Q&A with Shakir

Why were you inspired to write about this theme?

When I started writing in this genre, I noticed that there were very, very few that wrote from a Dominant Male perspective, and almost nothing that represented people of color, either. Being a Dominant Male of Color, it obviously was easy to write from that perspective, and I wanted to put a positive spin on what have been negative views of Dominant Men of Color.

How do you come up with your ideas for writing you story?

I read a lot! I know it sounds cliché, but you’d be amazed at what you come across while reading for material. So, what I do is, if it feels like it works, I’ll brainstorm on it and go from there. The trick was to make sure I didn’t rip anything from recent headlines, so that people wouldn’t get the bright idea to try and research where I might have gotten the plot line from.

Are you planning to write any new books in the near future?

My plans are to write as long as there is a public to write for. I do have one mainstream project coming up, called All I Want is You. It’s a completely different project, and while it will be an erotic romance tale, it will have ZERO D/s elements to it. I wanted to take a break and expand my repertoire. I’m writing this one under the pen name of Curtis Alexander Hamilton, yanno, to keep things from being too confused. But don’t fret, for fans of Chronicles and Deviant Intent; I do plan to have the second installment, Deception, ready by late summer or early fall later this year, and the third installment of Chronicles, Tempest, ready for early 2012.

How old were you when you began to write stories?

I started writing vanilla based stuff when I was 16. I submitted a piece for one of my creative writing class projects in 10th grade and I haven’t really looked back since. I still have stuff in storage that I haven’t transcribed just yet, which is how All I Want is You came from. I’m refreshing that old manuscript for 21st century time frame.

Have you ever noticed any similarities between you and other authors?

Yes and no. I’m a big fan of the earlier Black male authors: Omar Tyree, Eric Jerome Dickey, Walter Moseley, and E. Lynn Harris. In terms of material, I’d say I’ve combined a lot of them together, but in terms of style, I’d like to believe that I’m my own author and that I’ve developed my own style of prose.

Of the novels that you have written, which is your favorite?

Of course, CONU is my first born series, so The Awakening always will be my favorite. It’s the one that I’ve slaved over, obsessed over getting it right, made sure details were as correct as could be had, and it’s the one that allowed me the avenue to finally speak to my parents and my younger sister about my lifestyle. So, it would be difficult for any subsequent books to achieve favorite status.

What do you do in your spare time when you are not writing?

Between the wife, the kids, lifestyle obligations that we have taken on, plus work and school, it’s safe to say there is no spare time LOL! We do find time to play and have fun; we have different bottoms that we enjoy playing with, so that’s always fun.

How long does it take you to write a novel?

Give or take, from conception to completion, I’ll mark off about 6-9 months, but depending on the flow, it could take a helluva lot less time. I usually start outlining the plot lines as they hit me, and then do a quick rough cut to see how it might flow. If I like it, I can crank it out pretty quickly; the research usually takes longer than the actual writing, though.

What do you like reading in your spare time?

Sci-fi, suspense thrillers, I’ll read anything that can keep my mind moving at a fast pace. I don’t like to be bored, which is why I try to keep the novels that I write up-tempo. Some have remarked that they felt like they’d just finished running a race LOL

When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?

Anyone that knows me and mine knows that Egypt is the theme to which this House is built around, so when naming the characters, the decisions weren’t that difficult, I just had to make sure that the research was true to form, to the best of my ability. Some of the names are plays on words; some were just plucked out of the clear blue sky. But in the end, I wanted to make sure that things were flowing smoothly once it was done. Even my pseudonym, Shakir Rashaan, is Egyptian, meaning “grateful prince”, which is exactly what I am because people have received my novels extremely well and are clamoring for more. On the other hand, the mainstream work that I do, I just pick names at random, there’s not much rhyme or reason for that.

Why did you self publish instead of going through traditional publishers?

Because I’m a control freak! I hate being dictated to, to be honest, especially on a genre and subject that I know more about than the editor of the traditional company that I would have sent the manuscript to. Being an independent gives me a lot more freedom than being locked in with a publisher. At times, there’s the flare-up that comes in from time to time that says, “send in a manuscript, just to see what happens.” Then I move on and continue writing. One day I might just do it, just to say that I got rejected a few times LOL

Are the views and thoughts of Ramesses and Neferterri (from your Chronicles series) based upon the thoughts of you and your wife?

No, but there is a caveat to that answer. I took great pains to separate Ramesses and Neferterri from myself and my wife because of this very thing. Anyone that has read any of the opinions and answers to questions that I have put up in different forums and groups throughout Fetlife can pretty much guess that those responses are as close to figuring out my ideals and thoughts as can be had. Hell, those that are closest to me think that there’s a little bit of me inside of Dominic (from my Deviant Intent series). At the end of the day, there’s a little bit of the author inside of any character that they place at the forefront of their novels, it’s hard not to.

Are any of the details real or made up?

A little of both, but I leave it up to the audience to try and figure out the difference. What fun would there be in telling you that it’s all made up?

Copies of the novels can be purchased directly from the publisher at http://www.kemikauniverse.com and also from Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com.