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?
I learned that writing was what I was called to do when I was 12. I loved writing as a kid and would always hear complaints from my teachers that I would write “too much” on open-answer questions and essays. I love writing because it forces me to be creative, critically think, and brainstorm ideas. I believe writing is an art and I love being an artistic person.
I sometimes become frustrated when I have “brain fog” or writer’s block. There are times when I don’t know what to write. I will write out a story or an essay and start over because after proofreading it, it doesn’t sound right.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
My eBook is available on Amazon and the Barnes & Noble online book store. My ebook is a lesson plan for children in grades K-4. The purpose of the book is to expose children from disadvantaged backgrounds to environmental STEM career fields between the grade levels of K-4.
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 being a former teacher and snippets from my childhood. As a child and even a teenager, I wasn’t exposed to a vast amount of STEM career fields. I didn’t know what I wanted to do as far as a career until college. As a teacher, I saw that children were not being exposed to STEM or environmental science at an early age. That is what inspired me to create the lesson plan.
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?
I don’t have a set schedule for when I write. Sometimes an idea will pop into my head while I’m anywhere. I could be driving, working out, and even at a restaurant/bar.
It can take me years to finish a novel. The reason why is that I want to make sure that the content that I publish is accurate makes sense and is beneficial to my select audience. I’m currently working on my second children’s book. The second book will be more adventure and story-oriented. It will not be a lesson plan, but it will be STEM and environmental science-based.
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?
The first book that really moved me emotionally was “Manifest Now” by Idil Ahmed. I just finished reading her book two months ago. Even though I’ve read plenty of books, this is the first book that ever really motivated and inspired me to live outside of my comfort zone and go for my dreams. Idil Ahmed is now my favorite author. I’m currently reading Ahmed’s second book, “Inner Glimpse.”
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?
My most significant achievement was actually writing, finishing, and publishing the lesson plan. Within the next five years, I see myself publishing two more books.
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?
Rejection as an author is difficult to deal with. I believe rejection is how a lot of new authors become discouraged and quit their writing careers. My advice for new authors is to figure out if they want to be self-published or traditional. Figure out which path would be beneficial for you. Also, don’t let rejection discourage you. I’ve been rejected, criticized, and told no several times as a new author.
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?
Juggling the creative and business side of being an author has been difficult. Advertising and promoting the lesson plan has been a challenge. Some people including parents and students, find STEM and environmental science boring subjects. I have to make it fun and exciting.
It is difficult trying to grab people’s attention. It has also been difficult trying to build up an author’s platform. Going from not being an author to actually being an author is a difficult transition. People don’t know you and there are some people who do not like to read. I have to add a little bit of “twist” to my author platform and bio in order to grab my audience’s attention.
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?
My art is unique because there are not that many people who target their audience to disadvantaged students and expose them to STEM or environmental science. Writing helps me to tap into my creative side. It empowers me to step outside my comfort zone and create something that will be beneficial for people.
10) How can readers find you and your books?
Readers can find my eBook on Amazon or the Barnes & Noble online bookstore.
Link to eBook: Urbannature4kids Earth Science Lesson Plan: Earth Science for Elementary School-Aged Children in Grades K-4 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08B1BK6PH/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_PZCBVWJ7095GQR3MJC7J