Interview with Dellani Oakes

Published 2013-09-22.
When did you first start writing?
I've been telling stories since childhood. I started writing short stories in high school and plays in college. I first attempted novel writing in 1988, but I never finished it. Maybe one day. I took up writing as a serious vocation in 2002, when my youngest started kindergarten.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I had a nomadic childhood. My father was an English professor & we moved a lot. I lived in Tennessee, Ohio, Massachusetts, Texas, Nebraska & Mississippi before coming to Florida. It gave me a wonderful variety of settings & people to choose from in my writing. Under the Western Sky is set in Nebraska in 1976. The Ninja Tattoo takes place in present day Florida. Indian Summer is set in Florida's past in 1739.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I can remember is not the first that I wrote, but it's among them. I don't remember earlier works. This one was for a class project in sixth grade English. Our teacher assigned us to write our own myth. Mine was "How We Got Hair". I don't remember anything else about it and I'm sure it was horrible. That was it for me, though. I was bitten by the writing bug and never looked back.
What are you working on next?
I'm always working on at least 3 different things at once. I'm editing book 3 in my sci-fi series, The Maker. I just finished another retro-romance set in 1975. I'm also working on a post-apocalyptic fantasy - a step away from anything I've ever written before. No, there are no zombies, but there are vampires & were-wolves -- who die -- horribly. (Don't worry, they deserve it)
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love creating new places, people and worlds. My sci-fi novels are particularly fun in that regard. Everything is new, different, constructed from my imagination. When I write historical, retro or contemporary, I have to keep it real. Sci-fi can leave reality behind as the characters hop into a sentient ship and crunch space.
Describe your desk
I'm not sure that's safe to answer. I guess organized clutter bordering on total chaos describes it best.
What is your writing process?
I start with an idea - or the spark of an idea. I sit down with either a notebook and pen or at the computer (desktop, I'm old school) and start writing. Quite often, a sentence gets stuck in my head and away I go. I don't outline, I don't plot and plan. I am very much an organic author who allows the story to grow. I follow the characters and see where they lead me. That can be a scary process, but they usually find their way out of that deep dark hole they've dug me into.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Most often, I have something recommended by a friend who read it. Since I also read to review, I get books sent to me that way. Friends ask me to read their books and I also read and review for my publishers. I'm WAY behind, but I've always got something to read.
What's the inspiration behind The Ninja Tattoo?
The Ninja Tattoo came from a real life incident that, quite frankly, scared me. My author's mind had to make sense of it. I wrote a short account of the incident after it happened, but decided that I wanted more from it. Since it was late October with National Novel Writing Month on the horizon, I used it as the inspiration for my novel that year. The disturbing encounter that Teague has in chapter one, really happened to me.
What keeps you writing?
I know that I can't stop. Writing, for me, is like an addiction. I know that sounds crazy, but ask a roomful of authors, they will give you a similar answer. I have to write. I couldn't stop if I wanted to. Being a writer is who I am. It is an identity as deep as wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter or friend.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are the best ever! I love them all, even if I don't know their names. Thank you. Tell all your friends if you enjoy my books and write reviews. Authors love reviews!
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Books by This Author

So Much It Hurts
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 58,180. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2017 by Tirgearr Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » General
Alone in the big city, Pia Donovan feels lost when she finally arrives at the majestic, old hotel in the downtown area. Flynn Chancellor and his roommate, Yancy Fredrick, take an interest in Pia, introducing her to their city. Pia seems to have found her niche, and has made friends with the welcoming residents in the old hotel. Life seems perfect, until one weekend when everything changes forever.
One Night in Daytona Beach
Series: City Nights, Book 17. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 22,890. Language: English. Published: October 28, 2015 by Tirgearr Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Draven spots Jamie at a Daytona Bike Week raffle. She was the love of his teen life he never thought he'd see again, but there she was, dressed in black leather, straddling a Harley. Rekindling their romance after 10 years was the easy part. When he's blamed for the death of a notorious gang leader, staying ahead of the police—and the vengeful biker gang—takes the couple to the brink of disaster.
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 53,390. Language: English. Published: January 27, 2015 by Tirgearr Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
When an unpopular movie executive is attacked and his brother shot at, detectives Walter Scott and Vanessa Weinstein are called in on the case. Scott hadn't counted on the eyewitness, Cadence Stuart, being so pretty and personable. Cadence is afraid that the killer may come after her next. It's up to Scott to protect her. Unfortunately, the killer's identity and whereabouts are Undiscovered.
Conduct Unbecoming - A Teague McMurtry Mystery
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 44,730. Language: American English. Published: September 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
When Aileen calls asking Teague to look for their friend, Nadeya, he can't say no. Nadeya is dangerous and damaged, having seen her fiancé murdered. She's spent the last few years tracking down the men who killed him, seeking justice—or, at least, vengeance. When a body turns up on the beach, identical to a man Nadeya said she was looking for, suspicion targets her.
Under the Western Sky
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 56,920. Language: English. Published: June 13, 2013 by Tirgearr Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Life in a small Nebraska town should have been uneventful. That's what Libby Marshall and Bobby Menedez think until Bobby's cousin, Ramon, is beaten by a group of white boys because he is dating a white girl. Libby and Bobby realize that their relationship might make them targets, but they believe their love is stronger than hate. But is it? Something quite evil lies hidden Under the Western Sky.
The Ninja Tattoo
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 49,240. Language: English. Published: September 26, 2012 by Tirgearr Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Teague McMurtry spent the last six years of his life in the Army. Finally having enough of killing, he comes home, thinking he's put the nightmare behind him. When he meets beautiful and sultry Vivica Rambo, he thinks his life is taking a turn for the better.