Author Spotlight: Eliza David

It is always super awesome to meet new authors on social media. Today on my blog I will have author Eliza David telling a little about herself. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did interviewing her.

Here’s Eliza

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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi there, I’m Eliza David.  I was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago (ten minutes from Michelle Obama’s childhood home…but almost everywhere on the Southside takes 15 minutes).  I’m always a ChiCity girl, but these days, I live with my family in Iowa City. I adore French fries, wine, and random acts of petty.

What do you do when you are not writing?

When I’m not writing, I’m doing everything else: working full time, raising kids, watching Sex and the City reruns, and planning the rare date night with my husband.

Do you have a day job as well?

Yes – I work full time in the education field.  It pays the bills so I can’t complain. (At least, I can’t complain publicly. Streets is watching.)

How did you choose the genre you write in?

There was never any doubt that I would write at least one romance novel.  Now that I’ve written ten, I know why romance is my chosen genre. It has everything I love in one package: love, sex, drama, and yes – men!

Where do you get your ideas?

I think about what I would want to read with a glass of wine. I think about my favorite romance/women’s fiction authors like Erica Jong, Eric Jerome Dickey, Jennifer Weiner, and Candace Bushnell – they have created characters that have stayed with me and I strive to do the same for my readers.

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

Having a strong social media helps (ProTip: Own a hashtag! Mine is #Cougarette!).  Social media is also great for networking with other writers, in and out of my genre. Indie writers have a special kinship.  When you work those relationships on a human level, you’ll find promotional support on a grassroots level. That said, I also invest in my brand daily.  From the book covers to the banner ads, I’m very hands on in getting the word out about my product.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Well, I write romance so yeah…some of my carnal history has seeped its way through the pages. I strive to give my characters parts of me (i.e. CeeCee’s aloofness, Laney’s foul mouth, Jay’s creativity) while still making them their own people.

What project are you working on now?

Besides my freelancing, I am working on two novels right now.  The first is Still Savage, the sequel to my last novel, Savage.  My second is still in the plotting stages, but it is an untitled novella about online fandom. It’s like Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments…but with a little sex.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

I like second chances. It’s a theme that I often weave into my narratives. Everyone deserves a second chance – the trouble is when they start expecting third, fourth, and fifth chances (some of my characters have that disorder!).

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Don’t try to emulate your fave. Tell the story you would want to read, not what you think someone else would enjoy.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

My cup runneth over for my fans especially my Day Ones that told their friends and family to read my novels. I could never thank them enough for their undying support of my naughty words. I hope they keep coming back for more (and you already know the pun was intended!).

Social Media:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Goodreads

Amazon

Author Bio:

Eliza David is the author of the five-star rated, six-book Cougarette Series. She was born and raised on the noisy South Side of Chicago, but now lives in super quiet Iowa. When she’s not writing, working full-time, or raising two children with her loving husband, Eliza enjoys reading throwback Jackie Collins and indulging in the occasional order of cheese fries.

Eliza is also a contributing writer for Real Moms of Eastern Iowa and Thirty On Tap. She was a featured panelist at the 2016 Iowa Soul Festival and was a headlining author at the 2016 Iowa City Book Fair. Her latest project, Savage, hit Amazon in September 2016.

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The Problem with Silence

This will not be my normal posts as I tend to share personal posts or book related posts. However this was an experience of mine two months ago. An experience I had a hard time dealing with. I debated if I should speak on it outside of when I got home and posted it on my private Facebook. I was angry. I was disgusted. I was hurt. But after I thought maybe my experience will help someone else.

We are told as authors that we shouldn’t speak up about issues because it is our job to write. Expressing my thoughts are something I was afraid to do because I thought what if I said something that someone else didn’t like and in the end my career or aspiring career will suffer?

The thing is as the last three years have went by with me writing, I have met people and most are good people and then some say thing sometimes say things that say people like me don’t matter. People like me shouldn’t be upset or hurt when there are many things that goes on in the world that says well being a black woman doesn’t mean a thing even when nothing you do fits “harmful stereotypes”.

raceImage from Leslie Mac on Twitter Post

I saw this image floating around a few months ago and it reminded me of the unfortunate situation I had to deal with on public transportation with my daughter, youngest sister and mother. This image was reported, but this image I happen to agree with. Because if you can allow people to do harmful things to others than you too are to blame.

It was my daughter’s birthday. We had a good time. I took her to the bookstore and we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. it was a good day. Laughs, learning new things, and good food.

On the way home we were in the city waiting for a train. We waited for a while actually as we grew a bit impatient when every train but the one I needed decided to come into the station.

Anyway, once the train we needed arrived, we waited to the sides of the door to let the passengers off. There were many of us waiting and being courteous of others. This white woman decides to push through all of us with her shopping cart to get to the one lone seat of in the middle of the train car. Normally, I don’t fight for a seat as it is never that serious, my issue however was she pushed my daughter. She pushed my sister. Shed pushed passed many people one who in fact was carrying his few month old child.

My mother and many of the people who were pushed in turn said that this woman should have said excuse me and to have some manners. Even in a city as crazy and fast at NYC, manners should never be put to the back burner.

The woman’s response was to only come after my mother and my family and call us n***ers. I’m sure you can see by the fact that I blocked out some of the letters was because this was a bad thing to say. At first I thought maybe I heard wrong. So I said “excuse me?” She repeated it with glee etched on her face and a smug look. She got to me. My mother said something first. But, I know that I didn’t revert to my usual ignore. I got angry. Really angry. One, maybe if this was only said to me I would have been able to hold my thoughts in. However, this was said to my teenage sister and my daughter.

My daughter has seen some of the crazy that has been in the world, but she has never been called a n***er to her face. I haven’t been called that to my face. I did have experience with racial stereotypes and with passive racism. I did not even know how to respond at first when she showed me that indeed I heard her correctly.

I started yelling at this woman because I was angry. One many people said this woman was rude. Many! We were on this particular train car with many white people. The only other minority there at the time outside of me and my family was these two Asian women who were sitting near where we stood. I cursed. I told her how dare she think this was okay? How dare she think that being disrespectful in that manner was okay? What I noticed more though was out of all the people who told her to say excuse me, she singled out the black people. My family were targets because we were the ones who were people of color who stood up to her.

Now the same white people who complained about her as well got really quiet. So quiet that I swore I was watching myself on a playback. They knew what she said was wrong. You could tell by the shock on their faces. But they said nothing. They didn’t try to back me up. They did nothing to show solidarity with me and my family. Actually some even looked afraid because I was yelling. My yelling looking at it now wasn’t the right way to respond. I know my response was because my daughter a girl who caused no trouble, who’s exceptional in school was called a racial slur. My sister who never seen something like this in person was called a racial slur. This woman recorded me because I was livid. I have never been that angry in all my life.

If I see someone being bullied, or harassed, or racial slurs are said, I will say something. Why? Because you can’t say we are all the same or that you see no color, and then when the time comes to show solidarity and to be an “ally” all of a sudden you say not a word. Nothing! Nobody came to my defense on that train. I was pegged the angry black woman though  I had every right to be angry. I had every right to be upset.

Once we got off the train this woman gets off says she wants to fight me and my mother and then run to the other train car. Some of the people on the platform saw this as well. Only one said that she was wrong and shouldn’t have said anything, but he whispered this to my family, and did not say this to the woman. The woman who needed to hear this.

After I calmed down and got on the next train to head home, I had to talk to my daughter. First I apologized for my anger. I apologized for handling it the way I did. I explained why this angered me and why we had to work harder because even in this day and age, we can be the best of people, and yet we will still be looked at as “n***ers”.

I know not everyone thinks like this. I know there are people who are unware of the way they think when they see a minority. I also know while there are people who aren’t racist, there are many who are. Many! The last year had shown me just how cruel people can be.

So why did I share this story? You can’t say you love all people. You can’t say that you’re an “ally”. You can’t say you will stand up for people like me, and when the opportunity presents itself then you say nothing. What’s a way to be a true ally of POC. Learn and educate yourself. POC shouldn’t have to do it all the time. If a POC gets weary from having to defend their right to be a POC or their livelihood step in and help out. Step in and say why we won’t tolerate racist behavior.

Silence can be just as deadly or just as bad as doing nothing at all. I hope that this can help people see that in this world we have to be there for one other. Really be there, and not talk a good game on social media. Not talk a good game to close friends. Let your words become actions.

If I happen to lose a reader because of this, well I’m about inclusion for all. If your beliefs put people like me or anyone else in any marginalized group to the back burner or tells us we don’t matter, that we don’t deserve decency, then I’m okay with losing that reader. I will not be silent on wanting everyone to be treated with decency.  We must do better. Period!

 

Until next time,

 

Kay