geelovestowrite is excited to present…
geelovestowrite: What motivates/inspires you?
DH: Besides not being broke? Fish swim, bird fly, y’ know? A carpenter works at making a living with that natural skill set, doing what really is in the blood. A writer is the same professional. Labor of love and all that. One thing that has develop for me over the years, I find that I have an affinity for strong female characters. Blues & Single Blues, for instance, is chock full of ’em. Which didn’t hurt one bit when showing the manuscript to Indie Gypsy Press, where you Shelley Halima heading things up. Halima’s a fine novelist, herself. And, away from the pen, a determined, quite capable entrepreneur running a tight, highly effective shop. To date, I must say, I’m pretty proud of my drama Ella Stanley, based on Negro Baseball Leagues owner Effa Manley – name changed like Jack Johnson to Jack Jefferson in The Great White Hope, it’s clear who the character is but you avoid any potential legal issues. Anyway, was, along with owning the team, ran a numbers house, was active in community and civil rights. After inheriting the team from her husband, didn’t take one bit of guff off male owners who felt she should just sit down somewhere, be pretty and keep quiet. So, yeah, creating and writing about strong women a key motivator and inspiration.
geelovestowrite: When did you know that you were a creator/artist/writer (maybe not in that order for you…lol)?
DH: Always loved reading. Listened to Bob Dylan as a teenager and discovered I loved word usage. Got encouraged to try my hand at it in school by my music teacher who made no bones about saying I had a lot more potential as a poet than I did with the clarinet. From there, once I discovered James Baldwin, Chester Himes, it was off to the races. Imitation being the best form of down the line, eventually achieving your own voice. Zora Neal Hurston and Ann Petry at one point. To be perfectly honest, you’re always learning that you’re a writer, reacquainting yourself with your abilities when you continually challenge your own hand. To get strong and stronger at your craft. Procrastination I read, I think in fact on your Facebook, is the enemy of creativity. Or words to that effect. So is complacency. Indeed, even someone historic as August Wilson, you look to this later works and he’d begun phoning it in.
geelovestowrite: Given the opportunity who would you want to work with (living or deceased)?
DH: Bill Duke. He is a fine film director and I’m willing to bet, from what he did with Deep Cover, my drama Shelter, which was a noisy hit in the Twin Cities, would be in fine hands with someone of his caliber. It’s about well-drawn characters pitted against one another in life-altering conflict, irrevocably life-changing. Directors, the good ones, anyway, are a playwright’s most valuable asset and ally, because it’s that director’s instinct, desire and drive to bring the best out in your script. That’s what he or she wants first and foremost. I had to privilege to work with Claude Purdy who, in fact, discovered Wilson and the work he put in as dramaturg for Shelter was just invaluable.
geelovestowrite: We are quickly approaching the new year. What are your goals for 2017?
DH: 2017? Well, one, of course, must be to keep writing. But, importantly, when you don’t have the big name, these days, it’s incumbent upon you to pitch in, shoulder to shoulder with your publisher. So, I’ll be beating the bushes to continue turning up ways to get Black & Singles Blues more and more on the market. Have reviewers pick it up. To be honest, I was left with a blank look on my face that Essence Magazine hasn’t shown any interest. Considering it’s expanded from a short story I wrote for them that, of all people, Marcia Ann Gillespie herself told then-editor Rosemary Bray, “We are going to publish this.” Y’ know, it has already reached their millions of readers, so, you’d think the prospect of review the book would resonate there, huh? Go figure! Anyway, yeah, the coming year looks to be scouting out and following through on opportunities to get this product before consumers who are up for engaging entertainment with sexy, intelligent and shoot-the-from-him style.
Thanks Dwight for taking the opportunity to share your work/passion with my readers.
THANKS FOR READING…IT’S TUESDAY TALENT!!!