What was the hardest part about writing this book? The hardest part about writing “Autumn’s Child” was the editing. Writing is simply getting the story out of you. Telling what you feel and where you see the story and characters going. Editing is rewriting it to make your writing make sense to the rest of the world. Writing is for me, editing is for everyone else.
Have you ever considered anyone as a mentor? No but I would love to have Shonda Rhimes, the creator if Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy as my mentor. Shonda, if you read this, call me, I’m looking for you…
Describe your book Autumn's Child in 30 words or less. A journey of lost faith, renewed friendships, family sacrifices and, sexual compromise. Autumn’s Child chronicles the life of a young lady’s battle through reality after her parents pass away.
What messages are you sending through your writing? The message that I am sending through Autumn’s Child is that life doesn’t come with a tutorial or handbook. We are here on this earth with what God gave us, everything that surrounds us we experience and consume which make up the landscape of who we are. Each day it is up to us, as individuals, to take the faith and determination we were born with, as well as the surrounding elements that play a role in our existence and make this life work to the best of our ability. This is what Layla, in Autumn’s Child, struggles with. Her fear of becoming the demise of her own destiny. The only question the reader is left to answer at the end of the book is, “What would you do?”
What /who inspires you? I craft fiction from real emotion. The characters that I create are imaginary but the feelings are real. I strive to connect the reader with the feelings of the characters, not necessarily the characters themselves. Also, reading good books inspires me, and being surrounded by creative people who possess a stroke of divine genius. I am inspired to write, to put pen to pad, when I read or hear someone speak with a distinct purpose that touches home for me. I write when I feel the need to express.
What made you start write “Autumn’s Child”? Autumn’s Child was birthed from a short story I wrote in College. I found myself wanting to know more about Layla, the main character. I recall thinking about her and her life and just started writing. I’ve always enjoyed writing and developing fictional characters but Layla held a personal connection in that I felt for her as if she was a real person. That is when I decided to expand on the story and turn it into a novel.
What made you decide to self-publish? I self-published because I believe in the story Autumn’s Child, and I believe in myself. It’s a new age; you have to take your goals into your own hands.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? Editing. Writing is the easy part; it is simply getting those feelings, characters, thoughts, and circumstances out of your head. The hard part is to make it make sense to someone beside your own imagination. To critique yourself and accept critique from others. Creative writing is exposing parts of who you are that other people don’t see and actually may not understand or appreciate. It is the manifestation of your imagination which so many people run from. For me, accepting the duty and desire to express what I felt for all of the characters in Autumn’s Child was difficult. I felt for them like I feel for my own loved ones.
What books have had the greatest influence on you? When I picked up White Oleander by Janet Fitch I knew that I had a duty to write and express. I connected. Kite Runner, and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini was a life changer for me, I cried reading that book, and I don’t cry often. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich has amazing prose. I realized after reading that book that life is a stream of poetic moments. And of course, The Bluest Eye by Maya Angelou, which is self-explanatory. The Bluest Eye is actually #1 on the list.
What plans do you have for the future as a writer? My plan is where ever the creator leads me, but if I have a say so in the matter, I am currently working on a short film with my creative partner. I am working on another novel that is completely different than Autumn’s Child, but just as relevant. I am also gearing up to start writing TV and feature film. I have a few ideas in the works now and we’ll see where it goes from there.
What is your favorite color? Orange, the color of the sun.
"I am hurting. Fractured in places stitches can't heal." Autumn’s Child tells the desperate story of Layla, as a young and naive twelve year-old girl. Over ten critical years, her life quickly changes like the colors of the trees in autumn. The accidental death of her parents forces her to abandon her religious, middle-class lifestyle.
She moves to the inner city of Chicago with her grandmother and aunt, her only living relatives. Layla tries to approach her new life with optimism, but the perfections of her past life haunt her tormented journey. After coming to grips with the reality over the years that her only aunt despises her, Layla soon discovers that she may secretly hold the keys to helping her aunt’s diminishing health in her hands.
Layla’s faith and sanity are continuously tested as she matures throughout each season of her life. She stumbles through her newfound reality while learning how to play the distinct set of cards she’s been dealt. Layla’s neighbor and best friend, Shay, helps guide her from adolescence into adulthood. Autumn’s Child chronicles a life on the opposite side of the coin; where friendships grow out of tragedy, and the pressure of a marginalized life weighs heavily on pure souls. Layla must make many compromising decisions, all while perpetually asking the reader, What would you do?
View Autumn's Child Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM1HsapHNDc
Genre – Fiction
Rating – R
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