Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
Writing is a way of expression. It helps me make sense of the world. A multitude of thoughts run through my mind and that is the only way to taper it down. It also helps me to figure out the problem of this world, all the little things I have observed from a distance. When I write a full-length novel it is with the purposeful intent to tell a story, but also to communicate my thoughts on various social justice issues. There is nothing in the world I would rather do, and it is an activity I partake in on a daily basis.
What makes writing your passion?
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing all my life. Ironically enough, I didn’t take it seriously until I entered University. In that time period I was bombarded with a litany of classical literature and historical texts. They deeply resonated with me throughout my undergrad, and even to this day I can still recall going to the library nearly every day to flip through the pages of old books. I filled my evenings with the poems of John Donne, W. H. Auden, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the sonnets by Shakespeare. I also read classical pieces of English literature that were praised in the late nineteenth century, particularly the romantic period. Reading classical pieces of literature has inspired me to become a better writer.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I rarely get writer’s block, if ever. On the rare occasion that it does occur, I take long walks about the forest to clear my mind. Such leisurely strolls brings back a wave of imagination and creativity, it is probably spurred on by the beauties of nature. Long walks are usually the cure for writer’s block. Once I return home, sit down at my desk and write once more.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I read all of my reviews. Fortunately, they have been relatively positive so far. I take book reviews as feedback to help improve my craft. Negative ones are hard to stomach. Nevertheless, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It is interesting to see the different interpretations of my novels, as if everyone received a different message from them. To me, writing is another form of art. If I stand in front a painting I will feel differently about the artwork than the person next to me. So, that is how I view book reviews lately, an interpretation of my novel from their own perspectives and past experiences. When it comes to bad reviews I take it with a grain of salt. I try to learn from my mistakes and then move on with a clear intent to improve myself as a writer. At the end of the day I have to make myself happy and write stories that are meaningful to me. It is important to not write for a certain audience to appease others or hope to gain instant fame. As writers we must stay true to our own voice and subconscious thoughts.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
Admittedly, I see a little bit of myself in Teddy Woven. We are both reserved and take time to open up to people. We can be shy, especially when it comes to a person that we see in a romantic light. I also share this queer ability with Teddy where I am sensitive to certain sounds. I need to be in areas that are quiet and limit my interaction with other people. I suppose I have a certain tolerance level depending on my moods and the amount of sleep I had that day. Being in a loud, noisy place makes me feel on edge, so I share that same characteristic with Teddy. I also wanted him to share my highly sensitive personality, a trait I did not discover until my early twenties. It is actually quite common among introverts, our acute sensations to sounds, lighting and other people’s energies. I think it is a quality that makes me a great artist, because I am better able to observe the world around me. Teddy Woven shares this same quality, which allows him to be such a proficient pianist and painter. It was also nice to center a story around two introverts, since the relationship between Teddy and Sela steadily grows day by day as they open up to one another.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
Ideally I would like to connect with my readers. I am still learning how to bring that matter about. As a new indie author it will take some time to connect with my base, but I am determined to build a level of followers that enjoy the same romantic-suspense genre as myself. I have found Instagram and Facebook are great tools for me to reach out to fellow indie writers. Social media has also helped me interact with my readers, so hopefully my interaction with them will increase in the coming years (fingers crossed).
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Who is your favorite author? Why?
My favourite author is hands down, Charlotte Brontë. I have read all of her works! Her novels have been a huge inspiration to me growing up, particularly “The Professor, “Villette” and “Jane Eyre.” I read them annually, especially in the colder seasons. Charlotte is one of the reasons I decided to write under a pen name, particularly a male pseudonym. If I could meet any author that is alive or dead, it would be Charlotte Brontë, and unfortunately she would have to endure my endless questions about her work.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I want to continue on my pathway as an indie writer. I enjoy the freedom! I am able to choose my own book cover, editor and decide my own marketing styles. It gives me a hand’s on approach, a luxury that I relish in with every passing moment.
I have no dream of becoming a famous writer, or fall into the list of “The New York Times Best Seller.” My writing falls into a different genre, it is almost an outliner in a way. I find that my target market is rather small, open for only a select few, which means a loyal fan base will take some time to develop. I am not worried about that fact, or the common dream of becoming a famous writer. Based on past experiences, many of my favourite writers did not achieve success until in their later years of their life or after their death. One of my all-time favourite poets, John Keats, did not achieve any recognition akin to fame until after his death from tuberculosis. So, I do not dwell upon the fact that I have not yet achieved immediate success. These things take time, and I am still in the early stages of my career as a writer. I hope that one day I can leave a legacy upon the world, and that one of my books really leaves a mark on a reader. Indeed, that is my one true goal, to leave a lasting mark onto the world.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
What would you say to your readers?
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
To begin with, I write under a pen name. I am a young woman and a person of colour. I write under a pen name because I am currently working in the education profession.
I would describe myself as an introvert, quiet, reclusive and observant of the world. I am also optimistic, kind, and friendly towards other people. I think it is important to treat people with respect and try to put yourself in another person’s shoes.
In my spare time I go for long walks in nature. I enjoy reading outdoors, or writing by a flowing stream by a river’s bend. I like to listen to all types of music, but when I write stories it usually soundtracks from movies or television shows. I love to travel to different countries, try new foods and learn about other people’s cultures. The free-spirit in me is enough to keep me wandering, but the logical part of mind keeps me in check. I feel like I am full of contradictions, but it helps with my writing because I am able to have characters that reflect a different part of me (i.e. logical reasoning versus spontaneous decisions).
What is your day job if you have one?
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Did you have a happy childhood?
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
“Awakening” is due to premiere March 7, 2021. It is a story about passions, temptations, and the will to fight against them. My story focuses on a young woman, Miss. Ava Miller, is hired part-time as a governess by the Riley household, a family that has recently settled in her small village. Her employer, Mr. Thomas Riley, true intentions for his young governess becomes clear over time, and only then does Ava find herself caught up in a web of lies, passions and undeniable lust.
The purpose of “Awakening” was to question morality. I wanted to explore the issue of sexual repression in the Regency period, particularly the sexual attraction that is shared between Ava and her employer. Ava knows that her feelings for him are morally wrong because Mr. Riley is a married man, so when he starts to reciprocates the same secretive feelings towards her, it creates another level of repressed sexual tension in the plot-line. Her inexperience both romantically and in sexual matters will be tested against the seductive powers of her employer, Mr. Riley. Will Ava give into her temptations, or will she fight against them?
This novel was inspired by Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the d’ Ubervilles,” and “Far from the Madding Crowd.” Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” was also a leading influence when writing my upcoming novel, since it deals with many of the fictional character’s battles against logic and their own fiery passions.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
- To own a small cottage in the countryside.
- To be able to work full-time as a teacher, but to have my summer’s off to focus on my writing.
- To share this small cottage with a loving partner and my cat, because what sense is there being a writer without a cat to keep you company?
What is your favorite music?
Share a secret with us 🙂