Page-turners have taken over a large section of the genre landscape–be they crime thrillers, spy thrillers, historical crime novels or psychological suspense. Today, I’m very pleased to welcome debut novelist Yasmin Angoe here on Daily (w)rite, as part of the guest post series with her spy thriller Her Name is Knight.
Yasmin Angoe is a first-generation Ghanaian American, the 2020, recipient of the Sisters in Crime Eleanor Taylor Bland Award for Emerging Writers of Color and is a proud member of SinC, Crime Writers of Color, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America. Yasmin was an English teacher and currently works with authors as a developmental editor and sensitivity/authenticity reader. When not writing or editing, she is either watching movies, engrossed in a new audiobook, or daydreaming about the fact she probably should be writing.
Her Name is Knight is available for pre-order here, and will be launched on November 1.
1. If you could talk to your younger writing self, what would you say to her?
If I could talk to my younger writing self, I’d tell her to keep writing because it’ll get better and to go for what was in her heart.
2. What kind of research do you conduct, and how long do you spend on research before authoring a page-turner?
The kind of research I conduct is use of Internet resources. I watch YouTube, read articles and whatever information I can find. I look at images. I interview people, ask their perspective or whatever it is I need to know. I watch shows and documentaries that may help broaden and deepen my knowledge. I don’t have a set time I’m researching before beginning a book. My research goes on during the writing.
3. How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
I’m not exactly sure how I balance the demands of the reader with taking care of them. I guess I attribute that to my background as a teacher because that was our job. We had to constantly balance the demands of our students with taking care of them by way of including supports and resources. I guess I do that with my writing. I think about if I’m giving too much or too little and it’s always with me when i’m drafting and then revising, not too much, not too little. Hopefully that makes sense. It’s really hard to nail down how I do it because there is no set way I do it. I’m constantly playing around with it, always modifying and adjusting if what I’m giving falls too far one way or the other.
4. Could you recommend five page-turners that you’ve enjoyed reading?
Hmmm…some of these page-turners aren’t out yet but are so great and everyone should look out for them. I’d choose
· My Sister’s Keeper- Kellye Garrett
· All Her Little Secrets- Wanda Morris comes out 11/2 so we’re debut sisters!!!
· In My Hands I Hold a Knife- Ashley Winstead
· For Your Own Good- Samantha Downing
· Bath Haus- P.J. Vernon
· And an extra Her Perfect Life- Hank Phillippi Ryan
5. What would you advise a writer seeking traditional publication?
I would advise a writer seeking traditional publication to be open to valuable, applicable feedback that you can use to better your writing. And be ready to really put in the work for your novel. It’s not easy, but no one will love your novel more than you.
6. You work as an editor yourself, and you’ve collaborated with editors on Her Name is Knight. With your perspective from both sides of editing, what would you advice an author seeking an editor?
Being an editor myself really prepared me for what I would experience on the receiving end, as a writer. I’d advise writers to come to the process with a mind ready to receive and truly consider someone else’s perspective. It’s not easy to receive feedback about this thing you’ve poured your all into, but that’s why you need to. You’ll know what will work for your book and what won’t at the end of it all. Just don’t come to the editing table with a no already on your mind. But at the same time, know that you have the power to say no, “I disagree, and this is why we should go my way on this…”
7. What is the world and atmosphere of Her Name is Knight like?
The world is one of various characters of color in various locales, on both sides of the law, with a lot of action and entertainment and a Ghanaian female assassin at the helm of it all. She’s not someone normally seen in these roles, at least she wasn’t when I started writing her. The atmosphere is intense. Period. Intense in the most devastating of ways. Intense in highly emotional ways. Intense in very entertaining ways. Her Name is Knight takes you on a roller coaster ride, just like it did me. You’re welcome! LOL.
8. Her Name is Knight is about a survivor who seeks revenge on the men who ravaged her Ghanaian village, murdered her family, and sold her into human trafficking. Where did the idea first come to you?
The fully realized idea really came in bits and pieces and was cathartic for me because I was going through a lot of the feelings and thoughts Nena was going through. I started out knowing I would write about a Black woman who was the head of a crime organization. Then I knew she was going to be from Ghana because I wanted to highlight my culture. My dad had died a while ago, but I was still dealing with the guilt of not being there. Then, I went to an educational conference and attended a session about survivors of sex trafficking and those women resounded so deeply with me. I was in complete awe of their strength and knew I wanted to bring to light this horrible thing still happening in society that should have ended forever ago. All those dots connected for me into the story and character I came up with.
9. What is that one thing you’d like readers to know before they dive into Her Name is Knight?
First, that the book will not be an easy read. There are hard, horrible things discussed in the book. But the story isn’t centered around the trauma. It’s centered around one woman’s fight to survive, to rebuild her life and get back her power, to fully embrace who she is, and most of all, to forgive and give herself grace…and to kick ass and exact delicious revenge while she’s at it.
What was the last page-turner you read? Have you read My Name is Knight? What books have been your top favorites this year?
It is available in India here.
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