Best-selling author Ericka Williams recently released the novel, A Woman Scorned 3: Deja Vu. It is the last installment in the Woman Scorned Series. Destined to have readers fully engaged as this intriguing story unfolds.
We recently had a chance to speak with Ericka about this new book and learned a few details about the process of developing characters to ensure that readers find them relatable. Ericka also provided some insight on future projects coming soon.
Books2Mention Magazine presents our exclusive interview with Ericka Williams.
B2M: Ericka, welcome to Books2Mention.
ERICKA: Thanks for the opportunity.
B2M: Please tell us about your new book.
ERICKA: A Woman Scorned 3 is the final part of the trilogy of the A Woman Scorned Series. Basically the story comes full circle and I had a lot of requests for Brielle to have a happy ending. I thought about the purpose of why I even started the series. Initially it was to let women be aware of how easy it is for our emotions to get in the way. I realized myself, that I had some anger issues and I wanted to portray the fact that although things happen to us, we have to learn to let go of the past. Because we become a hostage to it.Which is what Brielle went through in the first two books. In Deja Vu, it's clear that she is hoping for a bright future. She is hoping to keep her husband although at the end of part two, she did stab him critically. But she is able to walk through getting past all of her hang ups. I think it was important for me, when you are an author and you are questioning what the audience is going to think. We all love drama, and not that part three is absent of drama, there still is drama, but I think we get so comfortable with things being chaotic, that when things are going good, we think something is wrong. I really wanted to be mindful of that and not end the story in the same way the other two had ended. That stayed in the back of my mind. When I got to the ending, the choice that I had to make was, do I let her have a happy ending or not. You guys will have to read the series to see which choice I made.
ERICKA: That was just something that I really had to consider. The fact that sometimes we as women, we accept the things that happen to us instead of empowering ourselves to change it. So, I just thought that was important.
B2M: How challenging is it to create intriguing story lines/characters that readers can identify with?
ERICKA: When it first started out, Brielle was so crazy, so I thought, are people going to find it too far fetched or relate to it? I found many women who would come up to me and say, oh I know this is me, I'm scorned or I've been scorned. Although it is not just about a man, Scorned is just basically being scarred; from family or circumstances. I found a lot of women who did relate to Brielle and I was surprised. It was a pleasant surprise. I didn't know that it would be a classic or have a following. I was happy that I was able to catch the readers interest. The book may seem like it's about one thing but as a writer, what I am really trying to do, is get the attention, so I can take you somewhere else.
B2M: Was there a particular character in this book that was hard to develop? If so, which character?
ERICKA: The newest character is Dr. Nia Gray. She is a psychiatrist and she had a hidden agenda. She was there initially to help Shawn and Brielle, but her own motives got in the way. She was unable to be just professional, her personal feelings interfered. That was pretty tough, because I wanted her to be seen as a real doctor. She is a human being, a person. In my other career as a teacher, I know that people sometimes think, oh you are a teacher. You know everything, or your life can't be like other people's lives, because you are a teacher. We assume the same thing about doctors. That because they are a doctor they have a better life then "regular" people. I wanted to make her three dimensional, so we could respect the fact that she is a black psychiatrist on top, but a real person with issues too.
B2M: When writing is there a particular place in you home or elsewhere that allows you to tap into your creativity?
ERICKA: To be honest, I get in wherever I can fit in. At home, I have two of my own children and two step-children. I also have a foster child, she will be a year tomorrow. I get a lot of work done at work, actually when I have free period, or when my students are working on something. I work whenever I can take a few minutes to go to the computer, or anytime. But once you've honed your craft, basically that's the talent that you've been gifted with. You are able to do it no matter what, because that is your talent.
B2M: Your books are published with Life Changing Books, one of the most successful African American owned companies in the industry. There is an abundance of talented authors there. How has that assisted you in becoming a great author?
ERICKA: First I want to say that I am very appreciative of Azarel for giving me a chance to be under that label. I give her much respect as a CEO of her own company. I did branch off and do my own company as well. So, I 'm only under LCB for A Woman Scorned Part 1. Part 2 and 3 are under Esharan Publishing, which is my company. I'm still affiliated because she is still selling Part 1 and that helps her business and helps me. So, we still have a respectful relationship. I think once I joined with them, they welcomed me in and everyone was pretty much like a family. The only difference is, I am from up north and the others are from the DC area. They do a lot of events that I am not able to attend. I think as a company to start with, I would not have wanted to start with any other company, but them.
B2M: Ericka you had the opportunity to appear in T. Styles and the Cartel's film production of Pitbulls In A Skirt. How was that experience?
ERICKA: I loved it. I just can't wait until it comes out. I've done other independent films. When you are an entertainer it crosses the other arenas. I am a writer, I am a creator, I am actor, and I've directed some short films. I think acting is something that I would love to be able to pursue further. I had so much fun with that movie. I was able to be the character, a nemesis of the girls, the one that basically comes to bring their crew down. I like being the bad girl.
B2M: Okay, that was a different experience for you.
Are you currently working on a new book?
ERICKA: I'm not currently working on a book. I have decided to do a spin off of Dr. Gray's character which will be titled Psych 101. Dr. Gray will be the main character. Brielle's story is basically done. So I am going to go further with the psychiatrist.
B2M: Now is there any particular subject matter that you would like to write about in the near future?
ERICKA: I want to do another male main character book. I have a lot of guys asking me if I am going to do another book, that's based on a male character. I always deal with a lot of social issues. I've dealt with drug addiction and HIV in All That Glitters, Shining Star dealt with religion and in The Robbin Hoods, I dealt with crime. Scorned of course was more a suspense thriller, but it was really about mental illness. I'm not sure what I am focusing on. But of course dealing with the psychiatrist, I would continue to deal with mental issues specifically. I am sure there will be other things in the back story and other issues that I will deal with. Right now, I will probably be dealing with mental illness. Black women more so now, will get counseling but we have to get our men on board.
ERICKA: I don't think it should be a stigma or something that people are ashamed of getting help. When we need a haircut we go to the beauty parlor. When we need to work on our health, we go to the gym. So, basically it's the same thing. I'm trying to promote us using therapy as a means to healthy living and well being.
B2M: It's a good time to try to promote that, because dealing with mental illness has been such a taboo subject. It has cost a lot of lives because of being afraid to seek out help. I think that would be a good area to write about.
ERICKA: Yes, because on a whole, black people have not historically used counseling as a means to get help. We do turn to the church and our faith to keep us strong but there seems to be a rise in suicide, in our community; even among our black males, especially in the entertainment industry. So I think it's time we bring depression and coping strategies to the forefront, by promoting psychotherapy.
B2M: Yes, We've been hearing a lot about that the last couple of months.
Besides writing, do you have a favorite past time?
ERICKA: Yes, I am a roller-skating fanatic and a movie buff. I'm really praying and hoping that my books will become movies eventually, hopefully sooner than later. I do have the script done for The Robbin Hoods. It's my first male main character novel. We are about to start shopping that for a production deal.
I love movies and I lover roller-skating. I love eating out.
B2M: Ericka, we encourage you to continue writing books that offer great stories with interesting characters. We look forward to hearing more from you.
Thanks for interviewing with Books2Mention Magazine. Please be sure to come back again and keep our readers informed about all of your future endeavours.
Much Success To You!
The Staff @ Books2Mention Magazine
To learn more about Ericka Williams please visit her website at: www.ErickaW.com.
You may also contact her at email address: Erickawilliamsinfo@yahoo.com.
Phone Number: 212.201.9329
Facebook: Ericka Monique Williams
Books by Ericka Williams include: