"If you don't take risks, you can't create a future."
Tell us about your background and journey.
I moved to South Korea five months after graduating from Winthrop University in May 2016. I have and continue to work as an ESL Teacher while having travel as a side project. I have lived in multiple cities working as various English academies also known as hagwons. I finally switched to a public school position in Incheon back in March 2020 and been at this position since. When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?
I never wanted to be a writer or an author actually. I’ve thought that I didn’t have the talent or creative side to write a book. What led me to start writing this book was while I was desk warming at my work back in May. I was listening to a webinar from Travel Noire and the idea of this guide came to me. Soon after the webinar was over, I started writing down notes about various locations I have already been to in Incheon.
Do you write for a living or do you have another career?
As mentioned before, I work as an ESL Teacher in Incheon. My travel blog and book(s) are just fun side hobbies.
Who is your favorite author, and why?
Masashi Kishimoto, who created one of my all time favorites. He created Naruto and I loved the world-building and its characters. But in terms of world-building, I would have to put Eiichiro Oda who created One Piece. One of the longest-running graphic novels in the world. One of my favorite quotes from the franchise and I bought a shirt that says "If you don't take risks, you can't create a future."
For non-anime or comic sides of authors, I also enjoyed JK Rowlings Harry Potter as well.
What inspires you?
What inspires me to create the guide and my travel blog is the lack of black travel content. While there has been more travel content from the viewpoint of people of African descent, it's still a small percentage compared to the overall travel content which is majority white. I love the idea that I could inspire one person out there to consider getting a passport and travel the world. What does your typical day look like as an author?
To be honest, nothing right now haha. Since July 2020, I have been on leave and continue to at the time of this posting. During my downtime, I typically go to the gym, cook various recipes, play games, and do research for my next book.
What is the name of your book? What is it about? What inspired you to write it?
The book is called “ The Black Traveler’s Guide To Incheon, South Korea.” It’s like any travel guide you would find but provides an honest perspective on what to expect for any black traveler looking to visit Incheon or Korea in general. As mentioned earlier, what inspired me to create this guide was the lack of travel guides, videos, or blogs for black travelers. I focused on Incheon as my first book to show potential travelers that there’s more to South Korea than the capital of Seoul. I wanted to give this city and other cities around the country a spotlight over Seoul.
What piece of advice would you like to give to future aspiring writers?
Take your time when writing a story. Take as long as you need to flesh out your characters or the content your writing about. Everyone’s first book will have many mistakes and that’s okay. Use what you learned from those mistakes and put them into the next book.
Also, remember the cover of your book can mean the success or failure of the book. Don’t be afraid to spend a bit more on the right artist for your book.