LaToya: Hi Regena, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Regena : Thank you for the opportunity. I am the author of four contemporary African-American, faith-based, romance and women’s lit books. I’m not a fan of definition by classification. I write books that strive to take something universally familiar and add some incident or event, the reader can connect to by remembering; I’ve cried those tears, that happened to me, or my sister. Lately, I’m striving for more simplicity in my life.
LaToya: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Regena : By nature, I’m not ambitious. But for my writing career, I say I want to inflate— not blow-up. I am still learning and I’m okay with a slow, rise to the top.
LaToya: Which writers inspire you?
Regena : I am a Jane Austen fan-girl, so for romance it’s Jane. I also adore Walter Mosley and J. California Cooper.
LaToya: What are you working on at the minute?
Regena : I working on my fourth novel working title, Everlasting Comes Last, a contemporary women’s fiction novel created around a golden romance. Sixty-two can still be sexy!
LaToya: In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your writing?
Regena : The simple complexity of life and love. Seven words.
LaToya: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Regena : I don’t cast my characters. But the greatest compliment one of my readers paid me was that she stayed up late one night, casting my second novel.
LaToya: When did you decide to become a writer?
Regena : I’ve always talked about writing a book but, in 2004 I made a pact with her nephew. “…if you give me a college degree, I’ll write a book.” We both achieved our goals.
LaToya: Do you write full-time or part-time?
Regena : Part-time, I still have that 9 to 5.
LaToya: Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Regena : I’m really not very structured or organized when it comes to writing. I’m more deadline driven. Give me a goal and I’ll do what it takes.
LaToya: Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Regena : No, I do what I can when I can. But I always finish.
LaToya: Where do your ideas come from?
Regena : I like to say the characters come to me and ask me to tell their stories. Lately, inspiration has come from news stories and saying what if, or what would life be like for …
LaToya: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you
Regena : I start by going where the idea takes me. But after I get a good idea of where the story is going, I write a very loose timeline.
LaToya: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Regena : Over the past ten years, my evolution has really come from moving beyond myself, my experiences, and “what I know”. There is so much to learn about different ways of being human. I’m having fun exploring other’s paths.
LaToya: What is the hardest thing about writing?
Regena : The rules of grammar. Writing grammatically correct sentences is a chore. And a bore.
LaToya: What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Regena : For my current work-in-progress, I’m struggling with too many ideas. I know the beginning. I know the end. The messy middle is giving me fits.
LaToya: What is the easiest thing about writing?
Regena : For me it is research. With the internet, I have the knowledge of the ages at a keystroke. If I had to visit a library every time I needed to know something, it would take three years for me to write a book.
LaToya: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Regena : I take my time, so it takes me about eight months to a year to write a book.
LaToya: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Regena : I see myself with a publishing contract. Self-pub is great, but I’d like to have a little more structure and a little less responsibility for having to do EVERYTHING!
LaToya: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Regena : Don’t wait.
LaToya: Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Regena : I’m a huge fan of Lin-Manual Miranda’s Broadway mega-hit Hamilton. I’d like to meet Eliza Hamilton. I am fascinated by her dedication to her husband, before and after his death. She actually went back and interviewed every man she could find that served under her husband’s command.
LaToya: If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Regena : I am content to have been the original author of my books. Only I could have written, Except on Sunday, Believe In Me and Love’s Remnant. Although, I wouldn’t complain about having J. K. Rowling’s money from the Harry Potter books.
LaToya: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Regena : If you don’t write, you’ll never have anything to edit.
Connect with Regena :
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Regena-Bryant
LaToya: Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
Regena: Thank you for the opportunity!