Ebony Farashuu is a former spoken word artist and award-winning author. Her first book of poetry, Butterfly Kisses: Poetry for the Many Faces of Love, garnered her an honorable mention in the SCBC Self Published Author Awards for Poetry Book of the Year. Her debut novel, Slow Burn, won the 2007 Shades of Romance Magazine Readers Choice Awards in the following categories: Best Multi-Cultural Fiction Book, Best Multi-Cultural Fiction Author, and Best New Multi-Cultural Fiction Author.

Ebony resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband and is the proud mother to one daughter, one son, two bonus daughters, one bonus son, and her lab-mix, Finley.

1) When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?

I’ve been writing since I was a kid.  Poems, stories…but I never thought it was something I could do for a living.  I actually wanted to be an archaeologist. You see, I never saw books that featured characters that looked like me.  I didn’t think it was possible to make a career out of writing stories about black people. This all changed in, of all places, a grocery store checkout line.  I saw a historical romance novel with a black couple on the cover. It was Night Song by Beverly Jenkins. Seeing that ignited a fire in me and I realized there was a place or my stories.

I love the relationship I have with my readers.  I have people calling, texting, and messaging me about my characters as if they are real people!  That kind of impact…there is nothing to compare it to. I love being able to touch people through my words.

2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?

I currently have three books available for purchase on Amazon in Kindle format as well as paperback.  They are also available at all major bookstores. If they aren’t in stock they can be ordered. Slow Burn was my very first novel and I’m proud to say it is an award winning novel.  It earned me the Best Multi-Cultural Fiction Author, Best New Multi-Cultural Fiction Author, and Best Multi-Culture Fiction Book in the 2007 SORMAG Reader’s Choice Awards.  

I recently regained the publishing rights to SLOW BURN and re-released it under my own imprint, Metamorphosis Ink, with bonus scenes and modern updates.  You can now purchase Slow Burn: Deluxe Edition on Amazon and all major booksellers.  To describe Slow Burn: Deluxe Edition: Serafina has the blues. Her soul mate lies on his deathbed while she struggles to maintain hope and remain true. Her best friend, Ayzha, is trapped in a marriage where intimacy is non-existent and the desire to cheat is overwhelming. Sexy, hilarious, and heartbreaking, Slow Burn follows two women as they pursue love, make love, lose love, and learn what true love and friendship really mean. 

Erika’s Diary is an erotica novel I wrote and was kind of nervous to release.  I was a little worried about how it would be received but, to my surprise, people loved it…even people who were apprehensive about reading an erotic novel.   I believe what sets Erika’s Diary a part from other erotic novels is the story.  There is an emotional story there and it’s not the sex…it’s the people.  Erika’s Diary is also available on Amazon and all major retailers and is described as follows: Erika has a boyfriend, but when she meets Devin Parsons she loses control…and writes the intimate details in her diary. When a nosey stranger reads it, Erika finds herself in the middle of a triangle more scandalous than her own. Brooklynne Hart keeps to herself and minds her own business, but when she finds a lost diary, curiosity takes her on an eye opening journey through the pages. Little does she know, reading Erika’s Diary will reveal more about herself than she’s prepared to handle. As secrets are revealed, Erika and Brooklynne must deal with the aftermath of an explosive situation neither of them ever anticipated. Erika’s Diary is a drama with a touch of erotica, a smidgen of scandal and an extra serving of heart.

I love communicating with my readers.  You can find out more about me on my website www.symplyebony.com as well as on Instagram, @symplyebony, Twitter @ebonyfarashuu, Good Reads, Ebony Farashuu, and on Facebook in Ebony Farashuu’s Butterfly Lounge, an exclusive gathering place for my readers.

3) What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on the sequel to Slow Burn: Deluxe Edition as well as working on a new erotica novel I’m extremely proud of.  

4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?

Believe it or not, my most significant achievement is not my awards.  My most significant achievement is working hard and publishing Erika’s Diary after a thirteen-year hiatus from writing.  I went through major life changes in between books and suffered from a depression that robbed me of my passion to write.  So, publishing Erika’s Diary was a triumph for me.  It was me giving the middle finger to anything or anyone that would try to extinguish the fire within my soul. 

Five years from now, I will still be writing and I would love to mentor young writers on their personal journeys. 

5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?

As far as rejection goes…I don’t handle it.  I’ve learned that what I write is not for everyone and to concentrate on the people who want to read it. I’m my own biggest critic.  If I can handle myself, nothing anyone else says about my work can bother me.

6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?

No, I don’t have a writing schedule I just…pull out my laptop when the mood hits me, but I generally write early in the morning and late at night. 

I don’t outline my novels.  I’ve tried and then felt obligated to force my characters to travel in a direction they don’t want to go.  When I sit back and allow my characters to guide my fingers…I find my writing flows as if they are writing the story for me. 

7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!  EVER! Words are timeless and as we grow older, so do our readers.  There will always be someone who wants to read what you write. I don’t care if you’re 97 years old…someone needs to read what you have to say.

8) What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?

Oh my gosh, the first book to ever make me cry real tears was Messages From Nam by Danielle Steele.  She was always one of my favorite writers growing up, but I had to back away because she always killed at least 2.5 people in each book.  I’d always become emotional reading her words, but Messages From Nam hit me in a way I never expected.  I was distraught

I’d have to say my favorite author is J.D. Mason.  Not only is she a wonderful writer, but she’s a genuinely beautiful person, inside and out.  She’s also an inspiration. Her journey has inspired me to write the books I want to read and not worry about being placed in a box.

Currently, I am reading Eshe by J.D. Mason and honey, let me tell you…this woman knows how to tell a story! 

9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work? Do you ever just sit down and curl up with your own book?

Oh my God, ALL THE TIME!  I always buy a copy of my own book on Kindle and order a personal paperback as if I am a regular consumer.  What amazes me about reading my own work…is that I get so lost in it. Sometimes I have to stop reading, stare at the cover and say, “wow I wrote that?”  

10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing?

I think it’s an exciting time for the publishing industry, Self publishing in particular. With the rise of quality self publishing tools, writers who had lost hope now have a voice.  We’re not fighting to be noticed by a major publishing house that would rather publish a celebrity’s ghost written novel over an author that has poured their blood sweat and tears into their work.  We now control our own stories and tell them the way we want them to be told. Honestly, it’s an amazing time to be a writer.  

11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?

I love this question.  I’m an emotional person and I use that raw emotion to create my characters.  I become my characters as I write them.  I see what they see, I feel what they feel, I absorb them into my soul.  If my character is crying as you read my novel, I was crying when I wrote it.  If you’re laughing as you read, it’s because I was laughing when I wrote it. I spill my soul into my work and I think it resonates with my readers in the way they respond to my words.