Janna Lei: “My true inspiration came from ‘ghosts’ that have followed me all throughout life”

Sweet Dreams of Josephine is a compilation of dreams and poetry, with an erotic twist. It is a novel filled with drama, love, lust, magic and voodoo

The second book in the Josephine trilogy will be ready by January, 2015. It will be named, “Curse of the Blood Diamond”

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By: Alberto Berenguer and Frank Osei Nyame

Janna Lei Robinson

Janna Lei Robinson

The interview starts asking you to tell us how you realized you were ready to publish your first book. Did you have any doubt?
I realized that I was ready to publish my first book after 2 years and traveling across the country trying to run away from my horrible life. I always knew that I was a poet, but the written arts didn’t become quite as important to me until I went through some of the hardest times in my life. I was experiencing a really tumultuous time with my marriage and fell into a deep depression, where it seemed as though my only escape were words and dreams. I remember laying awake at night while the rest of the world slept, scribing my hopes, pains, wishes and dreams on loose leaf sheets of paper until my hand cramped and the wax from countless candles evaporated into the air of my desires. I’ve never doubted myself as far as writing or poetry is concerned,  but I had no idea that my words would reach as many readers as they have. When I published my book, I had big dreams of making money, but the more I learned about myself and life, the more I learned that money is the least important of my concerns.

And for those who still do not know your book, Sweet Dreams of Josephine, how would describe it?
“Sweet Dreams of Josephine” is a compilation of dreams and poetry, with an erotic twist. It is about a lady named Josephine, who idolizes (real life) cocaine Queen-pen, Griselda Blanco, who runs away from her abusive, international drug dealer husband to gain independence and become a madame. It is a novel filled with drama, love, lust, magic and voodoo.

The book is really special because it’s a drama novel infused with poetry. Why did you decide to go that way? Was it just because you love poetry?
I decided to write it as a novel with a story line as opposed to a simple book of poetry because of my love for poetry and also because I wanted to gain and keep the readers attention. I feel that the art of writing is something spiritual and a gift from God. If well done, words can heal and give others a means to escape into a world that may or may not exist; an escape from reality, if you will. To me, if it’s real in our hearts, then that’s all that matters.

Is your book, Sweet Dreams of Josephine, purely a work of fiction or some part actually happened in some form?
Most of the novel is fictional; however, there are some aspects that ring true. Which is fact or fiction is a secret though…

For those who need to know the style of the author before beginning to read a book. How would you describe your work: simple, direct, rhetoric…?
I tried to make this book as easy to understand as possible, because poetry means different things to different people.

Why did you decide publishing it on Amazon?
I decided to publish on Amazon because it was the least expensive way to go & I was eager to accomplish something on my own. After I published, I felt like I could do anything. So, since then, I have set many goals. One of which is to write the second book. The outcome wasn’t as I expected as far a book sale, but honestly- I had no idea how to market myself other than Facebook. I have learned a great deal about the literary world since then and my wish is to find a publisher to buy my work for the future books. Once again, money is not as important as reaching more readers to me.

With overview, was it like you expected?
Nothing was what I expected. Life after my first book was so much more than what I expected or dreamt could ever be.

What inspired the writing of the novel?
My true inspiration came from “ghosts” that have followed me all throughout life- who have been there every time I have fallen. I know there are many who do not believe in ghosts and there are some who will call me crazy, but there are also those who do believe. Everyone should believe in something… It helps to know that in this big, bad world of loneliness, deception and evil, there are those who you can turn to when nobody else is there.

She always find her inspiration in ghost

She always finds her inspiration from ghosts

Sweet Dreams of Josephine is the first in a trilogy. Is the second ready? If not, when are we going to expect it? What will be the tittle?
I anticipate that the second book in the Josephine trilogy will be ready by January, 2015. It will be named, “Curse of the Blood Diamond”.

Should we expect a poetry book solely from you in the future?
In the future, I may compile a book of poetry, but not certain when.

You present a list of characters that are very interesting, per example Dee. Do you have a favorite among the characters? What inspired the creation of that character?
My favorite character in “Sweet Dreams of Josephine” was “B,” short for- Brandy, who died by the hands if New Orleans pimp, Jean Paul. She was sexy, beautiful, loving and just as tormented as the main character, Josephine. One crisp autumn evening, I was sipping on a g glass of VSOP Brandy, when I dreamt up her character.

Book's cover by Janna Lei Robinson

Book’s cover by Janna Lei Robinson

Would you compare yourself with any of the characters? Do you share any likeness with any of them?
If I were to compare myself to any of the characters, it would be Josephine because just like her, I was trying to escape an abusive situation to become something greater than what I was. Just like her, I loved, but did not feel loved and just like her I felt pain. I share a likeness withe Dee and Elle too because I created their characters from real life friends.

Do we get to know the name of Mr X and other characters in the subsequent books? Do we see more of Mr X?
I won’t reveal the name of X in my next book but he will make an appearance.

Let’s talk about Griselda Blanco, may her soul rest in peace. We see in the story that the main character, Josephine, sort of idolizes her (Griselda Blanco). She has Griselda as mentor, I’ll say. Now do you personally share this likeness for her? What did you provoke to make Griselda her mentor?
I, as well as Josephine idolizes Griselda Blanco, not for the terrible acts of treachery she committed, but because she was a fearless woman who came from the worst of situations to devour her competition.  Most people think of Pablo Escobar when they think of power figures in that era, but Griselda was more fierce and respected than him. I believe that she feared nothing, not even death and in the end, she died by the gun because lived by the gun. God rest her soul…

A year and half after your book was released Griselda died. How does Josephine feel about this? Will it have any significant impact on the last two books in the trilogy?
Griselda death won’t have much of an impact on Josephine because she will visit her in spirit form.

And how do you personally feel about it?
Griselda lived a long life and I really do believe she was ready for death, as death in only the first step in ‘life’. I am saddened by her death, but glad that now she is finally free.

Would you consider yourself a feminist? Is the book aimed at creating some sort of awareness?
I do consider myself a feminist, only because women are beautiful, emotional creatures. There are so many who are victims of abuse and depression, who don’t know their worth and I would hope that somehow my words empower them to love themselves,  because if you don’t love yourself, most likely, no one else will either.

To close the interview we ask about your reading hobby. Do you remember any author whose work or reading had specially marked?
I mostly read poetry and Maya Angelou, RIP, is my favorite poet.

And, to finish, what book would you recommend to our readers?
I recommend reading, “The Stackhouse Chronicles,” as they are filled with magic and mystery as well…

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Publicado el septiembre 8, 2014 en América, Entrevistas, escritores, Estados Unidos, Inicio y etiquetado en , , , , , , , . Guarda el enlace permanente. Deja un comentario.

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