Throughout history, famous writers have come in all shapes, ages, and mental statuses. Many writers wait their entire lifetimes to have work published; some never live long enough to see their hard work pay off. For the 18 year old, Delali Norvor, being published-not once, but twice -has been added to her impressive (and hopefully continuing) resume. Her two novels, The National Eyes of an Urban Pariah and Baptized in GXLD are gaining attention for their societal significance. I had the opportunity to interview this talented, modest, young woman. Enjoy!
What or who inspired you to begin writing?
“I wasn’t really inspired to begin writing; I knew I was skilled in writing and it was a gift but I never embraced it until one of my teachers in 11th grade pushed me to use it by signing me up for a writing contest, which I won second place. So, if it wasn’t for my 11th grade teacher, I would have never embraced my gift or be inspired to write.”
Can you give brief summary of your books, The National Eyes of an Urban Pariah and Baptized in GXLD?
“Sure! The National Eyes of an Urban Pariah is about a girl, under the alias “Urban Pariah,” witnessing the national current events of today in the American Backyard. “Baptized in GXLD” is about a nameless teenager who is the son of a preacher dad and a first lady mom. He goes through a phase where he finds out that Christians are not perfect and we are natural born sinners.”
So, what exactly is an unpatriotic patriot?
“An unpatriotic patriot is a citizen that acknowledges his/her nationality but they are not proud of their country or nationality.”
I read on your Tumblr that you do not consider yourself a “writer,” why is that?
“Yeah, I don’t consider myself a writer because I still haven’t embraced the fact that I’m a writer. There are days where I simply forget that I’m a published author and it is funny. I never intended to be one, you know. After I won second place, I was in the process of applying to colleges and I knew I needed to spice up my college resume so I just decided to contact a publisher and before you knew it, I got a publishing deal and became a published author. I just thought adding the title of “published author” will look impressive on my resume, you know. Being a writer wasn’t really a dream or an ambition I had.”
Your work is so powerful, with so much feeling and energy behind every word- is there a message you’re trying to get across to the world?
“Thank you! I appreciate it. Yes, there is a message behind every story I tell and I think it is the message of reality and by reality, I mean I try to tell stories that the world is witnessing and what I see with my eyes. I try to use my words to provoke a discussion in the minds of the public in ways that are social, political, religious, intellectual, and current.”
Do you have any favorite poets or writers?
“Yes, I do! I love John Grisham. I think he is the godfather of legal thrillers. When I was in elementary school, all I wanted to be was a lawyer and he made a lawyer’s life sound so intriguing and astonishing. Maybe I will go to law school, who knows? (chuckles) I also love Langston Hughes; his literary work is timeless and I believe it will last for existing eternity, passing from generation to generation.”
When did you realize that you had tremendous talent that should be published?
“After I won second place at a writing contest my 11th grade teacher signed me up for; the response I got was amazing and unbelievable. I couldn’t believe my work could cause such a warm response from peers and critics. They all said they were moved by my stories and I had the ability to tell a story that is almost inventive and new so they all urged me to submit my work to publishers and that is when I realized my work was publishing material.”
Writing is a complicated and beautiful process, whether you consider yourself a writer or not-what’s your preferred writing environment?
“I’m actually a vampire at night! I love a dark environment at night where the temperature is cool and it’s just me, my laptop, and my music. I think I get more creative at night then day because the day is always distracting while the night is serene, cool, and just dark. I view darkness as my canvas where my mind can pick up the pen and write stories in the air.”
What are your thoughts on social media?
“I’m just 18 so of course, I LOVE social media. It enables me to creatively connect more visually than just literally. By literally, I mean emails and that is considerably boring. By visually, I mean Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram, it gives us an outlet to be connected creatively with the likes of memes and gifs. It’s just a more exciting world in our “tech-y” planet.”
Have any more books or other works planned for the future yet?
“Yes! I’m excited to announce that “Baptized in GXLD” is in the works to become a short film; I have been working with a film production company based in the UK called Black Labs Studios on this project and I couldn’t be more excited to see a literary work of mine turn into a motion picture especially so soon.
I’m also excited to announce that my third book is coming out in May or sooner and it’s called “Mother Nature, My Kinship, and the Dolphins.” It’s about a girl who is growing up and figuring out who she is as the physical world has already labeled her as a “weird creature.” She embarks on a journey of self discovery and I think it’s my most emotional work I have ever done. It’s also my last poetry book as I retire from the genre of poetry.
I’m delighted to announce that my first novel will debut this year and it’s called “The Nostalgic Nostalgia of Natalia.” It’s about a girl named Natalia who ends up in a coma after being hit in a texting and driving accident; throughout the novel, she is narrating her sadistic but interesting life she has lived since birth. What makes it intriguing is that I have woven the social problems we have in America today into her own personal problems she is facing and I think that is the element that makes her relatable to every being of the human race one way or another.”