Hello, all my divas and gurus! I am so excited to bring back my Heavy on Fashion Talks column. I recently got the chance to interview Author and Non-Profit Founder A.M. Gillian.
A.M an American Best Selling Romance Author from Richmond, Virginia. A.M. and I talk about her latest novel, being a romance erotica author, her creative inspirations, and The Raising Hope Foundation.
I am so happy to share this fabulous interview with you. So without further ado, here is Heavy on Fashion Talks to A.M Gilliam.
Heavy on Fashion: How has your hometown influence you as a writer
A.M Gilliam: I was born in Virginia and raised in Texas for my preteen/teenage years. I think is that I was raised by single parents, I grew up wanting to see the beautiful parts of love and I began to imagine what love is. My parents divorced when I was 2 so I never knew what love was as a child growing up.
Heavy on Fashion: When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
A.M Gilliam: I was in 11th grade, and my English teacher was a smart and kind woman. She gave us the assignment to write a short story, didn’t matter the topic. I chose romance. A week after turning in the assignment, she asked me to stay after class. She told me that my story was so well written and intriguing and that if I wanted, I could be a writer one day. And I did want. So I pursued it from that day forward.
Heavy on Fashion: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
A.M Gilliam: I would tell myself to never let anyone discourage you from following your dreams. To always put my writing first.
Heavy on Fashion: What was the first novel you have ever written?
A.M Gilliam: I was 18 when I wrote my first novel. The title was called “Her” and it was about a girl who fell in love with another girl. And her journey to self-love and self-confidence.
Heavy on Fashion: What influenced you to write romance novels?
A.M Gilliam: Wow. Just about everything. My childhood. I look at movies, people, books and find stories in them. I obverse others and imagine different things.
Heavy on Fashion: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
A.M Gilliam: I have written 4 books, published 3 of them. My favorite is my first published novel, Sweet Serenity. It took me a long time to send it to publishers. It was my baby for years.
Heavy on Fashion: What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)?
A.M Gilliam: That I love writing adult scenes LOL. Most writings feel awkward or uncomfortable writing them but I love them.
Heavy on Fashion: Let's talk about your latest novel, Redemption. What was the inspiration for the story? What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
A.M Gilliam: I suffered from Postpartum Depression (PPD) after my daughter was born, it was bad for a long time. Writing that book pulled me out of the hole I fell into. I hope that people will read it and take a look at the people around them. PPD is underestimated and overlooked by the majority of people. No one knew what was going on with me. No one. Not even me. Thank god my mom figured it out before it was too late. I want to bring awareness to mental issues such as PPD. What better way to do so than in a romance book?
Heavy on Fashion: Can you share with all the divas and gurus something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
A.M Gilliam: I’ll just say that it gets pretty intense within the pages... and a little hot too.
Heavy on Fashion: If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
A.M Gilliam: Well for Crystal, I’d pick either Ryan Destiny or Tink Sumpter. They are beautiful African American actresses. And for Zane, I’d pick Micheal B. Jordan. Hands down. He is the perfect description of Zane.
Heavy on Fashion: What is your writing process like? What does literary success look like to you?
A.M Gilliam: My writing process is pretty simple to get any and words out onto paper, and then edit the heck out of it. At least 3 edits. I would say literary success would be if people understood the purpose of each novel I write. All of my novels have a purpose, even though they are romance novels. They each touch on major issues. Not only in the African American community by others as well.
Heavy on Fashion: Now that you are a self-publishing author, do you find the publishing easier or harder?
A.M Gilliam: I find self-publishing harder in the marketing/promotions portion. Everything else is way easier.
Heavy on Fashion: Let's talk about your nonprofit organization The Raising Hope? What is the primary purpose of this charity?
A.M Gilliam: My nonprofit organization, is focused on helping single parents in urban communities with basic household expenses in the hopes of them being able to achieve financial stability by pursuing educational and other avenues to reach that goal.
Heavy on Fashion: What inspired you to start The Raising Hope organization?
A.M Gilliam: So many parents Including relatives have 2 or more jobs because they can’t make ends meet. They have no provisions for their future or their children’s. I want to break this chain in the urban communities nationwide and help build better lifestyles for the people who want it.
Heavy on Fashion: How can we all support The Raising Hope?
A.M Gilliam: By donating. We rely on monetary donations to help these parents, and to maintain the upkeep of our organization. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a yearly sponsor then send them our way as well. We would love to help more women in 2021. And to do that, we need support from all sides of the spectrum, businesses, other organizations, individuals, etc.
Heavy on Fashion: Where can readers find out more about you and your books? Where can readers purchase your books?
A.M Gilliam: Readers can purchase on Amazon and Goodreads.
Heavy on Fashion: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
A.M Gilliam: It may be hard and you may get discouraged, but NEVER give up on yourself and your stories.
Heavy on Fashion: Finally, what does writing mean to you?
A.M Gilliam: Writing is a breath of fresh air. It’s like oxygen in a fire-filled house. It gives me a sense of peace, and escape from everything that I do daily. Using my imagination to create a beautiful story, there’s nothing better than that for me.
I would like to thank A.M. Gilliam for the interview!
All social media for A. M. Gilliam books:
Books link: www.amazon.com/author/a.m.gilliam
TheRaising Hope Foundation links: