I am the CEO/Founder of ARC Book Club, Inc, the VP of Acquisitions for Prodigy Publishing Group, an avid reader and book reviewer, a self-proclaimed “foodie”, and a forensic science junkie.
2. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a love affair with the written word. During school years whenever it came to penning essays or answering questions in complete sentences, I did very well. English was always my favorite subject and reading was second nature to me; I’d even read the dictionary as a teen! As young as fourteen years of age, I was writing poems and little skits, so I’d have to say that personally, I’ve always considered myself a writer. Words intrigue me.
3. What inspired you to write your first book?
A few years ago, I had a scene that I wrote and posted on MySpace. The overwhelming response and interest it received prompted me to complete it; everyone was asking, “so what happens next?” So last year I took it out and took a stab at completing it and it turned into the prologue of what is now my debut, HOEISM: Born To Do It.
4. What books influenced your life?
I’m not certain that these books influenced my life per say, but they certainly left a meaningful impression on me: A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens), Island of the Blue Dolphins (Scott Odell), V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic), Flyy Girl (Omar Tyree), Native Son (Richard Wright).
5. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Without question, Loretta R. Walls. (Brittany, A Fantasy of Love, Rendezvous 1 & 2)
6. What book are you reading now?
Sweet 16 by Trae Ferguson
7. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I absolutely love ice skating, reading (of course), trying new recipes, watching forensic shows, crabbing (catching crabs), camping, amusement parks, bowling, and relaxing on the beach with my kids.
8. Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Real life occurrences intermingled with my imagination.
9. What new author has grasped your interest?
I’d have to say Kamilah Watson, author of Last man Standing. I've had the pleasure of reading some of her unpublished work and was quite impressed. Her pen game goes way beyond what she has allowed readers to see thus far. I'm very excited about her upcoming projects.
10. If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
Probably an event planner or marketing strategist.
11. What was your favorite chapter to write and why?
Chapter 1 because it gives the first inkling of the type of characters that you’ll read about. I was able to give a peek into a few different personalities and get the reader a little excited about what’s to come.
12. Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
There are many women out there like Shanae. Some are that way because they enjoy it, some are that way because that's the only way they know how to be. Shanae ends up in several unfavorable scenarios but she always has a choice to make. I wanted readers to see the predicament one can end up in by making all the wrong choices. I also wanted then to see that although Shanae called herself "doing her," she didn't consider the impact her selfishness had on those close to her. Although her loved ones were not physically involved, they were left "holding the bag" in the end, so to speak.
13. Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
I am currently finalizing the plot points for the sequel to Hoeism. I’m also working on a story that deals with coming of age and sexual abuse. There’s also a short story in the works for release in an anthology with two other authors.
14. How do you market your book?
I market my book through social media, personal networking, events I attend, and any way I see a valid opportunity.
15. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Sell yourself and let your personality shine through. Readers want to know that there is a human behind those stories, not just an entity encouraging them to buy. Engage your readers and listen to what they have to say about your work. Be personable and respectful. Gaining and maintaining a following requires more than producing great work. You must be able to have a personality that goes from behind the keyboard and is present at signings, online, interviews, etc. Readers can love your work, but if you are a self-absorbed a-hole in person, you may have just turned off a lifelong reader. Make your readers feel appreciated, consider them when it comes to font size, and cover image. Building relationships, using social networking EFFECTIVELY is one way to achieve that. Last but not least, be smart and make good business decisions.