Shani Greene-Dowdell currently resides in Opelika, Alabama. She is the mother of three and a wife. She is the author of Keepin' It Tight, editor and contributor of award-winning anthology Mocha Chocolate, and author of Secrets of a Kept Woman. She has received several awards and acknowledgements for her work and in 2011 converted her novel, Secrets of a Kept Woman, into a stage play that has entertained thousands.
In 2013, she will release the sequel to Secrets of a Kept Woman, as well as SAVOR a new erotic anthology.
SAVOR is a collection of passionate short stories that connect kindred souls for the dance of a lifetime. From the savory taste of sugar and cream in a hot cup of coffee to an accidental love affair, Savor will wet your palate and leave you completely satisfied. From a housewife with a big sexual appetite to a kind and gentle man who vows to love a neglected woman until she knows her worth, erotica and romance have never blended with this savory mixture. Every wish and desire of the heart is a reality as you savor the tempting tales of this anthology until the last drop.
UBAWA: When did you first decide you wanted to become an author?
Shani: In 2005 when I was challenged by a friend to complete my first book.
UBAWA: How did you decide on the idea for your 1st book? 2nd book? 3rd book, etc?
Shani: My first book stemmed from stereotypes of interracial relationships and the storyline took on a life of its own from there. My second book was an erotic anthology and the inspiration to compile the stories came when I saw an image of a woman sitting inside of a coffee cup with the words Mocha Chocolate on the outside of it. Thinking about my most intimate indulgences, I knew Mocha Chocolate would make a great title for a book and even better reading material.
UBAWA: How long did it take you to complete your first book? What was the process like?
Shani: It took me a little over a year. The process was full of taking notes, drafting, writing, and rewrites.
UBAWA: What’s so rewarding about writing books and being an author?
Shani: The accomplishment of completing a book is rewarding, but what I've learned about myself as I've written and discussed my work is the most rewarding part of being an author.
UBAWA: Was there ever a time you felt like giving up?
Shani: I've thought of taking a break from writing, but not giving it up completely.
UBAWA: There’s more to being an author than writing a book. How do you manage to handle the business side of things?
Shani: The business side is very time consuming and can kill creative energy. I spend a lot of time handling the business side of things and try to find balance by carving out time to write.
UBAWA: Do you have an editor or do you edit your own books?
Shani: I have an editor.
UBAWA: Who does the cover art for your book(s)?
Shani: Different people. Dynasty Covers Me designed the cover for my latest book (Savor).
UBAWA: Do you ever encounter writer’s block? How do you get past it?
Shani: I do and when I get writer's block I write about a different topic other than the one that has me stuck.
UBAWA: How often do you write?
Shani: At least once a week.
UBAWA: Tell us about your last book signing.
Shani: It was at Uptown restaurant in Auburn, AL on their beautiful patio, which set the mood perfectly for Savor. I read from my story "Love My Pain Away, along with Tralice Ware who read from her story, Mr. and Mrs. Myers (also a part of the anthology). It really was a special evening.
UBAWA: Beside social media, what other methods are you using to get the word out about your book(s)?
Shani: Word of mouth and flyers.
UBAWA: As a Woman of Color, what inspires you the most?
Shani: I am inspired by opportunity and potential.
UBAWA: Who is your biggest influence?
Shani: I have so many, it is hard to name one.
UBAWA: Have you ever done something in the past you regret? How did you get through it?
Shani: Yes definitely. Who hasn't? At first, I did not think that I would get through it, but I took it one day at a time and little by little there was less regret and more of a lesson to learn from.
UBAWA: How do you get through the tough times in life when life throws what it throws at you?
Shani: I hold strong to Psalm 30:5..."Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."
UBAWA: What is one goal you want to accomplish for yourself in 2013?
Shani: Finish the sequel to Secrets of a Kept Woman.
UBAWA: What do you have planned next?
Shani: The Secrets of a Kept Woman Stage Play will be in Washington, DC at the Howard University (Ira Aldridge Theater).
UBAWA: How can readers and others in the literary community reach you?
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