Anna Black is a native of Chicago and a national bestselling author. Her desire to become a published author didn’t develop until her late twenties after close friends and family encouraged her to go for it. In November 2009, Anna became a bestselling author for her debut release, Now You Wanna Come Back, within a matter of weeks. She has since released over two dozen novels, short stories, and collaborations. As she forges her path to success, her goal is to offer page-turning tales to her many followers and fans. This award-winning author currently lives in Texas with her daughter Tyra, and her adorable dogs Jaxson and Jasmine.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! 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 didn’t write my first book until I was twenty-eight years old. I was going through a divorce and I was a little depressed and I started journaling for relief. Things were difficult at that time, so I decided to write about a woman having a happy ending, so I wrote my first book. I didn’t think of myself as a writer until I finished my fifth book. By then I sought out publishing. What I love about being a writer is I can give readers something to make them smile, reflect and sometimes laugh. I love when readers say oh that book was so good, or a similar situation happened to me or someone I know. It just gives me pleasure to entertain readers.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
I write romance, erotica and urban fiction. My books are available in stores, eBooks, and on audible. You can learn more about me at http://www.annablackbooks.com.
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
I draw my stories from everything, lol. Dreams, music, situations that go on with my friends, family or even if I overhear someone’s conversation. I can get inspired from just about anything.
4) 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? What projects are you currently working on?
I do not schedule time to write at all. I can basically write anytime I would like to. I live on the property where I work and I can write even if I am working, because I am a GM. I hardly every outline my books, I just let my characters tell me what they want. I have tried to do that a couple times before and never stayed on course, so I just go with the flow. I can write a book a month, if the juices are following good, but I also have stories that I’ve been working on for years. I revisit them every now and then when I am inspired to work on it. At the moment I am working a story I titled Terminal Bliss.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
I think it was The Coldest Winter Ever. That book was sooooooo good. My favorite author hands down is Brenda Jackson, but I always enjoy Niobia Bryant, Zuri Day and Delaney Diamond. At the moment, I am not reading anything, but the last book I listen to was Bed of Lies, but Shelly Ellis.
6) 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?
Just to still be here in this industry, because it’s tough. I have not had my biggest success story yet, but I am striving for it. In five years I see myself as a full-time writer and publisher. I love my job as a hotel manager, but I soon plan to relocate to another city, and God willing, I won’t be working at another hotel.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing in terms of traditional and self-publishing?
I have never experienced rejection, thank God for that, but I would be okay if a story of mine was rejected, I’d just publish it myself, lol. I don’t think too hard on the changes, because things are constantly changing with all things. I like being published traditionally and I like being self-published as long as I have an outlet to get my books in the hands of readers in paperback, electronically or audible, I am good with all the changes.
8) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself?
I love reading my own work. I listen to my on books on audible, like I would watch my favorite movie again.
9) 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 is never too late. Books will always be new to a reader that never read it. It could have dropped ten years ago, but now there is a reader that is ten years older that can pick up your book. Books never get old, so there is not timeline on starting.
10) 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?
Writing is like a mental getaway for me. My mind is always so full of ideas and scenarios that I would go bonkers if I didn’t express them through my books. I try to give readers relatable stories and lessons on how to do good or better. I try to have teachable moments in my books and writing helps me do those things. Plus it is just the gift and talent that God granted me and even though I discovered my passion in my late twenties, I know this is what I was born to do.