JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Faydra D. Fields, author of This Day in African-American History, January
(Sola Mente Publishing)
This Day in African-American History, January is a quick reference guide to facts about people, places and events that have shaped American history and the African-American experience in America.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write This Day in African-American History, January?
Faydra D. Fields: I have a column on Examiner.com (http://www.examiner.com/africanamerican-history-in-national/faydra-fields) where I write articles about African-American History.
When 2012 started, I decided I was going to do an article each day that highlights historically-relevant people, places and events that are significant to the black experience in America and that have shaped America history, as well.
After doing several of these articles, it dawned on me that a quick reference in eBook format is something that was missing in the treasure trove of books available in electronic format. So…
I decided to do an eBook for each month of the year, and the eBook for January is the first eBook is the “This Day In” series.
JP: What sets This Day in African-American History, January apart from other books in the same genre?
FDF: There are many reference books on African-American History, several of which I own because my undergraduate degree is in African-American Studies (Howard University, Washington, DC).
The issue is that many of these references come in several volumes, have one thousand or more pages and/or cost a great deal to own. Those that are too expensive for many people’s budgets require that you go to a library and spend countless hours using them in the library because you can’t take them home.
The “This Day In” series in general, and this first eBook in the series in particular, alleviates most of these concerns. As a quick reference, it functions as your first read in the beginning of your research. Once you’ve determined who/where/what you’d like to learn more about, then you can move on to some of the more expansive resources.
The eBook format makes this whole process more portable, because you can read/browse eBooks on your phone and not just on eBook reader devices.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to This day in African-American History, January getting out to the public?
FDF: This is a project that I decided to do for myself, and then I realized that other people would probably be interested in sharing in it with me. To that end, I decided to do the articles on my column, and then the eBook was, in my mind, a natural expansion of the articles.
This is a huge undertaking, but the way I make sure I continue to deliver on the project is to be consistent in doing about two or three hours of research a day.
I’m also constantly verifying my information and revising and adding to it, so anyone who invests in the eBook will get free, lifetime updates. I think that lends some credibility to my endeavors.
It’s not that history changes. It’s just that history is recorded by many different people and sometimes there are conflicts. If I see that a date is different in two sources, I go with the date that the majority sources have agreed upon. This may require an update to the content that’s already been released, but it won’t cost you more to get that update, because I offer free updates for life.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish This day in African-American History, January?
FDF: Writing non-fiction is different from writing fiction, so I’ve discovered. I have a totally different writing process for fiction, which is something I realized when I decided to begin the “This Day In” series.
With the series, I started with web searches on “this day in african-american history” and ” this day in black history.” From the sites I discerned to be credible, I pulled out tidbits of black facts to include in my articles.
Once I realized how much bigger the project could be, I started consulting my own reference materials on my bookshelves. That’s how each day’s 10 tidbits for an article on my Examiner column got expanded into sometimes 20 or more black facts per day for my eBooks.
JP: What’s next for Faydra D. Fields?
FDF: I’m working hard on This Day in African-American History, February, and my plan is to make it available before February ends. After that, I’ll continue to make sure January’s eBook is as accurate as possible and add any more black facts I find to it, and I’ll start on This Day in African-American History, March.
I’m also writing the sequel to my first novel, The Pride, which is entitled The Village, and I’ve got several more novels, novellas and short stories in the works. I’ve also started a publishing company, SolaPress, to help others get their books in front of readers.