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Conversations with the Inspiring Aziza Sphinx

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aziza Sphinx.

Aziza, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Though I am a techie by trade, writer by necessity I’ve bowed to the whims of the voices as far back as I can remember. Writing is an outlet to speak into the world the things they whisper in my mind demand of me. And while I write to maintain my sanity, my characters encourage me to share their stories with the world. We’ve found common ground with speculative fiction; toying with Death in the fantastical. Perspective, they remind me. Exploring the blurred lines between the living and the not so dead, my characters take me through their journeys. Our shared experience pours onto the page, with hopes of entertaining while subtly educating about the vast range of possibilities of approaching death and the dying process. With each new book comes a life chapter, a lesson to share with others in hopes of sparking a conversation regarding the beginning, the middle, and the end of the story of life.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Every road has ebbs and flows. Good times and bad. My writing journey has been the same. When in the zone, all that I have and all that I am, pours onto the page. Channeling them is arduous and exhausting, leaving me physically, emotionally, and spiritually spent. As depression set it, my characters flourished. But sometimes writing is not enough, and when the world became too much I had to choose. And I chose, me. I fully acknowledge my mental health and writing are symbiotic; however, life still required me to adult. And so, for some years, I didn’t write anything as the medication took hold and life continued on. As I gathered more tools in my arsenal and I managed life in a way that no longer required antidepressants, creativity returned. My writing became cyclic; now, I plan and act accordingly. I had to step back, discover and accept why I started writing. I reevaluated my decision to not just be just a writer, but also an author. My journey with my characters is in constant negotiation, each step strategic; driven not by monetary gain, but what we feel is necessary at the time.

My advice for anyone seeking to travel the road of the writer and published author: have a clear understanding of why you are getting into the business. And yes, being an author is a business. Writers can write and decide to never show their work to the world. However, once the decision to become an author is made, creativity is no longer the only obligation. Regardless of route, whether traditional or self-publishing, investment of time, money, and heart are necessary to gain exposure if money is the endgame.

What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
I like to play in the darkness; to toy with subjects many find taboo. Vampires, Daemon, Wraith and Reapers alike, these are my brethren, those who walk with me day and night and frolic among my pages. They too seek validation, acceptance, and love. Bringing to fruition the stories many fear telling is what I am most proud of. From haunted houses to twisted fairytales, a touch of fantasy and sci-fi to boot, stretching the imagination and the interest in what could possibly be is what I specialize in.

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
For those seeking to join the world of publishing, learn as much as you can, not just about writing and the writing process, but also the business. Seek out those willing to share their experiences and ask as many questions as you can. Explore what it takes to be a publisher, all of the pieces that move the wheels from editing, to book covers, legalities and business expenses. Learn all you can, read as much as you can, and understand that you are responsible for your work. You are the owner of your vision. We are in a time with more options and opportunities but also more competition. Be prepared for the naysayers and those who will be against you. But stay the course and build your empire one reader at a time.

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