Anticipation is building for Fire Island Black Out (FIBO) Weekend Writers Panel which will feature emerging gay authors discussing their latest projects and many other subjects. For this 3 part Authors of Note series I had conversation with Delvon Johnson, author of Love Yourself First, and J. Omarr, author of JUSTUS. I also spoke with Nathan James, author of The Devil’s Details and who will serve as the panel’s moderator. Here’s what transpired with my conversations with Delvon Johnson.
PRIDEINDEX: Provide a listing of all of your books and the year published. Where did you find the inspiration for each book?
JOHNSON: Love Yourself First. Published in 2009. My inspiration came from one of my favorite authors, E. Lynn Harris, and personal life experiences
PRIDEINDEX: When were you first published? And under what circumstances?
JOHNSON: My first publication was through Author House, which was released in February 2009
PRIDEINDEX: What is your earliest memory of being a writer?
JOHNSON:I just remember being inspired after reading one of E. Lynn Harris’ books. I was going through a life enduring situation and I felt the need to validate some things, which led me to start writing Love Yourself First
PRIDEINDEX: Please describe your current or most recent project and tell us about any notable challenges you encountered. How do you identify and nurture ideas for new projects?
JOHNSON: My most recent project has been turning Love Yourself First into a television series. The largest challenge that I am facing is financing the project. I was fortunate enough to create a cast, stylists, makeup artists, camera people and a team of writers to participate in the project as volunteers until we are able to get funding. Over the summer of 2010, things did become a little bit of a challenge, so currently; I am re-focusing the angles of the production of the show
PRIDEINDEX: Please describe 1-3 authors/writers/performers that have influenced your artistic style?
JOHNSON: E. Lynn Harris, James Earl Hardy, and Terry McMillan
PRIDEINDEX: What 2 books and 2 CDs should everyone own?
JOHNSON: Books: Invisible Life, and Just As I Am. CDs: Whitney Houston’s self titled first album, Whitney Houston and Patti Labelle’s Flame
PRIDEINDEX: Do you believe African American authors have an obligation to the African American community? Why or why not?
JOHNSON: Yes. I believe as African Americans, we all have a story to tell. We are a culture of uniqueness and flavor. ‘We see things from a very different perspective which makes reading a book that we write very compelling. If we don’t write about our lives and culture, who will?
PRIDEINDEX: What is the biggest misconception about you and/or your work?
JOHNSON: When people hear the title “Love Yourself First”, they first perceive it as a “self help” book. However, it is a novel. The moral of the story, which in the end, all the characters end up doing, is loving themselves first. It takes you through the trials and tribulations of several interesting characters with troubles that they face in everyday life. It shows how they handle each situation.
PRIDEINDEX: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
JOHNSON: FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS, AND NEVER GIVE UP…..EVENTUALLY, YOU WILL SUCCEED.
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