I am so pleased to have Shewanda Pugh visiting with us and talking about her debut novel, Crimson Footprints.
All About Shewanda Pugh
Shewanda Pugh is a native of Boston’s inner city, though she now calls Miami, Florida home. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Alabama A&M University and a Master’s in Writing from Nova Southeastern University. Fueled from a young age, her passion for crossing societal boundaries like race, class and culture, is the inspiration for both her cluttered bookshelf and her writing. When she’s not busy obsessing over fiction, she can be found traveling, nursing her social networking addiction or enjoying the company of loved ones. Only months after the debut of her novel, Crimson Footprints, she was a finalist for the AAMBC Reader’s Choice Award and the NBBF Best New Author Award.
Shewanda’s Journey into Writing
When and why did you begin writing? I began writing in elementary school. Back then I had a typewriter (my age is showing, I know) and made an order sheet, where fellow classmates could have tailor-made stories with them as the star for $0.25 a piece. I was never very good at math.
I abandoned writing in college, where I thought to take up more serious pursuits. So, I studied Political Science and made plans for law school. I enrolled, showed up, and changed my mind shortly after. That’s when I took a second look at writing.
Asking a writer what makes them want to create is an odd question of sorts. Creativity is the result of some innate need that I make no pretense of knowing anything about. Simply put, I’ve always felt compelled to create. I’m simply glad people take interest in the final project.
Crimson Prints by Shewanda Pugh
Can you share a little of your work with us? Sure! Here’s a quick description of my debut novel, Crimson Footprints:
When an insecure, bi-racial woman begins a cloak-and-dagger love affair with a Japanese American man, she is intent on keeping her bigoted family in the dark albeit with devastating consequences. On the night of her brother’s murder, Deena Hammond stumbles upon Takumi Tanaka, lost and on the wrong end of a .32. After rescuing him from the certain fate driving through the hood in a Porsche will bring, a sweet kind of friendship begins. A balm for her grief. Maybe, Deena likes to think, it happened the day her white mother killed her black father. Or maybe, it was always a part of them, like DNA gone bad. Whatever the case, Deena knows that her family would never approve, hell, never acknowledge her fast-growing love for Takumi. And had he never made love to her that way, in that unraveling, soul-searching sort of way, she could’ve done the same. But love’s a devil that way. So, their game begins. One where they hide what they are from everyone. Anyone. And Tak understands this for now. After all, Deena’s career hinges on the favor of her mentor and boss, his hard-ass of a father. And the Hammond family is already stretched thin with grief. Yet, each step Deena takes toward family and career brings her closer to an acceptance she’s never had. And away from him.
Essentially, Crimson Footprints is the story of a brilliant, biracial architect who suffers from insecurity. Life has been a matter of endurance from her, until she meets a certain man with an easy smile and easier hold on her heart, it turns out. But the expectations of family, juxtaposed against what she’s always believed was important, make for a complicated, yet no less steamy, romance.
How can we purchase your book? Crimson Footprints is available as an eBook through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and by direct download on most eReaders. It will be available in print on July 17th online and in stores through major retailers.
The Writing Life of Shewanda Pugh
What books have most influenced your life? The single book with the most influence on me would have to be Amy Tan’s Saving Fish From Drowning. I was pretty young when I purchased it, and it marked the transition from my obsession with horror to my branching out into literary genres.
Can we expect any more books from you in the future? The sequel to Crimson Footprints is expected this winter.
Have you started other books yet? I’m hard at work on a 6 book series about an African American girl and an Asian Indian boy. Their families are the best of friends until the two begin to fall in love. As you can see, I love mixing the dynamics of family life and love, and more importantly, I love exploring the ways love can change everything around you.
Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest and why? I’ll admit that I’ve developed a recent obsession with YA dystopian romance. It began with the Hunger Games and now extends to anything that even remotely broaches the genre. So, I’d say Lauren Destefano and a few others.
Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers? I absolutely love to hear from readers. Should you read Crimson Footprints, do look me up on Facebook, Twitter and/or Goodreads and say hello. I’m always open to chats about the book, questions, etc.
The “If” Answer by Shewanda Pugh
If you could star opposite any film actor in an onscreen love scene, who would it be? Oh my. On the one hand I’m loathe to admit this, and on the other, I relish the question just the same. I’ll go with Bollywood star, Hrithik Roshan, for the Daily Double, Alex. (View a pic of Hrithik here! So hot, so very hot!)
Shewanda is holding a contest on her Goodreads blog, stop by and enter to win one of five autographed print copies of Crimson Footprints!
Thanks Shewanda for visiting and Happy Writing!