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Author | Blogger | Workshop Facilitator Visit my website at www.authordeelawrence.com to learn more about my romantic suspense novels, Gotta Let It Go and Gotta Get It Back, the sequel. Connect with me online @authordeelawrence (Facebook). Thanks for visiting with me today!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Interview with Cori Quinn, Author of Calloway

Author’s Bio: Plus-size curvy model, actress, and author, Cori Quinn is a multitalented, multidimensional woman. Born in Washington Heights, New York, Quinn spent most of her childhood and early teens in New York, before relocating to Baltimore, Maryland, with her mother. In 2011, she began a career as a plus-size curvy model and has achieved a high level of notable success in that field. She is also employed as a corporate executive. Quinn is the granddaughter of Wali Muhammad, who trained boxing legend Muhammad Ali. “My grandfather was a wise, successful man,” says Quinn. “People gravitated to him, because he had a skill and integrity. I want to carry on his legacy with humility.”

What inspired you to write your book?
CQ: What inspired me to write my book were my life’s experiences. I was once a young irresponsible street girl that was into drugs and criminal activity until finally things got serious and I received some felonious charges that impacted my life, career and civilian opportunities in a major way. Once my eyes were open and I knew I was headed for self-destruction I decided to take steps to get my life back on track. Ultimately, I survived a lifestyle that was attempting to overthrow me; now I’m here to share the ins and outs of my experiences and what I did to conquer the obstacles with the world. Calloway, my new book, is the first tool designed to create this platform.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
CQ: Growing up I was inspired by the classic novel, Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah. As an adult I was inspired by Ashley Antoinette’s Moth to a Flame. Both novels are very intriguing and share some of the same story lines as Calloway but all three are distinctively different.

Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?
CQ: Yes, this is my first book and it took me all of 2015 and some of 2016 to write it.

Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
CQ: Yes, I used an outline to keep me on track so that I don’t veer off so much and wouldn’t appear that I was rambling.

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
CQ: Yes, I listen to music with many things that I do and I often did as I was writing Calloway. Believe it or not there was no theme song at the time that I was writing; I just put my personal playlist on shuffle. However, Calloway now has a theme song entitled “Fly Away,” written and recorded by me. It is a heartfelt song that tells who Calloway is and how she assumed the position she inherited from her father Calvin Sharpe also known as Low. Fly Away is track number 6 of 8 tracks on the Calloway EP/Soundtrack. The music video for Fly Away can be found on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X_z2cXp7cs).

What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
CQ: The keys to success in getting my book out to the public are the constant belief and faith that this is a story that wants and needs to be heard; publicizing and socializing Calloway’s existence, and marketing it to the appropriate demographic.

What advice would you give to new authors?
CQ: I would advise new authors to be as creative as possible with their writing, create some sort of angle that separate themselves from every other author and have a substantial budget to market and promote their book effectively.

How about sharing an excerpt from Calloway?
Please don’t let this blue pull me over… I am not in the mood. Not today. She eyes a cop trailing directly behind her but isn’t too concerned. Her mind is somewhere else and although it would’ve been much easier to catch a red-eye flight out of Dulles, she just wanted this time alone. She needs to think. She needs this drive to sort through some things spiraling around in her head.

With a few pieces of designer luggage filling the trunk and a portion of the back seat of the SUV, she slows down moderately. It’s not even dawn but the skyline reveals transitioning shades as certain portions of the horizon begin to brighten, making way for the sun’s inevitable appearance. She is dressed casually but still fly. Her stiletto nails with tips dipped with just a hint of shimmer are still intact from the last photo shoot, and just for the time being, are the only telltale signs of the glamorous yet complicated life that often consumes her. Otherwise, she appears on the outside to be just a regular girl. But Calloway Sharpe is not your ordinary young lady and she is far from basic. Even in jeans and a blazer, there is an aura about her that exudes both sexiness and confidence. She is refreshingly beautiful, stunning actually, even with no makeup. Wearing just a hint of lip gloss, she’s a light-skinned black woman with a complexion that makeup artists go crazy over.  Wearing some boot-cut jeans and a modest heel, with her mid-length hair tied back into a ponytail, one might mistake her for a teenager. And although she is nearing the very end of her twenties in just a few months, there is still a youthfulness, almost a girlish ambience, about her that is all the more magnified in her natural state when her face is not beat to the gods and she’s not wearing a sleek, form-fitting, curve-hugging outfit.

The officer initially trailing behind her car for several miles finally maneuvers over to the right side to turn off at the next exit. Cali is unbothered and much too preoccupied at that point to even give a damn. Out of the speakers comes Mary J. Blige’s “Take Me As I Am” and suddenly, Cali’s mind trails off to a time that wasn’t necessarily easier but in hindsight seemed much simpler to a certain degree than her present situation. It didn’t seem that long ago but in reality about 10 or 11 years had gone by, about 18 years since she last saw her father and about 14 since the first arrest. Cali catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror and for just a few seconds she sees the younger version of herself. She sees a young girl that had to grow up way too fast. She sees the teenager in baggy jeans and a hoodie with a long bang swooped over her right eye. Her mind takes her back to a moment in time that can be considered a turning point. All of a sudden, Cali is abruptly interrupted from her daydreaming by the all too familiar and unwelcome sound of a police patrol car signaling her to pull over. “Oh shit,” she murmurs under her breath. Cali pulls over but still isn’t concerned enough to break a sweat. She rolls down the window as the uniformed officer that at first glance appears to be male approaches her car from the driver’s side where she is seated.

What’s next for you?
CQ: What’s next for me is the “Strong Black Women College Tour” that I will be headlining in Winter/Spring 2017. Also, my next single “Love Letter” off of the Calloway Soundtrack is scheduled to be released on or around Valentine’s Day. It’s a very sexy song! Overall, I will be ramping up to make Calloway a household name.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
·         Website: www.CoriQuinn.com or www.CallowayTheBook.com
·         Amazon Author Page: Cori Quinn
·         Facebook: Cori Quinn & Calloway The Book
·         Twitter: Calloway The Book
·         Blog: http://www.coriquinn.com/in-the-media/
·         Book buy Links: http://www.coriquinn.com/bookstore

It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.

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