Jessica Tilles, award-winning author of African American “Romantica” (romance + erotica)
A native of Washington, DC, JESSICA TILLES is the best-selling, award-winning author of Anything Goes, In My Sisters’ Corner, Apple Tree, Sweet Revenge, Fatal Desire, Unfinished Business and the anthology Erogenous Zone: A Sexual Voyage. As publisher of Xpress Yourself Publishing (www.xpressyourselfpublishing.org), she is the 2008 African American Literary Awards Show recipient of Independent Publisher of the Year award. She is also the founder of The Writer’s Assistant (www.thewritersassistant.com) and Erotic Expressions (www.eroticexpressions.net). Currently working on her next literary endeavor, she resides in Upper Marlboro, Maryland with her family.
1. Tell us about your latest book.
My newest novel is Loving Simone will be released March 13, 2009. The novel is a mixture of romance and erotica. I believe it’s a new genre that’s now called Romantica. From the outside, Simone (the main character) has the perfect life and family. However, the inside tells of a different story. After ten years of being the faithful, dutiful wife and mother, Simone desperately struggles with releasing the hidden desires of pleasure she cannot seem to get from her husband, causing her to turn to self-fulfillment and outside influences. Jackson, her hubby, is too busy focusing on the women who work for him, self-indulgence, and sticking his pole in every hole, rather than his wife. Darius is every woman’s dream and has had a crush on Simone since he was a teen. When their paths cross, all of Simone’s inhibitions are released and finally someone, other than Jackson, is Loving Simone.
This novel is definitely my best work and I’m looking forward to receiving the responses of my readership!
2. How did you get started as a writer?
I’d always been an avid reader, which is something I truly miss now. There never seems to be any time to relax and read someone’s work other than my own. After reading Homecourt Advantage by Rita Ewing and Crystal McCray Anthony, I decided to try my hand at writing a novel. At that time, I had no idea how easy it would be. I harbored a talent I knew nothing about until I sat behind my computer and typed the first chapter to Anything Goes. What a fantastic feeling it was to create a time, place and cast of characters based solely on my imagination.
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me is working on my publishing business and creating book cover and web site designs, as well as typesetting for my clients. I pretty much stay in my pajamas all day, unless I need to run errands to the post office or the bank, maybe the grocery store. I lead a boring life, and I love every minute of it! Usually around 11 p.m. is when I will focus on writing.
4. Describe your desk/workspace.
Unorganized. However, surprisingly, I know where everything is!
5. Favorite books (especially for writers)
There are several references I refer to on a regular basis, but the top five books I use are:
1. The Flip Dictionary by Barbara Ann Kipfer, Ph.D.
2. The Chicago Manual of Style (15th Edition)
3. Random House Writer’s Reference
4. The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits
6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you
1. I love Doritos and Pepsi on a Saturday night, with a good movie.
2. I’m afraid of speaking in front of a large group.
3. After 42 years, I still suck my thumb when I can’t get to sleep.
7. Favorite quote
“Never allow anyone to become your priority while you become their option.”
8. Best and worst part of being a writer
I’ve yet to experience anything too bad about being a writer. As with anything else, I take the negativity with a grain of salt and keep it moving. The best part of being a writer is being able to touch people with my novels. It’s a good feeling when a reader sends me an emailing telling me how much they were moved by my words.
9. Advice for other writers
Research the business of publishing. Continue to hone your writing skills. Learn from the mistakes of others.
Where can people buy your books?
All of my titles are available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Borders.com, and other online retailers, as well as in bookstores everywhere. To learn more about my novels, and me, you may visit www.JessicaTilles.com. To learn more about Xpress Yourself Publishing and its authors, please visit www.XpressYourselfPublishing.org. Also visit www.TheWritersAssistant.com to view samples of work I’ve done for other authors.