Disilgold: What can you tell the Disilgold community about yourself that will explain why Disilgold has sought you for a perSOULnalized interview?I am an author, playwright, Talk Show Host, domestic violence advocate and CEO/founder of Leave the Wilderness, a non-profit organization that aids, uplifts and assist battered women and their children.
Disilgold: What is your latest book about? My latest book, The Resurrection of Me will be released in June 2008. It’s a spiritual memoir that picks up where my debut novel, Leaving the Wilderness ended. The release of Leaving the Wilderness and how God transformed my life from being a battered woman that nearly lost her life to having a national ministry uplifting, assisting and empowering battered women and their children and mentoring women to be the best that they can be.
Disilgold: How long did it take you to complete your book? It took nearly 8 months to write. However, I did take breaks from time-to-time.
Disilgold: What were the happiest moments you have experienced while writing your latest book? Wow, there were so many. Just writing this memoir really took me to another place. I have never experienced freedom the way I did writing The Resurrection of Me. I always tell people that Leaving the Wilderness liberated me but writing this memoir allowed me to really take a look at where I had came from–a broken battered woman to a woman that was sharing with the world my soul and how with faith nothing is impossible.
Disilgold: Describe your writing style?I write with a bit of poetic flair…
Disilgold: How did you develop your writing style?I just began writing. I am a singer, as well and when I perform I dig really deep. I take the same approach with writing…I dig deep into the souls of the characters that I write about. I befriend them. I remember when I had finished writing my third novel, Cha-Ching, I cried for two days after the ending of the book. I had become so connected–spiritually and emotionally to the character, Storm. I was surprised at how sad I was.
Disilgold: Do you have a favorite author of all time or someone who inspired you to achieve your goals as a writer?I have many favorite authors…too many to name.
Disilgold: Where do you see yourself as a writer ten years from now?Uh, at the moment, I believe I will be retired…and sharing my gifts in other ways. However, I pray that my novels and my memoir will touch readers for many years…even after I have made my transition. Disilgold: What marketing tips can you provide to new authors?I think most new authors are doing this now…sending out e-mail blasts, networking and promoting on myspace.com.
Disilgold: What other projects are you working on?Right now, I am preparing for a documentary chronicling the rise of domestic violence survivors. The documentary is entitled, The Resurrection of Me: Domestic Violence Survivors Share Their Stories. I am also working on a domestic violence awards ceremony and conference which will be held in Brooklyn, New York during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Disilgold: What are your top ten favorite books right now?The Measure of A Man by Sydney Poiter, Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner, Eternal Victim, Eternal Victor by Donnie McClurkin, A Woman Scorn’d by Dorothy Goins, Rewriting the Script by Arlether Wilson, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, The Five People you Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, There’s Always a Reason by William Frederick Cooper
Disilgold:When do you write and for how long?
I generally write in the wee hours of the morning until I fall asleep. Disilgold: Do you have a favorite location for writing?I love to write in my bed with the laptop.
Disilgold: What method did you use to write or organize your book?I always write from the beginning to the end. I can’t write one chapter for the end of the book and go back to the beginning.
Disilgold:What three words best describe your writing style?Emotional, Spiritual, Uplifting.
Disilgold: What other hobbies do you pursue when you aren’t writing ?When I have time…and that doesn’t happen very often…I love to crochet, and draw.
Disilgold: Are there any hidden jewels or talents that you possess that many of your readers may not know?Well, I think most people know I sing, but I also play the piano. I used to play when I was child until I started having children. Now that my children are grown, I have the passion again and I having been playing again. I love it!
Disilgold: Where can folks buy your latest book?Well, The Resurrection of Me will not be released until June 2008. Cha-Ching which was released in 2006 is available in most bookstores and online at amazon.com, bn.com and walmart.com Disilgold: Where can folks meet you? I am all over. LOL. I have a calendar on my website: http://www.tonyablount.com which we generally try to keep updated. We also plan to place my calendar on my myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/tonyablount
Disilgold: What have been some of your toughest obstacles as a writer?My first two novels were self-published. It was incredibly difficult to get the book into stores. Distribution is another full-time job…which I didn’t enjoy and wasn’t prepared for. I just wanted to write and have folks read my story.
Disilgold: This section of our interview requires brief responses. Are you ready to” Get PerSOULnal” Interview?
The “Get PerSOULnal” Interview
Disilgold: What time do you awake normally every morning? About 5:30. Disilgold: What is your writing fuel in the morning? Music…and just life. Things happen in our everyday life that inspires our writing.
Disilgold: What early morning rituals have followed for many years? Praying, listening to music, and calling my mother.
Disilgold: What are your favorite foods to snack on while writing? chocolate, chocolate and a Pepsi. I know, that’s terrible.
Disilgold: Do you watch television or listen to the radio when you’re writing, and if so, what do you watch or listen too mostly? I love to listen to music when I am writing. It all depends on what I’m writing. Sometimes, I listen to jazz, R&B…slow jams…. For The Resurrection of Me, I listened to a lot of Rachelle Ferrell (Jazz) and Gospel.
Disilgold: What is your favorite book of all time? Uptown, Downtown. My first grade textbook which introduced me to the wonderful world of writing. With the exception of the Bible, nothing has been able to replace it.
Disilgold: What is your favorite magazine of all time? Essence.
Disilgold: What is your everyday outfit? Pants suit and high-heeled pumps or boots (I’m always working).
Disilgold: If you could inspire a child, what would you say? You were born with everything you need to succeed in this life. Never minimize your dreams and keep God first.
Disilgold: What is your favorite motto? Re-examine all you have been told…Dismiss what insults your soul. Walt Whitman.
Disilgold: What is your favorite time to put your writing pen down and rest? During the early evening.
Disilgold: Have you traveled anywhere besides your hometown and if so, where? The funny thing is, I hate flying…but I love to meet and help people and I have traveled all over the country.
Disilgold: Where is your dream vacation? Paris.
Disilgold: What do you particularly like about the literary world today? Entrepreneurship. Some people may say there are too many books, too many new authors…I look at it as we are taking advantage of an opportunity that wasn’t available to our parents or grandparents. Since most new books are being self-published–with every new book that is released, another person has become CEO of their company. There is absolutely nothing negative about power.
Disilgold: If you could leave one word of advice to people in general, what would it be? God. Heather, thank you so much for the opportunity. You are a gem!