This week’s author spotlight is Darlene P. Winston, who goes by daughter, niece, cousin, friend, sister (an only child for 20 years), wife, mother, author, mother-in-law, and grandmother, and author, all in that order.
She and her husband, Henry, have been married for nearly 29 years and have two amazing adult children. They are very proud parents and grandparents.
Darlene’s passions are reading and writing. Years ago, she founded a Virginia chapter of a national book club, where she also served as president. She currently boasts a collection of over 450 physical books (what’s left after donating and loaning others) and countless eBooks. Her love for books led her to write and publish contemporary fiction novels aimed at entertaining and giving you relatable characters who will have you eagerly anticipating the next story. In her spare time, Darlene enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Get better acquainted with the Virginia native below and learn more about her latest work, “Perfectly Imperfect.”
Fancy: How would you describe your swagher?
Darlene: I’d describe my swagher as confident, dependable, and true to myself and those in my circle. What makes Darlene, Darlene? I am authentic, hardworking and determined, and willing to forge a path to success while embracing challenges that come my way. I’m loyal and very protective of those I love.
Fancy: What sparked your interest in writing?
Darlene: My love for reading and thirst for learning helped to fuel my interest in writing.
Fancy: Without spoiling it for the readers, tell us about your latest book, “Perfectly Imperfect.”
Darlene: “Perfectly Imperfect” is a follow-up to my first novel, “Where I Wanna Be,” but although it’s a follow-up, it can be read as a stand-alone. “Perfectly Imperfect” was an answer to my reader’s question about what happened to Desirae? Did K.C and Andre get married? This book answers those questions and gives the readers a lot of twists and turns. Even if you haven’t read the first, you can read this one without issues. I’ve told this story in a way that lets you know what happened in the first.
In “Perfectly Imperfect,” Andre is having a great time; his path is on track, he and K.C. are happy, and the life they’ve worked so hard for looks as positive as possible. Of course, they have yet to know that many things are happening around them, from lies and deceit to scandal just simmering in the background, waiting to explode.
Fancy: We know that this sequel was demanded by your readers, but did you originally plan to continue Andre’s story?
Darlene: I hadn’t thought of continuing Andre’s story but knew that I’d left the story with a cliffhanger.
Fancy: Do you feel that he and K.C.’s stories are complete now?
Darlene: I do feel that Andre’s and K.C.’s story is complete; however, they will be mentioned in a future novel as told from another point of view focusing on the life of Desirae.
Fancy: What was the writing process like?
Darlene: The writing process has been both exciting and challenging. The art of writing is exhilarating in that you get to be creative and tell someone else’s story. However, it can be challenging in several ways. One, you think you have a plan of how the story will go, but your characters have another plan altogether, and it’s a battle of who’s going to win that war. More times than not, the character succeeds. Two, the business side of the writing process presents its own challenges. As an Indie author, there is so much to learn and do; without a team in place, it can be tough.
Fancy: Did you incur any challenges with this project, and how did you overcome them?
Darlene: Getting the word out about my work and marketing has been my challenge not only with this project but with all of them. Because of that, I became an even more significant challenge because I had to get out of my way and believe that this gift I’d been given wasn’t given to me for nothing. I had to convince myself that I had and must be my cheerleader and my word of mouth. I must put myself out there, seeking opportunities to put my work front and center. So, to overcome, I had to believe in myself, step out on faith and realize God gave me a gift and I owe it to him to share it.
Fancy: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Darlene: I have so many favorites because I love and respect those who entertained me and gave me many amazing stories to remember for a lifetime. There are so many great writers, and each of them brings something different to the table, and I can say I’ve learned a lot from each of them. To name a few, I’d say, Brenda Jackson, Beverly Jenkins, Tina Martin, Monica Walters, Stephanie Nicole Norris, and Tracy Reed.
Fancy: Are there any other genres that you would like to tap into?
Darlene: I want to try Urban Fiction.
Fancy: Do you have any upcoming projects that you care to share with us?
Darlene: I am currently working on telling Desirae’s story from her POV. I also want to give voice to Kristie’s story (she was in my second novel, “The Other Woman”).
Fancy: Where can readers find your books and connect with you?
Darlene: My books are online at most retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Walmart.com. Readers can find buy links on my website and may connect with me via my website, https://www.onenovelist.com. I am also on social media: