HER: An Interview With Malachi Bailey

malb2.jpgI first met Malachi Bailey nearly sixteen years ago through the magic of the internet, and he quickly became one of my closest friends; we’d sit up through the night talking about comics, life, the mysteries of the universe and, more often than not, writing fan fiction together. Although we did lose touch for almost a decade, through the magic of the internet our paths crossed again. I tell you this in the interest of full disclosure because Malachi Bailey has a way with words that will leave your jaw firmly on the floor. I’m not saying this because he’s an old friend, but because he’s a fantastic writer who has just published his debut novel Her.

And it’s good.

Graphic Policy: First things first, tell us a little about yourself?

Malachi Bailey: Hello, I’ve always had a passion for reading and writing. I was that kid reading novels and comics up in trees. I loved reading about science fiction and fantasy, but it was the X-Men cartoon and comic book that would set me on the course. Their action-packed stories made me want to write. My siblings encouraged. So I’ve been writing since I was 9. I haven’t stopped and don’t plan to!

GP: I hope you don’t! What can you tell us about HER without giving too much away?

herMB: I am afraid you guys are stuck with me. But yes if you love sci-fi and fantasy, if you are into action and self-empowerment, then HER is your story! What is it about? Imagine an immortal woman with so much to learn, has reincarnated for a millennia. A new face, new skillset, and sometimes a special power. But when she Awakens in her new life, her memory is scrambled. The thing is her memory holds incredible power. She must remember who she is because there is an ancient evil that is tracking her through time…

GP: Where did the inspiration for the book come from?

MB: My siblings and I have always had the most fertile imagination growing up. We’d weave these engaging, dramatic stories involving our toys.  Then we fell in love with the X-Men from Marvel Comics. I became utterly obsessed with Storm. Strong. Black. In charge. A true Nubian queen.  She was the genesis for Her. I wanted a superheroine to have those qualities and attributes.

GP: How long had you been thinking of HER before you put pen to paper?

MB: Would you believe my mentor put the idea in my head?  I was her editorial assistant intern and she told me that I would be published so think of a book idea by the next time we had a meeting. The next time, I gave her rough breakdown of the HER novel. Hr face lit up. She was beyond excited.  She told me to have it finished by October 31st 2015. Um, I was given the assignment in May! But I did it. I put pen to paper on Memorial Day and finished the manuscript two months ahead of schedule!

motherone.jpgGP: That’s awesome. You self-published the novel initially; what made you decide to take that path?

MB: Originally I was going to publish through Brown Girls Books. I’d been interning with them at the time. But after much thought and soul-searching, I felt it was beneficial for me to self-publish my first novel. So I did.  Also, I created my own publishing house, Mother One Publications.

GP: Well you certainly jumped in at the deep end, eh?

MB: You could say that. It’s all or nothing. And HER deserves everything I’ve got!

GP: Which brings me to me to the Indiegogo campaign. You’re relaunching the book? 

MB: Yup! I am re-releasing HER through a crowdfunding website called Indiegogo. Frankly, I wasn’t thrilled with the typos I found in the book and, well, also I’ve been itching to showcase a new cover. Doing all this isn’t cheap.  So a month into it, I’ve been blessed to have donations after the campaign launch.

GP: After the relaunch, what’s next for Mal Bailey and Mother One?

MB: I’m just getting started! HER is only the beginning of a series I’m working on. I’m thinking right now there will about 5 books.  I’m also publishing other books through Mother One Publications. I have two different novel ideas floating around in my head that NEED to come out!

GP: Anything else you want to add before I let you go?

MB: I just want to thank you for taking the time to interview me. It truly means a lot. Also, I am very glad the campaign has been going well and I cannot wait until HER is back on the shelves. Still touched by the overwhelming wave of support.  This is only the beginning and I don’t intend to stop writing!

GP: Any time!

You can find Malachi on Facebook @MalachiTheWriter.