Selena Williams, an emerging writer in Oklahoma working on her debut science-fiction novel, Electricity, chats with Quill Hawk Publishing about her aspirations and journey toward authorpreneurship! Electricity will be part of the Eerie-Sistable Tales series comparable to Stranger Things and the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine.
QHP: What inspired you to write this book?
SW: My family inspired me to write this book. They were the ones who listened to each story idea and encouraged me to write. My dad in particular was the one who brought Quill Hawk Publishing to my attention. I am so glad he did because I am happy to be a part of the QHP family.
QHP: Aw, thank you! We're thrilled to have you. Any advice for people getting started with their book project?
SW: My best advice would be to find a circle of authors who encourage you to be your best and who also hold you accountable. I would also suggest finding a critique group to help polish your writing skills.
QHP: Agree! How did you get your start?
SW: I began writing for my college newspaper and magazine, which made me realize my joy for writing. And even though I didn’t end up writing for a newspaper, I discovered my passion for storytelling.
QHP: And what have you found is the biggest challenge in writing your book?
SW: The biggest challenge in writing for me is finding the time to write with no distractions.
QHP: That's common with many writers. We always encourage writers to set a timer and start with ten minutes, then increase in ten-minute increments. It's also good to understand what time of the day you have the most energy to write. So tell us what are some interesting facts about yourself?
SW: I enjoy baking and my favorite NFL team is the Seattle Seahawks.
QHP: Go Hawks!
SW: I also have a Chihuahua named Tigger. I am a Certified Business Owner of a cleaning service. And I am a caregiver to my mother.
QHP: Well, those responsibilities will keep you busy! Who do you admire?
SW: I admire my mother, Jessica. She has been through some traumatic events in her life. She found out she was pregnant with my brother around the same time she discovered her grandmother, Melba, had lung cancer. After the doctors did a biopsy of Melba’s lungs, the cancer spread everywhere. Two years later Melba passed away. After Melba passed away, my mother found out she was pregnant with me. Around the time I was born, she began to build a relationship with her mother, Tena. When my mother was six years old, she and her little brother, Otis, were placed in their grandparents' care, due to domestic violence and neglect.
My mother forgave Tena and the two spent every day together for three years, even living in the same apartment complex. Unexpectedly, my mom found Tena dead in her apartment. Tena had an old blood clot in her heart, which led to unexpected heart failure.
Now, my mom is facing her battle. She had a stroke back in 2021. My mother had underlying health issues and contracted COVID-19, which led to her developing a large blood clot in the middle of her brain. A craniotomy was performed to remove the clot. She is currently still fighting for her mobility. With her tenacity, she will one day walk again.
QHP: Wow! Thank you for sharing all that. You both are strong women and it's wonderful you have each other. Do you have any mentors?
SW: I consider Amy M. Le, Tamara, and George Dragseth to be my mentors. They are amazing and are helping me through this journey called life. They keep me motivated, give great advice, and offer their love and support when I need it the most.
QHP: That's wonderful. I bet in some ways, you're a mentor to them too. Selena, did you always want to be a writer or did you have another path before you got here?
SW: I did not always want to be a writer. Before I discovered my passion for writing I wanted to be a reporter for channel Fox 25 News.
QHP: Aww, a noble and tough job! Being a writer is a form of journalism. What is it that most interests you when choosing book topics to publish?
SW: What I find interesting when choosing book topics is relevancy. Before I choose a topic to write about, I ask myself one question. Does this topic relate to any current events? If the answer is yes, I choose that topic to write about.
QHP: When did you know you wanted to publish a book?
SW: I knew I wanted to publish a book when I shared my story ideas with relatives and was told that they would love to read the story once finished. I realized that I wasn’t the only one who thought my ideas were interesting, but somebody else did too.
QHP: Is where you are now where you thought you’d be?
SW: If you had asked me five years ago where I would be, I would not have said working on a science fiction novel. I would have said broadcasting for some news station or writing for a local newspaper. But God had bigger and better plans for me. Writing a science fiction novel was one of them. I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for me.
QHP: Same here! Did you have any interesting “odd jobs” you worked at to pay the bills?
SW: Yes, I dog sat and cleaned houses on the side to make extra cash. I might also bake some pastries here and there for additional income.
QHP: Nice! If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
SW: Don’t worry, God has already planned your path, all you have to do is get up every day, listen, and pay attention to the signs he gives you.
QHP: Very sound advice. What skills or tools did you find to be the most helpful in getting your book into the hands of readers?
SW: I am organizing my life so I can complete this book. I am sure I will have some skills and tools to share once I finish. I am unable to share any at this time.
QHP: Having a strong author brand and promoting now is everything. Where did you study?
SW: I studied at Rose State Community College and graduated with an Associate in Arts degree. My greatest accomplishment thus far was obtaining my Associate of Arts degree.
QHP: What are some goals you hope to achieve?
SW: Publish my book by the middle of this year. Learn a new language. Workout at least 3 times a week. Read every day. Overall, be more productive.
QHP: Well, those seem quite attainable and no doubt, you'll achieve them. Thank you, Selena, for sharing parts of yourself with us!