Mahogany SilverRain Interview Published on: 06, Nov 2019

Born in New Orleans, LA, which is your favorite childhood memory?

My favorite memory is attending the Mardi Gras, Zulu, and Bacchus parades and riding a white horse with the Indian Tribes and meeting the chief with the beautiful costumes in every color. They are the ultimate peacocks, proudly strutting down the street saying, "Am I the prettiest?" And if you know he is, you better say, "Yes Chief!"

How challenging were your early days while being raised by a single mom?

Sometimes there wasn't a lot of money to spare, my mom was a teacher at a private school during the school year and she took on part-time jobs for the summer. We had a paper route in the early mornings and she worked at a gas station in the afternoons. My sister and I got to tag along working on our math skills by counting the money from the till. My birthday is in September, so I did not get as many birthday parties as my younger sister, who was born in May, did, but my mom still made my birthday special. Even if it was taking me to What-a-burger and letting me order whatever I wanted. It was special to me.

Though money was tight, my sister and I went to camp during the summer; paid for by our church and my mother saved enough money for us to go to the beauty shop every six weeks to get our hair relaxed, (straightened), and styled into Shirley Temple curls. During the summer, she would get our hair braided with beads on the end; It's what we did in our culture, long before Bo Derek made it fashionable.

I remember one summer that stands out. Mom did not get a summer job right away, and she used up her savings. One day, she set the table with plates and utensils, but there was no food to prepare. She called us to the table to pray. I thought she was crazy for a minute, but we sat at the table and blessed the non- existent food on our plates. Within minutes of praying, there was a knock at the door. My mom answered it and it was a lady we never met before. She held several brown paper grocery bags. She told my mom, "I don't know why I went to the grocery store. I need nothing. I was passing by your house and something told me to stop here. Do you need them?" My sister and I were astonished! My mom said "yes," and we helped the lady unload about a week's worth of groceries! She and my mom became friends. Since then, no one will ever be able to convince me that prayer doesn't work!

How did your husband inspire you to write romance?

When my husband and I were dating, we had a long distance relationship. He lived in Pennsylvania and I lived in Georgia. We met online on He would have roses delivered to my house. We would write each other every day. Talk on the phone for hours, although he did most of the talking. He finally came to Georgia for a visit the day after Thanksgiving and I knew as soon as I spotted him, he was going to be my husband. He told me everything about himself, even things I didn't ask. He was so open and loving; a single parent of a teenage daughter and I was a widow with kids of my own. He was old-fashioned and sweet. It was a very sweet romance, my kids, well the younger ones took to him right away, my eldest daughter and his daughter, not so much, but over time, that would change too. He proposed on Christmas Eve 2007. Our wedding vows included the kids; he vowed to love and protect them as his own. It was the joining of two families. I had only written a children's book then, but during our courtship, I had some romance stories floating around and so I began writing a blog and my readers enjoyed my stories about me and my husband. Many of them, including my husband, convinced me to write a book. That is how I got started; one book led to two and so on.

EBONY ENCOUNTERS includes three stories of three very different women who find love where they least expected it. How did you come up with the idea for this trilogy?

I based these stories on my blog articles; My husband was the inspiration for Chocolate Truffle; It was the nickname he gave to me. He was a classically trained chef. I gained 35 lbs during our first years together. Eventually, I had to get him to cut back on the types of dishes he prepared; it's great but not healthy to eat every day.

The BDSM community in Middle Georgia inspired the Unexpected Mentor. Because of health reasons, we no longer take part, but we still have some great friends and memories from our time with them. I wanted to show how women can be loving dominants. Love Bytes A Vampire Tale was a story that just came to me and took on a life of its own.

Would you like to meet Captain William James from "A Slave's Heart" in person?

Oh yes, but only after Sirene has done her drum walk. Then I would love to meet him.

How many series have you written in the romance genre? Which is your favorite one?

I have three the first one being a continuation of Love Bytes. The Dominique LeRoy Series centered around her club in New Orleans called The Blood Rose. My second one is Passion's Pride, a cat shifter series, Leonessa, a lioness, is the first book and Alejandro, a jaguar, is the second one due out in December 2019. My third one is the Kenya Clark Series, book one is Tell Me You Love Me and book two is The Rise Of Lucius Morningside, is debuting in November 2019. Tell Me You Love Me released on August 15th, 2019.

My favorite series is Dominique LeRoy Series because I love all the characters. However, my favorite book is Passion's Pride Leonessa. When two people are meant to be together, they will be, no matter what happens.

According to you, how different and difficult is it to write romantic suspense books?

Writing romance suspense has been more challenging, but I love a good challenge. I am a fan of the Nancy Drew Mysteries, since my teen years. Agatha Christie novels, Dean Koontz and James Patterson are other authors I took inspiration from.

Why did you take a long break from writing for about 8 years? In what ways did it help you?

I went through some tough life changes, physically and mentally. I did not take criticism well, constructive or not. I felt I was not a very good writer, and I did not realize it, but I was dealing with depression and anxiety and menopause at the same time. My younger best friend decided she no longer wanted to be my friend after ten years of friendship, and I was heartbroken for a very long time. I was in chronic pain with my back and neck. I had to have neck surgery in 2012 after two collapsed discs and steroid injections in my low back.

After nine months of healing, I began to work on my weight, I would eventually lose 95 lbs and compete in a bodybuilding competition in which I won second place overall in 2014. I also learned how to battle my depression demons and have a sharper mind. I learned to "go with the flow." I was no longer devastated by things around me. I became a Zumba instructor in 2015, a personal trainer in 2016, a group fitness instructor, yoga, and Tai Chi in 2017. I became more grounded, and I wanted to get back to writing. So I began to just journal.

I think the time away from writing and my life changes helped strengthen me. In early 2017, I injured my back during a set of deadlifts. I was so pumped, I did not realize just how badly. I pulled off the extra weight and finished my set. However, I was limping after I left the locker room and I drove myself home, showered and laid down. Later on, I could not get up as the muscle spasms were too painful to move or even breathe. I had three herniated discs in my lumbar, L3, L4, and L5 and one in my neck C4 -C5.

That ended by days as a body builder, but four weeks after my back surgery, I went back into the hospital with pneumonia and bilateral pulmonary embolisms, (blood clots in both lungs). I stayed in the ICU for six days. The clots caused damage to my lungs and I now have adult onset asthma. It also caused issues with my heart. While I still have a cardiologist and a pulmonologist who monitor me faithfully, I am happy to say I am doing much better. I went to cardio-pulmonary rehab at the hospital and now I am walking breathing without assistance.

Being a licensed Zumba instructor, a yoga instructor, Tai Chi, and a group fitness trainer; Have you ever based any of your female characters as a fitness trainer or instructor?

None of my characters are into fitness, but I just got back to writing in June 2019, so that is a possibility.

You have stuck to romance as your preferred genre of writing. Do you think you would like to explore any other genres? Which ones?

I have crossed into crime solving, mystery and suspense, so it would not be a huge leap there. I love Game of Thrones, the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I would love to explore more fantasy with fairies, dragons, kings, and queens. Fairy tales would be fun to write too.

What message or lessons are you trying to convey through your stories in your books?

The message is love conquers all, there is hope, and you have to believe in yourself to rise above your circumstances. No one is destined to fail; thoughts become things; If you think you can not do something, you won't do it. You don't really know what you are capable of if you don't try. The greatest gift we have is love. More than just Eros, (physical attraction), but Agape, unconditional love. Love for your fellow man, love for yourself and love for your creator. Faith, hope and love.

How do you try to grow from the reviews that your work gets- both positive and negative?

I have grown enough in my character to take constructive negative reviews and work to improve my writing. Positive reviews means I am on the right track. Mixed reviews show me that my particular style of writing may not be for everyone and that's ok. Even as a reader, I have more than one favorite author, so there is a reader for every author.

How did you come up with the plot of your book, "SHANGHAI SHEENA?”

I did a lot of research in Chinese history and folklore and found the story of the 'dog-like' creatures and that is how I got the idea and the plot for Shanghai Sheena.

How much do you enjoy teaching ESL classes to young students ages 5-12?

I enjoy it very much and I get to be silly and not judged for it. The students are awesome and most want to learn and have fun. Their regular classes have teachers that make them sit still all day. When they get to me, we move around, we laugh and we sing. We use TPR, total physical response, so it requires lots of moving and energy.

When did you first stumble upon AllAuthor and what were your first impressions? Have your opinions changed since?

I came across AllAuthor while on Facebook. Another author posted a link about her profile on there and it impressed me. The website is very user friendly and has great tools for marketing. I have been a member since August 2019, and I plan to stick around.

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