Hi Ayoka Boyce, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I am an author, writing under the name Nikki P Serene. I am a blogger, speaker, author, and coach. I am also the creative Director of More Magazine online. Originally from NY, (Laurelton, Queens) I am now a resident of Richmond VA.
I am also a licensed minister in my church. I serve as my Bishop’s administrative assistant. Then I have my day job as a data analyst in mortgage.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
In addition to writing my books, I want to write and produce stage plays that travel. I would love to take it play home to Broadway
Which writers inspire you?
Author Brooklyn Dorcent. She is the most disciplined author that I know. She encourages authors to have structure. Not to wait for ‘inspiration’ but to make the time to write every single day.
What are you working on at the minute?
Right now, I am completing my first full length novel, Virtuous.
What genre are your books and why?
I write Christian urban fiction. I enjoy reading urban fiction, the excitement and fast pace of the stories. I wanted to write the same fast paced books with Christian fiction
In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your writing?
Trust God, I know He will mend the broken heart.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I would love for Jill Scott to play the lead character in Virtuous.
When did you decide to become a writer?
Two years ago, I read my coworker’s book (Author BLUNT). I showed her a few things I jotted down. She encouraged me to go forward and I did.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write part-time. I still work my full time job.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Funny you should ask that, time management has been a distraction for me. Actually, I have been identifying several things that have been subtle distractions that keep me from my writing. But now that I have recognized things like, bad sleeping habits (distraction) I am structuring my day so that I can be up earlier in the mornings, so that I can write in the mornings before work.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
I am currently in an accountability group that aims for 3000 words a day
Where do your ideas come from?
Real life with a twist!
Do you work to an outline, plot, or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I work toward a purpose. The stories flow, and for me, the more drama in the story, the better. However, the purpose is always ministry. My characters go far but there is always ministry going on in their lives.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I have evolved by not being afraid to write. I would always think, did I go too far? Now, I simply write.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Sitting still to write
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
I struggled with this because when I started the book, it didn’t have much ‘purpose’. I started this book 2 years ago but put it away. Since then, I have studied, become a licensed minister. I have had to go back to my characters, their back stories so that there is purpose and ministry in their lives.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Letting the characters write their story. If I can sit down and concentrate on writing without distraction, their stories will flow
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
About 3 – 4 months. With limited distractions.
Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
In addition to writing plays that make it to Broadway, being a featured conference speaker with my books in tow. I also will pursue my Doctorate degree in Christian Counseling and perhaps a Juris Doctorate for Law
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would say, “Ayoka, you are beautiful with so much to offer this world. Stop selling yourself short to people who do not see your value. Don’t chase after broken relationships and concentrate on the relationship with God. He will take care of you.”
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Stephen King. His gift is amazing. I would love to learn, train under him
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Beloved, by Toni Morrison. The book is brilliant, full of mystery, suspense, history, supernatural…You name it, it’s there
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Identify your purpose of writing. It will help you to get through everything. Don’t be afraid of an editor. And enjoy it. Writing is a ministry, no matter what genre you write, yon are helping or ministering to someone.
LinkedIn: Ayoka Boyce
Purchase Links bit.ly/nikkipserene