Without further due, let's get to it!
Q. Firstly, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview! Could you introduce yourself to our reader?
A. My name is Vontae Jones, I’m fifteen years old and I’m from Detroit, Michigan, and simply put, I’m the type of person that will always try to travel a different route compared to everybody else. I’m very creative, and that creativity is one of my most valued traits, because it took me awhile to actually realize that I had such a free spirit inside of me. When I was around ten years old, I started to see a different side of myself, the side that was funny, and the side that could come up with these wild adventures and stories that I would portray through the comic strips that I made by hand. It was this realization that lead me to becoming an author. I knew taking such a route wouldn’t be easy or even fun when the time came to put my nose to the grind, but I’m always up for a challenge, and I’m always up for a chance to show everybody what I can come up with, to try to bring joy to their life with a story, and I’m always up for a chance to leave behind something that people for generations to come, can enjoy just as much as those who came before. Simply put, this is who I am. The dreamer, the fighter, the creative soul, and the person who will never stop going forward.
A. Vigilant is the story of Kyle Barkner, his two siblings Danny and Cidny, and three others as they are left as the lone survivors of a deadly plane crash. It follows their struggles as they soon realize that they are lost, disconnected from the world, and left seeing death as one of the only conclusion to an already unfortunate situation. they still continue forward, but only to find out that with each step they take, their environments become more unforgiving, the tensions between them are becoming more volatile, and their hope is fading away into a void in which it can never escape. Vigilant is the story of people choosing to fight onward, even when everything is pointing to one final outcome.
Q. Your story sound really cool! Where did you get the idea/inspiration? Any person or event in particular?
A. I really can’t remember how I got the original idea for Vigilant, but the story does draw from actual events from my life. One of these events are quite personal, and sad to say the least, but I do represent it metaphorically through the interactions between Kyle and Jessica. Other than that I didn’t model anything else after actual events from my life; I mean, if I was one of the sole survivors of a plane crash you would have definitely heard about it in the news.
Q. Self publishing... Why did you chose it and how did you do it? Did you do everything yourself? If you could start over again, what would you do differently?
A. I took the self-publishing route because when I was doing my research for what publishing routes to take, self-publishing was the easiest and didn’t contain that much of a penalty if the book just completely flopped. I didn’t do any of this alone, I received a large amount of input and advice from a fellow eBook author, Derien Stephens. Without his help and without the help of my family I wouldn’t be participating in this interview right now. If I could start over, I don’t think I would change anything. I did have some struggles with this entire process don’t get me wrong, but I think it all happened for a reason, and I’m still waiting to see the full outcome of the choices I made.
Q. What were your intentions going into this? Why did you want to write your story?
A. I started writing because I knew that I had the capacity to do so, and I didn’t want to waste such a talent; I started writing because I love telling stories and expressing my ideas in a different way, even if it’s taboo to some of the people around me, and I started writing because I wanted to leave something behind for others to remember me by. I wanted to start building a legacy for myself and it started with this, doing something that I love. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to convey a message with my literature, I want to show people that anything is possible and that no matter what, to always go down your own path knowing that you did it from your own free will, and not from the dictations of others around you. I’m 6’5’’, and all my life I’ve been pressured to play basketball just because I was tall, and playing basketball 24/7 isn’t my passion. So when I inevitably refused to join whatever team was being shoehorned at me, I received flak, I received even more pressure to pursue something that I knew I would hate, and I was looked upon as an embarrassment, a ‘waste of height’ from the eyes of others, but I never gave in, I never let myself fall victim to the obscurity that I would be taking on if I fell in line with everybody else who so happened to be dealt a similar hand as mine. That’s why I wrote Vigilant, to show people that you can chose your own path, and that you are not set to the lifestyle that others think would fit best. I want to show people that the only way to truly live is to do what you love, and to be proud of doing it.
Q. As a teen writer, do you have any tips or advice for fellow young writer?
A. As to other young writers, I would have to say that being an author is no cake walk. You have to be dedicated, you have to have a passion for what you’re doing, the type of passion that never goes under, because things will be difficult, and you have to have the mental and physical strength to push through and show the world what you can really do. So in other words, keep moving forward; the light may be dim where you stand now, but it always gets brighter the longer you tread forward.
Q. What are your plans for the future?
A. In the future I plan to release a few more books if possible. Although dealing with school and trying to write multiple novels a at the same time isn’t going to be easy, I have a few more stories to tell, and as long as I can create them I will write them. I also plan to become a cardiothoracic surgeon after I get out of college and what not. Yeah I know, author to surgeon that sounds like a big leap, but I set my mind to doing these things, and I don’t feel like letting myself down anytime soon.
Q. Those are great plan! But coming back to the present, can you tell us where we can buy your book?
A. Currently Vigilant can only be purchased through Amazon.com as an eBook, but I will be expanding on these purchasing options in the very near future.
I'm planning on taking a look at Vigilant soon and I hope you are too because I think we're in for a great surprise!