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?
Hello! We are Shawanna Bowens and Fleurette (Flo) Davis, founding partners of Aces Destiny Publishing. A Black women-led and owned, independent publishing company. We cater to the needs of future writers, creating a safe space for authors, young and old alike, to express themselves with a company that values their work.
We are open to all genres of writing. However, my preferred/specialty genre is Historical Fiction, with a dash of Urban here or there. My partner Flo is a genius Urban Sci-Fi Fiction writer.
A fun fact about us is that we have sort of our own language, made up of alternate names and codes. We use them when speaking and corresponding. No one knows what we’re talking about, and we love it!
How did you both start writing?
Both of us started writing at an early age, poems and short stories. We are best friends from childhood, the true definition of ride or die lol. So, when I (Shawanna) moved away from our hometown to Atlanta, we wrote letters. I know, I know sounds pre-historic. But this was way before the days of instant connection. We would write letters detailing our lives, creating stories and names for the characters in them. We later moved to a cassette tape that we would record gossip and our secrets on. Then mail it back and forth. That tape disappeared in the mail and it’s been about 22 years since either of us has seen it. It’ll be just our luck when one of us decides to run for public office, it’ll magically reappear. *insert cringe* lol
What are your writing processes like?
Honey, when I tell you she and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum, I tell you no lie. My partner Flo is a master of organization. She will detail and outline her story, make character descriptions, and have a written plan on how she wants the story to flow.
I, on the other hand, will see a dog on the side of the road and create a whole scenario in my head as to why he’s there, what happened to get him there and will he be found. I imagine what my character’s everyday life is like. What they look like, how they sound when they talk, etc. Then I go to my laptop, open the dam of ideas and let it spill out on the page. But it works for both of us. Two different approaches to a collective goal and we’ve perfected it and made it our own!
What inspired you to write The Black Magic Series?
The Black Magic Series is a 7-book series that starts with our debut co-authored Book 1 Bloodstone Jinx. It’s based on a small town in South Carolina, like the town we grew up in. It infuses magic, hoodoo, shape shifting and urban fiction. We used a lot of our Gullah/Geechee culture to create a myriad of characters. Adapting the language and food of the culture, we gave exposure to people who may not have heard about it or needed a proper reintroduction. It was really fun to write! As I stated before, this genre is Flo’s specialty. So, she flourished and would have these great ideas. I, on the other hand, at times felt overwhelmed and uneducated in Sci Fi. But my partner was excellent at pushing me and helping me explore new ideas. And I’m happy to say, it was a success. I’m grateful to her for her encouragement and mentorship in Sci Fi. We ended up with an amazing work of art.
Do you have any other books?
As I stated before, The Black Magic Series is a joint project for us. Individually, we both have projects slated for release in 2022.
Flo’s solo debut Pinwheel is an Urban Sci-Fi work of fiction that is a mind-bending look at how we dream and will have you questioning your own reality.
My debut novel is Book 1 of a three-part series called The Dynasty. Slated for a Spring 2022 release, this Historical/Urban Fiction is about 3 generations of women as they navigate life and find out what their true destinies are.
Do any authors influence your writing?
Delores Phillips, Bernice McFadden, Diane McKinney-Whetstone, and Terry McMillian just to name a few.
Octavia Butler, Carl Weber, E. Lynn Harris, and Mary Monroe
What is your favorite piece of writing advice?
We would say don’t give up! I couldn’t tell you how many times I put off starting my book. And when I finally started, I thought to myself, “Why did I take so long?” Distractions are a given. You just have to find what works for you. Even if it’s writing a paragraph in between diaper changes or while cooking dinner. Put in the work! No one can tell your story like you. The only competition is with yourself.
Promote yourself! How can people find you? Are you working on anything new?
We can be found on Facebook and Instagram at Aces Destiny, and on Twitter as @AcesDestiny1. Our website is Aces Destiny. There you will find our catalog along with inquiry information. The Black Magic Series can be purchased on Amazon. Bloodstone’s Jinx is available for purchase and Book 2, Red Jasper Rize, will be available this spring.
Thank you so much for featuring us and allowing us to share our art with the world! Peace and Blessings all 2022 to you and yours!