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Eleven Questions with Constance Burris

1). How did your writing journey begin?

My journey began as soon as my kindergarten teacher read me my first science fiction story about the planet Venus. I remember going to bed that night and trying to rewrite the story through a dream.

2). Who are your writing inspirations?

Nnedi Okorafor’s Zahrah The Windseeker a novel about two best friends inspired me to write my YA novel set in a magical world with two best friends.

Then there is Octavia Butler. Probably every book I’ve written is some type of fan fiction dedicated to her book Wild Seed.

3). Are you an outliner or a pantser?

For my first book, I was a proud outliner. I like knowing that if I start the book, I’ll be able to finish it because I know what will happen. As my skills grew, and my stories became more complicated, outlining became impossible. Basically, I couldn’t figure out what came next.

So, now I’m a pantser. Thankfully, every novel I’ve started, I’ve been able to finish.

4). What are your favorite books?

Octavia Butler’s The Wild Seed changed my Life. I’ve featured some type of shapeshifter in all of my early books.

Holly Black’s, Modern Faerie Tales and Eden Royce’s Spook Tales are books I can read over and over again.

5). Describe your writing process.

1. I outline and try to figure out the beginning, middle, and end.

2. Since I’m pantsing, I draft, one to three scenes ahead.

3. Write & edit—I try to edit as I go, because long bouts of editing at the end sucks.

4. Proofread

6). Why did you choose to write speculative fiction?

Never really had a choice. See answer number 1

7). Tell us a bit about your story.

I have seven published novels. Most people love Black Beauty which is a horror/fantasy that explores beauty issues through a horror lens.

And there is Coal: Book One of the Everleaf Series, which is my answer to lack of Black people in Lord of the Rings.

8). What inspired you to write this story?

I wrote Black Beauty, because my daughter who was going to a predominately white high school was having a lot of problems with boys and her self-esteem.

9). Will there be more stories about this character?

Yes, I’m writing the sequels to Black Beauty right now.

10). How do we keep up with all things Constance?


11). What advice would you give to new writers?

The most important advice I have is to finish what you start. If you finish, you’ll be miles ahead of most new writers.

Check out Black Beauty and other titles by Constance Burris today!

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