Lara Daniels, as a writer, has one of the most intriguing and imaginative minds of any African author I’ve read. I had the pleasure of reviewing her second novel, Love at Dawn, and have followed her writing on her blog over the last two years or so. Lara brings such emotion and suspense to her novels. She is the author of LaraDanielsWrites.com. She is a practicing nurse, wife and mother.
When and why did you decide to become a romance author?
First, let me start by saying, “Thanks for having me here. It’s a great honor, so thank you.” I’ll say there wasn’t exactly a time when I consciously said to myself, “Oh, I want to become a romance author.” I’ve been writing stories since childhood, but I never published. In 2009, it happened that I realized I had the financial capability to self-publish, but my decision to publish at the time wasn’t because I wanted to have a career in writing. No, I just wanted to publish the story for my own self-satisfaction, and I guess, to put a stop to the hassling from childhood friends who believed in my stories and wanted me to write a book. So I wrote this one particular story that had been playing in my head for a while back then (Love in Paradise), published it, and before I knew it, family, friends and total strangers were encouraging me to write a sequel. It was the sequel Love at Dawn, plus the fact that I saw an article posted about Love in Paradise on one e-magazine that established the fact that I had somehow become a romance author.
What kind of books did you read growing up?
I read everything and anything that was fiction and had a great cover, and that included both romance novels and other genres, but of course, mostly romance novels.
Who was (is) your favourite author?
I have a very, very long list of favourite authors, but notable among them is Lisa Kleypas, a romantic author as well as Kiru Taye, another romance author who writes romantic novels in an African setting. Their books, I have to confess are my guilty pleasures – they relax me – although I doubt I’ll ever write like they do. My books are more on the suspense side, you know, with blood, murder, and mayhem while these two authors write with a strong sensual feel that’s not cheesy at all, I mean, when you compare them to other contemporary romance fiction out there. I’ve also started falling in love with Nicholas Sparks’ works. I had a little trepidation at first when I began reading his books, since his novels tend to have some tragic plot attached to it, but now I’m a huge fan.
No, I wouldn’t. At least, not when I was growing up. The novels back then portrayed alpha type male heroes who were super rich and controlling; and vulnerable, Barbie-doll type heroines who were very dependent – the recipe for an abusive relationship down the road. That said, a lot has changed with romantic fiction since then. Many of the romance novels out there are very real to life, and they work hard to portray women as independent, assertive thinkers, thus allowing for both the man and the woman to have equal share when it comes to controlling the relationship.
Which of your novels would you highly recommend to readers and why?
I would recommend all of them; they are all so different, yet, there’ something to be enjoyed in all of them by all kinds of readers. Of course, with every book I write, I see my growth as a writer so it’s only natural that I would be little biased in recommending my latest works, (which currently is The Officer’s bride) to my readers, but really, all of them carry unique messages in themselves, just waiting to be read.
Lara’s books can be found on major book selling sites like Amazon, Barnes and noble, ibooks, and Kobo.