We had the good fortune of connecting with DD Hairston and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi DD, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
There came a point in my life where I felt like I had lost everything I worked so very hard for. Not only had I lost my material possessions, but my body, mind, and voice had also abandoned me. I didn’t know which way was up or what to do with my life. I was honestly broken. It took my mother’s words to slowly see some semblance of myself. I began escaping into my thoughts and wrote my first novel. Even though I have eleven published books on Amazon, each day is a struggle and reminder to push forward and never give up. That dark place is too real.
After my mother’s unexpected passing on February 14, 2019, I was devastated because she was the person who was right next to me when I lost my son and when my mind and voice could not connect with each other. Giving up could not be an option, so I wrote a book of short stories. Growth only comes when we fight through the things that pull us down.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I love being an author. Being able to take control of fictional people’s lives and dictating the ending is exhilarating. I do my best to make you love my characters. As you are reading, you will connect with someone, whether you see yourself, someone you know, or want one of these characters for yourself. I want you to feel like you are in the street of Los Angeles while you are reading my books. If you live here, you will know exactly the locales or neighborhoods. If not, you’ll definitely feel our atmosphere! Warning! There are no fairytales or pixy dust and everyone does not always get a happy ending. I think that is what makes my books different from so many others. I write realistic fiction, what happens in the real world.
Getting published was fairly easy. Unfortunately, the ride was not smooth sailing. I submitted my first five chapters of Love Child to three different publishing houses and two responded in less than two months. This is where life was supposed to soar for me. As much as appreciate my first publisher and we parted ways on good terms, being obligated can be restrictive and costly in the long run. The publishing world has as many glitches as the music industry. An Independent Author has given me more say so in the direction I want to write. All books based on people of color are not Urban Fiction.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Los Angeles is one of the greatest places to visit, with so many things to do. Because of Covid, many things have closed. Not only do I like to do things everyone enjoys, I like to partake in the places very few people know about unless you live here. LA Live is one of my favorite places to go. You can catch a movie, shop, and get great food. I’m a super duper Laker fan and the Staples Center is there as well.
A visit to the historic Watts Towers is a must! Built between 1921 to 1954 by Sam Rodia, using only hand tools and window washer equipment. We cannot pass up the opportunity to have lunch at Watts Coffee House up. Built in 1965 after the Watts riots, the walls are embraced posters, jazz albums covers, items of South LA cultural history.
Leimert Park is definitely a place to visit. The village has it all from Afro-centric art galleries, theaters, shops, restaurants, cultural centers, and nightclubs. Everyone needs to come here at least once in their lifetime.
Who can resist a day of fun and sun at Santa Monica Beach? What people don’t know is in the 1920s, this was the only beach in Southern California that allowed minorities to use the beach without being harassed.
Three of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles are Harold & Belle’s, which has the best Creole food, in my opinion, Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen, and El Cholo, which has the best margaritas.
No trip to Los Angeles can be complete without a trip to Magic Mountain. I personally do not ride rollercoasters any longer, but who am I to deny someone a good time?
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, all praise to the Most High, without him I am nothing. My sons give me life and inspiration. Being the mother of five boys has been an interesting ride. I would not trade it in for anything in the world. None of my books are about them, but they give me food for thought. Without my mother, ‘The Crazy Lady’, my books and characters would still be running wild in my imagination.. Rest easy mom!