Intimate Conversation Interview with poet Renee A.
Ella: Tell us about your new book, Dysfunctional Beginnings. Dysfunctional Beginnings is a fictional story about some bizarre and unstable relationships. It's packed with scenarios of love crossing forbidden lines leaving trails of tears, and unforgiving hearts. It is my hope that the readers of Dysfunctional Beginnings will find it interesting and unpredictable. I wanted it to be a book that if they let someone borrow it, they would make sure it gets right back to them. Holding on to an authors book is a monumental compliment to their hard work.
Ella: Renee, please complete this sentence for me- I am powerful because...
I am powerful because I am not running from who I am.
Ella: Where are you from?
My name is Renee A. and I am from Fort Worth, Texas.
How did you start your writing journey ?
I fell in love with the power of pen and paper as a teenager. I loved the way paper smelled, felt and understood that I could write amazing stories on it taking my mind on a journey of endless possibilities. I find it intriguing to grace the blank lines on paper with various genres of poetry and writing love laced fiction. That is how my journey into writing evolved. Because I’m an avid reader my days were spent admiring the amazing creativity of authors skillfully bringing characters to life. Their works were so inspiring that as a result of it I realized that this was something I could do as well.
To date I have written two poetry booklets called :
Write To Your Heart and Just A Little Bit Naughty.
I do motivational writing, love letters, am an active reviewer for Rambles and have done contributing writing for Awareness Magazine.
I’ve completed my debut book called : Dysfunctional Beginnings and am finalizing my book of fictional short stories that will be published in the very near future. I am on a journey that consumes an enormous portion of my life, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the ride.
Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
Two of my main characters are Taylor and Mitch. What I like most about Taylor is that she’s a fighter. She goes through enough drama to make the weak seek refuge, but she doesn’t surrender to what intends to devastate her. Her heart gets battered, dampening her spirit, but life is for the living so she licks her wounds by day, then cry in the wee wee hours of the night. Love visits her door regularly, but it won’t take a seat when she invites it in. A sure sign that turbulence is inevitable. Intimacy is plentiful, but its difficult for her to appreciate it because her heads not in the game. Her body has a reserved sign on it, but the drivers in her bed seem to have difficulty reading.
With a ton of monkeys on her back she considers telling love to stop invading her space with empty promises, but instead decides to go toe to toe with the hurdles that she hopes will make it worth her while.
Mitch is the other main character that made me like him. He considers himself a ladies man, but his women gives him a run for his money. Sure some of them would ask how high if he told them to jump, but only before he gratifies them. His claim to fame is his manhood, he makes women beg for what he thinks is incredible. His character amazes me because he thinks that everything that goes wrong in his life is someone else’s fault. He doesn’t accept responsibility for any of his shortcomings. To appreciate how big of a trip he is one would have to read the book to laugh in his face. But you won’t laugh for long, find out why.
Ella: What makes your book standout and would entice a reader to pick it up ?
My book stands out because I took a unique approach when I wrote it. I deliberately left out what I call fillers. I got right to the point in all of my chapters. Living in a time when we are pressed daily for time I didn’t want to bog my readers down with multiple, avoidable words, that once dissected could have been summed up in less time. How many times have you started a book and just couldn’t stick with it because it rambled on and on without getting to the point. A book should have a smooth flow and I hope I accomplished that goal, it certainly was my intent.
What I did to entice a reader to pick up my book was give my cover an interesting appeal. An attention grabbing summary and I made myself approachable as an author. I realized when I was trying to make my book marketable if it didn’t look good to me, it wasn’t going to look good to anyone else.
Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your work?
What I want readers to gain from my work is that this wasn’t a fly by night book. I took all the time needed to peak my readers interest. I filled the book with crucial amounts of drama, funny situations, intense sexual encounters and careful thought when it came to maneuvering my characters. I want my readers to be excited about this book as well as my next projects. They will see that my writing isn’t far fetched, its fictional of course, but could be as real as a next door neighbor.
Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
Wow! I took a whipping when I went through the process of creating my book. Nothing was as it seemed. I ran for cover on many occasions. But my dream was at stake so I rebounded. By far the most surprising thing I learned is that the big retail industry tend to turn their backs on you, treating your work like its some past time hobby if you chose the self publishing route. Pushing aside the fact that authors self published or not looking for a future in this business work hard on their craft. Equally surprising for me was the query game. Sending my work over and over to different editors that don’t know me, nor I them, to hold their opinion of my work up for long periods of time then possibly turning me away. I chose instead to put my trust in my readers, who’s opinion mattered to me, giving them an interesting book written to please their literary appetite.
Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
By far my most significant achievement as a writer is the completion of my debut book
Dysfunctional Beginnings. I poured all my energy into this book delivering what I would expect if I was reading a book. I tried to make the material in the book as realistic as possible. I wanted this book to be a great conversational piece and definitely a serious consideration for book clubs around the world. To me it’s a euphoric feeling to receive compliments from someone appreciating your work. It’s indescribable. When I put my book in a few hands and was given a high five response then was asked what was coming next I knew the literary world left me a place and space to live my dream.
Let me see. How did I do it. Well the first thing I did was hold a meeting of the minds with my characters. The process went as follows : I told them they were welcome to star in my book but they were going to have to carry their own weight. If for any reason they lost their zest they would be set aside for a future project. We understood our roles so I let them show me their stuff. As a result of it we feel like we came up with a book that could go toe to toe with the best of the books out there. Seriously it was a long, tough process. I had tons of writers blocks, and start and stops, but I kept staring at the big picture. As a result of it Dysfunctional Beginnings is a reality.
Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
My advice to a new writer first of all would be if at all possible, find a place other than your home to write. Some days I would be hard at work writing and couldn’t get my mind off doing the laundry, cooking, etc. I also found out quickly that this is a very serious, competitive business. Don’t lose site of that. If you don’t believe me step out there like a lamb and I guarantee you’ll be running for cover. Take your time and get it right. No one’s perfect, but be as close to it as possible. Do your homework, find resources, mentors, network, talk until you’re blue in the face about your vision. Finally don’t wear your feelings on your sleeves, rejection is a bitch, but behind every no there is a yes. Find that yes.
Would I change anything about my journey. Of course I would. I was often gullible and I ran across people that took advantage of that trait. I always thought people had my best interest at stake but that was a pipe dream. However, I did run across a true friend and author that let me laugh and cry on her shoulder. Cynthia Highsmith Hooks was my rock, she introduced me to avenues I would have never traveled. She is the wind beneath my wings. Find you a Cynthia, its imperative, otherwise writing can be quite overwhelming.
Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion.
1. Motivation — Without motivation there will be no book. You will have a million distractions making you consider quitting, but remember if you work a 9-5 you multitask. Apply that same principle when it comes to creating your masterpiece. Surround yourselfwith positive people that are out there making things happen.
2. Determination — Go wholeheartedly after your dream. Don’t treat it like a hobby.
There will be nay sayers all over the place, but don’t try to prove a point to them. You are the captain of your ship. The minute you surrender that stern you are a passenger, being driven goodness knows where. Say no and mean it when it comes to dream stealers. How many times have you heard people reveal that they had dreams and aspirations, but let the opportunity to live them slip through their fingers.
3. Remain humble — Don’t get big headed. There’s nothing wrong with lending a hand to help another up the hill. I found that when I reached out to some of the supposedly "one’s that made it" many never gave me the time of the day, unless I said I’d help push their product. People need people, just listen to President Obama, it’s one of the most strongest messages in his speech.
Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
In the future I plan to of course keep writing books and hope to enjoy having a solid fan base.
But even more important I want to do a lot of motivational speaking. I have made acquaintances with so many people that have congratulated me on my debut book but we seem to end our conversation with how they wish they would have fought for their dreams. I am as enthusiastic as the leader of our country about how we are going to have to put in some hard work to help turn this economy around. Entrepreneurs means jobs. If I can get just one person to fight for their dream I feel like I’m on my way to removing big barriers that’s stealing what don’t belong to them. I will also be writing lots more fictional books, motivational books and poetry dealing with life, love, vision, sensualness and hope.
Ella: Share with us your latest news, events or upcoming book releases.
I would love to tell you that I have a schedule that’s on overload, but truthfully because I am a self published author I am just hitting the streets selling my books. So far so good. I am also working with The Dock Bookstore owner to get a book signing in the near future. I’m also excited to report that I’m in the final stages of completing my new book of short stories that I am very proud of . Finally I’m working to get my two poetry books Write To Your Heart and Just A Little Bit Naughty on e-book. There are samples of my next projects on my website www.writetoyourheart.net. and where you can order my book.
Renee A.: Thank you so much for this opportunity.
Contact author and poet Renee A.
Write To Your Heart and Just A Little Bit Naughty are e-books. There are samples of my next projects on my website http://www.writetoyourheart.net/ and details as to where you can order my book.
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