Today I have author Vonda Howard on Conversations talking about her new book in her popular D-Cup Divas series . Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!
Rossalyn McMillan is full figured and full of big dreams and aspirations. At a healthy size 18, she flaunts and struts it just like her older sister Chandra. She is a new graduate of Howard University and is looking to get her career started in the fast paced world of couture fashion. She is a brilliant designer, and gets constant ridicule from her colleagues when she decides to launch her couture plus size clothing line. She is an instant hit and gets attention all over the world as the new “it” girl for plus sized ladies. How will her new-found fame affect her friendships and romantic relationships? Will she be able to tell the real from the fake?
The secluded tree-lined back road was perfect for Rossalyn to test out the engine on her brand new sports car; a pink, custom made Aston Martin V12 Vantage. It was a graduation gift to herself, one of the first things she bought out of her freshly unlocked trust account. She had worked so hard and it had been such a long wait to get her hands on the money her mom and dad had set up for her. She worked her ass off at her now Alma Mater, Parsons School of Design in New York City and could proudly boast her new Masters of Fashion Design. It wasn’t an easy decision to go there after she graduated from Howard University and leave the sister that she had been joined at the hip to for all her life, but she did it. She was actually a little shocked that Chandra was so good about it.
Normally, she would get a raised eyebrow if she went too far out of town with girlfriends.
It was almost like she never left anyway because Chandra would come up and stay with her in her apartment at least once, sometimes twice a month. She didn’t mind though, it actually helped her adjust better to being away from home. She knew exactly what she was going to do with the money. She was going to start her own plus size couture clothing line. Her friends wondered why she didn’t go and blow half of it on multimillion dollar houses, designer clothes and gaudy handbags. All that stuff is nice, of course, but she wanted to fulfill her dream and bring “Daisy” to life.
Not only was Daisy the name of her favorite flower and cartoon character, it was going to be a movement for her. It was her chance to step out of the baby sister spotlight that Chandra kept her in. She was bustin‘ out! Her clothes already had a little buzz around them from her including them in some local fashion shows and showcases sponsored by Parsons. She was even featured in a few very prominent blogs and magazines as one of the hottest up and coming designers in the country.
Even Mo’nique was wearing one of her designs, (she practically stalked her when she was in New York. After she chased down a former design assistant that was part of the style team for Mo’nique; and paid him a healthy sum of money to get her measurements, she worked like a dog getting that dress perfect. So, when she saw her wearing it on her talk show she was on cloud nine. After that, she couldn’t stop all the phone calls or interviews and requests for her to design for other celebrities and models, but she wanted more. She wanted Daisy to be an internationally known brand.“I don’t have time for this.” Rossalyn sucked her teeth as she looked up in the rear mirror at the flashing lights of the police car behind her. She was already 30 minutes late for the graduation celebration her sister Chandra was throwing her.
She knew she would have to hear it…Her big sister lecturing her once again about the importance of punctuality. She knew Chandra meant well, it’s just that ever since their mom died about three years ago, she hadstepped in as her surrogate mom. There was no doubt she would be in her ass about getting pulled over yet again.
She wasn’t really rushing to this “foo-foo” thing Chandra was throwing anyway. She would have been just as happy with sitting around at her friends eating pizza and tripping out. No, Chandra wanted to make a big deal and show her of, so she was letting her.She pulled over on the side of the road; looking in her driver side mirror, smiling and admiring the god-like physique of the policeman that was outlined beautifully by the bright glare of his spotlight. He was even sexier up close; strong squared jaw line, smooth acorn brown skin, and chocolate brown eyes that she could have dived into. She tried her best not to lick her cherry flavored glossed lips as her eyes slowly made their way up his body, spending extra time on his crotch, which was perfectly placed in her view.
“License and registration please?”
His voice had a silky low tone.“Is it okay if I reach over into my glove compartment?” She answered as she leaned to the side. She has used this trick on many occasions. She would bat her naturally thick eyelashes and push out her perky D-cups and get herself out of the jam. Unfortunately, this officer was not affected.Yes, ma’am it’s fine.” He replied, straight-faced shining his flashlight in hers causing her to squint. “Do you realize how fast you were going?”She reached over, grabbed her insurance card and registration out of her glove compartment and handed it over to the waiting officer.
“No sir. Must not have been that fast if you caught up to me.”
She tried to make a joke, but it fell flat.“Ma’am, you were doing 60 in a 25.” “Was I?” She tried to sound unaware of her speeding, but she was fully aware. She has always been a bit of a lead foot. Chandra refuses to ride with her because she claims she scares her half to death; weaving in and out of traffic and speeding like they are in the Daytona 500.
She got her very first ticket the same day she got her license at sixteen years old and it just never stopped. Her license has been suspended more times than she liked to think about. “Yes, you were. What’s the rush, Ms. McMillan?” He asked looking down at her license. “I’m on my way to a party and I am very late.” “Well, I’m sure the people at this party would like you to arrive late and safely rather than get a call that you were in the hospital or worse. Do you know this far over the speed limit constitutes as reckless driving?”
“Ooh, does that mean you pull out your cuffs?”
The officer was not amused by her obvious flirtations. “Ma’am, this is no joke. I’m two seconds off hauling you to jail, right now.” You’re absolutely right, officer. I apologize.” Her smile quickly fell to a serious expression.
Vonda Howard grew up in Southeast DC and has been writing since 10 years old. In 2007 she wrote her first self-published novel named “Diamond Lives, Platinum Lies” which was a huge success. Her second book, “It’s Always The Pretty Ones” (released in 2008) had very similar success. In June 2009, she was signed to Anexander Books where she released the very popular “D-Cup Divas” Series that spotlighted confident and beautiful plus size characters.
Vonda Howard also runs her own graphic design firm, Cupcake Creative Studio, which has serviced such well known clients as Brian W. Smith, Torrian Ferguson, Kaira Denee and Marissa Monteilh. She is also the Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief of the multi-award winning Black Literature Magazine.
Get to Know Vonda:
1.) The D-Cup Divas Series is centered around the lives of four plus sized professional women. Why did you feel this series was needed?
I started this series because I felt there was a need to create some characters that portrayed full figured women in a positive light. Often times, full figured in books and movies are sad, wretched, unattractive loafers that are the butt of the joke. I am none of these things and neither are any of my full figured gal pals. That is why I created a series that I affectionately call the “Sex In The City” for curvy girls. All of my characters are smart, beautiful, career driven women.
2) This is the second in the series (Rossalyn) and we know you are currently working on the third D Cup Diva (Lanora) , how do you feel you have progressed as a writer?
I can definitely see the growth in how I tell the story. Like with anything, the more you do it the better you get. I also make it a point to research, read and learn along the way. I’ve also had a pack of awesome teachers and mentors around me helping me along the way too.
3) How much of your real life inspires your writing and the lives of your characters?
A lot of it actually, real life is the best fiction! I am often inspired by news stories, movies, television shows and even songs.
4) Which of the four Diva characters is your favorite?
I would have to say Chandra. Not because she was the first, but I love her intensity and her work ethic. Chandra does what she wants, when she wants and by her own rules. She’s also flawless in her fashion sense and love for herself.
5) Who are some of your literary influences and how have they influenced your brand of writing?
I would say some of my influences are Nickolas Sparks for the way he writes true and realistic love, T. Styles for her grittiness and the way she pushes the boundaries and Zane for her undeniable sense of sexuality and sexiness.
6) This book has a really serious scene in it (we won’t ruin it for readers). How hard was it to write that scene? What did you have to do to mentally prepare for it?
That scene was hard to write. I tend to let my characters do and say what they want, i’m just the transcriber. (I know that sounds crazy) When that scene came about I actually had to step away for a second angry that it was even happening. (Again, I know that sounds crazy. LOL) I just went there and tried my best to capture every emotion and reaction the way it should have been. Hopefully, the readers will feel the intensity of it also.
7) What are some of your hopes / plans / goals for the future of your writing?
All I really want is to continue to be blessed enough to do what I love, and readers continue to enjoy it. I also want to continue to learn and help others as much as I can in the industry. Of course the New York Times Bestseller List and a movie deal sweeten the pot too!
Email address : firstname.lastname@example.org
The books can be purchased on my website (www.VondaHoward.com) or on Kindle, Nook, and IBooks.