I’ve always wanted to write a book. I’m a procrastinator and just kept putting it off. There are many stories in my head that I want to put on paper, but I just never got to it. Then one day my brother showed me an article in a local newspaper where an author self-published her debut novel and I knew it was time for me to either do my business or get off the pot, so to speak.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Absolutely! “People, you have to follow your dreams and not allow anything or anyone to dissuade you, stand in your way, or lead you in a different direction. This is your life. Enjoy it! You only have one.”
How much of the book is realistic?
Once you read my story, you can decide for yourself if it’s realistic or not. I believe it is very realistic, even though it’s fiction.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The experiences are an embellished compilation of almost everyone I’ve met in my adult life.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I do. I love to write. And now that I have a cast of characters to work from, I think they will keep me busy for some time to come.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your debut novel?
Nothing! I wouldn’t change a thing. I hope this doesn’t sound narcissistic but I’ve just finished rereading my debut novel and I fell in love with the story all over again. There, I’ve said it.
Is there anything you found challenging in your writing?
Everything was challenging for my debut novel. When I started researching “how to write a book,” there was so much stuff that I just didn’t know about. All I wanted to do was tell a story because I knew I was a good storyteller. I’m the type of person who just writes what she feels. But there were all these rules I had to learn. Points of view (POV), protagonist, antagonist, character development, writing someone’s thoughts, punctuation usage, etc.. My goodness, again the list just goes on and on.
Who designed the cover?
I designed the cover after much research. I knew I wanted a mask on the cover and I have a beautiful female mask hanging in my home that I purchased years ago in New Orleans. I wanted that mask on the cover; however, I could not locate the artist to get permission. Then, I asked a photographer who lives in my building; but, I didn’t like the photos she wanted to use. So, I searched and searched on istock.com until I found the mask I believe fits the theme of my story. I played with at least six different cover designs before I came up with the idea to wrap the entire photo around the book. I didn’t know how it would come out until I saw the proof and I fell in love with the cover at first glance. And, I have gotten a lot of positive comments on the cover. I am thinking about entering it into a book design competition.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The drafts. I swear, I must have produced 25 drafts. I was burned out.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
In order to allow creative juices to flow, do not turn on the TV. I was and still am amazed at how easy the ideas flowed. Honestly, the scenes and characters seemed to pop out of nowhere. I also learned a lot of stuff about writing and publishing, which was beneficial because I wanted my self-published book akin to a traditionally published book. I understood that if I wanted to be compared to the big boys, I had to play by their rules. This was difficult for me because I love doing things my way.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy reading my book as much as I enjoyed writing the story. I am in love with all my characters and I got the biggest kick out of creating them. They’re all my babies.