JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Venesha, author of Notorious
(Polka Dotz & Stripez Publishing)
My name is Starlett Ray and I am Urban Fiction’s most notorious vixen and newest “It Girl”. Don’t really know how I ended up on top of so many people’s sh*t list within this industry, but the hate far exceeds the love. Despite the mounds of b*tch*ssness, I have been able to stiletto step my way towards the top in the face of the Candyland games some folk fancy to play. I struggled through the not so good times and finally reached the pot of pink diamonds on the other side of the ghetto rainbow.
Enter the infamous and notorious world of publishing: the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good: Writing and the journey behind the words, characters, and editing process. The bad: Being tricked and treated by far removed publishers sitting in their ivory towers, rockstar graphic designers, devious publicists making promises they can’t keep and wannabe-balling-out-of-control authors who have the publishing industry confused with the dope game from the 80s and 90s. The ugly: Being gossiped about and frowned upon by industry so-called elite since I did things a little different than they did to try to get my book published.
In addition to learning the woes of becoming an author, you are also given a first class seat inside of my private life, married to a platinum rapper. It’s the best of both worlds as Hip-Hop and Urban Literature collide within the pages of Notorious. Fasten your seat belt for a wild, whimsical, and fanciful ride in the Bentley of Urban Fiction tales…
Your Access Has Been Granted:
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Notorious?
Venesha: I came up with the idea and inspiration for Notorious back in 2007 after a series of unfortunate events within the publishing industry. They tried to put me in a box, and I came out with a book!
JP: What sets Notorious apart from other novels in its genre?
V: My books will always be different and set apart, so to speak, from other books simply because they read so true to reality. Hell, they may be. I’ll never tell though.
Notorious chronicles a character’s journey up close and personal as she writes a book and tries to get the book published. I take the reader behind the scene of the entire process and adventure of publishing a novel. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
My reader base will enjoy it because it has a double plot, and you know I gets the drama poppin’ off on or about page 2. And, it doesn’t stop there. I have been holding that book under lock and key for a while but now it’s time for Notorious to hit the red carpet and pose for the cameras…flick flick!
JP: What did you learn from writing and publishing Mistress Me that made Notorious a better novel?
V: Wow. I learned a lot about developing my craft as a writer. It took me much longer to write Notorious versus Mistress. The editing process almost took me under it was sooooo stressful. I was trying to pull off a double plo,t and I wasn’t ready. However, with the help of my editor, it all came together.
I did a ton of re-writes and added about seven additional scenes before we could move forward. My editor was sooooo cracking the whip… I cried on several occasions and thought of trashing the entire project.
So, I learned a ton just as a writer should each time they write a book and go through the editing process. I was more so challenged as a storyteller rather than a writer. I think I did more telling than showing. Then, I had to go back in the ninth hour and reverse many aspects of the novel.
Notorious has literally drained me. However, the pre-reviews and press buzz has been awesome. So, I’m excited!
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Notorious?
V: My writing process is rather simple. A laptop, good R&B music and a few scented candles creates the ambiance required for Venesha to flow. When I’m in writer mode I don’t check emails, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, or talk on the phone. I have to shut the world out for hours at a time. Then I’ll pop back in for a while. Then I’m out again.
It took me a year or so to get the foundation. I wrote the first half back in 2007. Six months later, I completed it and have been doing re-writes for months.
JP: What’s next for Venesha?
V: With Notorious coming out of production and ready for her turn, I can finally get back to Mistress Me/The Remix, which will be out this winter. Once The Remix is completed, I have a few more projects to write.
Whatever isn’t written by 2010 will be put off while I concentrate on Teen Fiction.
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