Monday, 14 March 2016
Author Interview With Sandra M. Reed
Tell us a little about yourself
I was born in New Roads, Louisiana and have seven siblings. I received my B.A. in English and Drama Education from Dillard University. I am a veteran teacher of the Chicago Public Schools. One of my greatest challenges was serving two terms as an elected official and became one of the voices in government on the local, state and federal level. Heeding the voices of children and parents, I established the Myria Reed Foundation for Children with Special Needs.
As a member of Actor's Equity Union, I have performed in dance companies, plays and musicals throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. I am a member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), Chicago Screenwriters Network, Chicago Women in Publishing, ARRAY Now (Artists and Advocates for Independent Film Distribution and Resource), and Sundance Institute member.
What genre do you write in?
Tell us about your latest book
Buckwheat’s Journey… is an ethic fiction novel that invites reading on all multi-levels or age groups. It is a light-hearted yet evocative perspective of stereotype and bullying. Set in Chicago, Buckwheat re- enters the 21st century as a doll and clashes with black classy female dolls because of social and cultural differences. When Buckwheat says, “Otay, whateva yuh say,” realization sets in. As the readers take this historical and geographical journey with Buckwheat they will have a better understanding how stereotypes impact African-Americans today. Although contentious issues are present, this narrative has several humorous scenes. Along the way, Buckwheat is transformed, yet becomes a hero. The reader will be inspired as well as gain knowledge that it is not what is on the outside but the inside that counts.
“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” ___ Ralph Waldo Emerson
When did you first know you wanted to be writer?
In college, I studied theater and was surrounded by prolific writers and that experience was the beginning of my journey in writing.
Are there any books or writers who have particularly influenced or inspired you as a writer?
Several authors influenced my writings: Douglas Turner Ward, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Henrik Ibsen, August Wilson, Lorraine Hansberry, Claude McKay, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Ayn Rand, Maya Angelou, Lewis Carroll, Ed Bullins, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Plato, Aristotle and authors of the Bible.
What is your proudest moment as a writer so far?
The proudest moment as a writer was being able to let my voice be heard.
Have you ever considered branching out into other genres? If so which other genre/s would you like to write in?
I will continue to work on my screenplays.
If you answered yes to the above would you write under the same name or use a pen name for each genre? What's your take on writing in multiple genres under one name?
I will always write under my name.
Why did you decide to be an independent author?
I decided to become an independent writer after receiving feedback from publishers such as: “Thanks very much for your thoughtful query, but the project you describe doesn't sound quite right for me. I wish you the best of luck finding representation for your book.”
In addition, I realized the lack of diversity in novels, film etc., and people of color have to create their own pathway to let their voices be heard.
If one of the big 5 publishers offered you a contract tomorrow would you swap indie for traditional publishing, stay as you are or try to do both?
I may try to do both but only under certain conditions; I will not let them change or take away my voice.
What's the biggest challenge you've faced as an indie?
The biggest challenge is exploring and learning ways to promote my work, but I love it.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a screenplay (biopic).
Where can people buy your books or learn more about you?
Buy Sandra's book
Connect With Sandra
N.B. This author interview does not constitute the endorsement of the featured writer or their work by this blog. This interview is provided as part of a free promotional opportunity for indie authors.