“Since I was a little girl I always had a passion to write. My imagination has always taken me to many different places and through different struggles. As a young girl I would read all the time instead of playing with friends. When I was done reading all the good books, I would create little short stories, design the covers and show my mom all the creative things I came up with. Today I get to live my dream as being a published author. I have written 9 books that have been published! I am working on more as we speak. This isn’t a job for me this is my destiny. God has guided me and prepared me for this talent. Now I am ready to share with the world a little of my imagination!”
“I write about real life drama. Relationships, love, rape, suicide, cheating and murder. I portray most of the men in my books especially African American men as good role models. Business owners, doctors and lawyers. I do have a f*ck boy in every book but they always learn the error of their ways. When reading my book I want to show people that I understand what they are going through. Most of these issues I have dealt with. I want my readers to know they are not alone. I want them to be encouraged about my stories. “
BLAQVERSITY MAGAZINE: How did your journey as an author began?
S.R. FLETCHER: When I was younger from the age of 10- 16 I stayed in trouble. To pass my time I would read and write. I would write short stories and give them to my mother. My mother would take them to the English professors. They were amazed that a child my age was writing better than most college students. I believe in God and prophecy. I had two people who didn’t know me from a can of paint come to me on two different dates. Each told me that God wanted me to write. Writing is my talent and I needed to start using it. I was confused because I loved to write but what was I supposed to write? I held on to that information from each person for about two years. One day I was at work. I started writing and had about 13 thousand words. I gave them to my co-worker who was sitting next to me. She read it and loved it. A couple of nights later I was scrolling down Facebook. I saw an ad for Leo Sullivan Presents. I showed it to same co-worker who encouraged me to submit my book. I submitted my manuscript and received call the same day. On December 18, 2018 I became a signed author!
BLAQVERSITY: Was becoming a writer something you always wanted to pursue? Who motivated you?
S.R. FLETCHER: Becoming a writer was not something that I always pursued. I just loved to read. I liked writing and was good at it but it wasn’t something I ever thought I could make a career of. My main motivator is my mother Charlene. She is my rock. She has read every book that I have ever written. My mom has been my sounding board as well as giving me advice on how to complete a story. She is my biggest critic. If she doesn’t like something she will definitely tell me. My mom wants to make sure that I continue to pursue my writing career. When I get writers block or down because my books don’t sell like others she motivates me. I do have many other motivations in my life. I write for my son, I want to make sure that he is well taken care of.
BLAQVERSITY: What are some of your favorite authors out right now?
S.R. FLETCHER: I read everything! My favorite authors are J.K. Rowling, R. L. Stine, Zane, KC Mills, Nikki Brown, Krystal Armstead, Stephen King. Again I read everything if it can keep my attention I will read pretty much any book placed in front of me.
BLAQVERSITY: Since becoming a published author, what challenges have you faced if any?
S.R. FLETCHER: I write Urban Fiction, Urban Contemporary, African American literature. The biggest issue I have faced in this industry is the popularity. If you aren’t a well known or popular author many don’t want to try your work. No matter how much I have invested (which is a lot) only a few people will actually read my work. I get amazing reviews from the few that do read my work. I get inbox messages from those people who have read and love my work. But when you don’t have a big name like Leo Sullivan or KC Mills and a few others you don’t get to reach as many people as they do. I want readers to remember even their favorite authors were brand new authors before they made it big. I want them to know that not all best selling authors are consistent. There are some authors I have read their books and have been blown away. Yet they aren’t known, popular or read because their name isn’t out there. Promoting is another issue that I face. I have spent hundreds of dollars in promotion. I have tried Fivver, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pintrest, Online book blogs, Goodreads and so many more. I have paid private promoters as well. The turn out hasn’t been in my favor yet. It is hard to promote when most people only want to read their favorites. It is expensive as well.
BLAQVERSITY: How many books have you written? What is your genre?
S.R. FLETCHER: I have written 12 books so far. 9 were published with Leo Sullivan 3 published through Relentless Publications. I received my rights back for the 9 books that Leo published. I combined them and now have 5 that I have self published. I write African American literature, Urban Fiction, Urban contemporary. I feel like I actually write contemporary as of late because even though my characters come from different cultural backgrounds and has mild cursing doesn’t mean it is urban.
BLAQVERSITY: What message do you want your readers to take away when reading your books?
S.R. FLETCHER: I write about real life drama. Relationships, love, rape, suicide, cheating and murder. I portray most of the men in my books especially African American men as good role models. Business owners, doctors and lawyers. I do have a f*ck boy in every book but they always learn the error of their ways. When reading my book I want to show people that I understand what they are going through. Most of these issues I have dealt with. I want my readers to know they are not alone. I want them to be encouraged about my stories.
BLAQVERSITY: Do you have any writing tips/suggestions for any new author who wants to write their book but doesn’t know where to start?
S.R. FLETCHER: Write everything down, even if you think it is not something you will use later. I create stories in my head. I write as if I am watching it in movie form. I want things to go smoothly and fluently. Stay true to your passion. Yes you can write a book if you want to. You have to stay focused on your craft. When writing my stories normally flow right through me. That makes it easier to type. Have a person that you can talk to and that you can bounce ideas off that you trust. My person is my mother. I can bounce ideas off of her and she will add her opinions. She will tell me if things are too far fetched. You need someone who is going to be honest. You don’t need yes men who will tell you everything is perfect.
BLAQVERSITY: Are you currently working on any new book projects? If so, when can we expect them to be released?
S.R.FLETCHER: Yes I am working on 3 books at one time. My goal is to put a book out maybe two a month. Thus far (3/27/2020) I have about 15 thousands words on each book.
BLAQVERSITY: What does being an author mean to you?
S.R. FLETCHER: I am still in shock that I am an author. Not just an author but a published author. Not many people in the world could say that. Being an author is an amazing feeling. I love to write stories for the world to read. I love taking people on adventures. When reading my books I want you to yell, scream, cry, and laugh. Like you would do a movie.
BLAQVERSITY: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
S.R. FLETCHER: Working as a full time author. Being a best seller in the USA and other countries. I want to be a well known author (my works, not me as a person). I want my books to fly off the shelves.
BLAQVERSITY: Have you ever thought about being an author full-time?
S.R. FLETCHER: Yes that is the ultimate goal. I want to be able to put out at least 2 books a month for the next few years. I have so many stories to tell. So many new characters to introduce the world to.
BLAQVERSITY: If you could co-author with any author in the world, who would it be and why?
S.R. FLETCHER: Tyler Perry or Krystal Armstead.
Tyler Perry because he is an amazing author, director and I feel like he is humbled. It doesn’t hurt that he is known world wide. I would love to turn one of my books into a movie so I would definitely love to work with Tyler Perry.
Krystal Armstead is an author I just began reading. Oh god she irks my soul that she leaves her stories off on cliff hangers. She answers all of the questions in her books though. She leaves you wanting more. I would love to collaborate with her because I just love her writing style. She works hard and her books definitely have you in your feelings.
BLAQVERSITY: Tell us about your marketing strategies as an author? Do you find it to be challenging at times when promoting your books?
S.R. FLETCHER: I touched on this a little in the beginning of the interview. It is definitely hard to promote yourself. I have created a webpage, I am on social media which I really don’t like being on. I promote daily myself. I have hired several people to promote my work. They have promoted my work on social media, online book stores, kindle, amazon, Pinterest and YouTube. I have gifted books to get true reviews. I have done contests and giveaways. I have given away signed copies of my paperbacks I have available. I have bookmarks and business cards that have my information. I have done interviews with the Interrogation room. I have encouraged people to use word of mouth to promote me as well (my mom and consistent fans). I have done free book give away promotions for two of my books. You name it I have tried it. I would like to do a podcast or a radio blurb. I would love to have a celebrity that is trending to read one of my books. I know if that could take place that people would start reading my work and fall in love with it.
BLAQVERSITY: How can readers connect with you and support you?
S.R. FLETCHER: Website- http://www.authorsrfletcher.com
Pintrest- Shatisse Fletcher
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