1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
You’re welcome and thank you, Ms. Queenie, for sharing this interview with the readers. When I look back, I feel as though it’s been since I could hold a pencil in my hand. Naturally, English was my favorite subject. I don’t recall ever getting anything less than a “B” and that was all the way through college. As my dad was an avid reader, he or my mom would take me to the library to check out books. I love to read as much as I love to write. I remember always wanting to make up stories especially after reading a book where I wanted a different ending. I’d pen my own version of how it should’ve ended. I love telling lies when it comes to writing, so fiction is perfect for me. I get to create these alternate worlds with characters who remind me of the people in my life. For me, it’s frustrating being unable to get all of these stories out of my head at once. Of course, as they come to me, I’ll write, but I have so many brewing up top.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
This year I released books one and two from The Enough Series; One Ain’t Enough and One Still Ain’t Enough. I feel like the titles give it away already. My readers find out soon that for some of the characters, having one lover ain’t enough. We follow Desiree (Thompson) Edwards on her journey to find true love. However, the road she takes becomes muddied when she chooses the right and wrong turns to get there. She finds herself at a crossroads, stuck between two lovers – best friends, Troy Harris and Derrik Carter. But get this, she’s already married! Her husband Jamal has his own entanglement going on that doesn’t even include Desiree. These books have so much drama and scandal in between the pages, you’d think it was a suspenseful movie happening right in front of you. My readers can find everything about this cast as well as any upcoming releases, snippets, and giveaways by going to my website, www.moflames.com and subscribing to my mailing list. Readers can also join in the live discussions we have in my Facebook group, Mo’s Corner. They can join here: https://bit.ly/3BO3dL7
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
My inspiration comes from life as a whole. Everything I experience from watching television, reading, traveling, and enjoying the best tacos on earth, to the people around me that I know personally and even perfect strangers – they become part of my imagined world and make up the colorful characters.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
Yes, I write first thing in the morning before anyone in my house starts to move and I get bombarded with the day. I also have a tribe of writers that I do writing sprints with at a minimum of three times per week. I’m a cross between a plotter and pantster – I plot out my stories, but also write by the seat my pants. I can start out with a proposed outline of how I would like the story to unfold. However, these characters have a mind of their own and almost always step out of the lines to do their own thing. I let the thoughts flow because it comes together perfectly between both ways of doing it. Generally, from start to finish I’m able to pen a full-length novel in just under two months. I’m currently finishing up One Is Enough, the final installment of The Enough Series. I’m also working on a novella, Love in A Minor.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
Invisible Life by E. Lynn Harris; he’s my favorite author. Whenever I need a reminder of how I got started on this writer’s journey, I’ll go back to read his books. As for what book I’m currently reading. Books you mean, right? I’m a poly-reader so there’s always self-help, romance, or suspense book I’m reading while writing and here they are Winning: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness by Tim S. Grover, Blindsided by Love by Monica Walters, Between Despair & Hope by Jess Wisecup, and Under Her Care: A Thriller by Lucinda Berry.
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
I hadn’t picked up a pencil or banged on any keys in a while and had been gone for a number of years. But this year, after getting back to writing, which is what I love to do, I self-published two series titles, One Ain’t Enough and One Still Ain’t Enough. For me to do this in one year, is quite significant. In 2027, I envision myself with a number of books to my credit, devotedly working as a full-time writer, and continuing to establish a reputation as the author who leaves fire between the sheets…literally.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? 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?
Like Aaliyah’s song said, I dusted myself off and tried again. I never give up. I just find another pathway to get to the “yes” I’m looking for. I take the no’s as signs of “not right now” and not this way. My advice for other writers would be to first, have a goal and plan of what your writer’s life looks like. Be sure to implement positive reinforcements because there will be days you’re down. Self-care is mandatory for your success. Secondly, research any and everything about the publishing process. Then be sure to ask questions as it changes often. From there, it’s important to connect with like-minded authors by getting into writing communities and joining reputable networks to get the support you need in this craft. It might be a lone task, but you don’t have to go at it alone.
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? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?
Yes, because truthfully, I just want to sit behind my laptop and pen the stories rather than anything else. It’s easier for me to get lost in the worlds and the characters’ lives I’ve created rather than do the business stuff (insert groan). Still, the time has to be made and therefore, I’m continuously learning how to effectively and efficiently juggle the time for me to write while ensuring my business is running optimally. It’s been difficult for me to build up my author platform because I haven’t been consistent. I understand the importance of engaging with the audience of readers who want to connect with me, but as I said above, sometimes I spend more time crafting the stories than being online.
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?
It’s my creativity for coming up with unforgettable and relatable characters while infusing scandal and drama within their stories. Readers will discover that I’m not the author of sweet romances and likely won’t ever be. I’m here for all the steamy sex, chaos, storms, trials, and tribulations that real-lifers get when it comes to relationships. I’m going to tell the tales exclusively in Mo Flames’ style. Writing is an outlet for me. The more I bang it out on these keys and read what my mind has created on paper, it sends me. Then there’s a scripture I read daily, 1 Peter 4:10. Not only do I deserve to be seen and heard but as a faithful steward of God, I’m also supposed to use my gift to serve others. There are writers out here who look like me who need to feel empowered in knowing if I can do it, so can they.
10) How can readers find you and your books?
Readers can follow me on all social sites:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/mo.flames
Instagram – www.instagram.com/moflames_author
TikTok – www.tiktok.com/moflames_author
Twitter – www.twitter.com/moflames
Readers can find everything about me, my books as well as any upcoming releases, snippets, and giveaways by going to my website, www.moflames.com, and subscribing to my mailing list. Readers can also join in live discussions we have in my Facebook group, Mo’s Corner. They can join here: https://bit.ly/3BO3dL7