Title: A Wanted Woman
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Synopsis: The twenty-first novel from New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey, a steamy thriller set in tropical Barbados.
Reaper is a woman of a thousand faces, an assassin who could be anyone, anywhere.
The Trinidad contract was supposed to be simple: to make a living man become a dead man. When the job goes bad under the watchful eye of a bank security camera, there is nowhere for agent MX-401, known as Reaper, to hide from the fearsome local warlords, the Laventille Killers.
Her employers, the Barbarians, send her to Barbados, the next island over, barely two hundred miles away, with the LK’s in hot pursuit of the woman who took many of their own. With the scant protection of a dank safe house, no passport, and no access to funds, an island paradise becomes her prison.
While she trawls for low-profile assignments to keep her skills sharp and a few dollars in her pocket, Reaper discovers that family ties run deep, on both sides of the fight. Will the woman everyone wants, who has lived countless lives in the service of others, finally discover who she really is?
In A Wanted Woman, New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey delivers an adrenaline-pumping rush of a read.
Author: Eric Jerome Dickey
CH: I am so pleased to present to you today, our Celebrity Guest Author, Eric Jerome Dickey, who is best known for his novels about contemporary African-American life.
CH: Eric, thank you for joining us and welcome! Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.
EJD: Reaper rocks.
CH: Tell us a little bit about your book. Where did you get the premise for the story?
EJD: So far as the premise, I was plot-shopping in Premises R Us, turned down aisle 6, saw that one under AWESOME THRILLERS, picked it up, paid for it. The rest is history.
CH: You have created a page-turning thriller of murder and romance set in tropical Barbados. Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?
EJD: Ideas come from letting the imagination run free and playing “What if?” No formula. No standard plots.
CH: A lot of your readers have been following you for years. Is it hard to create believable situations and new issues for your followers? Do you take situations from real life?
EJD: I just write, but I don’t think of what I am doing as being about “issues,” only as storytelling. You’re only limited by your imagination and so I try to never let the cart lead the horse. I keep away from real life, so far as what’s going on in the lives of the people I know. It’s a great way to avoid lawsuits.
CH: Is there a message in this novel that you want the readers to grasp?
EJD: No messages. Never a message. Just enjoy being a fly on a wall.
CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing this book?
EJD: Every book is a challenge. This isn’t as easy as it looks. It takes a lot of discipline, dedication, and green tea during the midnight hours.
CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book?
EJD: I research everything.
CH: Who was your favorite character to write?
EJD: That would be a five-way tie between Nia, Gideon, Drive, James Thicke, and Reaper, everyone else coming in a very close second. And this “favorite character” goes by the storyline, not just the description of a fictional character.
CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?
EJD: I have no idea what inspiration means. It’s a proactive occupation. You get up, you work, no matter your disposition. We all have to find a way to pay for food, clothing, and shelter. I’m lucky to be able to do something that I enjoy doing between my alpha and omega.
CH: Which character was hardest to write?
EJD: The challenge is the plot, making it move in its own way, at its own pace, not being retentive or predictable, the proper dissemination of information, not the character, and each storyline has presented its own challenge.
CH: How long does it take you to write one of your books?
EJD: It varies and depends on the novel. Some are shorter, like Genevieve, and others are more complicated and require travel and being out of my comfort zone for a season or two, like A Wanted Woman and the Gideon series.
CH: How long did it take you to write your first novel?
EJD: Twenty years. LOL. I have no idea. I don’t keep up with the time. Less than a year, months of rewriting, but I had a full-time job and many other interests at that time. Still I set a deadline at some point, a great habit I picked from when I worked in aerospace. Every project needs to have an end-date.
Eric reading at the Gaithersburg Book Festival.
Cheryl Holloway and Eric Jerome Dickey at Gaithersburg (MD) Book Festival in May 2014.
CH: I enjoyed meeting you at the Gaithersburg (MD) Book Festival. You’ve had an impeccable publishing journey, along with many followers. Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
EJD: Years. It took years. Missteps, bad contracts, lawsuits, and the show goes on. People tend to focus on being published, but the journey is about learning the craft. Everyone who owns a knife isn’t qualified to be a surgeon. The journey was the transition from engineering to getting back into UCLA to try and reinvent myself, with no guarantee. It’s a labor of love, not an easy money occupation. Nothing is guaranteed. You can write your heart out and never sell more than a handful of books. It’s a long road, and will be a different journey for all, but the thing all have in common is discipline and determination.
CH: As far as accolades or achievements, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?
EJD: Well, nothing compares to completing the first novel. Completing the novel, and not necessarily getting published. When you have done it and are holding it like it’s a newborn child.
CH: What authors do you read? And who are some of your favorites?
EJD: I read across the board. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I never name names.
CH: What kind of advice do you have for those aspiring to write? If you had to give them a blueprint for success, what would that be?
EJD: Study the craft. It’s an occupation. Think of it as an engineering job. You have to study the basics and work your way up to the advanced level. But you have to rely on your imagination. Follow the trends or become a trailblazer, it’s all up to you.
CH: As a NY Times bestselling author, you’ve written twenty-one novels, which book was hardest to write?
EJD: No idea. Again, they all have their own challenges. I made it to #30 on all of them, so that’s the thing that makes me smile.
CH: Please tell my audience where they can find your website.
EJD: My website is www.ericjeromedickey.com and from there you can link me on social media.
CH: Where are your books sold?
EJD: In all bookstores and online. Pick your favorite book-buying spot and/or format and the novels/audio should be there waiting on you.
CH: Any closing remarks?
EJD: Enjoy Reaper!
CH: Eric Jerome Dickey, thank you so much for sharing your literary journey and your latest book with my audience.
EJD: You are welcome, Cheryl.
Note: Photos are compliments of Eric Jerome Dickey and the Internet.
CH: Share it, if you like it. I’m counting on you!