One Warlock’s Love Story
Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. I wanted to learn more about the inspirations behind your books? Can you tell me and the audience what inspired you?
I’ve always been a science fiction and fantasy reader. I love to read, especially when I am feeling down. The first fantasy book that I ever read was Black and Blue Magic by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. I’ve been hooked on fantasy ever since. Escaping into a story takes my mind off of my problems. I was going through a rough period in my life and was looking for a story, a series, to get into. I searched for hours and hours and couldn’t find one single science fiction, fantasy or paranormal series that featured LGBT characters of color. I finally went to bed frustrated that Friday night, but woke up at 3:07am with the entire One Warlock’s Love Story storyline running through my mind like a movie. I got up and just started outlining and writing – I wrote all weekend long. Before I knew it, I had the makings of entire series right there in front of me.
I’m intrigued about the stories of a black warlock. So many minority characters, especially queer ones, often get overlooked. What do you think needs to happen to change that?
Literature is really no different than film, music or any other media. Things won’t change until we (LGBT consumers) demand more balanced content or create it ourselves. I am still amazed at how few LGBT paranormal/fantasy/science fiction stories there are out there.
I have to ask this question and I hope I’m not stepping on any toes, including yours. Being a person of color myself, I see a lot of authors who feel their “black character” must act a certain way to represent black culture. Do you agree or do you feel as I do? Write the character as you see fit and squash the stereotypes. IE the way we dress, slang, the neighborhood, etc.
I’ll respond to this question by sharing advice that was given to me by the late, great L.A. Banks, “writers should write from the heart.” I’ve found this to be great advice. The minute that a fiction writer tries to do anything but write from a place of honesty, is the minute that the work becomes unauthentic. The writer is a vessel and he/she must allow the story to flow through them without any political, cultural or emotional filters. If the story calls for a “stereotypical” character, then write it that way. If it doesn’t, then don’t. It is story, not a political manifesto.
Many non-minority authors are scared of writing black characters for fear they’ll get it wrong. What would you say to these authors?
I think every writer/author should challenge himself/herself to write outside the boundaries of their own personal experience. To me, it is no different than a gay writer writing a straight character or a male writer writing a female character. Good writing evokes emotion and transcends race, sex and sexual preference.
What books influenced you before you became an author?
More than individual books, there are authors that influenced me. I don’t really feel like I know an author until I’ve read all of their books. The authors who influenced me are L.A. Banks, Octavia Butler, E. Lynn Harris and James Baldwin. So with that said, I think L.A. Banks’ Vampire Huntress series, Octavia Butler’s Kindred, James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, and E. Lynn Harris’ Invisible Life are must reads.
Is there any particular book that you’d say would be the go to book for someone who loves fantasy/paranormal stories?
Yes, One Warlock’s Love Story! Beyond that, I would suggest anything by Octavia Butler or L.A. Banks.
I read the passage on your website about how you were unsuccessful in finding queer characters of color in urban fantasy. Do you feel there will be more now that you sort of, took the lead, in making this subgenre more diversified?
Yes, I do! I get emails every single week about someone who is looking for more stories like One Warlock’s Love Story or someone who is planning to write their own LGBT urban paranormal romance. The first few seeds have been planted and I am glad to be at the forefront of a new literary movement. And here is where I would like to give a shout out to author-brothers K. Murry Johnson, Lee Hayes, and Marcel Emerson who are also writing in the paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi/thriller space.
I’m a black female author who writes a lot of characters in mixed relationships. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading your books yet, but have you done it? If not, do you see yourself doing a book and or series with mixed race couples in the future?
Sharita! I hope you’ll eventually check out One Warlock’s Love Story. When you do, you’ll find that the series features several mixed race relationships. I couldn’t complain about the lack of diversity and inclusion in mainstream literature and then create a series with only same-race homosexual couples. I appreciate diversity in all forms and I try to capture that in my writing.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing stories since I could write full sentences. I had no idea that not everyone wrote stories. As a child, I would rewrite stories that I had read and insert myself or family members in them.
What is your favorite subgenre to write?
I feel like urban, gay, paranormal romance is a subgenre all its own. My biggest fans call themselves OWLS after the series’ title, One Warlock’s Love Story. And if they are any indication, it is a subgenre that is positioned for growth.
Would you ever write a hetero romance? Why or why not?
Absolutely. There is a hetero romance storyline in my One Warlock’s Love Story series. I also have an entire story that centers around a heterosexual couple that I have not yet published. At the end of the day, a good story is a good story no matter how the characters express themselves sexually.
Your first published book?
My first published book was the first book in the One Warlock’s Love Story series. The subtitle is All Knight Long. There are eight books in the series. Four of the books have been released and the next two are due out on October 21, 2015, and April 27, 2016, respectively. The series titles are as follows:
Book I - One Warlock's Love Story: All Knight Long - Released
Book II - One Warlock's Love Story: One Moore Knight - Released
Book III - One Warlock's Love Story: Last Goode Knight - Released
Book IV - One Warlock's Love Story: That Stormy Knight - Released
Book V - One Warlock's Love Story: The Knight Reign - October 21, 2015
Book VI - One Warlock's Love Story: Knight And Dae - April 27, 2016
Book VII - One Warlock's Love Story: Hunt At Knight - TBD
Book VIII - One Warlock's Love Story: Knight of Wrath - TBD
I’m of the opinion that erotica doesn’t have to be real all the time to make a good story, what are your thoughts?
Sharita, I agree. I don’t like boundaries. In my opinion, the only requirements for a good story are that they are well written, evoke (positive or negative) emotion, and take the reader on a journey.
What are you working on now?
I have three other series already written. I am just trying to decide which one to release next.
When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?
I create my characters in my mind first and then look for images on the Internet that match that I can use for character boards. I am a very visual person and author. Once I have a good character image, I fill my board with facts about the character so I can really “get to know him or her.”
If you write gay romance or erotica, just how descriptive are you in your sex scenes?
Relatively speaking, I think I am very descriptive. Character development, dialogue, storyline and description (especially in the sex scenes) are four things that I think readers enjoy about One Warlock’s Love Story. Sex is a part of life. We spend so much of our lives suppressing our sexual urges and not talking about our real sexual feelings. Why not allow ourselves to experience our fantasies through books.
A while back, a writer sabotaged her career by answering a bad review on a blog. How would you have handled this and do you think authors should answer their reviews?
Writers, like all other creatives, are “sensitive about their shit!” With that said, we have to expect both good and bad reviews. After all, “everything ain’t for everybody”. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to sit down and write a review. I hope for good reviews, but it is important for me to stay true to my vision for the story. If one angry reader/reviewer just doesn’t get my story, then that is their issue. I remember how devastated I was when I read my first nasty review. Then I realized that the reviewer was a heterosexual female who had a problem with the gay sex scenes. I thought about writing her back, but figured that it wouldn’t do her or me any good. She wasn’t and still isn’t worth my energy. Instead, I focus on the young reader who contacted me and said that reading One Warlock’s Love Story helped him deal with his own coming out and kept him from committing suicide. It is all about where we choose to focus. I choose love and light.
Do you think women being a good portion of the amount of m/m fiction writers detracts from the genre? Be honest and why or why not? No. I welcome all readers, and I believe that there is something in EVERY story for everybody. We are all connected and we can find ourselves in every story we read if we just look hard enough.
Do you feel authors should be held responsible for the covers or pictures they post on FB or other social media sites? Why or Why not? Yes. Authors should be responsible for everything they publish and/or post. In much the same way that I wouldn’t walk outside with my ass out without expecting a response, I can’t post a provocative book cover image on social media without expecting a response.
Your favorite gay tv show or movie? Spartacus on the STARZ network really isn’t a gay series, but it has a few gay love stories that I think are well done. It also has agreat fight scenes, which I also enjoy.
Your favorite gay celeb? I really can’t think of very many. I would love to have Frank Ocean and Meshell Ndegeocello on the soundtrack if/when One Warlock’s Love Story is made into a movie.
For the men in your books, commando or underwear? Commando. Just read One Warlock’s Love Story and see! LOL.
Favorite character(s) in one of your books? Giovanni Nugent for his humor; Zander Knight for his willingness to change and grow, and Muslee because she is the ultimate vampire house mother.
The character you identify with? Tau Long. He is very assertive and a bit entitled.
Please give us your links to website, blogs etc as well as the cover of your latest book, blurb, excerpt and buylink.
www.shadowalkermedia.com. You can find the One Warlock’s Love Story on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, at Torquere Press or anywhere else fine books are sold.