Malika Dews, pen name AKILAM, is the mother of one daughter and one son. She is from Dayton, Ohio and has quite the vision that will captivate men and women of a vast age range. She has two books currently on Amazon entitled In the Blink of a Bullet released on 12/13/2014 and Deacon Do Me Wright 1/26/2015. Each book will have a sequel this year.
Her children are also releasing a book as well under her self-published label, Drama She Writes Publishing. She also signed a three book deal with Niyah Moore of Ambiance Books on June 13th 2015.
In The Blink of a Bullet is your first published novel about a teenage girl dealing with her mother’s abuse and the puzzling hatred of her father’s girlfriend, while your next book, Deacon Do Me Wright, is erotica. How much did you consider genre in The Blink of a Bullet and what differences can readers expect between the two?
I really did not consider the genre switch as I transitioned and gave my reading audience a taste of Christian erotica. I wanted to test my versatility. The title came to me suddenly and I started to write. Just shy of two weeks later it was sent to my test reader and the cover was completed. This will have a part two really soon.
How much unpublished work do you have lying around?
I have roughly 20 titles with half of them that already have a synopsis complete. I have a three book series I am working on now and the finale to In the Blink of a Bullet that I am still writing,
Where do you see yourself in five years in regard to the literary industry?
I see myself with several releases and with a demanding and hungry audience that respects and loves my craft. I want to be headed toward the dream of being a playwright or a writer on a sitcom.
Is there any terrible advice you’ve received for your book or career? Bad advice you’ve overheard someone else be told?
This industry is cut throat, so I tend to pay attention to the bad advice if it is constructive. If it leads to drama, I stay away. The bad advice I hear the most is to not keep your readers waiting, Give them your releases fast. Well, it is not about quantity. It is about the QUALITY of the work. It’s not wise to rush a book to please a reader. There are several steps to releasing books with the main step being editing. It’s most important to take the time to release a well thought out book.
What are your biggest concerns about the current literary world?
Being overlooked is my biggest concern. However, it’s all in how you brand yourself and get out there to make yourself known to the readers.
What trends, tactics, styles, or genres would you like to see become popular in modern writing?
I want to see more erotica that is a story not just sex. I also want to see more romance that is not contemporary.
How much do your books look like your original vision, and how much do they stray from what you had in mind?
Since I am still relatively new, I have stuck to the outline pretty well. Sometimes a story just takes a turn though be it age, character name, or some drama. I go with what feels right; what would capture my attention as a reader. It’s about what I feel would make my readers turn the page faster.
Where do you find yourself getting stuck most often—beginning, middle, or end?
The middle, that’s where the plot pretty much thickens, and starts to be juicy. I like to make sure that it’s not a plot that’s overly drawn out, with too much detail, It has to paced out just right.
If you could hire someone to do any of the writing work for you, what jobs would you assign to them?
Not one thing. I will never hire a ghostwriter. I don’t wish to take all of the credit when I just came up with the title and cover idea. I don’t wish to ever have anyone write for me. The most I will do is a collaboration.
What is an assumption people make about writing that bothers you?
They think it’s boring and or they think it’s easy. It is far from easy. It takes patience, drive, focus and a very creative mind.
Can you tell us a little about The Blink of a Bullet?
The title came from an old school phrase people often say “In the blink of an eye.” It’s about a young girl that witnesses her Mom go through domestic violence and how she has to grow up fast and protect her brother. She also has to get used to living with her father and his not so friendly girlfriend.
How fast do you tend to write? How long is your editing process?
As a mother, I can’t write as fast as I like, I also have a full time job. The editing process should be at least ten days to three weeks. After that the author should do a read through before uploading.
Do you prefer writing from a female character’s perspective or a male’s?
Female, it’s easier. As I go forth, I am sure I can write in a male perspective. That’s all a part of growth.
If you met people like your characters, would you get along?
I would get along with at least three. There’s always a bad seed in a book or shall I say, a character that is not well liked.
What was the hardest part in writing or publishing your first book?
The hardest part was I had to stop second guessing myself. I had to repeatedly tell myself that I took my time on the book, roughly ten months. I paid a professional editor, I had a professional cover done and I did the promotional footwork to get myself noticed.
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