I need to cheat a little and choose two more.“The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas, “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler, and “My Soul to Keep” by Tananarive Due
What role did books play in your early life?
I was a child who looked forward to bedtime stories and couldn’t wait to learn to read. Once I learned, I always had a book with me. If nothing else was handy, I would read the encyclopedia or dictionary. It was that bad! I started reading and reciting stories when I was 3, learned everyone else’s parts in school plays, kept a story journal, and the list goes on. Books were always my escape, a way of visiting other places.
Who was the first person to recognize that you had writing talent?
My 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Grube. The next most notable one was my 8th grade science teacher, Mrs. Paula Justice. Funny. I remember their names as clear as day, and that was a long time ago! You never forget that kind of support and encouragement.
What tactics have you found to be most effective against writer’s block?
I still keep a story journal filled with dreams, images, blurbs, even specific lines and problems that inspire me. I consider social, health, and personal problems and think “what if?” We often determine value based on laws of economics – supply and demand, scarcity vs. abundance. When there’s more than we need, the entity or object is devalued. When supply is limited, it has the potential of becoming pricess. I build my worlds based on that principle. Since social, health, and personal problems are abundant, I never run out of material. I know. Long answer, but it works for me.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about writing for the African-American market?
Stereotypes. Too many people, including some African Americans, expect all of us to like the same things – the same storylines and character constructs.
About the Author
I’m an animal lover, avid reader who fell in love with books and started reciting stories at three years old, award-winning musician and author, algebra and statistics tutor, and counseling psychologist.
Presently, I’m focused on writing two series: Dark Sentinels (sentinel wolf shifters), and Orlosian Warriors (Nephilim with vampire-like traits).
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