Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.
Recently, we talked to N. R. White, the author of DESTINY LOVE JONES VOL 1. “sisters and the plight with boys”. She has written various plays and directed and produced several theatrical productions. (read the review here).
Nicole R. White is a Canadian author who expresses her passion for writing in various forms. Her zeal for books and the art of storytelling emerged at an early age, and she was swept away in the infinite world of imagination and creativity in storybooks. In her adult life, she has written various plays and directed and produced several theatrical productions. Destiny Love Jones: Vol 1. “sisters and the plight with boys” is part one of a seven volume series of novels.
What inspired the premise of your book?
The story of Destiny Love Jones Vol.1 “sisters and the plight with boys” stemmed from a novel I had previously written which was a romantic satire. Upon completing that original book, my thinking evolved as I began to understand that there were more to women’s lives than romance (not saying that romance is not important, because it is), but I also wanted to explore additional facets of being female. I also loved the main characters from that original book and knew that I wanted to explore these complex characters more. Thus, leading to my latest novel Destiny Love Jones Vol.1 “sisters and the plight with boys.” I wanted to dive into the characters’ history so readers can have a better understanding of cultural ideology, generational trauma, and the evolving and sometimes stagnant issues in society that girls and women of colour face throughout generations. I also wanted keep the essence of the original book so there are quirky and entertaining moments as well. I find that if readers can understand where a family and people are coming from, they can understand, empathize, and even relate to their circumstance. I also felt that by comparing the past to the present in the story, readers can clearly see that although the times and society have changed, one can think critically, have the times really changed or is it just systematically cloaked?
What do you hope readers will take away from this story?
I hope that readers will take away a tale of harsh reality, understanding, compassion, and moral outrage. I hope that they will not only experience an unforgettable, exciting, relatable story, but that this book will inspire others to examine their own lives and see how they can make even a slight difference in their environment. It is a story about love, sisterhood, family, and friendship, but it is also about forgiveness, empathy, and selflove. If I am able to provoke deep thought in just one reader, then this book has served its purpose.
What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
I have a natural ability to empathize with people; it’s a natural trait I’ve always had since I was a small child. Being a fictional writer, it’s easy for me to thoroughly develop a character because I can walk in their shoes. I can see their point of view when no one else around them can fully see or understand. I can do this from the most lovable character to the most grotesque. I believe that by having empathy as a writer, I can develop strong, well thought-out, believable characters that are uniquely themselves (even the times when they pretend not to be themselves).
How did you decide on this title?
My stories usually begin with a brilliant title idea, and then from this I form a story. My story will shift throughout the course of writing it, and there are even points where I question if this should be the title. But in the end, the title, with some minor tweaking of words, usually survives the final selection and it is indeed the perfect fit.
What makes this book important right now?
Although this story begins in the 40s and 50s, I believe that this book is more relevant and relatable now than any other time. It gives you a beginning point, then as the story continues, it further exposes realities happening in modern times. The focal point of this novel/novel series is following the life of a woman named Destiny Love Jones as she journeys through life to find what most people in this world desire, a happy and fulfilled life. Add in her determined, yet considerate, personality, her race, gender, social location, family she is born into, friends she decides to hold on to, and the boys she chooses to fall in love with, heightens the uniqueness and complexity of this interconnected saga. Universal issues of friendship/sisterhood, race, patriarchy, classism, abuse, bullying, mental health, relationships (both romantic and platonic), and just being a teen in high school and all its politics are all covered in this novel. I do believe that all (or most) of these issues do intersect in readers’ lives at one point or the other and bringing them to the forefront in this book will hopefully promote healthy dialogues and explore ways to address these topics in real life.
What does literary success look like to you?
To me, literary success is having the ability to actually complete a story. I find that this is one of the most challenging part as a writer and budding writers. I have far more writing ideas and partially written works than I have completed ones. Once I am able to get to the end of a story, and even more important, I’m completely satisfied with it, I consider this a literary success. Getting the story published and even earning lucrative book sales is a blessing, but without a completed story, nothing beyond this is possible. And keep in mind, even if you do not become the next Mark Twain or Toni Morrison, not everyone can say that they have written an entire book!
Do you find writing therapeutic?
Let’s just say, writing is my therapy! I am absolutely in my element when I write, and I am a great fan of fiction. Being able to create boundless worlds where your can capture a reader and convince them that this scenario is possible is what drives me when I am writing. I recall growing up reading bible stories, nursery rhymes, poems and, as I grew older, books like C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Terry McMillan’s Waiting to Exhale and other fascinating fictions, and as a reader, I was caught up in these unique worlds. This is what I feel when I write and it is exciting to imagine what my readers will experience, as I do when I read other books. Also, I am naturally an introvert, so I find writing very cathartic, as well as having the opportunity to creatively express my thoughts in words.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
As a self-published author, the best money I can spend is on a professional book editor. I find this service invaluable. As writers, we spend tireless months, years, even decades, working on, and perfecting, our manuscript. Nothing is more disappointing than after all this time, dedication, and sacrifice, we find that our now published book is filled with grammatical and formatting errors. Not only does this take away from the magic of your brilliant story, but it creates an unpleasant, and sometimes confusing, reading experience for readers. As an author, you want to present your best work. I am also aware that for many indie authors it’s the high cost of professional editing that prevent us from taking this route, but I firmly believe that investing in a professional editor is worth each penny and more. Think about it, your book will exist far long after you recoup the expense for editing, and furthermore, your work isn’t fully completed until it’s edited appropriately. I suggest, as early as possible, start saving the funds for a competent book editor that will get the job done right. And be sure to do your research on them before you commit; see samples of their past work, get references etc. All in all, professionally editing your manuscript is just as important as writing it, so be sure to invest in your book wisely.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Never give up on your passion, no matter how difficult the journey may be at times. Also, do not be afraid to take your time and write your work. It may take months or even years. Some of the greatest literature masterpieces were decades in the making; so, take your time and allow creativity and inspiration to drive you, not the clock. In the end, you will be pleased by the outcome.
What’s next for you?
I am pleased to say that Destiny Love Jones Vol. 1 “sisters and the plight with boys” is part one of a seven-series novel collection. With this well thought-out series, readers will be able to follow these fascinating characters throughout their life’s journey, mainly into adulthood, and all the adventures, obstacles, twist, and life lessons that will come their way. Volume 2 is due out Spring of 2022 and will be available for pre-order this fall. Volume 3 is available 2023.
Categories: BookView Review Interview