C. Darayl Howard, is a writer from Los Angeles, California. A graduate of Cal State Northridge, C. Darayl is a lover of R&B music as evidenced by the frequent reference to this genre of music in her books. She is a ‘girl-mom’ that loves nothing more than spending time with her five daughters. A self-proclaimed book-worm, from song lyrics to poetry and now novels, C. Darayl has been writing since she could pick up a book.
What inspires you to write?
I was told I was a writer years before I accepted my calling. I would say that my love of reading a good book inspires me. That, and my imagination. I love the idea of being able to create something that others can absorb and talk about. It is my hope that I am the kind of writer that is talked about for years to come.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write 'real-life' fiction. I coined this term to describe my process for writing and the feeling I want readers to get after having read one of my books. I choose complex characters based on my interactions with every-day people, and things that I and the people I know have experienced. The reality is, truth is often stranger than fiction. Not only that, I like to find ways to insert anecdotes from my life or those close to me. It's not only cathartic, but exciting to mix truth with fiction. Those who know me may find bits of themselves in my work, but I think I do a great job of embellishing as to not embarrass anyone. It keeps my family and friends guessing who I might be writing about.
I don't use any particular software, I'm still a little old school and I often use a pen and pad to sketch out the characters and chapters in my book. More often than not, I pull out my stylus and write ideas out on my Samsung note. I like having an idea of what I am going to write about before I start writing, though I largely deviate from my first notes and let the characters develop themselves.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Yes! I try my best to let characters unfold based on their personality, and not my own. I do like to keep it 'real' so I try my best to stay as close to reality as possible. I hate reading a book and something seems far-fetched. It's fine if you're writing a sci-fi novel, but a romance novel should still ring true, even if it's selling a fantasy.
Who are your favorite authors?
Oooh…I've read different authors at different stages of my life and I've read several of their books. V.C. Andrews, and Danielle Steel were favorites of mine as a teen, and dare I say it, Jackie Collins. Josh Grisham was also one of the first that stayed on my TBR list, and I read many of his first works. As I went into adulthood, I discovered Toni Morrison and Terri McMillan, and I have to say it was refreshing to read stories that spoke to the African American experience as I had only read Alice Walker's 'The Color Purple' and not many other authors of color up til that point.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
The self-publishing world has evolved and Amazon makes it easy for indie-authors to gain fans while earning money. I did start my own publishing company, LadeeBlogher Publishing, to legitimize my work. In the process I've learned so much about the publishing world which I hope to share with other newbie authors very soon.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Just as with the music industry, I think publishers will reach out to indie-authors who are making a name for themselves with readers, the same way record labels court independent artists. Self-published authors have the ability to put out content as often as they please and have more control of their work, without having to wish upon a star that a publisher will select their work to publish.
What genres do you write?
Fiction, New Adult, Romance, Urban
What formats are your books in?
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.