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Words of Wisdom

What inspired you to write your book? 

I have been a writer since I could write. I have always wanted to write novels (who doesn’t?). Years ago, I simply decided, set a goal and took daily actions toward that goal. Inspiration strikes me in many ways, I love people watching and making up whole stories about them, dreams and even other books and film.

What is your writing process like?

I am a process person, indeed and I recently created an entire digital writing course that outlines my process in hopes that it helps other aspiring writers to develop their own repeatable system for churning out novels ( In short, I work through all the negative self-talk (believe it or not, it comes with the start of every new book), I develop my idea, I write a rough draft and then proceed through a series of professional edits, self-edits and rewrites until my story is complete.

How many hours a day do you write?

About two, if I am lucky. Life gets in the way, but we persevere, slowly but surely

What does literary success look like to you?

Telling my stories and sharing my stories with others who find value in them.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Once you get beyond the negative self-talk, the path is clear. Often, we are our own biggest obstacle and once we believe in our own abilities, little can stand in our way.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It is emotionally exhausting, perhaps because I write horror. At times while I am writing, I am energized and I power through my session but by the time I reach the end, I am drained. It’s like those superheroes who have extraordinary powers but use of those fantastic powers weaken them. Writers are superheroes.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Write more and without excuse.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

It depends on the story. Usually, I research while I am writing the book, not before. If I have an idea, I write it, just getting it down is a huge part of the process. If I have an

idea, then I likely have enough information to at least get the outline done and perhaps even the rough draft. Once I start my initial rewrite, I begin researching by way of the Google machine, reading books and of course, talking to people. People are key.

What advice do you have for other Black writers?

Keep writing. Your stories are your gold as an individual and our legacy as a community.

You can follow JeanNicole Rivers on

Instagram: @jeannicole19


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