Meet This Bestselling Author: Naima Simone

Q: When did you decide to become a writer?
Well, unofficially I decided to become a writer in the seventh grade when I realized that no one else was going to write the love story between me and Ralph Tresvant. So, I had to take care of
that myself. Officially, I decided to pursue becoming an author professionally in 2006. Thanks to a push from my husband and father, I joined RWA, took several classes and from there, started
on that journey. I’ve always written, though. And not all of it good. LOL!

Q: What inspired you to create your novel, Mr. Right Next Door?
My editor did, actually. This is the fourth book in the Rose Bend series, and Jenna Landon, the heroine appears in all three previous books. She’s the “mean girl.” It could’ve been easy for me to write Jenna as just a horrible, irredeemable character. But from the very first, my editor encouraged me to drop little hints into the books that there was more to Jenna than just a catty person. I can’t lie. At first, I resisted. LOL! But I did as she suggested, and Jenna’s character intrigued me. And I decided to write her a book. Especially after With Love from Rose Bend, the third book in the series. I think she deserves a happily ever after. And I mean, have you met her
father? LOL!

Q: How would describe your writing style?
Can I be honest? I had to look up the definition of writing style. LOL! Seriously, I wanted to understand the exact meaning. And I’m still like, Umm… I can’t believe I’m tripping over this question! LOL! And while I’m writing my answer to this question, I think it’s a perfect example of my writing style. Yes, descriptive and of course, narrative. But I’m also often wordy. shrug Emotional. I tend to use fragmented sentences to emphasize a point or emotion. And I use a lot of swear words. LOL! But above all, honest. I don’t know if this was the correct or technical answer, but there it is!

Q: What was the journey like for you as you were writing, editing, and publishing your book?
Writing this book was difficult for me. It came during the one-year anniversary of my mom’s passing and that hit me much harder than I expected. I loved the story, the characters but writing was an actual chore sometimes. Hell, getting out of bed was an actual chore. But in some ways, this book was motivation for moving forward. It had to get done. It was there always reminding me that life was going on and so did I. And besides, my mother would’ve been so mad if I hadn’t gotten up and written. Editing was easier than writing it. LOL! Mainly because even with all the edits, I felt proud. Like I’d accomplished something that had seemed
impossible at one point. It felt awesome!

Q: When will this new novel be released and where can readers buy it?
Mr. Right Next Door releases on January 10, 2023, and readers can buy it everywhere! Online and in stores!

Q: Can you tell us, readers, what your main characters are like?
My heroine, Jenna Landon, is the daughter of Rose Bend’s ex-mayor. And she’s also seen as the town’s “mean girl.” But that’s the persona she’s chosen to portray as a shield, as protection. And not just from others, but from her own family. Ex-professional wrestler turned high school wrestling coach Isaac Hunter is newly divorced and starting over. He’s a little lost but determined to find his way on this new path. He, too, has been hurt and has suffered but his big, loving family is there to support him, something Jenna doesn’t have. They’re opposites in every way, and at first, they clash. But in the end, they’re the perfect pair.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers in your genre?
Write what you love, what inspires you and what excites you. Because there’s going to come a time when you will be rejected and disappointed in this industry. It’s inevitable and we all face it. But writing what excites you will keep you coming back to the book, keep you writing and help keep you from burning out and giving up. And then read, read, read. It replenishes your well and reminds you why you’re writing in the first place.

Q: Would you ever write books in any other genre?
Never say never—I’ve learned that. But I love romance. It’s what I love. It’s what makes me happy. It’s gets me excited. I don’t want to write in another genre. I read other genres. Helloooo, Lisa Gardner. But writing? I love crafting a love story and drawing two broken, imperfect people together, finding themselves, each other and their happily ever after. That’s my joy.

Q: What were your favorite moments as a writer when working on your book?
My favorite moments were my children giving me their input on my characters. LOL! My daughter is a WWE fanatic. I cannot express to you the discomfort of crushing on the same person as your teenage daughter. But in my defense Roman Reigns got it going on! And she helped me with Isaac’s character. She came up with his wrestling name, his finisher, the name of the promotion company. And my son wrestled in middle and high school. So, when I told him my hero was a wrestling coach, he sent me handwritten notes to make sure I didn’t jack up his sport. LOL! So, for the first time, I guess you can say I collaborated on a book with my kids. It was fun! And humbling. And they’re never going to let me forget it. Dang. What have I done? LOL!

Q: Where can readers find you and your books?
Readers can find me and my books anywhere online! The main place to look is on my website at I’m at Facebook and Instagram as well.

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