5 Burning Questions with Faye McCray

Faye McCray was one of our featured writers for our April 14th reading which has been postponed, but we wanted to introduce you to Faye anyway. Check out our interview with her below.

What is your first memory of writing for fun?

Gosh. I had to be about six or seven. I wrote a story in a birthday card to my big brother. It was horror and completely inappropriate but it made him laugh. I really loved seeing him react.

How many drafts = done?

I would say four – though it depends on the project. The first draft is always dream-like for me. I give it some room to breathe and revisit it. Then I hand it off to readers I trust. I’ll usually only go back one or two times after that unless something really isn’t working.

What is your favorite book or favorite book-of-the-moment?

I really enjoyed the rhythm and mood of Bluets by Maggie Nelson. I read it for the first time a few years ago and I am re-reading it now. All time – I never get tired of reading Sula by Toni Morrison or The Color Purple by Alice Walker. I’ve lost count of how many times I read those books.

What is it about your discipline that gets you the most excited?

I’ve considered myself a novelist for the longest time but about a year and a half ago, I wrote my first play and fell in love. I’ve been writing them ever since. Last August, I had the pleasure of working with actors to put on a staged reading of one of my ten minute plays. Everything about the process was thrilling. I loved the creative collaboration between the actors, the directors and all the other creatives involved. They took words I wrote and breathed life into them in a way I could have never done on a page. I remember sitting off the side of the stage watching them perform with my arms covered in goosebumps and a huge smile on my face thinking, “This is it. This is exactly where I want to be.”

What’s your favorite word or words? What about it/them appeals to you?

I really, really love the ‘F’ word. I know that is probably the least literary (or mama – hey, kids) thing to say but I love writing it. I love saying it though because I’m a mama, I don’t say it nearly as much as I did in my twenties. It represents the absolute rawest, most uncouth and id-driven representation of human emotion. It can be ice cold, it can be sexy, it can be funny. It is a great fucking word.

Bonus question: if you could go on a virtual date (romantic or not) with anyone in the world right now in this time of social distancing, who would you connect with?  

I’m married so totally unromantic but Lena Waithe. Queen & Slim moved me in a such a deep way. The story, the telling of it, the subtext. I just want to learn more about her process and what other stories she wants to tell. She also seems like a foodie so we’d probably go somewhere dope and make the best choices on the menu.


Faye McCray is an author and essayist whose poetry and essays have been featured in the HuffPost, Little Patuxent Review, AARP Magazine, Madame Noire, Black Girl Nerds, and other popular publications. She is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Weemagine, a website devoted to celebrating and inspiring all children and the people who love them. Faye is also the author of White Belt, a collection of horror short stories; Boyfriend, a novel about a troubled college student struggling with love and fidelity; and I am Loved, a collection of positive affirmations for children.  By day, Faye is an attorney and married mother of three boys, and a Master’s in Writing candidate at Johns Hopkins University.

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