JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Sa’ Rese, author of Stripping Asjiah
(Lá Femme Fatalé Publishing)
Stripping Asjiah is a gripping, in your face novel that follows the struggle of two siblings as they fight to survive after their father brutally murders their mother. The story takes place in the gritty streets of Cleveland, Ohio where you are introduced to Angel and Asjiah.
Betrayed by those who are supposed to love them; After being raped by her uncle; Asjiah decides to take matters in her own hands since no one believes her not knowing that her brother wants his own revenge against the same man that used to beat him as a child.
Sa’ Rese delivers a gritty, intimate tale of survival, laced with twists and turns that leaves her readers asking; what would they do if they were Stripped?
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Stripping Asjiah?
Sa’ Rese: Honestly, life gave me the inspiration and the idea to write Stripping Asjiah. I feel like my characters are very identifiable. If you can’t relate to them personally, then you know someone who can. Our youth are faced with various disadvantages growing up.
Many times, we become products of our environment. I wanted to write a book that touches on that.
JP: Incest within the African-American communities is well-known but rarely discussed openly. What has been the response from the early readers of Stripping Asjiah?
Sa’ Rese: Surprisingly the responses have been very positive. It seems like Stripping Asjiah has opened doors for people to speak out about abuse. That was my goal for writing this book. Incest and rape are both really traumatizing events.
Often people are afraid to talk about them. I wanted to be the voice for the little boy or girl who was to scared to speak up.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Stripping Asjiah getting out to the public?
Sa’ Rese: Well, first I was signed to La’ Femme Fatale’ Publishing. (Thank you Michele for giving me a chance.) Then, I have to give a lot of credit to my manager BE’N Original of UMA Marketing. We have a really aggressive and relentless marketing strategy to make sure the book gets as much exposure as possible.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Stripping Asjiah?
Sa’ Rese: My writing process is a little unorthodox. Ideas come to me in pieces. Usually I think of the ending, then the middle and finally the beginning. It’s not always in that order. My brain is on fast forward all day. It’s like a movie reel that occasionally pauses but never rewinds.
The minute an idea comes to me I write it on whatever is closest to me: my hand, a receipt, it doesn’t matter. It took me 3 months to write Stripping Asjiah. I knew what I wanted to say, but I needed to make sure it came across the right way. There’s so many ways I could’ve spinned this story. That’s why there’s a sequel: Stripping Asjiah II: Blood Money.
JP: What’s next for Sa’ Rese?
Sa’ Rese: The sky is the limit. I want to rule the world! What’s next for Sa’ Rese? Movies, poetry, speaking engagements; I want to do everything. I think it’s a smack in the face not to use the talent that God blessed you with, so I’m going to keep grinding until I can’t do this anymore. Who knows, maybe I’ll start my own publishing company one day.