American Specter is a paranormal romance that finds FBI Agent Audra Wheeler battling a supernatural killer. Intrigued yet? You should be!
Here’s the blurb:
FBI Agent Audra Wheeler has been haunted for the last thirteen years by a paranormal attack that left her sister, Kendra, in a coma. Mentored by FBI Assistant Director Jonathan Cordero to investigate crimes committed by specters, Audra believes she is on the trail of a ‘serial killer’ specter with a M.O. very similar to her sister’s attacker. The investigation takes her to a small town of Specter, Georgia; a haven for ghosts who exist among the living.
To celebrate the release of her novel Rasheedah is participating in a little Q&A here on Quanie Talks Writing. So sit back, grab some coffee, and let’s get to know Rasheedah!
Are you planning a series or is American Specter meant to be a stand alone?
I am planning for American Specter to be a series. I currently have four more books outlined.
How would you describe your writing style?
I don’t think I have previously taken the time to think about my writing style. I am most comfortable writing in third person narrative. I do believe myself to have a very passionate but fair voice. I try not to write people who are 100% good or evil. I try to be fair to every character’s point of view. Most of my stories are based on what I believe the market would like to see but at the same time it’s something I personally enjoy writing.
How would you describe your main character? Any interesting quirks that might pique our interest?
My main character is fierce but extremely vulnerable. At a young age she rescues her sister from a paranormal attack but her sister ends up in a coma and she gets boxed into a corner because people closest to her find it hard to believe her account of what happened. Until FBI Agent Cordero comes into her life and validates the story. This empowers her to look for the answers to what happened to her sister.
Audra herself doesn’t have any real quirks but the people around her do. One character in particular is another FBI Agent named Yolanda who is racially ambiguous so she’s able to blend into different cultures and environments fairly easily. So there is a part where she goes with Audra to the town square to gain information. They way she approaches each person in their store matches what would make that person comfortable. So in one store she’s an instant friend with a goth sales girl and in another store she’s properly dealing with a snobby “wanna be” socialite.
What was your favorite scene to write?
That is tough to answer. This book is full of twists and turns. I love all of the characters they all bring so much to the story. The first delicious moment in this book for me is when Agent Audra Wheeler meets the Mayor of this strange little town of Specter. He physically hoists his weight into the tiny Sheriff’s station, which is an old school trailer, to tell Ethan Cole, the current Sheriff, how he wants him to handle the Miller murder which brought Agent Wheeler to the town in the first place. As I wrote it I correlated his physical weight with the weight of his title as Mayor of the town. Even though he’s bossing around the Sheriff and belittling Agent Wheeler he has absolutely no authority in the situation. So, I’m hoping that he comes across as being ridiculous.
Were there any scenes that were particularly difficult to write?
The entire plot surrounds the death of Abigail Stevens, which was an unsolved homicide. The scene, where her sister, Rene, has to tell Agent Wheeler Abigail’s story was extremely difficult for me because I have three sisters. Putting myself in Rene’s shoes was extremely difficult.
Tell us about your writing process.
I always begin with a question that surrounds a situation I haven’t seen before. What if we lived in a world where ghosts were the norm? Then I map out what I think that would be like. I generally decide how close to reality it might be. Then I imagine a problem in that world where the stakes are high for the world in general. Then I relate that high stakes problem to a problem facing the main character.
How does inspiration come to you?
In many ways. Sometimes I can sit and just begin writing. I might be in the middle of doing a mundane task like laundry or dishes. Different books, different movies. Conversations and life experiences.
Why do you think people will relate to this story?
The heart of the story is about family. This story touches on the incredible love and compassion that family can share as well as the dark secrets a family can carry. It also touches on family not just being blood relatives but the people who matter most in your life.
Do you write in other genres?
I have written a Sci Fi novella series called Amullette Rose . I’m also working on a horror series Ebulastin’ which is Gullah for Everlasting.
What are you working on right now?
A lot of things. More books of course and a television project. I’m also managing a non-profit effort to help-at risk youth that want to pursue a career in writing.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Be prepared to work. Start from the bottom, network, write every day, take the harsh criticism, perfect your voice, go to school if you can. No matter what don’t stop writing.
Give us three fun, totally random facts about yourself.
I once hopped a turnstile to get on train from Versailles to Paris.
My signature dish is spaghetti with ground turkey.
The Seven Sisters is one of my favorite constellations.
How can readers connect with you online?
Rasheedah Prioleau is a Southern African American writer with an eclectic range of writing and ghostwriting credits. After an unfulfilling stent in the corporate world she started over from the bottom as an unpaid intern at the age of twenty-six and never looked back.
“I love to write because there are no limits. All it takes is a finite space of time and I can create a story from infinite possibilities.”
Writers who have influenced her include: Judy Bloom, Jude Deveraux, V.C. Andrews, Octavia Butler, Stephanie Meyer, Charlaine Harris, Joss Whedon, William Nicholson, Shonda Rhimes, Quentin Tarantino, Tyler Perry, Mike Kelley, and J.J. Abrams… just to name a few.
Well that’s it! I hope you enjoyed the interview with Rasheedah! The novel will be available February 4 but in the meanwhile, you can view sample pages by going to American Specter’s Goodreads page.