This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award one randomly drawn winner a $25 Amazon or B&N GC via rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
READ THE INTERVIEW
Did you do any kind of research to determine the details of your characters’ lives / lifestyles?
The land of Shina is a kind of “utopia”, meaning it’s supposed to be an ideal land, but problems come up. I envision it as a fantasy-based indigenous village. My ongoing research includes finding out the specifics of village life, how rituals and ceremonies are involved and how living closely with the land affects the village.
The best book/s you ever read?
One of the books that I’ve enjoyed immensely is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I love stories that are about the hero’s journey, and have a lot of mysticism/symbolism.
Who inspires you?
Both my parents inspire me, due to the nature of their work and hearts. My mother feeds hundreds of people monthly who struggle to make ends meet. My father recently retired from helping young men transition from prison back into society. Both do exceptionally meaningful work. I was also extremely inspired by a man named Derek Canty, who was the first person I had seen hold space for youth to process their pain. He facilitated the healing of many young people dismissed by society. Do you have strange writing habits? Not too strange, but I have to hear Stevie Wonder music only from the years 1970-1980 when I get started writing, nothing after 1980. I have to have a lip synch concert/ dance party if I haven’t been writing for a long time to get me in my emotions and body. And I have to have a cry, then a good laugh. What can I say, I’m an artist.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town outside of Monterey called Seaside, California. Then, around nine, I moved with my mother and sisters to Oakland, CA and have lived there ever since. So I have a small town heart, living in a bigger city.
How did you get into writing?
My mother tells me that my grandmother wrote a lot of poetry and stage plays when she was younger. My mother was quite the storyteller herself, and at bedtime would tell elaborate “off script” versions of classics that I loved, and I’d want her to put on a show every night. I was also very sickly when I was small, requiring frequent hospitalization. I read a lot and one day a nurse asked me to write her a story and a light bulb went off, I realized early on that I could also CREATE worlds. As I got older, I realized the power of being able to communicate a narrative. You can change perspectives, you can change minds or hearts, it’s pretty amazing.
What is your favorite quote?
Both of my favorite quotes are from Anais Nin: “The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” So poetic.
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a writer?
Mostly sleep. :) I wake up inspired to write prose generally from 2-6:00 a.m.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
I think of the cover as the “dressing” for the book. So, yes, I believe it plays an important part in at least getting the reader intrigued to pick the book up, especially when dealing with younger readers as I do. Colors, typeface and images can be a magnet or a deterrent to readers.
How did you come up with the title? Names?
I came up with the title “Midnight and the Man Who Had No Tears” by default of the series. I love serials that have the character’s name and the case name, like with Encyclopedia Brown or Nancy Drew Mysteries, or even the Harry Potter Series. So with the Midnight Story Series, I knew I wanted each story to have “Midnight and the...” in the title. “The Man Who Had No Tears” really spoke to me. I have known a lot of people who have gotten out of touch with their emotionality, as we don’t really celebrate the ability to express tears in our culture.
The names of the “peoplefolk” (as they’re called) are usually based on some type of alliteration or something that goes along with their “light” color—Blue (Water), Red (Fire), Green (Earth), and Yellow (Air). For instance, Red Daddy Kali or Red Mama Malaika both belong to the red light (tribe). I usually research names that are African-descended too.
READ THE BLURB
In the magical land of Shina, Midnight is the Keeper of Dreams and Protector of Children. On her nightly journey down the river of dreams, she meets the Red Family, whose child is going with Midnight for the first time.
The dark cloud of sadness that consumes their house confuses Midnight, and the entire family must embark on a journey to find out why an angry father can show no kindness to his only child.
READ AN EXCERPT
There is a land called Shina so far away that the only way to get there is to close your eyes and dream. It is a land where magic’s mystery makes itself known. Where the light of LIFE, the gift of the MOST HIGH, burns in everyone’s eyes. Where the Spiritfolk live and walk amongst the peoplefolk, and it is where you can find Midnight, the Keeper of Dreams and Protector of Children.
Now, everyone agreed that Midnight was the most beautiful spirit to ever be born to the land of Shina. She had the richest, blackest hair with the richest, blackest skin, and the richest, blackest face you ever did see. And without a question, she had the richest, blackest eyes known to her land. Eyes so deep, that when she opened them, she eclipsed the sun, calling forth the richest, blackest night. And when her work was done, she rested her melanin-filled eyes, letting the sun once again shine brightly on the land.
Now Midnight, just like everyone who lived in Shina, had a job or a duty called upon her in order to keep the land in balance. Midnight’s job was to guide the sleeping children down the Ndoto River, the river of dreams, taking them to Asili, the most mystical part of Shina—where rainbows were made, where stars got their tickle, where butterflies got their colors, and where each child was blessed to enjoy the magic of childhood, a marvelous gift from the MOST HIGH.
MEET THE AUTHOR
a Rafflecopter giveaway
“I have worked with children for a long time, and I have witnessed firsthand their magic and resilience. I wanted to create a legacy that holds them sacred, reminding us all of the true gift that they are, so they may be cherished. This story was channeled out of complete love; inspired by individuals, and written with an open heart for the collective 'we'.”
AMAZON BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Man-Who-Had-Tears/dp/ 1497560438/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_img_2