Natural talent shines brightly through the words of a writer with a desire to share a gift with the world. Born and raised in Sacramento, California, Niyah Moore was touched at an early age with the precious gem of prose. At the age of nine years old, she participated in a Writer’s Workshop and displayed a special knack for writing that sparked a flame for a romance between Niyah and storytelling. Just like any loving relationship, Niyah’s love affair with words began to bear fruit. Before she finished high school, she had completed five novels, wrote three school plays, and had written a play for her church. No small task for someone in high school; yet she pulled it off with ease.
A childhood hobby begged for legs of its own as she matured into an adult. Niyah listened to her calling, finding the time to write in the mornings while raising her family. Under the subtle pushing and guidance of a literary mentor who was well known in the literary industry, Niyah decided to pursue a career in writing professionally. She submitted a short story to the Mocha Chocolate anthology in 2008 and was accepted as a contributing author. Inclusion in that literary work gave her the courage to submit to various others and a literary journey for her began to take form.
One leap of faith jumped into several acknowledgments of talent. Her works include novels, Guilty Pleasures and Bittersweet Exes; and inclusions in several Award-Winning and Award-Nominated anthologies such as: the 2012 AALAS nominated anthology Heat of the Night, 2008 African American Literary Award Winning Erotic Anthology, Mocha Chocolate: Taste a Piece of Ecstasy Anthology; Chocolate Historie D’Amour Anthology; Souls of My Young Sisters Anthology and Mocha Chocolate Remix: Escapades of Passion.
Niyah’s short story “After Dark” will be included in the anthology, Zane presents Busy Bodies: Chocolate Flava 4, releasing in the Summer of 2013. She is also one of the contributing author duets to the groundbreaking anthology, Pillow Talk Duets in the Heat of the Night which will be released in the Spring of 2013 as well.
Niyah is a mother of two, who loves sharing her love for words with the world and who looks forward to the publication of her new novel, Major Jazz, which is scheduled for release under her new publisher, the Award-Winning Independent Publisher of the year, Peace in the Storm Publishing.
“Childhood dreams and real-life talent are the foundation to making Niyah Moore, Literary Phenom, what she is today.” – Elissa Gabrielle, Founder of Peace in the Storm Publishing
You can find more information on Niyah at www.niyahmoore.com and www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com
About “Major Jazz”
“Our heated passion created some of my best compositions, but I was cursed with my daddy’s blood.”
Major Ingram knew better than to get into a committed relationship. As much as he witnessed the heartbreak his father inflicted upon his mother, he didn’t want to make the same mistakes. When his father finally walked out on them for good, his mother was broken. Something he saw and she felt for years. Major didn’t want to hurt any women that same way, but it seemed as if he could never tell Sallie Aquino he loved her because there was only one her and that was his music.
Major’s father was a saxophone player who played the blues. He spoon-fed Major the love of music from the first day he opened his eyes to the world. Though the sax was in his blood, Major fell in love with the ivory and ebony keys the first time he heard a piano. Major developed his own passion with jazz music and by the age of sixteen, he had landed a paying gig at Bop City, an after-hours nightclub in Fillmore.
Fillmore, the ‘Mo, was like Harlem on the bay. Sammy Davis Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and Duke Ellington all fell into San Francisco the way they had in the Big Apple. Back in ’51, the Victorian styled homes, housed finely dressed black people who owned their own businesses from cleaners to restaurants to jazz spots. They worked mornings during the week and enjoyed local and celebrity musicians at night. Up and down Fillmore Street, clubs and restaurants lined up one next to the other. On Friday nights, they went from club to party to bar until the early hours of Monday while music played nonstop.
Loosely based on true testimonies, the Fillmore Jazz Era comes back to life through the fictional characters: Major Ingram, Kae Taylor, Sade and Sallie Aquino, and Frank Blue. They made jazz heartfelt through their own stories. This love story just isn’t about falling in love, but how they each fell in love with a neighborhood, a scene and her, jazz music. The Fillmore Jazz Era is gone, most of the neighborhood was torn down by the Redevelopment Agency by the 1960’s, but it’s not forgotten, and the love for Bebop, Jazz, R&B, and Blues music that once existed remains in the heart and soul of Fillmore forever.
UBAWA: When did you first decide you wanted to become an author?
Niyah: I've been writing since I was a child, but when I thought of it seriously was when Karen E. Quinnones Miller found me on Myspace in 2007 and encouraged me to write professionally after reading a few of my blogs.
UBAWA: How did you decide on the idea for your 1st book? 2nd book? 3rd book, etc?
Niyah: The idea for my first book came to me when I was in the tenth grade for Bittersweet Exes. After I went through my own divorce, it helped me to complete it. For Guilty Pleasures, I wanted to write an erotic novel about the things people feel guilty about though receiving pleasure. The song, “I Know “by Jay-Z, listening to the lyrics, inspired the title. The third book came about when I took a visit to the Fillmore Jazz District in San Francisco, after learning about its rich history, my character Major was born.
UBAWA: How long did it take you to complete your first book? What was the process like?
Niyah: It took me about five to six years total. The process was something I didn't think too much about because I was writing so many other books at the same time. Every time I come up with an idea, I left it alone. It didn't come in full swing until the last year before publishing. I write every single morning ever since I was in high school, so it just came naturally. I try not to write on anything that feels forced.
UBAWA: What’s so rewarding about writing books and being an author?
Niyah: Now, that I'm a full time author, the most rewarding part is hearing people tell me that I inspire them to follow their own dreams. There are a lot of people I've known since high school and they've all known that I've wanted to be a writer from all the plays and novels I wrote in high school. So, to see me doing something that I dreamed of inspired them to follow their own dreams.
UBAWA: Was there ever a time you felt like giving up?
Niyah: There were a few times when I felt like giving up. After publishing my first novel through a very small Indie company, I didn't get hardly any sales. I really didn't know what it took to sell myself, so I got very discouraged.
UBAWA: There’s more to being an author than writing a book. How do you manage to handle the business side of things?
Niyah: Well, I dove in head first and learned every aspect of the business and I'm still learning. Now, that I'm with Peace in the Storm Publishing, Elissa Gabrielle really takes the time to educate her authors and doesn't guarantee sales, keeps us encouraged to follow our dreams and she pushes us to reach our full potential and to be professional. Social Media has a way of bringing out the best and worst out of people. What we try to do is to be positive at all times.
UBAWA: Do you have an editor or do you edit your own books?
Niyah: Oh no no no. There's no way I would edit my own book. I mean I do my own naturally, but hiring an editor is the most important step you can take in this business.
UBAWA: Who does the cover art for your book(s)?
Niyah: Peace in the Storm Publishing has their own cover artists.
UBAWA: Do you ever encounter writer’s block? How do you get past it?
Niyah: I do every once in a while. I'm an avid reader and I listen to a lot of music. Sometimes, watching a good movie sparks something great.
UBAWA: How often do you write?
Niyah: I write every single day.
UBAWA: Tell us about your last book signing.
Niyah: My last book signing was at a Books and Vending Event, hosted by a book club called Sister In The Name of Love in Elk Grove, California. It was so awesome. The ladies shared their book club stories and invited other book clubs from Sacramento. I read from Guilty Pleasures and signed books.
UBAWA: Beside social media, what other methods are you using to get the word out about your book(s)?
Niyah: I've done book clubs in my city, local book stores, and flyers. This year, I plan on going to book fairs and writer's conferences.
UBAWA: As a Woman of Color, what inspires you the most?
Niyah: As a Woman of Color, soul good feeling music inspires me the most.
UBAWA: Who is your biggest influence?
Niyah: My biggest influence is Zora Neale Hurston. She and I share the same birthdate, January 7th. I'm 1981 and she's my year transposed, 1891. The Harlem Renaissance definitely helped to inspire my novel Major Jazz, Harlem of the West.
UBAWA: Have you ever done something in the past you regret? How did you get through it?
Niyah: I've done a lot of things as a teenager that I regret. I just learned from it and moved on. I try not to make the same mistakes twice.
UBAWA: How do you get through the tough times in life when life throws what it throws at you?
Niyah: I pray. I'm not overly religious, but I grew up in church. My grandparents instilled in me how to meditate and pray.
UBAWA: What is one goal you want to accomplish for yourself in 2013?
Niyah: My goal for 2013 is to release my novel Major Jazz and get the attention of readers that I have not reached yet.
UBAWA: What do you have planned next?
Niyah: I was selected to be in Zane's Busy Bodies: Chocolate Flava 4, coming out this August along with three other anthologies. My plan is to promote promote promote. I'm working on a marketing plan as we speak.
UBAWA: How can readers and others in the literary community reach you?
Niyah: www.niyahmoore.com - coming soon
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