Saturday, September 24, 2016

Blood of a Queen by Toi Powell Interview


A young woman’s newfound independence takes her into the heart of a dangerous city in New York; a place her parents forbade her to return to.
Ruby, beautiful yet sheltered and naive, unearths a web of deception, betrayal, love triangles and stumbles upon a family secret so deadly, she makes it her mission to prove the serious accusations against her family untrue.
A forbidden love interest emerges on her quest for truth and Ruby struggles between following her young heart or remaining loyal to a long lost childhood friend who is the very one who recruited her help to solve  a crime; a crime that would put their friendship in jeopardy. With the help of her favorite cousin, Sheila, the duo uncovers hidden secrets from not only her past, but Sheila’s as well and re-sets the wheels in motion to overthrow a troubled yet powerful
Kingpin upon her arrival.
While attending her parent’s wedding, Ruby reunites with a childhood friend, Pam, whom she hadn’t seen since she and her mother left New York fifteen years earlier. Unaware of Pam’s motives, Ruby embraces her and promises to reignite their long lost friendship. The absence of Pam’s mother reveals a hidden dark past. Overwhelmed with shock and disbelief, Ruby sets forth to uncover the truth for herself.

Briskly walking along a side street in South Jamaica, Queens, a young man, although alone, still feels the urge to glance over his shoulder. Every so often he checks to see if he’s being followed. His heart beats fast, over-exerted lungs making it hard for him to breathe. He struggles to keep up the fast pace he’s been walking for nearly thirty minutes. As his mind races, he tries to focus on the task at hand, but he’s quickly distracted by a familiar sound blaring in the distance.
Police sirens echo in the background, while beams of red and blue lights shower the streets. They pierce through the darkness as the driver steadies his speed at twenty miles an hour. With searchlights extending from its windows, a cruiser creeps past the abandoned buildings and dark alleyways. A search for suspicious activity is underway.
The young man looks behind him and sees the approaching car. He glances at the road before him. The end of the street is too far ahead, and he knows he will never make it there without being seen. He slips into the shadows of a nearby four-story building, becoming one with the concrete. He inhales the rotten air, holding it in, savoring it as if it were his last dying breath.
The police cruiser arrives, with its occupants steering their searchlights up and down his alley, nearly spotting him. He backs up a few inches along the wall, barely out of view when, mistakenly, he trips over a trash lid, falling backwards onto a tin garbage can.
“Hey, Bill. Hold up, hold up!” One of the officers hears something as they pass by an abandoned four- story. “What was that?”
“I don’t know. You hear something?” his partner replies suspiciously.
“Yeah, it came from that building over there. It sounded like a crash or something.”
“Well let’s go have a look, shall we?” Bill says, grabbing his flashlight and his semi-automatic. Both cops leave the squad car and walk towards the noise, holding their flashlights and guns parallel.

LaToya Powell, better known as “Toi”, is a lifestyle blogger, writer and motivator. By day she works as a digital producer in an award winning digital advertising agency in New York City.
By night she builds her T.O.I House brand,, where she encourages other creative spirits, like herself, to step out of their comfort zone and Take On Innovation one passion at a time.
By building The T.O.I House, Toi is creating a judgement free social community where inspiration and motivation are at the forefront of creativity. She aims to encourage others to pursue a passion and to push themselves beyond their limits. Toi is releasing her debut fiction novel, Blood of a Queen, in summer 2016, video blogging her social book launch journey episodes along the way.  She resides in Central NJ, never too far from close friends and her loving family.
#BOAQ, 9 Years in Waiting
What started out as a hobby and a creative outlet, Blood of a Queen emerged in 2007 as a 365
pg draft — a draft novel filled with excitement, creativity and imagination.
After researching the next steps for traditional publishing, Toi became discouraged by this exclusive industry and self doubt began to take root. As the years passed, Blood of a Queen sat in her computer’s hard drive until one day in 2014 she
experienced a moment of realization.
“As I came to a pivotal moment in my life, I looked into my past at what I’d accomplished, and I had the overwhelming feeling that I’d fallen short.”
It was at that moment when Toi decided to dust herself off and finish what she started by self publishing her novel that was 9 years in waiting.

Get to know Toi:

Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
A: I’m a Sagittarius and I actually do love long walks on the beach as cliche as that sounds. I have a creative background in art, writing and music (thanks to a family of musicians) and I work in advertising. My company TOI HOUSE stands for Take On Innovation and I strive to encourage others to do the same.

Q: What are you working on at the minute?
A: I am launching my 1st novel, BLOOD OF A QUEEN, which is a true labor of love. It took me 9 years to publish and this is the most exciting and fulfilling time of my life. I always imagined I’d be here, but I never imagined how I’d get here!

Q: What made you decide to sit down write a novel?
A: It was by accident, actually. In 2007, I started writing BOAQ as a hobby and a way to escape a fading relationship (lol). Eventually, it evolved into a large novel a year later.

Q: Why did it take you so long to publish?
A: I had no idea what to do with it when it was done. After researching traditional publishing, I got intimidated and scared. So I put it to the side, for 9 years until I decided to self- publish.

Q: What is the book about?
A: It’s about a girl whose parents have sheltered her all of her life. Upon finding the freedom she so desperately craves, she stumbles across a hidden family secret that puts theirs and her own life in danger.

Q: Where do your ideas come from?
A: I draw from certain elements in my background, for instance the protagonist, Ruby, is from Queens, NY where I am from. Her family has a background in ministry as do I and she has a natural curiosity, like me.

Q: What was the hardest thing about writing the book?
A: The hardest thing had to be the editing process. Since the original draft was so old, I had to update references and my writing style since I’d evolved as a writer.

Q: How are you trying to introduce a new reading experience?
A: My background in music and growing expertise in digital advertising has inspired me to combine these elements in my book to expand the readers/user experience. The more digital content available to the reader, the better. I’m always thinking of more innovative ways to enhance what is considered traditional. Reading is no exception.

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