1. Where are you from? Born and raised in Harlem, New York City
2. Tell us your latest news? I founded an organization Fused, Inc. that is a grass root organization for troubled and high achieving young females. The goal and objective is to heal the spirit and equip the intellect with the power to go into the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, in order to help change the world and the way the rest of the human family across the planet view us as African Americans.
3. When and why did you begin writing? In middle school when a teacher taught me the power of what she called “free writing”, which is to write without though or structure everything that comes to mind.
4. When did you first consider yourself a writer? It’s funny I don’t consider myself a writer although the fact that I have a published work classifies me a one. I am a storyteller blessed with the gift of oratory and a great command of the English language. I discovered this passion when I was a teenager journaling in an effort to not cloud my mind with tons of thoughts, heavy emotions and at times deep sorrow and much confusion.
5. What inspired you to write your first book? My daughter taking me through some deep changes, her downward spiral from amongst other things witnessing the person she felt the closest connection to go to prison. And her biological father’s inability to give her the one thing she craved most – his attention.
6. Do you have a specific writing style? My signature lies in my ability to depict emotions extremely well.
7. How did you come up with the title? My mother… as the daughter of a woman who was a Queenpin in every sense of the word as described in my book.
8. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? The message I want readers to grasp is that no matter how troubled your life or soul may be, there is relief. Sometimes you may have to undergo much heartache and sorrow, but at the end there’s relief.
9. How much of the book is realistic? 100 percent is realistic, relevant, timeless and universal
10. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? The Queenpin’s Daughter is based on events in my life, the things I’ve witnessed, my understanding of them and how they have affected me.
11. What books have influenced your life most? The Autobiography of Malcom X, Of Water and the Spirit, The Assata Shakur Story. Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown, etc. and many others
12. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Great writers are like a light, the more you are exposed to, the brighter the inside of your mind becomes. So I would say all of the writers I mentioned have served as mentors.
13. What book are you reading now? The Prophet – Gibran’s Masterpiece
14. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? I have read the synopsis of several new authors’works which I intend on reading in the near future.
15. What are your current projects? Fused STEM rollout, my making of an author series, my second book The Queenpin’s Chronicles
16. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. Walter J. Edwards, an influential Harlem real estate developer and foundering Partner of Full Spectrum of NY. Mr. Edwards donated his office conference space to support my organization and my mission. Additionally, he has advised and consulted me in my personal and profession life. He is a voice of the community and a person that I appreciate and hold in very high esteem.
17. Do you see writing as a career? Writing is a passion and a release; I am in the business of giving back to a culture, people and a community that was a lifeline to me when I was lost and in search of direction.
18. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? No, however, I wish that I had claimed my story, my life and my place earlier. I spent a great deal of time looking outward for the things that were inside me all along.
19. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Writing has always been a part of me but the willingness to publish my work came about when someone got their hands on my manuscript and felt that the world could benefit from my story.
20. Can you share a little of your current work with us? A coming-of-age story, which takes place in New York City, Baltimore, and Detroit, The Queenpins’ Daughter, is told through the eyes and heart of Deidra London, an extraordinarily beautiful young woman who is trying to find herself. In order to find herself, she must go against the forces of her family – who she perceives to be a group of criminally inclined, albeit well-intentioned people who are simply afraid to go against their family legacy. The Queenpins’ Daughter takes readers from the streets of Harlem, to the gilded rooms of the Manhattan elite, and through the brilliant mind of a daring young woman determined to extricate herself from her past and find genuine love. The Queenpins’ Daughter is the first in a series of three books about the London family. The second novel, The Queenpin’s Chronicles, will examine Deidra’s mother’s childhood and her rise to power, and the final novel The Flight of the Phoenix, will focus on the childhood of Deidra’s daughter. Interwoven in the three novels are the stories of four generations of women and the conflicts that they all face.
21. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? I am analytical so I agonize over every sentence.
22. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Shakespeare, has a way of pulling me into a world completely different from my own yet I am able to decode his unique way of expression
23. Do you travel much promoting your book(s)? Yes, I am constantly promoting my book statewide and internationally
24. Who designed the covers? The cover concept came from my daughter Raven Douglas. I used two separate but equally gifted graphic designers to bring her idea alive.
25. What was the hardest part of writing your book? Knowing that folks would actually have access to such a personal part of my life and fully understanding that it would never receive my mother’s approval.
26. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I learned that victory and healing was in my journey
27. Do you have any advice for other writers? The best part of writing is the rewrites. Believe in your work even if no one else does and know without a shadow of doubt that there is a market and audience for all genres of literature.
28. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would like to thank my many supporters who have embraced my book The Queenpin’s Daughter with such enthusiasm and sincere love. Your support has meant the world to me and I am forever and eternally grateful. I would also like for my readers to know that life is mixed with pain and relief, but that’s only so we can better appreciate joy when we find it. There’s a paradox to everything we see, hear, and feel. One explains and necessitates the other. So when you find yourself in a difficult situation, just remember the old ancient African saying, “No matter how long the night, the day is sure to follow.” Keeping this thought and concept in mind we will be able to get through even the most difficult situations we may be faced with. So keep your head up and stay positive even if worse case scenario everything around you is full of negative energy and despair. Stay focused on the things you want to achieve out of life and be willing to work hard to accomplish your goals
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