Currently she lives in Killeen, TX, with her husband and two children. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in English at Drury University and also serving on active duty in the US Army. Her hobbies include spending time with family, traveling, eating, and of course, writing. Her motto is “strive to excel, not to equal.”
Can you please tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Orangeburg, SC and have been on active duty in the US Army for almost 12 years. I love spending time with my family, watching TV, eating, and of course, writing. I love having fun.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I love writing and it's always been my outlet, so the first book I wrote was from just wanting to write. Lovely Lies, isn't the first book I wrote, but I wrote it and pushed myself to have it published because I was told that I wouldn't do it. Kind of like reverse psychology!
What do you wish more people knew about the publishing side of things?
It can be unfair. Being a published author has become much more accessible with all of the new technology there is, so not as many people put forth the true effort needed to put out a good quality product. There can be great stories from new authors and we catch a bad rap because of those who neglect certain aspects such as editing.
How did you come up with your title?My novel was originally titled Through It All, but my publisher and I decided that wasn't catchy enough. We went to the drawing board quite a few times and we came up with Lovely Lies.
What author(s) has influenced your writing style?
When it comes to a specific author, there is none. I take influence from those known and highly favored such as Terry McMillan, to those just starting out such as my label mate Shewanda Pugh.
For your first book, how long did it take you to find an agent?
I still don't have an agent!!! I spent roughly 18-24 months trying to "sell" my book to a publisher on my own. I spent that whole time being told NO!! I was devastated each and every time, but eventually I got used to it. Surprisingly when I got the yes from Delphine Publications I also had two other offers from different publishers.
How important was a "platform" in selling your books?
A platform is very important. Without one you're just throwing yourselves out there and basically asking not to succeed.
July 3 - Bayou Soul Writers & Readers Conference (New Orleans, LA)July 4-8 - Essence Music Festival (New Orleans, LA)
Aug 30-31 - South Dallas Book Fair (Dallas, TX)
October 24-26 - National Black Book Festival (Houston, TX)
Can you tell us about your upcoming project(s)?
Currently I'm working on the sequel to Lovely Lies, as well as brainstorming for two additional projects that I haven't thought of titles for.
What advice do you have to an aspiring author?Keep writing, don't be afraid of being told no, and don't be afraid to ask for help and advice.
www.lashantacharles.com (personal website)
www.delphinepublications.com (publisher's website)
Makynzee has spent all of her life being dependent on people who've always disappointed her, especially her abusive mother. Everyone lies to her - her sister, her uncle, even her beloved father. When her mom strips her of her one true love, gymnastics, she's determined to find and maintain her independence. There's only one little problem...money. She sets out to find a job as a dancer at a gentlemen's club, but finds Kalil instead. With his looks, money, and charisma any woman would be crazy not to want him and Makynzee's no different. Falling for him fast she soon discovers some things just aren't adding up and Kalil may not be the man she thought he was. He wants to be with her and provide for her, but can he protect her? When a love-struck fan becomes obsessed and begins attacking and stalking Makynzee she questions Kalil's ability to be her protector. Makynzee has no idea who he is, where he came from, or why he's here, but he's determined to have her even if that means eliminating everyone she knows and loves. By any means necessary, right? She belongs to him and he's claiming what's rightfully his, no matter the circumstances. When truths are revealed, they threaten to tear Makynzee's soul apart and chaos becomes her life. Will she be able to escape this temporary insanity or will she become a permanent victim?
LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE ENTERED INTO A DRAWING TO WIN AN EBOOK COPY OF "LOVELY LIES." WINNER WILL BE DRAWN ON JUNE 24TH.