AUTHOR INTERVIEW 9

Shabeatrice Sumlin

United States

Age 21

My name is Shabeatrice Sumlin. I’m a 21 year old girl born and raised in Nashville, TN. I graduated from Southern Choctaw High School in Gilbertown, AL. Nashville will always be home, it gave me the opportunities I needed, while Choctaw County, AL gave me those southern values I will always cherish. I will always be a southern girl at heart. Soon after that, I had my daughter Lauryn Franks, who is now 3 years old. I began writing when I was 8 years old, everything came so natural and easy to me. So recently, I began writing again after feeling like there was a void in my life, which was from me not doing what I enjoyed. I’ve always loved writing, it’s never been about work. This was always my hobby that made feel so free and true to myself. I want nothing more than to be heard, If many women could just hear what I have to say I’d be satisfied. I’m extremely humble, and grateful for any opportunity GOD has in store for me. I’ve been compared to Nola Darling & Issa Rae so don’t count me out, you will see me again.
Black Girl Bible is my advice, and experiences as a woman. As women we’ve silenced ourselves to keep from being a stereotype. When we express our feelings some may say we’re complaining, ungrateful, or have an attitude. This book is saying just LISTEN, I’m not mad, I’m tired. We’re getting to the nitty gritty about things that aren’t talked about as much as they should be.  Many times we’re lost and don’t have anybody to vent to. Well, this is your chance to relate from one woman to another. The book becomes your personal diary while detailing common obstacles women go through. You will never get bored with this one, because you’re actually writing your own things in also. The book even features a „conversation starter” section that you can have in a group setting with other men and women. 

Romelia: WHICH OF YOUR CHARACTERS ARE MOST LIKELY TO BE AN ACTIVIST, AND WHAT KIND?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: The book doesn’t have characters, but I feel many of the women I described would be activists. They’re passionate and all want to be heard.

Romelia: DO YOU PLAY MUSIC WHILE YOU WRITE – AND, IF SO, WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: Actually, I don’t. I may get a great mood with music before I write, but when it’s time to get my thoughts together I want zero interruptions.

Romelia: HAVE PETS EVER GOTTEN IN THE WAY OF YOUR WRITING?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: My dog Roxi is pretty needy for attention so she finds herself interrupting me any chance she gets. I always make time for her though; I’m beginning to think she’s jealous of my writing hobby lol.

Romelia: IF YOUR BOOK WERE MADE INTO A MOVIE, WHICH ACTORS WOULD PLAY YOUR CHARACTERS?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: Definetly Dewanda Wise who starred in ”She’s gotta have it”, and Issa Rae. They’re perfect examples of women. I respect them so much.

Romelia: HAVE YOU EVER KILLED OFF A CHARACTER YOUR READERS LOVED?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: No killing over here, only letting the pass BS DIE.

Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN ABOUT WRITING?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: Stay true to myself, as long as I feel it’s right, then it’s right. Remain dedicated and be consistent.

Romelia: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST WAY TO IMPROVE WRITING SKILLS?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: I feel that everyone has their own special way of writing so I never say improve anything, but if this is something you’re wanting to take serious then I’d say practice for a while in whatever category you’re comfortable in, give details.

Romelia: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO HELP OTHERS CREATE PLOTLINES?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: Honestly, I can’t.

Romelia: WHAT HAS HELPED OR HINDERED YOU MOST WHEN WRITING A BOOK?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: I think real world situations helped to write. I know whatever I’m doing is authentic and it gives me the drive to keep going.

Romelia: DOES WRITING ENERGIZE OR EXHAUST YOU? OR BOTH?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: Both. Sometimes I get so caught up in writing that I feel I can’t complete my day without completing whatever I’m writing, this is very draining, but I’m so dedicated to what I’m doing that draining is fine. Randomly ideas pop up in my head and that’s what make me energetic.

Romelia: WHAT IS THE BEST MONEY YOU’VE EVER SPENT WITH REGARD TO YOUR WRITING?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: I honestly haven’t spent anything. If I’d spend money on anything it would be marketing. Getting my book into the right hands.

Romelia: WHAT ARE COMMON TRAPS FOR NEW AUTHORS?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: I’m trying to figure out how to maneuver this thing myself so you probably could tell me.

Romelia: HOW MANY HOURS A DAY DO YOU WRITE?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: About 2-3 hours a day, but sometimes none.

Romelia: AT WHAT TIME OF THE DAY DO YOU DO MOST OF YOUR WRITING?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: Mornings.

Romelia: HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH CHARACTER NAMES FOR YOUR STORIES?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: No names in my books. Straight facts.

Romelia: DO YOU PARTICIPATE IN WRITING CHALLENGES ON SOCIAL MEDIA? DO YOU RECOMMEND ANY?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: No, but I should. Facebook always has the best challenges.

Romelia: IF YOU HAD THE POWER TO CURE A DISEASE OF YOUR CHOOSING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: Cancer.

Romelia: WHEN YOU’RE WRITING AN EMOTIONAL OR DIFFICULT SCENE, HOW DO YOU SET THE MOOD?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: I put myself in the place of others. How would I feel if this was me or happening to someone I loved.

Romelia: WHOM DO YOU TRUST FOR OBJECTIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM OF YOUR WORK?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: My sisters. They always know what to say even if I don’t like it. My brother has his opinions here and there too, but I think he’s like “you’re gonna do what you want to do”.

Romelia: WHAT BOOKS DO YOU ENJOY READING?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: I love reading poetry books, dramas, & fantasies. Something that keeps me glued to the page.

Romelia: ARE THERE ANY BOOKS OR AUTHORS THAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A WRITER?

Shabeatrice Sumlin: Myself.

Romelia: NAME AN UNDERAPPRECIATED NOVEL THAT YOU LOVE.

Shabeatrice Sumlin: I read this book Chinese Cinderella in 6th grade. I’ve always been obsessed with that book for some reason.

Romelia: TELL US SOMETHING FUNNY FROM YOUR ADULT LIFE.

Shabeatrice Sumlin: I think adult life in general is funny. We see ourselves as kids still, but the world is like nope, you got shit to do lol. It’s hard adulting.

Romelia: describe yourself in a few sentences. Tell us something we do not know about you and something you hate about the world.

Shabeatrice Sumlin: I’m a super sensitive person, in my book you would think I’m super tough and I’m not. That’s not me lol. I hate that the world is so full of color, but all people see is black and white.

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