Interview with Crystal V. Rhodes

When did you first start writing?
I’ve been writing since I was eight years old and I’ve always loved it as a method of expression. I’m an award winning playwright with countless plays to my credit, including one that was produced Off Broadway. I’ve written for newspapers, magazines, radio and cable television, but I didn’t start writing novels until my career as a writer was firmly established. I chose romance as the genre of choice because it’s so popular, and I love the element of mystery and suspense. It took years for me to develop my writing style in the romantic suspense genre, but eventually I got published. SIN was my first novel. It’s the story of Nedra Davis, a female minister renowned in her community for her anti-drug crusades. She falls in love with a mysterious man named Sinclair (Sin) Reasoner, who, unknown to her, is involved in the drug trade. The novel became the spring board for the Sin Series

I’ve written numerous romantic suspense novels as part of the Sin Series. Among the titles available on Smashwords are SIN, SWEET SACRIFICE, SECRETS and STRANGERS. In addition I co-write the hilarious Grandmothers, Incorporated cozy mystery series, with author L. Barnett Evans, also available on Smashwords
Why write a book series?
After SIN was released, I received a lot of emails from readers who wanted to know what happened to the do-good minister Nedra Davis and her bad boy lover, Sinclair Reasoner after the book ended. That spurred the series that not only follows Nedra and Sin, but their friends and relatives. The more I write about these extraordinary people the more readers wanted, so I was happy to oblige.
What's the story behind your latest book?
In my first novel, SIN, the charismatic Sinclair Reasoner is a solitary figure with no family or knowledge of his family background. Nedra is just the opposite, and she brings Sin into her family in SECRETS. However, in that novel information about his background was revealed.

In my latest novel, STRANGERS, the action and intrigue revolve around, one of Nedra’s family members, celebrity attorney, Dana Mansfield, and James Starr, a private detective. In STRANGERS, not only are Dana and James involved in a steamy love affair, but a kidnapping, and a stalking in which a mysterious man connected to Sin’s past makes a deadly appearance.
What are you working on next?
Presently, I’m working on two romance suspense novels: SOMEONE LIKE ME and SHADOWS OF LOVE.

SHADOWS OF LOVE, ties up one of the storylines in the novel, Strangers. In SHADOWS OF LOVE, the novel follows Nedra and Sin on a quest to unveil the truth behind a long held secret that will change both their lives.

The second novel, SOMEONE LIKE ME is the beginning of what I call the Stillwaters Series. The Stillwaters are a fabulously wealthy family in which failure is not an option. The effect of such a high demand affects every member of the family in a variety of ways. The main characters in SOMEONE LIKE ME are a former welfare mother, Melanie Taylor and Scott Stillwaters, former CEO of the family’s charitable foundation. Polar opposites in every way, the two try to forge a relationship not only overshadowed by social class and family demands on both sides, but also by a menacing figure from Melanie’s past who wants her dead. I’m not sure whether SHADOWS OF LOVE or SOMEONE LIKE ME will be released first, probably the latter.
What is your writing process?
As an author, I’m quite disciplined. When I’m creating a romantic suspense novel I set a goal of so many pages per day or per week and I usually meet that goal. After the book is finished, I do a first, second, and if needed, a third edit, as well as let others edit my work. I like to release the best product possible.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had a lot of problems with the mainstream publisher that released five of my romantic suspense novels. I decided that it would be more advantageous creatively and financially to self-publish. I published my second romantic suspense novel, Sweet Sacrifice, and it was nominated for a critic’s award, so I had no fear when it came to publishing subsequent novels. When eBooks began to take off I decided to go for it. It has been one of the most rewarding decisions I’ve made regarding my writing career.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords had been absolutely essential to my writing success! It takes the mystery out of publishing. Once learned, the process of publishing on Smashwords is fairly simple and it offers more advantages than mainstream publishers. Writers have control over their product. Smashwords assists writers with nearly aspect of the book’s production, and its distribution network reaches audiences worldwide.
What do your fans mean to you?
Without the people who read my work and pass the word around there’s no way that I’d have a book series. The fan’s interest in my characters is the reason for both the Sin series and the Grandmothers, Incorporated book series I co-write with L. Barnett Evans. What would a authors be without readers who are fans?
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I enjoy creating characters and interesting storylines. Seeing the characters come to life is an absolute thrill, and when their actions start to guide you through a storyline instead of vice versa, it’s surreal. When that happens, as an author you know you’re on a roll. I love it!
What do you read for pleasure?
I like to read, go to the movies and I love to travel. These are my favorite pastimes. Actually, I get a lot of pleasure out of just living! Life is good.
Published 2015-02-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Sinful Intentions
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 109,410. Language: English. Published: June 2, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
When Reverend NEDRA DAVIS engaged in a torrid love affair with sexy bad boy, SINCLAIR REASONER, her congregation was shocked, but Nedra and Sin fought for their love and won. They are now happily married and the proud parents of three adopted children. Life is good, that is until the unexpected appearance of a menacing stranger and a deceptive woman threatens to destroy their lives!
Whose Knife Is It Anyway?
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 42,250. Language: English. Published: April 23, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy
WHOSE KNIFE IS IT ANYWAY? is what Bea, Hattie and Connie want to know. Trapped in the woods with a group of feuding church ladies, and a dead body, they wonder who will be next? Can the amateur sleuths of Grandmothers, Incorporated discover WHOSE KNIFE IS IT ANYWAY before the murderer claims another victim?
Sin
Series: The Sin Series. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,480. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
A reverend involved with sin, is a scenario that NEDRA DAVIS never thought she would have to face. Known in the community as the “Anti-Drug Queen”, Reverend Davis is the spiritual leader of a church renowned for its innovative fight against drugs. Nedra is beautiful, but she is also the soul of propriety—that is until sexy, smooth, and strikingly handsome, SINCLAIR REASONER enters her life.
Strangers
Series: The Sin Series. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 66,990. Language: English. Published: April 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » African American fiction » Romance
Attorney, Dana Mansfield is wary of security specialist, James Starr, but she needs his help as she tries desperately to save the lives of two children. James is also suspicious of Dana, especially when he discovers her connection to Sinclair Reasoner--a man he has sworn to kill. Yet, lurking in the shadows is a stranger whose presence is destined to lead to love, redemption and revenge.
Secrets
Series: The Sin Series. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 76,980. Language: English. Published: July 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
After a devastating loss, Reverend Nedra Davis-Reasoner knows that she can depend on the love and support of her bad boy husband, Sinclair. He has been her rock since their controversial affair led to a love match years ago. Unfortunately, Sin falls short as he harbors a secret. For comfort Nedra turns to renowned spiritual guru, Adam Casey, a man with deep, dark secrets of his own.
Sweet Sacrifice
Series: The Sin Series. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,590. Language: English. Published: March 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
SASH ADAMS is an unemployed recent law school graduate struggling to raise her young brother alone. Why would anyone target him as a kidnap victim? Even more baffling is why would the kidnappers demand the ransom for him from the arrogant media mogul, BRANDON PLAINE—a complete stranger? Reluctantly, Sash and Brandon form a dangerous alliance as they race against time to save her brother's life
Saving Sin City
Series: Grandmothers Incorporated, Book 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 54,710. Language: English. Published: December 4, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Crime solving takes a holiday,when amateur sleuths Hattie Collier, Bea Bell and Connie Palmer win a trip to Las Vegas. However, when the devil's playground proves to much for Hattie, she launches an outlandish plan to save not only her friends, but Sin City from the gates of hell. Take two fun loving grandmothers and one religious zealot, put them in Las Vegas and the result is pandemonium!
Grandmothers, Incorporated
Series: Grandmothers Incorporated, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 56,990. Language: English. Published: August 31, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
When a former high school classmate dies, three "sixty-something" widows are determined to prove that the cause was nothing less than foul play. Certain that they know the culprit, the ladies turn the lives of everyone around them upside down in their hilarious quest for justice. In this cozy mystery authors L. Barnett Evans and C.V. Rhodes offers readers a belly full of laughs!