Unbeweavable: An Interview With Katrina Spencer

August 10, 2010

UnbeweaveableHairMilk.com had the chance to interview Katrina Spencer, former hairstylist turned author, about her latest book Unbeweaveable. Check it out below!

You use the word, Weavy Wonder, a lot on your blog. Explain the definition of the word.
Weavy Wonder is a woman who wears a weave regularly. I added the ‘Wonder’ because her weave is so flawless it keeps people guessing, is it or isn’t it? Only her stylist knows for sure!

How did you come up with the title, Unbeweaveable?
It started with my character Mariah. She wears a weave, of course, but she stumbles upon an unbelievable family secret that’s haunted her all her life. It was pretty easy to put the words together. Now you see the phrase everywhere!

Your books touch on hair a lot, but hit deep subjects as well. What message do you want to get across when you write?
First off, I want to entertain. If you can’t entertain and capture your reader then they’ll close your book—which is a writer’s worst fear. So if I’m not entertaining you, then I’m not doing my job. In Six O’clock I touched on the subject of body image, and in Unbeweaveable I delve into what really makes a woman beautiful. Mariah is a woman who has been told all her life that she is ugly, and when she gets her weave she feels beautiful and important. She gains confidence and slowly that confidence turns to arrogance and pride. Basically her weave turns into a crutch. So I wanted to get across to women that yes, its fine to rock a weave, but something artificial should never boost your confidence—only you can do that through your authentic self.

Katrina SpencerSo your books are much more than hair.
They are! I love the title Unbeweaveable but at the same time I think it makes some people feel uneasy—they readily assume it’s a silly book about a woman who loves her weave as much as her shoes. But when they listen to me describe it, I see their face change and their interest picks up.

What struggles have you faced as a writer?
I love to write funny books. I used to feel bad about that—I felt that no one would take me seriously. So I set out to write a serious book and guess what—it didn’t sell. I was trying too hard to be someone else. It’s great to read someone else’s work and feel inspired, but you always have to be true to yourself. I did a disservice by trying to be something I’m not and I learned that if I’m going to continue to write then I’m going to do it in my style and voice. It took me awhile to learn it, but now I’ve got it.
Why do you write? Because I have to. I have these stories bubbling inside of me, and all I’m trying to do is listen to my characters and get their stories down on paper. I write because I love it. Creating a whole world out of nothing is a beautiful thing.

What advice would you give new writers?
To be patient. Editors and agents are busy—they don’t always respond as fast as you like, they have other authors on their plate too.

Several women get offended with women who wear weave. You see women take sides—the weave wearers and the weave nay-sayers. What’s your take on the debate?
Someone always has an opinion. A woman who wears a relaxer can be thought of as ‘acting white’ while a natural sister can be labeled as ‘afro centric’. Neither may be the case. As women, we really need to stop putting labels on other women. It’s ignorant to judge another person on something as ridiculous as the hair growing out of their scalp. I think women who are against weave probably feel insulted because a lot of women pretend that their weave is their hair. So it makes the woman who has worked hard to grow her hair out feel like it’s all for nothing when a woman walks by with hair down their back that they didn’t ‘earn’ as it were. Weave is expensive, so any woman who rocks it earned it.

What advice would you give a woman considering a weave?
Do your research. Find a stylist that specializes in weave. Weave can be expensive so make sure you can afford the upkeep. A woman rocking a $1,000 weave but can’t pay her mortgage is not cute. Make sure you’re priorities are in place. Remember, it’s just hair. It’s the stuff under your head that counts.

What’s your motto in life?
It changes, but right now my motto is, “Don’t make a problem where there is none.” Sometimes things can be going well and then we start to worry because things are going ‘too’ well. Revel in the good times, because bad times are sure to come your way. But don’t make them come your way by worrying.

How have you been wearing your hair this summer?
I’m going for a wavy bob this summer. I live in Houston so any style that gets my hair off my neck is great.

How can readers contact you?
I love to hear from my readers! They can contact me on my website katrinaspencer.com, my blog Curl Up and Write, on Twitter at @katrinasspencer and on Facebook.

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