Dellani Oakes doesn’t claim to be an expert on anything, but she has a lot of experience making something out of nothing. Thrown into the world of publishing six years ago, she found that trying to promote her work was the hardest part of being an author. Since then, she’s branched out, lost her inhibitions and faced the publishing world head on.
Would you rather win the lottery, or end up writing the next big book?
As much as I would love to win the lotto, if I wrote the next big book, it would validate all the time and effort I’ve put into this venture since I started. I know that not everyone thinks what I do is important or worth the effort. I realize that some members of my family don’t see it as “real work”. Writing a book that is widely accepted and making real money off it would be fabulous. Do I count on it? No. I figure I have a slightly better chance of winning the lotto.
What influenced or inspired you to write?
Ever since I learned how to talk, I’ve told stories. When I was three and my sister started school, I regaled my mother with stories about my friend Snowy Green and Rainbow School. I progressed from there to short stories & humorous essays. I eventually embraced play writing in college and fell in love with dialogue. I never lost that love and I use dialogue in my novels for characterization, plot advancement, etc. I started writing my first novel in 1988, but have yet to finish it. It’s a story that’s worth pursuing – sometime when I have the patience to dig into it and retype it all. The file is so old, it’s save din MS-DOS on a 5” floppy!
Do you have only one WIP, or do you bounce around between projects?
I decidedly bounce. I like variety and my muse tends to be somewhat ADHD, so it loses momentum on one idea and hops to another. I have many finished projects and many more that aren’t. However, one day, all those stories will be told.
Are you self-taught, or did you study writing in school?
I guess I’m kind of a combination. I didn’t study writing per se, but I was a theatre major first – and wrote plays. I went back to school and picked up a degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English.
However, I got my best background at home. My father was a college English professor. My mom was an elementary school teacher and both of them wrote – though their work was non-fiction. My father also edited for the University Press of Mississippi and I assisted him on editing several books. His knowledge gave me a firm foundation on the best way to express myself verbally.
If you were going to cast the main characters of your book, who would get the part?
I have three books out, so I’d like to share cast of all three.
Indian Summer—historical romance set in St. Augustine in 1739:
Manuel – Kevin Alejandro and Gabriella – Emily Browning
Lone Wolf—futuristic romance (sci-fi adventure):
Wil – Warren Christie and Matilda – Angelina Jolie
The Ninja Tattoo – romantic suspense:
Teague – Eric Winter and Vivica – Sarah Shahi
What would be the last genre you’d ever consider writing in?
The very last genre that I would write – Horror. I have far too vivid an imagination and I would give myself nightmares.
If you could share a romantic evening with any character from romance literature (any genre),
who would it be and what would you do to him/her (ahem! With him/her)?
I know this sounds self-serving, but I would love to spend it with Teague from The Ninja Tattoo. He’s sweet, sexy and (according to Vivica) great in bed. I’ve had many readers fall in love with him and I’m half in love with him myself. I’d like to get to know him better – way better!
What comes first for you: plot or character?
It varies per story. Mostly, I get an idea and sit down to write. I am a very organic, free form writer. I get a starting idea – usually a compelling first line – and run with it. I don’t plot and plan. I don’t outline, I don’t know where my stories are going most of the time, but the characters lead me where I need to go.
Dellani once told her publisher that she had enough books, finished & unfinished, to keep him busy for the next 10 years. He didn’t believe her, but he should have. Two novels, Indian Summer and Lone Wolf are published by Second Wind Publishing, but she has 42 finished romance novels and at least that many (she won’t count them) that are still in the works.
One of the 42, a romantic suspense, The Ninja Tattoo, came out September 24, 2012, from Tirgearr Publishing.
The sequel to Lone Wolf, Shakazhan, is coming soon from Second Wind.
Dellani Oakes is a former A.P. English teacher, photo-journalist. She’s an avid reader & reviews the work of others. She hosts two shows for the Red River Radio Network – Dellani’s Tea Time the second Monday of each month, @ 4:00 PM Eastern and What’s Write for Me, every fourth Wednesday @ 3:00 PM Eastern on Blog Talk Radio.
Indian Summer – In the spring of 1739, Gabriella Deza stands poised on the verge of womanhood. A product of her guarded upbringing, she is naive in the ways of love until dashing Manuel Enriques declares his love for her. By accident, Gabriella uncovers the plot of British spy. Manuel embarks on a dangerous mission to save the town from being overthrown by the British. When Manuel lays an elaborate snare for the spy, Gabriella herself is caught in trap.
Lone Wolf – The year is 3032 and humans have expanded far beyond Earth’s galaxy. Matilda Dulac is a member of the Galactic Mining Guild. With her lover, Marc Slatterly, she works in a small mining ship in deep space. Their well ordered life if suddenly thrown into chaos when one miner arrives with a load of Trimagnite, a highly toxic liquid ore. Enter the Lone Wolf. Wil VanLipsig, known as the Lone Wolf, arrives to take the Trimagnite off their hands. Is it a coincidence for him to show up on Marc’s ship years after Marc thought he’d killed Wil? Or is this the beginning of something far more insidious? The Lone Wolf is book one in Dellani’s sci-fi series.
The Ninja Tattoo is a contemporary romantic suspense set in Florida. Teague McMurtry spent the last six years of his life in the Army. Finally having enough of killing, he comes home, thinking he’s put the nightmare behind him. When he meets beautiful and sultry Vivica Rambo, he thinks his life is taking a turn for the better. Little does Teague know that he’s been targeted for death by a violent biker gang led by Vivica’s psychotic older brother. Now Teague must put his skills to the test to protect himself and the woman he loves.
Where can we find out more about you?
I’m on Facebook, so look for me there – http://www.facebook.com/dellanioakes
And I have several blogs:
Dellani Oakes WordPress site http://dellanioakes.wordpress.com
Writer’s Sanctuary http://writersanctuary.blogspot.com
Dellani’s Choice Book Reviews http://dellanischoice.wordpress.com