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  • How long have you been writing?
    I've been telling stories for as long as I can remember. I used to draw pictures since I couldn't do the words thing, yet. Not that my baby sketches were much better! I did some fanfic and original stories in middle and high school, hoping to write books one day, but I didn't start writing with the intent to be published until college.
  • What made you finally want to be published?
    Well, I had stopped writing in high school because of a really crappy thing a teacher said about me to my parents. And pretty much to me, I was standing right there. Fast forward some years later, and Twilight becomes a thing. If you know me, you know I love vampires, so I went to see this here movie. It was bad. And no shade to anyone who likes or liked it. I even tried reading the book, because they're always better, right? Or they're supposed to be. I got to maybe page 99 and noped right on out. Sitting there, staring at the wall, wondering wtf I had just read, I was like "dammit, if she can do it, I can do it." Then I started writing with the intent to be published.
  • How did you get your agent?
    Cold query. I know there are a lot of contests and pitch opportunities both online and offline, but old-fashioned querying still works. It worked for my first two agents as well. I’m on agent number three, which is not unheard of. Lots of writers change agents for lots of reasons.
  • How long did it take you to get published?
    Ten years, give or take a handful of months. And more than 250 rejections. I stopped counting. No point in torturing myself.
  • What surprised you most about publishing?
    Honestly? The racism. And I wasn't surprised so much as like 'wow, y'all bold with it.' Just saying the quiet parts. Yeah. I know that’s probably not what people want to hear, but that’s the truth. Publishing and the inner workings thereof is very, very, VERY racist. But with organizations like We Need Diverse Books and some authors pushing for change, hopefully things will get better. Not gonna lie, it’s going frustratingly slow, but you gotta have faith. And brandy doesn’t hurt.
  • What’s #PublishingPaidMe about?
    Black authors have been talking about the not-so-secret secret regarding how little we’re paid compared to our colleagues. This is a conversation that has been going on for years. When the summer of 2020 kicked off protests for Black lives around the globe, a lot of publishers were saying how they support Black lives and stories, buuuuuuuut…not really. So we started talking about the truth of the matter. You can read more about it here and here and here and pretty much just Googling will pull something up.
  • What does #WhatWoCWritersHear mean?
    That story is a bit longer than what might be appropriate for a FAQ section, but you can get the details HERE and HERE!
  • Is it really that hard being a Black woman author?
    …..follow my Twitter feed. And the feeds of other Black women authors. Follow for some time. Then come ask again.
  • What advice would you give aspiring writers?
    Rejection can result in a variety of feelings, most of these negative. And it's okay to feel a way about it. My advice is not to dwell in that feeling. Take a moment or two as needed, take a breath, then take your time to figure out what your next move is. Do you re-evaluate the query? Have you gotten some requests but then rejections on partials or fulls? Maybe you need to look at the manuscript. Or, maybe, the rejection was based off of nothing you can help--as in the agent already has a manuscript like this on submission or some such--and it's just a matter of timing. Then get to work. Every no brings you closer to your yes.
  • I wrote a book, will you read it and give me feedback?
    Unfortunately, I barely have time to read for pleasure outside of my own work, so it’s gonna be a no. But! You should search out critique partners. I’ve been with mine for over a decade, and they’re like family to me.
  • What's it like writing comics/graphic novels vs prose?
    Writing comics is harder, IMO. You don't have a fully-written narrative to help tell the story the way you do with prose. In comics, the storytelling that the writer is responsible for is all dialogue. The narrative heavy-lifting is done by the artist. Then there's the fact that the dialogue goes in word bubbles that have to share space with the pictures. You can't go on for as long as you need to the way you can in a prose book. So, you pick what your characters say a little more carefully. It flexes your writing muscles in a way that is both familiar yet fatiguing until you get used to it. Writing for comics has actually made me a better writer in overall.
  • Do you have any pets?
    Yes, I have two cats. Sir Chester Fluffmire Boopsnoot Purrington Wigglebottom Flooferson III, esquire, Baron o'Butterscotch and Lord Humphrey Blepernicus Zoomerson Wailingshire Toboeans Chirpingston IV, Breaker of Things I Love. Or Chester and Humphrey for short. Fun fact about Chester, he loves BTS. There is proof of this on my instagram.
  • You love Jesus, but you cuss?
    I love the Lord with all my heart, and that will never change, dammit.
  • If any of your books become movies or TV shows, can you help me get a part?
    Nope. I don’t control those things. When you sell the TV/Film option for your book, that means you give those rights to whoever bought the option. It's theirs, now. You sold it. They make all the decisions pertaining to it, including and especially casting decisions.
  • Can you get me an audition?
  • Can you do anything?
    Sorry. When I say it’s out of my hands, I mean it’s completely out of my hands. At the end of the day, I have as much control as you do.
  • What’s something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I’m a cellist. Lettered in Symphonic Orchestra in high school. Played for over 25 years.
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