Everybody’s Got Questions

Everybody’s Got Questions

With Julia’s Heart coming out in a couple of months I’ve had several people ask me, “how can you write a Black woman when you’re not a Black woman?”

The funny thing is, no one ever asks me, “how can you write a homicidal maniac when you’re not a homicidal maniac?” I’m thinking either people have some really strange ideas about Black women or y’all should be a lot more scared of me.

Likewise, if I write an even slightly kinky sex scene someone is bound to go, “OHMMM! You’ve done that?” But I write a really stabby scene and nobody bats an eye.

Anyway, this got me thinking about other questions I get asked a lot. I thought I’d take a minute to answer some of them.

Q: Where do you get your ideas?

A: I have no idea. Seriously. I spend a lot of time daydreaming about killing people? I don’t know.

Q: When you get the first copies of a new book that’s just been released, what is the first thing you do?

A: Find a typo.

Q: I have a really great idea for a book. If I tell you can you write it and we’ll split the bestseller money?

A: Oh, honey. It does. Not. Work. Like. That. If you have a story that fills you with emotions you can’t quite name and sets you on fire and has you dying to share it with the world? That’s your cue to sit down at the keyboard and start typing because nobody else can tell that story for you.

Q: But what if I don’t think I can write a book and I just want money?

A: Congratulations. You’re a writer.

Q: Isn’t it scary, releasing a book and letting the whole world read it?

A: Yes, it’s terrifying. The more of yourself you put into it the scarier it is. But you do it because you have to. An untold story is like a held breath. You have to let it out eventually.

Q: How do you respond to negative reviews?

A: YOU DON’T! Seriously! Put a sock in it. It’s best to not even read reviews. Reviews, especially reader reviews on sites like Amazon and Goodreads, are not there to serve as feedback for writers. They’re there so readers can talk about books and give one another recommendations freely. I don’t read reviews because I don’t want reviewers to feel in any way self-conscious or constrained by the idea that I might see what they’ve written.

Q: It’s after 3:30 in the morning. Are you ever going to get off the Internet and go to bed?

A: Considering I’m now answering questions that I imagine my cats asking me, yeah, that’s probably a good idea. Good night, everyone. Sleep well. And take comfort in the knowledge that, while I probably am thinking about killing somebody, I’m probably not thinking about killing any of you. ?