What made you pick up the keyboard-since I highly doubt it was a pen in these days-and write your first book?
I can tell you that I had already read my share of Harlequin novels when I was 19. That means a lot of sex scenes, which I enjoyed reading, so when I opened up a book (that shall remain nameless) that had nothing but sex in it, I couldn't take one more finger-poking scene or reference to nudity that I felt didn't need to be there. And you know that as an author, it's a crime to me, to suggest what should and should not be written by the hands of another writer. Just out of respect, you know? I dare someone to question my imagination and what I want to say, so I decided to put down the book and do it my way and do away with all the mental complaining. So, if you don't like something, do something about it, right? Right. So, with respect, I put down that book and started my own!
I should also share my other point of influence. Sex and the City. I lamented the end of the series even though I became a viewer a year or two after it had ended. And even though I appreciate each leading lady and their characters' contributions, I wanted diversity. I didn't know how well that series would've worked with any other type of woman, but I think very nicely. But that, too, had to be respected, and again, I told myself to do my own thing and to make it my own. And I did. I stand beside it with pride. And you should of your work as well. I love diversity and grew up around it. Not necessarily at the beginning of my childhood and some other places in my life. Some colors were more prominent than others. But I know my college, current living and work experiences in the DC area, has been heavy on diversity. I couldn't see my life without it! My work will never be painted by one hue from the canvas of ethnicity. However, I have to make it clear that I didn't mind that SATC did the complete opposite with their leading ladies. I always respect what creators of art do because I know, if I don't like it, then I can put the book down or change the channel. Not rocket science here.
I also know that my baby was born from the streets of DC with the DNA of all the inspired work her mother had been exposed to. So when you read my work, there's some kind of strand of inspiration floating around in there, whether it be from the well-traveled streets that lace(d) my various residential addresses, the sentiments of my heart or my deep appreciation from other people's art. Surely, those who know me well, will always see ... me.