5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Ebonee Monique, author of Suicide Diaries

JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Ebonee Monique, author of Suicide Diaries
(Peace in the Storm Publishing)

ebonee monique suicide diaries on amazondotcom

(One of the first ten people to comment will win a copy of Ebonee Monique’s Suicide Diaries.)

Congratulations to Asia for winning a FREE copy of Suicide Diaries!

When Lauren Washington’s mother is mysteriously gunned down in their neighborhood, Lauren – a nine year old from Bankhead, Georgia – must quickly grow up and become the woman of her household. Early on, Lauren finds that not dealing with her pain is easier than actually doing so. It’s only on the confidential white pages of her diary that Lauren feels free to spill the thoughts from her troubled mind.

After finding a job in radio, which allows her to mask her true thoughts and become her on-air persona “Mystique,” Lauren believes she’s found the perfect blend of privacy and sanity. Today, at age 26, Lauren is one of the top rated deejays in Atlanta and is dangerously in love with her boyfriend of eight years, Brendan.

From the outside, everything looks perfect. However, when Lauren enlists the help of a private investigator to look into her mother’s unsolved murder, strange things start happening. Her father is nervous, her best friends are acting out of character and Brendan begins to withdraw from her and ends up disrespecting her in the boldest way.

With visions of her happiness shattering, Lauren scrambles to repair her relationship with Brendan. Before apologies can be made, Brendan does the unthinkable and commits suicide. Lauren is left to deal with more than her heart or the pages of her diary can handle.

Brendan’s sneaky double life compels her to figure out who he really was and what the secrets, he died to keep from her, were.Suicide Diaries deals with betrayal beyond the grave and the disbelief and heartache that comes after a suicide. Moving on, once the dirt has been thrown on the coffin, will prove to be the hardest self-evaluation Lauren’s ever experienced.

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Suicide Diaries?

Ebonee Monique: My first love committed suicide. I went from shock, grief, anger, sadness and then I started asking, “How could this happen to him?” He was young, seemingly happy, married with a child and living a ‘good’ life. I found that I was always telling myself that he wasn’t dead and I’d see him on the street again. The reality was, I was trying to block the truth from my heart & mind.

I would see someone who resembled him and say, “Is that him?”, but I knew it wasn’t. My heart didn’t want to hear that, though. On my birthday a few years ago, I finally allowed myself to visit his grave for the first time and accept the truth. The next day, the opening entry for “Suicide Diaries” came to me.

I had the first chapter completed by the weekend and was on a roll. I always like to think that the moment I allowed myself to accept the truth was the moment God gave me my story. The main character (Lauren Washington) is not me. I always have to tell people that.

I’ve felt her pain, and I’ve cried her tears. I’ll never know why my first love did what he did, and I’ll never be over the pain of losing a friend. Writing this book was my way of beginning the healing process. I wanted to show that this DOES happen in our communities, it DOES change the lives of everyone the person knows and, more importantly, embracing change isn’t a bad thing.

JP: What sets Suicide Diaries apart from other novels in its genre?

EM: The message, I think. There are plenty of books that discuss love, cheating, money, sex, scandal, etc. You know…the books we all love to love! But Suicide Diaries is unique in the fashion that there is a higher message about suicide within the African American community.

We don’t discuss it; it’s the black sheep that we’d rather not talk about . It happens, and it’s real. We are losing so many kings and queens to suicide, and I think- while my book includes love, betrayal, money, sex and plenty of scandal- Suicide Diaries envelopes the overall message that suicide is real.

Some sort of way, suicide and mental illness became hush-hush secrets in the African-American communities; I wanted to shine a light on it and say “Let’s get to the root of what’s going on instead of ignoring it!” While the story is completely fiction, the tears behind the inspiration aren’t.

JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Suicide Diaries getting out to the public?

EM: Really, I’ll say prayer, persistence and more prayer. I constantly challenge myself, as a writer, to come up with more twists and turns that would shock and inform the reader. I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to my craft. My first thought, when I write a story/book, is “What is this bringing to the reader?”

I want someone to walk away from a piece and think. I don’t want to write a piece just to make money or to get famous. I want to write something that I can be proud of stamping my name on. A lot of my pre-publishing readers got my raw, raw emotions and stories when I was first cranking stories out on Myspace, and I got GREAT response.

I tried to stay present on the social media and local book-club/media scene. I heard about a writing contest with the winner being awarded a slot in an anthology titled Triumph of My Soul. I submitted a story, and it was accepted.

From there, I stayed very close to publisher Elissa Gabrielle. After I finished Suicide Diaries, I sent out a number of query letters. I even one to Elissa Gabrielle and her new publishing company, Peace In The Storm Publishing and got a bite back.

Knowing that I was going to be a part of something so major and ground-breaking was invigorating. Writing had always just been fun to me, so to think someone wanted to publish me was – in a nutshell – AMAZING!

JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Suicide Diaries?

EM: I’d like to say I’m a cool author and have a set writing process, but I really don’t. I always tell people that I see the ending before I see the beginning. I know the beginning before I know the meat and bones of the story. It’s weird, but it works for me.

I will be in the zone writing and the drama is unfolding in front of me as I type and sometimes I have to stop and say, “Oh my gosh. I can’t believe that happened!” I never write anything down. I just sit at my computer and type, and a story comes out.

My family and friends ask me how I do it, but I can’t answer. I’ve never jotted one note or story down on paper. That process doesn’t work for me. I feel liberated sitting in front of the computer with a speck of an idea and a keyboard. That’s when the magic happens.

I finished Suicide Diaries within six months. I didn’t take a break from that one like I normally do with some books. It just flowed out.

JP: What’s next for Ebonee Monique?

EM: My goal is to write one book a year. I’ve got plenty in the vault that are finished and ready for reading, but I want to keep my readers hungry for more. My next book, Walk a Mile, comes out in early 2010. Hands down, it is my favorite book that I’ve penned so far. It centers around a selfish woman, a mysterious man, a secret and a mouth-dropping revelation.

I loved writing Walk a Mile because it allowed me to be so opposite of myself – conceited, selfish, stuck-up and unbelievably wrong – without people judging me. I’ll be touring the country for promotion of Suicide Diaries and Walk a Mile, as well.

I’m young. Instead of shying away from that, I’m going to use what I’ve learned and the lessons I’ve been taught on my incredibly bumpy road and hopefully teach a lesson or two through fiction!



*Nominated as ‘Breakout Author of the Year’ by the African-American Literary Award Show!

Here’s what’s being said about Ebonee Monique:

“Definitely a talent…”- Karen E. Quinones Miller, Essence Best-selling Author

“Suicide Diaries will capitvate for years to come”- Stacy Deanne, author of Everlasting

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29 thoughts on “5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Ebonee Monique, author of Suicide Diaries”

  1. I loved this interview with Ms. Monique. It is so true how the African American society does not acknowledge the fact that suicide and mental illness affects everyone and there is no racial barrier! Hopefully, her book will enable someone to come forward and get help or even just talk to someone without feeling like they will be judged! I can’t wait to read the book! And I am so sorry to hear that Ms. Monique experienced the loss of someone in such a tragic way. Good Luck in your future endeavors.

    1. You’re so right, Tanisha. Mental illness is present in the Black Community but is often swept under the rug. This is one of the books that can change that trend and open a refreshing and healing dialogue on this matter.

  2. As always great interview Joey. I have been a fan of PITTS they are putting out quality work. I am sure that this book is no different. There is not many books geared toward African American with Mental issues as the focal point and/or suicided. I comment Ms Monique for going against the grain. This one of the few PITTS book I have not read. Continue success to her and her counterparts on PITTS

    1. Thank you for the compliment. Ebonee really opened up and gave us the real deal. PITS is a quality publishing company and this is a perfect example of their catalogue and authors.

  3. Ebonee Monique has written a story that will truly be a blessing to so many. In the African American culture, suicide is not discussed freely. Often times, there is no discussion of the events that led up to a person commiting suicide or the repercussions of those actions. I look forward to reading and reviewing the Suicide Diaries. I wish you much success in all of your endeavors.

    1. Another thing, Unika. Mental illness is often mistaken for criminal behavior when not properly diagnosed. Also, religious issues can come into play and overshadow the true cause of rash decisions. What I mean by that is, we sometimes focus on how God doesn’t want us to kill ourselves to the point where we don’t look further into want led to that decision.

  4. It’s always refreshing to come across a writer not afraid to step into territory not easily accepted by publishers and/or readers. The subject matter seems heavy but hopefully readers will embrace it and bring to light a subject that is not often addressed in our communities. I wish Ms. Monique much success with her book. Great interview and a very wise, talented young lady.

  5. This was an excellent interview, Joey! I will be putting Suicide Diaries on my list of books to purchase! Keep up the good work, Joey. It’s great to have someone like you getting the word out about new author, publishers, etc. that we would not otherwise know about. Thanks!

  6. Here is the list of people who are in the running for the free copy of No More Mr. Nice Guy.

    1) Tanisha Barrett
    2) SiStar Tea
    3) Unika Molden
    4) Inda Lauryn
    5) Teresa D. Patterson
    6) ???
    7) ???
    8) ???
    9) ???
    10) ???

  7. After reading this interview, I had to examine how the information about African Americans committing suicide came as a thought because we as a people will not seek help when we have mental health issues because we are afraid of what our friends will think so we hold all the anger or whatever is bothering us in and we sit and we think about suicide,I think if more of us had authors like Ebonee Monique who tell it like it is about life challenges we might step out of the box more, because we would then think if u know someone in this same situation and offer the book without beating them down and making them feel guilty.

  8. This is my first time to come and review,,and all I can say is thank you for drawing my attention your way (I guess the chance at a FREE book sucked me in !) Even if I don’t receive a free book,,I now have your site added to my favorites and plan to check back regularly for inspiration…I consider books a blessing for an imagination and can’t wait to publish my own !…Keep up the great work !

  9. Here is the list of people who are in the running for the free copy of No More Mr. Nice Guy.

    1) Tanisha Barrett
    2) SiStar Tea
    3) Unika Molden
    4) Inda Lauryn
    5) Teresa D. Patterson
    6) Joyce
    7) Asia
    8) ???
    9) ???
    10) ???

  10. This interview really touches on the fact that there are many taboos within the African American community. Unfortunately, the ‘sweeping under the rug’ solution leaves broken and unhealthy people. And the real issues are the core/root problems. We are in denial of suicide in our communities, but the thing that we actually sweep under the rug is what causes the suicide. I find that African Americans, in general, feel as though most of these issues that may lead up to suicide shows weakness. So, healing never happens in our communities because we never uncover what we are going through. Communication never begins…which means purging, releasing and healing never happens. And then if a suicide happens, it is denied or not talked about…it is looked at as more of a shameful thing instead of an eyeopening issue that should cause enough compassion to deal with the core reasons. Shame and guilt plagues our people. I find this even stronger in our Christian communities….a lot of people are under the impression that if they deal with a situation, they are going against God who says to just pray about it. We need a full understanding of what God’s Word actually says. We need to unveil these lies for what they are and start healing! God wants us whole and healed. Pride and condemnation has no place in wholeness and wellness. Okay..sorry, I went all off into something else. 🙂
    I love reading real to life fiction dealing with not-so-mainstream topics…heart wrenching/tugging, usually; always having some type of message or awareness.
    And this book from Ebonee seems to be one that I would thoroughly enjoy for many different reasons. I am so glad she is touching on what most find taboo.

    **Thank you, Joey, for advertising the way you do. And thank you, Ebonee, for allowing yourself to be lead into writing this book.

  11. Thank you everyone for your comments! It always makes me smile to know that my trials will help someone else out. Suicide Diaries went from an emotion, to a thought, to what you read in the book. The book opens eyes about suicide, life, moving on and, most importantly, the realization that life, while never, ever remaining the same, does go on. It’s been 5 years since I lost my first love and it never gets easier, but things are constantly put into perspective. Through his life and death, I’ve made sure to bring awareness to suicide. I hope everyone who reads the book enjoys it-believe me its stuffed with drama and unbelievable twists- and at the same time learns something. Also check out all of the books in the Peace in The Storm Publishing house!

    Again, thanks to Joey for the opportunity!

  12. I think it’s cool that Ebonee has said that her next release is her favorite book by far that she had penned so far. Most authors never want to choose.

    Great interview. This book sounds very interesting.

  13. Grace & Peace,

    Thank you Joey, for all you do for all of us in the literary community. And thank you for this wonderful interview on Ebonee Monique.

    Ebonee is a beautifully talented author who was unafraid to not only pour her heart and soul into this novel, but also had the finesse to pull it off, to make SUICIDE DIARIES an entertaining, thought-provoking and dramatic read.

    Ebonee has done what a good author is supposed to do – deliver meaning through the written word.

    She really has a gift of coming up with fantastic storylines. Her forthcoming book, WALK A MILE, is just as powerful, if not better than her debut.

    Stay tuned…



  14. Here is the list of people who are in the running for the free copy of No More Mr. Nice Guy.

    1) Tanisha Barrett
    2) SiStar Tea
    3) Unika Molden
    4) Inda Lauryn
    5) Teresa D. Patterson
    6) Joyce
    7) Asia
    8) Angela Riley
    9) Jennifer C
    10) Adrienna Turner

Comments are closed.