Today, I welcome author L.A. Lewis to my blog. Her book, Double Down and Dirty, was released in October 2016. Check out an excerpt after the interview. You can purchase Double Down and Dirty on Amazon.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is L.A. Lewis. I’m a mother of two children and the wife on a very supportive husband. I’m also the proud author of three novels, two inspirational books, one daily devotional, and contributing author to three very successful anthologies. I’m also a new blogger and I’m currently working on a Youtube series based off of my blog series titled “Secrets From the Bayou.” I have a crazy life, but I’m enjoying every moment of it.
Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Bogalusa, Louisiana, but I now call Baton Rouge home.
Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
My dream is to one day write full time, but my life’s not set up that way right now. I’m an Instructional Specialist at a local elementary school. Finding time to write is a big challenge because both of my children are very active in sports, so time is something I don’t have a lot of at the moment. I use what’s available. Sometimes I type on my iPhone while waiting on one of my children to finish practice, other times I’ll stay up late, not a morning person so rising early isn’t an option.
What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)
The best advice I received was to read as much as I write. The worse advice I received came from a NYT bestselling author who let me know her advice isn’t free. She offered nothing.
What fuels you as an author to continue to write?
Life is my biggest fuel. Writing is an escape for me. Sometimes real life can become a bit too much, and I need an outlet, something I can somewhat control, I say somewhat because the characters are really in control.
How do you conceive your plot ideas?
I get ideas from everywhere. Normally, it’s from a conversation or a real-life experience. I also get ideas from reading other books. Not that I’m stealing, but sometimes something will happen that will spark a “what if” in my mind.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I just start writing. For me, outlining stifles my creativity. I start typing and allow the characters to take over from there. I type as they speak.
Please tell us about your current release.
My current release is titled “Double Down and Dirty.” It explores the life of Jade Bordeaux who escaped her Southern Baptist family and moved to New York. Jade knew her family would never respect the choices she made or the secret she kept. The Big Apple and her new modeling career proved to be more adventurous than her life in Baton Rouge. Excitement flowed through everything ,especially in the form of handsome CEO Sean Wright. Dating him takes an unfortunate turn when his sister’s dance to the rhythm of revenge becomes a tune she’s hell-bent on sharing with her family and the people they love.
In a matter of weeks, Jade’s life takes an uncertain and dangerous turn. Nothing prepared her for the call which stirs emotions Jade thought she’d buried. The former Governor of Louisiana has denied her existence since birth and now makes a life-altering request that fills Jade with resentment. Jade built her success and happiness by making hard choices, even ones that cause heartbreak. Unfortunately, she never imagined that any of those choices could lead to the death of someone she loves.
Jade soon learns in the game of life, sometimes playing Double Down and Dirty is the only way to win.
What inspired you to write this book?
When I first started, this was not the story I intended to write. I was writing a story about two sisters, one moved to New York and the other one stayed in Baton Rouge. I was telling their story, but then I realized that storyline has been written to death, so I needed to come up with something different. I kept Jade, and started thinking of why she moved to New York and what’s her life like. The more I started thinking, the more the ideas started flowing.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I did a ton of research for this book. I’ve never been to New York so I had to talk with Facebook friends who live in New York and watch a bunch of Youtube videos. I also stayed on Mapquest to make sure my distance from one place to the other was accurate. Writing this book was much harder than the others that’s based here in Baton Rouge.
Which of your characters is your favorite?
Do you dislike any of them? Jade is my favorite character. I love that she’s feisty and determined. She fears nothing and goes after what she wants no matter what.
If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
I would definitely be Jade Bordeaux. Jade’s fearless, she’s determined, she says whatever’s on her mind. She’s the opposite of me in terms of speaking up for herself.
Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?
I like to write with my laptop in my bed.
An electric kind of energy flashed throughout her body. That was certainly a concern. She had learned when and how to play it safe. And Sean was as dangerous as they came. Having been an employee of an upscale escort service, she knew the hard fact that those at the top of the food chain were equally as slimy as those who were willing to do whatever it took to get there.
Jade had shielded herself from unwanted advances—of which there were many. But years of going without a human touch had built up something inside of her that needed to be extinguished. A man like Sean Wright would be a perfect choice, but there was no way she would go there. Being with a man like him came with too many problems.
She steadied her breathing and her voice. “Go ahead.”
“You care to tell me the real reason you don’t want to work with me?”
“Is that why we’re here?” Jade questioned, trying to keep her voice level. “I hope not because my time is valuable, and I don’t need to waste it by entertaining that question.”
“I believe in making the most of an opportunity. If I have a question, I ask. So, do you plan on providing an answer or should I just assume that you don’t have a reason at all?”
Her eyes met his. “I didn’t make it clear the first, second, and third time?”
“You don’t feel it’s the right job for you,” he smirked. “But we both know that’s not it at all.”
“Okay, then I’ll be honest,” she shot back. “I don’t like the way you do business. I don’t like that money means more to you than people. You’re not the type of person I’m interested in dealing with. Does the truth satisfy you?”
Sean was silent for a few spells, then, “And you came to this conclusion based on what? Because if I recall, you’ve never done business with me.” He closed the distance between them. “So cut the bullshit and tell me what is it about me that frightens you so much,” he snapped.
“Nothing frightens me,” she countered. “But I am wise, and wisdom tells me to steer clear of you.” She stepped back and didn’t realize how close she was to the wall.
“So that’s it.” He inched closer. “You’re not afraid of doing business with me. What scares you is the fact that we’re very much alike. Isn’t that right? We both know what we want and would risk it all to make it happen. What frightens you the most,” his mouth nearly touched hers, “is knowing what will happen if you let your guard down.” His lips lightly brushed against hers and she trembled with an anticipation so strong she almost reached up and pulled him to her.
Then he abruptly moved away, walked toward the circular staircase, but tossed over his shoulder, “I believe you said there was more for me to see.”
L.A. Lewis, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is the author of Dirty Little Secrets, Dirty Little Secrets II: Expect the Unexpected, and Double Down and Dirty. She’s a contributing author to Motherhood Diaries, a literary award-winning anthology. L.A. Lewis is a member of M-LAS, Macro Literary All-Stars, a writing support group formed by National Bestselling Author, Naleighna Kai. Together they’ve published a reference book for authors and aspiring authors titled, Baring it All: The Ins and Outs of Publishing.