Where are you from?
I am originally from Conant Gardens, Detroit, Michigan
Tell us your latest news?
I am presently writing the sequel to The Man from Conant Gardens:The Master’s Legacy. It is called. “Laura Darling: The Rose between the Weeds”
When and why did you begin writing?
At 14years old. I was afraid at first because I was considered dyslexic, but when I wrote a short sci-fi story, which although I never finished, but my grandmother loved it, and told me, I found my niche, my talent.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In college, I had to write a short using one of the biblical stories as a theme, my college professor read out, and said that ”whoever wrote this has a lot of creativity, and that takes talent”
What inspired you to write your first book?
I was venting. My mother and I had words one day, so in order to get myself together, I vented by writing, and then I couldn’t stop.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I like telling stories in third person, but as if the person in the story, left memoirs behind, and someone is reading from them to someone else, Like the book, “Family” by J. California Cooper.
How did you come up with the title?
I did personalized it, because of the area I lived in, and because it had a certain flow to me.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
What happened to the children born from the Slave-owning Masters? Not just what happened to all the slaves? I want to narrow the spectrum that no one talks about? The illegitimate children who could never really claim their father’s name.
How much of the book is realistic?
There are a lot of historical facts inside. A lot of fictional facts as well, but the historical facts provides the timeline of slavery and the civil war.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No. Not really
What books have most influenced your life most?
Kindred-Octavia Butler, Uncle Tom’s Cabin-Harriet Beecher-Stowe, Jubilee-Margret Walker, The Known World-Edward P.Jones
If you had to choose, which writers would you consider a mentor?
J.California Cooper is a great mentor of storytelling, Octavia Butler ventures out of the norm and into a sci-fi and historical fiction, which is very crafty and risky, and .George McNeill give the historical readers the other side of the coin, meaning by show the whites in power having struggles during the antebellum times.
What book are you reading now?
Plantation-George McNeill. His book illustrates a different perspective, that life in the Big House has problems as well as the plantation itself.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Edward P. Jones and Robert Hicks are two historical writers, one White and one Black, that give the reader two different side of the antebellum era and Civil War. Historical readers, as all readers, need a two-headed coin to an argument or discussion.
What are your current projects?
Laura Darling; The sequel to The Man from Conant Gardens, and its conclusion; The Battle among Men
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My lifelong friend Everett Bryant
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I writing this series, hoping to see them in the movies/film
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nothing. Like a good cook, it has the right ingredients for all.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Just by daydreaming in my room. And then writing to make storytelling a reality.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Laura Darling, a free slave, and passing for a white man, revenges Conant Gardens after the Civil War, by committing an eye-for and-eye atrocities against the whites, until they realize that the negroes have a formidable alliance with someone the cant beat. The KKK backs off from attacking Conant Gardens until the turning of the century.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Well, many don’t know that I am dyslexic, so to write an entire novel without help, is on its own a challenge, and finding the right words to say something well is always challenging, So by reading other authors work, I create my own toolbox of vocabulary just like they did.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Kindred-Octavia Butler is a great crafter in her art of storytelling. She takes historical fiction and puts a taste of science fiction in with it. A good cook tries things, she is a great cook.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Just traveling to book different venues/conventions, mentoring on the writer’s craft, and meeting new authors.
Who designed the covers?
I use Various designers
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Research. That takes time and patience.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Be your own master of description.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Learn the ‘Writer’s Craft’, which is like a gourmet cook. A good cook Develops their own ingredients, (characters, writing style, words of description) and then tell a good defined story.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Always Read books from other Authors other than your own work. By doing this you can brainstorm about the story you want to write, organize the way of telling the story, develop and build a toolbox of necessary elements ie. Vocabulary.
Grand Rapids Region Writers Group
Meetings are held on the 2nd Saturday of the month, starting at noon located at Peppino’s Sports Grille, 1515 Eastport Drive, Kentwood.
2nd & 4th Monday’s of each Month
West Branch Public Library
(Community Room Downstairs)
119 N. Fourth Street
West Branch, MI 48661
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