I write middle grade and YA sci-fi and YA contemporary. To date, I’ve completed the IA origin story of reluctant superhero, Naz Andersen. The Origin part of the story consists of three novels, part one and two, IA: Initiate and IA: B.O.S.S., which are already published, as well as part three, IA: Union, which will be released Black Friday, November 24th. I’ve also written a novella entitled Invincible Assassin as part of the IA Origin story to be released toward the end of March 2018. I’m in the middle of my new YA sci-fi, Ultima Humana, about the last human (sort of) on a distant planet.
In the way of contemporary YA, I’ve written a short story entitled “The Paternal Ordeal of Dominic” that will appear as part of the On The Edge of Tomorrow anthology to be published in December by BHC Press.
I write what I write for two and a half basic reasons. One; there are very few books out there for students on heroes and superheroes of color, if any, and I wanted to fill that void. The half; by writing in this genre, I show students of color another possible career path they may not have considered. Two, and this is purely selfish; I was not a reader when I was growing up, mainly because the stories didn’t interest me. I wanted to write the book or books that I would’ve loved to read when I was a younger soul. Extra credit; it’s fun! That’s really four reasons, isn’t it?
One of the things I learned in my creative writing program at Wilkes University is the importance of outlining. One of the things I’ve learned about life that supersedes that rule is that there is always more than one path to a goal, and flexibility trumps rigidity most days. I wrote the first two books in the IA series with no outline and the last two with a loose one. In both cases, it was important to me that my main character, Naz Andersen, not be constrained and have room to grow as he does in the story. In Ultima Humana, it’s a bit more complicated science and plot-wise, so I’m going with a loose outline and at the same time allowing my protagonist the ability to breath again.
As far space writing space, I just bought a house and have dedicated a room to my writing space complete with my awards, diplomas, and certifications as well as anything else that will inspire, depending on my mood or the piece I’m working on. Just the same, like my protagonists, I need room to work so you might see me hanging out at the neighborhood coffee shop or taking part in a secluded writing retreat high in the mountains…or some distant planet.
A native Detroiter and public school educator, Winston created the IA series, a coming of age hero’s journey, as part of a creative writing and ‘Boys Read’ program. He is also piloting the Adopt an Author program to connect authors with young readers via the web to help foster the love of reading.
He is a graduate of The Recording Institute of Detroit, Wayne State University, The Motion Picture Institute of Michigan, and received his MA and MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. He has written songs with and for Grammy winner David Foster and record mogul Clive Davis. He has been a recording artist on Arista and Polygram records and has written and/or produced songs for Gerald Levert, Gerald Alston, and many others.
Winston currently lives with his daughter, Marquette, in Michigan and intends to acquire an African Grey parrot one day when he conquers his irrational fear of birds.
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of In the Context of Love, adult contemporary fiction about one woman’s needs to tell her story without shame.
2016 Sarton Women’s Fiction Finalist
2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
2016 Readers’ Favorite Finalist
2016 USA Book News Best Book Finalist
2015 Great Midwest Book Fest Honorable Mention.
“…at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey. Should be required reading for all wayward teenage girls, and their mothers, too.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River,and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters