. With Trip back in Atlanta Idalis’ perfect world starts to get messy and she finds herself praying that his visit is a short one. But the question is can she hold it together or will the sound of the skeletons in her own closet drown out what she’s convinced herself has been the truth all these years? Lincoln “Linc” Briscoe, a Lieutenant with the Atlanta Police Department has been dating Idalis since college. He knows he has a lot at stake and his girl’s best friend or not he refuses to let anyone jeopardize what he’s worked so hard to gain. Trip and Lincoln are on a collision course threatening to collide and take down everyone, including their careers, with them. Idalis is cracking under the pressure while slowly revealing her own shortcomings.

2. Where do you find the inspiration for the suspense in your novels?
 
I love to play the “What If” game but with a twist. The romance and happily ever after is nice and warm and fuzzy but “what if” her boss was a serial killer? Or “what if” his wife was having an affair that drives her husband to murder? Basically my mind doesn’t work like a normal person’s mind should. LOL!! I love to read authors like James Patterson and Dean Koontz and definitely Stephen King (but only during the day….). The anticipation of what’s to come when reading one of their books that keeps me up turning pages inspires me to give that same intensity to my readers. Stephen King is the master of Thriller! I was scared to sleep in the same room with Pet Sematary! (Don’t tell anyone). LOL! But the next day I couldn’t wait to run downstairs and pick it back up. I want my readers to have that same addiction to my books.

3. Talk about your journey to publication.

My journey to publication was a choppy one. My first book All That Glitters came out back in 2007. After half-hearted attempt at self-publishing I ended up with a very small publishing company but was very motivated by the feedback I received from All That Glitters. I really didn’t think much of it but I started to slowly work towards building the foundation for The Lies That Bind and it literally took on a life of its own. I almost want to say that the book finished itself. LOL! The characters and I developed great momentum and it was picked up and published with Urban Renaissance in 2011. Once it came out, I was determined to top myself. So when I started working on the next book I was harder and tougher on myself as well as my characters that time around. I wanted to show growth with the next book and the result was Between Friends  published in 2012 under the same imprint. I am currently working on my next novel and true to form, I am pushing myself even harder. I hear the theme for Rocky every time I fire up my laptop. LOL!


4. What inspires you do the mentoring that you do around the Atlanta area?

Our young girls today have very little to NO role models and the images that they are held up against is very disheartening. A lot of them come from single or no parent homes and have little to no direction other than what they see on T.V. I want them to know that they don’t have to be a size 0 or dancing in a video to be considered beautiful.  I encourage education, especially reading and writing. I make sure it’s relatable  to the crowd I am talking to at the time. I tell them if Rihanna is your favorite singer she has to learn how to read music, write lyrics, etc. My grandfather instilled in me that education (especially reading) is extremely important in every aspect of life and I feel it’s my job to pass that on. I also want the young girls to see someone who looks like them standing at the podium or on stage to let them know that anything is possible if they stick with it and believe in themselves.

5. How can readers contact you online?

Readers can find me online on:
Twitter: @dlsparks and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/D.L.Sparks

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