Green is a Chicago native with a dynamic imagination and a passion for reading and writing. As a young girl, she channeled her creativity and turned her thoughts into short stories and poems. Although she loves to read all genres, romance holds a special place in her heart. Her love for romance developed in high school after stumbling across a hot and steamy Harlequin novel. She instantly became an avid romance reader and decided to pursue an education in English and Journalism. Nothing satisfies her more than writing stories filled with compelling love affairs, multifaceted characters, and intriguing relationships. A true romantic, she believes in predestined romances, love at first sight, and fairytale endings.
Green spoke with me about her exciting journey and her soon to be released Kimani Romance novel, A Tempting Proposal, coming May 21. What better day than Valentine's Day to talk to a romance author?
1. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a young girl, but I’ve been reading and telling stories ever since I was two years old. Before I learned to write, I would have my parents and little sister listen to me tell elaborate stories about purple elephants flying past my window and anything else I could think of. When I finally learned to write, I couldn’t stop.
2. What was it like when you pitched your book at the Romantic Times Conference?
I was so excited when I found out that the 2012 RT Booklovers Convention was going to be held in my Chicago hometown, but I had no idea how many doors this event would open for me. Over the course of three days, the RT Convention had time slots for authors to pitch their ideas to editors and agents. Each scheduled slot was no longer than ten minutes and could take place in one of four rooms. With my proposal kits in hand, I pitched my book several times and received great feedback. I continued to pitch my book at RT’s Pitch-A-Palooza session that was held in a large conference room with editors and agents seated against the walls. Every three minutes, authors sat in front of a different editor or agent and pitched their book. When the buzzer went off, we switched seats and pitched to another agent or editor.
I enjoyed the entire process of pitching my book and a few editors and agents were interested in reading my complete manuscript. During the convention, I’d learned that Harlequin was not listed to accept scheduled pitches. Despite the leads I received, none of the publishers had specialized in African American series category romance and I had specifically followed Harlequin Kimani Romance writing guidelines. On the second day of the convention, a few Harlequin editors were gathered in the hotel lobby with other authors, agents and editors. I went over to say hi to a few authors I knew, including Naleighna Kai who introduced me to Harlequin Kimani’s Executive Editor. As I spoke to the executive editor, I informed her that I had followed the Kimani Romance guidelines when writing my book and began telling her about my series. She was so friendly and it was really easy to talk to her. The next day, I attended Harlequin’s Publisher Spotlight and after their session, I was able to continue speaking with the executive editor. At the end of our conversation, she requested to see my complete manuscript. I promptly sent my manuscript and received an email from Kimani’s Assistant Editor to confirm that my manuscript was under review. A month after the convention, I received the call I’d been waiting for and was offered a contract with Harlequin Kimani Romance.
3. Tell the readers what your book is about.
In A Tempting Proposal Chicago event planner Imani Rayne decides to fulfill her beloved grandmother’s last wish and purchase a stunning lake-view estate. The rules for her to get the estate are simple: Partner with another buyer vying for the same estate and plan one of the biggest business galas of the year. Completing the request would be easy if Imani wasn’t so attracted to sexy businessman Daman Barker. Although Daman knows he should resist temptation, Imani is awakening desires he thought he’d buried deep inside. But when a family revelation threatens all he cherishes most, Daman must decide if the ultimate business proposal will lead to the merger of a lifetime.
4. Have you always wanted to write romance?
I stumbled across my first Harlequin book in high school and quickly developed a love for the genre. I would always tell people that I was going to be a Harlequin author one day. But at the time, I’d noticed that Harlequin didn’t have an African American series category line so despite my desire to write in for Harlequin, I put that dream on hold and chose to pursue news journalism instead. I became Junior Editor of my high school newspaper and I continued in this field by becoming a reporter for my college newspaper and a writer for an organizational campus magazine. During my second year in college, I was overjoyed when I learned that Harlequin was launching Kimani Romance, the first and only African American series category romance line. After doing some freelance writing in my adulthood and settling on a career in sales, I finally decided to pursue my true passion and write my first romance book.
5. What is it about the romance genre that you enjoy the most?
The romance genre offers readers an escape into an idealistic world of possibilities in which fate plays a hand in bringing together a great man and woman who may not be perfect, but are perfect for each other. I love happily-ever-after’s and although characters have their heartaches, tragedies and face life obstacles, at the end of a romance book, love conquers all. I connect with a romance story when I can relate to the characters beyond what’s written on the paper.
6. How can readers follow you online (Twitter, Facebook, website)?
I’d love to hear from you! Please visit me at any of the following addresses:
Amazon Fan Page: amazon.com/author/sherellegreen