I got to sit down with fellow Tule author, Ieshia Wiedlin recently and what fun it was to get to know her! Ieshia grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and currently resides in Brookfield, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago. She is married and has two great kids, Lucas and Zoey. She has always loved writing and telling stories, mostly sci-fi and fantasy, and is a huge junkie for all things Marvel and Star Wars. But somehow in the midst of loving all things sci-fi, she was a sucker for all things Molly Ringwald. Ieshia became a huge fan of rom-coms and loves stories with strong women characters. Growing up the youngest, and the only girl on her block, she craved strong women who fell in love. She loves romances with strong women leads who have conviction, but are also filled with humor. It’s important to her that women in her stories are smart, strong, loving, and funny, and also represent for sci-fi geeks and music lovers everywhere.
N: Welcome to the blog, Ieshia! I’m so delighted to have you visiting today. So, what inspired you to start writing?
A: Thanks so much for having me Nan.
I think I always loved writing stories since I was a little kid. The idea of taking my thoughts and turning them into something fun, and thoughtful. I loved it! I used to keep a little notebook in my room, it was supposed to be my journal, to put my feelings and emotions down. Well, I would write about myself but turn how I felt into stories. Like, if I had a bad day. I would tell a story about my bad day with a dragon, or a lion. As far as what inspired me to start writing this particular story, I think more recently in reading a lot of romance novels. With some of the women, I didn’t see any that sort of reflected me. Women who loved sports, certain kinds of music, a bit of a nerd. I wanted to share that kind of woman, and it felt like that kind of woman needed to be seen. So, in order for me to find her, I needed to write her.
N: What comes first—the plot or the characters?
A: For me it’s characters. Typically the woman is first, and then I wonder who would this great woman be with, what is she looking for in a guy, what makes her tick, what makes her laugh, makes her cry, what drives her, who does she hang out with, what’s her family like. Once I have that all fleshed out, then I tell her story, because chances are she’s been in my head for a good amount of time before I even begin to write anything.
N: Your debut novel with Tule Publishing releases February 10, 2022—that’s so exciting! What is the most surprising thing you discovered about yourself while writing There You Are?
A: Thanks! I am super excited about the release!!!!
I was surprised by a couple of things. One thing is that I tapped into a sexy side of myself that I didn’t know was there. But stuff just started tumbling out, which was a bit of a surprise. Also, I’m a huge mush ball. I’ve had a few people tell me that I seem tough on the outside, but I’m such a softy. Well, writing this book when it came to certain parts of the story I realized that they were right about me. I’m a huge softy.
N: Talk to us about writing a mixed-cultures romance. Were there bumps along the way?
A: I am in an interracial marriage so I’ve seen and heard it all. A lot of the experiences, and feelings that Amina has throughout the book come from a few of my own personal experiences. I think the bump I had along the way was wondering if these feelings of doubt that she has if they were common, and did they feel genuine. Are they valid? How much weight does this really hold? I didn’t want to dive into something that seemed only to be true for me, and no one else. So, I battled with that, but I think that it is true that for some women of color there is an internal battle of being with someone that is so different from them and how will that be perceived.
N: I love that There You Are is part of Tule’s American Heart imprint because I write for American Heart, too. It’s also book 1 in the Romancing the Doctor series. How many books in the series and will we meet the other doctors in this book?
A: There are only two book in the series. I tried to see if I could squeak out another one, but it’s just the two. And yes you will meet another amazing doctor in this book.
N: Give us three words to describe your character Amina. Three words to describe your hero Nathan?
A: That’s pretty tough, but I will do my best.
Amina – smart, tough, funny
Nathan – loyal, kind, loving
N: Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell your readers about?
A: Sure, currently I am working on something new. A brand new novel, I’m close to completing the first draft. About a young woman returning back home for an anniversary celebration for her parents, and she runs into her childhood best friend. And they dated for a bit, but now they can’t stand each other.
N: What do you like to do when you are not writing?
A: Well this is my favorite time of year! I have the cooler weather on the horizon, and football season is in full swing, and the NBA season is close behind. So, I love watching sports, going for a run when I can, and just being with my family.
N: What did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I chuckle when I think back to the 4th grade class when I said a lawyer.
N: Favorite book when you were a kid?
A: Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret? By Judy Blume
N: And here is my signature question that everyone loves: If you could choose three people, living or dead, to invite to a dinner party, who would they be and why?
A: This is really tough!
Living: Ava DuVernay because she inspires me so much with her creative genius. Everything single thing she does is so incredible, and you can feel how much she loves what she does. I am in such awe of her. I would love to know her creative process.
Living: Beyonce because she is a living legend. I would love to talk to her about her work ethic her drive, and honestly how does she unwind, how does she relax and unplug. She’s creative I can just imagine that her mind is constantly going with ideas. I would love to know how she shuts that off, and cuts it all back on again to be the amazing woman she is.
Dead: My father, because I miss him. And would love to hug him and hear him laugh one more time.
There You Are
It’s love at first sight…but can it be love forever?
Amina Wright loves her job in community outreach for the Chicago Bulls NBA team, but life has taught her to be wary of players. So she’s not sure what to expect when a good-looking anesthesiologist smoothly cuts in at the charity gala she’s hosting and handles the womanizing jerk trying to waste her time. Certainly gratitude is in order—but a relationship? Not on the table.
Dr. Nathan Moore doesn’t have time for a relationship, especially not a complicated one. He can’t believe he let his friend drag him to some fancy event, and he certainly wasn’t expecting to rescue a beautiful woman as a distraction. But now he wants to spend more time with Amina, even if most of his waking hours are devoted to the hospital.
Indulging in a relationship that sizzles their blood is the easy part. But her past threatens his career’s future, and their cultural differences are putting stress on the present. Can they build a love strong enough to heal both their hearts?