The name of my most recent book is Possibilities. Possibilities introduce readers to History and Heritage Hanks. History and Heritage teach readers valuable lessons about self-love, positive self-image, cultural awareness, and cultural pride.
Tell us something about yourself.
I grew up in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. I have an older sister (Keva E. Richard) and a twin sister (Kori E. Richard). I have always had a passion for writing. When I was younger, I loved to write poetry and plays. Much I am inspired by people such as Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, Bob Marley, Lauryn Hill and Beverly Jenkins. I am a Cum Laude graduate of Southern University at New Orleans. Currently, I am a graduate student at Our Lady of Holy Cross College, where I am pursuing a Masters degree in Counseling. In the future, I hope to create a series of History and Heritage books that will promote self-love, positive self-image, cultural awareness, and cultural pride.
What inspired you to write this book?
Possibilities was a poem that I wrote right after Hurricane Katrina. It evolved and two other stories derived from what I originally wrote. I was inspired to write Possibilities because many children do not understand that the world and opportunities afforded to them is so much more than what they can see.
How did you choose the title?
Wow . . . I changed the title a couple of times but ultimately, my book is about different possibilities so the title sort of stuck.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
Possibilities is my baby so naturally, I am very involved in every aspect of the publishing process. I have an awesome support system (family, friends, Leola Anderson, Joe Parker, Paula Trump . . .). All in all, one of the greatest obstacles was myself. I have been writing for a very long time and I was very nervous about how my work will be received. I understand that the message (s)/ lesson (s) that I want to share is so much more important than self doubt or fear.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I only write when I feel inspired because I want my writing to come naturally. When I am inspired, my words are more powerful.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
History and Heritage Hanks are the names of my characters. I believe that it is very important for a person to know and embrace their own history and heritage; therefore, I named my characters History and Heritage. My sister (Kori) came up with the last name Hanks. Kori and I both love The Cosby Show and Clair’s maiden name was Hanks. Kori suggested Hanks as the last name and what can I say, it stuck.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
Reading is one of my favorite things to do in my free time. I love African American Historical Romance, Biographies and Autobiographies (just to name a few). Some of my favorite authors include Beverly Jenkins, Patricia Vaughn, Brenda Jackson, and Iyanla Vanzant. Beverly Jenkins is my all time favorite author. I have been reading her books since I was a teenager. I love the strength of her characters (especially the women).
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I have written two additional books for the History and Heritage Series but I feel that there should be a book that precedes the release of the two books that I have already completed. I know the lesson and/or message that I would like to include in the second book but I have not began writing yet.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Don’t let your fears and insecurities stop you.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Readers can learn more about me and my books on the YOUR TIME Publishing, LLC website. In the near future, I hope to create a History and Heritage Facebook page that will contain additional information about myself and my upcoming projects.