Britt Joni is a Midwestern girl with Southern roots. She’s a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s a strong representation of black love represented. If asked to describe herself she’d probably tell you she is a modern day hippie with a dope soul. When Britt Joni is not chasing down her dreams with a pen, she is being a mommy to an AMAZING little boy. Britt Joni’s ultimate literary goal is to write from the heart and to let her fascination with black love soar into the world.
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? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
Britt Joni: First I would like to thank you for having me. I am honored to share space with you. I knew I was called to be a writer when I would make up these elaborate love stories between Barbie and Ken lol. I thought I was just a kid with a big imagination until I created an entire Barbie town in my mother’s dining room. But as I grew it turned into poetry and just writing out my thoughts to get all of them out. The death of my father pushed me into being a fictional writer it gave me time to release all the pent up feelings I had inside. Which leads me into the things I love most about being a writer, creating different scenarios and people in this world that help other people on their journey through life. What frustrated me the most is when the characters go rouge and decide I’m not telling their story in an authentic way.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
Britt Joni: All of my novels are birthed from a scar on my soul. Those scars are beautiful reminders that I have a story worth telling from a fictional standpoint. If you have ever read me, you will know that my stores are where love heals the soul. Now that I have found my voice in this industry, I am going to take on the different meaning of love and healing. Readers can find out more about me via my website www.brittjonipens.com (where you can buy paperback copies of my books as well) and find all of my novels on Amazon.
Facebook: Britt Joni and Author Britt Joni
3) What projects are you currently working on?
Britt Joni: Whew. What am I not working on is the better question lol. I have quite a few plots running through my head. It’s the getting them on paper that is the issue lol. But I can say that my next project will include a beekeeper and pest control.
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?
Britt Joni: My most significant achievement as a writer was me publishing at all. In the infamous words of one Erykah Badu “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my ish.” Where do I see myself in the next five years? Hmmm.. I see myself published traditionally and independently with at least 7 Audio books under my belt. But most of all I see myself HAPPY!
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
Britt Joni: I would like to say that I have always handled rejection with grace but I would hate to peg myself as a liar. It stings and for a good little while I would hype myself up with toxic positive self-talk. But I soon learned that if it wasn’t heart felt and wasn’t something that was genuine it would still hurt. So now I allow myself to feel that sting of rejection and work harder at my craft so that the rejection is only an afterthought.
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?
Britt Joni: Hmmm.. What’s a schedule? Lol If you’re asking if I set time aside to write then the answer is yes. More often than not I am burning the midnight oil. I live by the sun and love by the moon, so my best work comes when not only my house is silent but when the world is silent as well. I find peace and comfort in the silence of the night. I do outline my novels but it’s always hard to stick to that outline, I like to believe that my characters are real people that live in my head and they tell me what they want to happen. The time it takes to write my novel depends on how well I am connected to the story and what I have going on at home.
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?
Britt Joni: As long as there is breath in your body and a beat in your heart it is never too late to do anything you put your mind too. There are countless people who started careers late in life and they are highly successful. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from living out your dream. The dream is yours and yours alone. You don’t owe anyone a reason for you following it. Put passion behind your dream and work until you have defined your own idea of success.
8) Are you an avid reader and have you always been? 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?
Britt Joni: Yes, I am an avid reader and have always been. It has been my escape and refuge when I felt I had nobody else in the world. There was not a time growing up that you did not find a book in my hand. I would get lost in fictional books and some nonfiction (Chicken Soup was a favorite I’m pretty sure I had all editions.) My favorite authors of all time are James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Terry McMillian. The book I am currently reading is The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton
9) How has the current state of the world affected your writing? Because writing is an isolated practice, do you find it easier to deal with quarantine? Has it stifled your creativity or has it made you even more driven to get things done?
Britt Joni: I won’t say that it affected it a lot but I will say that it woke up a different part of me. I’m very hardheaded on a good day (lol), so I ignored my pen and paper for a while until I was sat down. This pandemic is what sat me down. I knew what I wanted to do I was just taking the time to find my footing with juggling work and home. As a parent I had to deal with the different emotions of my son who began struggling without the social interaction, so I adjusted and moved forward. Now that I’ve found it, watch out.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry as it is being represented today? Do you lean more towards traditional publishing or self-publishing as a preference? Does being a hybrid author interest you?
Britt Joni: I feel that we need more black voices in these publishing spaces. The black voice is necessary and for whatever reason our literary footprints are overlooked. Being a hybrid does interest me because it speaks to the reason, I even published in the first place. To give a voice to women like me who have been misunderstood and drug through the mud and still came out clean. So in short my preference is both.
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?
Britt Joni: My unique quality is that my art is the scars of my soul being healed. In each story I leave a piece of me and my story. It speaks to the broken woman that was looking for a way to persevere, the wounded inner child that wanted nothing but love, and the healing woman I am now that speaks to women like me that knows that the suns shines brighter when you face your darkness. My writing is me and I am it. I have honestly found strength, forgiveness, and love in my pen and that’s what empowers and highlights my purpose.