Interview with Queen of Spades

Published 2013-09-12.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town, Summit, MS. The rural community I was in was very closely knit: in the sense where neighbors would stop by for small talk or just check to see how everyone was doing. My grandfather raised a garden in his spare time, and he could be seen on a regular basis being a "Secret Santa" of sorts in dropping off a bag of vegetables on a neighbor's doorstep.

It's not so much where I grew up that influences my writing. It's more based on the things I've experienced there in comparison with what I'm experiencing where I'm currently residing.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing when I was eleven years old. It served as a catharsis for me, since I was teased and picked on a lot when I was growing up. Plus, there were a lot of personal things going on, and I felt I had no physical outlet in which to express it to other people. There was an unspoken code: whatever you go through you don't share with outsiders. You keep it in house. Even in house, you couldn't really share with everyone.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For me, it's my work having that "connectivity" factor. For someone to read it and say, "Yeah, I've been through that," or "I can relate with where she's coming from."
Describe your desk
My desk back at my home is relatively small. It is only big enough to hold my laptop, my color printer underneath, and my speakers and external hard drive on the top. My dream desk would be made of cherry wood (think executive type feel) and would have plenty of space on top as well as storage space on the sides. I'd also have a desktop with the dual computer screens like I would have at my current job.
What is your writing process?
When I can, I tend to hand write first. Usually, I have a journal nearby, but when I don't, I use whatever is near me. It could be the back of a receipt, a scrap of cardboard...yes, I have even written on a few paper towels.

If I am near a computer, even better. I tend to freestyle without worrying a whole lot about formatting. I tend to do all that after I have written everything out. I find if I get too caught up in editing on the first take, I'll lose the ambiance of the flow.

The second time around, I'm looking at spacing and appearance.

The third time around, I'm looking for spelling errors, punctuation, and the like.

If I find additional tweaks are needed, then I will go back and recheck, but my first take is the raw take without any censoring.
How do you approach cover design?
For the books I've had out, I've gone pretty abstract. Sometimes, I go off of a color that will reflect a mood. Other times, I have a certain way I want a cover to look. It also has to do with the type of content I'm writing as well.

With Reflections of Soul, all I knew is that I wanted a mirror and colors that reflected cautious optimism, yet not the traditional appearance of someone in the mirror or using black to reflect sadness.

With my upcoming project, Spaded Truths: Themes and Proclamations, I had something more definite in mind: the use of the spade, the contents in the spade. I was a bit more specific in what I wanted to convey.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Both books in Eclectic (Skin Edition and Beyond the Skin) are composed of these three primary layers that are described. It is a combination of different writing styles touching on everything from love and loss to social issues and empowerment.

Do you just want to touch the surface? Then, take delight in Epidermis. Epidermis is a collection of senryu-esque poems that will leave a lengthy impact.

Do you want to go beyond or just accustomed to “Vintage”? Then, take a dive into Dermis, where Queen exhibits what her old and new followers have classified as her vintage style. From attracting a new love to arousing outside awareness, Queen of Spades provides experiences that go beyond vintage and extend to the universal.

Do you want to indulge in further depth? Then, savor Hypodermis. Hypodermis is a selection of ten proses/monologues that will bring you through a myriad of emotions, ranging from outrage and disappointment to laughter and triumph.

For those of you who pick up Eclectic: Beyond the Skin, you are in for a special treat. Eclectic: Beyond the Skin features a layer entitled Deep Tissue. Deep Tissue contains the short story, “Misfortune”, my first journey into short story writing in well over a decade. “Misfortune” will also be featured in Queen of Spades’ short story collection, Continuous Drips, which will be released late next year.
What are you working on next?
I am working on revamps of my two previous works: Spaded Truths and Private Pain.

The revamp to Spaded Truths is entitled "Themes and Proclamations" and is slated to be released sometime towards the end of the year. The revamp to Private Pain is entitled "Amidst These Ashes" and is slated for release in February 2014.

In addition, I'm also writing short stories for my short story collection, "Continuous Drips."
What are your five favorite indie books thus far, and why?
My Five Favorite Indie Books I've read so far are (in no particular order):

1. Perri Forrest "Revolving Doors": Perri's writing style is extremely polished. She has a way of bringing you in and really making you feel where the characters are coming from.

2. Y. Correa "MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis": I am so impressed with how accurate she was with the dialect and the background of the book, since it was set in a different time. She was able to convey passion without being blatant: a perfect balance between realistic and romantic.

3. Beem Weeks "Jazz Baby": He did an outstanding job with dialect and locations. It had a story telling feel to it. I absolutely loved it!

4. Andrew Boyd "Wordplay: Damnation": Although this book in the Wordplay series has a darker feel, I found myself relating to a lot of the struggles outlined and the fight for better and hope etched in each and every line.

5. Angela "Lykedudda" White "As The Budda Flows": I could relate to a lot of the things she has gone through in her search for a lasting love, a perfect love for her. I can't wait until she comes out with her next collection.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like reading. I also like playing PC, Video, and Board Games. I like to draw and design. I also like doing crossword and search word puzzles. I also love listening to music as well as looking at movies. My taste in music is pretty eclectic. As far as movies, I like horror movies (more of the old school, like black and white Night of the Living Dead, Halloween, Exorcist), romantic comedies, action, erotica, and documentaries.
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Books by This Author

A Scribe's Sentiments
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 42,330. Language: English. Published: January 10, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » General
Three characteristics mark the composition of A Scribe’s Sentiments, the first short story collection by Queen of Spade; Humanity, profundity, and transcendence. This assortment of anecdotes will make you think while taking you on a trip beyond the mind and into the soul.
Random Inspirations on Paper: (E)ve-olution
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 7,030. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2018 . Categories: Poetry » Themes & motifs » Love, Fiction » African American fiction » Contemporary woman
"The 'Eve'olution of a woman is not filters and Photoshop: it is the foundation of expectation's death, the mascara of cylindrical pain, the lining of various disappointment, and the lipstick of constant learning."
When Summer Lingers
Price: Free! Words: 2,290. Language: English. Published: March 27, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama, Fiction » Coming of age
(4.75 from 4 reviews)
Dahna is quite comfortable in her role as an outcast. Her favorite activities are painting her nails and hanging out on the beach. An observation by the quirky Carr leads to an endearing friendship between two unlikely people. Note: This short story was first featured in Summer Shorts II: Best Kept Secrets by Durham Editing and E-books.
Mr. Bradley's Garden (a short story)
Price: Free! Words: 2,410. Language: American English. Published: July 19, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
The bond between Mr. Bradley and granddaughter is put to the test when it coincides with his dedication to share the bounty of his garden with others in the neighborhood. When the deliveries start to dwindle down, how does the neighborhood react? Find out in this short story.
Taint on Religion
Price: Free! Words: 4,450. Language: English. Published: May 19, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American, Fiction » Literature » Plays & Screenplays
(5.00 from 7 reviews)
After experiencing tragedies that lead her to a checkered life, Natasha has decided to go on the path to redemption. There is promise with her membership at Reverend Jamison’s church. When discoveries are accidentally made, does Natasha stay mum about what she’s learned or does she place a taint on religion? (short story) Disclaimer: Deals with adult situations.
Eclectic: Beyond the Skin
Price: $3.50 USD. Words: 22,780. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2013 . Categories: Poetry » American poetry » African American, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
Dare to take a journey Beyond the Skin in this Deluxe edition of Eclectic. Eclectic: Beyond the Skin includes a bonus section, Deep Tissue, containing the short story "Misfortune", which will be featured in Queen of Spades' upcoming short story collection. Disclaimer: This collection has strong language and deals with issues which may not be suitable for a younger audience.