Sunday, November 23, 2008
Interview with author, Titus Pollard
Today, I welcome author, Titus Pollard. Titus is one of my label-mates at Urban Christian Books.
Glad to have you, Titus. Tell us about your novel, Living Right On Wrong Street.
In short, it is a twenty-first century version of the struggles of Job (that’s with a long ooo sound!) Job’s real estate partner, Delvin Storm, pays a group of conspirators to destroy Job’s life while he (Delvin) sits in a Kentucky prison. Job, believing that a move out west (Phoenix) will give he and his wife a new lease on life, then deals with a three-way struggle (with himself, his wife & his former partner) to regain a sense of stability. It is only with a renewed faith in God that Job’s life turns for the better.
What do you want readers to take away from this story?
It’s my aim to let the readers know that no matter where you live, no matter the “street”, trouble will find you… how you work through your trouble depends on your faith.
Tell us about your journey to publication.
It has taken me four years with three rewrites, three or four queries to secure a literary agent, one writer’s conference, and the design of an ongoing marketing campaign just for this novel. But I am thankful; of course, to God, and to Kim T. Matthews, my agent, Jacquelin Thomas, my mentor, and to Joylynn Jossel, my editor at Urban Christian.
What do you wish you knew about being an author before you sold your novel.
I guess one of the main ideas that I wished I had was the amount of marketing that you as an author has to put into the book before, during, and after the publication of the work. You need to consider your marketing campaign when you select your title, when you give input on the cover art, who will give reviews for the work; everything. When I go out to do something as simple as – fill my tank with gas – I will deliberately ask a stranger, “Have you heard about Living Right On Wrong Street?”
You have other interests, music is one of them. Tell us about that.
I am a former high school and college instructor, composer and arranger with over 30 years of experience. I’ve performed twice in the White House, and played for the memorial service of Ron Brown (Clinton’s Commerce Secretary).
I enjoy, no, I love music of every genre, and I am constantly trying to improve my novel writing by correlating the poetic rhythms found in music to the patterns of great prose.
I still travel across the country, singing and playing, especially in the Gospel music arena.
That's fascinating and such an honor. You must be a very accomplished musican to have had the opportunity to play at the White House.
Tell us about the response from readers and one experience in particular that touched your heart. My friends and relatives will try to associate some aspect of the story to my life. I’m not Job and visa versa, but I guess every story has the writer in it somewhere, in some way. A few weeks ago, in Virginia, I ran into a lady who had read the novel, and who wanted me to know that her husband was like my main character in many respects. There were things she (my reader) wanted her husband to change. She told me that she’d seen a turnaround in him, and he has since read the book, and is one of my biggest fans – this coming from yet another male who “hated fiction!”
I asked Titus to get personal and he shared the following answers.
Favorite Worship Song: Hallelujah (He’s Worthy) by Titus Pollard. Google it sometime.
What is the last scripture that you meditated on:
II Timothy 3:15 "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth."
If you could visit with anyone, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
I would love to be able to talk with my father, Fletcher Pollard, who died when I was 19, only sixth months after I lost my mother. I’ve been told on more than one occasion that, in my eyes, he walked on water. There was an infinite amount of wisdom in this Baptist preacher who only had a third-grade formal education, but made his money trading on the Stock Exchanges.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Ghana; this is where Ephraim Amu, the father of African Musicology, once resided (now deceased). Just to be able to breathe the air that he breathed and walk where he walked would inspire me on a whole new level with my writing and rhythmic artistry.
If you were going to a deserted island and could only take one fiction book, that you didn’t write, what would it be and why?
I would take Blessed Assurance, a compilation of short stories by some of my favorite writers. This book would deliver to me what I would need based on its subtitle: Inspirational short stories full of Hope & Strength for Life’s Journey.
What’s next for Titus Pollard?
I’m working on a nonfiction book that will, hopefully, assist churches with their music departments. I am working on about 4 novels simultaneously, as well as a historical fiction work. I am also beginning work on a new music CD, and in the discussion stages for the development of a new, home-study piano course. Am I busy?
You are definitey very busy. How can readers contact you or find out more about your work?
I can be reached by e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at my social media sites:
Then there's always snail mail:
P.O. Box 6165
Raleigh, NC 27628
Thanks so much for stopping by, Titus and sharing your novel and your very interesting life with us.
Thanks for having me, Rhonda.