Book Review – Gold Diggin’ by Nikkea Smithers and Interview (21 Questions) With Nikkea Smithers
Title: Gold Diggin’
Source: RWA Book Club sent this signed copy to me!
Book number 3 out of 13 for the Oosa Book Club Reading Challenge!
Goldie’s life seems to be a merry-go round of ups and downs. The moment she is finally satisfied with her life a traumatizing event occurs to change her entire way of living. On top of that she has to deal with a difficult mother who has a family secret that can either tear the family apart or pull them closer together. Keith has long ago given up on the promises life has to offer. He had become content with being the hit man of a ruthless kingpin. The object of a broken environment life has dealt him a brutal card so he sees no problem with taking a man’s life. That is until he meets Goldie and she changes it all. Chamir is successful, beautiful and seems to have everything but happiness. She’s searching for something to save her from the loneliness that she has come to know. This is a story about life and finding the value in it.
I got this book in December from RWA Book Club. While I was reading it, I kept wondering why I let it sit on my shelf so long!
I believe that everything happens for a reason. It’s amazing the people we meet in life just by chance. One day Sonny did something to his employee Goldie at the radio station where they work. Goldie left and did not want to return. Sonny wanted to get her back, and his friend Rucker was on it. Rucker got his hit man Keith on the case. Keith had something terrible happen to him when he was a little boy, and it kept him from really getting close to anyone except his friend Rucker. Rucker took him in and pretty much saved him. Anyway, Keith is supposed to try to get Goldie back or else…..but something happens that changes their lives forever.
This is the second book that I have read from Nikkea Smithers, and she never fails to impress me! I got so immersed in this book! I admit, I took some breaks toward the end because I was afraid of how it was going to end! Plus, I loved this book so much that I didn’t want it to end! There were definitely some steamy scenes in here too! This is one page turner that I definitely recommend!
Nikkea Smithers told me that Keith’s Story is next, so I definitely will be reading that one to find out more about him!
My Rating: 5/5 diamonds – Loved it – Highly Recommend!
About The Author:
Nikkea Smithers is a dynamic writer and spoken word artist, originally from Connecticut, currently residing in Richmond, VA. She has released several novels, poetry compilations and has contributed to several anthologies. Her writing style is unique as she uses her ability to play on words throughout each project. Her novels flair with the explicit details of life told through her characters’ eyes. Her novel Sweet Dreams shot up the Essence Magazine’s Best Sellers List within five months of its release proving that her stories are provocative, fresh and truthful making her reader’s lifelong fans. Two of her books (Keith’s Story & Attitudes of a Woman) have been awarded with the Literary Hallmark & Legends Top Books 2009 award by Black Pearls Magazine. Her novel Inside Danica’s Closet was awarded one of the top 100 books of the decade award by Black Pearls Magazine. Her readers have fallen in love with her ‘tell it like it is’ approach to writing and she has been crowned ‘Author of the Year’ for 2008 by Xander Magazine. Nikkea’s books address issues that need to be discussed but are not overly saturated making her stand out in the literary industry. She is also the president of the award winning Readers With Attitude Bookclub. Visit the author’s website to read excerpts from her other books, purchase, or to stay updated with her at www.nikkeasmithers.com
Can you tell me more about yourself.
I am a lover of life! Everything about it excites and inspires me! I love music, reading, of course writing, I’m really into poetry and love performing on the open stage as well. I’m originally from Connecticut but have been living in Richmond, VA since 1999. I am a true believer in the adage that you can do anything your mind sets you to, and so I live my life by that motto and teach myself just about anything that peaks my interest.
How did you get started writing?
I really started writing when I was younger, and it may sound crazy but I was trying to stay awake in church and avoid getting in trouble. Back then my church had very lengthy services and I had a very short attention span, so I began to write during the services to keep me focused. I started with songs, then poems and finally by the fourth grade I was writing murder mysteries and short stories.
What kind of books you like to write?
I like to write just about anything. At this point in the game, now that I know that I can do it, I love to challenge myself. For example my last release was in the murder mystery genre. While I used to write them as a child, that genre is so much more intricate than what I did in my youth and I just knew I had to get it right, or as close to right as possible. I really enjoyed writing my suspense series as well (The Danica Sherman Series). With those books I could really go all the way to the edge of reason and not be afraid.
Do you have any rituals that you use when you are writing?
For the most part I like to just sit at the computer and write. I don’t have to have television on, don’t really need music. I write whatever I’m feeling at the time so if it’s poetry flowing out of me, then that’s what I write. If it’s a novel idea flowing out of me, then I nurture that. It’s not unusual for me to have several projects going at one time. Right now I have two in the works.
What are you reading now?
I’m doing a book review on Man Enough For Me by Rhonda Bowen.
What are some of your favorite books and authors?
I love the classics in African American Literature such as Donald Goines, E. Lynn Harris, Nikki Giovanni, Langston Hughes, etc. However, I really don’t have a strict preference and can read just about anything.
Has writing your own book changed the way that you read?
If anything, reading has changed the way that I write. I don’t have a lot of formal training in English. So I observe a lot of what I read. I learned paragraph structure and plot building more when I read books verses when I was in English class in high school.
Are you able to read when you’re writing and if so what books inspire you when you’re working on a novel?
I do read, a lot, while I’m writing. Every now and then I will shut everything down and just write, but for the most part I am able to juggle both. Getting a feel for other peoples work really inspires me to push myself harder in my own work.
What was the most interesting thing that you found out while researching this book but decided not to include?
Amore’s Demise has a sub-setting in alternative lifestyle. I did a lot of research on transsexuals and transgenders. It was really important for me to understand the difference in order to get the emotions right in this book. The most interesting thing I found in my research was the actual break down of that entire culture. I touched on it a bit but there was so much more to the differences between cross dressing, transvestites, transsexuals and transgenders than what I could really address in the book.
What is a typical day in your life like?
I rise between six and seven in the morning, workout, work, promote, write and read throughout the day until about one or two in the morning. Then I wake up the next day to do it all over again.
Did you know what you wanted the title of the book to be? How involved were in choosing the name of the book?
Yes I did. My titles come to me normally at the beginning of the process and once I’ve named a book, I normally don’t change it. It almost always has some sort of significance to it. For example with The Misery of Amore’s Demise, I wanted to play on the words. I wanted to talk about how Love (Amore) goes through so much misery because we no longer love unconditionally thus causing its demise or death. Amore, the main character, dies in the prologue. Hence, The Misery of Amore’s Demise.
Are there other books you love or writers you admire that are from your local area?
Sure, I enjoy books by Iris Bolling who is a very good friend of mine. Her attention to detail is impeccable. Then there is Vincent White who wrote a very candid book on relationships from the males perspective. Not only are these two great authors, but they are also great friends of mine as well and we constantly network together. A few others that I follow in my area are: Savannah J., Kharisma Miller & Loretta Walls.
Who was your favorite character to write, and why did you like that character?
Hands down I’d have to say Danica Sherman. She is such a fun character to write because I can literally do anything with her! My readers love her because she is a special kind of crazy and morally conflicted at the same time.
Did you have to do much research when working on your books, and do you tend to write first or research first?
Most of my books I don’t have to research because it’s mostly off of inspiration. This last book I think I did the most research I’ve ever had to do because it was completely out of my element. When I have the scene set in a different locale I do a lot of research there to make sure that I get it right, but my story lines are all character driven.
As a published author, what’s been the biggest surprise about life after the publication of your first book?
I think the progression part has been the biggest wow moment. Just looking at the level of seriousness people take you as you grow with each project. I remember toting my first book around in my pocketbook, telling people I had a book out and they didn’t take my hustle serious. I don’t know what I thought, but when I started shaking some literary branches, they started to pay attention.
I’m really just going with the flow right now. I’m working on my new poetry compilation and the third part to The Danica Sherman Series. Then I believe I’m going to circle back to do a third part to my first two books, Gold Diggin’ & Keith’s Story, since readers have been asking about it. However, I have plenty of fresh new book ideas just waiting for their turn to go!
What three artists would I find in your Ipod?
Erykah Badu, Raheem DeVaughn & Jill Scott
If I came to your home and looked in your refrigerator what would I find?
Fruit and salad! I’m on a health kick right now.
What famous person do other people tell you that you most look like?
Ledisi, although I wish I could sing like her too!
What is the one thing about yourself that others would be shocked to know?
That’s a tough one because I’m really an open book. I guess most people who aren’t around me don’t know I work a full time job. I write because it’s a passion, I keep a job so that I don’t have to make writing one.
Choose a book title for the story of your life.
Roots Grown Wild
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy life to answer ALL 21 questions and provide your bio and pictures! I enjoyed finding out more about you and look forward to reading all of your books! – Cheryl
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel.