We’re thrilled to have Lelia Marie Freeman here with us today! Lelia is the director of ChildSafe Shelters in Los Angeles, California, and the lead character in Alicia Singleton’s blockbuster book, Dark Side of Valor.
We interviewed Lelia to give us some between the pages insights on her character and whether the author caught her true personality. Welcome Lelia!
Thank you so for this interview, Lelia. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?
I don’t like being in the spotlight. My business is my business. It was bad enough being blasted on national television and dubbed, “The Street Angel”, then there’s that annoying, pain in my tail disc jockey, Zenith Starr and his constant harassment, now there’s this book about my life. The kids are what’s important. Not me. Not my life. The kids.
Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?
She made me seem a little rough around the edges, almost crass sometimes, but if that’s the way the world sees me, then…whatever. I just don’t stomach bull-crap well. Will there be any questions or some information published on how to help the homeless and runaway child population? If not, then you’re wasting my time.
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
Not tolerating bull-crap, but ok, I’ll bite. My heart. Good or bad, life or death, I’ll always allow my heart to lead me. Now, about the children and how people can help…
My adopted mother says my big mouth. Translated that means, I don’t stomach bull-crap well. But I promised her I’d be polite today, so my answer is, my heart. Again, good or bad, life or death, my heart leads me, even if the situation could kill me. I’d go to the ends of the earth to rescue my kids. Who, by the way, we still haven’t discussed.
Do you have a love interest in the book?
Who? Elijah? Absolutely not! He’s brash, a bully, arrogant and a nut job. If I didn’t need a way out of Sudania, I’d tell him where to get off.
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
When I woke up in another country with nothing to my name except the dress on my back and my underwear, I knew I was in deep trouble.
If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?
President Marwein Boll Deng. He’s not at all what he seems.
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
The very end of the book is a dream I never thought I’d live. Right before the end of the book is…well I promised my mother I’d watch my mouth.
What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?
Can you cut me some slack? Bullets flying, being chased by crazed men, dropped in the middle of a jungle…what! Less danger, more focus on the kids. Can you ask question about them, now?
Thank you for this interview, Lelia. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
Yes, you’ll see Elijah, Asha, Marcellus, Sierra and me again. And when we talk again, let’s keep it about the kids. Okay?
Child advocate Lelia Freeman saves children for a living. As the director of ChildSafe Shelters, she ventures to abandoned squats and crackhouses to rescue teens from the hellish streets of Los Angeles. When she is summoned to Washington to serve on a committee that aids the children of a war-torn African nation, Lelia is kidnapped and becomes a political pawn in a sinister conspiracy. Oceans away from everything she knows, she must trust a mercenary to save her life, or die in the clutches of a psychopath.
Hunting, combat and staying alive are Elijah Dune’s specialties. Vengeance is his passion. Haunted by past demons, he’s travels to the Motherland to collect a debt. A debt that demands one payment. Death.
Caught in the crosshairs of a madman, Lelia and Elijah must survive the jungles of Zaire and the horrors of their pasts or be forever consumed by the DARK SIDE OF VALOR.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, the Howard University graduate embraced the written word at an early age. She credits this to her loving, older sister whom, while they were youngsters, made the author eat lotion on a regular basis. Realizing the need to sound-out the ingredients on the lotion label, Alicia stopped the lotion-eating practice, but continued to read the labels of the concoctions her sister brought for her to try. This early necessity to read flowered to a passion; hence, a writer was born.The award winning author resides in Maryland with her wonderful husband and son. Still an avid reader, label or otherwise, Alicia is hard at work completing her next suspense novel.Her latest book is the suspense novel, Dark Side of Valor.
Visit Alicia’s website at www.aliciasingleton.com.