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Author Interview: Noire

I read and reviewed G-Spot by Noire a few months ago, and absolutely loved it. You can view my video review here. I was so intrigued by the story, that I reached out to Noire and asked her if she would be willing to do an interview. She graciously accepted. I think you will find her interview an absolute delight, and if you loved her before, I promise you, you will love her even more. I do. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for her as a woman and as an artist. She is someone who has overcome so much adversity in her life. She is an inspiration to me. It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you, Noire.

1) Who is Noire?

I’m actually a very complex and reserved person, so it’s hard for people to pin me down. I’m a free spirit, a practical joker, a mother, a sister, a friend, a creative thinker, a writer, and an entrepreneur.

2) How was your childhood?

It definitely wasn’t the best. My mother had a lot of substance abuse issues, so as kids we were exposed to a lot of drama. That’s why my stories read like you’re watching a graphic movie. I grew up around drugs and crime, and when I was young I looked up to pretty girls who were getting caught up in that lifestyle. I write about what I’ve actually seen, and in some cases, I write about what I’ve experienced in my own life. I give a lot of thanks to my aunts because they loved us enough to step in and rescue us from my mother. They placed us in a more positive environment.

3) You are hailed as the Queen of Urban Erotica, when did you know you wanted to write and write Erotica

I started writing when I was a little girl, probably about six or seven, but I hid my stories because I was scared all the time. As I got older and matured, my writing matured too. When I was fourteen, my next-door neighbor bought me a five-subject notebook for school, and I filled it up by writing fantasies and mysteries. I also wrote a few comedies so I could make myself laugh. I think those early attempts at urban comedy shine through in my Sexy Little Liar series with the Misadventures of Mink LaRue.

4) Was there anyone in your life who encouraged you to write?

There was one time that my aunt found something that I had written and hidden in the back of a drawer. She read it with her mouth hanging open. I thought she was going to chastise me because of the sexual content, but she loved it and said she couldn’t believe I had such creative pen skills. It was a short story that I had written just for myself as usual, but my aunt is a writer too and she convinced me that the rest of the world needed to read my stories. Her encouragement was life-changing for me.

5) When did you decide to pen your first book? How long did it take?

It didn’t take that long because I didn’t know I was writing a book. I was just telling yet another creative story and letting it unfold in it’s own way and it’s own time, so there was no structure and no pressure. It was all original, and all at my own pace.

6) What do you believe shaped you as a writer?

It had to be studying people and their conversations that shaped me. I watched and listened to everything, even when it got me in trouble. I was that kid that got smacked for having my eyes in grown folk’s mouth or for listening to grown folk’s conversations. And I read everything I could get my hands on too, including the newspaper.

7) How do your ideas come to you?

My ideas come from the life I’ve lived and the environments I’ve been exposed to, the people I’ve known, and the situations I’ve witnessed. I went from admiring the so-called chickenheads, thots, and trap queens, to mentoring and counseling them and showing them that they have options and alternatives in life. My stories are basically big blinking warning signs. They’re cautionary tales about the pitfalls of the streets, and they lay out in black and white what can happen when you play dangerous games in this world.

8) Do you have a favorite place or space to write?

Yep! In my bed!

9) What is your creative process?

My process is internal. When I hear a character talking, I listen.

10) Do you have a writing ritual, routine or practice?

I do my best writing at night. I work all day and I stay up late writing. I don’t have any particular routine because characters are always in my head. I always hear them. It’s just a matter of finding the time to get what they’re saying down on paper.

11) What does your typical day look like?

I think my day looks like most people’s day. I have a job, so I work and put in my eight hours, and when I get off I take care of bizz on the home-front. I write at night for relaxation and because creating believable characters comes easy to me. I’m no longer a neglected or abused child, but even after all these years writing is like therapy to me.

12) Were you always a reader?

I’ve always read whenever I could get my hands on something. My mother, as deep as she was in her addiction, she had a love for books too, and that was one of the good things that she passed on to me. When I was growing up reading was my only escape from my reality. My mother actually eased up and let me be when she saw me reading. Maybe she respected the connection I had with words, who knows. But I used to steal magazines off the table in doctor’s offices and read other people’s newspapers when they left them on the train. I mean I just I ate up anything that had words printed on it. Words were sexy and attractive to my eyes.

13) What are some of your favorite books and authors?

There are just too many to name. But I like literary fiction, mysteries, and the classics best of all.

14) Do you listen to music when you write? What type of music do you listen to?

I love all music, so I switch things up depending on how I’m feeling and what I’m writing at the time. I listen to R&B, rap, house, old skool, and even classical music.

15) Have you ever struggled with fear, insecurity or rejection as a writer? If so, how did you deal with it?

I believe every writer goes through something, especially if they’re successful and good at what they do. I struggled a lot early on because I was sneaking and writing and hiding everything I wrote. I never expected anybody to like my stories and I didn’t know there were readers who were into what I was into. I was shocked when G-Spot: An Urban Erotic Tale was published and readers absolutely loved it. There was nothing on the shelves like G-Spot back in 2005 when it was published. G-Spot became an instant classic, and although you can find a lot of knock-off copycat stories based on G and Juicy today, back then they were original and unique characters and nobody had ever written a story anything like it before.

16) What gets you through hard times? How do you overcome adversity?

Prayer and laughter! I pray a lot and I laugh a lot. I don’t take myself too seriously, so I definitely don’t focus on adversity. I believe in the power of the universe. I try to treat people the right way and I surround myself with positive people who are going in my direction. Everybody else gets a smile and a wave as I pass them by.

17) Was there one thing that changed the course of your life?

Yep. Being rescued from my mother and taken in by my aunts. Those women didn’t just change my life, they saved it.

18) If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

Too many things to list! But then again, maybe nothing. I like myself and I’m cool with where I am in this life. All of my mistakes have become life experiences, and I value each and every one of them.

19) Did you ever imagine becoming as successful as you are?

No, because I never set out to share my writing with the world. But I actually don’t think my literary successes are my greatest accomplishments. I think the powerful relationships that I build with other women, and the mentoring I do to help children and teenagers are more important than anything else. The writing accolades I get are fun, but it’s the real life work that I do face-to-face from my heart that means the most to me.

20) What do you want readers to take away from your books?

I’ve been crowned the QUEEN of Urban Erotica and the word QUEEN stands for Quality Urban Erotica Every Novel. When a reader closes one of my books I want them to feel like they’ve been on a helluva ride. I want them to recognize the quality writing, the detailed plots, the 3D characters, and the human emotions that my pen game invokes. My motto is #DemandQuality and I want my readers to value what I give them because I don’t short change or cheat them out of a dime. I give them their money’s worth. Because that’s what literary Queens do.

21) What inspires or motivates you?

I’m inspired by life itself because I know how short it is. I’m happy and I’m inspired by love. By children! By laughter! And definitely by sex!

22) What is your vision or dream?

My dream is to see young people, especially young ladies, embrace their power and strive for what they want in this world. I envision a world where my child can dare to dream and to create her own prosperity and happiness, regardless of what it is.

23) Do you have any hobbies?

 Most people don’t know I’m a belly dancer. I love moving my body and I find my hips and abs very sensual. Of course my abs ain’t what they used to be, but I can still wind it up!

24) What do you believe constitutes good writing? How does one perfect their craft?

I think good writing is careful writing. You perfect it by understanding the written language, developing your skills, studying the craft, understanding the concepts of literature, and being able to lay out a plot in a rational and believable manner. In short, you write with skill, but you write from your gut.

25) If you could change one thing in this pen game, what would it be?

I’m usually not one to put restrictions on people, but the pen game has become so polluted with trash that it’s hard to sort through the garbage heaps and find good writing these days. I think books should have to be sold without a cover. So many gullible people get caught up by the pretty images that it’s almost embarrassing. I’ve been presented with books that have the hottest artwork ever on the covers. I mean, sexy chicks, urban scenery, slick fonts, bold colors, the whole nine.

And then I open them up and start reading and I can’t believe my damn eyes. A misspelling every other word, a plot that makes no damn sense, or something that has already been written thirty other times in a hundred other books. Or, characters who all sound and act alike, and no real story being told at all. Just a bunch of drawn-out scenes with nothing happening. I think we should rip all the glamorous covers off and leave just the title and the author’s name. Let the book stand on that!

26) What do you like most about writing and what do you like least?

Most? I like plotting. I have a good feel for it. I like constructing plot twists that look like pretzels. Least? Editing!

27) Do your life experiences play into what you write about in your books?

They sure do. I write about things I’ve seen, things I’ve heard, and whether good and bad, I also write about things that I’ve experienced.

28) How did your awesome book, “G-Spot” come about?

 I grew up around a few girls just like Juicy and I decided I wanted to tell their stories. I started writing G-Spot after I witnessed something foul going down with a young girl who was close to me. I tried to school her, but at the time she just couldn’t hear me. So I wrote her story and let her read it. It opened her eyes and blew her mind. I’m happy to say that she’s a college graduate and an entrepreneur today.

 29) What’s next? Any new projects on the horizon?

Yes! I’m working on a hot project with artist Reem Raw and I’m loving the way our ink blends and our words flow together. It’s a serial street novel called EMPIRE STATE OF MINEZ and it has one of the slickest and most elaborate plot twists that I’ve ever written. It’s part street banga and part urban love story. I can guarantee that you’ll love it.

30) Lastly, what advice can you share from your own personal experiences to a novice writer?

My advice to young writers is to figure out why you’re in the game. If you’re only in the game for the quick money, and you’re kicking out shitty book after shitty little book with real pretty covers, then enjoy it while you can because it’s not gonna last forever. You can only fool people until they get up on you. Eventually your disrespect for the craft of writing will turn readers off and they’ll stop going in their pockets to throw good money away on your bad shit.

But if you’re writing books because you love this profession and telling stories is your passion, then keep right on doing what you’re doing, even if nobody buys a single one of your books. All words motivated by passion are good words, and your voice deserves to be heard!

Thank you so much, Noire.

NOIRE is editor-in-chief of NoireMagazine.com, the Queen of Urban Erotica, the #1 Essence® bestselling author of Unzipped, Hittin’ the Bricks, G-Spot, Candy Licker, Thug-A-Licious, Baby Brother (with 50 Cent), Thong on Fire, Hood, novellas in Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless and Maneater, and the editor of a collection of urban erotic quickies, From the Streets to the Sheets. She is also the author of the first urban erotic serial novel, G-Spot 2: The Seven Deadly Sins. Visit Noire online at AskNoire.com, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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