Pg.59 was given the opportunity to find out a little more about Alretha Thomas, the author of our book give away this month. We hope you enjoy the interview as much as we did and support her by purchasing a copy of her book!
Book: “Dancing Her Dreams Away”
About the book:
(Pg.59) Briefly, tell us a little about your book and what inspired you to write it.
(A.T.) “Dancing Her Dreams Away” takes place in 1985 and is about a young woman named Shelia King who wants to be a star. She never knew her father and her mother wasn’t around very much. Her only living and know relative is her religious grandmother who raised her. Outside of her grandmother, she’s closest to her best friend Edwina. Shelia’s dream seems within reach when her agent tells her about a part in a movie. The only caveat, she would have to be topless. Not wanting to disappoint her grandmother, she declines. She eventually reconsiders and meets the producer, Gregory Livingston III. He’s rich, handsome, and blows her away. She gets the part and his heart. However, when the movie wraps there’s a screening and the images on the screen are not what she remembers filming. These images send her into a tailspin and I can’t tell too much more, or I’ll give away the story. I wrote “Dancing Her Dreams Away” almost a year ago. A lot of readers who had read my debut novel “Daughter Denied” wanted me to write the sequel to that novel. I set out to do so, but it just wasn’t jiving. I wasn’t feeling it. Then I took some time to pray and meditate and to think about something that was really close to my heart, and I remembered twenty-five years ago when I was pursuing acting, and I needed a night job, so I could audition during the day. I got a job in a dance hall. It’s called taxi-dancing and was popular in the twenties and thirties. It’s where men pay by the minute to talk and dance with girls. I worked there for a minute, and like Shelia, I was driven to become famous. Deep down, like Shelia, I was trying to fill a hole within that was there because of the abuse I had suffered as a child.
(Pg.59) Who do you hope or want to connect with by writing this book?
(A.T.) I want to connect with women who missed out on that first love, the love of a father. Every young girl needs to experience unconditional love from a man, and that first man should be her father. It provides a young girl with a foundation and a sense of self-worth. When you don’t have it, like the cliché, you look for love in all the wrong places. I want these women to know that they don’t have to look for love and fulfillment in bad relationships, alcohol, drugs, gambling, or validation from others. I want them to know that they have intrinsic value.
(Pg.59) Who was your favorite character?
(A.T.) My favorite character is Shelia because she reminds me of myself twenty-five years ago.
(Pg.59) Will there be additional books in this series or likeness?
(A.T.) I’m not sure. Possibly. It has to come from within. I have started writing a third novel titled “Love in the Nick of Nine” about a twenty-nine year old woman determined to meet and fall in love with “The One” before she turns thirty and she’ll be thirty in nine months.
Now on to you:
(Pg.59) What inspired you to become an author?
(A.T.) As a child, I loved reading, and I always wanted to write a book about a young girl who grows up in a dysfunctional home and through sheer determination and the grace of God, she overcomes her background and becomes successful. I wrote that novel. It’s called “Daughter Denied.” It’s my debut novel. I wrote it in 1999, but it wasn’t published until 2008. After that, I was hooked.
(Pg.59) Where do you draw your inspiration to write? (Certain place, environment, people??)
(A.T.) My inspiration is from within. I have a ton of stories percolating inside me dying to get out. LOL!
(Pg.59) Did you have moments of writers block? If so, how do you handle it?
(A.T.) Writing comes very easily to me. I have never experienced writers block.
(Pg.59) What advice do you have for upcoming writers, authors, editors? (Something you wish someone would have told you).
(A.T.) Believe in your work and be passionate about it. However, be open to constructive criticism and if that means brushing up on your craft, be willing to do so. I had to go back to the drawing board (brush up on the craft of writing) on my second novel and I’m glad I did. It ended up being a much better book.
(Pg.59) What one thing would you like people to know about you?
(A.T.) That I am more grateful then they would ever know when they buy my book and when they give me positive feedback.
(Pg.59) How can people follow your work and get in contact with you?
Thank you so much for allowing us to speak with you!