Urban Fiction is a genre of books that take place in an urban setting and are predominantly written by Black women. Wahida Clark, Nikki Brown and India have written books that continue to top best sellers lists but are also popular within public libraries. 2UrbanGirls had a chance to catch up with India, creator of one of our favorite series, The Real Hoodwives of Detroit.
2UG: What inspired this series?
India: Though I love how the popular Bravo Franchise, “The Real Housewives” mends storylines and follows different characters, I was mostly inspired by my neighborhood and how I grew up. I was curious about the dope boys on the block, but more fascinated by the female players in the game. The saying, behind every strong man is an even stronger woman rings true. I tried to bring to light the roles women play behind the scenes.
2UG: You have created characters that are very relatable. Is the series based on real life events?
India: This series is not based on real life events. It’s more like a combination of things I’ve seen and heard, along with creative pigments of my imagination. When I begin a story, I try to create characters that are personable, relatable, and thought provoking. Some of my characters are intentionally made to love, while others are public enemy number one. Having a variety of characters allows me to be versatile in style, language, and delivery of certain things.
2UG: Urban Fiction is a VERY popular genre within the public library system. How did you get your books on their radar?
India: Honestly, I would have to give credit to the readers in this department. Though I would call, email, and write to many libraries I was only able to secure my books on the shelves of one, which was my local library. However, the readers would request my books so much that my titles started popping up in places randomly.
2UG: You attended Wayne State University, but your major wasn’t in journalism or writing. Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, what inspired you to do so?
India: I attended Wayne State University, but did not graduate because I became pregnant with my daughter and my priorities changed; life happened. I was delayed but not denied. I am happy to report that I am back enrolled in school, and I am almost finished obtaining my BSW. Immediately following this achievement, I will return to obtain my MSW.
Funny thing is, back then, though I loved to write, going to school for journalism was nowhere on my radar, it still isn’t. For me, writing is just something I do to express my creativeness; it’s my safe place. I don’t think I’d like to solely write for a living because then it may no longer be fun for me.
2UG: What advice would give to other aspiring writers, to have a successful career as a writer?
India: I would advise all aspiring writers to stay authentic to themselves; don’t follow trends. In the book industry there are many duplicates, the industry needs more originals. Sometimes it may be hard for an aspiring author to go left when everyone else is going right, but I guarantee in the long run they’ll be happy that they did.
I would also advise aspiring authors to extend promotion beyond social media. Find book events, pass out flyers, meet people in the book isle at your local grocery store. When people can talk to you, pick your brain and see what you’re about in real life, they tend to want to support you even more because they’ve had that experience with you.
2UG: Whats next for India? Can we expect any new books in the coming year?
India: The next big thing for me is obtaining my BSW and MSW. It’s takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to be both a full-time employee and student, therefore my writing has taken a backseat lately. However, as soon as school is wrapped up, I will once again lock myself in the office and pen one hell of a story. In the meantime, my new readers can check out The Real Hoodwives of Detroit Series, and The Gangstress series. My seasoned supporters can check out my latest anthologies, Around The Way Girls 11, and Gutta Mamis. In November of this year I will be releasing “Detroit City Mafia”, formally known as Murder City Mafia. This release will be a full novel, whereas the original was a short story.
All of India’s books can be purchased on Amazon.com and make for great reading material while we are home during these unprecedented times.