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Rising Stars: Meet Hybrie Jenae

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hybrie Jenae.

Hi Hybrie, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
My story begins with dreams and nightmares. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I would read all summer and daydream about the stories I wanted to share with the world someday.

I remember waking up from bad dreams and spending hours writing until I was able to go to bed. Journaling, writing poetry and short stories were my remedies. When I became an adult, my need to understand anxiety and other mental health disorders, lead me to pursue a career as a mental health provider.

But my own personal healing wasn’t far behind. I learned through my studies how effective expressive healing is and made a personal commitment to keep writing to cope with life’s challenges.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I can’t say that my work has been easy. It’s easy for me to write, but knowing which art to share with others and which to reserve for personal processing has been a challenge. I am a firm believer that while artists have the right to express themselves, I also believe that we have a social responsibility to consider the possibility of causing harm if we aren’t careful.

When I published my first book, “The Life & Times of an HBCU Drama Queen,” it was apparent that the book was lighthearted in tone despite having some serious subject matters. I have since switched genres in my writing. My upcoming project, “Celestial Nightmares: Urban Legend,” is speculative fiction. I’m writing stories that have elements of horror, suspense, folklore, etc.

I’m learning to find a balance between wanting to tell stories that are dark without negatively impacting my readers. It is particularly difficult to write BIPOC characters in a way that is honest, but not triggering.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
As a writer, I primarily write short stories. I am self-published, which gives me the freedom I need to take my time and create the stories I want to share.

It is important to me to write about Black women, our experiences, our perceptions, and how we are perceived by others. I believe what sets my work apart from others is the emphasis I put on character development. I think my years as a helping professional have informed my ability to make imperfect people relatable, if not, likable.

Also, I’ve hosted events on various social issues mentioned in my books, speaking engagements, and forums. I’m either known as the writer who is also a therapist or the therapist that writes. I’m proud of either.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
This is such a great question. I would love to see my work on a big or small screen. Some of my favorite movies were inspired by short stories.

So, if my work inspires anyone to expand on the worlds created, then that would be amazing. In the meantime, I am happy with continuing to write.

The act of creating brings me joy and sharing it makes me feel connected to others. If everything’s the same five years from now, then things would still be going well.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
With Hart Photography and Jonathan Soren Davidson

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