Ericka Clay from TipsyLit about her new novel Unkept

4 March 2015 / Leave a Comment

Ericka Clay is one of those writers I constantly see on the web and think 'I love what she's doing'. Her blog posts, videos and podcasts are witty, bubbly and helpful. I was pleased when I read some of her work on Wattpad and discovered her story writing sparkles too. Her talent deserves recognition, so I'm happy her debut novel Unkept has just come out with Bannerwing Books ...

Please tell us a little about Unkept and how you came to write the story? 
Unkept is a women’s fiction novel that reveals the stories of Vienna and Heather, two women who were once childhood enemies and are forced into a makeshift friendship based on their relationships with the same man. They’re both dealing with the death of their mothers, their impending pregnancies, and giving their hearts to someone who isn’t honored by the responsibility. Frankly though, Vienna and Heather represent the two halves of my mind and the book sews them together. And it’s also a personal ode to my daughter, that she trusts herself no matter what and knows that she will always be loved and that no damage can be done on her part to change that.

What are you most excited about having your book out there in the world? 
My books ARE me, and it’s an absolutely thrilling thought that people will be able to read and understand my heart, what I really think and believe. I think there’s no greater travesty than being misunderstood and the fact that I have an opportunity to make myself heard loud and clear is really a blessing. I also love the thought of someone reading a line and their whole world shifting, basking in light. Deep down, all I want is for people not to feel so alone. Loneliness can breed evil, and really what I want in this world is pure and absolute good.

What I love about what you do is you're always evolving as a writer and the way you promote your work and offer help and advice to other writers. I've noticed that you've recently started creating podcasts, you do YouTube videos, you're on Instagram, Google+, Goodreads, you name it, you're doing it! What do you find is the best way to truly engage with your audience?  
My favorite so far is my podcast. It feels like me, it’s fun and at the same time, I get to offer my audience relevant information that will help them spruce up their writing careers. I always write up a blog post to accompany the podcast where I put links to all the marketing/writing info I talk about for my listeners. I know what it’s like to not know what the heck you’re doing with this marketing thing - I feel that way all the time! So it’s nice to at least gather my thoughts and experiences to help others have a firmer grasp on their promotional efforts.

Please tell us a little about Tipsy Lit and how people can get involved? 
Tipsy Lit is my literary blog where I post my podcast, publishing tips, personal blog posts and my writing. I also encourage writers to submit their poetry pieces for my quarterly poetry magazine, The Tipsy 10, that I publish via my Wattpad account. I’m accepting submissions until the end of March for the Spring issue and would love to read more incredible work.

What's your best advice for emerging writers? 
You can either be your worst enemy or your best friend. Choose wisely. I sometimes think as writers, we’re encouraged to be these deep, dark, brooding things that fester in our own misery. I think that’s dangerous. I think you have to channel that pain, but I also think art can be an extension of yourself. Put the deep, the dark, the brooding in your work. But at the same time, attempt to be a happy and mindful human being. The world could use more of those.



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