In addition to the Release Day Spotlight on the Because My Heart Said So and how the book came to fruition, MRN is also giving you a look-see into who each author is individually. First up, MRN puts the spotlight on Author Nia Forrester. Let’s jump right in to get to know Nia and her work…
I live in the Washington DC area, and am Canadian-born of West Indian parents. I’m a lobbyist and public policy lawyer by day, working on criminal and juvenile justice-related issues. My passions, apart from writing are working on women’s issues, racial justice and children’s rights. I have a voracious appetite for pop culture, love observing people and society and incorporating what I see and learn into my books and characters. My fiction is character-driven, and relationship-focused, and I hope, always evolving.
Find Nia on the interwebs:
Let’s start with your most recent release, ‘Because My Heart Said So’. What real-life inspirations did you draw from for ‘Acceptable Losses’?
From my legal career. Lawyers throw around phrases like ‘acceptable loss’ all the time during negotiations. We make cost-benefit analyses and decide what can be sacrificed in order to arrive at a greater good (or larger gain). I think we do that in relationships too. We make compromises and decide, sometimes at the spur of the moment, what can be sacrificed now, hopefully for a greater good, or larger gain later.
What is the best/worst advice you’ve been given about writing and/or publishing?
Worst advice on writing is ‘write what you know’. Who does that? We wouldn’t have Harry Potter if J.K Rowling took that advice, or Moby Dick, if Herman Melville took that advice! So that’s nonsense, but it was repeated to me and I’m glad I rejected it. Best advice on writing I ever got was to do it every day. I don’t always follow that advice, but I find that when I do, the work reflects it. On publishing, the best advice I got as a self-published author was to engage with my readers. Talk to them and let them in. That was a process for me. It began with me only talking to readers about my books and ‘process’ but many of these relationships have evolved into friendships that help me grow not just as a writer, but as a person.
What book do you wish you had written?
None. The book I wish I’d written, I certainly plan to write. I don’t covet anyone else’s voice. I just work at making my voice on the page match the one in my head. Hasn’t happened yet, but I’m working on it. Although I will say that Stephen King uses perfectly accessible, simple prose to communication complex things in a way that is awe-inspiring. Anne Rice using complex and flowery prose to relay imagery really well, and Jonathan Franzen has a very distant delivery of emotions that are close to us all. So in their own ways, I feel like they’re genius. I want that, but in my voice.
Describe yourself in three words.
Introspective, Passionate, Calm.
What’s your favorite ’90s jam?
Dang. Like my favorite author, that does not exist. In the 90s I was all about hip-hop, like ALL THE TIME. I liked raw, rough-sounding hip-hop, which was studio-produced but which sounded like it could have been made in a basement studio in the Bronx by some angry young men who had something they wanted to say. And that usually translated to a love for groups like Das EFX and the WuTang Clan who were straight-up New York, which is where I lived at the time. Their accents and slang were sounds I recognized and lived with, so that music felt personal to me. I also liked what I like to call the New Black Consciousness types of groups like Digable Planets, Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. And I was watching the evolution of 2Pac … so yeah, the ’90s were special for hip-hop. And there was a little neo-soul period in there as well for me when I wasn’t rabble rousing with rappers.
Love at first sight or slow burn?
Slow burn. I would LOVE to fall in love at first sight because it sounds like all kinds of coolness. I mean to feel that lightning bolt and have it actually stick? That would be incredibly time-efficient! Ha! But no, I’m not built that way, unfortunately. I like to dig deep. But once I’m in, I’m in.
♦♦♦ SYOPSIS ♦♦♦
Quentin is in the middle of a separation from his wife that seems to have no conclusive end in sight, while Lena is stuck in Single Girl Hell. The only respite either of them have is their regular coffee dates, while working on shared projects at a very demanding job. Sick of hearing about Lena’s semidisastrous attempts to couple-up, Quentin decides to fix her up. With his brother. Seems like a perfect solution; after all, his brother is a decent enough guy and Lena deserves that. Perfect … until it appears that the fix-up might actually work.
Read an excerpt from Acceptable Losses from the Because My Heart Said So Friends-to-Lovers Collection
“This was so not what I was expecting,” Lena said, laughing as she and Darius exited the fitness studio. “When a guy asks me out, I’m thinking wine … fancy hors d’oeuvres, a complete meal maybe …”
“We can do something like that next time,” Darius said.
“So now that you sweated my tail off, am I free to go?”
“Nah. We’re going to Jamba Juice,” he said, inclining his head to the left.
Lena sighed. “Okay, you’re in charge, so let’s do it.”
“You did well in there,” he said as they started walking.
“Thank you. Was it a test or something? Something you put women through to see whether you want to take them on a real date?”
“Nah. Why would I need to test you? My brother says you’re cool people, so you’re cool people.”
Lena shook her head. “That’s all it takes, huh? Q’s endorsement?”
“He’s never steered me wrong.” Darius shrugged.
“And is he in the habit of … steering women your way?”
Darius laughed. “I do a’ight on my own.”
Lena didn’t doubt it. While they were working out, more than a few gym-bunnies shot envious looks her way, their eyes skimming Darius’ frame, struggling not to stare. It was a special kind of high, she couldn’t lie—being with That Dude at the gym, being the object of all that envy.
When Lena called him back to let him know she was free, Darius told her to “dress very casually, and for an active evening.” So Lena had worn loose black yoga pants, her tennis shoes, and a long-sleeved, white Under Armour shirt, pulling her hair back into a high Afro-puff. She imagined he was probably taking her to play laser-tag or something, but when she met Darius at the address he gave her, she got out of the Uber and realized it was a Washington Sports Club.
We’re gonna work out, he’d announced, looking pleased with himself.
As I read more by Nia, she’s easily made her place on my authors to watch list. So happy to get to know her better! Big thanks to Nia for stopping by MRN and sharing with us!
Find Nia’s book list below:
I hope you’ve found your next favorite book!