Author of the Month – Regena Bryant

1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! THANK YOU for the opportunity. When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? I don’t know if I’d say this is a calling. I always said I wanted to write a book, and in 2004 when my nephew started college, I made a pact with him. “…if you give me a college degree, I’ll write a book.” What is it about being a writer that you love the most?I love the learning. In creating the books, I do a lot of research and use what I learn to create the character’s history and point of view. What about being a writer frustrates you the most? Commas. I think they are overused, and I am sure when my proofread gets me work, she sighs and wonders why I leave out so many commas.

2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you? My books explore the complex simplicity of falling in love. But, boy meets girl isn’t so simple in these complicated days. I also like to include a little with contemporary African American history. Not that the books are teach-y. But, I think both family and societal history plays a part in a person’s (character’s) worldview. I grew up on military bases, and that experience still shapes how I conduct myself.   

3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create? Just from everyday life. I’ll see a news story and say, what if…

4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? No, I don’t have a set schedule. I tend to write nights and weekends because I have a day job. Do you outline your novels? No. I am not nearly organized enough to outline. But I always begin with the end in mind. My books always end with the HEA (happily ever after). How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? It takes me about a year. What projects are you currently working on? This year I am working on the other task of being a writer. Promotions, social media, and learning more about commas.

5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Man Child in the Promised Land. It’s a fictionalized autobiography of a teenaged boy growing up in Harlem in the sixties. Who is your favorite author to read? Walter Mosley, I’ve loved his character Easy Rawlins for more than 20 years. What book are you currently reading? Black Boy Joy!

6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Being named a finalist in the 2017 Illinois Soon-to-be Famous Author Project. Romances rarely make the finals, and given that librarians are the judges, it meant so much to be recognized by librarians. Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years? I’d be happy to be a mid-list author with a solid base of readers.

7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? YES, YES, and last week. What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing? I’m not big on offering advice because everyone has their own story and their own goals. But I will share something that has helped me. “There will always be writers ahead of you, and there will always be writers behind you. So don’t focus on others. Embrace your place and work from there.”

8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? YES. How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform? Since I didn’t set out to be an Author –I was just trying to get my nephew to graduate from college, I didn’t have a plan, knowledge of the industry, or anything else. So, I am taking a short break from writing to learn and build my author platform this year.

9) What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose? Can we skip this question? I don’t know how to even approach this 😉

10) How can readers find you and your books? On Amazon or at www.RegenaBryant.com

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