Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Writer's Block Interviews: Inda Lauryn

1)      Describe your journey as an author/writer.
The journey for me has been more spiritual than a process for me. I
have always loved books and I always liked to write. It never
occurred to me to write fiction before a few years ago after I left
graduate school even though I started writing short stories and
screenplays while still in my studies.  However, once I started
getting stories onto paper, I could not stop. I felt as if I found my
calling. I have lots of stories that are waiting to get out, so I just take them one at a time.

2)      Do you specialize in any particular genre(s)?

I write in any and all genres, so I don't specialize in any one.  I
have written straight literature and suspense as well as fantasy and
paranormal fiction.  The genre depends on the story that needs to be
told and even that may change in the process of writing it.

3)      Who are your favorite authors? How do they inspire your work?

My favorite authors are Gayl Jones and Zora Neale Hurston. My favorite
book of all time is Octavia Butler's Kindred.  The one thing all these
writers have in common is that they all tell incredible stories about
black women.  Also, I love their writing style.  Other than that they
dare to portray black women in ways we do not typically see in the
media, I cannot say they have a direct effect on my work.  They
inspire me to aspire to a higher level of storytelling and character
development in my own work, but I try to maintain my own style and try
to stay true to my voice and vision with the characters I create.

4)      Tell us about your most current project, The Innocence of Others.
Is this your first published work?

The Innocence of Others is not my first work, but the fourth.  In Time
is literary fiction, The People in My Head is a collection of short
stories and One Last Dance, Little Sister? is a work of suspense.  My
current work is a collection of three novellas with crime as a common
theme.  However, as with all my work, the focus turns to
relationships, family and trust, which I notice are themes in most of
my work.  With this book, I explored friendship and romantic
relationships and considered women who get caught up with crime on
both sides of the law.

5)      How did you choose your publisher? Describe that process.

I am self-published. I thought about going through the more
"traditional" route, but I am something of a control freak. I decided
the best way I could remain true to my vision and establish a
relationship with readers was to go directly to them.  One of the
benefits of this process is that I am learning a lot about what
readers want and how they respond to newer writers on the market.
Otherwise, there is not a lot I can say about that process since I am
still learning.

6)      How do you promote your work? What strategies have been the most
So far I have done most of my promotion through social networking such
as Facebook and Twitter.  I have also gotten back into blogging
through Tumblr where I primarily promote my project The Black Swan
Collective.  Sometimes offering free samples and even free full books
can generate some interest.  I have found submitting to book clubs for
reviews to be useful as well as they consist of avid readers willing
to give honest reviews on the books they read whether or not you are
an "established" writer.

7)      Tell us about

Conceding to Kismet is not only my website but the under which I
publish all my work and pursue all my endeavors.  While the primary
focus right now is promoting my writing, I do hope to get back into
independent scholarship and create a space for black women and girls
to not only consume alternative images in media but also learn more
about analyzing and criticizing them.  This is one of the long term
goals I have for the website.  Also, I have gotten a project I have
been working on called the Black Swan Artist Collective underway in
which I promote all kinds of artists who do not receive the kind of
mainstream attention they deserve.  I am hoping to spend the year on
this project and if something comes of it, I hope to continue it
beyond the end of the year.

8)      What do you plan to accomplish in 2012?
I am hoping to see more interest in my writing.  I am working on
creating more ways to promote my work since my resources have
previously been limited.  I have another manuscript already finished
and plan to have another completed by the end of February, so I will
spend a lot of time editing and proofreading these works.  Of course,
I will continue growing the Collective and make new connections with
all kinds of artists.

9)      What advice would you give to budding writers?

Don't ever get the flu.  You'll be miserable.  As for writing advice,
I would not give anything definite because no matter how many books
you read or whatever kind of degree you get in writing, you will still
need to create your own voice and no one can teach you how to do that.

10)   What is your definition of success as a writer?

I think success will depend individually upon everyone.  If your goal
is to write something true to yourself, then your measure of success
is completely subjective.  As for me, I plan to keep pushing myself,
so my bar of success will probably continue to move along with it.

Author Bio

Inda Lauryn is constantly changing the soundtrack of her life. She is
the author of three books In Time, The People in My Head and One Last
Dance, Little Sister?
with the latest novella collection The Innocence
of Others
. She will be releasing her next novel, the paranormal tale
Blood Tastes Sweet very soon. Although she has been writing since her
childhood, she only recently decided to pursue her first love as a
professional endeavor. A lifelong music and movie lover, she
frequently cites her favorite artists and films in her work, drawing
inspiration as well as exploring their effect on society. She is
currently working on a an afro-gothic novel, two fantasy series, a
screenplay and two sequels featuring characters found in the work In
Time, hoping to contribute to the ever-expanding representations of
African-American women in literature.

Feel free to visit the website and to find samples of her work, leave
feedback and get to know the Kismet experience.

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