Tell us a little bit about yourself, anything you’d like your readers to know:
"If I were to describe myself, it would be Life Writer. Although I mainly write poetry and prose, I don't limit myself to a certain style nor a certain subject. I write about what I can relate to or if I can mirror someone else's experiences."
I've been writing since the age of eleven. I'm the author of Reflections of Soul, the Eclectic collection (Skin Edition and Beyond the Skin) and Spaded Truths: Themes and Proclamations.
As a reviewer, under the name, No Labels Unleashed, I serve on The Review Board, which provides in-depth, honest reviews on books (primary focus), movies, webisodes/TV shows, and music.
In addition, I have a column entitled “A Queen's Ramblings” on the emerging All Authors Magazine.
Author, Reviewer, Supporter, and Southern lady to my roots: All roles I serve proudly.
What made you do decide to become an author?
Writing has always felt natural to me and has served as my catharsis. Certain topics I write about are things other people can relate to, so it only made sense for me to share. I also have a lot of stories that are beginning to be free of their mental restraints, so I am granting their wishes.
Who are your favorite authors, and how have they influenced your writing?
Stephen King is at the top. His mind fascinates me, and some of my darker, edgier writes are inspired by him. Nikki Giovanni has a revolutionary feel, so a few of my controversial pieces have a tinge of her spirit. I also love Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, and Edgar Allan Poe.
Where can we find you online?
As Reviewer, No Labels Unleashed
Website: The Review Board (http://www.therevboard.com)
Facebook: The Review Board (https://www.facebook.com/TheReviewBoard)
As Queen of Spades
Website: Queen of Spades, Life Writer (http://www.authorqos.com)
Blog: A Queen's Ramblings (http://www.queenofspadesthepoet.blogspot.com)
Facebook: Authoress Queen of Spades (https://www.facebook.com/authoressqueenofspades)
Koobug: Queen of Spades (http://www.koobug.com/queenofspades)
Tell us about your book:
Current or upcoming? Well, my latest book is entitled Spaded Truths: Themes and Proclamations. The best way to describe it is alphabet soup simmering in the broth of controversy. There are twenty six themes (from A-Z) that represent my truths, and based on those themes, I write a piece inspired by the particular theme stated. Many hot buttons topics are addressed, such as politics, same-sex unions, sexual expression and much more.
My upcoming book, Private Pain: Amidst These Ashes, is a more difficult to classify. It blurs the line between reality and embellishment of reality. Private Pain: Amidst These Ashes is graphic therapy sessions for public view. It's a coming-of-age work: a testament of one's journey through pain to become the person she is now. It is set to come out next month. Private Pain: Amidst These Ashes isn't pretty work but I feel it is a necessary work.
Everyone has their idiosyncrasies, what’s yours?
Do you have time to do a separate interview on just that question? (chuckling to self) I'll give you six and we can set up an appointment to cover the rest.
1. When signing something, I always use my middle initial, but I'm not a fan of my middle name. Yet, I feel like my name is naked without it.
2. In a room, I opt to sit in the front or back, never in the middle.
3. I set the clocks in my apartment and in my car about ten minutes fast.
4. There are certain fruits I like but dislike as a fruit flavor (and vice versa). For example, I like kiwis and strawberries, but don't like things that are kiwi strawberry flavored. On the flip side, I love cherry flavored products, but I won't eat a cherry in its original form.
5. I'm particular about the type of journals I use. I prefer lightly lined (college ruled) or unlined. White is nice but I have a special appreciation for different colors, especially crèam, light brown, or lavender. The outside of it has to speak to me as well. If the journal isn't fancy or the inside, it has to win me over with an outside design; otherwise, I won't purchase it, even if it's 75% off and the store is going out of business.
6. If I am preparing my own coffee, I put in the coffee creamer and the anticipated amount of sugar prior to pouring the coffee in the cup. If it is instant coffee, I mix the coffee creamer, sugar, and instant coffee together before pouring the boiling water on it. For me, it blends better than doing it the other way around. I get weird looks but it works for me.
What’s your favorite book turned movie and why?
I was very pleased with Interview with the Vampire. It stayed very close to Anne Rice's book. Brad Pitt made a very believable Louis, and Tom Cruise was phenomenal as Lestat. If only Queen of the Damned was done so expertly. I really feel like the ball was dropped on that.
What’s your favorite genre to read?
I love reading horror, with erotica and romance tied for second. I am open to reading different genres. I believe if a story is told and executed well enough, then it transcends genre preference.
Which do you do more, read or write, and why?
That is a very good question. The reading and writing ebbs and flows. When I was younger, I was a very avid reader. I have won awards in my younger years for reading the most books in a school year. Around the time I started writing, there was a decline in how much I was reading. It was almost as if both energies couldn't reside in the same house. These days, being organized and disciplined has helped, since I do reviews as well as write. Now, one doesn't outpace the other.
What is your writing process like, and what’s your favorite part of it?
My writing process for poetry is slightly different than my writing process for other things. My inspiration to write a poem can strike at anytime, so I always have to be prepared in some way. That's why I try and make it a habit of having pen and paper on me. Otherwise, I have to make due with alternate writing utensils (pencil, marker, crayon) and/or writing surfaces (receipt paper, tissue, cardboard, etc.). I free write; I don't stop to observe or edit on the first go round. Then, the second time around, I check for spelling, grammar, punctuation. The third time, I check for style, conveyance, presentation (balance between writing and white space) and rhythm (if applicable). If I didn't come up with a title from the beginning, this is the time I come up with the title of my poem. My favorite part of writing poetry is the initial thrill of the inspiration (the free write).
With short stories (and writes that blossom into other things), it starts as a thought. I write down an outline-from characters to certain events I see happening. Then, I set aside a time to work on the piece: either by hand or in front of the computer. It is really nice, seeing the characters come to life. The first write, prior to any modification, is beautifully pure. I resist the urge to modify during the write. In my past experiences, when I've done that, I sometimes lose the initial wave the story is on.
I'm not the type who is maniacal with word count. Some of my outlines that I envisioned as short stories have blossomed beyond short story word count. Do I get tempted at times to make it fit? Yes, but I have recognized that it doesn't always work that way. Some characters and story lines would not be given proper justice unless they are allowed to evolve beyond the restraints of word count. There are times when the characters go outside the initial outline. I've found that is all right as well.