I'm always excited to hear about new authors and this month we have a special treat for you with an especially hot author and a very cool book just in time for summer reading.
Meet T.A. Ford.
A wonderful author who should be an inspiration to all aspiring storytellers wanting to share their work through publication. As she shared her own story, I couldn't help being amazed at her determination to push the naysayers aside and continue to bring her story to publication on her own terms despite the standard industry roadblocks standing in her way. Now her debut novel is a favorite among readers and is still being shared through word of mouth (not to mention, it skipped a few books to the top of my TBR pile hehe). Ms. T, my hats off to you! :-)
Born in the beautiful city of Miami, Florida Ms. Ford began writing at the early age of eight. The oldest of two children with a schoolteacher for a mother, she was taught the power of words and of the countless adventures that could be found between the pages of a book.
An avid reader of romantic fiction and lover of television soap operas, Ms. Ford adapted the online persona of ‘The Diva’, and began blogging in 2005. Constantly frustrated by the inadequate portrayal of women of color in daytime TV, she created an online community known as Divasnluv, where new and published writers shared their stories. As ‘The Diva’ she wrote fanfiction and promoted fantastic tales off of characters either ignored or poorly written for on her favorite shows. Within a year her blogging and popularity grew, and so did the demand for her work.
Ms. Ford has written over 40 Chick Lit stories centered on multi-cultural romance. Now, she enters the world of publishing with the release of her first novel, Zoé. This historical romance captures Ms. Ford’s ability to transform an unlikely heroine into every woman’s inspiration.
Ms. Ford is currently working on two projects: a contemporary romance and a murder mystery, both to be released in 2008. Plans are also underway to transform her most popular online work, an eight-segment series about the unlikely romance between an African American fashion designer and an Irish-Italian Mafia kingpin, into print in 2009.
T.A. Ford lives in southern Georgia and is the proud aunt of three. She is employed as a Product Development Manager for an online technology company, and enjoys the arts, writing, and blogging. To stay up to date with her book signings and future release dates, please click here.I had a virtual sit down with T.A. and offered her some questions for insight on her work, her writing process and also what she has in store for future projects.
Q: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
Fortunately, it was decided for me. I just didn’t realize it until 4 years ago. My mother a retired school teacher and avid reader and poet gave me the foundation. Our shared love of words and my overactive imagination sealed the deal. Now writing is my life and I thank god for it!
Q: How would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing?
The publishing industry calls it ‘multi-cultural fiction’. Readers of my work call it Interracial Romance. I believe it to be nothing more than romantic fiction, featuring women of color and a rainbow of choices of men that love them. Funny you can pick up a Harlequin romance with a white woman and Italian man and not get the same labeling. Go figure.
Q: Do you write everyday? How much time do you spend on your writing?
Yes! I write every single day. Mostly between the hours of 3 and 6 in the morning or 6 and 9 in the evening. I actually write a lot of stories for free and run and fan fiction archive. I don’t write for fame or fortune, I write because it’s who I am. I couldn’t stop if I wanted too.
Q: What sets the book apart from the other things you have written?
Zoé is so drastically different from my non-published work, and that’s why I chose it first. First it’s a historical interracial romance set in France. Something rarely promoted from the perspective of a black woman. The experiences of Zoé are so far removed from my own, that she is truly the most original character I’ve ever written.
The story is part fantasy part factual. To tell a love story during that time period was the most rewarding and challenging endeavor I’ve ever undertaken. Remarkably enough the differences between my hero and heroine are not what endears them to you, it’s the ways they are so much the same. I love he idea of love, especially in the forbidden – and that’s what Zoé is: the forbidden. .
Q: What will your next book be about?
Surprisingly nothing like my first!. It’s called Masquerade and yes it is interracial. The heroine is a southern black girl from the bible belt South, trying to strike it big in the Big City – New York. The hero is a jaded Irish American business man ten years her senior. The story is unique in the cast of characters from Latin to Caribbean the lives they lead in New York and they ways they collide is quite a dramatic ride.
Marianne at sixteen, the younger by two years, has reached the age to marry, and must be wed first. Thus the girls are ushered from their village and presented to the mysterious, philandering Comte Julien La Roque de Toulouse. Though Zoé fears life under her stepmother’s tyranny without Marianne, she embarks, supportively, on what she believes to be a new beginning in their lives.
The Count immediately takes a shine to the tawny brown demoiselle who stands in her fair sister’s shadow. Discovering her love for poetry and preying upon her naïveté, he lures Zoé to his chamber with the promise of friendship and the exchange of poems. Soon Zoé is seduced by a surprising glimpse of the man behind the title. She finds herself deep in a passionate liaison, one that is well beyond her youthful understanding.
Desperate to cover her foolish lapse in judgment, Zoé races against time to keep the affair a secret. But when the truth is discovered by her cruel stepmother, Zoé’s hopes of rescue by her father cannot be realized, and she is forced into a bitter bargain. She must secure her sister’s betrothal by offering herself to the Count as a consolation prize.
Zoé’s attempts to return the attentions of the Count to her sister Marianne are thwarted by a visiting American slave owner, who also discovers the illicit affair. And worse, his interference brings about the sudden death of her father, who suffers a heart attack over his daughter’s betrayal.
Despite everything, Zoé believes in the Count’s feelings for her and begs him to legitimize their union. But fear, prejudice and cowardice prevent him from doing so. The day her beloved father is buried, she is sold to the American slave trader and forced into a life of certain misfortune. Her only salvation is to trust the one person who has created the labyrinth of betrayal and tragedy that had become her fate.
Learn more about T.A. Ford and her debut novel Zoe by visiting these links. Zoe is available from Amazon.com.
Author's official site: http//thedivaspen.com
Read an excerpt of Zoé
(Download Acrobat Reader here if you need it)
Watch a book video of Zoé made by a fan: