As A… Writer: Dr Donna Clovis
This week, Write On! interviews fantasy and historical fiction author Dr. Donna Clovis.
Dr. Donna Clovis is the current ‘Outstanding Book Award Winner’ in 2019 and 2020 for NABJ for her books, Quantum Leaps In Princeton’s Place and Falling Bedrooms. She has an earned a doctorate from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, in Arts and Humanities. Dr. Clovis has also won two journalism fellowships: McCloy Fellowship from the American Council on Germany and Harvard University and a Prudential Fellowship from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The McCloy Fellowship resulted in producing documentary work about Holocaust survivors in Germany, now archived in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. These are the first monologues written by Clovis in documentary theatre.
Clovis won a first-place feature-writing award on racial profiling from the ‘National Association Of Black Journalists’ in 1999.
Dr. Clovis writes historical fiction and fantasy novels about Princeton. Quantum Leaps In Princeton’s Place is the first from 1912-1950, Six Doors Down (1960-2000), The Future Is My Past, Time Is The Length To Forever and the most current, Falling Bedrooms, Just A Book In The Library and The South Of Black Forgiveness.
She is Assistant Professor of English/Theatre for Rider University.
WO: How would you describe your writing to someone new to it?
DC: I write historical fiction, crime fiction, experimental works and fantasy.
WO: Can you tell us a bit about your latest book?
DC: The South Of Black Forgiveness uses the true crimes against Black women as a premise for the book. Here is the trailer:
WO: What inspired you to write in the first place, and what inspires you now?
AN: I am inspired by Hitchcock. I’ve loved his work since I was a child and look to emulate him.
WO: The current issue of Write On! explores the theme of ‘A Kaleidoscope Of Colours’. The idea is that life at the moment is like looking through a kaleidoscope: ever-changing, ever-swirling patterns we must interpret and adapt to. Can you tell us a bit about how you have been adapting to the shifting landscape of this fairly challenging present?
AN: As a Black woman, it’s important that my work enters the white canon of literature. My work is classic, but should be openly read and allowed in educational fields and publications. I feel I am just the beginning of this big process. Open the doors to hear my Black voice. I was fortunate to have won the ‘National Outstanding Book Awards’ from the ‘National Association Of Black Journalists’ for Falling Bedrooms and Quantum Leaps In Princeton’s Place.
WO: What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writer?
AN: Keep writing!
WO: Question from Twitter user: @grasshopper2407 What was it in particular that drew you to write about quantum physics in your novels?
AN: I live in Princeton and have access and take classes in quantum physics and thought of a way to create a Fantasy using the premise in Falling Bedrooms.
WO: Can you tell us anything about future projects?
AN: Yes, my next book is completely experimental, written in quarantine: 21 Days In Quarantine, When There Is No End To Midnight due out January 1, 2021.
WO: Lastly, if you could choose one fictional animal/creature to be a pet or companion, who would it be and why?
AN: I love unicorns. I love them because of the unlimited possibility of creativity.
You can find out more about Dr. Donna Clovis here: donnaclovis.com
Connect with her: @clovid01 on Twitter and Linkedin, @Da.kota5311 on Instagram
All her books are available to buy from amazon.com, balboapress.com, barnesandnoble.com and Black Books with Pyramid Bookstores, Boynton Beach, Florida.
Quantum Leaps In Princeton’s Place
Six Doors Down
The Future Is My Past
Time Is The Length To Forever
The South Of Black Forgiveness
21 Days In Quarantine, When There Is No End To Midnight (January 2021)
Don’t forget you can check out Issue 5 of Write On! magazine online by clicking here.
As a Black woman, it's important that my work enters the white canon of literature... I feel I am just the beginning of this big process.