Hi Ronyea, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a proud mother of Ryleigh, 5, and Robbie, 2. I have been married to Rob for 7.5 years. I’m originally from Oklahoma City, and lived in Dallas, TX, before settling in the Memphis, TN area due to Rob’s job. I graduated from Langston University with a Bachelors in Education degree. It was there where I became a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. I also hold a nursing degree from Excelsior College. I have always had a passion for writing and storytelling. I would take an English course every semester as an elective.
In 2008 I wrote my first stage play, Standing In My Own Way. In 2011 I wrote, directed, and produced a short film, A Sisters Love, that was screened at the Twin Cities Black Film Festival in 2012. While living in Dallas I would help a small publishing company as a freelance editor. By doing this, I learned a lot about the self-publishing business. In 2010 I started playing around with characters very loosely based on my friends which eventually became my debut novel, The Circle released on Amazon and Kindle December 2016. The road wasn’t easy as life got in the way from time to time. I dealt with person failures, sickness as well as the loss of grandparents, but I was determined to show my kids it’s never too late and you never give up on something you believe in. After 6 long years, I’m proud to say The Circle has been published.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, writing, reading, traveling, and watching Oklahoma City Thunder basketball. I plan to release another novel in the Summer/Fall of 2017.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
The ultimate goal is to be a NY Best Selling Author and also have one of my works adapted into a movie or mini-series.
Which writers inspire you?
I’m inspired by many. E. Lynn Harris, Eric Jerome Dickey, Mary Monroe, Terri Woods, Terry McMillan, to name a few.
What are you working on at the minute?
The Circle was just released last week and I am very excited about it! I want to enjoy this high for a bit then start the completion process for the next book.
What genre are your books and why?
The Circle is Women’s Fiction/Drama. I like telling a story I can relate to.
In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your writing?
Unexpected feel good reading full of drama.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? Ooooh good question…there are six main characters in their early 30’s. I haven’t really thought about it but I like Gabrielle Union, Megan Good, Kerry Washington, Aja Naomi King, and Janelle Monae to name a few.
When did you decide to become a writer? I always knew I liked telling stories but it was around 2010 I started playing with characters, and it wasn’t until a few years later that I actually started telling a story through the characters. I knew then I wanted to wrote a book. I had already wrote a stage play but the process is different.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Right now Part-Time – one day Full-Time.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I think and brainstorm a lot at night and write during the morning/day.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
No…some days it just flows and some times I go days without writing a single word.
Where do your ideas come from?
Honestly, I am inspired mostly by friends and family. It may not be the exact thing that they are going through but their situation may lead to an idea.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I play with ideas but I usually just go with the flow of what I’m feeling that day.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Since this is my first published work, I am actually excited to see how I evolve from this book to the next. I want to explore more backstory in the main character in the next book.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
For me its finding the time. I am a mother, wife, and I work. I would to be able to just write.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Since this is my first book, there were challenges such as making sure the story is completely told and flow and since I am self-publishing, making sure all of the administrative things behind the scenes are done like PR and marketing that I’m not as familiar with. I had to trust others with some of those duties.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Playing with the characters. I absolutely love it. I love how I can create an idea then put it on paper and see the story unfold.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
From the time I put the first character on paper until publishing was 6 years for The Circle. Of course that isn’t the norm. My goal going forward, for me to complete the manuscript, is 3-4 months.
Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
I would like to be an established and credible writer adapting my books into films.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Its okay to be scared and a little fearful but still do it. Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Oprah, Ava Duvernay, and Shonda Rhimes. I love their drive, work ethic, and their authenticity to themselves.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Although I am still new, I would say just do it. Start…that’s the most important thing to do, start. I would love to be with a publishing house with a literary agent, but until then there are MANY ways to get YOUR work out and be successful. Believe in yourself.
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
Thanks so much for having me!!!!