This month’s Author Dream Series post is by the incredibly talented writer and performer, Jovelyn Richards. Jovelyn was generous enough to have me on her radio show in February, which you can read more about and listen to the archives here.
My name is Jovelyn Diane Richards born and grew up in the mid-west. I became a storyteller years before I began writing. I was struck by the vivid images of the people around me and would mentally and emotionally record their stories and sometimes adding my own spin to what I heard. The family, friends and strangers in my life were living their internal world out-loud in living color. Their life stories were unfolding day and night and at times pre-occupying my dreams. I found their living stories intriguing, concerning, mysterious, and honest. I comprehended at a young age the stark contrast their lives held compared to stories on the television and school books
I was especially fascinated that their conversations crossed boundaries breaking myths and inciting emotional riots. I shared my version of people I witnessed late at night to my siblings as we drifted off to sleep. This became my first introduction to storytelling to what would later become part of my life work.
I began writing as teenager taking the traditional route of writing what I thought was poetry but really in all respect to poets it was not poetry but a way for me to keep pushing my creativity forward.
In my adult life after raising my children I went back to my original foundation and began telling stories on stage within the genres of: improvisational narrative, stand-up comedy and solo performance.
I did not have specific dreams for my storytelling/writing, I had dreams of experiencing my life and the lives of my characters with the least amount of reservations and boundaries imposed upon us in our “normal” lives.
I had a beautiful time exploring my dream of experiencing my life without boundaries when I wrote my first fictional novel Tulips for Evening. Tulips for Evening was published in October 2016 a post- Civil War examination of the first decades of southerners; black, white, and native. The novel wrote itself as a love story coupled with a community struggling to define freedom. I followed the characters journey and fell in love.
One of my unexpected journeys is working as a radio journalist where I get the chance to discuss topics in the humanities with hundreds of artist all over the world. At times the interviews I get a chance to get to know the artist and experience their “inside voice” the voice that goes into the process. At the very core of my work on the stages, in print, radio or in my lover’s arms is my search for emotional intimacy lived out loud.
The biggest challenge as a performance artist and writer is recognizing when I am cheating the story because I have let the physical life of reality conversation seep into the inner world.
At the very beginning of my writing I mentioned that I grew up in the mid-west and want to end by saying; I am being raised by my characters both emotionally and spiritually.
About the Author
Jovelyn D. Richards is a writer, radio host, film director and solo performance artist. Ms. Richards is best known for her international solo performances in what she refers to as: Nappy Headed Love Stories: Black Love & Intimacy. Jovelyn has launched the first radio program focusing on global consciousness raising for women and girls called: The Space Between Us. Which airs every 3rd Monday 1:00PM (PST) Pacifica Radio 94.1 FM on KPFA Radio.