Author spotlight: Noelle Vonham Paling

Welcome romance author, Noelle Vonham Paling.Author photo

Why do you write fiction?
I write fiction because it takes me out of my own world and allows me to explore my imagination to the fullest.

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
This book is about a woman who has choices to make in her life. Is she ready for real life, or is she still stuck in the limbo of academia? Is she ready to embrace her curves? Can she see her own beauty? I was inspired by my own experiences. Dating in the swirl was a bit unusual among African American women when I began to participate. The women in my circle had so many questions! Hearing, “What’s it like?” was really common. I tried to explain that they were just men, and not Klingons, but they looked at me with skepticism. It was really tough to convince them that it wasn’t like dating a different species. The guys simply lacked melanin. They were still just as human (and just as exasperating) as any black guy I’d ever dated. When efforts to explain fell on deaf ears, I sought books that would show them that these relationships were like any other relationships. After failing to find a story that I could relate to, I decided to write it.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
Not really. I love a challenge, and my favorite review, so far, is by a woman who did not believe that she would like my book because it’s not to her taste. She said that it came highly recommended, and so she decided to give it a chance. She was pleasantly surprised by her ability to become immersed in the lives of my characters. To me, that’s the ultimate compliment. My characters were so well developed that I converted a strict sci-fi reader into liking my romance novel.

Please describe your writing routine.
I usually wake up with a story on my mind, grab my computer and write until the voices stop! Lol. My muse has an amazing way of telling a story. One day, I really hope to do it justice.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Don’t be afraid to try. The best advice that I ever heard was paraphrased from Steve Jobs. He said that you should not be afraid to put an imperfect product on the market. The rigors of the market would help you to perfect it. I had been sitting on this story for over a decade, because I just didn’t think it was good enough. After hearing this advice, I decided to release it to the world. Feedback from my customers has definitely helped me to reshape this novel. I’ve learned too many lessons to count that I will continue to apply throughout my writing career. However, if I had listened to that little voice that tells you that “It’s not quite perfect,” I would still be waiting to release this novel.

More about Amended Hearts:

Aaliyah Wyndham is a 27-year old attorney working in the field of entertainment law. She’s had a crush on her next-door neighbor, C.E.O. Gabriel Cortez, for more than a year. Following a break-in, the two share a romantic interlude that seems quite promising until Aaliyah realizes that Gabriel doesn‘t realize who she is! Aaliyah decides that for his oversight, she wants to make Gabriel pay. And pant.
Cover artThere’s only one problem with this plan: Lucas D’Alessandro, her best friend since childhood. He’s been Aaliyah’s “big brother” for so long that she never notices when she begins to feel decidedly unlike his sister. Meanwhile, he’s facing the same quandary – struggling to decide whether to pursue a more intimate connection with Aaliyah or to leave the field clear for someone else, namely Gabriel.
Shall Aaliyah rest her case with Gabriel, or shall she make a motion to amend her heart with Lucas?

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