Friday, July 31, 2009
FEATURED AUTHOR: LaToya Stevenson Watkins
LaToya lives in the Dallas/FortWorth area of Texas with her husband and three children. She works as a writer and an editor for various publications, including North Dallas Gazette. She is a literary studies graduate from the University of Texas at Dallas, where she currently attends graduate school as well.
In Love with Losers offers a positive perspective toward common African American struggles. As three women set out on a mission to find a suitable man, each embarks on her own journey of priorities and self-discovery. Each of the women has to fight her own battle of love, yet they must all wrestle with determining whether or not the men in their lives are losers or lovers; real or fake. As the truth slowly reveals itself to each of them, they start to realize what love and relationships are really all about, expelling the losers within themselves.
What would you like readers to take away from your book?
I would like for readers to be entertained if nothing else after reading In Love with Losers. In a perfect world, my readers would walk away and say to themselves “dang, the only person that I have the power to change and the right to judge in my own relationship is me. I feel what LaToya is conveying here.” But since our world is imperfect, all I want to do is provide my readers with rich and enjoyable entertainment.
Why did you choose to write this book?
I was tired of looking at the losers in my life and in the lives of women around me and not seeing us. Women can be losers for some of the stuff we put up with just to have a man, but we can also be losers by not knowing how to treat a good man when God does send him along. I wrote this book after discovering and shedding some loser traits of my own.
What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned that I was an artist. After years of college and writing for others, it took actually creating my own art to realize that I am—always was, an artist.
What was your favorite scene/chapter from the book?
My favorite scene has to be when Zora reveals to Will’s wife that they have been sleeping together. She was expecting to sabotage this man’s marriage, but she actually ended up gaining respect from a not-so attractive woman who was willing to stay with her man after being put through major drama by him. For me that scene showed different stages of strength from two very different characters.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
That a work of fiction does not have to be based on someone close to a writer. A writer can create things about a guy sitting in the car next to him/her or a couple at a bowling alley. All stories don’t point to family or personal secrets.
What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?
Feedback and criticism—if constructive, are some of the most valuable tools for growth.
What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?
Being rejected. When I was younger and more vain, I’d list rejection as my greatest fear. Even now rejection is jarring, but I still press forward.
What is something readers would be surprised you do?
I am really shy.
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
That a deep love for literature is really worth something, that a person must go through to in order to get TO (something), and that if I let God lead, life is not pain or challenge free, but it’s a lot easier than if I don’t.
How do you reach new readers?
I reach new readers through old friends, new friends, and the internet.
If you could have dinner with 3 authors to talk with about their writing (living or deceased) who would you invite and why?
Alice Walker- I’d want to know where the inspiration for characters like Grange Copeland and Celie derived. I’d ask her how she jumps from one beauty to another (Third Life of Grange Copeland to Warrior Marks) both so different, yet so free; J.R.R Tolkein-How does one imagination stretch across so many different worlds?; I’d ask Langston Hughes to write a poem for today.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Be you. Don’t follow the crowd, follow your heart when it comes to your work.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Mail-7801 Alma Dr#105, P.O. BOX 156, Plano, Texas, 75025; email-- latoyastevensonwatkins.com; www.latoyaswatkins.com
Tell us your loser story for a chance to win a copy of In Love with Losers.
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