Author J’Diorr stopped by for a chat. Read on to learn more about her, her books, and the art of her craft.
Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so who?
Yes, there is an author who influenced my work. My publisher Mz. Lady P. I look up to her in more ways then she knows. She’s my inspiration of who I want to become, be better than in the book world. I say be better than because anytime I say I wanna be like her, she corrects me and tell me she wants me to be better than her. This woman is so strong. She had endured so much and overcame it all! I know first hand on how one can lose everything and gain it all back plus more. She’s a great author and exceptional publisher. I love her so much. I had no idea about writing when I started. I just knew I was damn good at it and she took a chance on me and allowed me to be the first author signed to her company. For that I am grateful, blessed. Thank God for her daily. She’s unique, one of a kind.
Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?
Out of all the characters I’ve written my favorite is Mr. Shaheed “Choppa” Jones. That man, that man! Lol. He’s so charming and sweet but has a rough side to him as well. He loves wholeheartedly and is sincere. He’s loyal, puts his family first and will do anything to keep a smile on his woman’s face. He’s simply amazing. He’s what I want in a man. Lol.
Are they any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones why?
Yes. I actually have a very difficult time writing sex scenes. Lol. I don’t know why it’s so hard. It’s like I want it to seem real. Like you’re literally standing in the room with the two characters and able to see everything if that makes sense. I tend to think about my older brothers and pray they don’t read the sex scenes and put me on punishment afterwards! Yes, I’m grown but my brother’s are terrible. Lol
What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?
The most rewarding part of being an author for me is the relationship I build with my readers! I absolutely love each and every one of them. The fact that I can write something that people can relate too is amazing to me. My inbox is always blowing up with readers saying they can relate to this part, or this part of the book made them cry, laugh, scream etc… because they experienced something close to it. I love them. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that you can touch so many lives through pages in a book.
What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?
My advice to other authors just starting their journey is to stay consistent. Make your readers know and remember who you are. Stay in your own lane. Don’t give up! Your book may not do what you thought it would. Takes notes and come harder with each and every drop. And last but not least, other authors can be your friends granted, but never forget they’re still your competition!
Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.
Yes, I actually have a writing ritual. I made up a hand shake with my four year old daughter, Julianna that we do right before I start writing. (I actually included this handshake in my next release) After the handshake is over, she kisses me and tell me, “good luck mommy.” After I’m done writing we do the same handshake over again, she kisses me and yells “Good Job Mommy.” It’s so cute and something I really look forward too before and after writing. lol
Was being an author something you always wanted to do?
Yes. Being an author was always something I wanted to do, never thought I would. Lol I remember reading all types of novels and seeing the page at the end asking to send in your synopsis and first three chapters. I always looked at the page and never did it. All of my essay’s in school started off with an attention grabber; which was a short story I made up relating to whatever topic I was writing about. I remember teachers telling me I was great at creative writing. I always wrote, all day, every day, and anywhere. That was my go to thing whenever the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I’d just write and bleed ink all over the pages until I felt better. Writing is my life; it’s all I know.
If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
If I could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead that would be my grandfather/father Sidney L. Crout. He passed when I was twelve. He gave meaning to the quote, “A girl’s first love is her father.” I would simply thank him for taking on the challenge of raising his granddaughter as his own. I would thank him for adopting me, giving me his last name and taking on the challenge of raising another child when he didn’t have too. I would tell him all about my novels and how much I’ve grown with writing. I would give him a big kiss on the cheek and tell him I’ll forever be daddy’s little girl.
Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of you work?
Yes I would. This is an excerpt from my latest release Can’t Compete Where You Don’t Compare.
Chapter 1: Niara “Nia” Hicks
“Mama, please, please stop!” I screamed out holding onto the rails of my bed. I was sleeping peacefully until I felt ice cold water being thrown on me. My Hello Kitty nightgown was sticking to my skin. The once dirty but dry pink sheets my body laid on top of were now soaked. I was shivering so badly you could hear my teeth chattering. The shivering wasn’t just because I was cold; it was from fear as well.
I didn’t understand…
Why was this happening to me…
I did nothing wrong…
I felt her hands wrap around my ankles before I was pulled out of my bed and to the floor. You would think I would be used to this by now, but I wasn’t. Balling up in a fetal position, I waited for the blows to come but they didn’t. I still felt her presence over me. It was like she was daring me to move… daring me to say something, so I didn’t.
I laid there and prayed. I prayed that she would leave and that the abuse would finally stop. I was only eight years old, and I was getting the backlash of the hatred my mother held in her heart for my father. He left two years ago on my birthday.
I always heard them arguing about my mother’s drug use, but I didn’t think nothing of it. I was a child and was always taught to stay in a child’s place. The day of my sixth birthday party, I kept asking my father where my mother was, but he never responded to me. I think he made his mind up right then and there that he was leaving.
Making it back to our house, I expected to find my mother there with presents, but she wasn’t. I saw the worry on my father’s face, as he called her, for what seemed like, the millionth time and still didn’t get an answer. He put me on the bed and rubbed my curly hair.
“Happy Birthday, Princess. Daddy loves you.”
He told me how much he loved me and that he will always be with me. I laid there looking at him until my eyes finally closed, but I woke up to the sounds of them arguing in the living room. My mother always accused my father of having another kid, but that wasn’t true; at least, I didn’t know of any sisters or brothers I had.
It all happened so fast. They started fighting, and there was a loud knock at the front door. The next thing I knew, my father was being taken by the police, and I was crying for them to let him go. I didn’t want my father to leave us. Most of all, I didn’t want him to leave me with her.
The next day, he came back to the house, packed his things, and left. He didn’t even notice that I had my small, Minnie Mouse backpack ready and waiting. He just walked right past me like he didn’t see me. No matter how hard I cried, or how loud I screamed for him, he ignored me. He walked right out of the door and didn’t even say goodbye.
From that day forward, my mother started abusing me. She told me that she hated me and that I messed her life up. She told me that, the reason my father left us was because I was a mistake, and he couldn’t stand to be my father any longer.
“Didn’t I tell you to stop making all this damn noise in my house?” My mother asked looking down at me breaking me from my thoughts. Finally getting the courage, I looked up at her. It was the middle of the night, so I had no idea what noise she was talking about. I could see the white powder on her nose, and her eyes were big. Her lips were split and bleeding from being so dry, and hair was all over her head.
At that moment, I knew she was high.
“Mama, I didn’t-”
Before I could finish, she jabbed me in my side. I wanted to scream out in pain, but I knew that would only make matters worse.
“I’m sorry, Mama,” I said, slowly backing away from her. I watched as her dangling hand twitched, which held the lit cigarette. I’m sure she could see the fear in my eyes, and I could feel it in my heart.
“Didn’t I tell you not to call me that?” My mother said to me.
“I’m sorry, Oceane,” I said, putting my head down waiting for the blow that I knew was coming. Whenever I called her mama, she hit me. Still to this day, I didn’t understand why.
“Don’t be a sorry bitch all your life, Niara.” I looked up at her with my eyes filled with tears.
“I swear, you remind me so much of your no-good ass father. You’re gonna be just like him… dumb and pathetic. Maybe, I should have swallowed your ass instead of going through thirty-six-and-a-half hours of torture just to give birth to a pain in my ass!” Oceane said while blowing cigarette smoke in my face.
Instantly, I started to cough as I backed further away from my mother. I fumbled around under my pillow until I found what I was searching for. Trying to control my breathing, I looked at the number on the back of my asthma pump and realized it was almost empty. Taking the top off, I was about to spray two puffs into my lungs until my mother snatched it away from me.
“Oh, what’s wrong? Baby, can’t breathe?” Oceane giggled, looking at me, her very own daughter, struggling to breathe. She squeezed the inhaler, and I watched as my medicine released then disappeared into the air.
Four… I thought to myself counting the numbers of puffs I had left.
I started taking short breaths reaching out for my pump. It felt like my lungs were on fire. Oceane inhaled more smoke and blew it slowly in my face again. Closing my eyes, the tears slid out the side, and I coughed harder, only this time it was uncontrollable.
“Mama, please.” I cried out, as the tears rolled down my face. I grabbed at my throat looking up at her. I knew that if I didn’t get the medication into my lungs soon, I was sure to have an asthma attack that my inhaler wouldn’t be able to fix.
My lungs started to burn, and my coughs got more intense. The sharp pains that traveled through my chest hurt more with each breath I desperately struggled to take. I continued to grab my throat as the tears rolled down my face. She started to laugh and threw the asthma pump at my feet. I crawled over to it, and it seemed like the closer I got, the further away I felt it was.
“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” I managed to whisper still reaching out for my pump. My mother kicked it away before flipping me over and sitting on my chest.
“Die bitch! Just die! No one will save you. No one even loves you. You’re better off dead!” Oceane yelled out wrapping her arms around my throat. She squeezed tightly as I continued to cough. I started gagging as the room started to spin. I heard my name being called, but I didn’t see my mother’s lips moving. The only thing I saw was a wicked smile on her face before she spoke again.
“Die, Niara! Die!” My mother yelled, as she continued to choke me, and oddly, I heard my grandmother’s voice…
“Nia? Are you ok?”
“Nia, baby, wake up.” My Grandmother said shaking me.
Instantly, I sat up in my bed holding onto my chest. My body was soaked from sweating. I looked around, and everything was spinning. I was taking extremely deep and short breaths. The lights were bright, and my vision slowly started to settle. I gazed into my grandmother’s eyes, happy that I was at home with her and not with my mother.
“It’s ok, Niara. It’s ok; it was just a dream, baby. It’s just a dream.” My sweet Grandma Rose said hugging me.
“But Big Ma, it-”
“Shh, baby, it’s ok. I’m here. You’re safe, Niara. No one will ever hurt you, again, I promise.” She said hugging and holding me tightly.
“Why does this keep happening?” I cried looking up at her. I could see the tears in her eyes as well, and I knew I was asking a question that she didn’t have an answer to. I hated holding onto the things that I was meant to let go, and sadly, these memories were one…
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