Once again Sydney Tarr has commandeered my blog but I am not mad at her y’all because she came with her third interview from the team that wrote Because My Heart Said So, A Friends-To-Lovers Collection being released on June 15th and available for pre-order on Amazon now for a discounted price until release day. Today she is speaking to the captivating author Ms. Rae Lamar. Have at it Sydney!
Sydney: Hi Ms. Lamar, I’m really happy to meet you. I have to tell you I’ve actually read the Aris Series (at Lily’s prompting) and I loved the books. After reading your work I heard that you’ve been writing for a long time and that you’d published several books before the Aris Series hit the market. Is that true?
Rae: Hi Sydney! It’s great to meet you too. And please, call me Rae. I’m so glad to hear you loved the series; thanks so much. And yes, I have been writing for a while. I released my debut novel, Unlike Me, in 2010, and you know what happened after that? Not a damn thing. lol At the time, I was so excited about finally finishing my first book that I didn’t focus on much else. Marketing, promotion and all that? I stumbled through every bit of it. Not the best way to introduce myself and make a splash in the indie space. lol I definitely learned the hard way, but it gets a little easier with every release.
Sydney: I’ve heard several people say that you have a unique voice in African-American romance novels. I’m curious if you agree with that assessment or if you think it resonates particularly to the Aris stories?
Rae: Wow. I really appreciate that several people have said that about me. It’s what I’ve been striving for since I started—to offer a fresh take on common tropes with every novel I write. Practice makes progress and I still have a lot of growing to do as a writer. I wonder if that assessment only resonates with Aris like you mentioned. Maybe it’s because that series is the culmination of everything I’ve done wrong and everything I’ve done well over time. I really don’t know, Sydney. I’m just sincerely grateful for the compliment…that just made my day!
Sydney: I heard you were a latecomer to this collaboration. How did you get involved and what made you say yes to the partnership?
Rae: Nia was the first I discovered back in early 2013 when I read Commitment. I heard the buzz around Jacinta in summer 2014 (Better Than Okay & Happiness In Jersey) and then the same with Lily (Sticky Moon) shortly after. I LOVE their work! You’ve read their books, right? The depth of their characters, the raw emotion in the stories they tell? Sheeeiiit…they made me want to go sit my ass down in a corner somewhere. lol Seriously, they are exceptionally talented writers. So you already know I did my celebratory booty dance when I got the invitation to join them in this collaboration. Nia inboxed me one day out of nowhere, and I said yes before I even had time to really process it. But I really didn’t have to. I said yes because I’d already decided that I wanted to push myself and do something different this year, and I believed that this partnership was the best way for me to make that happen. What I didn’t expect was the synergy. It was effortless. I was a latecomer, but I never once felt that way. Working with them was really cool but getting to know them was even better. The connection was genuine; they embraced me from the start. And to discover that they appreciate f-bombs as much as I do? Yeah. It was meant to be.
Sydney: If you could use a few words to describe the other authors during this process what would they be?
Rae: Candid. Concerned. Curious. Comical. Ha! Look at that. They all start with a c. I have no idea why or how that happened.
Sydney: The name of your story in Because My Heart Said So is ‘Blur’. Hmmmm, sounds like someone’s confused or missing the obvious. Can you share what the story is about?
Rae: In one word – oops. Jade and Kyle have been knowing each other since they were answering flip phones and burning CDs while watching AJ & Free. Growing up together produced a special bond where the love they have for each other is a given. It’s a tried and true friendship that followed them into their twenties, one that never went beyond a forehead kiss…until Jade returns home after living out-of-state for a few years and Kyle agrees to help her get settled and get over her broken heart. It starts off innocently enough…but then one of them crosses the line and both are left to wonder where they really stand with each other.
Sydney: All the other authors in the collaboration have shared with me that you are hands down the person with some of the wittiest one-liners in her writing. Is writing with humor an important part of your creative process or are you just naturally droll?
Rae: Naturally droll? Hmm… I like that. Can I steal it?
I wouldn’t say that humor is a part of my creative process, but I’m always clowning with my family and friends so I guess some of my goofiness may occasionally find its way into my stories.
Sydney: Thanks for stopping by to talk.
Rae: We’re done already? Cool. Thanks for making this so easy, Sydney. *hugs* You’re all right with me.
About Rae Lamar:
I live in Atlanta where I spend many of my days facilitating interactive workshops that help others on their journey to becoming the best version of themselves. When that’s over, I play in traffic for about an hour until I reach the south side where I decompress with family and friends before I escape for the night to read, write or watch scripted television because I can’t live without stories. On a perfect day, I can be found on the top floor of a swanky beach resort, sitting on the balcony of an ocean-front suite with a book in my hands and food at my fingertips. SN: I rarely have perfect days.
Amazon Author Page here
Join Nia, Jacinta, Lily, and Rae in the Because My Heart Said So… Facebook group about the book here and get exclusive content, excerpts, giveaways, and secret writer’s tales about the collaboration and how each story came to be, #4Writers4Love.