Words of Wisdom
What inspired you to write your book?
I am used to writing fiction, but I've had writer's block since my last novel in 2018. I was inspired by the #Blacklove hashtag on social media and wanted to write a novella with two powerful characters falling in love. I wanted a "drama free" love story that wasn't filled with infidelity or violence. I was in need of a feel good love story and as the great Toni Morrison said, "If there's a book you want to read, but it hasn't been written, then you must write it."
What is your writing process like?
My writing process is a little all over the place. I make sure to keep my google docs updated so I can write whenever I am inspired. Whether it's a conversation, a song, a thought. Anything can spark my creativity. I try to start with an outline for most of my fiction. However, I always deviate from it. I definitely allow my characters to do as they please.
How many hours a day do you write?
Unfortunately, I am not a full-time writer just yet. (God willing this will be the year!) So some days I'm not able to write more than an hour at most. I do try to spend more time on the weekends writing.
What does literary success look like to you?
Literary success looks like being able to support my lifestyle doing what I love. Most importantly, it means being able to touch my readers and creating something that will outlive me.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Confidence. It's easy for me to create a world and write from it, but sometimes I feel like, "Nobody is going to read this." It's a nasty little habit that I have to talk myself out of every time I publish a book. Someone isn't going to like it, but if I don't write it I'm only hurting myself.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both. I strive to write with all of my senses. Sometimes, that involves going through the pain my character's are going through. I've had mini panic attacks before while writing. It also means going through their joy. It's an amazing journey and I wouldn't change it for the world.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Don't be afraid to invest in your craft. You can write, but always be willing to learn new techniques. Don't get stuck in your head. Grow and write everyday.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
If my setting is a place I'm not familiar with, I mostly research that area and the culture. I try not to spend much time researching until after my first draft. Details can always be added but I have to get the passion of the massage out first. The best thing about writing fiction is I get to make stuff up! :D
What advice do you have for other Black writers?
I read a quote on social media that said even though we may be the minority, to write like we are the majority. We don't have to explain our culture or "dumb it down" for those who may not get it. We write for us. So that our stories our told in our perspective and that is where the magic is. Also, we are not monolithic, so our writing does not have to be either. We belong in all genres because we are all things.