Kay Synclaire with her new book, “House of Frank” in Umoja House. (GIH | Rasheed Ajamu)

Following the tragic loss of her mother in 2020, Kay Synclaire moved to Germantown. In this new chapter of her life, she found solace in her two older sisters, with whom she now resides. “It’s like a Full House situation,” she chuckled.

Synclaire and her sister Dominique White’s deep appreciation for Germantown’s walkability and rich history inspired them to write “The Strange Accounts of Germantown and Other Peculiar Phenomena.” The book is a short story collection that encapsulates fictitious abnormal experiences around the neighborhood.

Two years later, Synclaire will release her newest book, “House of Frank,” on October 15 this year. This new text will center around a fictional place, Ash Gardens. Synclaire elaborates on the setting: “People bring the ashes of their dead loved ones to plant a tree, and it becomes a garden. It’s like a whole ceremony.”

This new book was also a way for Synclaire to cope and grieve the loss of her mother, saying there were a lot of tears and that “[the content] came out very easy because it’s just how I felt.”

Unlike “Strange Accounts,” this book will be a full story and isn’t necessarily centered in Germantown. She wrote the previous book in two months and Synclaire challenged herself to complete this new creation in just 30 days. Her TikTok account documented this journey, where she has developed a community of over 7,500 followers.

On her account, you’ll find her progress toward completing her 65,000-word draft of “House of Frank,” memes and funny content about indie writing, her love for literature, and other thought processes that may even include a dance or two. 

Through social media, Synclaire has cultivated fellowship with writers and readers of all kinds, finding stimulation, inspiration, and even companionship. For Social Media Day, the Germantown Info Hub spoke with Synclaire about this community, her writing process, and more.

What inspired you to start what would become your social media community?

I think the big push was to have a community. I don’t know if I talked about this before, but I used to be Christian. Like, when I was 16, I was Pentecostal. I was heavily in church. But since leaving that, I kind of lost that sense of community. So especially, like, with the pandemic and everything like that, I kind of turned to TikTok and Instagram and making content to kind of form a platform. I mean, I wasn’t trying to get followers or anything like that. I was just seeking friendship and, like, just community and people who also like to read stories and write stories. So, it just kind of grew to where it is today, where, like, I’ve met some really great people online, one of which she’s my writing partner, Ruby Young.

What are some tips and tricks you practice to align yourself?

One thing I keep in mind is that things aren’t perfect. So, my first draft of House of Frank was garbage. Like, oh my God, it was so bad. I switched tense so many times. It was a mess. So, the first thing you write might not be perfect. But you just have to keep going. Editing exists for a reason. 

And then you’ll have your team, and you’ll have people who will help you and, you know, read over yourself and say, like, you know, maybe we should work on x, y, and z. And I’ve had that, too. Like, how do you feel about this? And [I’ll get] pointers. Sometimes, I miss the mark completely. And [then I’m] like, you know what? Let me go back to the drawing board. Let me sketch this out real quick. So, I think the biggest tip is to basically just start. Just start, and then everything will fall into place. 

What tools and apps help you organize your thoughts and processes?

I use Google Docs and then my notes app. In my notes app, I have written down the first sentences for books that I think of.  Like ooo, it would be cool to start a book off with this sentence. Or, like, just other ideas.

What content do you find to be most resonant with the community you’ve cultivated?

Doing my writing vlogs. So, like, I do like a day where I’m choosing to write, and I’ll just do a vlog. I’m not really speaking. It’s just like music and just showing what my writing process is. I feel like a lot of people enjoy those. 

But personally, for me, it’s fun making, like, you know, funny content and stuff like that. But for the most part, I think, like, whenever I talk about writing or, like, getting tips and stuff like that, more people seem to be engaged with that kind of content. 

Was growing your audience something done intentionally, or did it come organically?

It was organic. Another thing I think is kind of popular on my page is, like, my dancing videos when I’m kind of doing “You Got Served,”  and stuff like that because I’m a mess! The first time I made a dancing video, and I was thanking people, and I had 800 followers. And from there, I felt like I started to gain more of a community of people who are, like, who are also silly, who also love books and to write and stuff like that. But, yeah, it happened more organically. 

What’s been the most rewarding part of sharing your journey and creating this community?

It’s finding that community. Like I said, after leaving my faith, there was [this] kind of this absence of not having someone there in your corner and just kind of doing life together, you know? So, meeting other writer friends and other people who love to read, I really cherish the friendships and the people I’ve grown really close to. I feel like [community] is the essence of humanity. We need community. 

What advice would you give yourself, the young girl who always knew she would be a writer?

I would tell her to trust the process and to just keep doing what you’re doing and keep being true to yourself because I feel like as long as you are true to yourself, you can’t stray away from your path.