1. Tell us about your background and journey.
I am a native of Philadelphia, PA and I grew up in a single-parent household. I began my creative journey as a toddler studying the art modalities of visual arts, music, drama, poetry, dance, and storytelling. As I matured through adolescence, I bared witness to examples of unsuccessful relationships that were both interpersonal and intrapersonal. I learned quickly that my self-worth was something that I had to hone and be unapologetic about. My writing began at the age of 8. I would write stories that depicted the family I dreamed of at first, then as I began to understand the scope of the relationships occurring around me, I began to write from the perspective of the characters inner thoughts. My connection with writing has also become stronger in my adult years, I have to decide to take risks and be a writer full time.
2. When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?
I decided that I wanted to be a writer during my junior year in college. While I wrote for my own recreation, it was not until I shared poetry pieces or my stories with my peers, that I realized I could connect with people and build a bond with them in a way that was separate from my overall personality. I understood that my writing was inspiring. When I experienced my first real heartbreak, I began to write my chapbook and I knew that the mental, emotional, and spiritual state I was in couldn’t have been just an anomaly of me so I wanted to share it with the world.
3. Do you write for a living or do you have another career?
Currently, as of now I do not write for a living. When it comes to my career and life choices I am adamant about working smarter not harder, thus I am an English Teacher for a Public School District, a Content Research Analyst and a Writer, lastly I also teach a dance class.
4. Who is your favorite author and why?
I have two favorite authors. The first would have to be Zora Neale Hurston as I love her use of characterization in a way that makes you feel like you are either living the lives of those characters or you know them personally. I also love the message behind her writing and the journey she went on, specifically when she wrote “Their Eyes Were Watching God” in 7 weeks.
My other favorite author is Zane. When I first started writing erotica, I strived to be able to master the technique of depicting scenes of intimacy without using general terminology or analogies. I love Zane’s characterization as well as how she opens up this world of curiosity, angst, struggle, and pleasure around sensuality, sexuality, and sentiment for which I believe most individuals battle with when it comes to their sexuality.
5. What inspires you?
I am inspired mainly by the youth that I teach and watching them flourish in their potential. I am also inspired by resilience. It is something about seeing the odds stacked against someone, even if it’s myself, and watching them propel forward with determination.
6. What does your typical day look like as an author?
My typical day looks like a cup of coffee, two bottles of water, and a glass of wine. I have to set the ambiance to dimly lit with candles and soft RnB music (mainly instrumental) playing in the background. I typically will write out my goal for the day and I will also jot down anything that I dreamt about because I usually dream of the story then get up to write it out.
7. What is the name of your book? What is it about? What inspired you to write it?
The name of my current novel is entitled "Deviant Dreams." It is about two individuals who are trying to make their way through life and establish their careers, and love life when their paths cross. However, when dreams become reality it can be a nightmare when you can’t decipher which is which.
This book is actually based on a true story with some fictional elements. While it is a short read, it’s based on a clandestine relationship I had during my freshman year in college and I wanted to pay homage to that relationship and the lessons I gained from it.
If you have not published yet, what inspires you to keep writing? I am published and my first two novels, I self-published- my advice would be to never underestimate yourself as you can do it! Your audience, once you tap into them, will be loyal and supportive of what you put out.
8. What piece of advice would you like to give to future aspiring writers?
My piece of advice is to keep writing and simply push the story beyond the book! Allow for your personality to show up in your writing and again be unapologetic about it! Embrace your personal state of sensuality, sexuality, and sentiment and use your experiences to guide your writing! No one can take your process away from you!