Today we’d like to introduce you to M.C. Ray.
M.C. Ray, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have been writing all my life. I won my first writing competition when I was six for a book I wrote called the little frog. I’ve always loved poetry, short stories, and fantasy fiction. I have a whole collection of works that I’ve kept over the years and decided that it was time to share it with the world. So I introduced The Unveiled on September 22nd of 2018 to the world and haven’t looked back since. I’ve sold over three hundred books since its release, roughly 4 1/2 months and hope to reach at least 1,000 by September 22nd. I’ve been hosting events across Atlanta, my next one will be April 28th at 2pm at Kupcakerie in Atlanta, as well as sending my book out for review. I still have a long way to go but I am excited for the journey.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It was hard initially. I work a traditional 9-5 in corporate America, and I needed money for promotion, editing, a cover designer, and book formatting, placing my total expense to get this project fully formed to around $10,000, not to mention the countless hours outside of work where I had to personally groom my project. I came from humble beginnings, the first within my household to get a degree, and the second in my extended family. All around, I was the first person I’ve ever known personally to complete a work in the like of a novel, without even going into the specific category of young adult fantasy fiction. Balancing work, career, with my life and time, and putting myself out there to make these connections to get on platforms, takes time and effort but this is my dream and I don’t like to think of them as struggles per say, but pieces to the puzzle of success that I have to wedge to make fit. It’s all a part of the plan and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Please tell us about M.C. Ray.
I am a creative who has just made my premiere to the world I am a Georgia native, born and raised in Stockbridge, Georgia, and has always had a passion for the arts, especially the power of story telling in all its forms. Creating a fantasy with characters that look like me is more than just about inclusion. In reality we are present, so why not in the magical, fantastical, and the alternative.
As much young adult fantasy as I’ve read, I haven’t read many books where black characters have played a major role or even read about a world where black characters are predominantly reflected. That’s what I think is so important about this book and the impact it can have. Combining a whole new world and perspective that will connect with the fantasy fiction and young adult audience in a new way. To begin a series is such a great venture and I want this one to be a great initiative as well as a wonderful story told. The points in it, the lessons learned, are easily transferable to the lives of people that look like me and I want in everything I do, that avenue to be created.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I think I definitely would have found someone who could mentor me along the way. Sometimes I find myself to be very independent, and my friends and family, who are amazing with their support, have always been the best addition but it would have gone a lot smoother if I had a team, ready to push this effort along. I also would have made sure to have things like my website ready, different avenues for purchasing, events, as well as promotional efforts set up before the book debuted. It was a learning lesson, which I’ll definitely take into account for when the next book in the series drops.
- The Unveiled – $20+shipping on barnesandnoble.com
Photos captured by Byron Khalil, Group images edited by Ashley Dunbar