For Black History month, Represent will be featuring one indie author every Tuesday this month! We hope you enjoy the features, learn about some new authors, and check out their books!
Introduce Yourself! Who are you, what do you write, what are some fun facts?
My name is Jasmine Farrell, and I’m a published poet, and I just recently published my debut novel, Sloppy. I love doing voiceovers for poems, and I love coloring or playing board games when I’m stressed. I still write 55% of my drafts and other works by hand. I know, I know…double the work, but I can’t help it! I grew up pretty sheltered, so I’m a bit of a late bloomer with this whole “Living my own life!” thing. Having a blast so far, though.
How did you start writing?
I began writing short stories and poems as a kid. My second grade teacher, Steve, encouraged poetry. He even made a book with all of our poems that we read to our parents one night. Hearing that I was going to be held back didn’t sound too bad after knowing I’d be able to write more poems and recite them. By my junior year in high school, I was writing poems instead of doing my draping or pattern making (I attended Fashion Industries High School in New York), so I decided to take this writing thing seriously. It was clearly my first love.
What is your writing process like?
It depends. If I’m running on a burst of emotion or inspiration, I just grab the nearest notepad and write. However, when I am being intentional, I usually write a skeletal outline. I leave it alone for a few hours and then return to it to fill it in a bit more. From there, I begin writing the article/blog post/chapter. I then leave it alone for a day and come back to revise. I repeat this cycle until it’s ready to be edited.
What inspired you to write Sloppy?
In 2018, after a counseling session, I decided to truthfully share and vent what I went through in black and white. When I read it back, I realized: There is a story in this that many can relate to. A fiction story about my own past was brewing, and I had to get it out. However, once I dug in, the characters began to show me who they were. I let the characters fly out of my timeline and plot. What was supposed to be 80% based on a true story is now 20% based on a true story.
Sloppy is about a 22-year-old woman named Roxy who is repetitive, wishy-washy, and closeted. In the story, we get to watch Roxy tumble out of her comfort zone, re-discover herself, leave a bad relationship and potentially spark a new love. The journey to all that good stuff is realistically messy, cyclical, and a few consequences that Roxy has to accept.
Do you have any other books?
Yes, I have 3 full length poetry collections and 3 micro collections. Six in total. It’s safe to say I’m a poetry junkie. My Quintessence, Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves, and Long Live Phoenixes demonstrate how my life experiences have shaped me.
They begin with my first collection, My Quintessence, which was released in 2014. It includes poems from my teenage years and past life as a Christian. My second poetry collection, Phoenixes Groomed a Genesis Doves, was released a year after I deconverted from Christianity in 2015. I’ve had to tackle a lot of tough topics in my life, but as I reveal my heart, my hope is that I inspire others to pursue their dreams with confidence in being who they are authentically. My realization is reflected in my third release, Long Live Phoenixes, as well as in my micro series titled, The Release Series.
Do any authors influence your writing?
Yes! Zora Neale Hurston, Eric Jerome Dickey, and Toni Morrison. They haven’t influenced my writing perse, but they made me realize that my voice, my writing has room at the table as well.
What is your favorite piece of writing advice?
Don’t be afraid to share your words! Don’t worry if it’s messy, you can clean it up. Don’t worry about the errors, you can make corrections. Write. There is an audience for you (outside of yourself).
How can people find you? Are you working on anything new?
Yes, I am working on the second installment of Sloppy and I am recording a few poems to share soon.