I’m happy to have Nana Malone here at Smexy today. We are talking about her debut book, Game,Set,Match.
Game,Set,Match is your debut novel. Tell us about your road to publication. Was it bumpy or smooth sailing? Totally smooth sailing.
Ha! I wish. When I started writing 11 years ago, I thought I’d have a book written in a month, sell it a month after that and be a NYT bestseller in no time. Clearly I’d lost my mind. The reality was, I had a lot to learn about plot and characterization and the business of writing. 11 years, 3 manuscripts, and 157 rejections later, I finally achieved my goal.
The hero Jason is a tennis superstar. I haven’t read many books where tennis is the focus. What made you choose that sport?
My mother spent a good amount of time in England after she left Ghana and fell in love with the sport. Consequently, as I grew up, if it was summer and there was a TV on in our house, there was tennis showing. It’s the first sport I learned to watch for fun.
The issue of race is prominent in this book as Izzy is black trying to adopt a white son. Was it challenging writing a book that centers around this strong issue?
It’s always a challenge writing about strong issues. You want to keep things realistic but you also don’t want the issues to overwhelm or overshadow the story. As a writer, I tried to treat the adoption just like every other conflict. In the real world, Izzy and Jason would have to deal with issues of race as well as class. But being a woman of color, I can say race does not dominate my life. It’s just another part of me. Occasionally issues do arise, but they don’t’ overshadow my overall life experience. I wanted to portray Izzy in the same way.
Izzy is a photographer and after looking at your website, it looks like you are as well! Is it a hobby or more than that?
I’ve always loved photography. Growing up I carried a book and my camera with me everywhere. Shoot I still do, but writing is where my heart is.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Writing full time with an agent. Working on my tenth book. I’m a little insane about goals. Can you tell?
Who are some authors that have inspired you to write romance?
Oh boy. So many…Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Sandra Brown, Helen Fielding. Misty Evans, Eve Vaughn. Kimberly Kaye Terry.
What three books would have take with you if you were forced to live on a deserted island?
No. I can’t choose just three. Lucky for you, I’m a rule follower by nature. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee, Kaffir Boy – Mark Matherbane, Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
I would never be able to just pick three either ;) Your bio states you like reality television – what are some of your favorite shows?
Oh God, you’re going to have me expose all my dirty little secrets? Okay, I’m copping to the Real Housewives, (especially the New York City gals). My Life on the D-List, Amazing Race. I also used to watch Making the Band. Now I’ve graduated to So You Think You Can Dance. And if you promise to keep this just between us, I’ll also cop to occasional episodes of Tool Academy.
What is up next for you?
I’m currently writing my first series centered around three best friends. It’s going to be a little hotter. Not quite erotica, but definitely sizzling.
Thanks so much Nana Malone!!
Nana has offered an E-Book of Game,Set,Match to one commenter. To enter, just leave a comment. Contest open to everyone through Wednesday, October 13th.