Author Stephanie Acon visits the Via Linden Lounge to discuss her book Escape From A Nightmare

Today I’d like to welcome Author Stephanie Acon to discuss her book Escape From A Nightmare

You have an interesting back story on what you did before you became an author. Can you share this with us?

This is weird to answer in a way because I was actually an author, or rather, writer, first, since the age of eleven. However, once I grew into adulthood, I took the talent for writing (which was given for authorship) and became a rapper. I was underground in St. Louis for ten years, almost had record deals and all, but the road leading that way, suddenly closed. And a voice called me out! This is when I realized that being a “rapper” was not meant for me to do after all. God literally called me out and reminded me that He’d made me a writer, not a rapper. His voice led me out of that world, and behind my obedience, I obtained a publishing deal in the snap of a finger. That’s how I knew that I was on the right track…finally. A fuller version of this story is actually featured on my website’s blog titled ‘Why I Left the World of Hiphop’. It’s an enlightening read.

Whoa, that sounds like a page turner! Why is your book a must-read?

Escape From A Nightmare is absolutely a must-read – if you ever read a story, it should be this one.  Why?…because I wrote it for YOU…as in “my generation”. And you will find yourself in the storyline. You will think. You will shake your head. You will wonder…”Is this really fiction?” It’s just all the way around a very unique and believable novel for both males and females. The clash between love – premonition –and fear comes powerful and suspenseful chapter to chapter. And…the ending will leave you running for the sequel!

You make a very compelling sales pitch! How are you the same/different from your main character?

My main character, Gabriana, is very fearful. She’s a very afraid and lonely young woman who plays all of that off with attitude and poor decisions that she swears are the best. But they’re not. They are far from what’s best and leave her facing some serious consequences. I relate to my character because I’ve been lost, and have too, sought a savior outside of God. I too ran only to find out that you cannot run from yourself…your destiny…or God. Gabriana was created from the soul of a writer who has seen and learned much…me. Yet, her story belongs to YOU. She was created to make you think…evaluate. I write to make you think…evaluate. So there it is.

I could so see this being a movie. If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

Let’s see. My cast for the main two characters would be…

Gabriana could be played out by my girl, Bre Scullark, from America’s Next Top Model…

Scholar would definitely snag Nelly for the role….

Yep. I can see that.

I see you’re loyal to your St. Louis peeps 😉 How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

For me, thus far, it has been word of mouth.  And Book club favor. To be honest, I don’t have a strategy for marketing these books. Again, I wrote them to reach out to my generation…to help them see themselves. I have sold majority of my work to groups/organizations/clubs…by again, plain ol’word of mouth.  However, I am seeking out marketing assistance for broadening what has already begun.  So it’s in the works.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

I want to first say that these “tough” critics have been few, and I am grateful for that because of the nature of their criticism. What I have received negatively has all come in one form, and that’s the fact that those particular critics did not understand why I included great reference to God in a novel were “niggas” are involved. To me, too be real, I thought that was just stupid and I ignored their reviews only because of the ignorance. I mean, how could I not…or why would I not include God in the lifestyles of these very real and generational characters. These characters represent those who need Christ the most. They are lost. And doing too much. Just like in the real world. So I wrote them real because I’m real…and I’ve lived a very real life…and witnessed very real lives and they all include GOD in one way or another. So no doubt, he’s the foundation behind everything. To me, that’s the representing truth. For me, I did not become a writer to craft together pornographic scenes and cliché’s situations and call it a story. Nah, that’s all boring and over saturated and pointless. That’s how books get lost. I choose to express and create my storylines based on a perspective that everybody’s not ready to endure. Possibly because they don’t want to see themselves or think – or something. I don’t know and am not worried about it.  I’d whether put my energy toward the better compliments.  And…

The best compliment I have received comes in a line I hear often; and often, it sends chills through me.  “This book is or is one of the best I’ve ever read.” This has been expressed sincerely by both genders and that’s what I wanted. But, what brings tears to my eyes is when I hear, “This is my life.” …”This is my story.”  That blesses me every time because that right there, is why I write!

Don’t get me started! I am baffled at some of the “critiques” people have of fictional stories. It seems that if your book doesn’t fall into a cookie cutter format, it’s like you’re swimming with the sharks when it comes to reviews! Are there any other occupational hazards to being a novelist?

No. I love it and there’s always time for writing with me. I make time.  It’s challenging but not hard. It’s serious, yet fun. And I do it with a purpose. So although, I still work a regular job at the moment, my time is fast approaching where I will strictly eat off the labor of my hand. This (authorship) is my career. And I find no hazard in it. I only rejoice.

I love your responses! How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I constantly learn to shift my flow…kinda like rapping. I twist and turn things and that comes with the mood. Between book one and two, and even the new novel I’m creating, I evolve as I go. I never know what will sprout or change in my thoughts or style or storytelling. I write off what’s dropped into my spirit from the Creator of my talent at the time it’s given. My writing evolves by simply listening.

Well said. Is there anything else you would like to say before we go?

I would like for everyone to, please, spread the word for me. I’m a female coming out of a very dark lifestyle and now that I stand in the light, I genuinely want your support so that I can continue my movement of touching those who I write for and are reaching out to.  I do not currently have a team or staff. I no longer have a crew. I left everything of old, to follow God into the new.  So it’s just me and Him. But with the support of all the readers out there, whom I know, are always looking for a new feel to read…and a new read to feel…I will be fully established. I’m thankful in advance.

And I thank you for an interesting interview!

Excerpt of 

 Escape From A Nightmare

The night before had been a celebration for Scholar’s recent record-deal signing. Gabriana, Scholar and all of his family and friends had partied all night at three different clubs, all featuring personalities from the local hip-hop and R&B radio stations. It seemed like everyone in the city came out to support her dude. She was so proud of Scholar. Everything was finally happening, but it was all happening so fast.

After Gabriana and Scholar departed the hotel, Brick escorted the couple back to Scholar’s house, so he could pack. He was headed for New York City to handle some business with the record label and his management team. During the ride to the house, Scholar explained to Gabriana that he had been asked to join a popular hip-hop tour. It was a last-minute decision, but because of his rising popularity amongst the industry, his label and management wanted to utilize the opportunity to promote their newest artist. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Scholar was about to blow up very quickly.

Gabriana didn’t take this news well. “Why are you just now telling me this and why are you not taking me?” she asked with a salty attitude. Scholar chose this time to give the news to Gabriana purposely. He was not in the mood to argue about this with her, so he used his friend as a calculated distraction for altering his attention. Immediately, he turned to face Brick and changed the subject. Gabriana was beyond pissed. Once they were back at Scholar’s house, Gabriana met him in his room to talk. She asked Scholar again why he was playing her.

“Don’t start with me, Gabri. I already explained the situation to you, so what are you tripping about now?” Scholar started out calmly.

“Excuse me, are you serious?”

Shoving him in the face, she continued saying, “What is the matter with you? I have been the one here for you on your come up. I got your foot in the door and now you’re leaving me behind. Nah, nigga, that ain’t happening because you completely have me—”

Scholar interrupted her. “Who are you talking to right now, huh? You need to check yourself and keep your hand out of my face.” He was now yelling at her. “My talent got my foot in the door, so don’t ever give yourself that credit. You’re nuts if you think I wasn’t breaking through eventually…with or without your help. So don’t ever say that to me, again. It is what it is and you’re not going with me this round, flat out. And another thing, don’t start tripping with me, or disrespecting me, because I’ll leave you behind crying fo’real.” Biting down hard on his bottom lip, Scholar looked at her directly in her eyes. “Don’t ever think you can’t get the eraser,” he boldly said

Gabriana couldn’t believe that he had just said that to her. The couple stared at each other without saying anything else. Gabriana tried to walk away, but Scholar stopped her. He grabbed her elbow and pulled her into his arms then spoke in her ear.

“Gabri, I’m sorry…but I mean every word. You’re my girl and I got you, but if you start acting opposite of that then you can forget about it. I will keep it moving and replace that pretty face before you can blink a lash. Are you understanding me?” He looked into her stunned face.

After another second, he continued, “But I don’t want that for us…because I need your faith right now.”

Gabriana kept quiet as she turned her face slightly away. On one hand, this was her dude, and she understood him, and what he was saying perfectly. The look on his face told her that he was dead serious and this hurt her feelings. On the other hand, she could not believe he had just mentioned her faith. Faith that she never thought he’d considered her having. This made her believe that maybe he really did need her for something. Considering the dreams she had been having, maybe she could use the free time to hook up with Jannette, and possibly convince her to pray for her baby. She then glanced up into unblinking eyes.

With that same serious look on his face, Scholar asked her, “So, are we good? Let me know right now if you are going to hold me down or what, because I’m going to need you like never before.”

Scholar swallowed hard after that latter statement.

Gabriana didn’t reply immediately. She continued to search over the face of her man. For some unknown reason, there was an eerie vibe that suddenly covered the two of them. During that moment, Scholar’s breathing became almost shallow. The hairs on the back of Gabriana’s neck collectively stood. She did not know exactly what was happening, but quickly wanted to diffuse the tension from the air. She placed a gentle hand on Scholar’s chest. He opened his mouth to speak, but she placed the finger of her other hand up to his lips. The room remained in silent. Gabriana released an aura of unsaid emotion from deep inside, and for the time being, her spirit calmed Scholar instantly. She leaned upward and kissed him gently on his nose and then his lips. “I got you for life,” she finally told him. “I got you for life.”

To find out more about Stephanie, please visit the following sites:

Facebook/Stephanie ‘Nina’ Acon

Twitter @1queen1nina

Purchase books Escape From A Nightmare and its sequel Secret Sky here….

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