2. Tell us your latest news? I’m currently wrapping up my first N. American tour. I am finishing my second full length novel, “THE RISING PHOENIX”. And we just submitted my first novel to all of the major national award competitions, (Pulitzer Prize, NAACP, NBCC, ect)
3. When and why did you begin writing? I’ve been writing all of my life but professionally for 5 years. I began writing because I always loved to tell stories.
4. When did you first consider yourself a writer? When I began writing, “THE MAGNIFICENT LIFE OF GRAVVY BROWN”.
5. What inspired you to write your first book? I was inspired by all of the women who raised me and the disastrous ‘Hurricane Katrina’, that was what inspired me to base the story in New Orleans.
6. Do you have a specific writing style? Yes, I believe every writer has their own style. Mine being, very reflective of my wild and imaginative imagination. I love to tell stories from a real perspective.
7. How did you come up with the title? Well, I wanted a catchy title that would jump out at the reader and I wanted to incorporate the main characters name into it. I wanted to sum up the book in one line.
8. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? There is an underlined message of inspiration in this novel. I wanted the reader to walk away feeling like they could do anything they wanted.
9. How much of the book is realistic? Much of the book is realistic. It has been mistaken for someone’s real life story.
11. What books have most influenced your life most? As a child it was ‘Charlotte’s Web’ and ‘The Outsiders’. As an adult I was inspired by, ‘The Color Purple, ‘Waiting To Exhale, The writings of James Baldwin and Donald Goines.
12. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Stephen King, and Donald Goines.
14. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Not at this time.
15. What are your current projects? My second full length novel, “THE RISING PHOENIX” and starting my third, “THE MEMOIRS OF THE HOMOSEXUAL PRESIDENT (TOLD BY THE FIRST LADY).
16. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. Essence Magazine Book Club.
17. Do you see writing as a career? Most definitely.
18. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? No.
19. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I became interested in writing by reading good novels and by love of storytelling.
21. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Not really, but if I could think of anything it would be my personal fight with my time periods. I love history and love writing about it.
22. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Stephen King, I love his ability to scare you with just his imagination.
23. Do you travel much promoting your book(s)? Yes, I am coming off of my first North American book signing tour.
25. What was the hardest part of writing your book? There was no hard parts. The story just flowed out of my heart. It almost felt like this book began writing itself.
26. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? Yes, I learned how to effectively tell a story.
27. Do you have any advice for other writers? Yes, stay true to who you are and be honest. Never conform to what you think people want to hear. And once your work is published stay consistent.
28. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Yes, just to read my work with an open mind and an open heart and to go on this journey with me. And also that I appreciate all of the support they give me.
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