Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I am Zondra Hughes, a Chicago-area journalist. My day job is the editor of N'Digo, a free weekly newspaper for the urbane. While married, my husband developed an addiction to PlayStation 2. I gave him an ultimatum-me, or PS2. I am now divorced-going on three years now.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
Fawn, she's 19, semi-clairvoyant and she has a toy collection that would shame Larry Flynt.
What's your favorite genre to read?
I love to read murder mysteries with strong and savvy female leads.
Who or what influences you when you write?
I am blessed with four very dumb friends. They are brilliant in their professional lives, but when it comes to men and relationships, they are dumb as rocks. They constantly feed my imagination with the string of losers that they meet, and they love to fill me in on all the sordid details. One by one they tend to ask, "You're taking notes, right?" I'm therapy.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
The Pleasure Chest, an upscale bookstore, alerts me when new toys have arrived. I haven't had writer's block since I've been on their VIP list.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
My perfect hero is a character, Jessica Fletcher of Murder She Wrote. She is smartly dressed, the backdrop of her life involves murder mysteries and lighthouses, and she is nosey as hell. I love her.
What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
My first baby, The M.O.O.D. Lounge, was 7 years in the making. In my former life, I was a magazine editor and sex & relationships was my beat. I spent several days a week interviewing relationship experts, investigating dating trends, reporting on in-the-flesh chats and online events, etc.
I thought I was writing columns, I was actually writing the blueprint for the book.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
Get a software program to help you with the storyline and plot. And then start writing.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
www.Moodlounge.org Come as you are! And Author's Den.
Thank you for this opportunity!
Interviewed by Tammie King