Monday, March 7, 2011

Featured Author: Mahalia Levey

 Today's Featured Author is Mahalia Levey, a versatile author with many genres under her writing belt. Join us as we pick the mind of this talented author. Welcome, Mahalia!

Tell us a little about yourself, Mahalia:

I go by the pen name Mahalia Levey and I’m in my second year as a published author. I enjoy writing multiple genres and have seven publishers. I really enjoy challenges. So far I believe I write one specific genre per publisher.  I write African American contemporary, military contemporary, interracial contemporary, paranormal, sci fi and fantasy, and paranormal demons and angels. I write from a sweet romance to erotica.

And tell us a bit about your story:

Prophesies Implied: Demonic Persuasion: Book One is a paranormal romance, published by Liquid Silver Books on November 15, 2010. The book trailer can be viewed here.
What is Demonic Persuasion about?  

Born of a Navajo healer and high level prince of Hell, The Dine Gods demanded Fatal be turned over to her mother's tribe to learn their healing arts and kept away from demon hands. But with her tutelage, came cruel segregation and disrespect because of her father's heritage.   Unknowing why her life has suddenly come under demon attack, Fatal sets out, armed with her knowledge and her fighting skills, to take out any evil that gets in her way.

Prince of a lower Hell level, a contract was signed in blood that Orobus be betrothed to Fatal, a High Level Prince's half-breed daughter. Oracle by birth, he isn’t privy to complete visions when regarding him. Having forgotten the fateful night he signed the agreement, he’s thrust into the fight of his life—the fight to claim his woman! Come Hell or High water, he will take care of what is rightfully his, even if it means making her face both sides of her heritage and teaching her there is no shame.
How long have you been writing? Have you been at this for a while, or is this a new journey? 

I began writing about five years ago on a yahoo loop for leisure. Eventually some really talented authors asked me why I didn’t try my hand at publishing, and so I did!

What inspired you to write Demonic Persuasion? 

Fatal was a character I’d created a profile for but didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do with her, so I mulled on it for a bit and came up with my demonic trilogy, and built my own hell realm, laws, housing, employment, social status, politics…etc.

What tools have you used in your journey to improve your writing? 

I have taken classes on line for free and for low cost. I utilize Red Rose Colored Glasses, Cobblestone Forum, and LiquidSilverForum. Copy edits and revisions are a must for me. I keep up and have wordweb, a free smaller thesaurus  downloaded with a little icon in my tray for times when I don’t have net.

Are you a solitary writer, or do you utilize critique groups?

I belong to a small group but rely mainly on a few beta readers and a critique partner who knows my brain and my voice.

How much of yourself is present in your writing? Do you look back and find that characters possess a little of your own self in them?

I like to think I put parts of myself from various different times in my life. Depending on the maturity and relationship growth, certain flaws and attributes I have, have grown with me as I’ve matured as a mother.

What do you find most rewarding about the small-press experience? Any downfalls?

I have found them all helpful so far. Some are more known than others and promote the authors more, a few ones expect the authors to promote themselves and it's stated in contracts that we're to find our own reviewers for our work and supply them with links when they go live. 
For the most part it's been a great growing experience. I've learned a lot about marketing and networking, I've met some wonderful authors and formed rapport with both readers and authors. Without the guidance of the smaller places, I'd think it'd have been much harder to acclimate to this new journey as an author.

My pub houses have from thirty authors up to three hundred plus. I'm not sure I'd say their small with all the work the editorial team, promotion team/if the pub has more than a few employees, the art team.... all work very hard with new authors to seasoned and take time to answer questions to help us improve our craft. I've also taken both free seminars and low cost workshops to continue to grow and hone...I mention this because I've taken these courses from pub houses I'm not attached to. 
What advice would you give an author who is new to the small-press experience?

Do your homework. Talk to authors, we're a great bunch of people and professionally informative. Google the publisher your interested in. Buy books from them and read them, see if your voice fits there, if you are ready for them. Many say to find out if they pay on time or have had any issues. Each house is different, but if there's a long stemmed issue, there will be written document of it somewhere on line. Google Piers Anthony and read his quarterly report, or check in with Editor and Preditor Polls as well.
If you don't understand something, make sure you ask before you sign a document. If you want to protect yourself and your work think twice about signing a non disclosure clause.
If you're new to the field I suggest taking a self editing course on line and a crash revisions. Savvy Authors has great courses as well as Rose Colored Classes.
Tell us a little about you, the reader. What authors/genres do you love and why?

I have always been a reader and a dreamer. I didn’t ever dream of being a writer though. I just sort of fell into it and it fits me. I love many authors both in print and in digital. I love everything from the classics to current.  Wuthering Heights, The Iliad, Shakespeare and much more, I also read Carly Philips, Janet Evanovich, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Karen Marie Moaning’s Highlander Series, Laurel K Hamiltion’s Antia Baker Series, I adore Lyndsay Sands, Kate MacAlister, Kate Douglas, Joshua Martyr, Andrew Grey, Edward Kendrick, AJ Llewellyn, DJ Manly, Renee Vincent, Sandy Sullivan, Maya Banks, Delilah Devlin, Eve Langlais and many more.

Who is your literary idol and why?

How can I choose just one? And from which point in my life?
As a child I’d have to say Maurice Sendak Where the Wild Things Are.
As a teen I’d have to pick William Golding Lord of Flies.
As a young woman Johanna Lindsey’s The Malorys.
Now I’d pick Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series.

Name one character in any book that you would like to share a cup of coffee with. What would you discuss?

I’d love to sit down and have a cup of coffee with Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron. I’d discuss his life and ask him all the secrets he knows about everyone that he doesn’t disclose.

Such a great interview, and it's especially wonderful to see an author so willing to offer advice and tips for aspiring authors. Please visit her website at for more information on Mahalia and her writing.

For authors, Mahalia has kindly provided links for some of the groups she mentioned above in her interview:

And Mahalia isn't done yet. She has generously offered a free copy of Demonic Persuasion to a random commenter on this post. Winner will be selected Wednesday!


  1. Oh I love Ash! Great interview Hales :)

  2. Woo Mahalia. Great interview! I love small epub presses too

  3. Winner of Mahalia's giveaway is Eve Langlais. Congrats to Eve, and a big thank you to Mahalia for appearing on the blog!