Author Push Nevahda
Tell us a little bit about you outside of being an author.
I’m a wandering spirit, looking for adventure, in search of the true meaning of life.
What is your earliest writing memory?
I used to write poetry as a child then I got into songwriting, then got to high school and started writing plays. But my earliest memory of writing is when I was about 10 or 11, and I would write poetry about my father who had died when I was seven. My first serious poem was about a childhood sweetheart (she is also characterized in my book).
What feelings do you experience once you are satisfied with your completed manuscript(s)?
I’m very proud and elated when I finally complete a manuscript. It’s time to go to the club and get my funky on! Really.
In your upcoming release or newly released book, how did you come up with the idea of your main character(s)?
All of the characters are based on real-life people. You can go to my website – www.pushnevahda.com – and meet them!
Tell us a little bit about your work in progress and/or your upcoming release.
I am currently working on two books. A Tunica Sunset is situated in between WW I and WW II and is about a black sharecroppers struggle with a decision of whether or not to bring his family to the north (where the booming war industries offer black migrants good economic opportunities), or stay in the south where he feels secure in the only way of life he has ever known. So, the story is about faith and belief in oneself. The Rise and Fall of Black Bottom is a story about a little known African American community in Detroit the flourished during WW II. Eventually it was destroyed to make way for the I-75 freeway.
I’m a big believer that word of mouth creates more sales than advertisements. Let’s say I’ve never read any of your books before, how would you pitch the idea of your latest release to me?
I consider myself a tough critic when reviewing books. What do or would you do when you receive a mediocre or less than average rating from a reviewer or reader?
Hope that the reviewer or reader is a serious and constructive critic, rather than someone who really has no understanding or real appreciation for the art of writing. With my book, I’ve received criticism from people from all walks of life, including professors (one has considered using my book as a supplemental reading in an English writing course she teaches), housewives, young folk, and men. Particularly white folks, who are rarely interested in black books, are reading mine. One white guy told me that, although he never before considered reading anything by black authors, purchased my book and thought it to be one of the best books he’d read. He appreciated being able to read perspectives on life, love, political, society, and culture from a black male point-of-view. And I appreciated that kind of honest feedback. One white woman told me that my book inspired her to return to college; another told me she was inspired to pursue her passion to write a novel.
What authors influence your writing dreams, goals and aspirations?
The works of James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time), Cornel West (“Black Strivings in A Twilight Civilization”), Arthur Miller (“Death of A Salesman”) and Lorraine Hansberry (Raisin in A Sun) were most influential to me, and changed the course of my life as a writer. Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot in addition to Dubois’s Soul’s of Black Folks, were seminal readings that shaped and informed the moral, philosophic, and spiritual direction of my writing. Also, Truman Capote’s work is very influential to my own work. Mailer is correct in noting that Capote writes the most beautifully crafted sentences, he is the master (and self-proclaimed inventor) of creative non-fiction. Robert Goolrick’s book, The End of the World as We Know It, is perhaps the most beautifully written memoir I’ve ever read, and is the most important book I own. Also, Nina Simone’s biography influenced me a great deal, and I liked Jeffrey Meyer’s work up until I read his book, Married to Genius.
What books would you recommend on writing?
Well, that’s a tough question because of the various dimensions of writing (i.e. creative, technical, academic, fiction, etc.), but I think that the best way to learn about writing is to read.
If you could change one thing you did during your road to publication, what would it be and what would you have done different?
I would’ve sought more critical advice from proofreaders and editors. But, at the same time, it’s also important not to let people change or obstruct the artistic direction of your work. Not everyone – especially editors – will understand the artistic expression, and sometimes they can ruin it.
What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Read, read, read.
Where can readers learn more about you and your books?