Friends – things are super crazy in the Covington house as I prepare to head to San Diego in a couple of weeks for the Romance Writers of America conference and the glitzy gala for the RITA awards. In case you didn’t know, the RITA’s are like the Oscars – but for romance writing – and I’m still pinching myself that I got the call and that my book, ONE LITTLE KISS, was nominated in best novella category.
That calls for a celebration . . . right? I thought so too.
So, for the next two weeks I’m going to feature one of my fellow nominees and give away their nominated book. And one very lucky reader will win a $25 Amazon GC!
Today I’m featuring the amazing ALYSSA COLE – author of the nominated novella, LET IT SHINE.
- Give us your “call” story. Where were you when you got the RITA call?
I was home at work. I live in another country, so when I saw the call coming I kind of knew. But then when I picked up, it was my friend Courtney Milan (who had randomly been assigned to call me!) and I FREAKED OUT. That made it really special. I would have been really happy to get the call from anyone, but because it was a friend, I was able to act like a complete fool. When I got off the phone, everything hit me and I just started crying from happiness, which my dogs did not understand at all and led to some canine confusion.
- Everyone has a gateway romance novel that turned them into a diehard fan – what was your book and when did you first read it?
Honestly, this is pretty hard. I’ve always loved the idea of romance, for as long as I could remember, and sought it out in everything from fairy tales to movies. I started reading adult novels pretty early, but I guess one of my first romantic influences was Beverly Cleary’s Fifteen, which was the complete opposite of anything I knew as a kid growing up in Jersey City, but made me so happy.
- What book are you working on right now?
I’m working on my novella for the historical I’m part of (Daughters of a Nation: A Black Suffragette Romance Anthology, with Piper Huguley, Kianna Alexander, and Lena Hart, out in November), and the second book of my Civil War romance series (the first book, An Extraordinary Union, comes out in early 2017).
- Tell us about your nominated novella!
My novella, Let It Shine, was part of an anthology (with the fabulous authors I listed in my previous answer) called The Brightest Day: A Juneteenth Historical Romance Anthology. I’d had the idea for a long time though. A few years back, Mississippi released a lot of stuff that had been classified, and some of that was the mugshots of the Freedom Riders, nonviolent resistors who integrated the country’s buslines, most of them ending up in prison in Mississippi. Seeing the faces of these young people and reading their stories was really moving, and then I thought, “I bet some of them fell in love.” That’s how Sofie and Ivan were born. Sofie is a young woman who plays the part of the good black girl. Ivan is a Jewish boxer, and her former childhood friend (her mom worked as a domestic for his mom), who knows that there’s more to her than the meek woman she’s become. They both get involved in Civil Rights activism, by chance, and fall in love in the process!
Find out everything about Alyssa on her website: https://alyssacole.com
Do you want to win a copy of Alyssa’s awesome book? Hop on over to my Facebook page and leave a comment on the post with her graphic. Here’s the link for my page.
And if you want to enter to win the $25 Amazon GC – use this rafflecopter . .