Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
So far, I have only written two books and published one. However, I have multiple manuscripts stored in notebooks and on hard drives that I’ve stored throughout the years. It wasn’t until recently that I mustered up the courage to forge ahead and start polishing and publishing these pieces.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My novella ‘Show Her’ is set for release on April 1st, 2017. ‘Show Her’ is a psychological thriller that examines the social norms and gender roles that are prominent in the United States. As with all my work, it was inspired by stories I heard from other people and struggles I saw (and even helped) some people push through in order to find happiness, redemption, and a clear sense of self.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Since I’m not certain how the majority of my fellow authors complete their process, I can’t really say. It seems like a lengthy process to me, so it might be a little more involved than what some people do.
I generally outline the plot (even if the story is already complete, this can help me find holes), box specific scenes I want to make sure are included, get a first draft done, spend a few days doing something else, reread for edits, revise the first draft (and then complete that process again for the second draft), then I workshop parts of the piece with 2 different writing groups, then I make revisions based on their notes, then I reread this third draft after spending some time away from it, then I hand the fourth draft to my cartel for critique while I’m simultaneously giving it a last few passes, then I create the fifth draft to reread myself and revise as needed before publishing. Whew!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Authors: Dr. Seuss, Maya Angelou, The Stratemeyer Syndicate, Terry Goodkind, Toni Morrison, Alex Haley, J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, Sister Souljah, Michael Crichton,Nikki Giovanni, Edgar Allen Poe, and Ayn Rand.
Books (besides those the aforementioned authors wrote): The Miracle Strain (Michael Cordy); Oh, Kentucky! (Betty Receveur); Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden); Les Miserables (Victor Hugo); The Hundred Secret Senses (Amy Tan).
What are you working on now?
I will be putting together another collection of poetry after ‘Show Her’ is published. ‘Feign’ was published years ago and is a collection of work from my earliest writing years up until 2012. It’s time for me to publish some of my newer work.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m hoping Awesomegang will be, but I’ve only recently started using other websites to promote my work. Ask me again in six months and I can give you a solid answer!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Go. Just keep moving forward at all times. If you can only get a page written a day, do that. Whatever it takes to not be on your death bed thinking ‘I wish I would have…’
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
To not become paralyzed by other people’s opinions. Learning to accept the fact that everyone is not going to enjoy my work (and some will even hate it) has been key for me to have the courage and discipline it takes to turn what was a quiet love into a loud, openly-shared joy.
What are you reading now?
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
What’s next for you as a writer?
I want so badly to secure a booth at the Decatur Book Festival! I have a GoFundMe account set up and everything! So, hopefully, you’ll see me there before this year is up!
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
You just couldn’t help but throw this one in there! ARGH! Well, I guess The Stand (Stephen King), Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand), And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (Dr. Seuss); and…The Coldest Winter Ever (Sister Souljah).