Chanta Jefferson Rand is a multi-published author of sizzling-hot African-American romance. An avid reader of all romance genres, she stepped onto the scene in 2010 with her first published historical romance, entitled Pharaoh’s Desire. Whether writing historical or contemporary romances, she always tries to educate readers and teach them something they may not have known before. Chanta is a history junkie, a typical Pisces, a Walking Dead fan, and a recovering shoe addict. She never met a stiletto she didn’t like!
Thank you Chanta Rand for answering some questions for us today. I’ve had the pleasure to read your first novel Pharaoh’s Desire and it completely captivated me. No lover of romance should go without reading that book. I highly recommend. Now let’s get right into it!
- What made you choose to write in the Genre that you write in?
I’ve always loved history. I write historical romance because I enjoy mixing historical facts with romantic elements. True love transcends all eras. And when you get down to it, I’m selling hope. That’s what romance is all about. No matter what time period we live in, women want to know that there’s still hope that our soul mate is somewhere out there waiting for us.
2. Where did your inspiration for this book come from?
While researching for my first book Pharaoh’s Desire, way back in 1991, I came across a book about Nubian kings who dominated Egypt for hundreds of years. I’d never heard of Nubia or their magnificent kingdoms. I knew right then and there, I wanted to write a story that incorporated the tumultuous history of Nubia and Egypt. I added some murder, mystery and steamy sex into the mix, and viola, Pharaoh’s Desire was born! There was no one else writing Nubian romance back then, and even though there are a handful of authors who write it today, I think I’m the one with the most knowledge in this area. I’m glad I got the chance to personally visit Nubia and Cairo a few years ago before the conflict erupted in Egypt.
3. How do you handle bad reviews?
I’d like to say I ignore them, but I take bad reviews very personally. I take a lot of time and research to craft a product that I hope resonates positively with readers. When I spend my money on any product and it’s unsatisfactory to me, I feel cheated. I don’t want my readers to have that experience. What helps is when a reader posts specific, detailed review, like one person did for my novel, You’ve Got Male. Based on her feedback, I made some changes and republished the story. But if a reader just says, “I didn’t like the book” or “This wasn’t for me,” that really doesn’t help me understand why they disliked it. Of course, you can’t please everyone, and I’m not going to change every book based on a review.
4. If your book was turned into a movie who would the director be?
It sure as hell wouldn’t be Quentin Tarintino! I don’t know too many other directors, but I know who I’d want to star in it. Boris Kudjo would make a great Pharaoh Amonmose. Meagan Goode would be cast as Kama. For Goddess, I’d want my second baby-daddy, Idris Elba (sorry Blair) to play the part of Prince Samir. Kerry Washington would be great in the role of Ayana. Vanessa L. Williams would have to be in there somewhere. Maybe she could play the part of Zahra. I just like her style and her resilience. She’s a strong lady who always lands on her feet.
5. What do you dislike the most about the publishing world?
Unscrupulous publishers–like the one who originally published Pharaoh’s Desire before I got my rights back. Unfortunately, with the rise of self-publishing and independent authors, crooks are coming out of the woodwork to sham authors. We really have to be vigilant and stay on top of what’s happening in our industry. Other than that, I love writing and the publishing world. I recently launched a company called Colorful Covers to help authors find images of color for their book covers and other stock photography. To visit the site, go to www.Colorful-Covers.com. We’re always looking for hot models too. So, whether you’re an author, publisher, graphic artist, or model, check out the site.
6. What words of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Don’t follow trends. Write what you love and then you’ll always be happy. Invest in a good editor. There’s nothing worse than a book drowning in grammatical errors.
7. What book do you recommend everyone should read and why?
Roots by Alex Haley. Whether black or white, I don’t think there is anyone whose ancestors where untouched by the horrendous institution of slavery. Black history didn’t start with the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. Roots provides great insight into our history in Africa.
8. What is the worse book you have ever read?
I would never directly call out an author or a book. I work very hard on my books, and I would like to think other authors are doing that as well. I review books on Amazon, but I rarely give a bad book review, unless the book was just horrific! I will say there are certain authors who are writing in my specific genre (African American historical romance centering around Ancient Egypt) whom I feel have not put the research or work into their product. All I can say is that it’s reflected in the end result.
9. Who is your favorite author and why?
I’m a book junkie. I can’t limit myself to just one author. The ones I like reading are: Johanna Lindsey, Beverly Jenkins, Philippa Gregory, Farrah Rochon, Philip Boast, Niobia Bryant, Adrianne Bird, Keith Thomas Walker, and Shelly Fredman. Oh, I just added a new one to the mix: Russell Blake. I love his JET series about a kickass operative who speaks seven languages and has wicked skills with a gun. And I love the Tennyson Hardwick series by Blair Underwood. In my fantasies, Blair is my baby daddy–only without the babies!
10. Who is your favorite musical artist?
I don’t have a favorite artist. There is too much talent out there for me to be faithful to one person or group. I like old school gangsta rap, jazz, R&B, reggae, country, hip hop, and soft rock. However, I will say the artists I listen to most are: MAXWELL, Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, Marvin Gaye, Mariah Carey, Angie Stone, and Nina Simone. I also listen to a lot of 80s music and Disco. That was when music was at its best.
11. Is there another hobby you have that you would like to share?
It’s not a hobby, more like an obsession. I’m a Walking Dead fan. I love, love, love those damn zombies. I collect all of the action figures for the series. Michonne, played by Danai Gurira is my favorite character. She’s brave, beautiful, and strong.
12. Do you have an official website?
14. Where can we find your books?
Check out Chanta Rand’s newest release “Goddess”
Two brothers. One woman. A fight to the bitter end.
Princess Ayana is considered a goddess by her people. When she is kidnapped and enslaved by an evil Nubian prince named Bakari, her life as a spoiled princess comes to an abrupt end. She plots her escape, vowing to kill her captors the first chance she gets. What she doesn’t anticipate is the fierce attraction she feels towards Bakari’s brother, Prince Samir. She might be able to flee, but can she outrun her passions?
Spurned by a woman he believed loved him, Prince Samir has been wandering the world with a broken heart for five years. He’s become a bitter man who is determined never to love again. But when he returns home to find his brother has taken a beautiful captive, he is immediately drawn to the woman. There is no love lost between Samir and Bakari, and tempers flare when Samir claims the spirited Ayana as his own. Then, an unexpected shift in power leaves Bakari as king and Samir as an outcast. Samir must risk everything to win a kingdom and the love of Ayana.