MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ML PRESTON
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Hi. I’m ML Preston and I write Contemporary/Interracial/Romance/Erotica
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
The title for Roadblock came in 2016 when a discussion about writer’s block came up between myself and one of my closest friends, Robin Lee. At the time I was working on four stories simultaneously and hit the proverbial wall. That spawned the storyline for Road Block. My PA and friend, as well as aspiring author, Ebony McMillian, told me about a project of books that will release in a series of novellas, Escape from Reality. When my date was given, February 15, 2019, I immediately thought about the season, the date, the weather, and thus my background was born. Here is the blurb:
Too much news is good for one thing: Writer’s Block. Stuck on deadline and head spun over reports about her Ex, Dana Langley closes herself off to get things done, but thanks to the word traffic jam, nothing is flowing. Her bestie/agent suggests she goes out of town to relax and de-stress so the mojo will come back. She heads to Escape, Colorado for a little downtime hoping that being off the grid is exactly what she needs.
Justin Parker wanted a fresh start after the contract with his previous job ended. He moved to Escape, bought the local hardware store, and opened up a lumber mill to centralize the need for building supplies in a growing community. For the past three years he’s managed to live his best life as a single man with no complications.
On the hunt for some sticky strips, Dana walks into Henderson’s Hardware and the atmosphere immediately changes when these two cross paths. Words begin to move for her and he begins to see things with a new perspective. The only problem is her stay is temporary.
Will Dana make a move to be a part of Justin’s life? Will he leave Escape behind for life in LA?
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I love Romance stories. I am a hopeless romantic. I love stories that are different or even taboo. I read a few books and often found myself saying how I would’ve written the end or even what I would’ve done different. So, I decided to write the story I want to read.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I Google everything. From average temperatures/weather for the season, to the housing market currently for sale. I research the jobs, the schools, cars, clothes, everything. Since Escape is a fictional town, we (the authors) actually “build” it with what we want to see there. I added the lumber mill and suggested a big box chain like bookstore.
Can you tell me about your Series?
My one and only series, thus far, is the Undeniable Series; Unthinkable, was my debut novel and it was followed by Untouchable, and Unbreakable. It is a tale of determination of the Hero to get the heroine. Along the way the heroine heals from her past hurt and learns/allows herself to love again.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
My favorite out of the series is Untouchable. I received great compliments from those around me in regards to my growth. As for the story, you get to see Amaya assert herself more on a personal level and you are introduced to her family. No longer being a captive of her past and making sure Nicholas doesn’t try to control her.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I have an extreme love of sports. Mainly football, basketball, and baseball. I just love them. What I realized in watching some of these clips and stories on tv or the web was the lack of female representation. So building off of that, plus, the behind the scenes to the industries most elaborate stadiums, (at the time Jerry’s world had just been built and the new Minnesota Vikings stadium was next), I thought that would be a fun aspect to talk about. Plus friendships abound.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I selected the city I wanted to feature and went from there. Amaya and Nicholas needed office space. The art gallery needed a location. Nicholas’ family needed a place to show they had money, even though they are modest people. Then I dove into my typical research.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes. This was always meant to be a series.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
M-F I spend the majority of my time at the 9-5 that pays the bills. One day I hope that will all change. (come on lottery). I will say that I have the luxury, if that’s such a thing, to work from home three days a week, although lately we’ve been at home a lot more. When I do write, it is usually in between working cases, on my lunch break, after work before I start dinner, or if dinner isn’t needed, like leftover night, I write/edit/stalk photos during that time. I have a daily goal of 1500 on days I do write. Most of the time I write more and that helps with balancing out those days I don’t write.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
My current work in progress is titled Rivals. The name says it all, but there is a delicious and funny twist that will come with this story.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
The names are very important. They embody the spirit of the character I write about. A few of the sub characters may or may not be named after people I know. Including the villains. LOL.
Where do your ideas come from?
Anything can spark my imagination. I can watch a movie or show and it will birth an idea. Just a sentence or a word can spark a title and a road sign can spark a name. (Ada Taylor’s name came from a road sign on our way to Mississippi one summer).
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
Not at this time. I do want to try paranormal/fantasy with my focus on vampires and I want to try suspense/thrillers too.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part of writing is finding time to sit and type uninterrupted for at least an hour. Also getting the characters to follow the plot points and not jump around.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I love book trailers. RL Jackson created one for my book, High Roller. It is beautiful. It is hard, however to find videos of BWWM couples that fit what I want to portray to my readers.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Finishing my first novel. I had a track record of starting projects and not finishing them. So when I typed “The End” on Unthinkable, I felt accomplished.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Being in control of what I want to do or say or write. That independent aspect.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Writing full-time and coming up on birthday number 55!
Have you always liked to write?
I did. I never saw it as a career potential, just as something I did to release stress. I always loved telling stories.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Don’t be afraid or intimidated by social media or the success of others. Take a leap!
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Still working at my 9-5 and probably loving it a little bit more.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
No. I tend to stay away from my book reviews. The only time I see them is when I am looking to see how many or need the link because I’ve somehow misplaced it yet again. LOL.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Writing blurbs, release day, editing, or finding a cover.
What are you working on now?
My current work-in-progress is titled Rivals.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
I am still in plotting stage, but oddly enough, I do have a blurb.
Simone Greene started with Merit Investment Firm three years ago and now is one of their top account managers. She started from the bottom determined to climb the ladder of success and now runs her own team of eager beavers chasing checks and going all out to land top clientele; bringing more big names to the table.
Lucas Weathers has been with the company for five years and until Simone showed up, he was the top performer. Now in the number two spot he’s pulling out the stops to go after the coveted position currently held by his nemesis.
There is no love lost between these two. They’ve been taking jabs and sabotaging each other every chance they get. But while they were busy planning and plotting all the war games to reel in the top software company in the state, neither were able to close the deal and they lost the opportunity to another firm. When the CEO learned of the fail, their teams were merged and given thirty-days to work together or lose their position with the company.
An evening of licking their wounds at a local bar turns into a night of passion they both didn’t see coming. To add insult to injury, they both have plans to pick their parents up at the airport the next day. Little do they know another shock is around the corner.
Now faced with having to deal with their tryst and the news shared by their parents, these two must be civil towards each other. But all’s fair in war, right?
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I like things spicy and modern and was influenced by a few authors I have read. The only other genre that I have taken a stab at was New Adult. It was different but hard to refrain from writing explicit scenes.
Where did your love of books come from?
From reading as a child. When I was growing up, the book fairs were a big deal to us. We would get a list of books and select the ones we wanted to purchase along with games and such like mad libs. Going to the library on designated days was always fun. Plus, the community always had summer programs at the library. Going to the Ralph Ellison library during the summer was a must!
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I have tons of favorites. From Dr. Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Eric Jerome Dickey, Michael Baisden, Zane, K. Bromberg, Alice Clayton, EL James, Sylvia Day, Sade Rena, Ariel Marie, Peyton Banks, Posey Parks, Kiarra Taylor, Robin Lee and her beautiful poetry. The lists continue.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
I have a tough time with this one, but Carter Jackson, from High Roller, stands out to me the most. I love his tenacity and perseverance when it comes to his affection for Tiffany. It wasn’t perverted or stalkerish, just real.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing is a two-sided coin. It does both energize and exhaust. I become supercharged when a new idea springs forth and I begin to write, but at the end of it all, when you type/write the words, ‘The End’, you realize how much energy was spent on developing your baby.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Life tragedies. Everyday tragedies. I suffered a miscarriage in 2017 and it sucked all the life out of me. Oddly enough, when I decided to pick High Roller back up and complete it, it served as a healing tool for me. I was able to refocus on the positive and heal from the pain of losing a child.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Both, to be honest. If I can’t be original and somehow deliver the request of the masses, I am not doing anyone a service. But first and foremost, it has to be original.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
To name a few: Sade Rena, Ariel Marie, Peyton Banks, Posey Parks, Kiarra Taylor, and Robin Lee. Sade and Kiarra have spent time beta reading for me and/or helping me with edits, Ariel/Peyton have helped me with blurb writing, Posey helps flesh out new ideas, and Robin has been there for me since day 0. She is the one responsible for pushing me in this direction.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Nevertheless. I think it is a perfect description of how I have persevered and overcame a slew of personal tragedies in my life to be where I am. To me it says, despite all of that, she’s still here.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Do you have a crush on any of your characters?
Yes, I do. More females than males. LOL
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your world. I really enjoyed our time together. ❤