N. D. Jones
N. D. Jones lives in Maryland with her husband, Jahi, and two children, Assefa and Najja. Having earned a M.A. in Political Science, she is a dedicated educator, having taught high school social studies for nine years. Currently, she is a professional development specialist with a local school system, working on increasing student achievement through teacher and administrator efficacy. She is a continuing education student, pursuing her doctorate in Community College Leadership. And if she wasn’t busy enough, N. D. teaches a graduate class as part of an Equity in Excellence certification program for teachers.
Q: How did you get into writing fiction?
A: A few years ago I began reading comic books. I liked the action and storylines of the ones I read but was always disappointed that there weren’t more women and quality characters of color. Basically, I wanted to read about non-stereotypical characters that looked like me. So I began to write my own characters, tell their stories, thus catering to the fangirl inside me.
Q: When it comes to planning, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?
A: A bit of both, I suppose. I can’t imagine planning an entire work in advance. Nor can I envision writing freely without some basic outline. I always begin with a big idea, some major plot point I want to explore. The characters come soon afterward. Normally I know how I want the story to end and several key moments I want to include. Everything else develops as I progress through.
Q: Does the title of a book you’re writing come to you as you’re writing it, or does it come before you even begin the first sentence?
A: I come up with my title before I begin writing. So much of the content of the work is directly linked to the title. Content and title inform each other. The title is a useful box into which I can place the novel, providing meaning and focus.
Q: Do you have your family or friends read a manuscript first, to see if they like it?
A: Yes. Yes. Yes. I nag my husband all the time. He has a good, analytical mind when it comes to reading for content. He’s especially good for giving me his opinion on my depiction of male characters. And, of course, he always has suggestions about the love scenes, his mind is so much naughtier than my own.
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