African American Book Club: Fall Tour

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Get to know Angela:

Questions
1. What was the inspiration for your first novel?
Some years ago, I attended a book club meeting in Atlanta Georgia, where I was surrounded by a group of extremely intelligent and successful women. Ten women were present and nine of them shared personal stories of childhood abuse. Surprisingly, a majority of the women were sharing their stories for the first time. Fear and shame were the common denominators which led these women to suffer in silence. This would become the primary inspiration for writing my first book.

2. What process did you use for character selection?
The characters are largely a product of my imagination but they were created specifically for the purpose of demonstrating some of the potential effects of childhood abuse, which include drug and alcohol addiction, low self-esteem/promiscuity and relationship dysfunction.

3. Is there a particular character that you identify with the most?
Alex, hands down. I found myself channeling many of my personal ideas and emotions concerning dysfunctional relationships through her character.

4. The urban fiction genre is an extremely competitive market and seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. What are your thoughts concerning the future of the industry?
Competition is essential for growth in any industry. The urban fiction industry is overflowing with an abundance of talented authors and avid readers. I believe the urban fiction market has the potential to sustain itself.

5. What are the keys to success for urban fiction authors?
Capturing and maintaining your audience is most important. I’m still new to the author side of the industry and still trying to build my brand. However, I listen to the readers. Currently, the most critical commentary is related to the issue of repetitive story lines and a perceived lapse in the overall quality of finished products. The urban fiction genre is extremely unique because it embraces a particular set of characteristics, issues and circumstances that are consistent with urban life. Therefore, it stands to reason, these stories will be repeated time and time again. In light of this reality, an author’s ability to recreate these stories in a unique fashion with attention to detail and quality will ultimately determine individual progression and long term success within the industry.