Friday, June 22, 2012

Love Pour Over Me: Interview

Today, I'd like to welcome over Denise Turney, author of Love Pour Over Me, for an interview!

What audiences, do you think, read your book(s)? 

Women between the ages of 28 and 55, women who enjoy reading about complicated characters.

What is something you’d tell yourself when you were first started on your writing journey, not to worry about? 

Early on I edited-edited-edited as I wrote.  Phew!  That critical process made finishing a paragraph take forever. Therefore, in order finish a short story or novel I told myself not to worry about editing under after I’d gotten the complete story on paper.

What would be something that you’d tell yourself to worry about when you first started on your writing journey?

I told myself was to focus on creating a believable yet engrossing plot as well as engaging characters, people readers would instinctively care about. Looking back, I wish I’d focused more on the marketing piece of writing early on. However, I’ve always received insights and guidance on new strategies I could try to expand my readership and those insights and strategies have proved fruitful.

Your favourite part of your writing journey?

Creating characters and putting them in situations that may, at times, seem impossible to escape from or overcome, then watching the characters not only continue to develop but also escape from or overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. I have to tell you, that I also absolutely love meeting and connecting with readers!! I haven’t been on the road the way I was several years ago, when I attended a literary or cultural event (selling and signing my books) every other weekend at an out-of-town event.

Your least favourite part of your writing journey? 

Feeling like regardless of the number of times I edit a story (even after sending it to my editor) there’s more I can do to improve upon the story. For this reason, I very seldom re-read my books after they are published.  The few times I’ve read my shorter pieces like Portia and Long Walk Up, I’ve always found something I wish I had changed even if I was generally pleased with the story. Could be the critic’s eye in me!

A typical writing day for you

Currently, I’m doing my fair share of non-fiction writing, creating content for small businesses and major corporations (e.g. white papers, researched articles). Therefore, my day usually begins with me tackling non-fiction work. When I’m writing fiction I jump right into the story. I can get into the heart of a novel I’m creating at once, within seconds.  I’ll generally write for two to three hours then take a break.

One book you read that you wished you’d written?

Wow!  Great question!  A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.  It remains my favorite fiction book.  I also love near everything Joyce Carol Oates and Jamaica Kincaid have written. My favorite short story of all time remains James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” – talk about a masterpiece!

Seat-of-your-pantser, or a plotter? 

A little of both.  My books often have a touch of mystery to them with Spiral being my strongest mystery work to date. I like to keep readers hanging on, guessing what’s going to happen to characters next.

What do you think is your strongest area in your books? (characters, plot, dialogue, ext?)

Characterization and dialogue. Fortunately, my editor agrees as do many readers I’ve heard from. Readers have to care about the people they’re reading about to fully appreciate a story.

What do you think is your weakest?

Pacing – sometimes I think I pack events into a story while at other times I slow a story down so readers can familiarize themselves with a character’s motives. What I once did but no longer do is provide a lot back story with a novel unless I feel it’s warranted. I am very much a “show” don’t tell writer.

What helps you get through a novel when it’s dragging while writing

I stop writing once the writing feels forced. Reason being is that when I feel like I’m forcing myself to keep writing I find all of that writing ends up hitting the cutting room floor so-to-speak. In other words, it’s writing that doesn’t stay in the finished story, so I do myself the favor and step away from the novel.

Tradition or self published, which one is best for you and why? 

I’ve done both. I prefer self-publishing for this simple reason – writers generally do the bulk of the marketing and promoting. Considering the work I put into a novel, I prefer to keep a larger share of the returns for my efforts.

Do you participate in wrimos? 

I haven’t to date. I am, however, a member of a local professional writer’s group that meets at a Barnes & Noble at a shopping mall.

Best part about writing?

The absolute joy I feel when I’m writing a novel!!  No other experience has created such instant and continuous joy for me the way writing novels does. I appreciate the experience tremendously!!

If you could design a perfect room for writing, what would it look like? 

Interesting question!  The room would have lots of plants, and maybe a few flowers, in it. My desk (as it does now) would be in front of a window that bid sunlight to come streaming through all day. A comfortable high back leather chair would be pushed close to a cherry wood desk. In the desk drawers would be enough felt tip pens for me to write with for several years. Metal file cabinets would stand like sentinels on the other side of the room.  A warm carpet would pamper my feet. Truth be told, my current office mirrors my perfect office a lot except for the several plants!  I have one cactus on my office desk right now.

A rough estimate of how many books do you think you’ll publish/have published?

I’ve published six novels to date (Portia, Spiral, Long Walk Up, Love Has Many Faces, Rosetta’s Great Hope and my latest novel – Love Pour Over Me).  I’m currently working on my seventh novel. Excerpts from most of my books are available at my website –

What influenced you to be a writer? 

A love of reading!  As a young girl, I was a voracious reader!  I also had an experience when I was 10 years old that revealed to me, very clearly, that I am a writer.

How many books and ebooks do you think you have? 

Oh-my-goodness!  I have given books away.  I’m guessing I have owned or read well over a 1,000 books. In fact, I may have read several thousand books easily. Most of the books I’ve read are print books.

Writers who influenced your work aka some favourite authors?

Joyce Carol Oates is my all-time favorite writer. Other writers whose works I appreciate include Jamaica Kincaid, James Baldwin, J. California Cooper (Wow! A lot of J’s!  LOL!), Gwendolyn Brooks, Leslie Esdaile Banks, Gloria Naylor, Nicole Titus, Maxine Thompson and a host of other writers.  I love these writers’ style and voice.  Their writing flows so well.

What sparks a novel for you?

Believe it or not, I just sit down and start writing.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to interview with you and connect with your many readers and supporters!  You ask excellent questions, my friend!

*Thanks, I try :) *

Love Pour Over MePortiaLove Has Many FacesSpiral and Long Walk Up's author, Denise Turney, has over 36 years of writing experience. She is a full-time writer whose works have appeared in:Essence, Ebony, The Network Journal, Madame Noire, Bahiyah Woman, Today's Black Woman, Parade, Sisters In Style, Your Church Magazine, Modern Dad Magazine, KaNupepa, The Trenton Times, Family Times, The Preacher's Magazine, Black Living, Princeton, New Jersey's Business and Entertainment Weekly - US 1, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Pif, Q, The Trenton State College Literary Review, North Carolina University's Literary Journal, Obsidian II and various other magazines and newspapers across the nation. She has appeared on radio and television stations around the United States. Denise has spoken at major festivals, conferences, colleges and universities, including Black Herstory, Spelman College, Emory University, Take Our Daughters to Work Day, Philadelphia Bible College and the Philadelphia Community College. She is a newspaper and magazine columnist and the editor of the literary periodical The Book Lover's Haven which you can subscribe to by clicking Subscribe BLH.

Contact and Buy AKA Links:

Love Pour Over Me, a story about restored love amid heart wrenching contrasts, recounts Raymond Clarke’s tumultuous, yet triumphant life experiences. The cradle of Raymond’s life is steeped in unpredictability. His father struggles with alcoholism. His mother abandoned him when he was two years old. Raymond’s track and field successes make him one of America’s top middle-distance runners. His athletic exploits also earn him a scholarship to a prestigious university, where Raymond meets a motley sort of friends, some famous, some from other countries, each with an intriguing story of his own. But, just when Raymond thought he was free from his alcoholic father, he finds himself pulled into an unresolved murder. His efforts to go unscathed by the pull and tug of intimacy also threaten to keep him from the one woman he's ever truly loved, the woman he was born to love.

Stops on the Tour:
June 20 - Introduction at VBT Cafe' Blog
June 22 - Interviewed at Words I Write Crazy
June 25 - Interviewed at Mass Musings
June 27 - Guest Blogging with Cindy Vine
June 29 - Reviewed & Interviewed at Nita Bee's Buzzin' WebBlog
July 2 - Guest Blogging at The Book Hoard
July 5 - Interviewed at Mocha Girls Read
July 10 - Reviewed at Books, Books, and More Books
July 12 - Interviewed at MK McClintock's Blog
July 14 - Reviewed & Interviewed at A Book Lover's Library
July 17 - Guest Blogging at Law Reigns


  1. Thank you for hosting Denise :)

  2. Denise, Best wishes for your tour! Sure glad to hear an author let us know she's a show not tell writer...Readers easily can tell the difference...but not all authors follow the principle...What decided you in that direction?


  3. :)

    Yeah for that, because showing is a lot more interesting to read about! :)


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