Nija Morenike’ Matory, refuses to bite her tongue about issues that are pressing to the African American community. Creator of Novels such as Taste of Insanity and SHHHH, the Mississippi born author is quite crafty about how her messages are delivered. From Mental Illness in the Black Community, to the undeniable bondage of Colorism, Morenike fearlessly delivers paramount messages through her storytelling. The millennial author aspires to transition her writing talents to film and television. Currently residing in Dallas, TX, Nija plans to reach the world through her narrative gifts. Check out my Q&A session with Author Nija Morenike’ Matory below:
How old were you when you began writing and what sparked that interest?
7 years old; our teacher gave us an assignment, a project about nature. I went allllll the way out and made an interactive book with pop outs of leaves and straw. My teacher was so impressed she took it to the principal’s office and he laminated and bounded my book. I knew then I was capable of making people pay attention through words.
What is the biggest message that you want to share with the world?
My purpose is to create stories, film, and television shows that reflect the African American community and experience. Our stories are being erased from history and I think it’s important that our children know our rights and wrongs.
Taste of Insanity, a righteous thriller might I add… Explain where the inspiration from the novel was drawn from. What’s the underlying message?
I try to touch on taboo subjects in the African American community with every project I create or approach. Taste of Insanity touches on mental illness amongst African American women.
The characters are extremely intriguing and realistic. Did you pull inspiration from people in your life?
Mental illness is something near and dear to my heart because I have manic depression and anxiety; mental illness is present on both the maternal and paternal sides of my family and I have a lot of friends that deal with depression in general; so of course I pulled from real life experiences and things that I witnessed.
Your highly anticipated novel Running from Color, that is to be released this Spring is causing a gang of buzz. Explain what it will entail.
I am so proud to bring Running from Color to the world. It touches on family, sisterhood, community, and colorism. I feel like I tapped into my inner Alice Walker on this one.
Who are some of your greatest influences?
Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Wharton, Langston Hughes, etc. the list goes on and on; I was an English major so I have so many influences.
If you were rewarded a disposable sum of 2 million dollars, what is the first thing you would do?
INVEST! I’m a product of the Jackson Public School District of Jackson, MS; I have to give back to the district that set the foundation for me and helped me realize my goals were attainable even if the odds were stacked against me; the teachers and students in that school district deserve more.
Who is your spirit animal?
Erica Abi Wright aka Erykah Badu bka Sara Bellum aka Medulla Oblongata bka DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown, *exhales & flips hair*
What do you want people to remember Morenike for?
If anything, that I always tried to use my words to inspire & create actions that have the ability to change the world; the revolution will be televised.