How long have you been writing?
I've been writing short stories and poetry since high school, but only in the past couple of years have I gotten down to creating a full length novel. It is by far the most draining thing I've ever done, but it was worth every minute of hard work to see my characters come to life on the page. It's amazing what one's mind can create when it is fully engaged to an idea.
What is your most recent literary/artistic project?
My debut novel is called The Stain Between Us, which follows a dysfunctional family throughout their descent into total poverty. Set in a struggling, racially-divided rural town called Fayette, Virginia, a pair of teenage siblings are forced to contend with their manipulative father in close quarters. As the siblings struggle to find their voices, they forge friendships with other folks who are down on their luck as well. Together, they hope to create a chorus of downtrodden souls, reaching out for acknowledgement in a world that would rather ignore their pain.
I hope that the story will allow readers to contemplate the difficulties of standing up for oneself when pitted against an authority figure who is abusing their power.
What inspires you to write?
Writing is scary. As an author, no matter how far your story might stray from how you perceive your own life, there can be no denying that everything on the page came from somewhere within you. You start to see how all the characters, from the most good-natured to the downright evil ones, are a part of you. I find myself galvanized by finding out what exactly is in those dark recesses of my mind.
Who’s your favorite author and why?
It's hard to pin down one author exactly, but I have always been fond of the way Barbara Kingsolver crafts her stories. She is able to take even the wildest tale and present it in a way that readers can relate to, which is one of the most challenging aspects of writing.
What advice can you give to other authors or writers?
Don't force your story. Novels take a long time to find out who they truly are. The more boundaries you give your work, the less room it has to breathe. Don't be afraid to deviate a little from the plan, as long as it feels like your story is growing.
Where can readers go to find out more information about your work?