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Naima Simone sits down with Luscious and gives us the scoop!

by on January 15, 2013

Naima Simone stopped by today and she brought some goodies with her. Of course she brought her new pretty and yes I am excited to show off her new book cover. She has a new release with Ellora’s Cave and I have to say Hot Damn with emphasis on the hot.  If you haven’t had a chance to pick up one of her books, honestly you really should she is one of my go to writers, guaranteed to weave a great story. Not only is she a phenomenal author but her sense of humor is off the chain. I’m glad and thank her for  deciding to step over to the Luscious side and sit down with me. Check out her interview below.

  1. Give us a brief introduction:  Who are you and what do you do?

Hi! *waving* I’m Naima Simone and I write romance novels. Hot, erotic contemporaries and sensual romantic suspense…even though that one was a bit of a challenge for me. I had to dial back the naughty words, go from like four love scenes to a couple—couldn’t use as many F-bombs. Honestly, I think that might’ve been the hardest…

  1. How do you react to a bad review of one of your books?

Pffft. I forget ‘em as soon as I read ‘em. Like do I remember how someone said my book was “predictable”? “Or when one person wrote, “I don’t see what the big deal is.” Or my personal favorite: “Don’t download this book. It’s free but you’ll only up her ratings.” Nah. I read those and let them go…Yeah… LOL! No really, some bad reviews sting more than others, but I try not to let them get to me. Usually I get some greasy shrimp egg foo yung and shake it off. Hee-hee! Especially when the review isn’t constructive. I swear, sometimes I think I might’ve kissed the reviewer’s boyfriend on the playground and now they see their chance to stick it to me behind the impenetrable wall of anonymity? I laugh, go “daay-aaam” and keep it moving.

  1. Are the names of the characters in your novels important?

Absolutely! Listen, I’m going to be honest. I’ve put a book back on the shelf or didn’t download it behind a hero or heroine’s name. Either I giggled or I knew I would spend the entire book stumbling over the pronunciation or I just hated it. Before I start a book, I list my characters’ traits—physical and emotional. And then I search for a name that fits them as far as meaning, culture (guy from Dublin, Ireland with red hair and freckles should not be named Sergio!) and, of course, how it sounds spoken aloud (“Oh God, Destro!” in the throes of passion doesn’t really sound too sexy). Is it anal to put that much detail into choosing a character’s name? Sure thing! But to me, it’s an important part of the process.

  1. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a writer?

My pastor once said our greatest enemy is the one in us. And this is so true for me! Most of my challenges are myself—my insecurities and doubts. I was one of those writers that hid notebooks under the mattress or password protected every document because I didn’t want anyone reading what I’d written. I was too self-conscious  and had too little confidence in my ability. I promise you, if my friend and fellow author, Debra Glass, hadn’t brow-beat me into sending her my first book, Sweet Ultimatum, and pushed me into sending it to Ellora’s Cave for submission, I might not have that first sale now! Even five published books in, I still battle that mindset. I’m better than I used to be but I have my moments when my critique partners have to give me swift kicks in the ass. Also, promotion is like—ugh. It’s like my Speech class in college. I put it off to the last possible moment until I had to take it or not graduate. I’m soooo not comfortable with selling myself and promoting. So that part of being a writer definitely shoves me out of my comfort zone.

  1. Do you believe in love at first sight?

Isn’t it sacrilegious for a romance author not to believe in love at first sight? LOL! Actually, I do. I believe two people can connect with just a glimpse into one another’s eyes, like spirit recognizing spirit. But I don’t believe those same two people know everything about each other, accept each other’s faults and shortcomings, and have tolerance and patience with one glance. Those things require time, sacrifice and commitment. Like even after fourteen years together and twelve years married, I still have I’m-about-to-shaaaave-Mr. moments!

  1. Which story of yours would you like to see brought to film?

Oooh, definitely Under His Wings! Because of the different creatures—hippogryphs, loup garou, cruxim—included in the series, I would love to see them brought to life. Preferably by Peter Jackson. Call me, Peter!

  1. Do you have any New Year’s resolutions and what are they?

Besides getting Jennifer Hudson’s weave and body? Nah. Seriously though, the hubby sat the kids and me down for family meeting a week ago and we had to list our goals for 2013.  After he convinced me vacationing on the banks of Loch Ness so I could catch a glimpse of Nessie and bearing Vin Diesel’s love child were off the table, I settled on writing at least 2k a day, attending one authors conference/event, cooking at least three times a week and climbing that rock wall thing-y with the family. Hmm…on second thought… Nix Jennifer Hudson’s body. I’ll settle for the weave…

  1. What is the one thing you do after finishing a story?

Take a day off and sleep all day! I mean, I’m lazy! And then my husband cooks his super, drool-worthy, you-know-you-getting-some-tonight stuffed mushrooms! Oops. That’s more than one, isn’t it?

  1. What motivates you to write?

When I was a girl my father told me one thing that has always stuck with me: Whatever you choose to do in life, make sure it’s something you enjoy waking up to. A year ago, my family supported me 100% as I started writing full time. Every day they sacrifice as we tighten the budget, cut back on other areas of our lives so I can wake up each morning to write, to pursue what I love. Their faith, strength and love motivates me to write.

  1. What are the most important elements of good writing, in your opinion?

It’s not world-building, plotting or characterization—true, all those are very important and set apart one book from another. For me, it’s the indefinable thing that makes me get the same feeling I experienced when I first saw Dirty Dancing. It’s the thing in a writer’s voice and storytelling that carries me away and draws out every emotion from joy to sadness to anger. Yes, that’s the most important element of good writing…the thing I can’t name.

Told you she had a fantastic sense of humor and her interview I believe that speaks for itself. Take a look at her new book cover. Now that your in the know keep a look out for her book.

Under His Wings Cover

Excerpt ~

Hours later, Nicolai lay against hotel pillows that smelled strongly of detergent and the flower-scented air freshener the staff sprayed with a liberal hand. He released a tired sigh and dropped his head back on the white cotton. Ignoring the drumbeat of pain in his shoulder, he lifted a tumbler of whiskey the hotel so graciously provided in their well-stocked bar. The small sip blazed a trail of fire over his tongue, down his throat and bloomed in his stomach. The potent liquid heated his body but didn’t pierce the cold, hard ball of shame that had settled in his gut, a heavy reminder of the vigilante Batman routine he’d pulled tonight. All he’d needed was a cape, a mask with pointy ears and tights.

He’d failed. And not just in allowing Evander to slip though his fingers again. No. Tonight he’d failed Lukas and the other two men he led—Adon and Dorian. As their Dimios. As their leader.

As their friend.

Fuck. He frowned down into the amber depths of the glass. The whiskey was making him grow a pussy.

He downed another gulp and closed his eyes. It was these moments, after the heat of battle had cooled in his veins and the adrenalin had run its course, he hated most. When the weight of what he was and what he did stared him in the face and like a double-edged sword cut both ways. He saved lives…but he was a murderer. He was the protector of his people…but was a pariah among them. He was revered…and feared.

He hunted and executed so his race could enjoy a safe existence filled with love, tradition and family. And he could have none of those blessings for himself.

The one time he’d tried to grab a slice of happiness, he’d suffered the consequences—and his bondmate had paid with her life.

That picture of Pria Evander had projected had messed with Nicolai’s head. Hell, he’d almost been shish kabobbed by a fucking steeple because of it. Evander had been cryptic as always. A treasure hunt. What the fuck? Pria was dead—had been for five-hundred years. There was no coming back from that.

His arm snaked out and Nicolai snagged the half-empty bottle of whiskey from the bedside table. Pouring more of the liquor into the glass, he slammed the door shut on that particular line of thought. Even after five-hundred years guilt stalked him, relentless in its pursuit. If he hadn’t been selfish, wanting what others had, Pria would be alive.

The Dimios didn’t marry, didn’t have children because his role painted huge, neon hey-over-here targets on their backs. It was law. And when he’d stepped down from the role to marry, Nicolai in his hubris had arrogantly believed he could still hunt and shit in the face of two-thousand-plus years of tradition.

Well the Fates had shown him. As the saying went, you don’t fuck around with tradition…or those bad-ass eternally PMSing bitches, the Fates.

The alcohol hit the back of his throat in a blast of heat. Loneliness washed over him. Its tide drew him under and he didn’t fight it.

Maybe he should have gone with Lukas, Adon and Dorian to one of the pleasure dens. A hard bout of sex would have been preferable to this fun skip down memory lane. And with a city this size there would most likely be several dens to provide all kinds of erotic services to the mythical creatures who resided here.

Since sex with humans was strictly forbidden, unmated males and females kept the dens busy. A couple of hot, wild hours with a loup-garou may not have been a bad idea. He’d have been scratched to hell and back but his cock would have been drained along with his overactive brain. Or even time with a lovely, ethereal sidhe who would fuck his mind even as he buried his dick in her pussy would have granted him a night of forgetfulness.

Tonight he would have to settle for the oblivion of alcohol. Besides, sex eased the lust but not the isolation.

All the distilleries and brothels in the world couldn’t erase his loneliness.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The sweet scent of hyacinth teased him, urged him to open his eyes.

He accepted its invitation, lifting his lashes and zeroing in on the shadowed, petite figure across the room. A figure that had his blood imitating a witch’s cauldron in his veins. It heated, boiled. Overheated his body until he felt like a mercury thermometer that had reached hot-as-hell Celsius.

Nicolai shifted on the bed, hiking himself higher on the pillows at his back. The throbbing in his shoulder faded under the pounding in his cock.

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31 Comments
  1. Hi, Kassanna and the fabulous Luscious Literaries!
    Thank you so much for having me here today! I had a ball with the interview and really appreicate you allowing me to visit with a group of awesome authors!
    Thanks again!!
    Naima

  2. Love this interview! Learned so many interesting things…. 😉 But seriously, Naima has a great sense of humor, a warm heart and the most amazing laugh, and I bet those things help her handle the review gremlins (yes, some make it personal…not sure why). Good luck with the new book!

  3. Wonderful interview! I remember the first time I met Naima at an RWA meeting. I had about 3 books under my belt at the time and probably another 2 contracted. Naima asked me about writing erotic romance and I am so glad we made a connection. I was amazed by her writing and still am. The emotion she wrings out of her characters just grabs you by the heart and holds on long after you read the last word of one of her stories. Her writing is as beautiful as she is inside and out. BTW, I’ve read Under His Wings, and it’s one of my all time favorite books. I cannot wait to see how this series develops.

  4. Hi, Mina!
    And take note! I did not pay her…much…Hee-hee! Thank you, Mina!! My husband might say my middle finger helps with the review gremlins, too. Although I would whole-heartedly disagree! I just HAPPENED to be pointing at the screen with that finger…total coincidence! LOL!! Thank you for stopping by, Mina! You’re awesome!

  5. I believe in love at first sight, too. There’s that certain…spark that ignites. What comes to mind is that scene in Mission Impossible 2 when Ethan sparks off Nyah. It was wonderful to watch.

  6. Debra, you cannot have me tearing up here! I have a rep to protect. Well, actually, I don’t but that’s besides the point! Snicker! Thank you so much!! One of the best parts of being an author is finding special friends who support and encourage you. And give you a swift kick in the hind parts when you need it. And believe me, Under His Wings might still be under a folder titled “Open and Be Chopped in the Throat!” if not for your encouragement. You’re the absolute best mentor and friend! Damn. Did somebody just bust out “That’s What Friends are For”?? LOL!! Love ya!

  7. Hi, Zoe!
    I know, right?? You know, MI2 is my favorite for two reasons: the COMBUSTIBLE chemistry between Tom and Thandie’s characters and that AWESOME Batman moment at the end!! Y’know, that slow mo’ moment when he walks pass that door? But anyhoo, yeah, seeing Ethan and Nyah together definitely makes you a believer in love at first sight. Cool example!

  8. Awesome interview, Naima! Can’t wait for this book to go live so everyone else can see how well you’ve rocked this paranormal romance! So original. The emotion and visual images she paints will leave you breathless. And I totally agree with Kassana, your sense of humor is off the chain. 🙂

  9. Gary permalink

    Awesome interview. I love the fact that you take so much pride in building your stories, even down the characters name. SN: I think Destro is kinda sexy… in a G.I. Joe (role play) :-). As far a critics go. Some criticize because they can’t write it and some criticize because they have nothing better to do. “If” you read them learn to discern which are just hateful and which are constructive. I mean I haven’t read a book of yours I didn’t liked. Waiting on Under His Wings.

    Ps. You have an awesome family so please don’t shaaaaave mister. Lol

  10. Sounds like you have a fantastic hubby and support network. He’s OK with cutting the budget so you can write full-time AND makes great stuffed mushrooms? That’s a keeper!

  11. Hi, Jessica!
    From you, such a beautiful paranormal writer, that’s a HUGE compliment!! I want everyone to know Jessica Lee is my Jackie-Chan-recently-promoted-to-Jet-Li action scene critiquer! LOL! You’ve been such an invaluable friend and this journey wouldn’t have been as fun without you!!

  12. Hi, Gary!
    Say what you want, Destro had a bangin’ body and great cheekbones! Which were really emphasized by all that sheet metal on his face! LOL! But not as gaw-geous as yours! This is my husband, btw…Hee-hee! Isn’t he the bestest? Not only does he love me but he visits my blog posts. It’s kinda like being the only guy on a girls’ night out! ROTFL!! I’ll try not shaaaaaaaave Mr….I guess…

  13. And, Linda, the man can cook some mean stuffed mushrooms?? LOL! Yeah, I have an incredible, amazing family who lets me scurry into my bedroom aka writing cave when I have a deadline. And they even open the door and throw turtle Chex Mix and bags of McDonald’s at me before running away! Yeah. Sigh. They’re awesome…

  14. Shyla Colt permalink

    Awesome interview! You have a wicked sense of humor girl. Loving the excerpt too. I’m adding it to my Tbr.

  15. Hi, Shyla!
    Thank you!! Wouldn’t it be cool if we could get a W-2 for sarcasm? My family would be like the Medea version of the Rockefellers! LOL!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the excerpt! And January 23rd! Shameless, promotion whoring enter *here* Snicker!

  16. Hi Naima: Nice interview! I think your pastor and father both give very good advice. 🙂

  17. Hi Naima,

    For someone who calls herself promotionally-challenged, you do a great author interview! The excerpt of “Under His Wings” has me ready to hit the buy button on my Kindle when the title goes live, (and then park the family in front of the TV and bunker in the bathroom to read).

  18. Hi, Hope!
    I do have two great male role models in my life and they are my father and pastor! Although when my father starts to give me advice on how to write a love scene, I start to tune out. YECH!! I’m not trying to hear that! LOL!! Thanks so much for coming by the blog and visiting, Hope!!

  19. LOL!! You too, Sam? The bathroom is one of my favorite reading rooms! With kids it’s often the one room in the house where you’re guaranteed privacy! Except when they start sliding stuff under the door for you to look at…or they ask you what you’re doing…or they wiggle their fingers at you under the door just to say “hiiiii!”. Lawd!! ROTFL!! I really appreciate your kind words! Hey, when the book comes out on the 23rd–another shameless pluuuug–I’ll send you the link and you go with your feelings! Hee-hee!! Thank you again, and I’m so glad you came by the blog!!

  20. LMAO on your response to haters: “… must’ve kissed boyfriend on the playground.” 🙂 Great attitude, and fun sounding book!

  21. Hi, Cathy!
    Cathy Yardley! Whoo-hoo! I love your books! Excuse me, everyone, while I had my total fan girl meltdown moment! LOL! Sometimes those reviews cut that I have to question myself about who did I wrong?? Snicker. And then I want to ask them, are you sure my sister didn’t do it? She shares my face, you know…Thank you so much for stopping by!! You have a book coming out next week–Temping is Hell…what a ROTFL title!–that I can’t wait to buy!

  22. Great interview, Naima! And sounds like a fun–and spicy!–book.

  23. Hey, Tiffany!
    Thank you!! I hope readers find Under His Wings to be both ’cause I had fun and a lotta spicy moments writing it! Hee-hee! Thank you for coming by and visiting with me!!

  24. Hi Naima! Loved reading this interview and learning more about you! Congratulations on Under His Wings. And uh, now I’m hungry for stuffed mushrooms.

  25. Hi, Robin!
    Yaay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! You would think someone who cringes at the word “promotion” wouldn’t be able to talk about herself so much, huh? LOL! I wish I could send you some of those stuffed mushrooms but frankly, they wouldn’t make it pass the kitchen! LOL!! Thank you for coming by, Robin!!

  26. “After he convinced me vacationing on the banks of Loch Ness so I could catch a glimpse of Nessie and bearing Vin Diesel’s love child were off the table,”

    ROFL!!!! Awesome interview! Totally enjoyed it! Looking forward to reading this!

  27. LOL!! I once told my hubby that I’d been lying to him for some years; that our kids were actually Vin Diesel’s and he shrugged and said as long as Vin sends child support checks, he’ll keep raising them. Snicker! And, never fear, Abby! I’m STILL trying to get to Loch Ness!!

    Thank you for stopping by, Abby! I’m feeling all warm and tingly inside…and no, I haven’t been sipping any wine! Hee-hee!

  28. Fun interview, Naima!
    I love how react to bad reviews. TEACH ME. LOL!!

  29. Hi, Jennifer!
    Maybe I can do a workshop at RT on reacting to bad reviews! I can call it “Negative, Catty Reviews: How to Hide a Horse’s Head in Someone’s Bed”. *evil cackle* Oh yeah, they definitely sting–not gonna lie. But then I remember another piece of good, if not really sympathetic, advice my father gave me: “Look here. Some people hated Jesus. What makes you exempt?” My dad. A wise–and brutally honest–man… Hee-hee!

  30. Nefertari permalink

    I looooove Naima Simone and her writing! Even though she did not appreciate my critique skills and fired me! she is an awesome writer and a great person too folks!!! Okay Naima, can I get my $5.00 now??? Love you!!!

  31. See? This is what happens when disgruntled ex-employees AKA twin-sister-who-shares-your-face-and-wants-to-be-in-the-acknowledgment-section-of-your-book-but-would-rather-watch-ID-Discovery-then-read-the-book-you-asked-her-to-look-over-for-you gets a little power! Hiiiii, Nina!! Love you too but you’re still not getting a W2 for no work! Or your $5.00!! You just broke the confidentiality clause! Sheesh! Just can’t get good help these days…

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