Can you share with us your favourite black author and how they have influence you as a person?
My favourite black author is Sister Souljah. She has inspired me to continue to be transparent and to not let anyone censor me. She has also influenced me to tell my story and be authentic to ensure that my readers can connect with my story.
Do you have a specific reason(s) for writing Scattered Thoughts and 365?
Yes. I wrote scattered thoughts so that when I got into the poetry/spoken word circle, I had something to show for my craft. I wrote 365 because I thought it would be a brilliant idea to have a quote that someone could meditate on throughout their day and draw inspiration from.
Are these scattered thoughts based on your life experiences?
Yes, but not limited to just my experiences. Scattered thoughts is also based on my perceptions of other people's experiences and what I learned from them.
How is the response from your readers in regards to your age and depths of your expressions?
The response I get is that I'm ahead of my time and surprise that I could express myself so poignantly. They encourage me to keep writing and that I have a good way with words.
If you had to recommend one must read book, what book would it be?
That would have to be Sister Souljah's, "No Disrespect." It taught me a lot about things I didn't even know about myself.
Would you describe yourself as an avid reader?
Yes! However, I'm very particular about what I feed my mind. I'm an avid reader about subject matters that only empower my consciousness.
Your second book "365" is a compilation of quotes, what was the process for choosing what quotes would be included?
The process was extracting quotes that were unorthodox to me. I got these quotes from songs I would listen to, proverbs from different nations, and quote of the day blogs. I wanted to choose quotes that I thought people don't hear everyday to get them to think their own thought process.
I believe there is a child in all of us what is your favourite children's book?
Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham." I loved the rhymes in the book as a child. It was easy to retain and just stuck with me growing up.
What is your favourite quote from 365?
Oooh, that's a tough one. Right now, 'strive to only be you' (which is for February 1st) is my favourite quote simply because if I were to do it all over again, I would only want to do everything as myself and no one else.
What has been your most memorable author moment to date?
My most memorable author moment to date was meeting Sister Souljah before my very first book signing at the Knowledge Bookstore! What was even more honourable was when she received the copies of my books to add to her library. She's so down to earth yet speaks with undeniable authority. I have yet to experience a moment that tops that.
Initially were you writing with the goal of becoming published?
Not at all. I only wrote to get things off my chest and write when I felt like it
What has been some of the challenges you have encountered as a young self published author?
The only challenge I've encountered as a young self published author is feeling underestimated. I've come across some who associate your credibility with having your books on Chapters bookshelf. If it's not there, it feels like I get shut down before I'm able to prove myself. I encourage people to remember that just because it's not mainstream, doesn't mean it's not worth looking at.
When did you discover that a writer live within you?
I discovered a writer lived within when I would write something and share it with friends. The only thing is, I wouldn't tell them I wrote it until I got good feedback. I would tell them at first, "I found this beautiful piece of writing. Tell me what you think" just in case they didn't like it. The more positive feedback I got, the more I wrote.
How do you interact with your readers/fan base?
I interact with my readers/fan base in many ways. Besides social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), I bump into many of my readers around the way. Sometimes, I get approached by readers I don't recognize telling me how much my book has inspired them. That's a reward in itself. I live to inspire before I perspire.
Have you ever received a negative review or reaction to your books? What was your reaction?
I've only received 1 negative review and 1 negative reaction. The negative review I received was that the 'scattered thoughts' are not even my thoughts and that I seem confused. The negative reaction I got was that my words were hard to follow simply because there were no periods at the end of my sentences for most of my poems. My reaction was carefree simply because I got so much positive feedback that the negativity didn't phase me.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
I see myself as an international best selling author, an international speaker, musician, and a philanthropist. You're success is not measured by what you have but by what you can give back. I'm looking forward to investing in people who want to help themselves.
Are there any scattered thoughts you would like to share with our readers?
Yes. It's in the form of a short poem entitled, "Old Cycles, New Age."