Author Interviews With Porsha Deun and Barbara Howard

Welcome back to Glittering Fox Reads, for today’s Black History Month featured post we have Porsha Deun, author of Addict and Barbara Howard, author of Final Harvest here talking about craft and books. We can’t wait to share with you their intriguing answers to our questions, where we talk about the struggles of writing mystery, depth into their choices in the self-publishing industry as Black authors, and talk about setting realistic writing goals.

Addict is an erotic thriller featuring a reverse harem and Final Harvest is a mystery that discusses issues like homelessness and mental health.

Buy links for both are below:


Porsha Deun

Thank you for being here today, Porsha. Your book, Addict’s description is short, sweet, and to the point. You don’t tell Destiny no. What inspired her story?

Addict was inspired in part by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, who seduced her husband’s mistresses after she found out about his several infidelities. To not sound like a crazy person, my characters talk to me. When Destiny came to me, she said the first two lines of the book (which you can see on my website) and nothing else. No introduction or anything. Months later after I did some research on Kahlo, Destiny came back to me ready to tell her story.

What made you want to write a thriller?

My first three novels are of the romance genre and yet, when people and even my business consultant tried to get me to run with the “romance author” title, it never felt completely right to me. Like it was only a part of who I was as an author. Though romance is my favorite genre to read, my tastes as a reader are broad and that same broad tastes reflect in the various WIPs I have now. I don’t want to be put into a single genre box, but at the same time I will not write anything that doesn’t feel as if it is not coming from me.

Why did you decide on self-publishing for your novels?

When I was still working on my first novel and trying to decide which route to go, I saw a number of Black women within the writing community who went the traditional route and were faced with agents and publishers who claimed to love their stories but wanted the author to make the Black characters white characters instead. In their eyes, Black main characters were not as marketable and Black readers were essentially non-existent. I was not going to put myself in a position to be dealt the same thing. No. Not doing it.

What was your favorite part of writing Addict?

My favorite part of writing Addict was discovering Destiny and what made her tick. Yes, she is a strong, independent, plus-sized Black woman who is confident in herself and her life choices. Who doesn’t want to be like that? Now, she is a bit (lot) crazy, but still, I can’t help but admire her.

Do you relate to any of the characters in the book?

There is a little bit of me in all of my characters. I relate to Destiny’s “I don’t care what anyone else thinks” attitude, Andre’s desire to have the love he gives returned to him, DeAngelo’s sense of pragmatism, and DeMario’s desire to be satisfied in all ways.

Addict is not your first book! Being the fourth you’ve written and published, were there any lessons you learned from your first experiences that made publishing Addict easier?

The biggest thing I’ve learned since publishing my first book, Love Lost, is to take the pressure off myself. The reason I’ve not had a book take me three years to complete from concept to publishing is I took the pressure of daily word counts off of myself. I used to set 500, 800, 1K words per day writing goals and more often than not, would not reach them. Granted, there were some days when I blew my writing goal out of the water, but that may have happened a couple times per month. I’d get frustrated for not reaching my goals, which would cause a creative blockage. Then I’d be frustrated because I was blocked, which would only add to the blockage, and before I knew it, it’d been months since I wrote a single word.

It was a vicious cycle that took me some time to realize I was doing to myself. So I stopped. Also, my writing goals didn’t allow space for me to take a break when I needed to. Now, I have a strict “no writing on Sunday” goal that I have no problem reaching!

Who are some of your favorite Black authors?

Donald Goines, Maya Angelou, Zane, Eric Jerome Dickey, B.L. McGrew.

Do you have any plans for any future projects you can share with us?

This year, I am releasing five books. One children’s book (co-authored with my almost six years old niece), three thriller novelettes (the rest of the Addict series), and a standalone poly-romance novel. I am also working on an erotic twist of Medusa and a story that is a Handmaids Tale meets Hunger Games, body slammed by the new television Equilizer series, worked over by Sex Chronicles, with a dash of Jill Scott. Lol. The story is epic.

If you could give advice to yourself as a novice, what would it be?

Relax. It will all come to you if you just relax.

Where can readers find you?

My handle on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook are all the same: @porshadeun. There is always my website, www.porshadeun.com, and if you sign up for my mailing list, you will receive get the cover reveals of my novels months before the public (my Love Bugs have already seen the covers for 4 out of 5 of this year’s releases) exclusive book previews and giveaways.


Barbara Howard

Your book, Final Harvest is a mystery featuring a Black sleuth, and tackles subjects like anxiety and homelessness. What inspired you to write it?

I wanted to create a female character that was relatable, flawed and courageous. I was inspired by my observations and people in the different cities and towns where I have lived. I wanted to write a series that lands between standard mystery (without the blood and grime) and the cozy mystery (without the sugary sweetness). I wanted well-developed characters and a strong setting because that’s what I look for when I read a book.

What are some of your favorite qualities of your main character, Traci Simmons?

Traci Simmons is very self-aware and is determined to improve her life. And in spite of her challenges, she is empathetic to the needs of others and will take up their cause, when necessary.

What was one of the most challenging aspects of writing a mystery?

It’s important to create illusion and red herrings throughout the story, and foreshadow the important plot points. The challenge is to make sure you tie up all the loose bits and provide a satisfying ending.

Which character do you relate to the most in your book?

I probably relate most to Officer Randall Wells the most because I am very protective of the important people in my life.

What made you pursue self-publishing?

Self-publishing means that I am my own “Yes”. I select the editor, illustrator, pre-order and release date, narrator, etc. I don’t have to query my way to success. I just have to build a good team, believe, study, work, and hustle. At the end of the day, I’m happy with what I am able to accomplish.

Are there any mystery books that inspired your writing?

My early reading was books by P.D. James. However, I have recently discovered a treasure trove of work by POC and started reading books by black female indie mystery authors.

Who are some of your favorite Black authors?

James Baldwin

Richard Wright

Langston Hughes

Do you have plans for any future projects we can look out for?

I have a romantic suspense novel in the works, along with a short story as part of an anthology in Q4 2021. I am planning a juvenile fiction mystery series for 2022.

If you could give advice to yourself as a novice, what would it be?

Be fearless about speaking in your own voice. Perfecting your craft is a lifelong journey, so don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Writers write.

Where can readers find you?

You can find more about my projects, podcast, and events at www.barbarahowardmedia.com

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