A really cool thing about Twitterverse (besides its fabulous #writerscommunity) is the rise of the phenomenon that is pitch events. Most of us are familiar with the highly acclaimed #PitchWars event (I’ve actually interviewed two 2018 #PitchWars mentees, Jessica and Mary), but there are so many other awesome events like #SFFPit #DarkPit and one of my faves…. #DVPit (read more about these kinds of events on my resources page)
Incidentally, though I wasn’t participating #DVPit was how I initially connected with this writer. I loved the concept of his story and wanted to get to know him better and stay in touch. Now he’s become one of my biggest cheerleaders. Please welcome my friend, K. Scurry!
Okay, first question: where are you at in your writing journey, and how did you get there?
I finally finished my second novel after about six months, and now I’m in the querying stage (a.k.a. query trenches) of the writing process. I’ve been in the trenches since the end of January. And … it’s email hell. Aha, I actually just tweeted about that. I’ve been trying to resist the urge to check my empty email, hoping for a request. Or even staring at my phone in hopes of THE CALL. I’m hopeful, positive, and can’t wait. But damn, it’s hard.
I'm preparing to begin querying in the next few months. By all accounts, this is the norm and very much part of the process. I'm excited for you though! Querying means you've already completed something major (a book!) and are one step closer to publication. Can you pitch your current project(s)? What are you working on? Most importantly, are there aesthetics?
Yes! (Or at least I’ll try without being spoilery.) My latest novel is a contemporary romance, low key a rom-com, about taking chances and stepping outside comfort zones. If you like love triangles, friends to lovers, stargazing, late night talks, and sex, then I’ve got the perfect book for you. And most importantly, it stars a black lead. I actually posted an aesthetic on Instagram and Twitter back in December of last year so check it out on the left. (It actually moves which is really exciting to me aha.)
Ooh, how lovely! Can you tell me, in a word or two, is your writing style?
Improving underwriter ...
I LIKE it! In asking about your writing style, I'm also curious about the things that have influenced it. What’s your favorite book, the one with frayed edges and a cracked spine that you read over and over anyway?
Honestly, I can’t read books twice, watch movies twice, or anything like that. (The only thing I can repeat nonstop is a 🔥 song.)
This is valid.
But one book that I actually plan on rereading is Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. I cannot express to you how amazing and intense that book is. I don’t even like ghost stories, but it has such a gripping and interesting plot that I found myself mindlessly turning the pages. I finished it in one day so … yeah … highly recommend. Plus, we need more diverse books!
Any book that grabs you enough to finish it in a day is certainly worth a re-read! Now, as writers, we're drawn to certain elements of a story, and that may chance when we put on the writer hat. What for your is most important in a story: plot, characters, or setting?
Out of the three, I would say plot is the most important aspect of a story. I don’t care how interesting the characters are. If the plot’s boring, then I’m not reading. A good plot will pull a reader in, and three dimensional characters will keep them engaged.
in that order. All three are super important, though!
Agreed! So, can you tell me how do you manage life and other responsibilities alongside your writing?
Good question. 🤷♂ ………………. Idk lol.
This is always the response I get haha
In all seriousness, I’m about to graduate university, and writing while in college has been an immense struggle. When the semesters start, I always start off strong--writing everyday—but then, college work eats up all my time. Nevertheless, I try to write on the weekends or fit it in whenever I can (e.g. before or during work).
It is definitely a challenge, balancing writing with school and work. Another challenge (or set of challenges) can be dealing with writer's block or tough critiques. How do you deal with these things?
Funny thing is, I’m actually going through creative/writer’s block now lol. Change of scenery or pace is always my go to, and if that’s not possible, then taking a much needed break works, too. Forcing oneself to write to finish a novel is one thing, but forcing oneself to write a book from absolutely nothing is insane. Breathe. Walk away. Take a break. Gather or conjure ideas. Then dive in when you’re ready.
Solid advice. Now for a fun question: Would you rather have the power to be invisible or fly?
I would have to say … fly.
No question. Honestly, that’s always been my go to super power, and recently after flying in a plane for the first time, flying is one of the coolest things. Just being up so high. Being able to go anywhere. Wow.
I admit, it's a dream of mine too. Back to writing for a moment. I started these interviews for writers of all kinds, but especially marginalized ones. What advice do you have for those aspiring writers, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds?
As cliche as it sounds, never give up and never stop writing.
For the most part, there’s going to be way more rejections and way more critical eyes. (Because of skin color? I know. It’s dumb.) The reality is that we have to be twice as good and work thrice as hard as our white counterparts. Nevertheless, you can do it! We can do it! Slowly but surely, things are changing in the publishing industry.
I like to hope so! Another fun question: What’s your “anthem,” the song that would play if your life was a music video?
This is a tough one. I’ve been listening to a lot of oldies lately, so I’ll say Whitney Houston’s “Dance With Somebody.” I like to keep things fun, upbeat, and happy.
Of course, I immediately had to go play this and...dance. Okay, bonus question! You have an all-expenses paid trip where you want with one of your characters--where do you go and who do you bring and why, why, why?
Unfortunately, I can’t reveal much about my MC (main character), but with her, I’d go to Barcelona, Spain. She doesn’t get out much, so an adventure would do her some good—kind of like the one she goes on in the book! Plus, she loves gazing up at the sky. She’d get a kick out of the foreign sunset and what not.