My husband and I love to entertain. We’ll fire up the grill or the deep fryer, have some friends over and crank up Pandora (or Music Choice). Everybody has a good time, the laughs are plenty, and the conversation even better. The best conversations always take place at our kitchen table, usually over a few drinks and a plate of food. When I decided to expand my blog to include author interviews, it was my hope to make my guest feel at home and really just have a conversation with him or her, as if we’re hanging out in the kitchen.
For this post, I got to talk with Hannah D. Spivey. Hannah is the author of Ebony the Beloved. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration and is currently working on her second novel, The Bold and Ugly Truth. She’s a huge fan of the R&B singer Lloyd and she’s a natural hair stan (that’s a fanatic for anyone not familiar with Eminem). She resides in Ft. Lauderdale, FL with her parents and sister. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to chat with her and really pick her brain about her novel, her inspiration, and really what makes her tick. My talk with her was actually pretty lengthy, so I broke it into two parts. Part two will be posted next week. Enjoy!
Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? Family? College? Where do you live now? When did you start writing?
HDS: I’m the author of Ebony the Beloved, I’m a natural hair zealot, and I live with my parents, unfortunately (LOL). I have an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration and I began writing professionally on Oct, 2009.
I had to go back to my parent’s house for a while, too. It can be a challenge once you get to a certain age, especially if you’ve already been out on your own. Anyhow, did you have any formal writing training such as classes or workshops? Or are you basically self-taught?
HDS: I just read books and articles by other authors. This has helped me in many ways.
So, what inspired you to become a writer?
HDS: My imagination and eccentricity has inspired me to write. I have a way with words and I mostly express myself through the stories I write.
Tell me about your novel, Ebony the Beloved. Is it your first?
HDS: Yes, Ebony the Beloved is my first novel. Ebony has been condemned and rejected by her parents and peers all of her life. Like many other black girls who grew up weary to face life, she struggles with the adversities of being impoverished and accepted for who is she is. After being mentally, emotionally, and sexually abused Ebony still struggles to fight her way to the top, never fully realizing her worth is until she finds love and acceptance from one of the faculty members at her school. From that point on, things began to blossom for her until she meets a smooth operator named Desmond Waltz. Desmond is a world renowned entertainer who takes a sudden romantic interest in Ebony. His hidden sadistic and sexually devious desires for her erupt into rage, abuse, and imprisonment. Not only is Ebony’s world turned upside down yet again as she deals with Desmond’s desire to see her suffer under his thumb, but she is also subjected to his domineering mother, who hates her and abuses her every time she gets leaving Ebony beaten and bloody and begging for the pain to stop.
I got a chance to read the excerpt on your blog, youcametothewriteplace. I could definitely feel Ebony’s pain in that brief passage and I was hooked. When will I be able to read the rest?
HDS: The e-book version should be available on July 20th or sooner.
So, there will there be a print format as well?
HDS: Yes, my books will be available in print and e-book format. I should be receiving some of copies of my book, which I’m very excited about. But people can still order my books through my website (Which I’ll announce on Twitter soon)
What is your strength as a writer?
HDS: I’m good at telling wild stories and my vocabulary is out of his world. LOL
How did you find your publisher? How long did you query before you connected with them?
HDS: I found my publisher via Facebook on June 2010. Before I found her, I queried lit agents and independent publishers for the first six months of the year. It didn’t work out but I struck gold when I met my publisher.
What about writing challenges you most?
HDS: Coming up with the conclusion of the story is my biggest challenge.
Talk to me about your marketing. What avenues are you using to build your fan base? What has been working for you?
HDS: I have a publicist and marketing planner. I write for a magazine called www.ontherisemagazine.com. It’s owned by Attica Lundy. I write for her in exchange for her representation. Writing for On the Rise has a lot of perks such as networking and building your credibility as a writer. I met my Marketing Planner on Facebook too and she’s phenomenal. I also tweet about my book, which has helped. I also love to think out of the box.
Come back next week for Part Two of A Conversation with…Hannah D. Spivey