Romance With a Dose of Sweet Sugar and a Dash of Steamy Spice!

Romance With a Dose of Sweet Sugar and a Dash of Steamy Spice!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

OWNING YOUR OTHER: The Importance of Women’s Stories, Voices and Careers in Writing

Hello Friends, and welcome back to my blog! I recently had the pleasure of participating in Dr. Charlene Walters’ OWN YOUR OTHER Inspirational Women Series. Charlene and I spoke about a range of topics, from the importance of telling women’s stories to the impact that women writers have on the world. Click the link below to read all about it!

Since I have become a part of social media’s writing community, I've met many wonderful, supportive people who are doing amazing work. Dr. Charlene Walters is certainly one of them. She is an accomplished author, speaker, and business and branding mentor who’s an inspiration to many. During my interview, I shared with her what being a writer means to me, where I’m hoping this journey will take me, and how "owning my other" has affected my life. Keep reading for more.

My "OYO" Inspirational Women
Series Interview

Charlene: You have such an interesting background. Can you tell us a little more about yourself?

Denise: Well I was born and raised in Chicago, and I grew up in a household filled with books. Both of my parents were voracious readers, and they made sure that my sister and I spent plenty of time at the library, in books clubs, etc. That’s how I developed a love of storytelling. Even as a child I envisioned myself as a writer, and after earning a bachelor’s degree in English, I began writing my first novel. Romance is my favorite genre, and my storylines are oftentimes inspired by the holidays (especially Christmas), the complexities of relationships, and the beautiful city of Los Angeles.

Charlene: You are a successful published author. What was that process like for you and why do you think writing is a good career for women?

Denise: I’ve been publishing books for years, so I have experienced pretty much every aspect of the industry. I’ve had various agents and managers, and have been published both traditionally and independently. The process has changed over time, but one thing that remains the same is my intention to write fulfilling, high-quality stories. I’m always studying the business and working to hone my craft.

I believe that writing is a good career for women because it’s such a creative, effective way for us to share our knowledge, history, wisdom and experiences. Writing is essential in ensuring that our voices are heard, and many women benefit from its therapeutic elements as well.

Charlene: Can you tell us a little bit about some of your books?

Denise: All of my books have a romantic element, and the sub-genres vary from contemporary, to second-chance romance, to fantasy, etc. The storylines run the gamut as well. For example, my chick-lit novel I WISH I NEVER MET YOU chronicles a woman’s journey as she experiences one dating disaster after another. WARDS OF THE WOMEN is a romantic suspense novel about women who buy men from a prison to fulfill their every need.

I’ll be releasing a sweet winter-themed romance before the end of the year that’s set in a cozy German town. My series SHE GETS WHAT SHE WANTS, which is about a jilted midwestern woman who believes she can conquer Hollywood so she does, will be released early next year. I’m currently working on the sequel.

Charlene: What is your favorite book (of all those you've written) and why?

Denise: My favorite book that I’ve written is I WISH I NEVER MET YOU, which was published by Simon & Schuster in 2004. I love this one because I felt so free while writing it. I allowed myself to say whatever I wanted, and that was very liberating. My main character could be pretty vengeful at times, and I have to admit, that was pretty fun to write lol. The book is such a wild ride, and it’s filled with humor, drama and emotion. I like to think that it contains a bit of everything that makes for good entertainment.

Charlene: Tell us more about what you're up to and have done as a screenwriter?

Denise: One of the most exciting projects I’ve worked on is a teleplay based on I WISH I NEVER MET YOU. I had just as much fun writing it as I did the novel. The pilot is adapted from the first chapter of the book, “Doug the Heinous Dragon.” My manager and I are currently shopping that, and I’m also collaborating with my publisher on a couple of film proposals based on my novels.

Charlene: Why do you think it's important to tell women's stories?

Denise: Women are the heartbeat of society. We make up the majority of the population, yet our voices continue to be under-represented. Telling our stories allows us to create a narrative that will teach, inspire and motivate the masses. It is an effective way to bring awareness of our history, experiences, diversity and intentions to a broader audience. And I think that sharing women’s stories is imperative in order to continue pushing our agenda/movement forward.

Charlene: In my memoir, I talk about owning your “other” or alternate life path- the one that you somehow ended up on instead of the one you had originally envisioned. Have you experienced any others in your life? If so, what have you done to own them?

Denise: I have definitely experienced others in my life. The main one is the notion that I’d be married with children before the age of thirty. Thanks to society, I think that many women believe this will be their story. I own my other by realizing that this simply wasn’t my path. My writing career ended up taking centerstage, and I must say, I’m okay with that.

Charlene: Who has most inspired you in your life? Why? 

Denise: I have to give that credit to my mother. She has been my biggest supporter throughout my life and has always had my back no matter what. When it comes to my writing career, she’s one of very few people who believed in my success early on and encouraged me to keep pushing, regardless of the rejections, setbacks and disappointments. My mother has consistently rooted for me, brainstormed with me, helped negotiate deals, etc. For those reasons (and more), I will forever be inspired by and grateful for her.

Charlene: Is there anything else that you'd like to share with the readers? 

Denise: The world is going through such a challenging time right now. As artists, I believe that it is our duty to share our gifts with the world. Whether it be books, poetry, music or visual art, these contributions can help bring a sense of peace and healing to others. Several of my publishers have put books on sale and even made certain selections available for free, which I think is wonderful. And as a writer, I’m honored to be a part of these efforts.

For more on Charlene and her entrepreneurial mission, CLICK HERE.

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