Naomi (Kiki,) I have to tell you just typing your name brings a smile to my face. It was such a pleasure meeting you in Chicago at Romance Slam Jam... Before I even get into writing related questions I have to ask you this. You were doing so many Karate kicks at the hotel do you actually know any?
Kiki: Well first off, thank you for having me Dyanne. I had a blast at RSJ meeting you, hanging out, and singing Karoake!
In answer to your question, I don’t know a lick of Karate but I did grow up watching Bruce Lee movies and was a huge Jean-Claude Van Damme nut back in the late 80s-early 90s, does that count? LOL
Dyanne: For the rest for the rest of the interview what would you like for me to call you?
Kiki: I write under the pen name, Naomi James, so calling me Naomi would be great!
Dyanne: You recently received some fantastic news. Please tell us about it.
Naomi: Ooooh! My first novella entitled, Untamed: Dacien & Tia, will be released through Whispers publishing on September 26th. I’m so excited!
Untamed is a paranormal about Tia Matthews who, for reasons she can’t fathom, is being stalked, and Dacien Hunt, the man who has appointed himself her protector, yet is not quite what he appears to be.
Dyanne: Congratulations. Now tell us about your journey to this moment. What you do to bring in the money, kids, and husband pets, tell us all of it and don’t leave anything out.
Naomi: Well, for the past eleven years I have had the pleasure of working as a Human Resource Analyst for Jackson County.
I am also the proud mother of two smart, healthy, and energetic children who are ages 14 and 4. We have a huge, solid black German Shepherd with yellow eyes named Spot and a black and white Shih Tzu who suffers from ‘little dog syndrome’ named Sam. LOL
I began writing seriously about three years ago and absolutely love it! I write every chance I get and have new ideas all the time.
Dyanne: Do you have any critique partners?
Naomi: I do. They are LaVerne Thompson aka Isis and Mimi Tremont and they are phenomenal!!!
Dyanne: Do you think having critique partners helped you to reach your dream.
Naomi: Absolutely! It was Mimi who first allowed me to join the writers group R.I.C.H and it was the soon to be published, LaVerne who first offered to be my critique partner.
Those two ladies were instrumental in helping me tighten up Untamed for submission. They had such confidence in its appeal, that they encouraged me to take it to Romance Slam Jam and pitch it to the editor-in-chief of Whispers Publishing.
Their help and advice have been and continue to be invaluable to me.
Dyanne: Naomi, I don’t believe anyone reach their success alone. There is someone helping in someway whether it’s just to tell you you can do it. Now’s the time to give a shout out to those who helped and that definitely include your husband and kids. Go ahead you have the floor.
Naomi: Now THERE is an extensive list.LOL
First, I feel so very blessed and thankful to God for giving me the gift and a love of writing stories that people actually get excited about reading.
I am also thankful for my children, Auriel and Lyric who have been incredibly understanding, and patient when I need ‘mama time’ to write and do research.
There aren’t enough words to express my appreciation to my parents, Bruce and Maxcine, my sisters, Sylvia, Fran, and Joy and my many relatives, friends, and coworkers for their continued prayers, words of encouragement, and unfailing support. Their belief in my abilities is humbling to say the least. It continues to keep me striving day after day to become the best author I can possibly be.
A big thank you goes out to my best friend, Gayla Rogers, an up and coming fashion designer who has believed in me since I wrote my first imagery filled short story back in Junior High.
Last but certainly not least, I want to thank all of the other ladies of R.I.C.H. like Savannah, Trish, Stephanie, Laura, Brenda, and so many others whose value to me can’t be measured in mere words. I love ya’ll!
Dyanne: If there’s anything you’d like to add that I didn’t ask you go ahead and do it. Then answer the question: Where would you like to see your career in five years.
Naomi: I would just like to add that I currently have multiple novels in the works including three romantic suspense, two time travels, two contemporaries, a fantasy, and one other paranormal.
In five years I would love to be a favorite in bookstores across the country and doing book tours, signings, readings, and sending love to everyone who has supported me, from my seat on Oprah’s couch! J
Dyanne: Naomi, I’m ending this interview the same way I began it, with a smile. Thank you for doing it. Last question. Where can your readers reach you?
Naomi: If not scrolling the boards on the IMRR site, I can be found at www.naomijames.blogspot.com where I’ll be updating my blog. I’ve also posted an excerpt of Untamed as well as my time travel/fantasy, entitled Rachel’s Wolf.
Dyanne, thank you for inviting me to talk to you today. I enjoy your novels so much and to be interviewed by you has been an honor.