Many things can be inherited, such as physical features and character traits, and it’s arguable that Janelle Williams inherited her love of writing from her father. Janelle is the new author of The Men I Let Define Love, a novel she describes as “a coming of age story about a girl in search of a husband at an HBCU [historically black college or university]. It’s somewhat of a comically serious, unromantic love tale.”
Writing is nothing to Janelle; she’s always loved writing. “Writing is something I do best…it is a part of me that I can’t keep in. It’s like my great uncle’s cough.”
As witty as ever, Janelle’s humor, beliefs, and passion for writing truly shines off of every page of The Men I Let Define Love. But she admits to having doubts about the process. She claims that rather than overcoming them, she works around them. She knows they’re there, but she keeps on working. She pushes through without expecting them to fully go away and she never lets them stop her.
There was no one place her inspiration came from when writing her first book. “Partly, there was the urge to write the book that I’ve always wanted to read. Partly, there was the love of my alma mater (the real HU). Partly, my father inspired me. I drew inspiration from the person he is as well as the story he never published. He is a writer who never went public. He says he grew frustrated in the rewriting, typing (typewriter days.) It’s so much easier now tat we have computers, so there was no excuse for me.”
Of course, me being Samantha, I had to ask Janelle about how she managed to pay to make her dreams a reality. Of course, realizing that publishing a book isn’t really a high cost, she gave me the perfect answer I absolutely love to hear.
“I work and I save. In that order.”
Isn’t that a breath of fresh air! A clear example of someone who knew what they wanted. Was patient enough to work hard for it, take it step by step, and now she’s succeeded, and she doesn’t owe a dime to anyone!
Even though Janelle was patient throughout the process, she wouldn’t call it a walk in the park. “I spent two years writing. I spent around six months building rapport with an independent publisher. We did quite a bit of editing. Adding this. Taking that out. Shifting things around. Tweaking, if you will. Then we published. Now, it’s all about marketing.” The process never ends, but it’s a labor of love!
Janelle’s advice to any aspiring writer is to do it while you’re young and there’s still time to fall on your face. Or do it while you’re old and feel like you’ve tried everything else.
Her hard work surely paid off in the end. I couldn’t to read the book and couldn’t put it down, it’s one of those stories any woman can relate to. Be sure to pick up your copy of The Men I Let Define Love and check out Janelle’s blog.