Monday, September 1, 2008

TAKE TEN: Author Recha Peay

Author Recha Peay has been on the national scene for approxiamately three years, and already she has given us a body of writings that will stay around for quite some time. She began working with Conversations in early 2007, and already the two have organized not only this interview but her touring schedule as well. Now with the success of her new book, ILLUSION OF LOVE, Peay talks with her fans and authors about her career, the role of journals in her writing process and how what she loves remain a test for her to fully promote. This is our conversation.

Recha, we came in contact with other in 2007, and I am glad we were finally able to share you for with the Conversations audience. Before we get into your newest book ILLUSION OF LOVE, I want you to tell our readers a little about yourself.
Before we start I would like to take the time to thank you for this opportunity. Also I would like to thank family, friends and book clubs for their support.

I currently reside outside of Memphis, Tennessee. I have two wonderful children Ebone age 19 and Frederick age 15. I'm employed full-time as a Medical Technologist and I manage to write whenever and wherever I can.

I have read your first two books, MYSTERY OF A WOMAN and INTIMATE BETRAYAL, and it seems as though you really have a grasp on getting the reader in touch with your characters. Is that something that comes easy for you or is that just part of the craft you have developed?
Visualizing the character comes easy but developing them into individuals with true to life physical traits and characteristics can be challenging. By far I'm my own worse critic as I examine then re-examine each project for future improvements.

Looking back at your beginnings as a writer, was there a time when it really just clicked with you that this was something you wanted to do for life?
Since the 9th grade becoming a full-time author has been a dream. In high school I wrote poetry and short stories. After graduation I wanted to major in English with a minor in Communications but was side tracked when my vision was doubted. Never letting go of my dream I majored in Biology eventually obtaining a B.S. in Medical Technology.

Writing was a passion so I kept a journal with me at all times. Years later news of a job closing propelled me to finish my first project 'Mystery of a Woman'. Then I knew I wanted to do it for life.

Alot of authors reveal that their first work includes a great deal about themselves and those around them. Your first book dealt with a violent assault on the main character. Tell our readers where the idea came from and what the reaction has been to such a jarring storyline for a debut novel.
'Mystery of a Woman' started as a collection of poetry. If read from start to finish the poetry represented a female that had overcome an insurmountable circumstance. During a moment of meditation the first chapter of my novel played out in my mind like a movie. All I had to do was write it down and develop it from that point.

Yes, the storyline was jolting but not unbelievable as there are so many violent rape cases. In particularly those that go unreported for whatever reason. For me it was an eye opener when I had so many readers approach me with similar situations.

Ironically my first book wasn't about me or any one around me. How it affected my family members still makes me laugh as several of them tried to find themselves within the plot. I hated to disappoint them but all of my characters were indeed fiction.

Your books are published through Urban Soul, an imprint began by New York Times Bestselling author Carl Weber. How did the two of you meet, and how does it feel to have such a powerful literary family around you with Urban Books?
I met Carl Weber through my agent Kimberly Matthews. I was fortunate in the fact that Urban Soul was a new imprint and they were still recruiting authors. The door opened and I but all ran through it. Working with them has been fantastic and I don't regret making the decision.

In the recording industry there is always talk about the sophomore jinx when it comes to following up a strong debut. Where you in any way concerned about that with the release of INTIMATE BETRAYAL?
Honestly, I was very nervous about the release of my second project 'Intimate Betrayal'. Even though I was dealing with a different plot and new characters I wanted my readers to become emotionally involved in the plot.

I'm curious about the lessons you learned between the two releases, Recha. What did you do differently when it came to promoting the second book that you didn't know to do with the first?
With both novels I basically used the same marketing techniques ie...booksignings and internet marketing. I'm a new author and knew I had to use several marketing techniques simulataneoulsy to develop my readership. I've realized that word of mouth is by far your greatest tool.

Your third book ILLUSION OF LOVE seems to once again address the issue of relationships. Tell our readers about it.
At an annual Christmas party an image of perfection stepped into Tatiana's life. From the outside looking in, Courtney McAdams appeared to have it all; career, good looks and charming personality. Nine months later they were married, moving into a suburban dream home and planning to start a family. His request for her to quit teaching art at the elementary school to become a full-time wife and mother seemed ideal when he revealed plans to convert an extra bedroom into an art studio. With all they'd accomplished she felt obligated and realized a child would be the most perfect gift any wife could give a husband. Courtney, on the other hand had a different agenda. Overcome by greed, Courtney and his best friend record sexually explicit adult videos and sell them on the internet. Having children was never in his plan and marrying Tatiana was only a cover to protect his image.

What can we expect differently from you with the new book that maybe we didn't see as much of in the first two?
In book number three I was inclined to step outside of the box a little more and create bolder characters.

Recha, this has truly been a pleasure. Here is your chance to make your sales pitch to our readers. Why should they go out and get a Recha G. Peay novel on their next trip to the bookstore?
I'm a new author with a new voice whose not afraid to deal with topics that seem tabu. 'Mystery of a Woman' delves into the psyche of a young female that was violated in her own home. 'Intimate Betrayal' takes you deep into a twisted love triangle. 'Illusion of Love' explores a favorite cliche if it's too good to be true then it is.

We appreciate this opportunity to connect you with your fans and new readers. Tell our audience how they can find out more about you online as well as purchase your books.
Cyrus, again thanks for this opportunity. Anyone interested in connecting with me should visit my website I would love to hear from you guys. Books maybe purchased from my website,, or any book retailer.

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