Indie writer Eartha Gatlin is back with her sophomore release, Hey You. What About Me, Bria Twon?
Tell me about your latest book.
First, thank you for giving me this opportunity on your blog, Chandra.
My new book is titled Hey You. What About Me, Bria Twon? It’s currently available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. The new release is a sequel to my previous work, The Chronicles of Bria Twon.
In this book, I take readers through another exciting new chapter in Sabria Twon’s life. Bria is out doing some soul searching and self-discovery. Hey You. What About Me, Bria Twon? presents an evolved and stronger Bria Twon impacted by her mistakes, her challenges, and her everyday life. It depicts her next course of action post-divorce, retirement, and empty-nesting. Bria decides to sell her house and move to Texas to start a new life. She begins to understand it isn’t worth putting others first all the time and takes a long, hard look in the mirror asking the one person whom she feels now matters most in her life Hey You. What About Me, Bria Twon? In addition to Bria’s friend Harmony, readers will be introduced to three additional girlfriends, Zuni, Connie, and Maysa. The plot thickens with an interesting and intriguing male character, Fav, Bria’s object of desire. This time Bria is determined to embark upon a new journey toward her pursuit of happiness and fulfillment. The only question is, will she be able to do it?
What inspired you to write it?
Honestly, I love all Terry McMillan novels. In fact, it was after I read Mama, I believed I could actually tell a story. The story simply resonated with me. Not only did I enjoy the plot, but it inspired me, and mind you, that was way back in around 1987ish.You see, the thought had been in me, I just didn’t have the courage to do it. I lacked the confidence that I could actually write something others would find interesting. It was after I retired from my corporate career in 2017 that I decided to take a chance and put my first work of fiction out to the public. So, after speaking with my girlfriends—some married, most not—it seemed there was a common thread with them that related to issues with women finding good sustainable relationships today. So, I decided to expound on that theme and write the sequel to Bria Twon.
When did you fall in love with the written word?
I read as a child. Okay, so now I’m going to date myself. I read the entire Nancy Drew series, I read Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn stories, I would laugh and marvel at these white characters. Then as a young adult I moved into the Danielle Steele novels. Reading for me was a way to escape my reality. It gave me an opportunity to visualize other opportunities and to mentally vacation without ever having to leave the comfort of my surroundings. I became acquainted with the lives of people, places and things that I might not have otherwise ever have come into contact with. I was fascinated by the stories I read. At one point in life, I had become so engulfed with reading and books that I isolated myself from others. I remember my mom making me go outside to play with my friends. I was completely fascinated with learning new words and would take the time to look up their meaning to increase my vocabulary. I guess it was divine intervention that my very first job was a library page at one of our local branches.
What’s the best part of being an author?
Well, I’m still getting used to the title of author—this is my second novella—but for me, it’s the freedom to use my voice through the lens of my fictional characters to create some thought-provoking dialogue, which could ultimately shed the light or give insight to another person’s narrative. It’s my desire to tell stories that are relatable and relevant yet entertaining, humorous, and uplifting while sending the message that flawed individuals are victors too. I think of my writing as inspirational fiction. I’ll always leave my readers with a message or two, perhaps more.
What’s the hardest part of being an author?
The hardest part for me is my having to contend with my readers separating my fiction from my reality. For example, I am constantly reminding my readers that I am writing fiction. I think because we live in a reality tv world, people want to see an individual’s story sensationalized, and because some but not all of my writing is loosely based on real-life experiences, people who think they know me per se are reading my work to get the tea. I am humbly flattered though, I take it as a compliment that I am a good if not great story teller, but I would not exploit my family for personal gain. I will, however, share a real-life experience as fiction if I believe it fits and is relevant to personal growth.
What books have you read lately and loved?
As much as I love to read, I try not to read too much of another author’s work while I’m focusing on my writing. I’m intentional about what ideas are in my head so as not to be swayed by someone else. One of the best books I have read lately Four Things, Women Want from a Man by A.R. Bernard. I absolutely loved the book, and I highly recommend it to any and everyone who’s ever been in a relationship, desiring to be in one, or needing to take time to find themselves. I love to read. Self-improvement is paramount to me.
What book(s) are you most excited to read next?
I am excited to read The Woman God Created You to Be by Kimberla Lawson Roby. It’s on my nightstand waiting for me.
What’s next for you?
I will continue to write. I’ve learned to respect the process. Whatever comes next, I’m open to it. I live to be inspired and as well as to inspire others. I desire to write what matters to me. Currently, I am navigating through this new normal, the pandemic, and like so many of us trying to stay positive and hopeful. So perhaps my next piece will shed some light into Bria and the gang’s journey through the pandemic but from a male’s perspective. I believe that would be interesting, we’ll see. I write every day, be it in my journal, on an envelope, whatever type of paper is near me at the time, I jot it down.
Do you have anything you would like to add?
Yes. I would like to say to anyone aspiring a dream whatever it is, start somewhere, do it. Listen to your heart. God gave us all a measure of faith, use it. If you don’t, you’ll live a life of regrets. The best piece of advice I received was to be myself, I don’t compare me, my writing, or who I am to the next best author, I am doing me. Now, that’s not to say I don’t have mentors and people in the business who I respect and value their opinions, I do. I sit at their feet because you have to connect with like-minded folk to perfect your craft. I want to learn how to be the best version of me that I can be based upon the lessons I’ve learned from them. I see a lot of the phrase on social media I don’t know who needs to hear this but what I will leave you with is don’t be so consumed with how many followers you have, be true to yourself and the rest will come. Remember consistency is key. Again, thank you, Chandra, for having me on your blog, I appreciate you and what you are doing.
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To learn more about indie writer Eartha Gatlin, visit her website or follow her on social media.