Interview with One Who Loves You More Author Andrea Clinton
Interviewed by Dana Rettig
They say that greatness lays within someone’s deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), an extremely long macromolecule that is the main component of chromosomes and the material that transfers genetic characteristics in all life forms. As the years progress, a person becomes blessed with enough talent to utilize their gift(s) for everyone to see in a positive light as well as encourage others to strive for the best. Author/poet/aspiring filmmaker is the perfect example of what persistence is. In 1990; her house caught on her fire, which destroyed the majority of her work, leaving her back to square one.
Despite her tragedy, Andrea Clinton began to seek out other ventures in life by holding a journalist/editor-in-chief position with The Scroll Newspaper. Some years later, another calamity had occurred: she was diagnosed with Lupus. Willing to surmount her condition, she began to write narratives relating to men and women’s perspectives and plights. Her first novel, Life knows no Bounds addresses that life is no one’s enemy; it doesn’t know any boundaries. More information on Andrea Clinton can be found at http://www.aroundthewaypublishing.com
UM: Tell Urbania Magazine about your book, “One Who Loves You More.” Which character(s) do you relate to the most in your book and what can the audience expect from reading your book?
AC: “One who loves you more” is a novel about a girl, Alisa, who follows in the footsteps of her mentors by making a profession out of using men for money, jewelry, credit cards; all the fine things a woman loves. She grows tired of hearing her mother fuss about her actions so she decides to get one man who can keep her in the way she’s become accustomed. Then, suddenly, she runs into Omar. Omar is an African American Muslim who’s lost his way; he’s a drug dealer. Having his own demons, he wants to go back to the peaceful life he once knew. But, life with a gold digger, Alisa, just won’t allow him to. With their lives colliding, readers experience a, “Clash of the Titans” type of around the way drama and action, not to mention all the skeletons that come falling out of many of the other character’s closets.
Regarding, which character I can relate to, Wow! Because I wanted to show real life character traits, I put a trait or three from myself into a few of the characters, anything from my views on, “The difference between a woman and a lady,” to “The demise and/or fall of those Muslims who fell between the cracks when there were divides among the Muslims in the 60′s and 70′s.” But, I’d have to say I probably relate more to Omar and the mothers, as although we are on the correct path now, we all have a story, and those two mothers have a story and a half.
What can the audience expect? Hmmm, a lot of DRAMA! He-he-heee, I packed the novel with drama and action and I spread them throughout the novel; Midwest Book Review and a few reviewers on Amazon acknowledged that. I also added a few surprises. I mainly write in realism and naturalism. Whereas realism is about real characters and real situations, which usually leave the characters with a decision to make, naturalism reveals enough about who the characters are, their history, environment and upbringing that you understand why they make the decisions they make. I love it, especially because we as a people are quick, “Oh that was a stupid decision,” or “thing to do” without ever even knowing what drives that person. So realism and naturalism provides me the room to spread the character’s story like a deck of cards, so the readers get the inside straight; the entire view of who the characters are and what drives these characters. Readers can expect to get a view inside of the character’s lives, experience the character’s decisions either pan out or blow up in everyone’s face, and many many issues that real people have that often times bring forth some exhilarating action and/or DRAMA.
UM: You have been writing poems and short stories based on young girls’ trials and tribulations in life for a long time. What encouraged you to put yourself in other young girls’ shoes as well as expanding your literature repertoire as the years progressed?
AC: I write for men, women and the youth. But, I guess for the youth because when we are young we don’t really know as much as we think we know. I been there; couldn’t’ tell me anything. But I don’t want to see anything happen to these young girls, teens and young women due to inexperience or someone not hitting on some issue they’re going through. We mature adults have to understand, it’s in a girl’s nature to behave as grown women, however, at those young ages, we’re not grown mature women. And the youth need guidance. They cannot be overlooked or overstepped because we’re too busy trying to make it happen or have issues that take up adult attention. If we get preoccupied, the youth will go astray. I pray the moral of the story in the books I write for the youth will be some sort of guide. I’m also going to get out and speak with the youth to encourage them to stay positive and strong.
UM: You have overcome many obstacles in life. Has there ever been a time when you wanted to say, ‘Forget it! Life is too complicated to move on’?
AC: Many. In fact, it’s the reason I’m just now publishing. I had heard so many horror stories about the book industry that I ran like a chicken for many years, sharing my stories in magazines and newspapers as well as with friends. Even when professors encouraged me to send my work out to authors I wouldn’t because it seemed too cut-throat and I wasn’t up for the task. After all the research I did and an agent who seemed rough around the edges, I just did away with the thought. But, when I was struck with lupus in 2003, I regretted having 10 or more year old stories that received rave reviews, but were all packed in trunks and storage boxes. It was too heavy on my mind as I lay sick that I never published, nor attempted to. All this, while laying and worrying about dying from lupus. So when I was well, a publicist I’d consulted with at that time said with having lupus and being fearful of not having the time to live to publish my finished books, I should self publish. Thus, the 1st book in the “Life Knows No Bounds series”
UM: What other projects are you working on besides writing?
AC: None, he-he-heeee. Seems everything I’m doing involves writing. I was just picked up by a producer so the book is being turned into a play, so I’m changing the book into play format for executive producers review; I’m adding some finishing touches to the next book, “A Blessing and a Curse”, completing a non-fiction book, “Shortcuts to Great Writing” which will help high school and college students write better essays. So, see, it’s all writing. I think it is truly my lot in life. Oh wait, I do have a non profit organization, “People Helping People, Inc.” and I counsel drug prevention & intervention, alcohol and tobacco use, and I also counsel the youth and help people in whatever way necessary to become self-sufficient and independent, which is our motto.
UM: Name three people who you believe inspire the community and beyond.
AC: Cornell West, Ph.d, because he’s attacking issues. He knows we sleep and he’s right there in the trenches with that gong in our ears saying, “Wake up! See what’s going on around you!? Look, it’s right there.” He’s really giving us the 411, and often times many others when he’s on shows like Bill Maher. Monique, because she is truly one of us and showed us when she was doing comedy shows, on Apollo, telling plus size ladies to love themselves and she even took it to a TV show and a movie. Then topped herself by winning an Oscar and topped that with a TV show where she’s putting the spotlight on others and helping them promote their projects. Monique is good people and we need that. Also, whether people realize it or not, I believe Russell Simmons inspires us. In the front of our mind we may not give it too much thought but, you see a man who came from the same neighborhood we everyday folk come from, where he made it from scratch and still moving ahead, it makes you want to get back up when you fall down; he delivers hope just by doing his own thing.
UM: What advice do you have for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
AC: I have so many things I dreamed about doing. So, I’d say pick something you want to do and stick with it, hahahahahaaaaa. I’m all over the place. I have so many interests, and honestly, lupus is the boogie man that scares me into thinking I’ve not a lot of time to accomplish them. As a kid I was afraid of the monster in the closet coming to get me and now, it’s lupus in my system I fear is going to get me, and that has me trying to beat the clock; beat my D-Day. Can be wearisome at times. So, I’d tell anyone, put your dreams in order and follow them in that order, putting your all into them. Don’t wait until something threatens you and don’t put them on hold for NOBODY! As the elders say, “You never know the day nor the hour.”
UM: Who are your muses to write literature based on life situations such as “Life knows no Bounds: One who loves you more?”
AC: My muses are, and I say it proudly, Richard Wright who made me want to tell my story; and my favorite, J. California Cooper who pushed me to complete my first short short story after I read family; Charles W. Chestnut who was the 1st African American realism writer in the 1800′s, he shed light on slavery from a different angle; and Charlotte Perkins Gilman who wrote, “The Yellow Wallpaper” after experiencing some mental health issues and felt the condition and the treatment of women needed to be exposed so male doctors at that time could stop treating women as if they were insignificant and limp. They make me not just want to write, but they make me want to blast off! in the literary world. They are my Duracell batteries; my muse’
UM: Where can people purchase your book, “Life knows no Bounds: One who loves you more?”
AC: You can buy it from http://www.amazon.com/shops/Cupcakestatus or my website www.AroundTheWayPub@aol.com, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookstores. Establishments buying more than one should contact me at: AroundTheWayPub@aol.com to receive bulk or wholesale discounts.
Thank you for the interview and your interest in “One Who Loves You More” which is the 1st novel in the “Life Knows No Bounds” series. The 2nd is coming in the fall 2011 titled, “A Blessing and a Curse” please check it out on the website, www.AroundTheWayPublishing.com