September 12, 2012 by dellanioakes
When I meet people for the first time, they often ask, “Dellani, where are you from?” This isn’t as easy a question to answer as you might think. My dad was a college professor. My early years were spent galavanting around the continent as he pursued his education and got his first teaching jobs. I usually follow up with a question of my own, “Originally or recently?”
When they finally decide how to respond, I answer them. “I was born on a dark and stormy night….” No, seriously, I was born on a Saturday in early October, in Knoxville, Tennessee. My father was from a small Tennessee town not far from there and was working on his Masters at the University of Tennessee.
From there, we moved to Ohio, with my mom’s family, for a year, then on to Cambridge, Massachusetts where Dad went on to get his PhD in English from Harvard. After that, we moved to Lubbock, Texas and on to Scottsbluff, Nebraska. By the time I was in the third grade, I’d been to 4 schools and lived in 5 different states. We lived in Nebraska until I graduated from high school, then we moved south to Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
The move to Mississippi was number ten. While there, I went to college, married, had children and moved five more times. I had my B.A. in theatre and dance as well as a B.S. in secondary education with an emphasis in English. I also pursued gifted certification so I could teach the smart kids. I did that for 3 years before we moved to Florida.
In all these years, I was writing. I started with poems and very short stories when I was young. I progressed to longer stories and wrote plays in college. Eventually, I made the leap to a novel. I started my first novel in 1988. It’s as yet unfinished and unpublished, but one day it will be both. My first finished and published novel, Indian Summer, is an historical romance from Second Wind Publishing.
Indian Summer took me nearly ten years to write. I started it when my eldest son (now 27) was in the fourth grade. I accompanied his class on their field trip to St. Augustine. As we wandered around the oldest city on the east coast, I kept feeling that there were stories there that needed to be told. That’s when Gabriella started speaking to me.
After Indian Summer, I decided to strike out in a different direction. I chose to write a futuristic romance which eventually grew into a series. Lone Wolf, also from Second Wind, is the first in the series. Book two, Shakazhan, is coming later this fall.
I’m also delighted to announce that my romantic suspense novella, The Ninja Tattoo, is coming out September 24th from Tirgearr Publishing.
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