JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Yanatha Desouvre, author of To Whom Much is Given: A Grayson Goodman Novel
Among action packed cliff hangers, To Whom Much is Given, captures the complexity of the human spirit in this fictional, yet realistic and culturally relevant mystery brimming in believable and intentionally broken characters, leaving you wondering what is next for this witty and courageous crew.
Childhood friends Grayson and Amara, along with Dominique, Amara’s closest friend, join together on a dangerous pursuit to rescue Amara’s nephew Jason. Little do they know where this quest will take them and how dangerous are the forces behind this kidnapping. The darkness of the past haunts these brave friends as they embark on this journey. Will they be able to save Jason in time?
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write To Whom Much is Given: A Grayson Goodman Novel?
Yanatha Desouvre: That’s a great question. There are two things that inspired me to write my debut novel, To Whom Much is Given. First, after completing my most recent creative book Savor the Moments: Inspired by True Stories, my biggest supporters challenged me to write a novel based off the character Grayson Goodman. I was scared, nervous, and excited all at the same time but I did it. Second, I was inspired by a tragic event in my family.
My aunt and cousin in Haiti were involved in a very violent incident back in the 1990s. In the novel, a very similar life changing event takes place in Grayson Goodman’s life, the leading character of the Goodman Chronicles. Writing this novel has been my free therapy to process through that pain.
JP: What sets To Whom Much is Given apart from other books in the same genre?
YD: I believe what sets To Whom Much is Given from other books in the same genre is that this novel addresses the powerful global impact the Haitian Revolution had and continues to have in North America, South America and beyond.
In this modern time in America, I’ve not come across anything in the world of literary fiction that talks about the revolution that rocked the world. Unapologetically, the pride of my Haitian culture is embedded throughout To Whom Much is Given. Reader have described it as “James Bond meets Idris Elba’s Luther mixed with Mission Impossible sprinkled with a dash of Haitian hot sauce.”
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to To Whom Much is Given getting out to the public?
YD: The keys to my success that lead to my getting my book to the public are many. The process is a labor of love. It all starts with me, the writer. First, I write what I know about, my experiences, etc. Next, I organize my manuscript adding a table of contents, bio, etc. Then, reach out to beta readers—people who gave me early and honest feedback on my work.Embracing constructive criticism makes me a better writer.
After the feedback, I had an editor. Next, there are several independent publishing companies to choose from to publish or print the work from I chose Createspace an Amazon.com company. I also have the book in the iBook store for iOS devices and the Mac and for Kindle Devices as well. Embracing constructive criticism makes me a better writer. After the feedback, I had an editor.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish To Whom Much is Given?
YD: My writing process, to reiterate something I mentioned before, is to write what I know about, my experiences, etc. By tapping into my experiences and or the experiences of others that are close to me, my writing flows like water.
I often write my best between 11:00 pm and 3:00 am. I have also given myself a minimum, one hour a day, via the timer, on my phone to just write. I recommend that for anyone who is asking themselves where can I find the time to write. I guarantee you can write a whole lot in one hour of time. Turn off the TV, don’t watch the news and write when everyone in your house is asleep. If you sleep when you have that urge to write, you will get slept on.
JP: What’s next for Yanatha Desouvre?
YD: In addition literary endeavors, I am also working on a personal project that near and dear to me. I’ve been fortunate that my uncle’s story has been featured in the Miami Herald and Miami News Times. I’m on a mission to bring to life the once lost musical works of the late guitarist Daniel Coulanges, my uncle and godfather, to a wider audience.
He died at the young age of 28 of HIV/AIDs in 1989. Anyone can contribute to the Indiegogo project https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/world-s-finest-daniel-coulanges-live-in-ny-part-3–2#/ Scheduled to be released January 1st, 2017 (New Years and Haitian Independence Day)
Joey, 2016 was an exciting milestone for me. It’s been over 10 years since I published my first book Walk Through this Journey: Volume One back in August 2006. To celebrate this milestone, I will release my tenth book Proud to Be, the follow-up to the #1 Amazon best-selling children’s book Big Sister, Little Sister—available in French, Spanish and Haitian-Creole. Joey, you as well as your followers are cordially invited to celebrate this decade of tenacity, drive, ambition, and service in writing that I hope inspires others.
I’ll conclude with this: In the words of the award-winning Broadway hit musical Hamilton via Lin-Manuel Miranda and the talented cast, “I’m just like my country. I’m young scrappy and hungry. And as long as I’m breathing, I’m not throwing away my shot. There’s a million things I haven’t done. Just you wait, just you wait…”
In Spring 2017 – Revelations: A Grayson Goodman – Goodman Chronicles: Book Two, along with the audiobook of To Whom Much is Given: A Grayson Goodman is scheduled for release as well.
Joey, thank you again and I wish you and my fellow writers the very best in your future endeavors.
“My late uncle’s story was featured in the Miami New Times, Miami Herald and NPR affiliate WLRN. For a limited time, autograph copies of To Whom Much is Given will exclusively be available via my website.” ~ Yanatha Desouvre