In my eyes life is a grand adventure that can only be lived out through purpose. Each day brings with it a chance to try again, get better, and discover something new. I want to leave a dynasty of greatness that touches every facet of the human spirit. I guess I figure the only way I can honestly do that, is to live this life with passion and determination.
I believe all of us were put here for a specific reason. The grand adventure is figuring out what that purpose is, and then passionately walking in it. I've learned that this can only be accomplished when we have mastered the art of knowing, and fully loving ourselves. So, I wake up each day with an eagerness to continue learning and loving myself. When I do that I am happy, and that makes it easier for me to give that same love and joy to others graciously.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
That's such a funny question. If you asked my friends and family they would all say " everything!" Ha-ha! I love the arts, educating, and business. I have been blessed with ways to fully enjoy all of them. Some days I may paint a portrait. Other days I may create a doll house out of Popsicle sticks. I spend my days teaching our youth, and my nights encouraging people. I sing in a rock band, and we rock out honey! HA!
I am a national volunteer who believes in the importance of service. My grandmother always told me " Giving is the precursor to receiving." I assist business professionals with marketing and public relations, and I honestly enjoy every minute of that. I create and assist with events in my state, and I am always looking for positive ways to unite our country.
I read almost 8 hours a day, even when I'm not trying to. I just love to keep busy. However, when all the work is done I play, and I play hard! I spend time with my children, and we create joyful memories that will last a lifetime. I hang with friends and family. I understand the importance of loving and supportive relationships. So, I do all that I can to ensure that I give my people the love they deserve, because they sure give it to me.
Let's see... I love party nights, especially if they involve wine and dancing. I guess when I'm not writing I am living this life, and I live it to the fullest.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was about a little Egyptian girl who had the power to control the Nile River. I wrote it when I was like 10. I think our teacher was teaching us about Egypt, and I saw this picture of Cleopatra, and just had to create a story. I was really fascinated by fairy-tales and superheros, so I decided to put the two together. My cousins thought it was an amazing story, and I think I read it to anybody that would listen. Ha-ha! I wonder what I did with it though?
What is your writing process?
When it's time to write I grab a big cup of coffee, turn on some Eryrkah Badduh, put on a head wrap, and do my thing! Writing is an art-form that requires peace, comfort, and soul. The coffee gives me peace, the head wrap represents comfort, and Erykah has nothing but soul! She is truly an amazing artist.
I usually will not write until an idea, story plot, or character stays on my mind for at least 2 days. I guess the two day period is my green light to get the process started. Depending on what I am writing the styles will differ. If I am writing a nonfiction piece, or an essay I do a lot of outlining and mapping. I find that this helps me to stay organized, and aids me when I am doing research.
When I am writing fiction or poetry I honestly just let the thoughts and words flow until I can't write anymore. I allow the characters and the emotions to do all the talking. I simply become a pen. I believe that writers have the ability to create and give life. The characters and scenarios that we create become living and breathing things once we are done. It is not good to stifle creativity by not listening to them.
After I have written everything out, I go back and do revisions and edits. I do this for every style of writing. I think that trying to edit and revise as you write takes away from what you are writing. It makes you less concerned with what is being created, and more concerned with how it is being created. Literature does not work like that.
I never stress myself when it comes to writing. When I get tired, confused, or frustrated I simply walk away for a minute. I never want to turn my writing into a chore, or a burden. This is my joy.This is my purpose. I create my best stuff when I have a clear mind, I'm at peace, and my heart is focused.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to have my covers eye catching. I always try to make them a visual representation of what is being introduced in the book. I guess when I work on my cover designs I try to put myself in the readers shoes. I know that the cover is the first thing that pops out to a reader. I try to make them appealing enough to be noticed.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Oh gosh, I love this question! My five favorite books are my favorites for the same reasons. They all provide stories that show that life is hard sometimes, and we are going to have to fight to get to our peace, but when we do life will become one beautiful story, that is written, directed, and starring you!
My 5 Favs: 1. The Wake Of the Wind: A Novel by J. California Cooper 2. Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews 3.Native Son by Richard Wright 4. Confessions of An Ugly Stepsister by Gregory McGuire 5.I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
What do you read for pleasure?
I love reading stories that are set in the past. It doesn't matter if they are fiction or nonfiction. I love historical books. When you read them it's like you step into the past, and it's so awesome to me! I like reading short stories, and fantasy novels. I love reading sci-fi and can't wait to create a few of my own.
I love reading articles, blogs, and news about fashion, current events, and celebrities. I absolutely love comic strips and anything that will make me laugh. I also like reading my Bible. It holds imperative truths that need to be known and treasured. I really like reading anything for pleasure. I am the type of person that will start reading an English or Science text book out of the blue, and will get lost in it like it's a Harry Potter novel.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I like to use my Android for e-reading. Either that or my IPAD.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Media interviews and word of mouth have been the most effective marketing techniques I've had so far.
Describe your desk
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Wisconsin, California, Michigan, and then Wisconsin again. All of that moving around made me appreciate diversity, gave me a love for traveling, and taught me how to connect with people.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.