2. Tell us your latest news? Alani’s Hustle Gets Bigger
3. When and why did you begin writing? I started writing in high school in my junior year, my english teacher gave everyone an assignment to write a story based on one paragraph and although he liked my story he was shocked thatby the level of sexuality in my writing. Since then I kept writing every thing for every reason, I used it as therapy, as a way to plan stuff out, and stories that I had in my head just to entertain myself when I was bored.
4. When did you first consider yourself a writer? lol when I saw that not only I had something that I wrote published but also alot of people liked what I wrote. It was an awsome feeling.
5. What inspired you to write your first book? Alani’s Bigger Hustle is a story that lived with me since I was 12 and out of boredom I decided to write it but I never got past thefirst three chapters because the story that lived in my head ended at the third chapter. It wasnt till I decided to send it out to a publishing company did Idecide to continue the story and see where I could take it.
6. Do you have a specific writing style? lol I write what I see in my head lol in other words I kind of picture it first then I write it out.
7. How did you come up with the title? It came naturally because that’s the theme of the book, hustle meaning the things you got to do to get better orbe better I shoud say, it just made sense to me.
8. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Yes, always strive for the best and if u can use your environment to make your situation better then make that effort to do so. This book in itself is my strive for better because the better it does the better Iam in my situation.
9. How much of the book is realistic? Realistic as in the places Idescribe are real, Brooklyn is a real place. Erasmus Hall the high school thatAlani and her friends went to thats a real high school, etc the streets and suchthose are real places.
10. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? I like to call it taking a nickleand turning it into a dollar because I may have seen a snippet of something and used that one moment and developed it into something big.
11. What books have most influenced your life most? Books that pull me in and make me feel like everyone and everything they are talking about is real! Any book that activated the movie theatre in my mind is a good book.
12. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Sista Soulja, I saw her speak live many times and her words always inspired me.
13. What book are you reading now? honestly, I’ve been so busy writing two novels and promoting ALANI’S BIGGER HUSTLE that I jus haven’t had time to read but I do have some great titles in hand.
14. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Latanya Jones, Donald Peebles, Lesa Jones just to name a few.
15. What are your current projects? I am currently working on part II to ALANI’S BIGGER HUSTLE as well as an erotica novel.
16. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. My coworkers, they all bought a book and my supervisor bought 3 copies.
17. Do you see writing as a career? absolutely, as long as people like what I write there’s no stopping me!
18. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? no! lol!
19. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Like I said,I started writing in English class in high school and once I saw that my teacher really liked what I wrote it made me want to write more.
20. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
21. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? My personal challenge was including Panama in ALANI’S BIGGER HUSTLE because I personally havent been back to Panama since I was 8 (I’m 39) so for the most part I was going by faded memories of my childhood.
22. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Zora Neale Hurston, their eyes were watching God, loved that book because it kind of scared me in a good way lol.
23. Do you to travel much promoting your book(s)? I havent started yet but I cant wait till it gets to the point where I cant even breathe lol
25. What was the hardest part of writing your book? again, Panama is much of a faded memory for me. I do plan to go there and refresh at some point though lol.
26. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? That I am a bad mothafucka lol no seriously I am happy that a story that lived in my head all my life has brought me so far.
27. Do you have any advice for other writers? Research your publishing company before you sign any contract. I first was signed to a company who didnt have the knowledge nor the financial backing to publish any book muchless mine and because I didnt follow up I let a lot of time pass before I made any moves on my book. It wasnt until I joined facebook and connected with other authors that let me know the timeline and details of a published book that I was able to part
28. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Thank God for Twenty First Street Urban Editing & Publishing LLC.I just want to say thank you for supporting my dream! Spread da word tell a friend!