Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules! Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a book shelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them. WE get personal! Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF,” YOU are an open book!
Today, we have our current “SPOTLIGHT”Author with us: “A totally lost Rhani D’Chae.“ (this is the way Rhani describes herself when she phones me. It is hilarious!).
NJ: Before we get started, how do you like the design and feel of my new shelf? We’ve made it more comfortable in 2017, in that we want all of our guests to feel at home…that’s if they’re coming from a nice and neat one, and we also wanted the lay out to be a bit safer….you know, we’ve had a few accidents up here on this shelf? So, comfy?
Rhani: Yes, it’s actually very comfy. I especially like the cushion, and the way it cradles my tired old tookus.
NJ: Hmmmm, I didn’t know that we were cradling tired, old tookuses, but OK! Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?
Rhani: Rhani D’Chae isn’t the name on my birth certificate, but it’s not a pen name, either.
NJ: Scandalous! So, Rhani-who’s-not-really-Rhani, tell us where you were born? Do you still live there now? If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?
Rhani: I was born in Tacoma Washington, and though I spent many years running around the country, I’ve been living here for the past few decades.
NJ: Married or single?
Rhani: I got married at 16, but it lasted only a minute or two. It was a case of being young and stupid, in that I was young, and he was stupid. I’ve had a few long-term relationships since then, but am currently single.
NJ: Any kids? What kind?
Rhani: Let’s see, at the top of the list is my seeing-eye-son, James. Then, in order, my heathen kids are: Jon, Timothy, Jeremey, Ann, and Joyce. Jon and Timothy have both passed on, but the rest of my kids are alive and making me old before my time.
NJ: Rhani, you, yourself are a book just waiting to be written. #OneInterestingPerson. If you’re not there already, when you’re old and cranky, which one will keep you at home to care for you themselves, and which one will immediately throw you into a nursing home and only visit you at Christmas?
Rhani: That’s an easy question to answer. James is already searching for the cheapest home he can throw me into, and he’s said many times that if it costs more than $4.95 a month he’s going to put a pillow on my face and lay on it. On the other hand, Ann or Jeremey would gladly take me in and make sure that I was well taken care of. Joyce would too, but hers is not a cat friendly household, so it wouldn’t really work for me.
NJ: Any pets? What kind?
Rhani: My roomies and I are currently staff to 10 rescued cats. Nine of them are indoor boys, while one streetwise panfur has taken up residence in my carport, which was modified for his comfort.
NJ: Rhani, your cat background is the reason I tried to unfollow you on Twitter. Wierd, the unfollow button is stuck on your page. Dang cat-curse! What’s the food that’s so good to you, you go to bed dreaming about it, and you forego breakfast just to get to it?
Rhani: That’s a really tough question. I think I would have to say meatballs.
NJ: WOW! I just made meatballs tonight for dinner! What’s your favorite color, Rhani?
NJ: Favorite sport:
NJ: Favorite TV Show…
Rhani: The Walking Dead
NJ: Favorite Actress/Actor…
Rhani: I would have to say Joe Manganiello. I’ve been a fan of his ever since True Blood, but I’m even more of one since a friend told me that he would make a great on-screen Decker.
NJ: Do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind just letting it all go?
Rhani: I had to gain quite a bit of weight a few years ago in an effort to save what was left of my eyes. I hate being overweight, and am doing my best to get back in shape.
NJ: Good luck with that, Rhani. Biggest pet peeve that makes you want to spit nails? (For the record, NJ does not condone violence, but she does believe in being honest so she admits that there are those times and there are those people, who do cause her to want to spit a few nails in the direction of their foreheads. Hey, just being honest. It’s the only way I roll).
Rhani: Cruelty to animals on-screen or in books. I despise any type of animal cruelty, and even though it’s not actually happening to the animal on-screen or in the book, I just don’t think it’s necessary. It throws me out of the story and I will often leave the theater or toss the book.
NJ: Uhhhh, OK. I still don’t like cats, so, there! Are you neat or messy?
Rhani: I’m a mix of both. I hate a dirty house but I do get distracted, especially when I’m writing, so things slip by me.
NJ: Facebook or Twitter?
Rhani: Absolutely Twitter.
NJ: LOL, yes, for me, too! We’ve come to realize that the internet is giving way to tons of budding friendships. Who would you say is the one person you’ve connected with the most…your internet BFF or buddy?
Rhani: That would be you. LOL. You’re always there when I need input or advice, and it doesn’t matter how stupid my question is. You’ve gone out of your way to help my work be the best that it can be, and you’ve encouraged me in so many ways.
NJ: Awwww, Rhani…that’s so sweet of you to say. 🙂 Thank you and I’m humbled and honored. Now, since you feel that way, I know WW isn’t your internet BFF, but I must ask anyway…Who do you favor most: Nonnie Jules or WonderWoman? Be honest
Rhani: Nonnie Jules, without question.
NJ: We all know that WonderWoman has her truth lasso and Nonnie has…well, just her truths, in the no-nonsense way she forces us to be honest and tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not. In your opinion, which one does a better job of making the world a better place? You can be honest here, too.
Rhani: That would be NJ. Wonder Woman isn’t as accessible to us every day people, whereas Nonnie is only a phone call away.
NJ: LOL! Yes, that is true. Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read:
Rhani: Only two? Dog Bone Soup, by Bette Stevens is one of my favorites, and so is Jazz Baby, by Beem Weeks.
NJ: ONE good INDIE book you’ve read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it:
Rhani: Dog Bone Soup, by Bette Stevens.
NJ: What was so great about it?
Rhani: The character development was great, and it was very well written. It was so authentic it actually took me back in time so that I felt as if I was there with the characters.
NJ: After you read books, do you post reviews?
Rhani: Yes, I usually do.
NJ: What do you think readers should base their reviews on?
Rhani: Speaking for myself, I base my reviews on my enjoyment of the read. I will give a lower rating if there are glaring spelling or editing issues, but I don’t get too hung up on the technical stuff. One of my favorite authors is really not a great writer, but his books are so much fun to read that it just doesn’t matter. I’ve loved his work since the 70s, and I’m a fan of his newer work as well.
NJ: Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?
Rhani: Honesty is absolutely the best policy, but I do believe in using tact. If I have to say something that is less than complementary, I try to make sure to mention the positive things as well.
NJ: Read any poorly written books lately?
Rhani: Yes, I have, but I can honestly say that none of them were written by RRBC authors.
NJ: That’s good to hear! How many poorly written books have you read that you gave a high mark to in your review, when you know it was horrible? Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books here in public.
Rhani: Only one. But I am not a member of the genre it was intended for, so I tried to read/review it as if it had been written with me in mind. As an adult, I knew it was pretty bad, but it wasn’t written for adults. Had I been a member of the age group it was intended for, I would have enjoyed it a great deal.
NJ: There are some INDIE authors who have come onto the scene and have given our literary playing field a new look. Can you name two INDIE authors who have done this in your eyes? And, how have they changed the field for us?
Rhani: Suzanne Burke, for one. I read many books that contain vicious characters or brutal acts, but often times it seems that the authors are afraid to take us too far in. It’s almost as if their mothers are standing next to them and telling them that “nice” writers don’t write stuff like that. In Acts Beyond Redemption, Suzanne Burke crosses that “nice” line without hesitation. The result is a gripping piece of work that might not be for everyone, but it sure works for those of us who like our thrillers to be graphic and realistic. It’s a refreshing change from the writers who tap dance around non-gratuitous violence.
Another is Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko. Her book, Mirror Of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women, tells the stories of four Nigerian women. Their lives are hard, brutal, and fairly typical of what it is to be a woman in that culture. The Indie playing field gives authors the opportunity to write and publish books that contain what some would feel is “delicate” subject matter. Authors who write so openly about the kind of things that are often discounted or completely ignored are finding a home in the world of Indie. And Indie is much better for it.
NJ: Are you an author? Are you a good one? C’mon, we love honesty here.
Rhani: Yes, I am an author. I’m not a great author, but I think I’m a good one.
NJ: Rhani, you’re an amazing writer. Trust me! How long have you been writing?
Rhani: I’ve been writing, off and on, since my early teens, so…a really long time.
NJ: Are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work?
Rhani: Yes, I am. Constructive criticism can be a great friend to a writer, and I think my work has improved due to some of the constructive criticism that I’ve received over the years.
NJ: Name two books that you’ve written?
NJ: Which one do you think is the best?
Rhani: think that Shadow is the better read. It’s a full-length novel, as opposed to a short story like Thirst, so I was able to get much more character depth and development onto its pages.
NJ: Do you have a blog or website? I love GREAT blogs, so would you say that yours is written well enough for harsh critics like me to enjoy?
Rhani: I have a blog, and I also have a website. Sadly, the last year has been rough for me, and I’ve been very distracted from all things writing. Little by little, I’m getting things back on track but at this point, you would probably find my blog to be totally tragic.
NJ: OK, in that case, we won’t show up unexpectedly. Will wait for invite. Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?
Rhani: I’ve tried several in my quest to be a successful writer but most of them were disappointments. So the only answer I can give to that question is RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.
NJ: How were you helped by them?
Rhani: The fact that #RRBC members are willing to read and review my books is a huge help in building a reputation as an author. Also, the “word-of-mouth” that they provide on Twitter really helps to bring attention to my work. More importantly, their encouragement and emotional support is both limitless and freely given.
NJ: Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB member, so what do you think of the club?
Rhani: I think the club is the best thing out there for Indie authors, regardless of how long they’ve been writing or how many books they have published.
NJ: WOW! What an amazing response! Have you come across any other online entities like us, Rhani?
Rhani: No, I haven’t. I mean, there are many groups out there that were formed for the purpose of helping Indie authors to succeed, but they don’t provide the same level of support, encouragement, and input that this club does.
NJ: Would you recommend the club to your friends and family?
Rhani: Most of my family doesn’t do the whole computer thing, and an online book club is something they have no interest in. I do recommend it to my friends, though.
NJ: What’s your most favorite program or place here within RRBC? (#PUSHTUESDAY, RAVE WAVES shows, Block Parties, Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, BOOKS OF THE MONTH discussions, “ON THE SHELF” interviews, etc.)
Rhani: I love the “On The Shelf” interviews. They’re light, they’re funny, and they give a great behind the scenes look at our friends and fellow authors in the club.
NJ: This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up. Any final words for our guests today?
Rhani: The ability to write is a gift. Cherish it, explore it, open your mind and let it fly free. Allow it to develop and grow, even if it wanders in a direction that’s different from what you had planned. Most importantly, don’t ever tell it that it can’t, because it absolutely can. All it needs is your permission, your dedication, and open access to your heart.
NJ: Thank you so much for hanging out on THE SHELF with us today, Rhani! You are one of RRBC’s finest! To my guests, please pick up a copy of one of Rhani’s books or both (you will not be disappointed, I can assure you!).
Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet? Well, here’s your chance! And since Rhani was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you. Make it a great day, my friends…or not. The choice is all yours! We’ll see you next month, right here on the “SHELF” with another INTERESTING GUEST!!