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Words of Wisdom

What is your writing process like?

I create a basic outline with all of the major plot points that I want to hit, then I let the characters tell their stories from there.

How many hours a day do you write?

Maybe 2 or 3. That's probably why it takes me so long to finish a book, but life is busy and I'm kind of ADHD and can't sit in the same place for too long.

What does literary success look like to you?

Success to me is in the security of my future. I'm not necessarily looking to be on the NYT bestsellers list, but I come from the sewer where people see the only option for income to be selling drugs. This is my career.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Learning who the characters are. What is her motivation? What's his? Not just in the overall arc but in each situation. That's hard.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both! Each project is like a child. You love them to death, but man so they drive you crazy at times.

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

I'm still a baby at this, but I just keep learning about the business, writing craft, and plot structure. Gotta keep learning.

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

I use a lot of experience and pure imagination, but there may be something specific that I need knowledge about to express it realistically so I'll ask people with experience or knowledge, or read and watch videos until I feel I have a solid understanding. 

What advice do you have for other Black writers?

WRITE. Our stories are needed. There were libraries in ancient Africa that were burned, all of the literature destroyed. Those are black stories and knowledge that we no longer have access to. We'll never know their stories. Tell your story. Share your knowledge. Let's build libraries full of literature from our voices, our perspective.

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