Deliah (“Dee”) Lawrence is a Maryland-based attorney, author, blogger and workshop facilitator who writes romantic suspense novels as well as poetry and short stories. Her debut novel, Gotta Let It Go, set in Baltimore, won the 2011 Finalist Next Generation Indie Book Award in the multi-cultural fiction category. Dee’s short stories have been featured in the Creatures, Crimes and Creativity 2013, 2014 and 2018 anthologies.
When Dee isn’t writing, you can find her reading a book, indulging in her addiction to investigation discovery shows or painting her yet-to-be exhibited oil artworks of landscapes, portraits or whatever else comes to her creative mind. Constantly on the go, Dee is also an active member of the Black Writers’ Guild of Maryland, Maryland Writers’ Association, and Sisters in Crime. And most recently, Joel Furches (reviewer, CBS Baltimore) named her as one of five Baltimore authors to put on readers 2018 summer reading list. Visit her at www.authordeelawrence.com
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Dee, how did you get started writing?
Deliah Lawrence: I started writing a long time ago. I actually wrote my first story at the age of 10. However, I didn’t take writing seriously until many years later when I took a non-credit creative writing class. I had submitted a piece to my instructor and when she read it, she pushed me to turn it into a novel. So now here I am with two published books, another simmering, a few short stories published in an anthology, and a stack of poems waiting to be turned into a chapbook.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: There are a lot of people that have a gift but do not have the courage to hone their gift or step out and do what’s needed to make their gift accessible to others. What can you share that will help them?
Deliah Lawrence: First, I would tell them to believe in themselves and step out on faith. Second, I would tell them to join writing communities like the Black Writers’ Guild of Maryland, Maryland Writers’ Association or any other local or online writing group. In doing so, they will connect with other creatives and get the necessary training to help them make their gift accessible to others. And third, I would tell them that even if they fail at getting the desired results after making their gift accessible, they should always try again. At the end of the day, it takes time, skill, knowledge, and experience to get to where you want to be.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Can you share with our readers and your fans a highlight or two from your latest work?
Deliah Lawrence: Absolutely! This snippet is taken from my latest romantic suspense novel, Gotta Get It Back. In this scene, my protagonist Deidre Hunter is on her way to meet Mrs. Weatherstone, a wealthy conniving socialite:
I caught up on some paperwork while waiting for the chauffeur to come pick me up. Looking in the mirror at my cinnamon complexion, I made sure my hair and makeup were still good, but I freshened up my lipstick. Mrs. Weatherstone didn’t seem the type to let her appearance falter one bit and neither would I. As much as I wanted to not be embroiled in any more drama, it somehow seemed to always find me. Maybe I was a glutton for punishment or a damn adrenaline junkie. I peeked at my watch. With fifteen more minutes to go, I called my dad.
“How’s my baby girl?”
“Hey, Pops!” He got a kick out of me calling him that.
“I see you’re calling me from the shop. You working this evening?”
“Not really. I’m waiting on a chauffeur to come pick me up.”
“Nothing like that. Long story, but I’ll make it short. I’m going to meet a Mrs. Weatherstone—”
“The Mrs. Weatherstone? As in the philanthropist, Mrs. Katherine Weatherstone?”
I was surprised my father even knew who this woman was, let alone that she was a philanthropist. “Oh, you guys run in the same circle?” I chuckled.
“Nothing like that, but I do read the newspapers. Plus, she’s a generous donor to the church, and that allows us to fund the community service programs. So yeah, I’m familiar.”
I should never underestimate the reach of folks in the church. When it comes time for fundraising, they sure know how to reach out and touch everybody to get what they needed. Can’t say I’m mad at them, though, for doing what was necessary to keep their doors open for the downtrodden and lost souls.
Before I could get into a deep conversation with him, a set of car lights shone in the window, and a shiny black limousine pulled into view. The driver’s side door opened, and the stately-dressed chauffeur approached the front door.
“Pops, I gotta run. Will keep you posted.”
“Baby, be careful. That Mrs. Weatherstone can be a sly one,” he cautioned.
“Thanks, Pops. Talk soon!” I wondered what he meant. I guess I would soon find out. I grabbed my purse and my car keys so that, when I got back, all I had to do was jump in my car and head on home.
I opened the front door just as the chauffeur raised his hand to knock. “Good evening, Miss Hunter. I’m here to escort you to Mrs. Weatherstone’s residence.”
“Well, good evening to you, too. And you must be?”
“You can call me Ramsey, ma’am. Step right this way.” He made a sweeping motion with his right hand as if I were royalty.
I could get used to this. “Thanks, don’t mind if I do.”
I wondered where Mrs. Weatherstone had found this obedient man. He spoke with such a distinctive voice. It reminded me of Geoffrey from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air but without the cynicism. He opened the rear passenger door, and I stepped in. Looking around, there were no expenses spared: heated leather seats, tinted windows, a well-stocked bar, moon roof, classical music piping through the built-in stereo system. I could see Mrs. Weatherstone liked riding in style, and that evening, I didn’t mind doing so, too.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Dee, a topic that surfaces often is “writer’s block.” Have you ever experienced writer’s block and if so, can you describe a time and how you got through it?
Deliah Lawrence: I’ve heard some people say they never experience “writer’s block” because they write every day. But honestly, I struggle with “writer’s block” quite frequently although I think sometimes this can be attributed to me being plain lazy or distracted.
After I published my second book, I was excited to dive into writing the third installment. But I couldn’t get myself back into the groove of generating ideas and putting my pen to paper. So, I switched gears and wrote poetry and short stories instead. However, most recently, I have created a schedule where I block out time on the weekends to write. It’s hard sometimes but I’m making the effort to set deadlines and keep them.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Are you interested in collaborating with other authors in the future or do you prefer to work alone?
Deliah Lawrence: While I prefer to work alone, I’m open to the possibility of collaborating with other authors on various creative writing projects. However, we would both have to agree to develop a writing schedule and to carve out our specific writing tasks and responsibilities.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: What are the top 3 things that you like to do in your free time?
Deliah Lawrence: Whenever I get some free time, I like to either: 1) read books and magazines while drinking coffee or a glass of wine, 2) watch TV – crime shows, Investigation Discovery, action/thriller movies, or 3) hang out with friends – restaurants, jazz clubs, road trips, museums, etc.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Has anyone influenced, inspired or challenged you lately to do something different with your creativity?
Deliah Lawrence: Yes, I’ve met a few authors and other creatives at book signings and other events who have inspired me to increase my social media visibility (e.g. creating infographics, incorporating more videos, etc.). They have also inspired me to expand my creativity as an author by teaching workshops and seeking out speaking engagements.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Is there one thing about you that most people don’t know but may find interesting?
Deliah Lawrence: Yes, they may find it interesting to know that I am a graduate of the Howard County Police Department's Citizens' Police Academy. Not to worry I have no police powers or authority. This academy is for informational purposes only. It’s a twelve-week course that allows participants to experience the day-to-day operations of the police department.
When I attended the academy, I engaged in a mock robbery training exercise, drove a police car during an obstacle course, and went on an all-day patrol ride-along. It was a great experience and I definitely gained a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Do you write in any remote locations? If so, what are some of the more interesting places that you write.
Deliah Lawrence: When the occasion arises, I write in many different places. However, a few of the more interesting and remote places include coffee shops, museums, churches, piazzas, film festivals and other local places in Locarno, Switzerland; Milan, Italy; and Paris, France.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Dee can you share some of your plans for the near future? Are you working on any other projects?
Deliah Lawrence: Sure! I plan on writing the third installment of the Deidre Hunter series (Gotta Have It All), work on some short stories, and teach more writing workshops catered to various audiences.
How can our readers find out about what you have going on and where can they find you?
Deliah Lawrence: They can find out more about me, my books and my upcoming projects and events here: