First tell us a bit about Hannah. What attracted you to become a writer?
I am from S. Florida, but I currently reside in Atlanta. My fascination with fiction and having a vivid imagination are what prompted me to become a writer.
Tell us about your latest book, Ebony the Beloved. How did you come up with the concept of this story?
Ebony is a 15 year old girl that nobody loved until she met a faculty member during the most vulnerable time of her life. Ebony’s “parents” didn’t love her and her peers didn’t care for her. Ebony found and accepted herself after she met an older woman at her school who reminded her of how beautiful she was. Then Ebony later meets an internationally known entertainer named, Desmond Waltz, who is strapping and attractive. He treats her like a queen, but when he haves her all to himself, he abuses her to no avail. And then she ends up having to deal with his mother who also abuses her relentlessly, too.
Ebony is back to where she started; she’s alone, and she’s frightened, and until she endures more than enough of abuse, she finally fights back. I wanted to write a book that you don’t hear about very often. So I didn’t want the book to sound like every other book you hear about (not that those books aren’t good) but they do have similar story lines. I wanted to take a risk by going outside of the box and still give the readers something they can relate to.
You are an advocate for domestic violence. How did you get started with that?
I have always been an advocate for it, I just haven’t gotten around to doing it as much as I’d like to, because of personal circumstances. However, writing this book, networking, and hearing more harrowing stories about women being abused, have made me a bigger BIGGER advocate. And being verbally abused as a child is what also prompted me to write the book. I do plan to join many domestic violence conventions and then some.
What do you want people to learn from reading your book?
I want people know they aren’t alone. I want them so see that they’re much bigger than what they’re going through and that they can rise above anything. The most high doesn’t give us more than we can already bear.
What do you like and dislike the most about the writing industry?
I like that it allows you to free your mind on paper and build your own business. What I don’t like is when crooks in the industry steal from from new writers and abuse their naivete. It irks the hell out of me. Also, there are some writers out there (And I won’t drop any names) who don’t want to network with other writers because they’re afraid the up and coming writers are going to steal their thunder, when there is so much room for all writers, editors, and publishers to succeed.
Have you enjoyed your journey as a published author so far? Do you have any regrets about the choices you’ve made?
Yes, I most certainly enjoy my journey as a writer. To tell people that I am a published writer, always gives me a boost of pride. I have no regrets about becoming a writer, because I can exercise my thoughts and opinions without worrying about getting fired. lol
What advice do you have for authors in terms of promotion? Do you use out-of-the box methods to get people interested in your work?
I suggest that all authors know their audience before they approach them. This is something I had to figure out the hard way. Blogtalkradio is a good way to get the ball rolling. For example, my book is urban fiction, but it is also contemporary fiction, and it is about domestic violence, bullying, and child abuse. I approach Blogtalkshow radio hosts who speak about domestic violence by entering “domestic violence” in the search engine, and that’s how I find results.
Authors can also check out other author’s websites and see where they’ll be doing their next book signings and follow suit. For example, if you have a favorite author you admire, you can Google them and put “interview” next to their name, and you will see the sources they were interviewed by, and you contact those same sources about interview opportunities. Advertising is another good method. Authors can check out book adverts such as, AALBC, Urbania, and other related websites that offer these services. Now, I’m aware that many others cannot afford to pay for advertising. So, they can check out a particular website entitled, “Independent Authors Index”.
It is one of the most inexpensive websites authors can utilize, and the owner does a great job at promoting authors on Twitter. Last but least, authors do not have to limit themselves to book websites, they can visit their favorite and popular gossip blogger or web personality and inquire about a book review by them, too. Researching, networking, and going out of the box are a new author’s top three best friends. I hope this helps. *Smile*
What was the most difficult part about writing your book? How did you overcome that obstacle?
I am a terrible procrastinator. I allow other authors to inspire me to step my game up and stay on schedule.
What can your fans expect from you next? Do you have any new releases coming up?
They can expect LOADS of controversy, because that is what my next book will contain. It is entitled, “The Bold and the Ugly Truth.” *Smile*
Authors seem to have mixed feelings when it comes to ebooks. How do you feel? Do you think the digital age is a hindrance or blessing for authors?
I think ebooks are a double edge sword, because there are old school readers who aren’t familiar with the internet and they still prefer books that are tangible. However, with the digital age offering kindlegraph, social network mediums, and people having a Kindle, it is a blessing. This will help preserve a lot of trees and ebooks are so inexpensive to publish. I couldn’t ask for a better offer than this.
If Ebony the Beloved was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main character and why?
I would love to see Kimberly Elise play the part because she’s a great actress and she looks great for her age.
What words of wisdom do you have for newbies starting in the industry today?
Research, research, and research. Network, network, and network. There is no other ways around this, whether it is online or offline. And newbies should keep a sound mind about the kind of people they want to network with, because the last thing they want to do is get gypped or taken advantage of. Google is free and it enables everyone to do FREE background checks.
Thanks for stopping by, Hannah!
No…thank you! And you’re quite welcome *Smile*