Wednesday, June 11, 2014

One on One with Author M.C. Walker on her debut novel Before The Lights Go Out

Every so often I get an opportunity to network and interview with established and new authors. Today I wanted to turn the table and interview or introduce myself as a writer. Sounds crazy? A little. But, who cares? Lol!! I read author interviews on blogs and in the magazines all the time. Most all of them say the same thing : writing the book is easy, published or signed or not promoting is the hard part, read everything, and trust your voice. Well, my novel is not available for bookstore or e-readers yet. But, until that day comes I'm going to take the advice of my future colleagues and promote my book and myself. Ready? Let's go!!

Who are you? I'm a mom of two boys from Atlanta. Atlanta is home and I don't think that will ever change. I'm currently in college pursuing my Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration at Herzing University. When I'm not writing, reading , or studying I enjoy mindless TV, being with friends, and sleeping.

What made you choose a career in writing? I've always been a very quiet person even in childhood. Nowadays that's called people! I wasn't the most popular girl or the teacher's pet. I was the pretty quiet girl with her head buried in a romance novel waiting for prince charming. Still waiting!! I just naturally gravitated towards the library and my love of books turned into a passion for wanting to write.

What's your novel about? My novel Before The Lights Go Out deals with domestic violence, faith, marriage, womanhood, and love. The idea behind the novel is to explore the harsh realities of when life and love don't go as planned. Do we leave or start over?  How do we piece together the broken pieces of our life? I want to take readers and more specifically women on a spiritual and emotional journey of finding their voice and learning to love themselves before loving someone else. I think we are often times pressured into what we assume a marriage should be and look like. But, we're not really prepared for the unexpected. In the end I not only want the character to fall in love but restore her faith and identify the true meaning of living a fulfilled life on every level.

Which authors have inspired you? For a long time I only read AA fiction novels because I wanted to read and learn about characters that I could easily identify with on different levels. As I 'm becoming older I read a vast array of authors and their ethnic background doesn't matter. As long as the message is powerful from beginning to end I feel satisfied as a reader. I like , love, and respect Emily Giffin, Victoria C. Murray, Eric Jerome Dickey, Linwood Barclay, Zane, Beth Harbison, Zora Neale Hurston, and many many more.

You've written poems, short stories, and your novel. Which best defines your artistic spirit?
I like to think of myself as multi layered like a banana. I wouldn't consider myself a poet like Nikki Giovanni or the other greats because I'm not trained. When I write poems I'm usually writing from my heart. I really don't have control over what comes unto the page because I'm free falling and expressing my truth. However, when I'm writing I kind of mute my heart a little bit to really get into who the character is and what she's trying to tell me. So, I guess I'm a little bit of both at the end of the day. I'm learning and growing and I love the journey.

Worst and best advice you've received so far as a writer?
Best advice: Focus and pursue your passion with all your heart. Never give up and you'll win.
Worst advice: Go to school to write. It wasn't bad advice necessarily. But, after talking about going to school to become a writer with a few people that were already in the program. They all regretted it. Don't get me wrong you get to learn the mechanics of writing. But, I've been told the program silences your inner voice. I've always been an individual thinker. So, I decided I wanted to become a writer. I worked at it , followed this link, read this book, and practiced. As a result, I'm learning to trust my writer voice.

What sets you apart from other writers? I can only be me. I admire Kimberla Roby, Jennifer Wiener, and Nicholas Sparks, but I don't want to sound like them. There's room on the bookshelf or tablets for all of us. I'm an original not a duplicate.

What are your future plans? I'm hoping to self publish my novel this year. Fingers crossed!! I would like to produce plays, make films, and etc. The sky really is the limit. I get very excited about my future because it's as bright as the sun!!

Best advice for future writers? Read everything from the greats to the bestsellers. Reading challenges the way you think and broaden your writing abilities. Join a writers critique group. Trust your voice and work at your craft.

Paperbacks or e-books? E-books. I'm a real Barnes & Noble snob!!

Coffee or Tea? Tea

Night owl or early bird? Night owl

Favorite author : Eric Jerome Dickey

Favorite movie : The Best Man

Three things I can't live without : Books, Chocolate, and Good sex!!

Favorite quote : "People will forget what you said and what you did. But, they'll never forget how you made them feel."-Maya Angelou