15 March, 2019

Nikki Loves her Hair by Nailah Jones Book Spotlight and Interview with Author!

Nikki is a young girl who loves everything about her natural hair. She loves all of the hairstyles she can do and matching with mommy and friends! Buy on Amazon

What is the first book that made you cry?
The first book that made me cry was I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou. Reading this book was an emotional experience for me because her vivid description of her life story was both triumphant, while also slightly melancholy, as she went through many traumatic experiences as a child
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
I think one common trap for aspiring writers is possibly the desire to be perfect. Sometimes, people sabotage their hard work by critiquing it too much, or being too analytical about it. I think you should let your thoughts flow freely and then go back and look at the bigger picture of what you have created. I also think comparing your work to other's can be detrimental. It can be easy to get caught up in what other people are doing, when you should really focus on yourself.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I think so far, I do a mix of both. For example, with my children's book Nikki Loves Her Hair, I knew it was something that my community needed, but I also put my own twist on it by providing/creating things in the book that might not be seen elsewhere. 
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I think with what I am doing now, I would love to build a body of work that connects with children in different age groups. I originally considered just making this stand-alone book for you children ages 0-5, but then realized that the content I am speaking on (self-love and acceptance) should be highlighted at all age groups in different ways. 
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Possibly to not be so hard on myself. Enjoy the process more instead of rushing to get to a finish line. 
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I can't say I have one experience to pull from, but I think that it is extremely important to invest in yourself and your goals/dreams. I self-published my book, which was extremely scary, but it all ended up being worth it in the end.
What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
As one example, I ended up loving Twilight as a kid, when I originally thought that I wouldn't like the series at all
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
No Name in the Street by James Baldwin
What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?
If this relates at all, again, I just want to show young girls in my community that they should accept themselves the way they are
What’s the best way to market your books?
Social media is a great help, but I think that should also be combined with attending events that relate to what you are writing about, as well as word of mouth through family and friends.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
This book was based on personal experiences and wanted to provide positive representation for young girls in my community. I will say that I purposely include the sunflowers so much in my book because I researched and found that a sunflower represents beauty, joy, delight and vibrancy. Which are all things that I think young girls in my community do have/should have. How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
How many hours a day do you write?
I write for a living as a public relations specialist, so 8 hours a day, and then I complete personal passion projects like Nikki Loves Her Hair. 
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
Writing books/novels is not my full-time job, but I did thoroughly enjoy creating this because I feel like it was something my community needed.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I think one thing that you have to accept early on in life is that everyone isn’t going to like everything that you do. Although it is difficult to deal with and can impact how you feel, I think you should put more energy into the people that like what you have created.

Nailah Jones is a natural haired girl from Snellville, Georgia. After years of getting relaxers, she realized her natural hair better fit her identity and later decided to go back to her natural roots. She has now had locs for two years and counting. Nailah thinks that it is important to let other natural girls in her community know how beautiful their natural hair is, so they never have to wonder! 

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