- If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
I would choose the secret life of bees by Sue Monk Kidd. I enjoyed this book and especially the movie version. What I would have changed is the young girl Lily’s character. I would have given her a more unserious but spunkier type of demeanor. I felt she was one of the main characters in the book and she wasn’t felt enough to me. I mean, I would have given her a sassier type of attitude but not too much where the character becomes irritating.
- Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
I do both but I start off with an idea which leads into a plot. I will jolt down several sentences then leave it for a while and sit to think but before I forget what I was thinking I hurry to incorporate that verse leaving enough space in between the other sentences. Then, I re-read the earlier sentences and fill in those spaces and if need be I than start to cut and paste, including rearranging sentences and before I know it I have several chapters implemented.
- Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? How long do they usually last?
Yes, I think most writers and authors experience this. I actually think writer’s block is a sign to stop writing and rest so you can re-energize your thinking pattern. For me personally, my writer’s block can go on for hours or minutes depending on what I’m working on. But if it takes me more than thirty minutes or so I would retire for the night from writing and pick back up the next day or so. I guess the average length of time depends on the person writing.
- Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for?
I actually do both. Once I’ve completed a manuscript I re-read it out loud word for word verbatim. I like to hear what it sounds like out loud. I listen for when I pause in reading a sentence this will let me know where to put the proper quotation marks. However, the thing about paying someone for services can be treaty because typos can still exist in your work. I’ve seen this happen many times. However, when you pay someone you have to be specific in needing to know what’s included with the services for example – will they highlight the errors and input the correct word, will they indicate if a sentence has a fragment and offer suggestions, or are they the type to say “you have four errors in your sentence that needs correcting”.
- Does a bad review affect your writing?
It’s easier said they done to say no when it comes to negativity in opinions. For me personally, I learned early on during school especially, when I took a comprehensive course. This course required a ton of writing and reading. I had to write many story lines and scenes detailing the outcome of that particular subject. The Professor, grade pattern was specific with dotting all I’s and crossing all T’s very precise. Some grades passed where some assignments had to be revised with negative notations written in red. At first, the bad review was alarming but as time went on I learned to adjust and not take the bad review personally. So the answer is no a bad review does not affect me but enhance my ability to do better.
- How would you feel if no one showed up at your book signing?
Honestly, I would feel disappointed but alarmed then I would wonder where everyone was at. Then I would back track to see how the book signing was advertised and learn from that point on in not doing what was done beforehand.
- Tell us about your writing style, how is it different from other writers?
I think my writing style is versatile in many ways. I write with characters in mind and focus on bringing those characters to life. For example, in my book all the characters are believable the story seems real; the setting in the living arrangements appears real. I write with twists and turns keeping you thinking what will happen next. My book can be considered as a play right (according to some). I write with having some form of life’s drama embedded into each character’s way of life. I give each character enough to say without over barring one particular character being in every single line.
- How realistic are your books?
My book is extremely realistic because it deals with daily lives that many people have already experienced themselves especially if you were raised in the South. Many older generational people can relate to living on a farm as a youngster. They relate to milking a cow, to picking fruit off a tree so yes I didn’t see this coming from my family is a realistic book.
- From all that we have been hearing and seeing in the movies, most writers are alcoholics. Your views on that?
Well I’m not sure how having a drink in public can link to someone being an alcoholic. Here’s the thing, you never know what goes on in someone household that will led them to become an alcoholic. Everyone handles stress and depression totally different. What may make you happy in life can be the opposite of someone else’s life? You just never know what a person’s day is like unless you ask. Most writers can be under so much scrutiny or stress to make deadlines, or signing contracts, to negotiating deals that will make their life grand so yes it can be true. However, I wouldn’t say most writers are alcoholics but I will say that many writers may have a drink occasionally.
- When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?
Actually, I did not see writing in my future as a young lady. I knew I wanted to do something in the entertainment field especially after going to a concert. I enjoyed cheering and singing along with those singers on stage so much that I started practicing singing at home in the mirror and hoped at one of those concerts that the singer would pull me up on stage. I thought about becoming a singer but not a writer during those times.
- They say books die every time they are turned into a movie; what do you think?
I think a movie help enhance the book. It draws more people not only to the movie but it also draws more people to want to read the book to see if it’s written exactly as the movie version. I think a movie brings the book to life and not have it buried under.
- How are your relations with your family? Do you like to stay in touch?
My relation with my family is excellent and yes I stay in touch. Both of my parents are from large families with my mother’s side having fourteen children and my father’s side is nine children. I have tons and tons of cousins where it’s impossible to stay in contact will all of them but luckily for social media. Those whom I haven’t spoken to or have not seen in a while I communicate with them that way. I also have relatives who I’m extremely close with and we all talk on a weekly base if not daily.
- If is often said that in order to write something, you must believe in what you are writing. Do you agree with that?
I do agree with that statement. Writing comes from the heart. You are implementing a story whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. You are describing and creating characters into a storyline. If you don’t believe it as a writer than you are wasting your time and the readers will pretty much see through that and word of mouth begins to spread about your writing style.
- Did you always know that you were destined for literary greatness, or you, as they say, “stumbled” upon it?
I stumbled upon it in college and in Corporate America. It was from writing memos and memorandum’s; to essays in school I started noticing how my mind operated. When given assignments for example; in college the subject line could have been mental health. I immediately had an ideal in mind and jolted it down on paper. My mind was destine for writing it just took a while for me to actually recognize my calling and then I starting walking by faith and not by sight.
- What advice would you like to pass on to young writers of today that is unconventional but true?
To not get discourage from receiving rejections from traditional publishing companies. Stay dedicated and diligent in your work. Find a professional to go over your contract. Get ownership of your work and to have patience because promotion is costly but worthwhile in the long run.
- In case one or any of your books honor the big screen, which books would you like it to be?
It will be I didn’t see this coming from my family.
- Have any of your past loves inspired characters in your book?
Funny that you asked that and yes I had described Sofay’s, grandmother’s male friend Mr. Harold Smith to a past love. The only difference between the character and the real person is that my past love didn’t attach gold chains on his slacks.
- How possessive are you about your work?
I’m extremely guarded with my work. I don’t open up and tell my every move that I make with my work because family and friends can be quit opinionated at times. I don’t want to hear the negativity so I don’t part my mouth until it’s finished.
- Is privacy an issue for you?
It is to a fault. I personally think that being in the public eye leads to your life being an open book. However, I feel a person shouldn’t put their entire business out there because that’s how untrue rumors surface.
- Tell us about an interesting or memorable encounter you had with a fan?
Ha-ha, that was the other day in the grocery store. A fan actually followed me down three aisles before saying to me “I know you from somewhere” I asked her where do you recognize me from. She goes on to say she couldn’t pin point it with a smile on her face then she popped her fingers to say the gas station! We both laughed and I said to myself she did look familiar to me as well. We both were at the gas station prior to going to the same grocery store. I gave her my postcard promoting my book and she gasped for air saying I told you I knew you, I purchased your book back in February!
- Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?
As kids my siblings and I loved being outside. My mother would get fed up with us always wanting to be outdoors that she made us began reading to keep us in the house. My sibling and I had to read encyclopedia’s, recite bible verses, and played board games. I guess when I reminisce back on this my reading did actually start at home. Though, my dad read newspapers while I don’t recall my mother reading very much except for flipping through clothing catalogs.
- Do you enjoy discussing upcoming ideas with your partner? If yes, how much do you value their inputs?
I value his input greatly. Because he can see what I’m not seeing once I convey to him my intentions or ideals. He gives the most honest feedback in how I should handle something. I listen to him and then make a final decision in which route I should take.
- How do you incorporate the noise around you into the story you are writing at the moment?
I pay close attention to my mind and if it becomes to overwhelming with the noise I then begin to jolt it down on paper so that I don’t forget to incorporate it into the storyline. Once I get started I get so excited in writing that it takes me to another place as if I’m on a set directing a play.
- Do you think translating books into languages other than their origin forces the intended essence away?
No I don’t think that the essence of translation will be taken away. I think that different languages will enhance readers to help spread the word of that book. It will bring in more sales because people will be able to read the book in their own language and can make decisions if the book is a nay or a yes.