Ms. Divine is an extremely talented debut author! My own journey on Twitter led me to randomly select her book, buy it on Amazon, read, and review her book. It’s pretty amazing how the writing community brings people together. I actually have a lot in common with Ms. Divine. We are both from the South, grew up in rural communities, and love Sherrilyn Kenyon’s novels! On with the review! Be sure to check out her novel Web of Seduction on sale from Amazon!
1.Do you write under a pen name? How did you choose it?
ANSWER: I do write under a pen-name. My real name is Bontheia Richardson but that was just too long and complicated for a book cover.
Brittney L. came from Brittney Latrice, which was my daughter’s name. I lost her in a fire when she was four years old and decided to take that name in honor of her. Divine is the word I associate with her because she was my angel.
2. Tell us a little about yourself.
ANSWER: I’m a forty-five-year-old Native American who grew up in a small rural community in North Carolina. Almost everyone is related and there are no stop lights. There isn’t even a grocery store for fifteen miles. Yes, I’m that countryand proud of it.
I’m also a U.S. Navy veteran and the only hobbies I have is reading and fishing. I’m quite boring.
3. How and when did you start writing?
ANSWER: Oh boy, that takes me way back. I started writing when I was a teenager, mostly poems. It was just for my own personal outlet. No one even knew. I think it was out of boredom or maybe my way of releasing pent up emotions. As a teenager, hormones drive you to do all kinds of things. Writing wasn’t illegal and didn’t hurt anybody. It kept me out of trouble.
4. Your characters are so original and provocative. What inspires you?
ANSWER: I’m a history nut who loves to read about ancient history and legends. I wanted to delve into some of the less commonly known creatures. That’s why Dominic is a Cambion.
I also have a fascination with the dark side of human beings. People who do bad things are also capable of great acts of kindness, and vice versa.
Some of the most understanding people I’ve ever known have committed terrible crimes. I think it’s their desire for forgiveness that, in some cases, makes them more humane.
Those who have hurt others sometimes forgive easier.
It’s the differences and similarities between dark and light that I find intriguing.
5. Who are your favorite authors?
ANSWER: As a teen, I loved Edgar Allan Poe and Shakespeare. Now, my absolute favorite is Sherrilyn Kenyon. Her Dark Hunter series got me started on paranormal romance.
Dark romance authors who I love are T.M. Frazier, M. Robinson, Jaden Wilkes, and Lily White.
6. Tell us about your latest release? Oh, and where can we buy it?
ANSWER: My debut novel, Web of Seduction,is a dark paranormal romance. It’s also crime fiction because the protagonist isa finance genius who launders money for the rich.
Dominic Braxton is half human and half incubus.
The only person in the world he cares about is his co-dependent best friend Gabriel, who has just gotten married tothe beautiful and kind Zena.
Zena thinks she has married the handsome billionaire of her dreams until Gabriel becomes abusive. Alone in the world, Zena accepts help from Dominic. She knows nothing of his plan to seduce and kill her.
Dominic does fall in love with Zena but one thing about Dominic Braxton is that love has never stopped him from killing anybody. After all, he is a demon.
Readers can find it only on Amazon.
7. Was your novel self-publishedor traditionally published? How did you choose?
ANSWER: I self-published because I didn’t feel there was any other choice. I wanted to get it printed without having to wait for a publisher to pick it up. It’s hard to get traditionally published and I’m in my mid-forties. If I was twenty,traditional would have been my choice. I wanted it done before I ‘kicked the bucket’.
8. I think everyone wonders when we as writers craft a “heated” scene, does your family read your book? I ask because I’ve seen the question come up a lot in the writing community. I know personally, I had my mom read my book, ‘heated scenes’ and all, even if it was awkward.
ANSWER: My friends and family don’t read a lot. They’re busy with other things,but I warned them just in case they decided to buy it. I’m not embarrassed by much, but I’ll know who read it at the next family gathering.
In my opinion, people make too much of a big deal out of sex. It’s a natural part of life and it’s how we get here.
9. When do you plan on releasing the next novel? How many books do you anticipate in the series?
ANSWER: The second book in the Playground Series will be called ‘Wings of Seduction’. I’m trying to get it out by the end of the year. If not, then definitely the first of next year. Being an indie publisher means I have to do almost everything myself and that slows me down.
I don’t expect the series to be more than three or four novels. I love dark stories but living in a dark world can have an effect on you psychologically.
I’d like to try my hand at historical romance. Maybe I can spice up a ‘bodice ripper’.
10. Your book is grammatically pretty flawless, did you have an editor?
ANSWER: I wish!Um, are you sure you read my book? I’m kidding but also serious because I didn’t have an editor. I did go through some extra steps to try and make it the best I could.
The first thing that helped me was watching a Stephen King Q&A. He said that he would put the first draft away for about six months before doing his first round of editing. I tried that in smaller increments.
I didn’t have six months, but I put it away for two weeks at a time to refreshmy eyes. Once I couldn’t remember the sequence of events, that’s when I would do the next round of editing.
I also used the read-aloud setting and a free grammar checker.
I hate editing and I wish I could afford to pay someone to do it for me. It’s like pulling teeth and I would never recommend any writer publish without an editor.
It’s a hard job, that’s why they get paid so much. Having an editor might make a writer more confident. Four eyes are better than two. It took me four months to edit Web of Seduction and I’m still unsure about it. Thank you for the compliment, you calmed my nerves a little.
11. What was your publishing journey?
ANSWER: I never thought about writing a book until I told a friend of mine how much I read. At that time, I was reading one novel every day and it had gone on for years.
He suggested that I write my own. Since I liked to write anyway, I got it done. It took about seven months and I wrote ‘THE END’ on my forty-fifth birthday.
I tried, unsuccessfully, to find an editor that I could afford. After lots of tears and a panic attack, I sucked it up,read about editing, and watched some videos.
During my downtime, I was trying to put together ads and a book cover. Which meant I had to learn about using graphics software. It was exhausting.
I had my rock, Claudia Vincetti, read it for me. She’s an author in New Zealand. I call her my rock because whenever the pressure would get to me, she always gave me words of encouragement and it kept me going.
Finally, in December 2018 I put it on pre-sale. Then February it went on sale… and I got drunk.
12. Do you have recommendations to new writers?
ANSWER: Technically, I’m a new author,but I have learned some things that would have saved me some time, had I known earlier.
First, don’t let anyone tell you that there is a specific way to write a book. Find the routine that works for you. For example, I wasted a whole year on an outline. It took another famous author’s Q&A video to get me to stop. Outlinesdon’t work for everyone. I use my first draft as my outline. If they work for you fine, but if not so what. You can still write, just find your own way.
Second, as I mentioned, I watch Q&As. It doesn’t have to be romance authors. I watch any enormously successful author’s videos, from Q&As to plain old speeches and lectures. I didn’t go to school for any of this and barely got through one year of college.
Anyway, watch and listen to those authors. Some things they do will work for you as well. I’m not a Stephen King or George R.R. Martin, but I do love to write. If certain things work for them, then why not everyone else?
Lastly, read everything. No matter the genre. It’s how I learned. Pick up on what your mentors do.
13. Is there anything about producing your book you would do differently now?
ANSWER: Wow! There’s a whole lot. Like I said earlier I wouldn’t waste my time on an outline. I didn’t understand them in grade school, and I still don’t. I accepted it and moved on.
I should have paid more attention to other author’s covers because my first one sucked.
If I could go back, I would start younger. Until now I had no clue what to do with my life.
14. I think it’s an incredibly bold, brave, and fearless person to produce your genre, how did you decide to go down the red brick road of delightfully sinful imagery and decadence?
ANSWER: Oh no I’m not! Thank you for saying it but actually, I’m just rude, crude, vulgar, and well rounded.
Seriously, it’s just a mixture of what I read. I write what I like. Over the years, I cataloged the things I wanted in a romance and threw them in a pot.
I love all romance, but dark romance is like the road of life. Your traveling companion’s got issues, the road is bumpy, and the destination might be Shitsville, but it’s still beautiful if you get there together.
15. You do an amazing job making the reader feel empathy for the ‘villain.’ Is that intentional?
ANSWER: That’s a great question. I don’t actually have a real ‘bad guy’ in the book, but the empathy is intentional.Romance readers like a happily-ever-after or a happily-for-now. It’s the one genre where that has to happen. I don’t like everything to be a fairytale and have a fondness for breaking the rules. I triedto write a romance novel that made people feel more intense emotions.
16. I’ve got a question I’m going to start asking all romance/erotica authors from this point on What, in your opinion, makes a great romantic relationship?
ANSWER: I wouldn’t know, none of mine ever worked out. I asked my mom’s friend. She has been married for around sixty years. She said two words: compromise and communication.
17. Do you want to send out a shout out to anyone or thanks to anyone?
ANSWER: Thanks for asking. I would like to thank you, and everyone else who has read or will read my book. An author is nothing without their readers.
I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Brittany! I know I did! This is where I normally put that I don’t know the author personally. However, AFTER reviewing her book, I am coming to call her friend, and am glad to count her among some of the new friends I’ve made from the writing community by becoming more active on social media!