once upon a time we all needed help. a friend needed help because she didn’t have a website of her own and I needed help because I had a sick spouse in the hospital and didn’t have anything new to post.
so thank goodness for friends. friends who write, and friends who are writers who help other writers. together we form a little network of friendiousity which is fiendishly fantastic, and — in this case — feminine…
FeLicia Elam IS THE NEXT BIG THING (with thanks to Ashia Lane for greasing the wheels of cooperation)
1. What is your working title/title of your book?
I’m torn between Daredevil Dreams and Other Stories and Moonshine Daiquiris and Other Stories. To me, both are cool sounding titles.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
The stories all come from different places. “Garden Lessons” was based on a dream I had, “Loretta Shine” and “The Game” were class assignments from a short story writing class I took at The Attic when I first moved to Portland. “Daredevil Dreams” came from was a writing exercise I assigned to a critique group I was in when I lived in Memphis. The rest are loosely based on personal experiences. I suppose I grab my stories from either tricking myself through assignments or the creative process called “life”.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Interesting you should ask that. Two stories from this collection have been selected by the New Short Fiction Series to be performed on stage by television actors on October 13. The actors haven’t been chosen so I have to say, whomever Sally Shore, the director of the NSFS picks.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Stories based in the modern South about people who try to live outside of the status quo some succeed and others succumb.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’d rather have an agency or rather a publisher for the book.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I wrote the first story in the collection in 2000 and the last story included was written in 2007. So I have to say about 7 years.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I hesitate to do that as I don’t know who to compare my work to. I’m a rural/urban Southern, who is constantly living between worlds (the black/white world, religious/non-religious, North/South [I have more relatives in Michigan than in my home, Tennessee]). It’s really hard to find another writer who is forced to straddle those particular worlds.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I’m one of those writers who has had a series of low-paying jobs. I’ve worked in daycare, cleaned houses, waited tables and worked in warehouses, all while possessing a bachelors’ degree. My inspiration comes from the workplaces and social situations I’ve been in. I’m from a very religious community-of-origin, so that influences my work also.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I write stories of people who don’t really have a voice: Rural and urban, working class African-Americans who are living in a South that’s changing demographically but not socially. They are people who have to fight battles that others have won and still struggling against entrenched racism.