NEA ANNA SIMONE
Nea, welcome to Books2Mention Magazine. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to learn more about you. You have entered into the literary scene with such savoir-faire; it is so hard to believe that you just started writing a short while ago.
In fact, it has been stated that you only began writing after receiving encouragement from a dear friend. Now two books later, and after receiving the distinguished honor of being a best selling author our readers will have the privilege to gain insight on how a talented writer begins the literary journey of creating stories that will be meaningful and inspirational.
B2M: Nea how does if feel being bestowed with the title of best selling author?
NAS: It feels like a smile from God..a wonderful blessing.
B2M: Is it additional pressure for an author with such a title to consistently create novels that are best sellers?
NAS: For me it is not so much as creating a bestseller; but I am more driven to create a story that remains with the reader long after they've put the book down. If I succeed in that I believe the sales will ultimately occur.
B2M: Are you surprised with how well your books have been received by readers?
NAS: Yes, I have been surprised by how attached readers became to some of the characters. I have frequently had readers to initiate a discussion about a character and ask me a question about them as though they were inquiring about an old friend.
B2M: Your books can be considered spiritually inspiring, is it your intent to include in your creativity a spiritual undertone thereby including a message of faith intertwined in your novels?
NAS: Yes it is. When you invest time and energy into something there should be a return on your investment..even if it is reading a book for pleasure. I want readers to walk away with a sense that they've received something positive planted in their spirits..a welcome "take away."
B2M: Can you share with us how your stories are formulated?
NAS: My stories derive from conversations, emails and sometimes random thoughts that spark my interest causing me to enter into the "what if" mode. ReBorn came as a result of receiving an email entitled "Lest we forget" chronicling the journey of the African that ended up guarding the French-German border. These African's took Jewish women of German descent as wives and fathered children. During Hitler's reign they were considered an abomination by Hitler and named "The Rhineland Bastards." Hitler used these mixed race children to clean the concentration camps, to experiment on, etc. many were sterilized and branded with a tattoo. The inhumane treatment visited on these people was not unlike that visited on the German Jew. I developed the character Cam from this email and a series of What if?
B2M: Out of the two books that you have written, do you have a favorite character that you created? If so, please tell us why?
NAS: I like them all for different reasons. In particular, I love Eddie because he embodies the spirit of so many black men that I have met or observed; Unpredictable to the casual acquaintance; but with a keen loyalty and protectiveness toward family. Eddie's growth as a character was also something I enjoyed writing. I like a character that is three-dimensional and I try to portray my characters as people that you meet on the street. Within the desirable is also the undesirable and vice versa.
B2M: Is there a particular character in either or both books that resembles some of your personal characteristics?
NAS: Since I had never written creatively before I wrote Reaching Back, I initially fashioned Mignon after my own story. I was a newly divorced single parent, but as her story grew so did the similarities between us.
B2M: The titles Reaching Back and ReBorn are very befitting of each novel. Since ReBorn is the sequel to Reaching Back, will there be a sequel to ReBorn?
NAS: Yes, I am in the process of signing with Harlequin under Kimani Press imprint for "The Substance of Things." the final book for this storyline.
B2M: Are you currently working on your next project?
NAS: I am finishing "A Memory of Love" and about half through with The Substance of Things. It seems as though I have tapped into my wellspring because I have two other books that I have also recently begun but have yet to settle on a title.
B2M: What inspiring advice would you like to offer to unpublished writers, who are currently second guessing their material and beginning to wonder if they should give up their dream of being an author?
NAS: Give it to friends and associates who are interested, and ask them to read it. Be open to "constructive" feedback. I would always suggest taking a break from your work for about a month and reread it with fresh new eyes and polish it. Then send it out into the world and step out on faith. It is easy to listen to the voice of negativity which causes one to second guess..That voice can also in its own way be the voice of comfort causing us to stay safely in our space and not act or walk in faith. God can't help if you don't act. A book completed in a binder on your desk will remain there until you release it to the world.
B2M: Name a book that you have read that has been an inspiration to you?
NAS: TD Jake's; The Lady, Her Lover, Her Lord; J. California Cooper's The Wake of the Wind. I just finished this book and it made me reflect on being black in America with new eyes reminding me of the struggles and strides of our ancestors.
B2M: In you wildest dreams what do you envision as your legacy as a novelist?
NAS: My legacy is to impart the truth that God is in the center of all that we are and all that we do. From day to day the path we choose may not always be straight.That is Free Will, but even still God will straighten a rocky road and make it smooth. This is the simplest fact in life to overlook; so I try to write it in the rocky lives of my characters. I hope that I leave the imprint of characters that are loved and stories that are passed on. As a writer, that is the greatest compliment from a reader...
B2M: Based on the overwhelming reviews from readers all around, you have created you own niche in literature and we look forward to hearing more from you as you continue on your literary journey.
NAS: Thank you..
Thanks Nea, for interviewing with Books2Mention Magazine. We hope that you will come back in the very near future and share more of your artistry with us.
Much Success To You!
The Staff @ Books2Mention Magazine
Nea's books are available online and in bookstores. You are welcome to visit the website of Nea Simone at www.neasimone.com.
Books by Nea Simone include:
Reaching Back ReBORN