New York native, Joan Vassar is an avid reader and storyteller.
Joan Vassar graduated from the High School of Graphic Communication Arts in NYC, which heightened interest in journalism. She has always had the in-depth ability to astutely relate, interpret and bring words to life. Joan works as a software analyst by day, but her true passion is
storytelling. She enjoys writing narratives that bring to life the African American experience both past and present.
Joan is the author of Introduction to Love and Self and the Black Series, which are her latest publications. "I love to hear from my readers. When a man tells me that my character made him feel a heightened sense of pride, or a woman shares with me that she enjoyed the romance rarely seen among African Americans in literature, I know I've done my characters justice." Joan currently resides in Georgia and is happily weaving great tales.
BPM: Tell us about your new book and the main characters. Available on Nook and Kindle?
The Black Series is a historical fiction/romance piece that takes place just before the American Civil War. The main character in book one is the fictional son of Nat Turner. The 3 novels Black, Elbert: The Uncaged Mind and Emancipating James are available on Kindle and in paperback.
BPM: What topics are discussed?
In the Black Series I attempt to personalize the stories of black folks living during the 1860's. I unapologetically love black men and try to show it in my work. I explore black family, black love and black orgasm with no shame.
BPM: What was your hardest scene to write, the opening or the close?
The hardest scene to write was the closing scene of book one, because I felt remorse that sorry ended. I missed the characters, which led to book two and three.
BPM: Do you try to deliver to readers what they want or let the characters guide your writing?
I try to deliver what I believe my readers want-strong black male characters who are sexy, intelligent and who will do anything to protect the women they love. I have tried to give my readers a sense of pride in my characters.
BPM: Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
I don't want to write a story that belittles or tears Black people down.
BPM: Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others?
Everyday life is hard to write about, but the small stuff is necessary. When a character ties his shoes or brushes his teeth, these actions make the story real. As a writer, it's the mundane that is hardest to convey to readers.
BPM: What made you want to become a writer? How long have you been writing?
I have written since third grade, which is a long time. I love to tell a good story and capture the imagination of others-I love to write.
BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
Writing offers relief from stress. It also allows me to connect with my inner self, as well people I don't know through art.
BPM: Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Yes, I view art as spiritual. When art is accepted or rejected both energies bring the work to life. Art lives on emotion.
BPM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned from this project?
Writing can be draining, because you have to be all the characters. Bringing your characters to life is important for the artist and the readers.
BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
In book one, the moment when Black realizes love made him stronger resonated with me. In book two, the moment when Elbert realizes that his manhood is not fragile after all also resonated with me. I have experienced defining moments that made me stronger like my characters and I am attempting to share these moments with my readers.
BPM: Is there a specific space that you find inspiration in?
My favorite space is my bedroom with my computer and my thoughts.
BPM: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing both energizes and exhausts me, still I love it.
BPM: What are the top three things that make you feel happy and fulfilled?
My children, my family and writing a better book than my last, makes me happy and fulfilled.
BPM: What makes you forget about the world around you?
Writing helps me travel without leaving the room.
BPM: What strengths did you use to achieve two major goals in life?
Discipline helped me complete my novel "Black". I made sure to write one page a day. I have raised four children and I consider it a major accomplishment.
BPM: What other projects are you working on at the present time?
I am currently working on a contemporary love story call "Perceptions".
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
I am on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.