Today's #WriterWednesday interview is with Author LaQueisha Malone. Check her and her books out!!
AT: Where do you live?
AT: What genre do you write?
LM: I write in the genres of Poetry, Young Adult – Social Issues, Contemporary Adult Fiction, Non-Fiction/Self-Help
AT: Are you a published author or aspiring to be published? If published, how many books are out there with your name on them?
LM: I am a published author. I have four books with my name on them.
AT: What inspires you to write?
LM: I’m inspired to write by my daughter and everyday issues I see going on in people’s lives. God gives me something…I write about it.
AT: Name one book you wish you’d written.
LM: I wished I would have written any book by Nikki Turner. I love her writing.
AT: What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
LM: Undisclosed Desire by Falon Gold. I really enjoyed the story line. It was definitely not what I expected to happen.
AT: Who is your favorite author? Why?
LM: My favorite author is Nikki Turner. I love her writing style. She writes story that include strong black women, but they are not too tough to where you still can connect to their soft side.
AT: Now for the fun questions! You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
LM: LOL! I would be RED, because it is bold, bright, and in your face.
AT: Do you believe in love at first sight?
LM: Love at first sight is a tricky phrase. I want to believe in it, but I also believe that love needs time to flourish, because lust at first sight is even more dominant than love at times.
AT: If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be? (can't ask for more wishes)
LM: 1) I’d wish for financial stability.
2) I’d wish to write full-time pushing out bestsellers.
3) I’d wish to start a program for children focusing on creative writing, art, mentorship, job placements, and other things to catch their interest while they are young.
AT: Are you spring, summer, fall, or winter?
LM: I am fall kind girl. Please share why. I love the fact that the temperature seems so even, and that the colors of brown, oranges, reds, and the hint of green life amongst the earth create a beautiful canvas painted only be God for my eyes pleasure. I always feel like I’m in another dimension.
AT: Tea or coffee?
LM: Neither. I’m allergic to caffeine therefore, I can’t. But before I found out I was allergic I always had a nice cold Brisk Ice Tea.
AT: Tell us about your most recent/current project.
LM: I have a few projects I’m working. I’m working my magazine Strawberry-Lit Magazine, and I’m working finishing my Young Adult Fiction story. Excerpt below of my upcoming release:
It was afternoon and Mark was down in the Bishop’s study, to re-familiarize himself with the quarters. He perused articles of official business, neighborhood commitment registrations, grant proposal samples, invoices and other pertinent paperwork for daily operations like specialty planning, and necessary applications. Each drawer of Elder Jamerson’s desk filled Pastor Marshall’s mind with memories of a time when a young assistant would maneuver these quarters on one errand or another. Now Pastor Marshall was seated behind the desk of a man who, by his own right, was a father, mentor…savior. I will do everything in my power to maintain the legacy of Greater Faith.
The Pastor picked through the row of keys on his ring and found the little one for the bottom drawer. When he found it a subtle smirk of guilt at the invasion of Elder Jamerson’s privacy fell over him even though Mrs. Jamerson assured him that all of the Elder’s personal effects had been collected. Still, there was a symbolic quality to the drawer that felt to Pastor Marshall as if the study was still the late Elder’s quarters.
Mark felt a bit childish that his heart-rate accelerated when he inserted and turned the key. The drawer was empty save a worn buckle-strap bible, some stationary, and a small lock-box. The lock-box was empty, the bible’s pages littered with notes and comments on scripture. There was a pad which held a list of sermon-ready topics captioned with bullet points. Some of the words written Mark could almost hear Elder Jamerson exalt in his memory. The new Pastor made a mental note to utilize the note-pad and add to it. One thing was for sure, there was always praise-worthy topics. When Mark placed everything back into the drawer and closed it, on the floor was a worn piece of folded parchment.
The Pastor furrowed his brows. Had this piece of paper been there before? Had he missed it somehow while he was straightening up? He didn’t think so and instinctively pulled the drawer back open and reached under it. Wedged beneath the under-belly and the slide-bar was another piece of parchment that unfolded when he pulled it all the way out. His lungs depleted when he felt a sense of familiarity in the writing. But it wasn’t until he saw the signature at the bottom that he knew it was from his mother. The parchment fell from his hand to the floor.
It was as if a ghost hovered in the study. Visions intruded of his mother’s face, distorted from the criminal influence, skin oily and hair in disarray. He blinked back the disturbing memory and focused on the letters on the floor. With a trembling hand he picked them both up.
Time ticked slow as the new Pastor eyed the parchments lied on the desk-top. His conscious mind drew a blank while his subconscious fears prickled his imagination as the numbing span of time passed. With elbows on the desk, and his face held with moistened palms, his eyes scanned the stained pages. He couldn’t imagine what the connection could be between his mother and the only father he ever knew. As far as Mark could remember his mother was never a religious person, and with an energy consuming exhale his mind reached out into the dark. Then, as one hand rubbed at his eye, the other unfolded the first letter:
What are we doing? I don’t know how to feel, but I know what I feel. When I close my eyes all I see is you. I feel like the only sinner in the congregation so I am writing to say that I won’t be returning to volunteer. I simply can’t, not with what we’ve done. I thought I was a good girl, but how can I be when I feel an attraction for another woman’s husband? I don’t blame you. Maybe I will one day, but you do so much for so many people, and I can’t be the temptation that destroys an entire community’s faith. So I will never return to the church because if I do I’m afraid I won’t be able to control the way I feel for you. It is wrong, so good-bye my love…forever.
Teardrops dotted the bottom of the page as Mark’s core opened up. He felt a storm of confusion rage over him, betrayal. He turned to the other letter while his spirit was still numb, and he reached out a hand and grabbed the other parchment. He read, literally holding his breath:
I’m pregnant. I know it’s yours because I was a virgin before you, and have not been with anyone since. I am not telling you this because I want to trap you. I was going to stay away but now, I don’t know what I am supposed to do. I will keep my child. I am not doing this to punish you. I didn’t know what was wrong with me until it was too late. I wasn’t going to tell you, but I couldn’t keep something like a father’s child a secret. I don’t know what to expect from you, or what to accept, how could I? But I know that you don’t love me the way I love you. I am living in sin and will have to accept that. I won’t destroy you as I am destroyed. A part of me will always be waiting for you, but I know that we will not be. I can live with that. I can be strong for my child, our child, a son. I thought you should know that will name him Royce. Through it all I still don’t blame you. I know that you’re a good man. It was me who cast temptation, a silly girl who had no idea what I was doing. And our son will be my consequence. Funny how this letter of penance makes me feel as if I am confessing to you that you have a son.
The Pastor regretted reading the second letter as all strength drained from him. The Elder’s face came to mind, this time under a severely different light. What did these letter mean? But he knew exactly what it meant, yet acceptance stopped short before his mind allowed the reality of the ramifications.
Mark sat back. Flashes intruded of his brother, dead in a coffin; the enormity of a nearly empty funeral parlor; his mother in the front row, he and his sister on either side of her. The stillness of her pose, how her calm contradicted the tear lines and welling eyes that glistened under the light. Mark remembered when she stood, then buckled and fainted. Jamerson was there.
Was it Robert’s presence that took the consciousness from his mother? There was no answer for that. All Mark knew was what he recalled: The Elder phoning an ambulance before taking he and his sister for the four days it took his mother to show up. He remembered the chaos that broke loose between a mad woman and an empathetic Elder. But it wasn’t the church, it wasn’t the sense of responsibility that bred Robert’s patience toward his mother’s tirade. It was because of the secret. One hidden to ruin and protect. Mark immediately recognized why Jamerson was in his life and it sickened him with a desperation that bubbled into fury. The new Pastor, in one fell swipe, flew all the contents of the desktop to the floor with a shuffle and crash. It was his only movement yet he was out of breath and found it hard to catch.
Mark shot up and the chair fell onto its back as he gained his footing. He dropped his palms flat on the table with a thud, eyes watching the surface dot with tear drops. He had yet to make a sound but wanted to blame, yell, accuse—
“Elder Marsh—” Gladys, one of the clergy, walked to the study when she’d heard the crash. Still beaming from such a beautiful sermon, Gladys was taken aback when she saw the condition of the Pastor, “What’s wrong? What happened?”
And that was when Mark knew that there was no one he could tell. As he looked into the clergy woman’s inquiring eyes he knew that this secret, one which had been kept for nearly forty years, was powerful enough to destroy the church as well as the community’s faith in the late Elder. A faith which had already begun to fade in Mark.
Gladys took a step into the study, “We’re here for you, Pastor.” She tilted her head, “Jerald and Charles are in the auditorium. Would you like for me to go and get them? Is there something that you would like to discuss with us?”
Mark wiped at his eyes, “No,” then he turned and saw the letter atop the mess on the floor. When he looked up he saw Gladys’ eyes scanning the contents, and what he intended to be a few encouraging words to put the clergy woman at ease while desperate to preserve the integrity of the church, came out all wrong, “Just get out, please.” Then, as he watched, the first layer of foundation, of comfort, faded from this woman’s eyes. But there was nothing else that he could say, nothing to justify or explain what set him off. So, with the agony of his revelation unable to be expressed, Mark, as slowly and as gently as he could, began to pick up the items that were spilled across the floor. The fears that his action conveyed potential imbalance were reinforced when he looked up and saw that Gladys was gone.
AT: How can readers connect with you?
Readers can connect with me on my website www.laqueishamalone.com
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IG: Author LaQueisha Malone www.instagram.com/authorlaqueishamalone
They can also join my mailing list on my website and get three FREE reads from me.
AT: Any final words?
LM: To all aspiring authors and new authors: Never give up, don’t let anyone tell you it’s impossible, and everyday find something that will bring you closer to your dreams. Research and network.