Meet Eternity Philops

Intimate Conversation with Author Eternity Philops

Eternity Philops is a born-and-bred native of North Carolina. Birthed in Winston-Salem in 1983, she was raised in the capital city of Raleigh and earned her B.A. Degree in the dual fields of psychology and sociology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has also completed graduate work in the area of conflict resolution.

In addition to becoming an accomplished author, Philops’ ultimate professional goal is to become a counselor, aiding individuals in the understanding of balance between sexuality and spirituality. Since 2004 she has been a contributing writer to SABLE Magazine, an online periodical focused on matters concerning lesbians of color.

In 2006 Philops joined the staff of The NUBIANO Project, an online news source catering to the Black community. But opinion pieces are not Philops’ only forte. Under the former pen name of maLana t., she has had her poetry and short stories featured in a number of publications. Her signature poem, “Attraction”, was featured on the lesbian erotica site, Kuma, in 2006.

In the December 2005 print issue of Gay Black Female Magazine, readers were treated to “Other Side of the Moon”, a short story exploring the road not traveled between two lifelong friends. Always seeking to share her lyrical creations, Philops’ goal as a writer is to add her perspective to the growing genre of Black lesbian fiction. A fresh and unique voice, Philops hopes to one day establish her original writing style into her own well-known oeuvre.

About the Book

is Eternity Philops' first accomplished collection. A debut of her unique writing style and talent, VISIONS showcases a diverse compendium of poetry and short stories born to Philops' over an extensive period of time.

“Divided into concentrated segments, Philops' literary assemblage encompasses works expressing love, life, and loss. Each piece is a real world reflection of the Black lesbian experience: feel the intense sensations of a woman's dual physical attraction; look on as two lifelong friends reflect on the path not taken. Submerge yourself in the poetic prose of unconditional love, unfortunate loss, and all that's inbetween.

VISIONS VOL. ONE will take readers on a journey that delves into their own emotions and passions. From the sexual to the spiritual, Philops' creative imagery and metaphoric verse brings to life one's own imaginative and emotional senses.”

Conversation with author Eternity Philops and Ella Curry of EDC Creations

Ella: Finish this sentence-- I am Powerful because...
I am Powerful because…I am aware of who I am and what my purpose is in this life…because I have learned that I am a constantly evolving being whose limits are only those I myself have set. But most importantly, I am powerful simply because The Eternal created me to be so.

Ella: Albert Einstein states, "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts."- Was there ever a point in your career, when your life didn't match the theory? And how did you change the facts?
This didn't happen so much in my writing journey as it did in my spiritual one. Growing up in a mostly conservative Christian community, we were taught of the “sin” of homosexuality. So imagine the angst I experienced when I learned I was attracted to women instead of men. During this time, the “fact” was that I was hated by God because of my sexuality. As I grew deeper in the Eternal, the “fact” changed, and I learned that I was accepted by God as I am, even if not by people.

Ella: How did you start your writing journey?
Like many writers, I've been writing since I was a young child; that’s when I learned I had a natural talent for writing. Over the years I used it to express myself in whatever I was going through, especially when I dealing with my blossoming sexuality. My first semi-professional experience came during my undergraduate years as a film reviewer for my college newspaper. During that time I later became known for my op-Ed pieces, the most memorable and significant one being my personal and very public coming out as a gay Christian, an article rebutting several attacks on the local gay organization. I think this truly marked the beginning of my journey into getting published.

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
My book is a compilation of poetry and short stories, and thus doesn’t have just two main characters. Even still, I’m not sure I could choose if I wanted to. All of my characters encompass strong and unique personalities. In the story “Bait & Switch”, Ny’Kah is a woman confident and self-assured almost to the point of being conceited, while Lena in “An Affirmative Action”, also confident and self-assured, is less of a shark and has a more sincere heart. Overall, their variety and strength of character is what I like most about my created personalities.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
In terms of the physical, my book has a unique appearance in that it has an attractive color and pattern. Designed by my own hands, I sought to create a cover that would reflect the tone of the title and make a reader explore it out of sheer curiosity; I wanted a cover that created a desire to know what this little volume holds within its covers. What is most eye-catching is the ankh centered in the middle of the cover, its brightly colored gold a stark contrast to the deep and vibrant purples throughout. The ankh is my adopted spiritual symbol, and a meaningful icon to many. That feature alone would very well entice a reader to seek what's inside.

Once in hand, what sets my book apart is that it combines poetry and fiction, two literary worlds in one nice little package. From there, what attracts readers is the uniqueness of my writing and the exceptional quality of it; I’ve done my best to reflect in my creations a sense of literary refinement. But perhaps what makes VISIONS VOL. ONE most attractive is that my works mirror the human experience, and thus has a universal quality; while it’s based on and geared toward Black lesbians, most anyone can relate to the messages expressed.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
My goal for readers is twofold. First is for my Black lesbian audience, to whom the book is dedicated. My aim here is to reach out to others like myself, Black lesbians who have felt alone and separated due to a natural and unchosen predilection towards women. I state in my dedication, "Know that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel". These words were not chosen lightly, for often gays, especially those within the Black community, feel that there is no end to their social and emotional suffering. I want those readers to come away from my book feeling that they are just as human as anyone else, that what they've felt in life and in love is not as foreign as others would have them to believe. I want them to know that they are not alone in their experiences, now or ever.

The second half of my goal is focused toward heterosexual readers. Gays are mostly classified as an "other", as some type of fluke within the species; we are often considered to be "less than" our straight counterparts. My hope is that straight readers of my book who happen upon it come away with a greater understanding that gays are just as human as anyone else. We suffer heart break, heart ache, great love, and great loss. Being gay only makes us different when others are determined to classify us as different. In reality, we feel no less than anyone else, and what we feel is no less common than what any straight person feels.

Ella: What is the one most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
The most surprising thing I’ve learned is how fun and challenging this process can be, not just in the writing of books but in getting your name out there and your talent noticed. It’s been hard, of course, and I still have quite a long way to go, but the progress has been eye-opening and, dare I say, educational.

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
Honestly, my biggest achievement is actually getting my work published. No, not just getting it published but publishing it myself. I'm a real hands-on type of person, and I like a challenge, so self-publishing had always been the only avenue I seriously considered. I've enjoyed the work and research, designing my book, getting my block of ISBNs and starting my publishing company, Black Tygre Publications. So many writers never achieve their goal of actually publishing their work, which is why that single success means more than any further success to come.

How did I do it? Research, research, and more research; the Internet can be your best friend! I have learned so much in this process, and still I know I have more knowledge to gain. You have to get yourself ready for a journey, not just a task, and for me that's the most exciting and compelling aspect.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
The best and most common advice for writers is to write. That may sound like a "duh!" statement, but in our hurried society sometimes it's hard to find the time to just sit down and let words flow. Or, if you're a bit lazy like me, you might put off writing for an unspecified time. DON'T! When the words and ideas hit you, get them down. Then be sure to go back and develop both idea and structure fully and correctly. One doesn't need a degree in English, but basic command of grammar and spelling is a must. Also, try your hand at different types of writings. Expand your threshold and see how talented you REALLY are!

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
Simply, more creativity and vivid story-telling. My imagination is lively and full, which will make for more and progressively better stories and poetry. The more I live, the more there is to learn and tell. More specifically, I will complete the Visions of a Cryptic Mystery series, which will consist of three volumes. After those, or perhaps inbetween, I will pump out a novel or two; I’ve got a number of concepts I am working on. Basically, I plan to write until I just can't anymore or until I run out of ideas, whichever comes first!

Eternity Philops Websites

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