I feel like the new kid on my first day of school as I sit composing this first blog post. However, it is that you came to end up here on my website, thank you for staying and taking the time to look around. I do hope that you will come back often and get to know me. And while we’re on the subject of getting to know me, I’ve taken the liberty of interviewing myself below. (Is that too cheesy? I hope not, but oh well.)
Where are you from?
The Carolinas. I guess that makes me a bit of a Southern Belle.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing when I was kid. I had such an interest in books and the enchantment they created that I wanted to create writings that held that same effect to some degree. And as I grew up and went through different stages of my life, writing took on more than just something I did for fun. It became an outlet and a way to escape from the parts of my life I hated but couldn’t change. Today, I write to inspire, help and offer others an escape.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think it was when I wrote a history paper for this contest in elementary school that I first considered myself a writer. I had researched and researched my topic (Civil War, I think) and I put my so much time and effort into taking my notes and making them this beautifully crafted paper. I wrote five whole pages and that didn’t include the annotated bib we had to include with it. I worked two whole weeks getting my wording down.
When the day of the award ceremony came, I was home sick with strep throat. I was so mad because I would have to wait a whole extra week to find out if I won or not. Well, that next week came and I went back to school. I was super excited to a shiny certificate waiting on my desk. I had won honorable mention, but to me it felt like first place.
What was my first published piece?
My first ever published piece was a feature on album releases that I wrote for my high school newspaper. I felt so giddy when I saw it and my name under the title. Since, my high school days, I’ve been published on Yahoo! Voices and most recently co-authored a survival guide for moms called This Is How We Do It. I am so thankful to the book’s editor for giving me the opportunity to have in on this project. Motherhood is something I’m very passionate about in my personal life.
What authors/books inspire me?
I’m a huge fan of James Patterson. This man has THE bestselling series about an African-American (Alex Cross) and he’s not even African-American. I find this such a great accomplishment because he has truly nailed some of the cultural aspects without giving in to stereotypes. I find that once I pick up a James Patterson, there’s no putting it down.
I fell in love with Jane Eyre in 9th grade. That book was the ultimate romance novel for me and taught me some much about love and acceptance. I’m also inspired by Tony Morrison. She’s a freaking genius!! The fact that she addresses the social issues and problems in the African American community with such boldness just astonishes me beyond belief.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Shel Silvertstein. I do feel like we lost him way before his time. Where the Sidewalk Ends made me fall in love with poetry. As of late, I’ve been dabbling in a few works by Sandra Bricker, Virginia Smith and Deborah Grace Staley.
What’s next for you?
Well, at the moment I’m currently working on finishing up a fiction piece. It’s been a challenging process because now that I’m a published author, I feel the pressure is on to get another project out there, especially one that is a solo project. Not to mention, that fiction seems easy to master but it’s not. You really have to captivate your readers and maintain their attention. It’s my greatest fear that this book won’t up to my expectations.
But I think all authors feel that way about their books for the first couple of years. You strive for perfection, but it doesn’t exist. At the end of the day, fans are either going to love or hate what you’ve written. End of story.
Any last words of advice?
If I had to give advice to anyone wanting to become a writer, it would be to believe in your craft. Writers don’t get nearly as much respect as we need to. So, it’s going to be up to you to keep yourself motivated to keep moving forward until you reach the success you want.