Peace & Blessings!
It is always fun to spotlight/highlight Indie Artists / Creators and inspiring as well. Here is Alicia McCalla, a Speculative Fiction Author and Publisher. Read what she has to say.
As it relates to your earliest memory as an artist, did Art choose you or did you choose Art? The Art of writing that is, explain.
I wrote stories for as long as I can remember. I know for sure that I’d begun to use an old reconditioned typewriter to create my master pieces at age 10 but my Mom says that I probably began writing much earlier than that. I distinctly remember being a teenager and wondering what I should do with my life. I tossed and turned all night, in fact, it bothered me so much that I began sweating and became entranced. Then, a deep voice as clear as a bell told me to be a “writer.” It rumbled and shook me awake. You would think that the heavenly voice waking me up from my sleep would have been enough to convince me. Unfortunately, I didn’t start seriously writing until my late thirties.
How important is it to study your art and how do you approach keeping your skills sharp?
I am constantly working on learning the writing craft. My e-reader, iPad, and book shelves are filled with craft books. I always want to learn how to tell a better story. I try to immerse myself in as many stories as I can hold from books, TV series, and movies.
What are some books that are on your personal shelf? Um, I am a librarian, literally. I have like 1000s of books. I am a bonifide bibliophile. I probably need therapy to help with my addiction to books! LOL! I have so many favorites but it depends on what I’m in the mood for doing. When I’m researching, I usually love the Africana Encyclopedia by Gates. It’s a handy reference source. I also have an assortment of swords, knives, and weapon handbooks. IDK. I have lots of books everywhere. I have a book habit, for sure.
What are the conferences that are on your yearly schedule to attend? For the last two years, I’ve been attending DragonCon. It has been so much fun. I’ve been able to sit on panels with other authors and discuss diversity in SciFi, Fantasy, and Paranormal. All enlightening experiences. This year, I made appearances with the State of Black SciFi authors in ATL at North Dekalb Mall and there may be an opportunity to see us all again in October at Challenges Game and Comics. Plans are on the way. Readers can subscribe to my website for more details. I have an events page there.
Is there anything else that you want the readers to know, feel free to elaborate?
As African Americans, we are often told that we should pursue more stable fields such as teaching, business, or some other areas. The writer/artist/musician is often stifled because we don’t believe that we can survive financially on our art. It’s very painful, at least to me. So these great minds become blocked creatives because there is no outlet or way for them to express what’s on the soul. I believe it’s tragic to not be able to express your soul’s vision and mission.
It’s why I’m too excited about the ability in the 21st century to become the “everyday” writer or artist. We now have the ability to create a platform, share our stories, find readers, and make a living doing exactly what we love, easily. In the next few years, I’m sure that there will be a rennaissance in Black literature, movies, and TV series because of all these creative types sharing their vision and art. It’s an exciting time to be creative. I would encourage readers to support these authors, artists, and musicians by purchasing their works, spreading good news to family and friends, and putting positive reviews on sites like Amazon and other distributors. This will be the new form of social activism in the 21st century. We need to create a campaign “Support Black Indies to Change the World!”
Now to bridge the gap between your art and the public at large, give the name and address of your sites and forums where people can see your creativity and how people can get in contact with you for commissions and/or to follow your work?
I usually post every month on my website www.aliciamccalla.com. I love to discuss Black speculative fiction and diversity in SFF. I enjoy hosting a variety of guests and love for readers to interact and comment on our discussions. I also have a scoop-it page where I regularly scoop information on black speculative fiction. http://www.scoop.it/t/state-of-black-science-fiction Follow me on Twitter to keep up-to-date.
I am currently working on my first serial novel, The Soul Eater: African Elementals Series , to be released this year. It will be in three installements. I’m am too excited about this series. It mixes paranormal, horror, romance, African and Norse mythology. I’m currently trying to decide how I’d like to release the books. I may have a huge event during Black Speculative Fiction month in October where I release one book per week. All I know for sure is that readers are in for a serious ride with this series. Since, I’m writing adult, I haven’t been holding back on the racial conflicts as well as issues of sexism. This series may very well end with an Afrofuturistic feminist plot. There’s not many other series like this one.
Thanks Alicia McCalla for the interview! Check out her site for more of her books like:
To The Readers be sure to go support Alicia and all of the Indie Artists/Creators that I interview!
If you’re a Creator, Artist Etc and you want me to interview you. Contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org!
Until next time,
Peace, Power & Prosperity!