It’s not unusual for behind the scenes people to write books about their work and experiences, but Ahyiana Angel turned her thriving career as a publicist for the NBA into success as a romance novelist and relationship specialist. Of course the NBA provided drama to inspire the story for her spicy book Preseason Love, but it was Ahyiana’s own life experiences and longtime dream of becoming a writer that truly motivated her transition.
A native Californian and graduate of CSU Long Beach, Ahyiana now lives in New York where she develops her own Life According To Her blog, offering advice and opinions on dating, travel and current affairs. She is an avid traveler and contributor for TravelNoire.com, and her writing has been featured on many noteworthy sites.
We caught up with the vivacious love activist Ahyiana Angel to find out how she handles juicy affairs, broken hearts and wistful romance with fierce business sense.
You went from working in the NBA to writing about love experiences involving NBA players. How much of your book is based on what you saw working in the sports industry?
Ahyiana Angel: Although Preseason Love is a work of fiction, there are elements of the story that are derived from real life experiences, be that my own experiences or the incorporation of others experiences. Working in PR at the NBA gave me access to people that I’d never imagined. My career goals never included working with athletes. However, in doing so I learned a lot and I was exposed to things and people that the average basketball fan would love to know and see.
How did you link with Zane to publish your book, and how do you feel that connection was beneficial to building your brand?
AA: My initial interaction with Zane and her publishing imprint, Strebor Books, came from attending a writing bootcamp that she conducted in Maryland. Zane shared a great deal of knowledge at the bootcamp. At that point I knew that she really understood the business of publishing as well as her craft.
As a debut author, I wanted to traditionally publish my first time out. Having your debut novel presented to the world by an author who has accomplished as much as Zane was a dream. It says to the world that if she put her stamp of approval on this body of work, it must be worth taking your time to read. The opportunity that she gave me offered the validation that most new authors look for.
You put your heart into giving relationship advice to women. What draws you to helping women mend their hearts, and even their ways?
AA: Let me just start by saying that I’m not perfect. I’m totally working through my own relationship trials and tribulations, but it all goes back to the same reason that I wrote the book, I want to let women like me know that they are not alone. I wanted to create a sense of community by sharing and uplifting one another with my blog Life According To Her.
We all go through the highs and lows, the moments of stupidity, the broken hearts. However, if I learn from a situation and I can help spare someone else by sharing my stories…then I’m game. Sometimes in the cloud of like or love we start wearing our stupidity goggles. If I can help one woman clean the haze of stupidity off of her goggles, and realize that she deserves better, that’s what matters. I want to see all of us win as women in this game of dating and love.
What is the strangest situation you’ve ever been asked to advise someone on? How did it work out?
AA: This situation was actually with a friend… I hope that she does not read this and kill me! We were past the point of her asking for advice. Her boyfriend had cheated and we had already discussed the situation at length. So one night she asked me to follow the woman that he cheated with on social media. The chick had like two followers on this particular platform and her page was private. Plus the chick knew about my friend.
A red flag popped up that signaled this was a bad idea on multiple levels, but I did not want my friend to feel like I was leaving her hanging. I took a second to think then I presented all of the reasons why this request could backfire. Luckily, she is a rational person and she pretty much knew that it was a bad idea. Social media is a beast in relationships these days.
What is more challenging, publicizing others or publicizing yourself? How so?
AA: Without question, for me, publicizing myself. I’m a modest person so trying to sing my own praises to get people’s attention is just not my style. However, I’ve learned through the process of getting Preseason Love published that I have to swallow some of that discomfort and make things happen by selling brand ME. It can be awkward at times, but I’m pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. The way that I see things, it is all helping in my overall growth.
What do you see yourself doing in the next year that will be different from anything you’ve ever done?
AA: First, writing a novel from a male’s perspective. I would really like to challenge myself by doing a project that hits home for the men. I also plan on doing a bit more work with video, maybe producing some visual content to accompany my writing.
Where can people find your book, and where can we find you next?
AA: You can stay connected with me via my website AhyianaAngel.com or my blog LifeAccordingToHer.com. I just finished the first portion of the #PreseasonLove Tour with stops in Oakland, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC. After the new year I will be making additional stops in Houston January 3rd, New Orleans January 6th, Charlotte January 13th, and Atlanta somewhere in there. All of the tour details will be available on my website.
For more information on the #PreseasonLove Tour, go to AhyianaAngel.com