Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Women Writers of Color: Monice Mitchell Simms

Full name: Monice Mitchell Simms

Birth date: Oct. 23, 1971

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Website/blog: www.addresshouseofcorrections.

Genre: Historical Fiction/Literature

WiP or most recently published work: “Address: House of Corrections”

Writing credits: Films, “Carmin’s Choice,” and “Rain.”

How frequently do you update your site? Once a week.

Is your site designed for reader interaction? Yes.

Post of note, something in particular you want readers to check out:

Here’s a link to a recent blog post I penned recently. - I hope it inspires you. (See below)

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

O.K., first let me offer some perspective.

I didn’t feed five thousand hungry souls with two fish or leap off of a ten-story building ala the cheerleader from Heroes and mend my broken bones. But I did do one better.

I built (am building) an author’s brand from scratch and pulled off a successful book tour for my debut novel, Address: House of Corrections. With no money.

Granted, some folks might not call it a miracle. But now that I’m on the other end of my first ever national book tour, I know fo sho that not only was I guided by the hand of God aka the Universe, but I was also blessed with enough sense to walk face first into the howling, whipping winds.

By putting one foot in front of the other.

Another word for faith? Yes. But for some reason when I start throwing around words like miracle and faith, folks think I’m about to launch into a long-winded diatribe about some unexplainable event that happened to me.

No. For me, and I believe for everyone, faith is an action word. And like footprints in the sand, faith leaves a trail.

In the coming days, stay tuned as I share the steps I took (am taking) to build my author’s brand from the ground up and produce a successful six-city national book tour on a shoestring budget. Hope this helps!

Top 5 reads you’re looking forward to reading in 2011?

I usually don’t specifically read historical or literal fiction, when I’m writing, because I don’t want to be influenced by other writer’s works, but I always bend the rules for ANYTHING by Walter Mosley and I love re-reading Octavia Butler’s work.

100 words or less how would you describe your work?

Poetically pulsating, cinematically captivating, vividly visceral, nostalgically newsworthy and hauntingly honest.

100 words on less, share your thoughts on one of the following topics: Writing life

I write, because not breathing is not an option.”
~ Monice Mitchell Simms

Since I first opened my eyes to darkness, I’ve been weaving stories.

The blessing, I’m humbled to say, is that this gift to write has never left me.

It has challenged, confused and elated me.

Magically, the stories reveal their form to me and obediently, I scribble them down.

What happens after? I can no more control then the blood flowing through my veins.

All I pray is that someway, somehow my words find a home.

A home where – like all God’s children – they are loved.

How has your background in film and television affected your experience as a novelist?

Tremendously. Because I’ve been working so many years as a screenwriter/filmmaker, I write very visually. I’ve been told by those who have read my novel, that it reads like a screenplay and you can see, smell, taste, hear and feel everything. I take that as a huge compliment.

What fictional character do find you most identify with and why?

From my novel, it would have to be Merry. My grandmother, unfortunately, passed when she was only 60-years-old, and I didn’t get a chance to talk to her about her life as a child and teen. So, I used myself pretty much as the template of who she was and how she would react under certain conditions. As a result, Merry is a combination of my grandmother and myself.

Can we expect a film adaptation of Address: House of Corrections?

Absolutely! And stay tuned for the audio mini series coming to an ipod near you this spring!  


MissA said...

That's really sweet about making the character of Merry a combination of herself and her grandmother.

So far I've had a good experience with writers who are/used to be screenwriters, they rally make the scenes come alive. House of Corrections sounds really good, I love historical fiction :)

Thank you for continuing to put one foot in front of the other!

Darrell Turner said...

I saw your book at The Shrine of The Black Madonna for the first time and bought it. Four things attracted me to it. House of Corrections, Kentucky, Detroit and drug addiction. I've experienced all three. I believe I will enjoy it. I wish you success!
I will be following your writings.

Unknown said...

Great Interview! I wish you much success.

Sidne said...

I am always eager to learn of new authors. I have not heard of this author and I'm happy to have stopped by your blog. I am making note of her name and her book. I also checked out her blog page. Thanks for the interview.