Friday, June 22, 2012

Guest Post Author A. A. Riley

How/why did you start to write?

I wrote my first book in third grade. I don’t remember the title. It was about three triplets named Jermaine, Jerome and Jemot and their adventures.  I gave it to my teacher Mrs. Tinning to read. After she read it, she held it up in front of the class and told them to remember me because I was going to be a writer someday.  That’s a really special memory for me.

How did you become an author?

I was always writing or reading something.  After reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, I got the courage to pursue my dream. That book really changed my life.

What was your first published piece? 

Honestly, I can’t remember.  I think it was in Capital Xtra Newspaper in Ottawa.  Some of my favourite published pieces where in that newspaper.  I also felt like I was a real writer after being published in the Canadian Writer’s Guide in 2002.  My piece is called Show ‘em you Style Page 131.

What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?

I have had many jobs including supervisor of a courier company, restaurant employee, stunt double in a Hollywood movie, house and animal sitter, factory worker and carpenter.  All of these experiences have fostered in me a determination to get things done, taught me how to talk to anyone and made me great at customer service. How can I help you?

What inspires you?

My personal mandate is to empower, educate and give voice to Canadian black women and girls by telling our stories.  Growing up I read everything.  The one part that I found missing was the story of Canadian black girls like me. So I’m inspired to write for the next generation of girls and making them laugh.

Please share one of your successful marketing techniques

My marketing tip is to be yourself. I like to be silly and do things my own way. I do whatever is comfortable for me. I always carry my book with and any opportunity I get, I get up and talk about.  Don’t be shy and even if you are, do it anyway.

Sophia Firecracker is a nine-year-old girl who thinks she’s a superhero.  When Principal Corncob hints that teacher Mrs. Greenbean may also be a superhero; Sophia sets out on a mission to discover the teacher’s powers.

A. A.  Riley is an undercover, writing, superhero with mission to tell the stories of Canadian black women and girls. Before moving to her current home in Victoria BC, A. A. was awarded two Ontario Arts Councils grants for her novel Introducing Sophia Firecracker and was published in numerous newspapers, magazines and websites.  Writing highlights include publication in the Canadian Writer’s Guide, Art Corridors Magazine and placing her script with a Hollywood actor.

Life highlights include being a stunt double in a movie, meeting Alice Walker and Barbara Gowdy and placing her script with a Hollywood actor.  A. A.  has accepted her writing destiny and can often be found in her downtown “library office” plotting her next adventure.