Ask me anything about my new multicultural drama/romance, Taken by the Billionaire.

Shani Greene-Dowdell
Aug 8, 2018

Tess Knox’s wedding day was the happiest day of her life. Her best friend, Marissa, who had been by her side since forever, was right beside her on her big day. Tess knew, if there was one thing she could depend on, she could depend on Marissa’s loyalty and love. Their friendship meant the world to Tess since she lost both of her parents a year ago. Marissa had been her rock. She even introduced her to the man she would marry. Amiri Knox came into Tess’s life and took her heart by a storm. He was her knight in shining armour. He completed her and she completed him. But there was something Tess didn’t know about those closest to her. Nothing could have prepared her for a dark secret that was hidden by Amiri and Marissa’s smiles. This secret will have Tess struggling to salvage the crumpled pieces of her heart.

Jake Weaver lives a carefree life trying to right the wrongs of the justice system. He doesn’t mind complicating things if it’s worth it. When he sees a gorgeous lady walk out of Lexington Enterprises looking torn, he knows she’s worth risking it all. A man comes running after her, trying to talk to her, and Jake figures the man is the cause of her pain, so he steps in to help. Once Jake finds out what Tess’s husband has done to hurt her, it’s game over. She’s his for the taking…and Jake has every intention to get what he wants.

Purchase the book for only 99c or read it on Kindle Unlimited here.

Biography

In the past, I worked as a medical transcriptionist and currently work full time as a writer and publisher. I enjoy weaving words of romantic drama and suspense and have written 20+ books in the Interracial Romance, Erotica, and Urban genres.

You can find me online @ www.shanigreenedowdell.com or email me anytime to chat books at shanibooks@gmail.com.

This is my first book to hit #1 in Short Stories and to crack the top 100 on Amazon!


Shani Greene-Dowdell says:

This AMA will end Aug 10, 2018, 3:47 PM EDT


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Can you tell us a little about those early titles, and what you learned about the art of writing when you wrote them?
Aug 9, 2:42PM EDT1

Take lots of notes, write daily, and to get into the mind of the characters. I also learned that writing is hard work. It took me a year to write that book and I had fun while doing it. I learned to pull experiences from my daily life and spin them into a storyline. 

Aug 10, 2:50AM EDT0
What is it about the mixture of romance, suspence and drama that makes stories so captivating?
Aug 9, 12:30PM EDT1

Whether we admit it or not, we're all thrill seekers in some way or another. One way to get it is through entertainment/books. It's a way to enter a world, live vicariously through bold characters and then close the pages and go cook dinner :) :) 

Aug 9, 1:31PM EDT0

Hi Shani, good to see you here. I have had the pleasure of reading several of your books. Is there a story that you would like to see adapted into a movie and if so, which one.

Aug 9, 9:41AM EDT1

Hey Vivienne!! Thanks so much for reading my work and for asking your question. I would want to see Dangerous Bonds adapted to a movie. I think it has elements of romance and suspense that would work for a Lifetime story. 

Aug 9, 12:49PM EDT0
What aspects about Tess and Marissa will women readers be able to relate to?
Aug 9, 8:49AM EDT1

For Tess, they'll be able to relate to her grief over the loss of her parents and losing a friend and husband in a short time. So, anyone who has dealt with the loss of a love one, or has a beating heart, will be able to relate to her.  

People who have wronged their friends will be able to relate to Marissa. At the end of the book, Marissa is still trying to reason what she has done, which means she's not yet at a place of healing. 

Aug 9, 1:28PM EDT0
What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
Aug 9, 6:51AM EDT1

Hi there! 

My first book was titled Keepin' It Tight, and I did self publish it in 2007. Last year, I changed the title to Never Get Enough, rewrote and republished it.

Aug 9, 1:22PM EDT0
Anyone who writes seems to be as much of a reader as they are a writer. Can you share some of your own best “bookie” experiences?
Aug 9, 4:42AM EDT1

Yes! We are all bookies first, Adri. 

One of my best bookie moments was reading A Dollar and a Dream by Carl Weber, Angel Hunter, Dwayne Joseph and LaJill Hunt. I screamed at this book and laughed until I cried. I've read some good books since, but this book was funny. 

Another great moment was meeting my favorite multicultural writer this year at IRAE. SK Lessly writes romance you can feel and she's just as lovely in person.

Aug 9, 1:20PM EDT0

have you ever had a friend like Marissa

Aug 8, 7:30PM EDT1

No, and thank the Lord about it too! Whew! I haven't had anyone involved in my marriage like that, but I have had friends who have betrayed me in other ways. In some books, like Earned by the Billionaire, I write about forgiveness, but as I showed with Tess, it's really harder to forgive than some may think. 

Aug 8, 7:34PM EDT0

what inspired Jake and Tess?

Aug 8, 7:30PM EDT1

The inspiration comes from some experiences in my life, but not the exact things Tess and Jake have faced.

The main idea behind Tess (at least in the first part of the story) was to give voice to people who have been betrayed by a friend (including their spouse). It is to show the range of emotions one deals with after betrayal including shock, rage, sadness and withdrawal. Then, in the end, I wanted to show her getting beyond that and being happy again.

For Jake, the idea was to show his strength and resilence after being abandoned by his parents at a young age. He was mistreated at foster homes and saw others mistreated, so therefore became a protector for the weak. When he finds Tess in her weakened state, he quickly decides to come to her aid. And sparks fly!

Last edited @ Aug 8, 7:33PM EDT.
Aug 8, 7:31PM EDT0

What's it like writing a multicultural drama novel? How have you managed to successfully write a romance which can be used as a vehicle to spread the message of inclusion?

Aug 8, 2:06PM EDT1

Jamie, it's exciting to write drama. I have actually staged a few plays so I know what it takes to get a reaction from an audience. I like using something dramatic to shock people to get their attention, and while I have their attention introduce them to a deeper message. 

As far as writing romance as a vehicle to spread the message of inclusion, being from the south, I just try to put myself into the shoes of both the person pro or anti-inclusion and express some of their views through my characters. The takeaway readers get sometimes supersede what I imagined for the storyline.

Last edited @ Aug 8, 7:02PM EDT.
Aug 8, 7:01PM EDT0
How important do you feel it is to take diverse literature to other platforms to reach out to the wider audience?
Aug 8, 11:37AM EDT1

Mel, it's important to be diverse in promoting as we are diverse in writing. A lot of writers only promote to their niche, and this is where you will have the most success, but you never know who might be interested in your work.

Aug 8, 7:12PM EDT0
How do you write romance when the world is such a mess?
Aug 8, 7:59AM EDT1

Wonderful question Mennah. I spend hours watching news reports and clips and just wondering if we will ever get out of the mess the world is in. So, when I sit down at my desk to write, I escape into another world where I get to decide the outcome. That I can create a book that may bring a smile to someone's face during times like these makes me happy.

Aug 8, 7:10PM EDT0
Who are the two main characters in your book? And what was the idea behind creating these two characters?
Aug 8, 4:15AM EDT0

Jake and Tess are the main characters. The main idea behind Tess (at least in the first part of the story) was to give voice to people who have been betrayed by a friend (including their spouse). It is to show the range of emotions one deals with after betrayal including shock, rage, sadness and withdrawal. Then, in the end, I wanted to show her getting beyond that and being happy again. 

For Jake, the idea was to show his strength and resilence after being abandoned by his parents at a young age. He was mistreated at foster homes and saw others mistreated, so therefore became a protector for the weak. When he finds Tess in her weakened state, he quickly decides to come to her aid. And sparks fly!

Aug 8, 7:08PM EDT0
What type of cultural influences do you feel you have in your writing?
Aug 8, 2:55AM EDT1

Hi Grace,

Great question that really made me think. Prejudice, stereotypes, infidelity, and religion are a few of the cultural influences in my work.

Aug 8, 7:04PM EDT0
What are some of the challenges you have faced as a writer?
Aug 7, 10:33PM EDT1

Building an audience, finding the genre for me, learning the craft of writing and what sells, staying true to myself by not conforming to trends in writing, and getting paid enough to live on are some challenges. 

Aug 7, 11:35PM EDT0

How much of what you wrote in this book is based on your personal or any other real-life experiences? Why should one consider including scenes based on aspects or experiences from one's own life?

Aug 7, 9:42PM EDT1

Hi Deanne,

Sometimes, I write stories that highlight personal experiences and things I've learned. In another story, Earned by the Billionaire, the main theme is forgiveness for the heroine who has been holding a grudge for years. I'm a grudge holder, so I wrote that story knowing in my heart I needed to forgive some people, so I projected that need into my characters (though their situations were completely different than anything I've ever experienced). Writing that story helped me to move past animosity. 

Taken by the Billionaire is different. I didn't write this story from a place of self-cleansing, but from a place of pure entertainment and drama; however, I did try to put myself in the heart and mind of the characters. 

Last edited @ Aug 9, 1:32PM EDT.
Aug 7, 11:24PM EDT0

What are your thoughts on self-publishing? Is this something you would probably try doing some day or are you more comfortable using a publisher?

Aug 7, 2:41PM EDT1

I am self-published. I published my first book in 2007 and all 24 of my books are indeed self-published. I used a publisher for a 3-book series but have since retained the rights. I had a great experience with my publisher and learned a lot. I think anytime an author has an opportunity to work with someone with more experience publishing, it's a good idea. 

Last edited @ Aug 7, 11:32PM EDT.
Aug 7, 11:31PM EDT0

How did you prepare for your transition from a full-time job to become a full-time writer?

Aug 7, 1:17PM EDT1

Well, I didn't exactly have a choice. I was let go from my job, so I had to make it happen as a writer. It's where my passion lies anyway, so I guess I've been preparing for this transition since I self published my first book in 2007.

Aug 7, 11:33PM EDT0
What are some of the marketing strategies you have chosen to use that you would say have been a success as far as increasing sales for your book is concerned?
Aug 7, 12:37PM EDT1

Dennis, lots of social media marketing and cross promotion with other authors and book sites that have a huge reader base.

Aug 8, 5:46PM EDT0
What do you do to relax after a long day of writing?
Aug 7, 7:39AM EDT0

Sleep, drink wine, or walk. 

Aug 7, 11:33PM EDT0
Is there a particular reason why you chose to focus on interracial relationships in your books?
Aug 7, 6:10AM EDT1

Good question Victor. 

1) I wanted to try something different from urban dramas which is the genre for my first three books. 

2) Once I started writing interracial, I fell in love with it. I particularly like the way racial differences can be addressed creatively. 

3) When my daughter was pregnant with my interracial grandson, she asked me if I thought he would be treated differently by people because of it. That just reinforced my purpose for writing these love stories that address racial differences. 

Aug 8, 4:40PM EDT0
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