A More Perfect Union - 10 things with Aliza Mann
Greetings Rock 'n' Rollers! Tomorrow is the release day for A More Perfect Union, which is a voting-themed anthology that my pal Adrienne Bell put together with some great brains in Romancelandia in order to donate the proceeds to Fair Fight. Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be sharing posts from my co-authors and then on January 28th, we'll be featured on a blog tour with Other Worlds Ink. I'll share all the deets with you then! I can't wait. I can't say enough good things about this collection of stories.
Today I want to share Aliza Mann's story. As it is the day we recognize the brilliant Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it's fitting that we take a look at Aliza's story with its roots in the Civil Rights Movement. I'll let her tell you all about it. I've read it and man, I cannot stress enough how good this story is. It's tough to pack that punch in a short story, but she manages it effortlessly.
10 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About A More Perfect Union!
Aliza Mann Edition
There are so many things to love about the A More Perfect Union collection of stories. I’m so grateful to be a part of this incredible anthology and making a difference in the world. Let’s spend a little time unpacking every awesome detail, shall we?
Q1: How did the A More Perfect Union anthology come to be?
Adrienne Bell, our fearless leader anthology organizer, put out a call to get authors involved with this important project. I think we all, like so many people, wanted to help eliminate voter suppression in any way we could! And the fact that all proceeds go to Fair Fight was the cherry on top! It’s a wonderful organization led by the incomparable Stacy Abrams.
Q2: Who are the other authors who contributed to A More Perfect Union?
I don’t mind saying I’m in the company of some of the best authors in the game! Aside from myself, they are Adrienne Bell, Kilby Blades,, Claire Marti, R.L. Merrill, M.D. Neu, Dawn Montgomery, Sera Taino, and Kearney Wentworth.
They are a remarkable group to work with and I hope to do it again one day!
Q3: What was the motivation behind your story?
My story, The Change That Came, takes place in the rural south in 1966. It’s romantic suspense, and about something, or someone rather, near to my heart. I never met my maternal grandfather due to a strange set of circumstances. It was important for me to try and remedy that in the only way I can. Through writing. I do love the story and am so proud of the outcome. All of these stories are just fantastic. Can’t wait for you to read them!
Q4: Tell us a bit more about your story. And how hard was it fictionalizing a story about your relatives?
Another key figure in the story was an African American FBI agent, one of the first in the country, responsible to investigate the death of a man in Bytree, Georgia. His name was Drake Freeman. Once he arrives, he is of course confronted with racism, but he didn’t expect to be utterly captivated by the victim’s daughter, Mandy Almond. Meeting her shifted his priorities just a bit and ensuring she was safe quickly moved into a parallel with ensuring justice was served for her father. What he didn’t expect was to lose his heart in the process.
It can be difficult to write about family, and I never do. But this story is one I wanted to tell and I’m incredibly proud, not only of my grandfather but, the people who made an impact in my life. It’s nice to showcase them for a change. Fictional versions and all.
Q5: Will we hear more about Drake and Mandy in future books?
Anything is possible, but I do intend to write in this time period for a while. The 60s and 70s were a transformational period for Black Americans. Aside from the civil rights movement, as the first generation born post-slavery, there are so many stories to be told showing this rebirth. Stories I fear we haven’t seen enough of — not from a position of lacking, but in all the vibrancy of the time. Yes, I will revisit Bytree for sure and plan to show more of our rich history.
Q6: Sounds like this is such a passion project. How long did it take you to write this?
I believe it is my passion project because the first time I sat down, and this never happens, I wrote 9200 words of it in that sitting. The first draft poured out of me. My characters were obviously excited to engage with me. Edits are another story, but the great people involved with this project helped me whip it into shape!
Q7: I haven’t seen you write romantic suspense before. Why not?
I think I’m in the ‘try it’ stage of my career. I don’t think an author should limit the stories they are willing to tell. It’s important to write the tales of one’s heart. Granted, romantic suspense and historical stories aren’t in my backlist at the moment, but I would never say never when it comes to my work. So, to that I say ‘stay tuned’.
Q8: Tell us something about yourself that maybe isn’t very well known.
Well, I have an obsession with custom Funko Pops. You can buy just about every popular character in film and media, but there aren’t any for book series. So I find artists who are making these amazing characters from the novels we love! My Black Dagger Brotherhood collection is one of my most prized possessions. I also have a large collection of regular Pops too. I guess you’re never too old to play with your dolls!
Q9: What are you most looking forward to this year?
After the release of this book, I am so excited for the things to come in the US. I know there has been unrest and so many other things that can be disheartening, but if Stacy Abrams taught us anything, it is that with hard work, we can defeat injustice.
I’m also looking forward to hugging my friends again and shopping in a mall. I always hated trying on clothes, but I’m looking forward to it.
Q10: If you could share one thing about A More Perfect Union, what would it be?
I want people to know that so many people came together and created a bit of magic in a world that seemed incredibly dark at the time. But I don’t think it was by happenstance. This anthology was meant to be in a time such as this. I know everyone who buys it, who supports our goal, will love it as much as we do.
Thanks so much, Aliza for this treat! Aliza and I met through RT where we did an activity together and she has THE BEST energy! We are both members of the BLC Bus Babes group on Facebook. I know you'll love her as much as I do. You can find out more about Aliza on her Facebook page as well as the page for A More Perfect Union. You can pick up the anthology at Amazon and Apple.