PUYB Blog Tour: Interview with Alicia Singleton + Win $100 Visa Card!

I have a treat for you!  I have an interview with the lovely Alicia Singleton, author of Dark Side of Valor plus she's giving away a $100 Visa card!  Details on how you can win follows the interview.  Good luck!



Born and raised in Philadelphia, the Howard University graduate embraced the written word at an early age. She credits this to her loving, older sister whom, while they were youngsters, made the author eat lotion on a regular basis. Realizing the need to sound-out the ingredients on the lotion label, Alicia stopped the lotion-eating practice, but continued to read the labels of the concoctions her sister brought for her to try. This early necessity to read flowered to a passion; hence, a writer was born.The award winning author resides in Maryland with her wonderful husband and son.  Still an avid reader, label or otherwise, Alicia is hard at work completing her next suspense novel.Her latest book is the suspense novel, Dark Side of Valor. Visit Alicia’s website at www.aliciasingleton.com.
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Child advocate Lelia Freeman saves children for a living. As the director of ChildSafe Shelters, she ventures to abandoned squats and crackhouses to rescue teens from the hellish streets of Los Angeles. When she is summoned to Washington to serve on a committee that aids the children of a war-torn African nation, Lelia is kidnapped and becomes a political pawn in a sinister conspiracy. Oceans away from everything she knows, she must trust a mercenary to save her life, or die in the clutches of a psychopath.
Hunting, combat and staying alive are Elijah Dune’s specialties. Vengeance is his passion. Haunted by past demons, he’s travels to the Motherland to collect a debt. A debt that demands one payment. Death.
Caught in the crosshairs of a madman, Lelia and Elijah must survive the jungles of Zaire and the horrors of their pasts or be forever consumed by the DARK SIDE OF VALOR.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Alicia.  Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Dark Side of Valor?

My earliest memory of loving the craft of writing is the sixth  
grade.  In my adult years, I took writing classes and attended   
workshops and seminars to educate myself on the writing
process.  I’ve pursued being a published author for 18 years.

Dark Side of Valor started off being a totally different novel. 
Initially, I did not choose to write about teen runaways and teen
homelessness.  The novel was originally about a woman held
captive in a foreign country and she needed to escape back to
the United States.  So, I began to research runaways from
foreign lands.  Every time I’d type in the search parameters,
books, reports and articles popped up about teen runaways and
homeless teens.  After several hours, I gave up and read one of
the articles, then another, then a report, then a life account. 
After about an hour, I was sitting in front of the library
computer blubbering.  As I finished reading, I had to write their
stories and out of their stories, Lelia Freeman was born. 

Q: How did you choose your title and was it your first choice?

There is an old saying, ‘No good deed goes unpunished.’ Many
times, performing a good deed, being courageous or helping
others, may lead to negative outcomes.  That is the meaning
behind Dark Side of Valor; the dark side or negative side of being
courageous.  Many times in the novel, Lelia, the main character,
must live with the negative consequences of helping others.

Dark Side of Valor was the first choice for a title.  I couldn’t see
the novel being titled anything else.     

Q: We all know that publishers can’t do all of the publicity and that some lies on the author.  What has your publisher done so far to publicize the book and what have you done?

Simon and Schuster sent out ARDs to various trade magazines for   
review, added Dark Side of Valor and my profile to several of
their genre specific sites, produced an author video and
distributed it throughout the web, provided an author website
on Simon and Schuster’s website and organized a book signing.

Personally, I hired a web designer to build a better website for   
me then I started to build my social media network.  I also
participate in book signings, event appearances and radio
interviews and I’ve commissioned a book trailer with
distribution, paid for email blasts and web ads.

Q: Open to a random page in your book.  Can you tell us what is happening?

On page 169, Lelia, the main character, sneaks into Elijah
Dune’s room to ask for help escaping from her kidnappers. 
When Lelia hears the shower and ventures into Elijah’s 
bathroom to talk to him, she gets an encounter she didn’t
bargain for.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

Yes, many, many, many more. 

Q: What is the one thing you learned about your book AFTER it was published?

It still brings tears to my eyes when I read reviews about Dark
Side of Valor.  To be compared to the writing legends I admire
and to read the glowing critiques and accolades makes all of the
years in waiting and hard work worth while.

Q: What is your most favorite time of the day or night to write?

For me, evening time is the best.  Once I’ve finished the book
promotions, answered emails and taken care of any family
obligations, I can clear my mind to write.

Q: What is usually better – the book or the movie?

It depends.  When a 350 page novel is adapted into a movie,
every emotion, nuance or event can’t be acted out.  The movie
would go on forever.  However, if the script writer, director and
actors can visually portray the true essence of the novel, then
they may trump the novel in their portrayal of the story.

Q:  You’re about to write your next book.  What did you learn from your previous book to help you write your next book?

My next novel is about three quarters finished.  It’s easier this
go round because I don’t begrudge the scenes I have to re-write
and re-write and re-write.  The scenes that I had to compose
over and over again in Dark Side of Valor ended up being the
best scenes in the novel. 

Q: Finally, what’s your best tip you can give to writers who want to be published?

Learn the craft of writing and learn it well.  Always seek ways to
educate yourself on how to become a better writer.  Trauma
surgeons, professional ballerinas, electrical engineers, classical
pianists, Olympic gymnasts and architects don’t learn their
crafts in a weekend.  Neither can great writers.  Again, educate
yourself.  Also, a writer that wants to be published needs to  
network.  Attend conferences, meet editor, agents and other
writers.  To be successful, an author also needs to learn to 
market their novel.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Alicia.  Do you have any final words?

Thank you so much for interviewing me on The Writer’s Life. 
Stay tuned for my next suspense novel.  The research for that
book has taken me to a South Carolina swamp, a rice
plantation where one of Mel Gibson’s movies was filmed, on a
Civil War naval battleship, and a graveyard.  It was
phenomenal!  I hope to take readers on a thrill ride they won’t
soon forget.


~ ~ ~$100 VISA CARD GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~

Pump Up Your Book and Alicia Singleton are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $100 Visa Card! Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

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