This week it is my pleasure to interview Jarray Davis. Would you please introduce yourself to my readers, Jarray and share something about your life.
I am Maryland resident, about 15 minutes outside of Baltimore. Born and raised in Hampton, Virginia during the Eighties. Youngest of three sons born to my mother and father. By day I am a hotel general manager. I achieved this position after my first four years in hospitality—which is not the norm.
In addition to writing books I am a podcast host and blogger—which is all centred around entertainment. I have a fledgling YouTube channel under my name and am currently working on a video series titled: Those Who Can’t, Teach.
When did you write your first book and how did it come about?
I wrote my first book around the year 2002. At the time I was just a mere twenty-two years old. I’d always been a left-brained individual that loved to create. More than anything I love a good story, and so I endeavoured to write one of my own.
Do you always write in the same genre or do you mix it up?
In 2014 I decided to take my first true stab at publishing a book. The work that I created is titled: After Attraction: Relationships are Simple, Right? This is where I did the one-eighty and decided to start writing non-fiction. I love fiction, however, I wanted to create something that could bring benefit to the mind. At the time Steve Harvey had published a very popular book on dating, which sparked a lot of other copycat works. Though dating advice was popular, it wasn’t something that interested me in the least. My desire was to create a body of work that could provoke thought, but still in the realm of relationships.
Due to the demands of work I had to take a break from writing. For many years I’d contemplated writing a memoir but was leery of inviting people into my life. But the desire to once again produce a work that could provoke thought overrode that sense of apprehension. This was the beginning of my story: Elevators in My Mind. Who knows what the next writing bug will bring.
When you write, do you start with an idea and sit down and let it evolve, or do you make notes and collect ideas on paper beforehand?
Actually, a little bit of both. Sometimes an idea will come to me, which is not always the beginning of a book. It may be the end, or perhaps an excerpt with random placement. It is then that I take time to sit down and brainstorm, after which I bring structure to those random thoughts.
Would you like to give us a short excerpt from one of your books?
Elevators in My Mind, Chapter One: Feel It in the Air
We all have the inner voice somewhere within us. You can call it whatever you’d like: intuition, the voice of ancestors, guardian angels… God… It’s all the same, and it’s always present. We just find ourselves thinking that we know better than that voice, or blatantly ignoring its unspoken advice. I’d felt it for some time; the presence of something other than myself. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling at all, but more so like a dark shadow that followed me around for the purpose of making me feel uneasy. In retrospect, there was something trying to alert me to the fact that my life was totally out of order and headed no certain direction.
My morning started strangely just like all the others for those most recent couple of weeks. I would wake, but my eyes would still be closed, as there was no rush to get to my feet because I had no job to attend. The sunshine from the window would beat on my eyelids in effort to make going back to sleep damn near impossible, and then I would hear it. It would always start in the front of my little one-bedroom apartment and slowly make its way to the bedroom—and to me. Heavy feet sliding against the carpet growing in loudness along with its proximity to where I was laying. Paranoia was normal for me in those days, so I always slept with my .45 caliber Ruger underneath the pillow—just in case. I would try to slide my hand under the pillow to get my hand around the gun, but my body wouldn’t budge—I was paralyzed. Even though this was occurring on a repeat basis, it made it no easier to accept.
Who is your favourite character and why?
Me, of course.
Which of your books gave you the most pleasure to write?
Elevators in My Mind was unquestionably my favorite book. Though it brought back some unpleasant memories it was not a story from the mind, but instead, a story from the heart.
What is the best marketing tip you have received?
Figure out your purpose and what you want to be known for prior to spending any money. Otherwise, you have just wasted it.
How would you describe yourself?
One word: complex. I read something a few months ago about extroverted-introverts. It described me so well. I was born on the 22nd of September, which makes me a Virgo born on the cusp of Libra. And so, I have a blend of many traits that express themselves at different times. This is why I have such a hard time picking a niche, because I am so many things.
What do you do when you are not writing or reading?
I am a father of four and an amateur wood worker. As mentioned earlier, I love a good story. And so, I also watch a lot of movies and television series with my wife.
If you could holiday anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?
Right now I would have to say Egypt. At one time I sought only to vacation in the Caribbean with the requirement of a beach and cold drink. As I get older I require more culture—in addition to the cold drink.
What is the biggest factor for you when selecting a book to read?
For entertainment I prefer movies and television. And so, when I open a book to read it must be something that can provide knowledge.
Do you have your own website?
I sure do: www.jarraydavis.com
Are you working on a new book at the moment?
It is still in the incubation stage, but I am laying the foundation to another memoir that will precede Elevators in My Mind.
Do you have any events or book promotions coming up that you would like to tell us about?
No events yet. However, I would love for everyone to visit my website and to also follow me on Instagram: @jarray_davis and my personal account: @jarraydavis
Also, my book After Attraction: Relationships are Simple, Right? is available to download free for a limited time. It is available on Google Play, iTunes and Amazon Kindle.
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