United States (Michigan)
Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR ARTISTIC PROCESS?
Jade Aurora: I think the most difficult about the process is creating the characters, coming up with their backstories and such. I want my characters to be unique and multifaceted, so I put a lot of work into creating them, down to their names.
Romelia: DOES YOUR FAMILY SUPPORT YOUR CAREER AS A WRITER?
Jade Aurora: I come from a very creative family, my mother being a writer herself. My family has been very supportive in my journey. Some of my family members have even bought copies of my novel.
Romelia: IF YOU HAD TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY AS A CHILD OR TEENAGER TO BECOME A BETTER WRITER AS AN ADULT, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Jade Aurora: Honestly, if I had to do something differently, it would be to just let the story flow naturally. Don’t overthink things, and to not worry about editing until after I’m finished. One piece of advice that my mother gave me was that if you edit while you’re writing, you’re never going to finish.
Romelia: HOW LONG ON AVERAGE DOES IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK?
Jade Aurora: This is my first novel, and it took me close to 3 years to write it, mostly due to writer’s block.
Romelia: DO YOU BELIEVE IN WRITER’S BLOCK?
Jade Aurora: Absolutely. It is definitely possible to lose your way in the creative process. Sometimes, you have to find the inspiration to keep going. I deal with this as an artist and illustrator as well.
Romelia: AT WHAT POINT DO YOU THINK SOMEONE SHOULD CALL THEMSELVES A WRITER?
Jade Aurora: Once you are published, whether through self-publishing, through an agency, or getting an article published, is when you can officially call yourself a writer.
Romelia: WHAT DIFFERENCE DO YOU SEE BETWEEN A WRITER AND AN AUTHOR?
Jade Aurora: When I think writer, I usually think of newspaper columns, or magazine articles. An author is someone who writes books and stories.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU PROCESS AND DEAL WITH NEGATIVE BOOK REVIEWS?
Jade Aurora: So far, I haven’t received any negative feedback on my book. It has actually been very well received. However, if I were to receive a negative review, I would just let it bounce off me. You can’t please everyone, and your story may not be everybody’s cup of tea, and that’s fine.
Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR WRITING PROCESS?
Jade Aurora: Coming up with the story and the characters. When I came up with the idea for “Motor City Witches”, I wanted to create a story that people can relate to. Fantasy is one of my favorite genres in media, but there is very little Black representation. And if there were a film or story with a Black character, they were there to be a token. I wanted to create a story for us as Black women.
Romelia: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING OR WHEN DID YOU START?
Jade Aurora: I’ve honestly started writing when I was around 8 years old. I would make up short stories, and write them in journals. And then, when I got into Harry Potter in middle school, I started writing fan fiction. But during those times, I did it for fun. This is my first time actually writing professionally.
Romelia: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A WRITER WORKING ON THEIR FIRST BOOK?
Jade Aurora: My advice would be to let the story flow naturally. Make sure that your story makes sense, of course, but don’t beat yourself up over the details. And don’t give up. Success is not going to happen overnight.
Romelia: WHAT, TO YOU, ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF GOOD WRITING?
Jade Aurora: The characters. Character development can make or break a story, and no one likes a character that is one dimensional. I also advise to stay away from “Mary Sue” characters. No one in this world is perfect. People like characters with flaw, because it makes them relatable.
Romelia: WHAT COMES FIRST FOR YOU – THE PLOT OR THE CHARACTERS – AND WHY?
Jade Aurora: I would have to say the characters. They are the heart of the story. Before I even started writing the first chapter, I wrote entire backstories for my characters. I even created their likes, dislikes, hobbies, and favorite style of dress.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU DEVELOP YOUR PLOT AND CHARACTERS?
Jade Aurora: I wrote “Motor City Witches” because I wanted a fantasy story that featured Black women as the focus. I wanted to show that we are multifaceted, with our own interests, hopes, and dreams. I knew I wanted to write a story about Black witches, and I just went from there.
Romelia: WHEN DID YOU FIRST CALL YOURSELF A WRITER?
Jade Aurora: I called myself a writer the moment I held the copy of my book in my hands.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA AS AN AUTHOR?
Jade Aurora: I consistently share the links to purchase my book, and I also promote my book in writing groups.
Romelia: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE PART OF PUBLISHING?
Jade Aurora: My favorite part was seeing everything come together, and I got to see the finished product. I don’t really have a least favorite part.
Romelia: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO AN AUTHOR WHO WANTED TO DESIGN THEIR OWN COVER?
Jade Aurora: If you already have artistic talent, I highly recommend designing your own cover. Just be sure you’re using an art or graphic design program that is compatible, and do your research on the average dimensions of a book, and adjust accordingly. However, if you are unfamiliar with with graphic design, then hiring a graphic design will be your best bet.
Romelia: HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN AND WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE?
Jade Aurora: So far, I have only written one. However, I am currently working on a sequel to “Motor City Witches”.
Romelia: WHAT PART OF THE BOOK DID YOU HAVE THE HARDEST TIME WRITING?
Jade Aurora: I think the hardest part to write was the scene where Sarai, one of the main characters, found out what lead to her twin sister’s suicide. It was as if I put myself in her shoes, and I was able to feel her emotions. I even found myself getting angry as I wrote, because I empathized with the character so much.
Romelia: WHAT PART OF THE BOOK WAS THE MOST FUN TO WRITE?
Jade Aurora: Honestly, every part of the book was fun to write, but I truly enjoyed writing the spellcasting scenes of the book, and the chapters where the characters attended an anime convention. I had so much fun writing those scenes because I am a huge anime fan, and I attend anime conventions in my spare time. I had even more fun illustrating those scenes.
Romelia: WHICH OF THE CHARACTERS DO YOU RELATE TO THE MOST AND WHY?
Jade Aurora: The characters I relate to the most are Rachelle, Sarai, and Louise, who are also the protagonists. I relate to them the most because they all contain facets of myself. Like Rachelle, I am a pinup model, and had to endure slut shaming because of it. I also had to deal with a very toxic relationship, where I was being constantly disrespected. And like Rachelle, I had to deal with a boyfriend whose mother enabled his toxic behavior. Like Sarai, I was constantly ridiculed for my hobbies and interests. Although said ridicule did not come from my family, like in Sarai’s case, it hurt just the same. However, Louise is the most like me, because she was modeled after me, in looks and personality. The only difference between me and her is that I am not a parent. I created these characters the way that I did because I know there are Black women out there who had to endure hardships like these women. When they read this book, they’ll be able to see themselves in the characters.
Romelia: IF YOU’RE PLANNING A SEQUEL. CAN YOU SHARE A TINY BIT ABOUT YOUR PLANS FOR IT?
Jade Aurora: Yes, I am planning a sequel. In the story, young women are going missing in Detroit, but no one knows why. Rachelle, however, suspects that her cousin’s new boyfriend may be involved. I am also introducing a transgender character as well.
Romelia: TELL US SOMETHING FUNNY ABOUT YOUR ADULT LIFE.
Jade Aurora: I’m pretty much a homebody, even more so due to this pandemic. My days are usually spent binge watching old Maury and Steve Wilkos episodes on YouTube, with my husband and I cracking up at them.
Romelia: describe yourself in a few sentences. Tell us something we do not know about you and something you hate about the world.
Jade Aurora: Even though I am based in Detroit, I was actually born in North Carolina. Camp LeJeune Marine base to be exact. So I was raised a military brat. As for what I hate about the world? I hate the fact that people are discriminated against, and even targeted for violence, simply for existing. This goes for Black and Indigenous people of color, as well as the LGBTQ community. Like, just let people live. How are they affecting your life in any way?