I was born and raised in Louisiana, a fact I only recent started to appreciate when I became a published author, who surprisingly doesn’t eat seafood, which makes me sort of an anomaly here in the South. I’m a graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge (Go Jags!) and when I’m not writing I’m usually thinking about writing, reading, shopping, playing around on Facebook or watching WAY too much television.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Toni Morrison. You see, I’ve always wanted to be a published author since I was a kid, and wrote quite a few little novels and plays growing up. But as I became an adult, went to college and entered the work force, I wrote less and less fiction. One day, I was wondering through the bookstore looking for something new to read and nothing excited me. I was looking for something in the African-American genre that wasn’t Street Lit, Christian Fiction or some bedroom/romance hybrid that are also very popular among black readers. I’ve always been a fan of horror movies and thrillers, but never really wrote within the genre, because it wasn’t popular with black readers. Several days later,
after my unsuccessful trip to the bookstore, I randomly stumbled across a quote from Toni Morrison which said: “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” That resonated with me, and the rest is history.
Which book was the most difficult to write and why?
None of them. Before I can sit down and write a story I have to be in love with the characters and plot. Once I am, nothing is difficult about bringing it to life on paper. Well, that’s not entirely true. I can never finish as fast as I want to because I don’t have the luxury of writing full time. That drives me crazy! That is difficult for me.
What books have influenced your life most?
You know, I never really thought about that. But now that you force me to, none really. My life has really been influenced mostly by real people and experiences. Books, and reading, for me are pure entertainment. Books are the best way to escape for a moment and be involved in something totally separate from your everyday life.
How long did it take you to get your first book published?
I’m an indie author. It took me about a year to publish “Never Dead.” I wanted to get it as perfect as I could, and I took things slow because I had to research the industry and make sure I was doing everything right.
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Various ways. Sometimes from something I’ve read or seen in a movie or television show. Real life situations I’ve had a front row seat to. The news. Conversations with friends. And sometimes an image will just pop in my head and resonate with me. That’s what happened with my first book.
What new author has grasped your interest?
He’s not a new author, but he’s new to me. Blake Crouch. I’m obsessed with his work. It’s so dark, horrific, and fast-paced fun.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
For now, all I’ll say is it’s a love story…with a horrifying twist.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write. And read. All the time!
JE, thank you so much for your time and we look forward to reading more of your works. He can be contacted through the following links: