From a young age, A.S. Wilson has been enthralled with the power that words have to shape identities, birth thoughts, and transform lives. Seeking to harness her own power with words, A.S. Wilson pursued a degree in English and became active in numerous literary organizations. Prior to her graduation from the university, she published poetry in a student-run, multicultural literary journal and assisted in editing an on-campus magazine. A.S. Wilson went on to obtain an advanced degree, but her passion for writing never waned. In 2019, she self-published her first novella, A Powerful Love, weaving paranormal elements into a tale of black romance. In early 2020, she tackled the issue of addiction in her novella Keeper. She currently resides in Georgia, where she continues to pen heart-wrenching stories of passion and love.
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?
Thanks so much for this opportunity! I knew that writing was what I was called to do when the story for my first book came to me in a dream. I started off writing it just for the fun of it, and then the story really took off and I couldn’t stop. It was like I was meant to tell that story. That particular book hasn’t been published, but it was the spark that set me on my author journey. What I love the most about being a writer is the expression itself. I love being able to create a world and then share it with others. There’s no greater feeling than when someone you don’t even know can read your work and get something valuable from it. The part of being a writer that frustrates me the most is that some people assume writing is just a hobby and not a serious pursuit. What I do means a lot to me, but in my experience, people don’t always understand that.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
There are a few things that you can expect from one of my works. There will be black love, and there will be healing. Both of these things are beautiful to me, so putting them together motivates me to create! Readers can find more about my books and about me on Amazon and my website (https://www.authoraswilson.com).
3) What projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a spin-off of my latest release: The Piece I Needed. Shhh…I haven’t told anyone else this yet!
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?
Getting signed to B. Love Publications was significant for me. I celebrated my first release under BLP like it was my birthday! In the next five years, I see myself with a tribe of readers who love my books and get more out of reading them than I get out of writing them.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
I’ve learned that it’s all about how you interpret a situation. Rejection doesn’t necessarily mean “not good enough.” Sometimes it means “not right now” or “not this door.” If something means that much to you, you have to keep going until the stars align.
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?
I don’t have a schedule for when I write. I do prepare outlines, but I don’t ever stick to them. I still find it helpful to make outlines, so that I have a good idea of where I’m headed, even if the story takes a detour. It can take me a couple of months to finish a novel.
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?
There’s a whole list of highly successful authors who had a “late start.” Starting “late” could actually have its advantages. It takes determination, focus, and an ability to turn a lens on yourself to succeed. I’d argue that many people are better prepared when they’ve lived a little.
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?
I’ve been an avid reader ever since I learned how to read—just ask my mama! The first book that touched me, and in my mind, awakened me was “Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-Esteem” by bell hooks. My favorite author of all time is Toni Morrison. Her writing is unreal! I’m currently reading “Reel,” by Kennedy Ryan, and I’m enjoying it so much!
9) The Pandemic was a challenging time for some writers and creative individuals but also for others it was time that they needed to focus on their creative passions. Which side of that spectrum do you fall on? Are there any lessons or nuggets of wisdom that you gained during the Pandemic that help you within your writing career? Did the quarantine stifle your creativity or did it make you even more driven to get things done?
In some ways, the pandemic made creating a bit more challenging—my mind is busier these days. Creating works best when you can relax and yield to it. On the other hand, when you can reach that point of giving yourself over to the art, it’s a good reminder of the things we haven’t lost—for authors and for readers.
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?
It’s no secret that many authors find more freedom in self-publishing than they’d have in a traditional publishing environment. However, there are also benefits to traditional publishing. I think it could be the best of both worlds if an author finds herself in a situation in which her creativity can thrive and she has the support she needs to concentrate on the art.
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?
There’s a bit of me in every single work I’ve ever published… that’s twelve books currently, and I’m sure that I will stick to this principle as my catalog grows. If the story didn’t mean something to me, personally, I wouldn’t write it and I definitely wouldn’t publish it. Whether it’s a character trait or a struggle with forgiveness or the regret of letting something great in life pass you by, I’m in every story. That’s the beauty of creating because many of us don’t feel like we can express ourselves fully in certain aspects of life. Being authentically me in my writing is the most empowering aspect of my life.