1. How do you develop your plot and characters?
I tap into my fantasies, my fears, and desires. I allow myself to become comfortable with the deep and sometimes dark thoughts that swirl in all of our heads. I harness all emotions known and unknown for inspiration.
I am also a very emotional person. Other people’s struggles affect me. Often times I feel a deep emotional care and concern for complete strangers. If I could help everyone in the world in any way, I would like to do what I can. The different events that happen around the world stick with me. People's stories often morph into characters in my novels.
2. What are your current/future projects?
I’m currently working on an adult novel. It is an African Diaspora book loosely based off of a bit of family history mixed with a lot of fantasy and screenplay writing. So far, this book is shaping into a Blood Diamond/Hotel Rwanda meets Black Panther meets Alice in Wonderland.
I am also working on a new adult thriller/mystery that takes place during the summer, with a gripping heat wave in the streets of South Boston.
3. Do you have a routine you follow when writing?
Before I ever write a single word of my first draft, I create an outline. I write down some general thoughts and feelings. I try to work through the entire story starting with the five W’s: who, what, where, when and why.
If that comes together, I move on forming the skeleton. I piece the scenes and characters together like bones, ligaments, and cartilage. Lastly, if all goes well, I start shaping the plot, subplot, theme, main characters, and secondary characters, main and secondary conflicts. I compare the process to building the muscle and fat, before I apply the finishing touch - the skin.
Violà! That’s how I birth first drafts. As of today, there are 18 would-be first drafts sitting on ice, waiting for the chance to be brought to life.
4. What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you? (website, blog, social media?) Please include links.
I am truly grateful for each and every one of my readers. I love you! Thank you! I love to hear from readers. Your words mean a lot to me! Please reach out to me through any of my social media channels:
Twitter - @theauthordoris
Instagram - @doristheauthor
I like to know how my fans are connecting to my stories. What type of conclusions are you forming? What would you have liked to see happen? I live for questions and comments, so ask me anything!
5. If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
There’s a saying in my culture that goes “the patient dog eats the fattest meat.” You have to have patience in publishing. If not, you can drive yourself, your agent and even publishers crazy.
I wish I had more patience with myself sometimes. I try to have faith that if I put my mind to anything and follow the beat of my own drum I can find happiness and success. If I could give my younger self advice, I would tell her to block out negativity. Stop allowing the fears and doubts of others to become yours.
Growing up in a family filled with successful doctors and lawyers, the pressure was high for me to get my heads out of the proverbial clouds, but I like clouds. I write better up there!
6. What does literary success look like to you?
Literary success is writing stories that move people to tears and to laughter. Words that get my readers to question their motives and their way of thinking. My own personal literary success would be to see one of my books turned into a movie. I believe my next book “Into the Deep of the Night” will be that piece of literary genius that will make it to the big screen. So for now, I stay focused and write! Stay tuned!
7. What kinds of things inspire your Picture Book writing?
I write stories geared towards parents or educators looking for a solution to a problem they’re facing in their home or classroom. I find it inspiring to use words to help children cope with and put to words the feelings they are experiencing.
I’m one of six children. My parents came to this country with $300 and a dream. They have been married for 43 years and during that time together they’ve built a legacy.
I am a business owner, educator, child advocate, and fighter for families rights and needs. I found my happiness and joy with children, and I spend as much time as I can surrounding myself with children of all ages. Some ask why I choose to shape my career around children, and I have two answers. The first is that children are our future and love having a part in shaping that. The second, is that children are the most loving and forgiving creatures on this earth. They want to laugh, love, play and they are quick to forgive and move on.
My goal as a writer is to create characters every reader can see themselves in. I strive to write books that my readers can’t wait to turn the pages of and stories they lose their emotions in.
I want my stories to tantalize all the senses, blending imagination and reality together so well that my readers lose sense of what world and time they are in. I want my books to provide my readers with a wonderful escape.