Author Q and A: David Harris

Author David Harris wearing glasses and smiling

“Dreams can come true if you put God first, and are willing to work hard to make them so.” – David Harris

Blaque: Welcome back to another edition of author spotlight. My guest for today is author David Harris. Welcome David!

David: Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share my creations with the world.

Blaque: You are very welcome. It’s a personal treat for me to have the opportunity to speak with so many amazing authors all over the world. Let me start this interview off by asking, where are you from?

David: I am from the small town of Grifton, North Carolina.

Blaque: Wow! Another North Carolinian. I’m in the city of Greensboro.

David: It’s nice to meet another author who is also from North Carolina

Blaque: Yes, it is always exciting to meet someone else from your neck-of-the-woods. So, how many books have you published to date?

David: I have published twelve books to date.

Blaque: Impressive! Where is your favorite place to write?

David: The kitchen table is where I prefer to do most of my writing.

Blaque: Out of the books you have published, which is your favorite, and why?

David: “The Bible and Slavery” is my favorite book that I have published, because it reveals what slavery is and it’s true origin.

Blaque: What is your favorite food?

David: Tuna is my favorite food.

Blaque: What kind of child were you growing up?

David: I was a very inquisitive child growing up.

Blaque: As authors, we all want to feel like we have contributed something to the world of literature. What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as an author?

David: Completing all twelve EBooklets in a timely fashion, and receiving thanks from those who benefited from them is my greatest accomplishment as an author to date.

Blaque: What is your favorite color?

David: My favorite color is blue.

Blaque: Where do you get most of your story ideas?

David: I get most of my story ideas from the bible.

Blaque: As an author, I’m sure you are also a reader, so what is your all-time favorite book?

David: The Holy Bible is my all-time favorite book. To be more specific, (KJV 1611) is my preferred version to read.

Blaque: If you had a million dollars to donate to a worthy cause, which would it be, and why?

David: If I had $1,000,000 to donate, I would donate it to the National Jewish Hospital for Children. I’ve been a regular donor for many years, and like giving to kids.

Blaque: That would be a great cause to donate that amount of money to. I’m sure the children would greatly appreciate what those funds could do for them.

David: Yes, I’m sure of that as well.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

David: I really enjoy old southern gospel music and classical music like, Debussy, Bach, Mozart, and Dvorak.

Blaque: Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?

David: Yes, I do. Her name is Sheba from my soon to be released book, “A Song for Zipporah.”

Blaque: What show(s) did you enjoy watching as a child?

David: I had many favorite shows I enjoyed watching while I was growing up, but “Little House on the Prairie” was my favorite of them all.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

David: I’d like to tell my story, share my passion, and make a good living doing it.

Blaque: Cookies, cakes, brownies, and the list goes on. Such deliciously sweet treats. What is your favorite dessert?

David: My favorite dessert is banana pudding.

Blaque: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

David: When I’m not writing, I enjoy painting old houses, and doing minor home repairs.

Blaque: Are you a cat, or are you a dog person?

David: I prefer dogs any day over cats.

Blaque: What makes you uniquely you?

David: What makes me unique is that I have a good memory of dates, birthdays, ages, and account numbers.

Blaque: Well, it seems that we both have that unique talent. LOL.

David: Wow! Interesting.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite movie?

David: “Ben-Hur” is my all-time favorite movie.

Blaque: If your best friend could describe you in one word, what would it be?

David: If my best friend could describe me in one word, it would be daddy.

Blaque: How would you describe your personality?

David: I’m easy to get along with, but not a push over.

Blaque: What is your favorite holiday, and why?

David: Veteran’s Day is my favorite holiday. It recognizes those who served and made sacrifices for everyone.

Blaque: I can certainly understand why that would be your favorite holiday. If it wasn’t for our veterans, we wouldn’t have our freedom.

David: That is correct, so that is why they should be celebrated.

Blaque: Having short-term and long-term goals is very important. Where do you see yourself in five years?

David: In five years, I plan to retire and travel around the US.

Blaque: What are you currently working on?

David: I’m in the final stages of completing my 200 plus page historical fiction story entitled “A Song for Zipporah.” She was the Ethiopian wife of Moses. The book fictionalizes how life was for her prior to encountering him and culminates with a wonderful musical wedding.

Blaque: Finally, describe your latest book in just ten words.

David: Hmm… It is very creative, very inspiring, and mystically thought-provoking.

Blaque: What a way to sum things up! So, do you have a way for readers to check out your published books?

David: Yes, readers can check out my website here, where they will find all of my published books.

Blaque: Well, if you are looking for some interesting reading material, then check out author David Harris’s books full of knowledge, helpful scriptures, and his insightful thoughts.

David: Thanks so much for speaking with me today. I hope someone can find wisdom from my stories.

Blaque: I hope so as well. Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

If you are an indie author, and you would like an opportunity to spotlight on my blog, visit Author Spotlight, and follow the instructions to submit your interview. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Heaven or Hell? Part 1

Well, for those of you who read my short story “No More Tears”, which appeared in my short story anthology “Love, Lies, and Heartbreak volume 1”, you will recall that Regina Richards, after years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of her husband Calvin, finally took matters into her own hands. She did what she felt was best to relieve her of the pain she suffered at the hands of her husband. It was not the right way to go about it, but she did what she thought was best. Regina murdered Calvin by poisoning him to death. Well, now that Calvin is no longer terrorizing his wife, it’s time for him to answer for his actions. What will his sentence be? Heaven or hell?

Calvin Richards slowly pulled himself up to a seated position and looked around in wide-eyed wonder. Everywhere he looked, all he saw was white. He felt as if he was trapped in the clouds. He rubbed his hands over his eyes, hoping to clear his vision, but when he withdrew his hands, the same vision greeted him. His head swiveled from left to right, but all he saw was white. It wasn’t as if everything in a room was white. He wasn’t in a room. There weren’t any objects in the area at all. The whole scene was just blanketed in white. There were no corners distinguishing walls and floors. It was just a white space.

He slowly stood up to his feet, jutting out his arm to help him along his way. He cautiously slid one foot in front of the other as he crept along. His arm swayed back and forth, trying to guide his path, but the whiteness didn’t dissipate. Calvin’s brows furrowed in confusion. What was this place? Why was he here? How did he get here? What in the world was going on? The last thing he remembered was lying on the kitchen floor, pleading for his wife, Regina to help him. His last vision he could recall was her angry face staring down at him as he took his last breath.

Just then, a light of recognition shone across his face. It finally dawned on him where he was. Since he knew he had died, then that meant that he was in heaven. Regina had killed him, and he was now in heaven. Calvin’s heart began to drum in an unsteady rhythm as this conclusion settled itself in his mind. He wasn’t sure what to expect. He had never imagined dying so young, so he had no idea how heaven worked. He looked around as he continued to creep along, but it seemed as though he was alone.

If he was in heaven, shouldn’t there be people milling about? What about the innocent babies and children who died way too young? Where were they? Grandmothers, fathers, teachers, students, doctors? Where was everyone? His mother? He knew she was in heaven, so where was she? If he was in heaven, then he was sure he wouldn’t be the only one there. Calvin’s confusion continued to plague him as he crept along. The more he walked, the more everything stayed the same. The whiteness didn’t look as if it was going to end any time soon. Calvin walked and walked, swinging his hand back and forth, but nothing changed. The path before and behind him was still white. He even turned to look back where he had come from previously, and everything was just as it was before. White.

Just as he was taking another step, he froze in his tracks at the sudden sound of a loud, booming voice. He snapped his head in the direction of the voice, but he saw no one. Fear slowly began to creep down his spine as he searched in vain for the source of the voice. Who was that? Where were they? How come he couldn’t see them? Calvin had no idea what was going on and where he was, but he felt that things were not supposed to be like this. A sinking, uneasy feeling tugged at his insides. He swallowed a huge lump that had suddenly lodged itself in his throat as his eyes scanned his surroundings for the person speaking.

Calvin slid his right foot in front of his left one just a fraction before he was halted in place by the bodiless voice again.

“Stop right there. Don’t go any further.” the voice ordered.

Calvin froze where he stood. His body quaked in fear as he waited for the voice to speak again. Right before his eyes, Calvin watched in stunned horror as a small beam of golden light appeared out of nowhere. The light seemed to get brighter the larger it became. Calvin threw his hands over his face to shield his eyes from the bright light. It was extremely too bright for him to look directly into it. Just the little moment he had looked into it, he had felt his eyes beginning to burn.

“Drop your hands!” the voice demanded.

Calvin quickly dropped his hands, but he squeezed his eyes as tight as he could get them. Although his eyes were closed, he could still see the golden light streaming through his eyelids. His stomach began to do flips as he waited with baited breath to see what would happen next. He felt on the verge of hurling up his insides, but he tried with all his might to contain his stomach contents.

“Do you know why you’re here?” the voice asked in its deep baritone.

The voice echoed throughout the place. It seemed to echo on and on.

“No,” Calvin said in a small, frightened voice.

“Do you know where you are?” the voice asked.

“No,” Calvin replied.

“Well, let me inform you Calvin Emanuel Richards.”

Calvin shivered at the sound of his full name emanating from the beam of light. It sent an eerie sensation throughout his entire body. How could someone who didn’t have a physical body know his name? As soon as his mind processed that thought, he mentally smacked himself across the forehead. Of course. If he was in heaven, then God would know his name. He just never expected things to be like this in heaven. He thought all people who died would be walking around merrily as if they were still on earth. He didn’t expect things to be so quiet. Eerily quiet. If this was heaven, then it was nothing how he had imagined it to be.

Out of nowhere, a television screen slowly appeared in front of Calvin. He looked around in utter shock as the television turned on by itself. The screen was filled with white static, and the loudness of the volume made Calvin jump back in surprise.

“If you haven’t already guessed. You are in heaven. Well, not exactly. You are in the holding station. You are automatically transported here when you die to be processed. Everyone who dies comes here. I’m sure you’re wondering where all the people who have been admitted to heaven are. They are indeed in heaven where they belong. Just think of things this way. You are on an elevator. There are three floors. Currently, you are stuck on the middle floor. The next floor up is heaven, and the floor beneath you is hell.”

“Holding station?” Calvin asked confused.

“Yes,” the voice boomed. “You didn’t think that you would automatically be granted entrance into my kingdom did you?”

“Um . . . No,” Calvin muttered, looking down at his feet.

“It’s your day of judgment, and I will decide if you are worthy of entering my pearly gates, or if you are destined to spend the rest of your days roasting in the underworld. I am God, and today is the day you answer for your life choices.”

“But how come I can’t see you?” Calvin asked nervously.

“No one can see me until they have been granted access to heaven. If you are not fortunate enough to make it to my holy kingdom, then you will never know what I look like. That is only a perk that my faithful servants are granted. No one who has ever lived has ever seen my face. The only way that is possible is after death, and if you make it to my paradise.”

“Oh . . . “ said Calvin.

He nervously rubbed his hands against his pants. The entire ordeal with making him uncomfortable. A fine sheen of perspiration had begun to form on his forehead and on the top of his lip. His heart rate felt as if he was running laps around a fifty-mile track. Worry lines creased his forehead as he mentally tried to prepare himself for what was to come next. He had no idea what his fate would be. He felt that he had been a pretty decent man on earth, but what he deemed decent may not be the same way that God saw things.

While he had been among the living, Calvin didn’t consider himself a Godly man. He had stopped believing in God a long time ago. He felt that if God really existed, then he would’ve helped his mother out of the abusive relationship that she found herself in, which had eventually claimed her life. He had spent many nights as a child praying to God to help his mother leave his father, but to him, God never answered his prayers. He had hardened his heart to God, and went on with his life without ever acknowledging God’s presence again.

Now that he was faced with the presence of God, guilt slowly began to plague him. He wanted to take back the harsh words he had spewed at God in his times of anger and bitterness, but what was done was done. He never lived his life with regrets, but now that he was faced with an uncertain future, he was regretting his life’s choices. He didn’t see the error of his ways when he was doing wrong, but now he wanted to make amends with the people he hurt. God was real, and Calvin was wishing that he had never turned his back on him. The only problem was, it was too late. He wouldn’t have another opportunity to right his wrongs. Judgment day was upon him, and he had to answer for his actions.

To be continued . . .

Author Q and A: Jacqueline Goodwin

 

 

Picture of author jacqueline goodwin

 

“There is purpose in your pain.” – Jacqueline Goodwin

 

Blaque: It’s that time again. Another author spotlight. This time, I have the pleasure of speaking with author Jacqueline Goodwin, who resides in South Carolina.

 

Jacqueline: It’s such an honor to have the opportunity to speak with you Blaque Diamond.

 

Blaque: The pleasures all mine. It makes me feel like you and I share something special just because you’re from South Carolina. LOL.

 

Jacqueline: Really?

 

Blaque: Yes, I am also originally from South Carolina. Charleston, South Carolina to be exact.

 

Jacqueline: Oh, wow! That’s pretty amazing. You never know how small the world really is.

 

Blaque: Yes, I miss home, but there were better opportunities for me in North Carolina, so it is my home now.

 

Jacqueline: That is understandable.

 

Blaque: So, before we begin your interview, tell me a little about your book.

 

Jacqueline: Well, Healing in the Vessel is my story. It is a book filled with true-to-life testimonies of how God has moved in my life as a mother and a daughter. I want my book to empower readers everywhere and build up their faith in God.

 

Blaque: Nice. So, this book is full of inspiration as you tell your life’s story?

 

Jacqueline: Yes, I’m sharing my story with the world to change the life of some young person out there. If my story can touch at least one person, then I know there is purpose in my pain.

 

Blaque: Powerful. I’m sure your readers will be able to take some valuable lessons with them after reading your book.

 

Jacqueline: That is my hope and prayer.

 

Blaque: Ok, so let’s get started.

 

Jacqueline: I’m ready when you are.

 

Blaque: What inspires you to write?

 

Jacqueline: My inspiration for writing comes from the Holy Spirit.

 

Blaque: Where is your favorite place to write?

 

Jacqueline: My favorite place to write is at the park.

 

Blaque: What is your favorite holiday, and why?

 

Jacqueline: My favorite holiday is July 4th, because that is the day that God brought me into this world.

 

Blaque: Cool! You’re the second person I know that has a fourth of July birthday. That must be pretty exciting. Not only are you celebrating America’s independence, but also your born day.

 

Jacqueline: Yes, it’s pretty amazing.

 

Blaque: So, where do you see yourself in five years?

 

Jacqueline: In five years, I see myself traveling to various countries preaching and teaching God’s Word. Also, I see myself publishing more books and speaking at different conferences.

 

Blaque: What can bring tears to your eyes?

 

Jacqueline: When I see a young person give their life to Christ, it brings tears to my eyes.

 

Blaque: If you had $1,000,000 to donate to a worthy cause, which would it be, and why?

 

Jacqueline: I would donate the money to help further the research in finding a cure for HIV and AIDS because of my own personal testimony.

 

Blaque: We all need someone to keep pushing us forward, so who has been your biggest supporter in your writing career?

 

Jacqueline: My daughter Jasmine has been my biggest supporter in my writing career.

 

Blaque: What is your favorite color?

 

Jacqueline: My favorite color is pink.

 

Blaque: Pink is also my favorite color as well. Actually pink, red, and white are all my favorite colors. So tell me, where do you get most of your story ideas?

 

Jacqueline: Many of my story ideas come from my own trials and tribulations that I have endured in my life.

 

Blaque: What is your fondest childhood memory?

 

Jacqueline: My fondest childhood memory is playing in my room with my Winnie-pooh bear that my dad won from the State fair.

 

Blaque: What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as an author?

 

Jacqueline: My biggest accomplishment as an author is having my book sent overseas to be placed in a library in Kabul, Afghanistan.

 

Blaque: If your best friend could describe you in one word, what would it be?

 

Jacqueline: My best friend would describe me as humble.

 

Blaque: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

 

Jacqueline: When I am not writing, I enjoy reading my Bible, meditating, praying, and exercising.

 

Blaque: What did you want to be when you grew up? Is that the occupation you’re in now?

 

Jacqueline: I wanted to be an attorney when I grew up, but God took me in a totally different direction. I am not an attorney, but instead I am a pastor and author. These are two occupations that I never really saw myself in, but I would not change them for anything now.

 

Blaque: As authors, most of us have nine to five jobs that help to support our writing careers. Do you write full-time, or is writing like a second job?

 

Jacqueline: Writing is a second job for me, but I am praying for God to open the doors for it to become a full-time career.

 

Blaque: Are you a cat, or a dog person?

 

Jacqueline: I am a dog person.

 

Blaque: I know how it makes me feel, but how does it make you feel when a reader tells you that they enjoyed reading your book?

 

Jacqueline: When a reader tells me that they enjoyed reading my book, it makes me feel that there is purpose in my pain.

 

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

 

Jacqueline: My goal as an author is to publish my first novel, have my books in various languages, and produce my books in audio format.

 

Blaque: Producing your book(s) in audio format would be beneficial to me and other blind and visually impaired avid readers out there. Even though EBooks are accessible for the blind to read, we still enjoy listening to an actual person read a book compared to a text-to-speech software reading it. I would definitely encourage you to pursue that avenue of publishing your books.

 

Jacqueline: That is definitely on my agenda.

 

Blaque:  What has been the hardest hurdle you’ve had to jump over while embarking on your writing journey?

 

Jacqueline: The hardest hurdle I’ve had to jump over while embarking on my writing journey is finding time to write.

 

Blaque: If your parents could see you right now, would they be proud of you?

 

Jacqueline: Yes, both of my parents would be proud of me if they could see me right now.

 

Blaque: Well, we have reached the end of the interview. I hope your readers enjoyed getting a chance to know you better.

 

Jacqueline: I hope so too. It was nice talking to you.

 

Blaque: Oh, no! The pleasure was all mine. Before I let you go, leave readers with your information so that they can get a copy of your book. We want to make sure that your book gets into the right hands.

 

Jacqueline: LOL. Definitely. So, my book can be purchased from Amazon in paperback format. Readers can also purchase an autographed copy here Autographed Healing in the Vessel A Mother’s Love, A Daughter’s Journey of Faith

 

Blaque: Great! Are you active on social media?

 

Jacqueline: Yes, readers can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

Blaque: Readers, be sure to grab your copy of Ms. Jacqueline’s book. If you’re looking for a book of inspiration, you have to look no further. Thanks again for stopping by.

 

Jacqueline: No, thank you for having me.

 

Blaque: Until next time. Happy writing!

 

 

** Note ** If you are an independent author and would like to spotlight on my blog, visit Author Spotlight to view the requirements and send in your interview. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

 

 

Final Farewell

 

 

 

Picture of a soldier saluting

 

My final goodbye to you

Is breaking my heart in two

Although I’ll miss you so

In my heart I know

 

That you are flying high

To your new home in the sky

These tears of lost won’t last forever

Although we are no longer together

 

You will always be a part of me

That special part of my heart you will be

As I lay your still form to rest

The memories I have are only the best

 

Loving and wishing you could come back

But of course these things don’t work like that

Someone with so much life left so soon

With so many things we were so in-tune

 

I didn’t foresee ever losing you

But god had his plans, he knew

Life with you brought me so much joy

Your earthly departure cannot destroy

 

All of my greatest and happiest recollections

Will remain hidden away in my secret collections

Of memories I will cherish for all of my days

I miss you so much in so many ways

 

Your duties on this earth are now done

But your duties in heaven have just begun

We shall meet again one day

And I will turn to you and say

 

I missed you down there on earth

But god needed you because he saw your worth

So I’ll wipe my tears away

But my love for you will always stay

 

Deep inside my heart

We will never truly be apart

Because you will always be near

Whenever I need you here

 

I can look to the sky and know

That single star with its bright glow

Will be you watching over me

Sending your love down to me so heavenly

 

This is goodbye for now

Until I make my final bow

So save a place for me

So we can be together again for eternity

 

 

 

Diamond in the Rough: A Collection of Personal Essays and Poems

 

 

Picture of a shining black diamond gem

 

Being the inspirational person that I am, it has been put on my heart to write this book. In it, I share different accounts of things that I have experienced in my life. Much of what I talk about in this book is painful, but I feel that it can help someone out there suffering through something that they feel is pulling them under. I want to give my readers hope. I want them to know that despite how things may seem right now, things will get better. The underdog doesn’t stay down forever, and with God by your side, you can make it through any situation. That is the only way I can explain how I am still here after all I have been through. It has to be nothing but God.

 

I want to share with you the introduction to my book. My hope is that this book touches someone out there struggling to get through life. I want to inspire, encourage, uplift, and motivate them to keep going. Don’t give up on life. The waters may look murky now, but through strength, determination, and God, you will clear away all the murk and see the clear, clean water below. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. I had to go through all I went through in order to help someone else through it. Lets cross the finish line to victory together!

 

Introduction to Diamond in the Rough: A Collection of Personal Essays and poems

 

Introduction:

 

My purpose for writing this book is to help encourage, motivate, uplift, and inspire others out there who may be struggling with things in their life for which they see no way out of. It was not my intention to write a book sharing different events in my life that were painful for me, but when God puts something on your heart, you do what you are led to do. In this book I share my personal stories of trials and tribulations that I have endured. Things have never been easy for me, but through it all I am still standing, and I am stronger than I have ever been before. It took me a long time to transition into this state of mind. The roads were dark and long, and most times lonely, but I made it through. By the grace of God, I am a survivor. I am alive to tell my story. There were many times I wanted to just give up on life, but God brought me through. He is an awesome God, and heard my pleas. He delivered me from the pain and brought me peace.

 

The essays and poems you will find in this book are true accounts of situations that I have faced throughout the years. From child abuse, rape, and domestic violence, I share them all here. These are my true emotions, thoughts, feelings, and ideas written in these pages. I’m sure there is someone out there who has experienced one, some, or all of the situations that I have faced in this book. I want my stories to show you that you don’t have to remain a victim, but you can become the victor of your circumstances. God does not put more on us than we can carry. I know at times it seems as though things aren’t ever going to get better, but believe in your heart and soul that you will prevail. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. You are stronger than even you know you are.

 

If no one else has ever told you, I want to be the one to tell you that despite your dark past, you have a bright future ahead of you. We all suffer in life in some way, shape, or form, but we have to have the strength to go on, but sometimes it’s hard to smile when you’re used to frowning. For me, my life has been filled with nothing but pain and tears, but through God and his unconditional love for me, I have a reason to smile. When I shed tears, they are no longer tears of pain, but tears of joy. Through Jesus Christ, I found the love I have always been searching for. No matter what, his love will never forsake me.

 

I have broken my chains of pain and heartache. I am no longer a prisoner of fear, humiliation, and doubt. I know who and what I am. I now have confidence in myself that I didn’t have before. I am no longer ashamed of the things that made me who I am. I turned my trials into triumphs. Instead of breaking me, my life’s experiences made me into the diamond you see today. A diamond starts as a piece of coal deep in the belly of the earth. With time, heat, and pressure, slowly that piece of coal transforms into a beautiful gem. It took trauma, abuse, neglect, and fear to transform me into the diamond I am. Instead of letting the struggles of your life keep you buried in the ground, use those struggles to rise to the top and shine bright like the diamond you are.

 

When I was finally able to conquer my demons and see myself for the beautiful, light-hearted, ambitious, quizzical, unique, and extraordinary diamond I was, Blaque Diamond was born. For me, it represents words I feel describe me. It symbolizes my growth and my strength to overcome the toughest situations and still be standing. I am renewed. I am reborn. I am a Blaque diamond. Reach for your inner Blaque diamond. Let your light shine through.

 

A Blaque Diamond

 

Beautifully created from this earth

Light-hearted and full of laughter

Ambitious and goal oriented, I am

Quizzical and willing to seek knowledge in all ways possible

Uniquely different and at times the same

Extraordinary creation from god’s paintbrush

 

Determined to overcome all obstacles in my way

Intelligence is a gift that is priceless

Another gem within a world of beautiful gemstones

Miles of mountains and hills climbed to seek inner peace

Observant of my every day development and ways to improve me

Not easily broken and defeated, instead I conquer

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but I am my own diamond

 

Coming soon in April 2018!!!! Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Author Q and A: Leah Forney

Picture of author Leah Forney

 

“Take a negative experience and turn it into a beautiful memory.” – Leah Forney

 

Blaque: Welcome back everyone to another author spotlight. Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Nonfiction author, Leah Forney. She is the author of “Unapologetically me: Living, Owning, and Walking in My Truth”.

 

Leah: Thanks so much for allowing me to interview with you Blaque Diamond.

 

Blaque: I am the one who feels honored. I want other authors like myself to get as much exposure as they can. Any little bit helps, and I want to do my part to help guide your writing career any way I can.

 

Leah: I am definitely thankful for this opportunity.

 

Blaque: So, tell me a little about your book “Unapologetically Me: Living, Owning, and Walking in My Truth”. It sounds like a book full of inspiration and strength.

 

Leah: Well, that it definitely is. This is my story. The story of my struggles, strength, and redemption. I want to teach others that even the most painful parts of our lives have a purpose. With God by your side, you can become who you were created to be.

 

Blaque: Wow! That is such a powerful statement. I have always believed that to be true. That’s why I never regret anything I have went through in my own life. I believe it made me who I am today, and I am unapologetically me.

 

Leah: That’s the message I am trying to convey in my book.

 

Blaque: Well, I’m sure some lucky reader out there is going to get your message loud and clear. So, let’s get to know the woman behind the inspiration. I think your book gives us an idea of who you are, but let’s touch on things that might not have been revealed about you in the book.

 

Leah: Ok. That sounds good to me.

 

Blaque: So, What inspires you to write?

 

Leah: I am inspired by life to write, and also by the people around me. My family and friends, my relationship with my fiancé Joseph, and the good, bad, and ugly aspects of my life inspire me to write. I believe that everyone has a story to tell. No one can tell your story like you can.

 

Blaque: That is so true. No one can tell your story like you can. Now that we know what inspires you to write, where is your favorite place to write?

 

Leah: My favorite place to write is in my bedroom. It is something about my bedroom that allows for my creativity to run wild. I have penned some of my greatest poems, short stories, essays, etc. in my bedroom. It is also the place that I pray and worship my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I believe that’s why my bedroom is a special place for me to write.

 

Blaque: When it comes to creativity, I believe the place where you develop your craft should feel sacred to you. What is your favorite season, and why?

 

Leah: I am a winter baby. I was born in January. My favorite season would have to be the spring. Spring is the start of new beginnings and fresh starts.

 

Blaque: We all have those things that annoy us, so what is your biggest pet peeve?

 

Leah: That’s a great question. LOL. My biggest pet peeve is someone who is a habitual liar. I don’t like liars because I believe that liars take away a person’s right to choose.

 

Blaque: That is one of my biggest pet peeves also. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

 

Leah: I would change human-trafficking. Human-trafficking is happening every day. It is not being talked about on a regular basis like it should.

 

Blaque: You are right about that. That is one of the most deplorable and inhumane things someone could do to another person. SMH. Everyone has the right to make decisions for themselves. No one should have the power to dictate your life, but I’m not going to get in my feelings about that right now. We’re trying to keep things on a positive note. LOL. So, what is your favorite food?

 

Leah: My favorite food is Lasagna. I absolutely love Lasagna.

 

Blaque: What is your favorite holiday? Why?

 

Leah: My favorite holiday is New Year’s Eve. It is something about the start of a New Year that makes me feel amazing.

 

Blaque: Since you are so full of inspiration, I know there has to be others who inspire you. Can you name three people who inspire you and why?

 

Leah: The three people who inspire me are my mentor Andrea Hines, my spiritual mother Pastor Karla Godbee, and my grandmother Noel Mays. Andrea Hines inspires me because she was the first person that believed in the writer in me. She was the first person to ever allow me to act on stage as well as contribute to writing a stage play. Pastor Karla Godbee inspires me because she is my spiritual mother. She is also born on the same day as my biological mother. She is the mother that I never had, and I love her so much. Lastly, my grandmother Noel Mays inspires me because she is the first person to introduce me to Jesus Christ. I learned about faith and Jesus Christ from my grandmother.

 

Blaque: It’s nice to have so many people in your life who can encourage and inspire you to achieve your dreams. So, where do you see yourself in five years?

 

Leah: In five years, I will be married with a child. I also see myself writing and publishing more books. I will be traveling more, and by then I will be a licensed marriage and family therapist.

 

Blaque: That all sounds amazing. It’s always important to have a plan for your life. How many books have you published to date?

 

Leah: This year is the first time I became an author. It has always been a dream of mine. I have only released one book, but my second book will be releasing in early 2018.

 

Blaque: As authors, we are also readers, so how many books can you honestly say you’ve read in one year?

 

Leah: I have read six books and counting so far this year. I am an avid-reader. I believe that if you consider yourself a leader in any capacity, then you should be reading.

 

Blaque: How do you deal with writer’s block?

 

Leah: When I am experiencing writer’s block, I usually have to take a break. I don’t get writer’s block often. I usually have to do something fun that will help me to relax because I am putting too much pressure on myself.

 

Blaque: Yes, taking a break is the best way to give your mind time to slow down and relax. You can’t give something your all when you can’t focus properly.

 

Leah: You’re speaking the truth.

 

Blaque: Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing career?

 

Leah: It is a tie between two people. My grandmother Willetta Daniels, who is my father’s mother and my fiancé Joseph Washington. My grandmother literally carries my book in her purse so she can brag to everyone about it. My fiancé is an incredible guy who knows how to push me in my writing, but also knows how to help me relax.

 

Blaque: Do you prefer to write your first-draft on paper, or on the computer? Why?

 

Leah: I prefer writing on both. I usually make an outline with my key ideas on paper, then I transfer it to my laptop. I feel like paper makes it feel more alive than the computer does. The computer aspect is more so for convenience.

 

Blaque: Where do you get most of your story ideas?

 

Leah: I get my ideas from life. My stories are my experiences in life. They come from the people in my life. Every good, bad, and ugly experience in my life creates my stories.

 

Blaque: What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

 

Leah: My advice would be a few things. First, know your why, and be patient with the process. There’s a misconception that you can become an author overnight. Many of us, including myself, know that it can take years to become a published author. Knowing why you want to be an author will help you to stay motivated on the days that you want to give up. Secondly, know your audience. Who are you writing to and for, is very important. My publisher told me that my book is not for everyone. It is very true, so knowing who your audience is will help you to write your story. Lastly, be unapologetic in your story-telling. Again, No one can tell your story like you can, so own it and be bold about it.

 

Blaque: That is some very good advice you gave. I’m sure an aspiring author can gather confidence in their writing from your thoughtful answer. So, who is your favorite author, and why?

 

Leah: My favorite author is Shonda Rhimes. Shonda Rhimes inspires me on so many levels. She has a humble yet unapologetic spirit about herself. Her book “The year of Yes” inspired me to take a leap of faith into becoming an author.

 

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

 

Leah: My goal as an author is to touch one person’s life. It is also to inspire, encourage, and motivate a generation of people who are experiencing such hopelessness in the world we live in today.

 

Blaque: What has been the hardest hurdle you had to jump over while embarking on your writing career?

 

Leah: I would have to say getting over the fear and just doing it. I can be my own worst critic at times, so I had to stop giving into the self-doubt and take the leap in faith.

 

Blaque: If your parents could see you right now, would they be proud of you?

 

Leah: I would hope that my parents would be proud of me. I don’t have a relationship with my parents because they have battled with addiction and incarceration since I was two-years-old, but I would hope that they were proud of my accomplishments.

 

Blaque: What a way to end this interview. I would hope that your parents are proud of you also. Despite your misfortunes in life, you have persevered and strive to encourage and inspire others.

 

Leah: We all need someone to inspire us and push us in the right direction.

 

Blaque: Sometimes that encouragement comes from home, and other times it comes from strangers. No matter who it comes from, it can impact someone’s life in a positive way. I thank you for all that you do to enrich the lives of others out there in the world. We need more people like you in society today. Thank you so much for talking with me. It was a great pleasure to get to know you better, and I’m sure readers will find your amazing spirit and drive throughout your book. Where can they get their hands on a copy of your book?

 

Leah: My book is available in paperback and as an EBook on Amazon.

 

Blaque: Are you active on social media?

 

Leah: Yes, readers can visit my Facebook page to learn more about me and my writing. They can also follow me on Instagram.

 

Blaque: Well, that’s all I have for today. I hope everyone enjoyed getting to know author Leah Forney in a deeper sense, and I hope she brought you encouragement through her words of inspiration. If you haven’t already read her book “Unapologetically Me: Living, Owning, and Walking in My Truth”, I would encourage you to pick up a copy and see what Leah has to share with you. Until next time. Happy writing.

 

Leah: Thank you so much for having me.

 

 

Forever Angel

 

Picture of an angel in a blue gown with white angel wings

 

This is a poem I wrote for my best friend who was having a hard time dealing with the death of her mother. The two of them were very close, and she was having a difficult time dealing with her loss. I wanted to find a way to bring her a little joy in her life, so I wrote this poem for her. I knew that it wouldn’t bring her mother back, but I hoped that it would help ease some of the pain she was feeling by allowing her to see her mother’s passing in a more positive light. If any of you have ever lost someone near and dear to you, I hope this poem brings you just a little comfort to know that your loved-one is now in a better place. They are now a forever angel watching over you from up above.

 

Forever Angel

 

You are no longer here with me

But in my heart you will always be

My love for you will never change

Even though my memories are all that remain

 

The times we spent together

Will last in my thoughts forever

I miss you each and every day

But I know you are in a better place

 

Your memory will never die

Even as the months and years go by

It hurts sometimes when I think of you

Because I think of all the things we used to do

 

It brings tears to my eyes

And I have to question why

Did you have to leave so soon?

When so many people were loving you

 

I know it’s god’s plan

But sometimes I just don’t understand

Why my heart aches so much

And I yearn for your gentle touch

 

You are now resting in peace

Your pain on earth has ceased

Gone but not forgotten you are

Because you will always live in my heart

 

Even though I wish you could’ve stayed

I would not have wanted your suffering delayed

So, go now and embark on your new journey

As you enter the gates, oh so pearly

 

I trust that we will meet again

So we can continue where we left off when

God called home his oh so faithful

Heaven just welcomed a forever angel