Welcome to Sugarbeat’s Books – The Home of the Romance Novel!
Today we are welcoming Empi Baryeh to the blog. She is the author of Most Eligible Bachelor & Chancing Faith, both of which she is going to talk about with us today! Empi is giving away a copy of her book to one lucky commenter. Make sure you leave a comment! Sit back and enjoy!
Barb – Tell us a bit about yourself and your writing.
Empi – I’m an author of heart-warming African and Interracial romance. I write the kind of stories
I like to read – sweet and tender with some sizzle. I live in the city of Accra in Ghana, where most of my stories are set. I speak French and a teensy bit of Spanish.
Odd fact about me: I can say ‘I love you’ in about 15 languages (it will probably not get me out of trouble in a foreign country, but still…)
My debut novel, Most Eligible Bachelor, came out in February and is available in eBook; my second, Chancing Faith, is coming out on 31st March, 2012.
Barb – Tell us about your two books – Most Eligible Bachelor and Chancing Faith
Empi – Both are contemporary novels set in Accra, Ghana.
Most Eligible Bachelor features a Ghanaian hero and heroine, Lord McKenzie and Chantelle Sah, who meet on Valentine’s Day. Chantelle is a woman who’s been burned by love and is afraid to risk her heart again; and a reputed playboy is definitely not the kind of man she expects to heal her broken heart.
Here’s a blurb:
Magazine columnist Chantelle Sah doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day—not since her fiancé’s betrayal three years ago—and after botching her first assignment as a feature writer, she’s more than willing to put in a hard day’s work this Valentine’s Day; even if it means going on a date with gorgeous construction Tycoon, Lord McKenzie, and opening herself to an onslaught of all things love.
When Lord—his given name, not a title—sets his sights on Chantelle, it isn’t just work he has on his mind. But even he couldn’t have predicted the magnetic attraction between them when they meet, nor the evening ending with more than an interview. Now he has to convince Chantelle that their one-night stand wasn’t a mistake. Can he win her love without revealing a secret from their night of passion, which could prove fatal for both their hearts?
Chancing Faith is an interracial romance featuring an American ad ex who finds love when he travels to Ghana on business, and a young intern whose current goal is to focus on her career. Although he’s White and she’s Black, this is an interracial novel that has less to do with colour and more to do with culture.
Here’s a blurb:
He didn’t do short-term relationships…
American ad exec, Thane Aleksander, doesn’t date co-workers either—until business takes him to Ghana, West Africa, and he meets Naaki. Now he’s at risk of breaking all the rules. Can he stop this headlong fall before it’s too late?
Until he met her!
Naaki Tabika has a burning need to prove, to herself and others, that she’s more than wife and mother material. To do so, she’s prepared to give up everything for her job. Meeting Thane, however, makes her want to get personal. But falling for her boss could destroy her career. Will she be willing to risk it all for the one thing that can make her truly happy?
Two divergent cultures, two different races, two career-driven professionals, only one chance at true love—will they find the faith to take it, or will their hearts be sacrificed on the altar of financial success?
Barb – Do you create an outline before you start writing, or do you let the characters take the story away?
Empi – My stories are definitely character driven. If I don’t feel like I know who my characters are, then writing becomes a little harder. The doesn’t mean I use character sheets; it’s more of ‘interacting’ with them like I would a real person and that makes the characters feel real to me than if I were to itemise their positive and negative attributes on a paper.
As far as the story, I usually have a general idea of what I want to write about. In the case of Chancing Faith, I wanted to write an interracial romance that didn’t make a huge deal of the fact that he’s White and she’s Black. That was seriously all I had when I first put pen to paper (well – fingers to keyboard) to write. Most Eligible Bachelor, started as a shor story for a Valentine’s Day writing prompt that required the evening to end with a kiss.
Barb – When you made your first sale, how did you celebrate and with whom?
Empi – My first sale was Chancing Faith. I remember staring at the email from Black Opal Books’ editor, Lauri, and thinking omgsh omgsh omgsh. It was late in the evening, one of those days that I decided to check my mail one last time before logging off. At that time of night my brother was the only person I knew for sure was up, so he was the first to know. I’d opened a bottle of wine the day before, so I had some 🙂
Barb – What is it you love most about writing? What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Empi – What I love most is creating worlds (not in a paranormal sense) and people, and deciding what happens to them. In the past, I wrote for a limited audience of my best friends, and so sharing a new story with them has often been a motivator. I also write on inspiration, so when I’m writing, there’s some major excitement roiling inside me. AND I can do it in my underwear 🙂
The hardest part is being able to write daily. I haven’t been able to achieve that for periods longer than a month or so. I admire authors who are able write on schedule. That is definitely something I’d like to be able to do.
Barb – Do you find challenges in writing stories not set in North America or do you find that readers are appreciative of something different?
Empi – Not at all. I’m not from North America, so it’s easier for me to write stories not set there. I used to worry that readers wouldn’t like my stories because they are set in Africa and have African sensitivities. What I discovered is a whole world of readers who want something new, something different, and for some, stories/characters they can readily relate with.
Barb – Do you have a favorite character from your stories or are they like your children and you can’t choose between them?
Empi – LOL. I tend to fall in love with whomever I’m writing about, so it’s not exactly like children (or maybe it is exactly like that – love them all, but like some more at different times. hehe) That said, of I were to look at it in the sense of which hero I’d most likely go out with (marry) or which heroine would get along best with me, based on personality, I could make some selections.
Barb – Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Empi – There’s a bit of myself in all my characters, I think – some more than others.
Barb – What book is currently on your nightstand?
Empi – My nightstand has other stuff on it, but my current reads are, The Darkest Hour by Donna Ball (a print book that I read en route to work and at lunch time cos I can carry it around); Zakia and the Cowboy by Lorraine Nelson, which is an ebook I read after writing/browsing at night (note to self: get eReader).
Barb – Where can your fans find you?
Empi – I’m easily accessible at the following places:
Barb – Where is your work available?
Empi – Buy links for Most Eligible Bachelor:
Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/most-eligible-bachelor-by-empi-baryeh/
All Romance eBooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-mosteligiblebachelor-677351-149.html
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Most-Eligible-Bachelor-Distinction-ebook/dp/B0074VTHNO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328515432&sr=1-1
(and all other Amazon sites worldwide)
Buy links for Chancing Faith.
Barnes & Noble (on pre-order): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chancing-faith-empi-baryeh/1038109547?ean=9781937329365&itm=2&usri=empi+baryeh
Black Opal Books (pre-order from 17th March): http://www.blackopalbooks.com/
Barb – What project are you working on now?
Empi – I’m one of those authors who have more than one project going on at any given time, but I’ve limited myself to two or three at a time since I started pursuing writing as a career. Both Most Eligible Bachelor and Chancing Faith are the first of two separate series: ‘Men of Distinction’ and ‘From Ghana with Love’, respectively. So I’ve started the sequels to both stories. I’ve also been working on a fiction memoir, which I hope to complete this year. When those are done, I hope to embark on a royal trilogy, set in a fictional African kingdom, that I’ve been plotting for some time now. (I’m a busy bee, I know)
Barb – Anything else you’d like to add?
Empi – Yes. As part of my blog tour, I’m giving away one free ebook each week to one lucky commenter on my blog tour. Each blog you comment on will count as one (i.e. the more blogs you comment on the greater your chances of winning). The prize is the winner’s choice of an ebook copy of either Most Eligible Bachelor or Chancing Faith. My blog tour schedule can be found here (http://empibaryeh.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/pre-release-blog-tour-kick-off-chancing-faith /)
Thanks so much for having me on Sugarbeat’s Books, Barb, and thank you to everyone who posted a comment.
- Guest Post by Empi Baryeh (gnbstacks.blogspot.com)
- SPECIAL GUEST Empi Baryeh and a New IR Romance Novel (delaneydiamond.com)
- Debut Author Empi Baryeh’s 2 new books (rwowa.wordpress.com)
- Review – Empi Baryeh’s Most Eligible Bachelor (readinpleasure.wordpress.com)
- Empi Baryeh in da House! (laradanielswrites.com)
- Excerpt from Most Eligible Bachelor by Empi Baryeh (rwowa.wordpress.com)