Never give up on your dreams, even if they seem so far out of your reach. Take one step at a time and keep doing what you are doing. No mountain is too high to climb. Nothing is unreachable. You will get to where you need to be one day.
As a writer, I still have dreams – to be a better writer, to find a bigger audience, to touch people’s lives.
Just as you will keep going, so will I.
My second novel Broken Roots reached number 25 on the bestsellers list in the Urban Fiction category on Amazon UK. I am so incredibly pleased! It has been my long term goal to make it on a bestsellers list, and now I’ve done it!! I lasted about 8 hours on the list, but boy, did it feel good.
If you are a writer, what long term goals are you working towards? I’d love to hear from you.
The first draft of my new novel is now in the editing stages. Thanks for your guidance and support, Christie Stratos. It’s also been helpful watching teen movies about trauma and recovery, to help shape my lead character Teisha Cole. Finding my female character’s unique voice and place in the world during this crucial process, is not only necessary, but imperative. I savour that feeling of gently peeling back the many layers of Teisha’s character, hour by hour, to discover her true essence and quintessence. This is proving to be the most enjoyable and even spiritual part of editing, for me. Understanding my character’s mind and soul is the key to me creating a believable protagonist and a strong and convincing story.
What are your favourite parts about the editing process fellow authors?
From a very young age, I had a deep passion for writing books that deal with big and serious issues. At the age of 10, I discovered Judy Blume books such as Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret! Tiger Eyes and Iggy’s House, which opened my mind and my soul in ways that I could never have imagined. Her books were brilliant and riveting and her characters, honest, beautiful and intense. With my consciousness deepening at the age of 10, I began writing a thought-provoking but ‘controversial’ teen book about teenage pregnancy and teenage sexuality. I hadn’t even had sex education at this time and my mother hadn’t really sat down and spoken to me about the birds and the bees, so I have no clue how I could write about this subject in depth. I wrote in detail about a teenage girl named Laura Carter who got pregnant. Laura was 13, an A Grade student, though clueless about sex and relationships. She and her best friend were young and ‘foolish’ and did not understand the consequences of their actions.
I wrote a moving account of how Laura found herself pregnant and how angry and disappointed her parents were upon discovering her secret. What’s more, I explored the period of seven days prior to the conception, and why she was dangerously curious and decided to go into her best friend Jake’s bedroom. Of course, Laura did not have the intention of doing anything untoward, but she was curious about her body and how everything worked. The book was written from a 13 year old’s perspective. I was shocked that I had the knowledge to delve into such intimate matters and had the competency to do so at such a tender age. I did not acquire this knowledge from anyone or from books or TV. Only God could have given this knowledge to me.
After ending the story with Laura’s abortion and her family moving to a new area, I felt so ashamed and embarrassed about my story, that I ripped the tale up and cried for days about the fact I had somehow been ‘sexualised’ by a modern society. What I didn’t realise, however, was that my consciousness, knowledge and acumen, belied my age. I had an adult psyche inside a child’s body. This moment was the foundation and the building block of my career.
Later on, in my late teens, early 20s, writing about teenage sexuality, teenage angst and violence, was something I grew very passionate about. Penning Unshatter Me is the end product of a process I began as a child. I have clearly been moved by important societal issues from a young age and felt the need to tackle difficult and taboo subjects since childhood.
Even earlier than this, I recall having the strong desire to write about the topic of divorce. At the age of five, I wanted to write a book about how children can get over their parents’ divorce. I was very sad back then, because my parents had just divorced and there was a lot of turbulence and bad things happening in my family life that made me disenchanted and in need of an outlet to ease my pain. I wanted to approach publishers with my idea. I knew exactly what a publisher was and that they published people’s books. But I was scared and didn’t know how to find a publisher. I could just about read. How would I locate a publisher? Crazy thoughts, ha? How many five years olds have those kinds of thoughts? It’s certainly not the norm!
Well, at least I know that I was meant to be a writer from a young age, and that gives me great comfort as I start my career as a professional writer. How would I locate a publisher? Crazy thoughts, ha? How many five years olds have those kinds of thoughts? It’s certainly not the norm!