Time for another chat with Dellani Oakes

Of the genres you write what is your fave and why?

I have written historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, science fiction, I even have one young adult fantasy. I think my favorite is romantic suspense because it combines my love of romance with my love of action and mystery.

Would you consider something like mystery, fantasy or YA?

I have written one young adult novel. I wrote a story called “He Thought He Saw” for my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel. I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out. Just have to find a home for it.


What’s important to you fame or the joy of writing quality fiction?

We’d all like fame, but I like knowing that in the long run, I wrote what I felt and didn’t have to change it to suit the market.

 Christina Giguere aka Rachel Rueben, Dellani Oakes and I recently sat down for a round table discussion about our books and our mutual love of writing.This what Dellani had to say when I asked her a few frank questions.  Then she gave us a sneak peek at her new soon to be released UNDER A WESTERN SKY.

If you were locked in a room for a week –could you see yourself writing a whole novel or taking a very long nap?

I’d write, of course! I could probably churn out a novel in that amount of time. I wrote my NaNo book one year, finished early and got the idea for another book. I wrote an additional 54,000 word novel. My NaNo novel that year was 74,748 words. I’m pretty proud of that accomplishment.


Your stories have an element of humor in them, could you write something deep and profound.

I suppose I could if I had to. I tend to see the humor in things, even if it doesn’t seem to be funny on the surface. I figure if Shakespeare can infuse “Romeo & Juliet” with humor, then I can layer my work with it as well. R&J is one of the funniest plays ever, which makes the ending that much more profound.


Below is the excerpt I read on the air. It is from a new novel, coming out in June, called “Under the Western Sky” from Tirgearr Publishing.


Bobby Menendez and Libby Marshal have been friends since they were children. They’ve lived across the street from one another their entire lives. The year is 1976 and interracial couples are a rare thing, especially a white girl with a Mexican boy, but they don’t care. They are in love. Bobby’s best friend, Danny, is white. He and his father are being pressured by a white supremacist group, to join. Danny is forced to participate in beating Bobby’s cousin, Ramon, because he’s dating a white girl. With his family threatened, he’s also been made to come after Bobby.


       Reluctantly, Bobby left, waiting until Libby had locked her door behind him. Strolling across the street, he was thinking about Libby and how much he loved her, when someone got out of a car just down from his mother’s house.

       Acting like he didn’t notice, he walked slightly faster to his front porch. If he made enough noise, Jim would hear him and come out. He wasn’t scared, not yet. The other person came forward until he stood under the streetlight. It was Danny. His face was bland, expressionless, which was more frightening than seeing anger. If he’d been mad, it would mean he still cared.

       Bobby faced his former best friend, checking the car and shadows to see if the bigger boy was alone. Bobby didn’t see anyone else, but that didn’t mean they weren’t there.

       “Roberto, you and I need to talk.”

       Bobby held his arms out from his body, shrugging. “I’m here, amigo. Talk.” He said loudly, hoping someone would hear.

       Danny didn’t move, his hands in the pockets of his jacket. He spoke quietly, calmly.

       “You know I didn’t beat Ramon, right?”
       “I know you were there. I can’t believe you’d hit him with a fucking bat. That’s not your style.”

       Danny’s mouth quirked and he dropped his head. “What is my style?”

       “Take a swing, kick his ass, but a bat’s bad form. You weren’t ever a cheat, Dan.”

       “Really?” The reply was dry, sarcastic, not Danny’s usual style either.

       Something was wrong. It was a warm night. Why was Danny wearing a jacket? Why were his hands in his pockets? Bobby knew he was in trouble. It was late, his friends and family were going to bed, and, despite Toby’s warnings, he was alone.

       “You know, Danny,” he said rather too loudly. “That was a cheap shot you did to his balls. Were you trying to emasculate him or just mess him up so he couldn’t take your woman?”

       “I didn’t do that, Bobby. You have to believe me. That wasn’t my idea.”

       “I hope not because I’d hate to be the man who did that to Ramon. Whoever did better hope he recovers full use, or he’s gonna wish he’d killed my cousin. Because Ramon will come after whoever it was. And that man will die badly. Make no mistake.”

       “Nobody needs to die here, Bobby.” Danny was getting nervous.

       “What’s in your pocket, Daniel?” Bobby took a step toward his friend.

       “Don’t come near me,” Danny cautioned, holding out his left hand like a stop sign. His right hand stayed in his pocket.

       “Lemme see,” Bobby took another step. “We never used to have secrets. We’re brothers, remember? When we were ten, we cut our hands and did blood brothers.”

       “Bobby, I mean it. Don’t come any closer.” His voice shook, his left hand trembling.

       “Gonna shoot me, Danny? Is that the plan? You gonna come and kill your best friend? Is that what it takes to be part of the clan? Sever your ties, kill the Mexican vermin. Jesus, Danny, did our friendship mean so little?”

       “Don’t, Bobby. Stop. I mean it!” He yelled, yanking the gun out of his pocket.

       The streetlight glittered on the barrel of a snub nosed .38 revolver. Danny’s hand shook, but he kept the gun trained on Bobby.

       “Drop the gun, Danny. Fight me like a man. You never needed a weapon against me. Don’t you think you can take me? I’m half your size.”

       He was willing his friend to come closer, begging him in his mind to drop the weapon and let down his guard, but it wasn’t happening—yet. He kept talking, taking little steps closer. The gun didn’t drop. Danny’s hand shook uncontrollably. The closer Bobby got, the more danger he was in that the gun would go off by mistake.

       He reminded Danny of every time they had been there for one another, all the pranks they had played, how their mothers called them the Dastardly Duo. Each statement started as an “I remember when,” cataloging the last ten years of their lives. Tears formed in Danny’s eyes but he blinked them away. When he was close enough, Bobby stopped moving.

       Danny’s arm was within reach, the gun leveled at Bobby’s forehead. Steadier now, it didn’t waver. He shifted his grip on the gun and Bobby moved. Lunging at his friend, he grabbed the barrel of the gun, pulling Danny toward him, catching him off balance.

       With an easy shift of his hands, he put pressure on Danny’s wrist, forcing him to drop the gun. Bobby kicked it away, slamming his elbow into Danny’s chin. The other boy should have dropped, but Bobby hadn’t hit him hard enough. A vestige of their friendship remained, tattered and shredded as it was.

       Danny tried to head butt Bobby, but the young Mexican man dodged, pulling Danny further off balance by a shift of his weight. Knocking his friend down, Bobby flipped Danny on his face, holding his arm up behind him as his foot pressed into the white boy’s shoulder. Hand at an awkward and painful angle, Danny screamed as he felt his shoulder pop out of the socket.


About karenwritesmurder

I am a writer, blogger and radio host. I love to read and my love of books has lead me down this path. People tell me I write like Janet Evanovich. I take that as a compliment as I love her Plum books. I feel like Stephanie and Laura could be best friends.
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