My Urban Books: As a child what did your everyday life consist of?
Anna J: My child hood wasn’t the typical play with dolls, go to school, eat, and sleep type of situation. Due to family issues I had to step up and take care of my sister at a very young age. So when I should have been enjoying my childhood I was handed adult responsibilities. At the time it just didn’t make sense, but as an adult the experience has made me better able to hustle and handle business accordingly.
My Urban Books: If we went into your closet when you were a teenager what would we find?
Anna J: Books! I love to read, always have. That’s where my love for writing came from.
My Urban Books: Have you added a new technique to your writing style lately?
Anna J: I don’t think I have a writing style, per say. I write what I feel at the time. I never know what story I’m going to tell until I start to tell it. The characters pretty much write themselves.
My Urban Books: What about urban fiction has changed within the past 5 years?
Anna J: The quality of urban fiction, in my opinion, has definitely changed. The market is washed out almost, and it’s harder I think to make a name for yourself when there are so many fish in the sea. Fortunately I got in the game when it was still new, and managed to make a lasting impression that I am humbled by. The great thing about being a writer is if you can think it, you can write it. A lot of my fellow “writers” aren’t taking advantage of editing services, and I think that’s what sets authors apart from writers. Authors will perfect their work. A writer accepts it as is.
My Urban Books: Your novel Snow White: A Survival Story was very emotional, place us in your mind set while you were writing it, what were you thinking and seeing?
Anna J: Snow White is made up of personal accounts that happened in my and a friend of mines childhood. It was a very emotional journey, and if you’ve never been molested, made to do things you didn’t want to do, had to keep secrets at a young age, then for you it will sound unbelievable. I know children that has/is going through much worse than what Journey went through. It was very painful to write because I had to relive a lot of the moments to tell the story accurately. Part of the reason why I haven’t written a part 2 yet. I grew up in the projects, and you see and experience things that kids in a regular neighborhood probably will never see or know about unless it’s in a movie or a book. That was one of my more personal projects because as many people that can’t relate to it, there are twice as many that can.
My Urban Books: What was your biggest writing obstacle that you’ve now conquered?
Anna J: Completing my first full novel. I honestly didn’t think that I had a story that people would want to read. Now I have several, and I’m still creating. One of the many joys of being an author.
My Urban Books: What is the most power you’ve had over your work when dealing with publishing companies? Ex: cover designs.
Anna J: I’ve always had the power to choose the type of story I wanted to tell. I’ve never been stuffed in a box, and made to write erotica, or street lit, or contemporary. I can write a love story this time around, and the very next novel I can write a mystery. It’s having that freedom that sets me apart from the rest. Up until writing the 3rd installment to My Woman His Wife and Hell’s Diva I and II, I’ve never gave much thought to sequels and trilogies. I’m more of a beginning to end, finish the book, and move to the next story line type of author. As for cover designs, I was always hands on with each one. The story is in my head, and I know what my characters look like. I know what emotion I am trying to get from a reader when they see the cover of the book after seeing my name on it. A good designer can give you that, and I am very adamant about what I like. It shows in my covers.
My Urban Books: Are you currently working on something new? If so do you have a title and can you tell us a little bit about it.
Anna J: At this present moment my next title is called Exposed: When Good Wives Go Bad. This is another book that I am writing from experience. The lead characters are all in some form of an abusive relationship, and they have interesting ways of getting out of them. You’ll find that out when the book drops this fall.
My Urban Books: Do you go into isolation when writing or do you prefer to be in the middle of chaos?
Anna J: I prefer a little of both. I’m easily distracted so I know when to isolate myself, and when I can be in the mist of things.
My Urban Books: My Woman, His Wife 3 is finally here, why such a long wait?
Anna J: I originally wasn’t going to write a third part. I was actually done with the first part, but so many people loved Monica, and demanded she show her face again so I complied. Monica is one of those types of characters you never forget, and even once I finished writing The Aftermath, there was still more story to tell. What I want readers to keep in mind with my books is if there is a part 2 or 3, it is a continuation of the last book. These characters are moving on with their lives, and may or may not be doing/acting the same way they were in book 1. Do we, as people, do the same things and act the same way we did months ago? We progress as people and hopefully learn along the way. My characters are the same way.
My Urban Books: What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Anna J: I want aspiring authors to take hold of their title. Either you are an author or you’re not. I don’t aspire to be great, I already am. I merely work at polishing my craft so that I can become better at it. I never considered myself an aspiring anything. Even before I wrote my first book I told people I AM A WRITER. If you keep aspiring to do something you may never get it done. If you are something, you will perfect it. Claim it! Own it!