Interview with Cultural Cocktails

What is your writing process?
I typically start out with an idea and take it from there. This was not entirely the case with Jumping Ship or several other stories that I’ve been working on. As my writing gets more complex and I venture into mysteries, I am forced to become a plotter. With Jumping Ship, there are twists, turns and details that needed to be as precise as possible. This novella takes place at different times and different countries even. That is just a sample of what is to come, as I continue on in the series. But this method is enjoyable for me.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Funny thing is, I don't recall reading a tremendous amount of children's books when I was little. I specifically remember reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, well before I could fully comprehend the novel. And so, I dove into this fantastic novel, with a dictionary handy. I would take notes, highlight and make sure that I could understand what was written. I continued this process each summer, until I was able to read straight through without a major hitch. I believe this experience helped me to appreciate literature in a major way.
How do you approach cover design?
I actually select my covers in the early stages of writing a new novel. I search for images that speak to me about the topic. The I work through different layouts and lettering. This is typically done well before the novel is even completed. In doing so, I am able to live the experience before hand.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - I was inspired by the novel. It made me want to find my purpose and pursue my deepest desires and dreams.
2. By the river Piedra I sat down and wept by Paulo Coelho - I've read this novel multiple times. It reminds me of the wonderful power of true love.
3. House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday - I love the various scenes, the way that the plot jumps around and the mixture of storytelling with an incorporation of the oral tradition.
4. The Color Purple by Alice Walker - This novel was a remarkable journey, with well-defined characters that I was able to totally love or hate.
5. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway - Hemingway's writing was colorful, especially the manner in which this novel unfolded.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read inspirational stories for pleasure. By inspirational, I mean true to life stories about characters conquering fears, making brave choices in life, overcoming adversities and embarking on life-altering journeys. I'm also a sucker for a clearly defined cultural tale, filled with native dialogue.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read on kindle and nook applications, on my iPad.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Guyana, South America but grew up on the East Coast, of the USA. The time I spent in New Jersey was valuable to me because although I was far from my country to birth, the mixture of the inhabitants was rich in Guyanese and Caribbean culture. At an early age, I learned to appreciate the differences amongst each group. On the other hand, when I moved to Delaware, I immediately noticed a difference in the behaviors and speech of the locals. NJ has a greater mixture of culture than DE; nevertheless, there are distinctive behaviors that I've been able to pinpoint.
When I write, I try to pay close attention to such things. I believe that it is important to recognize that not everyone speaks the same. There are unique characteristics that allow readers to identify with each region.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing, the minute that I could understand what writing entailed. I would write poetry to express my thoughts. As a child, I was in love with the idea of love, well before I even experienced love. I used to write poetry just about every single day, when I was in elementary school. I'd also work on little episodes and short stories on a weekly basis, and hand them out.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Jumping Ship began as an exploration into Caribbean culture. The thing is, I wanted to do more than just write a novel about culture. As I began working on this piece I felt a need to allow readers to discover the history of this region, along with a compelling story and lead character.
The title was going to be Island Hopping. The book was meant to be a single novel. Jumping Ship was initially the prologue, but then I realized that I could never have a 20,000 word prologue, so It became a introductory novella.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am a highly motivated person that seeks to tackle every task and learn as much as humanly possible. I love to learn, take on new tasks, and set regular goals. I believed that it was best for me to attempt this journey on my own.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is creating memorable characters, whether they have good or bad personalities. I believe in emotions and make every attempt to engage readers in the emotions of the individuals I've created. As a matter of fact, to a certain degree, I try to become as close to become these people. In this way, I can truly relate and tell their stories.
Published 2013-12-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Just Between Us- Inspiring Stories by Women
Price: Free! Words: 23,050. Language: English. Published: September 23, 2013 by Calidream Publishing. Categories: Nonfiction » Inspiration » Personal inspiration, Nonfiction » Inspiration » Spiritual inspiration
(5.00 from 6 reviews)
Just Between US there is a determination to reminisce and reveal all that once crippled our lives. You are invited to share in this short story collection of TM Brown, Tamika Christy, Nicole Dunlap, Selena Haskins, Janice Ross and Adrienne Thompson. These stories are all real, no work of fiction can match the emotional expressions displayed in this heartfelt collection of inspirational stories.