African American fiction is a genre of great depth, from just being an African American to the mental imagery of it. Although I wrote my story showing the violence and drug-related problems among our at-risk youth, I also focused in from the POV of a father’s, and a mother’s heart. Most of the public don’t consider the pain a mother carries; her visions; and deep thoughts when she loses a child, or is dealing with an at-risk youth. That pain is unbearable. I personally believe that when a mother reaches this stage, no amount of comfort can support her mental frame of mind. This is why I write in this genre, with multiple flashbacks and daydreams into the reality of laying a child to rest, or the sheer glimpse of peace found in a flashback of happier times. Being a mother of an at-risk adult child, I want all this pain to stop. I want to find a solution to our at-risk youths’ problems, thereby relieving the pain in a mother’s heart.
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
I would have to be honest and say it is the criticism about structure, and plot. I’m sure that if life can sometimes consist of more than just one or two characters, then so can fiction. I also think that if a reader can’t comprehend a story with multi-characters, I can very well say they can’t understand the culture of at-risk youths, or the immensity of the pain in a mother’s heart. I let the reader win. That’s how I deal with it.
When and where do you do your writing?
Every minute I have, I work on writing, and I prefer to be alone, anywhere in the middle of the ocean is just fine with me.
What have you learned about promoting your books?
It is very difficult, and extremely emotional, but I’ve learned a little, like continue to put the book in the view of readers. In addition, I now know what “What is your budget for marketing” means.
What are you most proud of as a writer?
Hum, I don’t know. I guess I would have to say it is my vision for writing: helping our at-risk youth make better choices in life.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
Terry McMillan. At my stage in writing, coupled with my desire to be successful, I would say I would only want to talk about plot, point of view, and what differentiates life from fiction.
About the author
Ms. Johnnie Renee is a first-time author of Street Life fiction, and a writer of children’s fictional books. She loves children, believes at-risk youth can be mentored to make better choices in life. And she is an advocate for senseless pain in a mother’s heart.
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On B&N: http://bit.ly/2aR1g5H