Interviewed by Ni’cola Mitchell
Francis Ray is a literary legend with too many books to mention. I had the opportunity to sit down with her and discuss writing, publishing and the inspiration and hard works to keep moving forward. Unfortunately she past away before we were able to publish.
1.What inspires you to write?
What inspires me to write is the desire to write a story where love triumphs despite overwhelming odds. Long term, lasting relationships take time to build and require honesty, commitment, trust and love. In any relationship there will be problems. The degree of happiness your achieve with depend on the factors I mentioned previously.
2. What type of time management skills do you utilize to maintain consistency when writing several books at a time?
I wish you could see me laughing. I’m really not sure how I managed to write those 4 books within a year. I did have a 10 page daily word count, but I don’t recall paying it that much attention. I believe the main thing that helped get the books written was the pull of the story itself. I wrote more and goofed off less. Also, I had a well-defined synopsis for each story. I knew where I was going, and didn’t have to “plot” as I wrote.
3. Authors sometimes use their characters to send a general message to their readers, what message if any do your characters send?
I always try to let my readers, especially woman, know that life can flatten you at the least unexpected time. You can’t wallow in self-pity or poor me. You have to get up, fight and overcome whatever obstacle that’s in your way.
4. How long does it take for you to write a book from start to finish?
Length of time to start/finish a book varies. My romance books are a bit shorter than my mainstream, but I might have to do more research on the romance books. I’d say an average of 4 months. But as I said earlier, that can change as it did when I wrote the last books.
5. What suggestions would you give writers on how to obtain multiple contracts at the same time?
I’m not sure I’d advise multiple contracts at the same time. You have to figure in research, writing the books, revisions and marketing are just a few things you’ll have to juggle. Then, too, you want to meet all deadlines so your editor will know you’re dependable. I’d much rather have a multi-book contract with one house. If you’re talking about how to obtain multiple contracts ( 3 or more) from the same editor/publishing house, I’d advise turning in consistent, high-quality, on-time manuscripts. Let your editor/agent know you’re ready to move up a bit. The more work you turn out, the more reader recognition you’ll have.
6. Tell us about all of your titles that are scheduled to be released this year. Which one is your favorite and why?
ALL I EVER WANTED, A Grayson Friends Novel # 8 – February 26, 2013 : A woman and her small daughter are looking for a new life away from her ex-husband..
ALL OF MY LOVE, eBook May 14, 2013: A divorced couple find their might still care for the other.
AFTER THE DAWN, A Family Affair/Hidden Legacy novel # 3 – June 18, 2013: The well-being Elms Fork depend if two people fighting an irresistible attractions can work together.
ALL THAT I NEED, A Grayson Friends Novel # 9- July 2, 2013: A man has to learn to trust with his heart.
ALL THAT I DESIRE, A Grayson Friends novel # 10 – October 29, 2013: A security expert is trying to remain professional while protecting a woman he desperately wants in his bed.
My favorite is ALL THAT I DESIRE. Readers have waited years for Rio’s story. Rio is gorgeous and can look through a woman. A highly trained security expect, he takes orders from no man – not even his boss – unless he wants to. He doesn’t want home and hearth, but that’s exactly what Skylar wants for him. Let the games begin.
7. All you books get nothing less then 4 stars when it comes to reviews, what do think sets your works apart from others?
I’m so grateful for the wonderful reviews. I try so very hard to write the best book each time. I really enjoy writing about the inner workings of family dynamics. I also enjoy seeing women triumph over the odds against them. Perhaps, these themes appeal to reviewers. In any case, I really appreciate them,and hope and pray the good reviews continue.
8. Who are some of your biggest influences and why?
Publishing is changing so much these days it’s difficult to pin-point my biggest influences. With the rise of electronic books, one influence could be seriously looking at independent publishing. The success of Indie authors can’t be denied. However, as in mainstream, not all Indie authors will be successful. Then you have your veteran writers like Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz and Kimberla Lawson Roby who continually just get the work done. They’re a huge influence. Book after book, they just do the work. These great writers tell a compelling story with a satisfying ending. I marvel and hope I’m around as long.
9. What is the biggest advice you would give any aspiring author?
The biggest advise I’d give an aspiring writers would be to join Romance Writers of America – http://www.rwa.org/, the local chapter, and attend conferences when possible.This is a new stance for me. However, now there is so much going on at the local level where the aspiring writers can learn the craft and the business end of writing. To succeed he/she will have to know both. To those looking at multicultural, there is a multicultural chapter in RWA. Also, independent is Romance Slam Jam, rwaslamjam.org, an independent organization devoted to honoring readers. Once you see that book, you’ll need readers.
10. Random question: What was your favorite childhood book?
Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Even as a child I loved the possibility of the unexpected happening, and happy endings – although some stories did not.
11. If you had to describe your style of writing who would you say it was most similar to?
I’ve often thought about this questions, and have to admit, I haven’t come up with an answer. I’d love to say Kristen Hannah because of the family ties. All I can say is that I’m trying.
12. If you could make anyone of your novels into a movie which one would you pick to be on the big screen and why?
If I could make any of my books into a movie it would be AFTER THE DAWN. I’m pick Morris Chestnut as Dillon Montgomery because not only is he handsome, but he has a boyish, enduring quality that appeals to people.