Do you most often actively seek inspiration or does it find you? Or is it a combination of the two?
I am a people-watcher. I like to observe people and their behaviors/reactions in different situations. My observations paired with my active imagination make for some great story ideas. I can come up with a story idea while people watching at the mall.
What led you to your art form?
I have always enjoyed writing. It became an outlet for me at a very early age. I began writing in a journal but my entries started to read more like short stories. I discovered how much I enjoyed using my imagination when I write which is why I prefer to write fiction.
In addition to mastering their art, what other skill sets to you recommend that artists develop if they want to be successful?
When it comes to writing, I think continuity is important. Even if you aren’t working on a novel, it’s important to write and read something every single day.
How do you map out your goals? How do you measure your success?
I have a list of goals that I try and accomplish as life and time permits. I have longstanding goals that I have put on the shelf for the future and I also have smaller goals that are attainable now. For me success is measured by the amount of effort I have put into completing a goal. If I give it my very best, I believe I will receive the very best results.
Who do you consider to be your peers in your field? Who do you see or use as examples to emulate?
There are so many great writers out there. Wonderful and talented writers who desire to share their creativity through words. I try and pay close attention to those who have reached a level of experience and accomplishment that they can share with an up and coming author like me. Someone new enough in the field to be able to relate to me, but experienced enough to lend advice and guidance.
Name two of your top role models; one in the art world and one from outside of it.
I like Maya Angelou. She is an amazing and inspiring woman. Women have a lot of different things that we have to overcome; stereotypes, insecurities, glass ceilings, and the list goes on. Ms. Angelou absolutely epitomizes the fact that we can rise above anything that we put our minds too. It’s cliché, but it’s also something that a lot of people still struggle with. The past doesn’t define who we are. We all have a story and something to overcome the challenge is taking that first step forward. I also like Michelle Obama. She is a smart, graceful, successful mother and wife. She does it all. I love watching her navigate her way through Washington, D.C., as the first lady. She is definitely in a class by herself.
Name three books, works, performances or exhibits that changed how you view life, yourself or both.
McTeague by Frank Norris; “La Reve” (Cirque du Soleil); and the play “A Raisin in the Sun”
Why do you consider continued learning important?
Learning also allows us to reach our potential. There are so many different facets to life. So many places to see and things to do. We can conquer many of them, but we won’t get to them all in this lifetime. Learning allows us to take our experiences and expand them. It also allows us to partake in things we missed in the past or things we do not get the opportunity to experience presently. Learning is growth and growth is powerful. We can never learn enough or know too much.
What affirmations do you repeat to yourself that contribute to your success?
It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep moving. Some days I am on fire and feel like I can conquer the world. Other days I want to stay in bed and not get out. But once I swing my legs off the bed and let them hit the floor, it’s on.
What role does art have in the community? What role would you like to see art play in the community?
Some of our communities suffer a great deal. Art in its different forms allow people to express themselves and I believe expression is a valuable form of therapy. I would love to see more programs that contribute to individual’s artistic expressions. The Arts are a great way to show creativity and expression and I think people will discover hidden talents and passions if they are given the opportunity to explore them. So, it would be great to see more creative writing workshops, art classes, music classes, digital arts and culinary workshops; and a platform for people to showcase those talents. I think these are all great and powerful ways of building self-esteem and community.
What role does technology play in your day-to-day life? How do you utilize it?
I think the easier question would be what role doesn’t technology play in my day to day life. Between work, managing a pre-teen, keeping up with a young adult in college, my career, volunteer work and my new role as an author, a huge chunk of my life highly depends on technology. This includes scheduling, communicating, reports, transferring money, conference calls, address lists, my next novel; the list goes on and on and on.
What software, app or other technological innovation has made the biggest difference in your life or career?
Mobil devices definitely. I was probably one of the last people to get a cell phone when they first came out and once I had it, I never used it. Now, I can’t imagine life without it. I use my iphone for managing personal things and my blackberry and ipad to manage what’s going on in the office when I’m out.
What is your favorite vacation destination and why?
I really like Italy. I want to spend a little more time in the country side. Maybe it’s the writer in me that just wants to hang out there for a couple of weeks and write.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
There’s too much violence in the world, particularly towards the children and babies.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would have a better memory.
What does it take to be iconic? In your estimation, who has achieved that status?
Confidence, ambition, support and the fear of God. There are plenty of people in this world who have achieved that status.
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