Wednesday, February 04, 2015

INSIDE OUT with Yasmin Shiraz - Author of Devious

Yasmin Shiraz is a best selling and award winning author of several books, including Exclusive: An Amazon #1 Best Seller and Retaliation: A Novel which was named a Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers by the American Library Association. She is the award winning Writer/Director of Can She Be Saved? which won Best Documentary at the NC Black Film Festival and the Best First Film at the Youth International Film Festival. She also wrote and produced the award winning suicide prevention web series, SOURCES. As an empowerment speaker and youth activist, she has spoken at over 100 colleges and universities as well as organizations such as Planned Parenthood, The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Girls Inc and the YMCA to name a few. She is a trained sociologist having received her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from Hampton University and her Masters of Arts in Sociology from Morehead State University.

Urban Reviews: Tell us about Devious.
Yasmin Shiraz: Devious is the 3rd book in the Tisha Ariel Nikkole series. Its a sexy, fast-paced romance. At the end of Privacy, a tragic event occurs and Devious tells what happens next. 

Urban Reviews: What made you decide to write another installment of this series after so many years? 
Yasmin Shiraz: Readers continued to email me about Devious. I had promised a Devious book after Privacy, but I never wrote it. I like to be a person of my word. So, Devious is much later than it should have been, but hey, better late than never. And, I love Tisha and Shout. I want those characters to be around for a long time. 

Urban Reviews: Will we see Tisha in another book in the future?
Yasmin Shiraz :Yes, I'm already working on the 4th book, Secrets. I cannot wait to share it with the readers. 

Urban Reviews :You also have two teen novels Retaliation and Accused. Can you tell us a little more about these novels? 
Yasmin Shiraz: Retaliation is about a teen girl who gets jumped by 3 girls that she doesn't know. Everyone (her family, school, community) wants to retaliate but her. It's a real page turner and was inspired by my work with teen girls. The book was named a Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers by the American Library Association.

Accused is the sequel to Retaliation. The main characters go off to college and one of them is accused of a crime that they didn't commit. Accused exposes date rape on college campuses which is currently a hot topic. Accused was recently nominated for a book award by the In The Margins Book Committee of Librarians. 

Urban Reviews: Retaliation is the catalyst for the Talk Retaliation empowerment series. Can you tell us about this and what your goals are for the series?
Yasmin Shiraz: I've visited schools, non-profit organizations, Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the US and I have a real dialogue with youth, police, and community leaders about violence. Each session feels like a therapy session. Police officers leave crying as well as youth and community leaders. The goal is to create an open forum and to build trust within our communities. 

Urban Reviews: Are you working on any upcoming projects or books?
Yasmin Shiraz: I'm a documentary filmmaker as well as an author, so I'm currently on a film tour promoting my film on HIV/AIDS, entitled Growing Up Positive. I continue to write daily and am more committed to staying connected to the readers than ever. 

Urban Reviews : What is the most important piece of advice that anyone has given you in regards to your writing career?
Yasmin Shiraz: "When things get tough, write. When you think you can't, write. When it's quiet, write. When it's noisy, write. When you're bored, write." The best advice for writers is simply to write every day as much as you can. Get it on the page. 

Urban Reviews : Where can readers learn more information about you and your books?

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