How and when did you know you wanted to become an author?
I knew that I wanted to become a writer in 2009, after I finished with college. As a theater major, I started writing plays. In 2012, I started writing inspirational books to encourage people who may be going through certain issues. I became an author of two inspirational books. Eventually, I went on to writing a web-series, a couple of short films, and now I’ve gravitated towards writing women’s fiction books. I enjoy writing heartfelt and dramatic stories that have a little bit of scandal and comedy peeking through. My goal at the end of my books or anything that I write is for people to feel a sense of purpose.
What’s your favorite part about the book writing and publishing process?
My favorite part of writing a book is creating the characters. I find the dialogue to be pretty interesting as well. It’s all about what the character will say and do. I know this may sound weird but sometimes I can feel the mood of the character, or the atmosphere of certain parts of the story. I can feel when a certain part of the story will connect with the reader/s. It’s almost like a spiritual moment or a God-like moment to me, and I can sense that they will have that moment as well. My favorite part of the publishing process is knowing that the book is complete and ready for the experience of readers.
How and When did you come up with the title of your book, “A Way of Escape”?
Well, the character has experienced being cheated on several times by her man that she’s been with for five years. His cheating has left her pretty broken, however she doesn’t have the courage to let go of their relationship which has become toxic for her. She’s dealing with the fear of possibly not being able to find another love. She’s also battling with being comfortable, because this is a guy that she’s spent half a decade with. She knows that even if he cheats, he’s still coming home to her. Fear and comfort has a hold on her, and for her to get a way she needs a way of escape. The kicker is, will she say yes to the way once the universe presents it to her?
What are some of your favorite components of the storyline? Can you share one of the key messages readers will receive through reading your book?
I believe that women readers will take away from the story their power to choose. They have the choice to stay in a toxic situation or go. They will realize that the universe presents them with opportunity, but it’s up to them to choose. The universe hears us and helps us more than we know.
How do you come up with the names of your characters? Do they embody traits from actual people you know?
I choose characters’ names based on the story. I go down a list of names in my mind, and if it fits the energy of the story then I go with that name. My characters don’t intentionally embody traits from people that I know, but after everything is written and done, I can see how those characters can relate to people I knew in my past and know in my present.
If you could share a challenge that you’ve overcome as an author, what would it be?
The fear of people’s opinion was a challenge. I’ve overcome that by understanding my purpose as a human being, and by being confident in my God given skill as a writer.
Do you have anymore books in the works?
Will this book be a series or a stand-alone Novella?I’m currently writing another book, which will be complete soon. It will embody a relationship, child-hood trauma, friendship and self-love. I’m not sure yet if it will remain as a stand-alone or a series. It may depend on what readers want. Once this book is complete, I will start working on part two of “A Way of Escape.” I’ve had a lot of readers who want me to carry on with the story.
Who is your favorite author and what do you love about their works?
I really enjoy Terry McMillan, because she writes genuine and relational dialogue in her stories.
If you had to dish out a great piece of advice to other WOC looking to write a book or books, would that be?
Be genuine to who you are as a person and a writer.Writer Jacqueline Stewart
Explore the depths of your inner man, so that you can create the true essence of your stories and characters. Let it “all hang out” while writing your first draft, then go back and create a balance. Be true to your PURPOSE of writing. Trust that you are skilled at what you do as a writer, and have faith that God is with you. Believe that you will not fail.
Tell us a story about a time when you wanted to give up, but didn’t.
I can remember a time when I had an emotional breakdown with life and my purpose. I felt afraid, doubtful, hopeless and anxious. I remember crying and feeling like I was stuck in every way possible. I literally thought that my life was ending and going nowhere. While crying in my kitchen, I heard God say to me that my life wasn’t ending, it was just (simply) transitioning and I just needed to get into the flow of the transition. Since then, I have understood the importance of opening myself up to the transitions that come with being a woman, wife, mother, author and writer.