We’re super excited to present our first interview with author Chencia Higgins! Take a read as she shares her experiences as an author as well as an excerpt from her latest novella, “No Love Allowed”.
The Selfie Review: Hi Chencia! Thanks for chatting with us today. Can you start off by telling us what genre you write and why?
Chencia Higgins: Sure. The genre that is at the core of my being is romance. I like to dabble in its many sub-genres but the bottom line of every project I work on is romance. I am first an avid reader and after decades of seeing a disproportionate number of characters that looked like me in romance novels at my local library and bookstore, I decided to write what I wanted to read.
TSR: Way to take charge! Is that what made you decide to self-publish?
C.H.: I decided to self-publish because I refused to believe that if a traditional, major publisher didn’t want me, that my stories were irrelevant. There is an old saying that goes: “If the front door is locked, go through the back door”. Self-publishing was my back door.
TSR: You’ve been writing for a few years now, have you developed any quirky writing rituals?
C.H.: Uh, I don’t think so ( LOL). At times I prefer complete silence and will put on noise cancelling headphones just to block out life happening around me.
TSR: Is there ever any music in those headphones to help the writing along?
C.H.: Honestly I don’t listen to music when I write, for the most part. I find myself dancing and not writing so I had to cut that out! If a particular project requires me to be in a certain mood, I’ll listen to music that does the job. For instance, my erotica playlist will include Adina Howard, Tank, and Avant.
TSR: Tell us, series or standalones? Which do you prefer to read and which do you prefer to write?
C.H.: I’m wrapping up the end of my JustOneNight.com series right now so I can truthfully say that I prefer to write standalones. I also prefer to read standalones just because the way my emotions are set up I need my HEA in one fell swoop.
TSR: Read any great books this year that you’d recommend to our readers?
C.H.: There have been so many jewels dropped this year it’s hard to narrow that list down. I’ll say Ante Up by Christina C. Jones and the entire Wayward Love series by Love Belvin which all released this year.
TSR: We’ll have to check those out. Last question before we let you get back to work, what’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received or what’s some advice you can offer your fellow writers?
C.H.: Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Everyone has a different journey and your story is not going to look the same as someone else’s. Embrace your own path and be the best that “you” that you can be.
Chencia C. Higgins has been quick with a pen for more than two decades but only recently entered the scene as a self-published author. She lives in Houston with her three favorite people: her husband and two children. Her first novella, “No Strings Allowed”, was published in May 2016. Check out an excerpt below!
I stewed in my thoughts for a few days before jumping in my car and driving to his house. I didn’t give myself a chance to overthink it, I just drove.
I cruised to a stop in front of his house and noticed there was a car in the driveway. I instantly regretted my decision to arrive at his home unannounced as I wondered if it was his car or belonged to a guest. Since there was only one way to find out I cut the engine and climbed out of my car. Just as my feet hit the pavement of the sidewalk, the front door opened and he came outside with a large duffle bag hanging off his shoulder. He was dressed in mesh shorts and a loose sleeveless t-shirt. His back was to me as he locked the door and came down the walkway still without noticing me standing by the street.
At my voice his head whipped in my direction and he froze in his tracks. Once his eyes focused on me a slow smile appeared on his face. I smiled back but it felt awkward.
He made the short walk over to me and pulled me into a hug. “What’s up? I wasn’t expecting to see you today.”
I stepped back out of his embrace and rubbed a hand over the back of my neck. “Yeah, I know. I just wanted a few minutes of your time if possible.” I looked up at him as he studied me for a moment before nodding.
“Of course, let me just drop this in the car real quick.” Using the key fob in his hand he popped the trunk of his car and put the duffle inside before closing it. He then gestured for me to precede him up the walkway to the front door. I stood to the side as he unlocked the door. Once inside I stood in the middle of his living room and waited while he turned on some light. “Would you like anything to drink?”
I shook my head at his question. “No thanks. I don’t want to hold you up for too long.”
His eyebrows rose. “Okay. Shoot.”
I caught and held his eyes. “I—uh, I came to apologize.”
His eyebrows rose. “Really? Wow, I wasn’t expecting that.”
My contriteness began to morph into annoyance at the amusement I heard in his voice. “Why do you say that?”
“I’m talking about you and how ‘apologies are for suckers’.”
I gritted my teeth. I did not expect him to throw my own words back at me. “You’re right, I did say that. But I’m mature enough to admit when I’m wrong and what I said to you the other night was wrong.”
He nodded, not saying a word. I continued with what I came to his house to say.
“I am truly sorry for my words the other night and even the tone I used. It was insulting and you didn’t deserve that from me. That being said I also just wanted to come by and tell you that I’m not going to be able to keep doing this…whatever it is that we are doing. I could have called you on the phone to say all of this but you’re a cool dude so I wanted to give you the respect of saying this face-to-face.” I waited for him to say something, anything but he just stood there looking at me. The shit was so awkward.
My face felt hot and I was so embarrassed but I held his gaze anyway. He didn’t say a word so I nodded and took a step backward toward the front door. “Alright, well I’m gonna go. Thanks for listening to me.” I turned to the door.
“Wait.” He called out to me and when I turned back around I was startled to see he was standing right in front of me. He grabbed my face with both hands and kissed me fiercely. Heat exploded between us as he swallowed my moan and I felt arousal building in my lower belly. He growled against my mouth and I fought myself to keep from jumping into his arms. My body cried out for the physical contact but my mind protested. I pulled my head back and looked down at the floor to avoid the lust in his eyes.
“Say the word and we can do this right now. No strings attached, I promise.”