1- Do you have a pic of Oscar, the Chihuahua, posing with your book?
2- Can you share a story from your life that shows who you are as a person and why you are a writer?
I don't take the anniversary of my Grandfather's death as hard as my Grandma's. He lived a full life and I was prepared vs. I felt my Grandma was violently ripped away from me. However, I'll never forget that I missed being there with him when he died. I was still working in television at the time and ignored phone calls from the nursing home, trying to tell me he would be gone soon. I will always remember that I chose to stay on a set while being yelled at by a belligerent producer and my Pop-Pop died alone. (Years later, that show aired and I wasn't even credited for it.). That was the moment I decided to change. 3 months later, I found a new gig, moved into my own apartment, wrote #allegedly, and started traveling more. I no longer put a job above my happiness, dreams, health, or family. I don't kill myself rushing to the office, I leave with a clear conscious. I take ALL my vacation days.
3- Which is your favorite R. L. Stine book?
Goosebumps series but my favorite would have to be from his Fear Street Series, Silent Night.
4- Would you share a picture with us from one of you travels?
This is me leaving the Taj Mahal in India. It’s one of my favorite pictures.
5- What are some of your short and long term writing goals?
Short term, really want to co-write a book with someone. I love the thought of kicking ideas around with a fellow author. Long term, I’d love to write an adult book, somewhere down the line.
6- How important do you believe it is for a book cover to feel right to the author?
Even though our books are our babies, our books are also products we are pushing and we have to believe in the products. Thus, if authors don’t LOVE their covers, it’s hard to sell something you don’t love.
7- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?
I hope this book elicits outrage for the treatment of girls in prisons and sparks the need for young advocacy. If I would’ve known then what I know now, I would have been fighting for my fellow peers a long time ago.
8- I read that you love fried chicken. Do you have a favorite recipe or favorite place to grab a bucket?
HAHAHAHA! Yes, it is my favorite food. My favorite place is from a spot called SOCO in Ft. Green Brooklyn. They have a delicious Chicken and red velvet waffle plate.
9- What most helped you to improve your writing craft?
Actively reading the genre I’m writing in. For me, particularly since I write thrillers, it’s important to study the work of masters.
10- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?
You never see Mary without her gray hoodie.
11- #DiversityBingo2017 Which squares does your book cover on the card?
- POC on the Cover
- Book by an Author of Color
- Black MC (Own Voices)
12- Which character has your favorite Personality Contradiction?
She’s quiet but her actions are loud. (That’s all I can say with spoilers)
13- As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?
I’m always a sucker for a good hook and a killer premise. I love books that can engage me from the flap copy or the first five pages.
14- How will you measure your publishing performance?
I don’t look at numbers, the idea of them gives me too much anxiety. I rather focus on writing the best story I can.
15- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?
I had a gut feeling that this story needed a broad reach that I only traditional publishing could provide.
16- What is one question which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?
Did you like the ending? (insert evil smirk)
17- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
Definitely follow me on twitter and instagram! @Writeinbk