Today, I would like to welcome Mahalia Levey, author of many books in many different genres. I hope you enjoy the interview and be sure to check the whole post. There is a lot to see!
Lisa: Please let us a bit about yourself.
Mahalia: Where to begin….My pen name is Mahalia Levey. I am a mother of three talented teenagers in high school, two girls and one boy. I’ve been writing for publication for just a little over two years. I enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing. I do read all kinds of genres outside of romance.
Lisa: When did you know that you wanted to write for a living?
Mahalia: Never. LOL. I wrote just for myself and then joined a loop of writers. One of my editors found me there and challenged me to give submissions to a publication house a try. I love a good challenge so here I am today. I always feel bad when I say I never had the ultimate dream to be a writer. I fell into it and from there I’ve blossomed and gained so much growth as a writer and a person.
Lisa: That is awesome, a very unique story. So what genres do you write and why?
Mahalia: I have no rhyme or reason to my genres. The characters pretty much take over my brain, tell me who they are and their story and I pen it. I write a mixture of Contemporary including: Military Romance, Interracial Romance ,African American Romance and one short Cougar novella. I also write an array of Paranormal Romance including: Shifters, Demons, Gargoyles and Fallen Angels. My first BDSM novel is coming soon and I have one Cosmic Sci Fi Romance.
Lisa: You said that you enjoy reading as much as writing. What is your favorite genre to read?
Mahalia: That is a hard question to answer that’s dependant on my current mood. I love paranormal and BDSM. I could read those forever but sometimes I just want to read old favorites that are traditional romance. The ones I used to nab from my grandma’s shelf or find lost among the new books in the local library. The authors vary; the publishing houses vary as well. Traditional romance or general fiction. Mario Puzo. Jodi Piccoult and others. A good example would be Creative Writing in College seven years ago. We were given a six page back to back handout and asked to pick one book from the hundreds to read that we hadn’t read before. I had read every book before I hit tenth grade on that list. That fact didn’t surprise the professor so I picked a book to do my essay on by Nicolas Sparks. “A Walk to Remember.” I love that book.
Lisa: I feel the same way, just depends on my mood. You are very well read! That gives you a lot of context for what has been done and lots of ideas for that to do I am sure. So I noticed on your website that you work with numerous publishing houses. Do you find it challenging to work with the number you do?
Mahalia: Thank you for the compliment! Working with different publishers is not difficult. I do have to pay attention to formatting, checking that I’ve formatted to each specific pub’s guidelines. I think in fact that I gain more knowledge about this profession. When you work with a handful of talented individuals you get so many more perceptions. Most of my editorial advice is the exact same. Also by having more publishers, my brand is out there more. I constantly have something out even if it’s a short story. I write different lengths. I like to break up the longer ones with short ones. Change of pace, and when you do short stories you have to write tighter, so it’s a way of keeping on my toes as well as providing a fun and smoking hot read to the readers.
Lisa: Thanks, I never really thought about it meaning your brand was out there more. What do you enjoy most about writing and can you share with us a bit about your current WIP?
Mahalia: Word weaving. I enjoy the use of words to convey a story full of description and a lot of emotion. I try to layer the characters deeply and to bring real life issues from my different ethnicities and a deeper purpose. The imagination is a wonderful tool along with life experience. I also enjoy researching and observing people. The first part of my second novel Merikano’s Fury is where the heroine is walking inNew York Citywatching how each person is missing out on what’s happening around them due to their technological devices. Which WIP? I have about four at one time. Right now I’m working on Only Skin Deep an interracial romance. I’m about half done with it. I’m also working on Hakan the second in my Demonic Prophesies Implied Trilogy and Wrath the Fallen Book One.
Lisa: How do you keep track of all of that?
Mahalia: My editors keep me in line! Kidding. I sort of have a system. Most of my genres are at different publishers so it’s easy to keep them separate and know what needs done next.
Lisa: Sounds interesting. Do you have a favorite book that you have written?
Mahalia: Not Since You just released and it’s my favorite. I finally brought my very first heroine to publication. I had over two thousand pages and used none of them. I’d scope and get overwhelmed so we started with the crucial parts of her and what led her to that point. The short story is a rekindled romance full of the drudge of owning up to your screw ups and moving forward instead of ducking out of life and taking the cowardly road.
Lisa: Congrats! It must feel great to accomplish that. If you could tell my readers anything what would it be?
Mahalia: Thank you so much for the compliment. It felt great to bring her and her family to publication. Now what would I tell your readers? To broaden their scope of reading. There are some fantastic jewels waiting to be read and to look for the hidden meaning in a story a life lesson of sorts.
Lisa: Great advice – now I have a couple of quick fun questions for you.
Lisa: tea or coffee
Mahalia: Decaf coffee
Lisa: TV or Movies
Lisa: Country or City
Lisa: Snow or Rain
Lisa: Day or Night
Lisa: Ice Cream or Cake
Mahalia: Ice Cream but melted
Lisa: Thanks! I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy writing schedule to give us a peek into your work.
Mahalia: Anytime! Now for the good stuff. I am part of a charity group called Authors Helping Harry that goes on sale next Wed. I don’t have a link yet but please check out my blogsite www.mahalia2010.wordpress.com I’ll have information for this Charity soon. I’d love to give away a copy of Not Since You to one reader who comments.
Love is Worth Fighting For
Blurb: A moment of reckless passion changed S’Niah Donovan’s life. As her family’s healer, she’s coveted, and as the only female in three generations, she’s overprotected. Personal tragedy takes her faith and hope in one fell swoop, unfairly harming the one man who’s brought nothing but joy to her darkened life.
Mason Donovan loves two things, music and his mate. The complicated woman wove an unbreakable spell around his heart and then shattered it with her desertion. No longer human, unable to leave her as she did him, he sticks around, in the shadows, learning his new craft and how to tame his beast. Three years later, enough is enough. He now plans on using every trick of magic to bring his wayward mate back into his life
“S’Niah Murielle Donovan.”
Her name and the loud banging on the door broke apart their conversation. Sin looked at Reina and groaned.
“Well, I guess you have your answer.”
Reina dinged it right on the dot. Chaos erupted in her home. The sound of Havi bellowing added to Lyric’s voice saying her movie was over. Sin cast a surreptitious glance at the door, playing it off as if she didn’t know who was out there. Reina pinched her into action.
“Get to that door. I got the kids.” Reina darted into the playroom to handle Havi’s racket.
“Lyric, Auntie Reina will be in in a minute, okay,” Sin called out to her daughter as she headed to her front door, placing her hand on the knob and removing it. Would Mason go away if she pretended not to be home? She stepped back on her tiptoes.
“I don’t have time for games, S’Niah. I know you’re right on the other side of the door.”
He couldn’t possibly. Or had his senses picked up quite a bit more? Sin closed her hand around the knob and opened it up a sliver. “What do you want and how do you know where I live?”
“To talk…and I’ve always known.”
He sounded a bit angry and smelled better than the scone she’d devoured alongside Reina. “I have to feed the baby.”
“Hiding behind him still? Worked earlier, not this time. Let me in.”
“Mason Donovan, you have some nerve demanding I let you into my home.”
“I played things your way once before, Sin. Not again. You can open the door and let me in to talk like civilized adults or I can break it down and let myself in to talk at you uncivilized.”
Sin shut the door with force and wove an intricate ward with her dancing fingertips. Feeling rather smug with herself, she turned, her intention to finish her conversation with Reina after seeing to Havi.
Pinpricks of unease drifted down her spine, her tiger moving restlessly just under her skin, pacing. She sniffed at the smell of magic and turned back at the door to see her ward unraveling quickly. In an effort to keep Mason out, she called upon her best spell and began a second level to shield her from his presence.
“I could do this all night and the next day.” Mason’s voice rang with determination and a hint of arrogance.
Sin cracked her knuckles and sat on the floor Indian style. “Let’s see what you got, or did you forget you gained your magic from me?” Sparks fizzled in front of her. He danced a fine tune, dissolving layers of symbols. Each time he gained entry, she slammed him with another tighter woven ward and smirked though he couldn’t see it.
“You think that after a year of strategy with Roarke and Valerian I couldn’t disable a simple ward?”
“I don’t think it. I know it. You can barely keep up with my talent. You’re good…but I’m better.”
“Sin. I gave Havi a bottle and grabbed two more. Taking them over to my place,” Reina yelled.
“No. Wait. Reina.” Sin groaned.
“Problems? I’ll give you a handicap. As soon as the door shuts and she’s free. You have ten seconds to enable a new ward.”
Sin wasn’t a fool. Yeah, she needed the handicap. He’d grown in capabilities since she last saw him. “Deal.” Her palms sweated profusely. Her back screen door slammed shut, the sound resonating to her anticipating-audible sense. Rewriting the ward took a second longer than she anticipated. At each turn she stumbled to keep it moving, watching it stall on her and break apart into tiny fragments.
The door flew open with a spike of energy that sent shards of ice-cold unease rippling across her body. Mason stepped in and used telekinesis to slam the door shut behind him, and the entire time his scrutinized glare daring her to bolt, to give him a reason to chase.
Sin blinked in rapid succession and licked her dry lips. Her mouth went dry the moment she raked her gaze over his toned body decorated in new artwork. The white tee shirt stretched over his pectorals and the nipple rings he sported. Cargo pants encased his muscular thighs and side view of his ass she’d glimpsed briefly at the grocery store earlier. Now faced with all of him, desire coiled within her, waking the sleeping tiger she’d put into hibernation. On sensory overload, her breath came out in uneven spurts, mimicking her unsteady, palpating heartbeat.
Yeah, he enjoyed her discomfort. Run or stand my ground. There wasn’t time for bubble gum in a dish or some other childish game to help her come to a resolution.
“Boo.” He leaned forward, breaking her concentration.
For more from Mahalia:
link to the rest of the Tygara Ambush. Tigers run in ambushes and streaks. http://mahalia2010.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/familia-tygara/