V. Anthony Rivers: I was born in Los Angeles many moons ago.
I wrote my first novel called November Friend back in 1998 and self published it through 1st Books. Tee C. Royal of RAWSISTAZ found the book and loved the story. She spread the word instantly and caught the ear of bestselling author, Zane who signed me to her publishing company, Strebor Books International for which I am forever grateful to her. She's been a tremendous supporter and hero in my literary career thus far.
November Friend was too short to be an actual novel so it was Zane's idea to combine this with what I had written as the sequel. Born out of that was my first big-time release, Daughter By Spirit. Following my first release came various anthologies, Sistergirls.com and Chocolate Flava, and my second novel, Everybody Got Issues. Between my second and third novels, I penned stories for a couple more anthologies, Love Is Never Painless and Truth Be Told. Now, thanks once again to Zane and Strebor Books International I'm excited about the release of my third novel, My Life Is All I Have.
SORMAG: Tell us about your current book?
RIVERS: My Life Is All I Have is a coming of age story about a young woman (Leesha Tyler) looking back on her life as she contemplates a very drastic decision. This decision will have an impact not only on her life but the lives of others. The story also paints a portrait not only of her life but the influences that affect her decision such as her negative relationship with her mother and the rough neighborhood in which she grew up. This neighborhood actually exists in Los Angeles as it's often referred to as "The Jungle" located in the Crenshaw area of South LA, sitting directly below the more affluent Viewpark neighborhood.
SORMAG: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
RIVERS: I'd like for them to take away a few things. First, I'd like for them to enjoy this literary journey, if you will inside the mind of this young woman. I'd like for readers to hopefully connect with the characters on an emotional level so that it becomes an interesting escape all the way to the last page. And as this story relates to life in the real world, I hope that this story leaves the reader with some sort of understanding about the consequences of each decision we make on a day to day basis no matter how big or small. Everything matters from a decision to buy a new car to saying hello in passing to someone who might truly need it. Decisions are a powerful barometer with respect to the direction of our lives...
SORMAG: How did it feel to reach your publishing goal?
RIVERS: It was a blessing that I remain very grateful for each and every day. It's something that I can always hold on to because it happened not only once but several times although my goal is more of a creative one now as I attempt every time to push the envelope a little further.
SORMAG: Any advice for those striving for the same goal?
RIVERS: Learn the business, pay attention to those wonderful people who know what they're talking about and have paved the way, and always strive to push your own creative envelope to never before imagined heights! Everyone has many stories to tell regardless of how similar they might sound. There's always that extra twist that can make it unique.
SORMAG: What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
RIVERS: It's not as easy as it looks!
SORMAG: Do you have any promotional tips for writers?
RIVERS: If you're not really great at doing it all yourself, find someone fabulous like Marlive Harris of TheGRITS.com to represent you from a publicist point of view.
SORMAG: What is a favorite book from your childhood?
RIVERS: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. I actually tried to make some green eggs when I was a kid after reading this book. I figured I could shoot some food coloring into my eggs, thus creating my culinary masterpiece. I added the food coloring in there but then left the eggs cooking on the stove because I was engrossed in some Saturday morning cartoon watching.
SORMAG: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?
RIVERS: One of my favorites of all time that I recommend to everyone called A Woman's Worth by Tracy Price-Thompson. That one kept me up and had me reading every chance I got. Now thanks to my publicist, I have a feeling I'm gonna be up all night reading The Buffalo Soldier by Chris Bohjalian.
SORMAG: What resources do you use on the net?
RIVERS: I'm constantly on the net, browsing all the various author sites, bookseller's sites, and Google for research necessary for stories that I'm working on. Seems like in this day and age the Internet goes hand in hand with anything literary, especially when it comes to promoting and/or finding out what's happening in the world, literary and otherwise..
SORMAG: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
RIVERS: Readers should never hesitate to visit my website at www.vanthonyrivers.com. They'll be able to find my email information and other great stuff when dropping by for a visit. Thank you so much, Shades Of Romance Magazine.