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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Chatting with ALTonya Washington

There are writers who draw you into a story so deeply that when you reach the last page, you want cry, scream and kick! Why? Because the book was over too soon!

ALTonya Washington is one of those writers.
The award winning author of more than 30 books is back with another tale of family drama with Taboo Tree.
Rivalries, secret romances and scandals fed the feud between the Gwaltneys and Augustines for decades. The two families shared an uneasy co-existence, until terrible tragedy touched the Gwaltneys. Years later, the two eldest Augustine children, chose to chart their family history. In doing so, they made a devastating discovery. Their family shared more than hatred with the Gwaltneys. They shared blood. The kids decided to cover the explosive revelation. The decision would have consequences none of them could have foreseen. Many years later, tragedy struck again. History would repeat itself as new romances bloomed amidst the pain of the loss and vows for revenge. The truth would have to be revealed. Whether the secret would ruin the families forever or finally unite them, was a chance they would have to take.

ALTonya spoke to me about her new book and what's on the horizon for her. 

1.       Tell the readers about Taboo Tree. 

Taboo Tree is the story of two families- the Gwaltneys & Augustines- who over the years have had much unrest between them. They've fought over everything from land rights to parenting skills. In spite of this, attraction and love have bloomed between members of the families. Emotions run deep and the relationships that blossom are of the last kind. Then, a devastating truth is revealed, the families are bound by more than rivalry, they are bound by blood.

2.       What made you decide to write a family saga? 

Well family sagas are kind of in my blood; no pun intended- ha! What made me write this particular saga stems from a weird dream that woke me out of my sleep one night and had me scribbling like crazy in the dark for 30 minutes. I wasn't sure if the notes would lead me to anything but the next day I couldn't stop thinking about the idea. What drew me to telling this story was an interest I've always had in the way people lead their sex lives that result in bringing new lives (often many new lives) into the world. What happens when; due to some uncanny twist, these new lives meet, fall in love and want to build lives together only to discover they are related someplace deep in their family trees? The consequences of this are what I explore in Taboo Tree.

3.       You create some of the most unique families (hello, the Ramsey!). Where do you find the inspiration?

I love the dynamics of the family saga. Before the Ramseys (and Tesanos) I had no idea what family sagas were all about. I sort of made up my own rules to guide me during the creative process. My stories are really character driven. I think the compliments and conflicts that exist when you toss many intriguing personalities into the mix, makes for fantastic drama.

4.       What’s on the horizon for you?

Right now, I'm putting the finishing touches on a little holiday surprise for my readers. Then in January, I'm anticipating the release of my next Kimani title ProvocativeTerritory
The idea for this story hit me out of nowhere as well and  took off for me in an amazing way that has motivated me beyond this first story. I'm really interested to see where it leads.


5.       How can readers follow you online?!/ramseysgirl

6.       You write in multiple genres, do you have a favorite? 

 I would have to say it's the historical romance genre. I love history and when I discovered the romance genre, I tried to read everything I could get my hands on. When I stumbled onto the historical romance genre, I was in heaven! Two favorites in one! The only thing more incredible for me has been the chance to actually create these kinds of stories. I regret not having the time to write more of them but an historical requires tons of research. An author must be more focused and motivated than usual when crafting one but the results are well worth the effort!


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