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Author | Blogger | Workshop Facilitator Visit my website at www.authordeelawrence.com to learn more about my romantic suspense novel, Gotta Let It Go, which is set in Baltimore. Connect with me online @authordeelawrence (Facebook) and @thewritepen (Twitter). Thanks for visiting with me today!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Interview with Arketa Williams, Author of A Sinner’s Circle: Church Is Where I Learned to Sin Professionally

Author’s Bio: Arketa Williams has been writing and performing r over 15 years. She’s received numerous awards and recognitions throughout the years for her creativity. She has published 4 books, released a CD of poetry, and a poetry DVD. She is currently working on her next series of books of poetry and novels. Alongside her writing career, Arketa developed Pen2Pad Ink Writing Consultants as a way of helping others find their voice on paper and Co-Founded Infinity Empowerment & Development Corporation (IEDC), a community development and outreach organization. Arketa uses creativity to shine a light on the devastations in her life so that she can help others gain a mental freedom over the pains that bind them. She uses her escape from trials and tribulations as a ray of hope for those stranded where she used to be. She strives to let the world know that there is sunshine after the storm.

What inspired you to write your book?
AW:  I’ve gone through a lot of tragedy and heartache throughout the years and began my journey towards healing. Therapy and writing helped save my life. As I conquered both physical and emotional challenges I began writing my story in hopes that it would help others heal, grow, face their truth, encourage them to tell their stories, and to show people that no matter how challenging life maybe you can overcome it.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
AW: I fell in love with books by Maya Angelou and Kimberla Lawson Roby. The creative way in which their characters consume you amazed and intrigued me. As a teenager, I aspired to be as great of a writer as they were.  

Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?
AW: No, this is my fourth published book. I had the project for about a year and a half only working on it here and there. I had a lot of things I had to emotionally heal from before I could really get into writing this book. However, once I was at a point to where I could consistently work on it I was able to complete it in 6 months.

Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
AW: I do a little of both. My outlines though are more of a check list for me. They consist of a list of all the situations, stories, and subjects that I am comfortable with writing about and details with how far into the stories I am willing to go. From there I just let everything else flow naturally. 

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
AW: No, I do not listen to music. I get too caught up in what I’m listening to. I have to have it completely quiet when I write.

What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
AW:  Marketing is very important in getting your book out to the public. I use social media to spread the word about my book. I also joined a lot of author groups on Facebook and Meetup. I do actual and virtual book signings as well as book fairs. Word of mouth and giveaways are also great options that help draw attention to your book. 

What advice would you give to new authors?
AW: I would tell new authors to make sure you schedule time with yourself to write and write every day, even if it’s only a sentence or a paragraph or two. Even when it seems like it’s too difficult to write push past what you’re feeling and write. Don’t try to edit while you’re writing just write and get it all out then go back and edit. I would also tell them to make sure you thoroughly read through everything you’ve written. Don’t assume you’re ready to go to print after the first draft.

How about sharing an excerpt from A Sinner’s Circle: Church Is Where I Learned to Sin Professionally?

“We are here to serve the Lord and not to feed into petty insecurities. I’m the judge of my children’s wardrobe and will decide what is appropriate and what isn’t. Maybe the problem doesn’t lie with the young girls that are developing beautifully in God’s image. Maybe it lies in the lustful eyes of those who need to focus more on the word instead of acting like pedophiles glaring at young children”.

I was so proud she attended church with me that day. Some of the other women were not happy with my mom’s comments but did not dare come back at her or the others in her corner. But, of course, there was one who just wouldn’t let it go. Sister Bigsby named off several of us girls whom she thought were too well endowed for our ages… as if we could control how our bodies grew. I remember how nasty the tone of her voice was when she spoke.

“They should be ashamed and should feel convicted enough to want to wear oversized clothes so that their features aren’t so noticeable.” Before I knew it all hell broke loose! Sister Bigsby, Sister Jones, and Sister Smith were standing up and calling names with fists swinging, hair pulling, weave flying...

What’s next for you?
AW: Well, part 2 of A Sinner’s Circle will be released this fall along with an anthology and another book of poetry.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
·         Website: www.pen2padink.org
·         Email: pen2padink@gmail.org
·         Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arketa.williams
·         Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pen2PadInk
·         Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pen2pad_ink/

It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.

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