Answering A Few Questions– LOVE in the USA

Today I received a Facebook message from a young lady who read and liked the LOVE in the USA series. She ventured to ask me a few questions, which I thought were very interesting. Not only were her questions interesting but I thought others may want to know the answers to them. So I asked for her permission to answer them in a blog post and she gave me her permission! So here they go:

Q: What inspired you to write:
(Shrug) Truthfully, I don’t know if anything ever inspired me to write. See the act itself is deeper than the act itself. Doesn’t make sense I know. But just think about engaging in something like sex and what you’re doing and who you were with, the moment, the atmosphere… In one of my books, I think it’s Find Her, Keep Her, I think through inner dialog Daisy says that what she and Belmont are doing isn’t just mere sex. That’s the same for me with writing. It’s a transformative experience and I’ve been doing it all my life in many forms. And so the first time I got a taste of how good it feels to touch my imagination while writing, I knew I would be doing it forever.

Q: How did you come up with this storyline (LOVE in the USA):
Truthfully, I don’t know. LOL! My mind/imagination is way out there though. I mean, just read the Parched series. It feels real good to create an Enu and new creatures like KTKL in “Light Speed.” Romance is not very imaginative and if you veer off the course of accepted rules of romance, the readership will scratch your eyes out! But I love, love and I love indulging in love. So, I decided to veer off the the accepted rules of romance path and write “real” contemporary romance. Essentially, the “contemporary” in normal contemporary romance is not about the mindset/value systems of the characters but inordinate decisions characters make on their way to finding a traditional happily ever after. In that film the Mirror Has Two Faces, there’s one scene where Barbara Streisand’s character is lecturing her class on romantic love. She says something like–in fiction/romance, the altar (marriage) is the end all, be all of romantic love. Well–to me, the HEA/altar/marriage being the end all-be all of romantic love is a fallacy. You want to know how contemporary people love? Then read my books. There may be some cheating. There may be break-ups and going out there to date someone else before realizing what you had in someone else. The woman isn’t going to throw her aspirations out just because she’s married and has children. And the idea of breaking-up/divorce  is always looming because “real” contemporary people are not defined by being in a relationship–they just know it feels good to be with the one they love. But at the same time those are not hard and fast rules. There are variations of what a person believes regarding love. But that’s the beauty of it! There’s no script. No accepted norms. All exists and all is welcome and once we find someone to love we try to merge our differences in order to have one sexy, sensual, happy, lasting and strong love life. So, writing this, staying true to my characters is how I come up with the storylines.

And finally…

Q: Who inspired these characters?
A: Gosh… SOOOO many people. If someone I know feels as if I’m watching them, well… I am watching them. I’m putting them in the file cabinet in my head-indexing their behaviors, mannerisms, beliefs and values. And when it’s time to create characters, I take a little of her, and her, and her and make this person. I take a little of him, and him and him and create her love interest. I take a little of myself and write the opposite so that I can distance myself from these characters. But I also add a little more to these characters. I give them imaginative traits. Traits that I think would make them more interesting and appealing. Also, as an artist, I wouldn’t be worth my salt if I didn’t create characters that push the envelope, challenge the status quo. I think of Maggie… I made her this Naomi Watts/Marilyn Monroe type on the outside but on the inside she’s tough as nails, take no prisoners and “I don’t give a care if you think I’m hot you superficial ****”, which is a lot like myself actually (the last part of that). But Maggie hasn’t been taught to use her assets to book a man and frankly she doesn’t want the man she has to use her assets to book. Basically, with Maggie, I’m challenging a serious cultural problem when it comes to women and beauty. Also, with Daisy, I wanted to attack that standard “cheeky” romance novel female protagonist. She’s louder on the inside than she is on the outside but she does have a voice and it takes a lot before we hear it. And then there’s Angelina and Monroe. I’ve carefully crafted both of them. However, I’m still trying to figure out Vince. He is superficial to a certain degree but his soul is attracted to all that Maggie is. How big is his ego? I’ve just started writing the next Maggie & Vince book titled, “Made to Love” her. It starts 6 months after “Explore Her, More of Her.” I’ll be blogging about it in a few days because it came out of left field but it’s a story that I’m ready to write right now.


Those are the questions she  asked and those are my not so direct answers! LOL!

Until next time!

BTW–excuse the typos, I haven’t gone back to re-read and try to catch them all. Hey–I don’t have an editor for the blog! LOL!


    • Z.L Arkadie

      Hi Tamela! I just started writing a book in the series on a whim. It’s just, now is the time to write it. So, I’m going to write day and night and hopefully make my next editing date of Feb 13, 2015. I’ll see! If I make that date, then the next book, Made to Love Her, Maggie & Vince #2, should be released by mid March. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! Z

  • Myra

    Thanks for sharing this Q&A!! I loved Explore Her More of Her & can’t wait for the next books to come. It’s funny you said that you’re still trying to figure Vince out because I was just thinking about where his & Maggie’s story will go?! I love his big ego, it appeals to me as an inexperienced 22 year old 🙂
    Well wherever you’re headed with these books I know I will love. Keep doing whatever you’re doing cause it’s magic! You’ve got this college student wrapped around your typing fingers.
    -a devoted fan &, Myra

    • Z.L Arkadie

      Hi, Myra! 🙂 Ahhh… thanks for the kind words. And you’re very welcome. I truly appreciate you letting me know that you’re onboard for the ride! No matter how bumpy it gets! LOL! 🙂 Here’s to the road! All best, Z