“We all deserve two things: freedom and respect”.
Veronica Nicole Davis [born February 22, 1991], best known by her moniker VNDavis, is an American author, journalist, actress, singer, and graphic artist. Among all her passions fiction is nearest to her heart. She has gone from an underground fan fiction writer to a novelist with messages of love and acceptance in her literature.
On September 24, 2009 her premiere novel Blind Thirst was published. For nearly 4 years she remained relatively quiet in order to complete college. Just before graduating, she published Tomorrow Never Came (January 20, 2013). Her novels are available from bookstores worldwide.
We had the privilege of chatting with the woman herself last week, and we found her to be even more endearing than her books.
When did you realise that you had a gift for writing?
I wouldn’t say I have a gift. I’ve never viewed it as such. It’s just been intertwined in the definition of my character since I was 8 years old. I was the kid who would carry notebooks, pens, and pencils over a Gameboy or Nano Pet. That’s not to say I didn’t own them, but when it came down to choosing what i could bring with me in the car….ha! Paper was king!
How do you go from fan fiction writer to world class author?
Oh, that’s very kind. It began as my own personal challenge. I’ve always been in competition with myself to become better. In this case, producing a novel length piece and finding the means to publish it was my task. I was going through a stage in my life where I felt an emptiness. In a creative sense. Fan fiction was not enough, so I felt stagnant. It was a strange place to be in, but the transition was a stepping-stone for me. To go from one to the other was all a matter of creative development. I found a black journal in a dresser drawer that I wrote in as a child. It was a note to myself that my biggest dream was to one day be “Author Veronica N. Davis”. Obviously as a child we have many dreams, but I made a promise to myself that that this one would come true. Currently, I am trying to reach the point I envisioned as a little girl.
In the past couple of years you’ve become a bit of an online ambassador for equality. Is there anything in particular that sparked this in you?
Some of my equality work is online, yes. I have done talks at high schools and businesses in my neighborhood. I never sought acknowledgement in the past because I wasn’t focused on broadcasting. I was concerned for the community and would end up ranting about current issues. Personal turmoil drove my words and an unwavering desire to help others got me to the right destinations. We all deserve two things: freedom and respect. We should be granted the freedom to love whomever we want and the respect to live in peace with that person without judgment and hatred aimed at us.
You released your second novel Tomorrow Never Came early this year after a 4 year gap finishing school. How did you find getting back in the saddle?
Writing is at the core of who I am and I am always creating. Although there was a gap in publication I was still in my creative mode. I spent rainy days in my head getting to know my characters. Also, in every story I have ever written, even back in grammar school, there is a message. It is usually caught by those who need to discover it. Those 4 years allowed me to express multiple values, which are left to the readers to be decoded. Some are more apparent than others, but they are awaiting the hearts that need to view them.
What inspired the story?
Tomorrow Never Came was inspired by sorrow, isolation, media, life, and redemption. The world has been engulfed by despondency and all that is ever uttered from news outlets is about a child dying at the hands of oppression by their peers for being of a certain race or orientation. Coverage follows victims of gang violence, rape, cancer, and so on. As those closest to me know I am an emotional creature, a drama queen even. So I used my book as a way to handle all of that. To handle society and its flaws. To recognize my supporters’ troubles as well as my own. My people online know that I write to those who e-mail me personally. I hate for people to feel alone, therefore I try to be there for them because not everyone has someone who cares. I am a strong believe that no one should ever suffer in silence or be in solitude for too long. Loneliness can kill, but it is good to remember that some solitude is refreshing. You just have to know where the line has to be drawn. Tomorrow Never Came represents all of that.
The narrative is set against a backdrop of hate crimes in a small town. Do you think this is indicative of the times we are living in? What do you think is causing the recent rise in intolerance?
Hates crimes are as old as man and my novel revolves around the chaos man has brought upon themselves, just through the eyes of teenagers. Now, when you say ‘recent rise’ I kind of…just say to myself that it isn’t recent. Things were hidden in the past and technology was not this advanced so no one was able to record the amount of disdain people have for one another. That doesn’t just go for the LGBT community. That’s overall. People have always and will always seek things that will repulse them. Negativity is what many individuals thrive off of. I was raised around intolerance, luckily it was not present within my home. Still, it surrounded me outside the home designed to protect me. I never understood ignorance until I began to pay attention to how schoolmates were treating me and the people around me. You’re black, you’re white, you’re Mexican, you’re just a girl, you dress a little different, you’re this and you’re that. Judgments often lead to hatred which lead to crimes. The only thing that’s changed through time is how often we are able to access our violent acts toward one another. (Thanks to the internet.) Time proves that mankind runs in cycles and once we fix one thing we find another issue that disturbs another group for senseless reasons. I hope this burning hope in my heart that one day we can break that cycle. Hopefully we can find peace within ourselves as compassionate people and help one another instead of generating chaos and severing ties.
If you could correct just one injustice on the planet, what would it be?
Child trafficking. Nearly 1.2 million children are sold for cheap labor and obscene acts I cannot even bring myself to say. It destroys me to know of the violence and sexual abuse these beautiful spirits endure. I have literally been trying for several months to discuss it formally and cannot due to the reality of it. Whenever I look at the children in my family and their friends I just…can’t stomach it.
Now it’s time for the hard sell – why should people buy your book?
Why should people buy my book? Ahhh. I don’t want to be pushy about it, but if I had to sell it to someone I’d ask him or her to get it because of what it stands for. The emotions it expresses, the lessons it will (hopefully) teach you. It highlights issues that enable people who have not endured the same pressures as their peers, to sympathize and comprehend the struggles they’d faced. I wrote this book because I believe people should not complain about situations or values that they have not attempted to understand or educate themselves on. I anticipate Tomorrow Never Came opening the eyes of those who have kept theirs wide shut. Those that are afraid to see the truth. It’s like a teenager’s diary, written for the worthy warriors trapped in sorrow. For those who have lost someone or something precious to them. That’s who I want to read this because it all comes down to respect and acceptance.
Finally, we like to profile people of significant achievement within the LGBT community. Who is your LGBT Icon?
It just so happens that my icon has been deceased for nearly 3 decades. Bayard Rustin
makes my icon list for a simple reason. He was alive when existing was at its most crucial and difficult point for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. He endured threats, arrests, beatings, imprisonment, and slander, all in a time where the color of his skin was also disgraced. Still, he stood tall with sincerity in his heart and without
violence on his agenda. He remained peaceful and brave, two things we are in need of today. He was a creative man that partook on a life-altering venture with Martin Luther King, Jr. During a time of evident segregation, he revealed himself without shame and remained good-natured, genuine, and high-spirited. That is absolutely beautiful to me and speaks volumes about his nature. I’ve always been told I have an old soul, so I guess my knowledge of him honors that. Sadly, but not regrettably, I have great appreciation for a generation I will never know. From the music and literature…right down to the people.