interview with CLARENCE NERO
1. How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing for about ten years. I never planned on being a writer. When I started writing, I was working as a chemist with the DC government. It wasn’t until after college that I got the itch to write. One day, I was just sitting in my apartment and something inside of me said, “Go write.” And I did. And as they say the rest is history. A couple of months later, I opened a fortune cookie that said, “You are a lover of words. Someday, you will write a book.” I took it as a sign from God, and I have not stopped writing since that time.
2. What was your favorite subject when you were in high school and why? Math was my favorite subject, because I was simply always good in math. I love the challenge of solving the answers to problems.
3. How did you come up with the title, “Three Sides To Every Story”? The book came to me in three voices, and then the title made sense to me. Conventional wisdom tells us that there are two sides to every story, but then I come along and now there’s three. I’m covering heavy issues in this book from sex, sexuality, the down low, homophobia, and black men in prison--just so much stuff happening out there in the world today that I couldn’t cover the scope and depth of these issues without exploring them from three angles.
4. What would you say has been your biggest challenge to date? It was a real challenge for me to write this novel. My publisher needed the final draft right around the time Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. My entire family and I were caught in the middle of this drama and I was so worried about my relatives, for their safety. I just didn’t think I would be able to finish the novel under so much stress. But somehow with the strength and help from God, I got through it. Once I realized that the 9th Ward of New Orleans was demolished, I actually got inspired to write about this once forgotten community in my novel, “Three Sides To Every Story.”
5. How would you describe ultimate happiness? Living life with passion and love. What I mean is that you have love all around you. You love God and have a spiritual connection with Him. You have friends and loved ones whom you can share your dreams, hopes, and failures with. And you are in the world doing something you really enjoy in life and making a real difference in the lives of others. That’s true happiness to me. There’s no greater joy than giving back what was given to you.
6. What is the worse pick up line you’ve ever gotten? Ever used? The worse pick up line I’ve ever gotten is “You wanna come over to my house to eat pizza!” I’m like yeah right. I was a freshman in college and so unsure about myself, my sexuality. And there’s this older guy inviting me over to his dorm room. He calls me in the middle of the night and asks if I wanted to come over for pizza. I never did go, because I had a feeling we were going to be eating more than pizza and I wasn’t at all ready for that kind of action in college.
Now as far as horrible lines I’ve used on people. There aren’t any. I’m too scared to approach someone so I never get tripped up in the first place.
7. If you could write a novel with anyone famous past or present…who would it be and Why? E. Lynn Harris! I love him so much--the way he puts a story together with so much drama, twists, and turns. He’s one of my favorite writers. I wouldn’t mind combining one of my characters like Johnny with the unforgettable Basil. Now that would be an interesting twist!
Maya Angelou will host a book signing for Clarence at Special Occasions Bookstore in Winston, Salem, NC on Saturday, November 25 at Noon.
For more info on Clarence Nero log onto: WWW.CLARENCENERO.COM