Monday, November 21, 2011
FEATURED AUTHOR: LD Hardy
LD Hardy was born in the small rural town of Garysburg, North Carolina. Being raised in a small town help shape her outlook on the world but it also made her eager to see what else was outside of her hometown because she knew the world was bigger than the 2.5 square mile town.
While she was still a young girl, she would use books to take her where
her feet could not. She was educated in the Northampton County School
System until she moved to Greensboro, North Carolina to pursue higher
learning at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; she ultimately
graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
After graduation, she worked in various fields trying to find her niche;
from public education to finance. While work was fulfilling she never
forgot her first love; writing. Currently, she is a free-lance writer for
various online publications but Generational Curses is her first completed
Ms. Hardy currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina with her dog Piper.
How did you start out your writing career?
I guess you can say around the time I was ten. I was always writing short
stories and poems. I even won a few awards for my pieces. When other kids
were at summer camp, pitching tents, fishing, and playing games, I was at
writing camp at a nearby college; honing "my craft". It sounds funny
saying that now because I never thought I would become a writer but I
always knew I would write a book. In retrospect, books were always a part
of me. If writing is my father, reading is without a doubt my mother and I
was being raised for this very moment. In terms of writing a book and
publishing it, I completely romanticized how it would come together. I had
this dream that after I amassed a substantial savings from my career as a
stockbroker, I would rent a small bungalow in St. Thomas or some other
island and just write from my soul. Monetary gain would not be a
consideration because I would be okay financially and trying to appease an
audience would not influence how I wrote. My book would just be for me; my
own small accomplishment and if success was a by-product, well then that
would just be a cherry on top. However, as the old saying goes, we make
plans and God laughs. After the housing crash of 2007, I was laid off a
year later. Even during a year of unemployment, I did not want to write
because I felt I would compromise my art to attain financial freedom. Then
another year went by and there was this internal pull that kept urging me
to just write and stop being scared, yet I would still make excuses. I
realized then that my fear was not that I would sell out for money, it was
that I was scared I would fail at something I loved, that I feel is a part
of me. As long as I was still a stockbroker, and wrote a book, well then,
I would be just that; a stockbroker who wrote a book. But if I put myself
out there as a writer and failed, it would be like saying, I was a
failure. I would not failing at something that I did but instead failing
at something that I am. When I had that ah-ha moment, my dream shifted
into third gear. I thought to myself, why wait? Why not now? So about a
year ago, I just started typing on my laptop and after a month of writing
with no real direction, Generational Curses was born.
What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned that writing is a journey. Emotionally, it can take you on wild
highs and crazy lows. If you are writing from the depth of your being, it
can also expose somethings about yourself, that you may have not been
aware of. The gift is to embrace those things and not run from them.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
I hope to create a dialogue with this book. In many households, black
households especially, you often here talk of "breaking the curse" or
"breaking the cycle" but what does that really mean? I wanted to explore
the topic of generational curses but in a lighthearted manner. I want the
reader or a book club to have honest and fruitful dialogue about the idea
of family curses and determine if there is any validity to the idea that
another person's actions or lack thereof can influence our decision-making
or are the choices that we as individuals make truly our own? Should we
completely own those choices and the subsequent consequences and not defer
to our family histories, pain, and angst as a crutch?
Which character did you have the most fun writing about?
There are two. I enjoyed writing about Taylor Montgomery (Cynthia
Solomon's best friend) because she is loud, brash, yet personable. She is
the complete anti-thesis of who I am, that is probably why I had so much
fun with her. I got to live vicariously through her words, say things I
normally would not say.
The second character I enjoyed writing about was the a miscellaneous
character that only appeared in the second chapter and that is Cecilia.
She is Claudine's aunt; Cynthia's great-aunt. She was the most fun because
I got to draw from many of the women in my family who are very outspoken,
strong-willed women, who speak their minds. You know that old aunt that
has a quick wit and an even sharper tongue.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
Just how much work goes into this business. It is such a full-time job and
I really do not see how some authors can approach this as a part-time or
leisurely endeavor (that is, if they expect to become successful at it).
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
I love character development. I really like creating people, giving them
thoughts, personalities, dreams, ambitions, and fears. Some friends call
it a god-complex; I think that is a sacrilegious way to look at it, so I
would prefer to call it a Frankenstein complex, except my characters are
not monsters (well most of them anyway).
The part I like least, is the more technical aspect. Editing. Going back
and revising; omitting what does not make sense or having to completely
revamp a story line because it just does not fit or is too long and
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you
1). To position yourself, in terms of brand or name recognition, before
your book even hits shelves.
2). Try to get reviews BEFORE the book is published.
3). If you write it, they will not necessarily come.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Do write with your own voice; be authentic. I believe that is what will
separate you from other authors at the end of the day and will allow your
book to stand the test of time and trends.
Do NOT allow someone to compromise your words or your art. If a change,
edit, or revision does not serve the greater good then respectfully
decline it. Your name and reputation will be tied to that book, not an
editor's. Fight for what you truly believe in.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
Writing is a process and it is demanding, on both your energy and time!
For me, I have to literally check out when I am writing and it is not
meant to alienate anyone. I just have to be able to put forth the best
work I can and that means a lot of introspection with little to no
If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?
Wow. I would be Janie Crawford from Zora Neal Hurston's "Their Eyes
Watching God". I want to know what it feels like to live these two very
different lives in one short lifetime. The bravery it must have taken to,
in the autumn of your life, surrender completely to this new love by
defying logic and reason and to live impulsively like she did when she
sold everything she owned and went off with Tea Cake. I like to think I am
that brave, but I do not think that I am.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I am a foodie and a reality-show junkie. I do not like saying that reality
television is my guilty pleasure because I take no guilt in it. I enjoy
it... a LOT! Also, I like to take cooking classes, going to wine-tastings,
but most importantly I love trying new dishes at different restaurants.
Nothing is better than a good glass of wine, conversation with friends,
over a delicious meal.
What do you do to interact with your readers?
I interact with my readers on Facebook and Twitter a great deal. I am very
plugged in when it comes to social media, perhaps too much. Like a lot of
writers, I am a very private person, so I enjoy allowing my readers a
small glimpse into my life and letting them know I am a lot like them in a
lot of regards.
Our theme for this month is MEN IN LITERATURE. What male author are your
1000 grams by Mike-O. He is a little known author from North Carolina, like myself.
Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?
I know for sure that God is love. He is infinite and all-encompassing. He
imparts greatness in people not so that they can revel in their own glory
but so that they can demonstrate to others God's perfect love. That should
be our legacy; everything else is meaningless.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
I have yet to start writing my next book but when I do, SORMAG, will be one of the first to know about it!
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Cynthia Solomon is beautiful, smart, focused, ambitious, and is trying to
break free of the ghosts that haunt her and her family. She comes from a
strong line of women, where the men exited as quickly as they entered and
she is pervaded with so much self-doubt growing up in the sleepy town of
Savannah, Georgia that she clings to what she feels is her best and only
asset, her intellect. Her own father checked out on the family when
Cynthia, was very young and because her mother was so wrecked by the
betrayal, she will not or perhaps cannot express her love for Cynthia in
the way she needs and wants.
Even with her dysfunctional home life, she manages to maintain some
semblance of normalcy growing up, if only superficially, thanks to her
younger sister Camille who loves her fiercely and her best friend Taylor
who is a loud, outspoken wild child. Taylor is the complete opposite of
Cynthia, it is something that Cynthia loves about her but she also
secretly covets it.
After Cynthia and Taylor move to Atlanta for college, Cyns' perfectly
mapped out life is still moving along as planned, that is until her senior
year at Emory University, when she meets this sexy New Yorker, Mitch
Capleton who manages within one summer to disrupt Cyn's quiet life.
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