Time to introduce our 10th blogger in the Summer Spotlight Series. She’s so amazingly down to earth and fun to talk to. I really hope y’all enjoy getting to know Latanya @ Rhapsody in Hue as much as I did!
Let’s start with an introduction.
My name is Latanya Ivey a.k.a. Crafty Scribbles. I am a teacher by day. Writer and blogger by night. An avid reader as the mood strikes, which is daily. I currently live in Los Angeles, but I enjoy traveling. I dislike staying in the same place. I have to move. I’m a mommy and wife, which gives me home court support advantage. They are my built-in cheerleaders.
Great! Can you tell me a little more about your blog? (How you came up with the name, how long ago you started and why).
Yes! My blog’s titled “Rhapsody in Hue: Writing with a Melanin Twist”. I named it so because of a perspective lack from people of color in the blogging and vlogging world. We read books. We write books, too. But, our voices aren’t as numerous on the Internet apparently. The name’s also a play on Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”, which I love.
I started a year ago, and my blog’s gone through identity changes. I used to write just book reviews. But, I decided to also post my writing process, travels, and whatever pops into my head. I wanted more content diversity.
I agree that when it comes to bloggers of color we are few and far between. Since you’ve started blogging have you found any bloggers of color that you like? What would you say to other bloggers of color who are also searching for that representation?
I enjoy reading your thoughts on topics influencing or shaping our society. In addition, I do follow Nerds of Color. They run the gamut from all people of color and I love their insight on diversity and how media and pop culture still need to walk the walk.
As for searching for rep, be the rep we need. Throw your voice in the ring and swing! The world’s better with your voice shouting through rafters with glee.
That is very good advice 🙂
You mentioned that you’re a teacher. What do you teach?
I teach and love high school English. I could not ask for more.
Do you think that being an English teacher has an affect on what you read outside of the classroom?
Certainly! I’m more critical, ha. If a sentence doesn’t work for me, I’ll fuss. If the plot holes glare, I’ll fuss. I’m less likely to not find flaws. But, I laugh at the possibilities.
Also, I find myself open to book discussions because it’s part of my profession. “Oh you read that book? Let’s discuss.” Some welcome discussions. Others don’t. Pretty much, I see the same behavior as I would in class, lol.
What are some of your favorite books?
Ooh! Asking me about favorite books equates to asking me about my favorite son (Hint: I can’t choose). Some books I love, however, include Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, Toni Morrison’s “Sula”, and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson. Gripping stories snatch my attention. So, it’s easier for me to say gripping stories deserve my favoritism than a single book.
Oy vey! That question gave me hives.
Hahaha I tried to be fair and ask for multiple instead of one. I know people are really against that question!
Have you watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie? Or the TV movie for Their Eyes Were Watching God? If so, what did you think?
Yes! I watched both versions (American and Swedish) movies, and I like them both. Of course, I’ve seen Halle Berry’s rendition of Janie. She gave a good performance of Ms. Crawford’s trials and joys, including her love for Tea Cake. She surprised me.
Have you seen these programs? If not, please do so. They’re worth your time.
I have seen Their Eyes Were Watching God. I’m a “read before watching” person and I haven’t picked up The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo yet.
Since you’re also a writer, do you write the same genres that you read or do you branch out?
I love thrillers, so I’m writing one, lol. Favorite reading genres definitely sneak into your writing without fail. I would like to branch into YA, particularly with a black girl as the MC once I’m finished my current work in progress.
So, yes. What I read mirrors what I write. The only genres I tend not to march toward are science fiction, westerns, war novels, and classics that are not modern classics (e.g. 1920s on). Don’t expect me to write them, lol. If I do, it’s a retelling that I’d spin on its head.
Yes to more Black girls in YA!!!!! I really need to get to The Hate U Give since their making it a movie! Have you read it?
Also, do your children like to read too? When I was younger my mom and I read Twilight together lol
Yes, I’ve read “The Hate U Give”. Other great titles to read include “The Belles”, “Dread Nation”, and “Piecing Me Together”.
My children adore reading. I taught them its beauty from day one and one wants to be an author when he grows up.
Yes! I also want to read The Belles, but I can’t read a series until it’s complete. I can’t stand waiting for the next release.
Awe that’s great! And exciting! Maybe you and your son can write a book together one day 🙂
What has been your biggest takeaway from joining the bookish blogging community so far?
Blogging is not easy, but it helps one’s writing. Doing so keeps my engine running, even during the “What Am I Going to Write Phase?”
Keep going no matter how tiring it gets. Someone’s listening!
That is great advice!
We’ve come to the end of the interview! Are there any last details that you would like to add about yourself or your blog?
I’m writing my first novel, tentatively titled Porcelain and cannot wait to see it published. In addition, my blog “Rhapsody in Hue: Writing with a Melanin Twist”(www.craftyscribblescom.com) is a hodge podge of writing, books reviews/discussions, travel, and soul food (food, LGBTQA issues/topics, and discussions related around people of color). I anticipate good things to come with my blog and invite curious readers to travel with me on this journey.
This interview’s been fun. Thank you for the opportunity!
Congrats! Please keep me updated on publishing! One last thing, can you give us the synopsis of your novel?!
Kyra Donoghue-Rees owns a cafe with the love of her life, Daisy, and while she has the nontypical mother-daughter relationship with her mother, she thought she created the right “normal” until someone returned to chip away at her self-inflicted veneer. He’s determined to help shake the concept of normalcy until she accepts.
Some things are too precious to hold tight to…
Sounds really interesting! Thank you again for doing this, I really appreciate it!
If you would like to connect with Latanya, I highly recommend that you follow her blog. You can also follow her on Twitter!