Interview with Josiah Jay Starr, Author of War of The Heart

16 Mar 2021

What can you tell us about your new release, War of The Heart?

“War of the Heart: An Achim Jeffers Novel” is a romance suspense thriller set in the historic city of New Orleans, Louisiana. The novel is filled with plot twists, moral dilemmas and a fascinating love story. I wrote this novel as a sort of love letter to black women. Not to knock any other genres or authors, but I noticed a lot of BWWM novels out on the market. I wanted to create something different and more empowering for black people to consume. Black love has always been important to Black people and I wrote “War Of The Heart” to honor that tradition.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I didn’t see enough voices that spoke to the truth of Black Americans in an unapologetic and uncompromising way. I personally wanted to deliver black narratives from a different standpoint. In that aim, I have started my own company, Spirit of 1811 Publishing, to give a black voice to empowering issues within the black community.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Without a doubt, the best book I have ever read has to be the Bible. After the Bible, any book written by Neely Fuller Jr., Dr. Claud Anderson and Frances Cress Welsing round out my personal favorites.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

I would have two guests. My first guest would be the Rapper Nas. I would ask him what inspired him to write the song “It Ain’t Hard To Tell.” The second guest would be the singer Sade. I would ask her who hurt her so immensely, that you can literally feel her pain in her lyrics.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I like writing about the personal relationships between two different characters. In any personal exchange, there is always some form of give and take. I find it interesting to develop the nonverbal give and take scenarios between the characters in my novels.

What is a typical day like for you?

Most of my day is spent doing daddy day care duties at home. I have a one-year-old, so I’m at home a lot caring for my son. I write and handle company business in between his naps and play sessions.

What scene from War of The Heart was your favorite to write?

My favorite scene in the novel, by far, was Chapter Three. In that chapter, I get to be a little dark and ruthless with my writing. Lots of readers contacted me via social media, to personally tell me how shocking Chapter Three was for them to read. I loved getting their feedback and it confirmed my own thoughts regarding that scene. I was excited about writing it and the reading public was impressed with the results. That’s a big win in my book.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Yes. My motto is you miss every shot you don’t take. Never let fear of failure scare you into missing your opportunity. God does not bless a coward. We must exercise our faith.    


Josiah Jay Starr is the author of the new book War of The Heart

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