LaToya: If you could choose a famous African American who has impacted your life who would it be and why?
Donneil: Terry McMillian, Sheneska Jackson and Lolita Files. I can’t remember the first African American author I read, I know it wasn’t Terry, maybe it was Valerie Wilson Wesley with her Tamara Hayle series, I can’t recall. But anyway. Reading her novel Waiting to Exhale, had a huge impact on me. I began writing before I read the book, yet reading a book, about the relationships between girlfriends and their trials and tribulations reinforced what I knew I could do. I learned there is an audience out there who would enjoy to read my tales. Lolita Files and Sheneska Jackson. Their writing style was refreshing. The tone of Scenes of a Sistah and Lil Mama’s Rules was comical and I loved it. It taught me that my style of writing was, acceptable, right up their alley. I could tell my stories in the same manner and people would read and enjoy it. All three of them inspired me and Lolita Files is a big sister in my head. I love her.
LaToya: Where are you from? Where do you live now?
Donneil: I am from Newark, New Jersey. I lived in Florida for short period of time in the early 90’s. Currently, I’m residing back in New Jersey.
LaToya: Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Donneil: I knew in the 7th grade, for sure, I was going to be a writer. My words had the power to entertain others. I still get off on that.
LaToya: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
Donneil: I began writing Chante’s Song in 1999/2000. Life happened, and four years later Chante’s Song was complete.
LaToya: How did you choose the genre you write in?
Donneil: I love love, romance and all that good stuff. I can relate to a lot of women issues. It was a no brainer for me to write erotic romance and contemporary women’s fiction.
LaToya: Where do you get your ideas?
Donneil: I have gotten ideas from song lyrics, as well as true life experiences.
LaToya: Name one book that you would categorize as a life changing read.
Donneil: I don’t know if I would say it was a life changing read, however I will say the book will be implanted in my head forever. That book is Tastes Like Chicken by Lolita Files.
LaToya: Who is your favorite author?
Donneil: I have three and a bunch of runner-ups. Terry McMillian, Lolita Files and Sheneska Jackson are my top three.
LaToya: Name one book you wish you’d written.
Donneil: Waiting to Exhale. Not because I could have done a better job. But I could have done a just as good job with it. The book was published at a great time in the literary industry. It was something new, and who wouldn’t want their novel turned into a movie?
LaToya: Tell us about your latest book.
Donneil: Foolish is my latest novel. It’s steamy. It’s relatable. It’s a must a read.
Kayla Washington is no different than any other woman. She wants what she wants when we wants it, regardless of if her longtime beau, Shawn wants it too or is ready for it. After a decade of being with a man who makes her constantly question her role in his life and her vision of the perfect family, Kayla has to ask herself, “Am I right to fight for this love, or am I being foolish?”
LaToya: How can readers connect with you?
Donneil: Readers can connect with me via Facebook, twitter, Instagram and my website.
LaToya: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Donneil: Always follow your dream. Sometimes the flame will burn out, or attempt to fizzle out, writer’s block is getting the best of you and you can’t see the end of the being published tunnel, don’t give up! Write your heart out!