1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m twenty-two, a senior in college, and majoring in English. I’m the oldest of seven children (six girls and one boy) and a little bossy because of it. Okay, so I’m very bossy, but my family does nothing to help me tone that down. My other hobbies are gardening, reading, cooking, and at the moment obsessing over Teen Wolf.
2. When did you start writing, and why?
I started writing when I was like seven. The first book I ever put together was about what happened when my second little sister was born. After that, it was just kind of a hobby I did. Nothing serious. Then when I was ten and my mother noticed I was writing stories a lot more than any of my friends did and they were long stories she said, “You really enjoy doing this? You should be a writer when you grow up.” That was when it first occurred to me that people write all the books on the shelves in the book stores and libraries. I’ve been practicing and honing the craft ever since.
3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
I write YA Fantasy and Paranormal, mostly featuring teenage female protagonists that are of some type of African-American descent. I do so because while I don’t really care what race or gender the characters in books I read are if the story is good (Harry Potter is my favorite series ever!), I wanted to read a book about a character, who, like me, might be worried about her hair getting wet in the rain because it would shrink into a tangled unmanageable mess, without the book being about that character being African-American and I had a hard time finding books like that when I was a child. For that reason I almost exclusively write ya fantasy and ya paranormal because that give me the opportunity to use character from very diverse backgrounds and settings, yet their races have absolutely nothing to do with plot or the story that’s being written.
4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
My latest series is a YA contemporary fantasy called The White Rose. It’s self-published and I’m in the process of trying to gain a following for it. Right now it has two books. The first is called The Seal of Oblivion and its sequel is Plague of the Black Akantha. They feature Laqiya (the q is pronounced /k/) and she’s, African-American, thirteen and able to control the forces of nature and has to use them to keep oblivion sealed and the antagonists from shattering the seal. I’m hoping to finish the third book in the series, Revenge of the Illusionist, by this fall so I can send it out to betas and get it edited for a mid to late winter release. Right now, I’m working on Going Lucid which is a YA Paranormal featuring Malakha, a seventeen-year-old who can cross an invisible divide and enter Hell at will. The release date for that is tentatively August 10th 2013. That’s very tentative.
5. "Welcome To My Worlds": Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
So The White Rose is a YA fantasy set in I guess it would be an alternate contemporary world. There are a lot of familiar places mentioned in it (The United States, Georgia, Atlanta), but the city it’s set it is actually the fantasy version of Macon GA, where I was forced to move to when I was a child. When I say fantasy, I mean that Roselyn City is everything I wished Macon was when I moved there as a child. It’s in the exact geographical location, but very modern, mildly busy, big, very diverse, and contains most of the action of the series even though sometimes the characters travel to Atlanta and come back. Although I changed the name and made the city bigger, I did want it to be a little recognizable to the city it’s based off of so it also has two or three big fairs that come into town that really define the city much to the bafflement of the main character.
6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
There’s the protagonist of the White Rose series Laqiya and at first she comes off as a bit of a spoiled, bourgeois-y rich girl, who wants nothing to do with being anyone’s hero. In fact she hates her power to control all the forces of nature and is very vocal about wanting to be normal and that sometimes annoys the people around her. But her most redeeming quality, and the quality I like most about her, is when she finally does set her mind to do the things she knows she has to, but has been running away from doing, it is very hard to deter her from doing it. She has a good heart. The problem is she’s thirteen.
Then there’s my favorite character of the series so far, and that’s one of Laqiya’s best friends, Sakura. She’s part Japanese-American and part African-American and she’s always very whiny and scared. The thing that I like about her most though is that when it comes time to face her fears, she doesn’t run away. In fact, she’s probably the bravest character I’ve written.
7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
I’m really into anime, especially the magical girl genre, and I always try to find a way to tip my hat to the genre in my books. For instance, there’s this scene in The Seal of Oblivion where the antagonist manages to summon oblivion and when she does the characters draw attention to the fact that there are no fancy words, fancy movements, or special items to do it, which is a direct contrast to the bright colorful transformations and power up sequences and rituals in magical girl anime. So there are a lot of things that inspire The White Rose series that come from magical girl anime, but without all the theatrics and tropes. The books wouldn’t have been the same without my enjoyment of magical girl anime.
8. Blog/site link, and where your book is available.
My blog is thesealofoblivion.wordpress.com where you can find more info on my books and excerpts from the books I’m working on.
I’m also available on Goodreads.
All my books are available on Amazon.