Author Q and A: Monica Reed

Author Monica Reed smiling

picture of Renew Your Marriage book cover

Blaque: Today’s author spotlight interview features Monica Reed. She writes in the genre of nonfiction/religious fiction. Her books are meant to inspire and empower women and married couples everywhere. Welcome Monica.

Monica: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me.

Blaque: No problem at all. I love women who make it their mission to inspire and empower other women. We all need to look out for each other. It’s great that you are putting your personal stories into a book to help others out there.

Monica: Yes, I share my life’s experiences in this book to let women know that they are not alone, and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I also include key elements relating to marriage, and how to keep things going despite setbacks.

Blaque: So, how many books have you published to date? (Compilations and anthologies included.)

Monica: I have published one book so far, “Renewing Your Marriage”. I was also a contributing author to “Thriving Entrepreneur”. I also have one book set to release in late February of 2018 titled “Renew You”.

Blaque: Great! Name three people who inspire you and explain why.

Monica: Wow! Only three? That’s hard. Oprah Winfrey is one, because she is willing to push through and show up powerfully in front of the world despite what anyone said or thought about her. Mary J Blige is another, because she is the woman that I held onto when I was a young, confused teenage girl, and I admire her strength. Lastly, David and Tamela Mann, because my husband and I met them during a time that our marriage was falling apart, and they displayed true love, the same love my husband and I showed when we first met. They honor their family unity just like we do.

Blaque: If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Monica: What women feel they have to go through mentally and physically to be considered accepted in society is what I would change about the world.

Blaque: We all have different sources of inspiration when it comes to writing, what inspires you to write?

Monica: I am inspired by the women who struggle to have a voice in this world. I know they are just waiting for me to show up to open up the topics they struggle to share.

Blaque: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Monica: I see myself owning my own wedding catering hall for couples to have a place for them to come and renew their marriage vows

Blaque: That is a nice goal and future career choice. Weddings happen every day, so I know you will be up to your neck in wedding preparations. LOL.
So tell me, what can bring tears to your eyes?

Monica: The thing that can bring tears to my eyes is children who don’t have a fair chance at life.

Blaque: I can sympathize with that. There are so many lost children in this world.

Monica: Yes, there are.

Blaque: Are there any other published authors in your family? (Self-published or traditionally published.)

Monica: I just found out that I am the 1st published author in my family. It is an honor to be the 1st published author, because I personally feel that I have set a new goal for generations to come.

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

Monica: I would donate to an organization that would build homes for the homeless and low income families, because everyone needs to have somewhere they can call home.

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

Monica: My husband has been my biggest supporter in my writing career.

Blaque: What makes you uniquely you?

Monica: What makes me unique is no one has had the same combination of experiences in the order that I have experienced them to help the group of women God has sent me to serve

Blaque: If you were granted three wishes, what would they be?

Monica: My first wish would be to leave each of my children their own home fully paid off. Secondly, I would also like to travel the world. My third wish would be to live life in abundance.

Blaque: Sometimes the brain just freezes up, and ideas seem so far out of reach, how do you deal with writer’s block?

Monica: When I have a bout of writer’s block, I stop trying to create scheduled times to write. Instead I make inspired times to write. When I would create scheduled times to write, thoughts and ideas would not come to me. As the day would go on, I would have an inspired thought. I would stop or wake up and write them down immediately, because if I sat on the thought for too long, I would forget it.

Blaque: What is your favorite color?

Monica: Royal Blue and Silver with Glitter are my favorite colors.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

Monica: R&B and gospel music are my favorite genres of music.

Blaque: Do you prefer writing your first drafts on paper, or on the computer? Why?

Monica: I absolutely love writing my outline on paper, but audio recording my stories works best for me, because it captures the voice and tone in which I would tell the story in person.
I allow my walk of life to be part of my writing, because it is easier to write about, especially since I already lived it.

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

Monica: My upcoming book scheduled to release in February titled “RENEW YOU” is my favorite because the book really brings out common personal issues and thoughts wives deal with every day.

Blaque: What is your fondest childhood memory?

Monica: My fondest childhood memory is summer break! At the end of the year, my elementary school teachers would clean out their classroom by giving the children the left over “dittos” (copied worksheets) and my sister and I would play school and take turns being a teacher for the day.

Blaque: Wow! That does sound like a memory I would want to cherish forever.

Monica: Yes, it was always so much fun.

Blaque: What is your zodiac sign?

Monica: I’m 100% Scorpio, and proud of it!

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite movie?

Monica: My all-time favorite movie is “Coming to America”.

Blaque: What is your biggest fear?

Monica: Dying young before I have completed my assignment as a mother or a woman here on earth is my biggest fear.

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

Monica: Spending time with my family and watching a really good movie is what I like to do in my spare time when I’m not writing.

Blaque: Life has so many lessons that we can appreciate. As we continue to grow and develop, the life lessons we have learned can help to impact our way of life. If you could talk to your younger self, what would you tell him or her?

I would tell her, “Baby, everything you are going through is necessary and is because God has something better for you in store. You are loved and protected by God.”

Blaque: What inspired your latest book?

Monica: When I talked about how my husband and I restored our marriage, people would ask “What did you do during the times it felt that only one of you were committed to changing?” That’s when I realized that I completely missed a whole chapter of my walk. I was now inspired to go back and tell the missing link, and “Renew You” was born.

Blaque: Describe your latest book in just ten words.

Monica: Transparent, relatable, transformational, connective, renewing, powerful, blessed, informative, accepting, and encouraging.

Blaque: Before we end this segment, I want you to leave a piece of advice for potential authors. What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

Monica: I would tell them, stop today! Don’t delay! You don’t have to be perfect to write your story.

Blaque: What an outstanding piece of advice. I hope that someone who has the desire to become an author will take heed to your words and pursue their dream.
Would you like to leave readers with your information so that they can follow/befriend you?

Monica: Sure. I manage a Facebook group called Marriage Matter – Couples Connect. If you are a married couple, please feel free to send a request to join the group. We talk all things marriage and ways to keep things on track.
I am also on Facebook if you would like to follow my Renew Your Marriage fan page.

Blaque: Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope some lucky couple out there will garner plenty of inspiration and guidance from your book, and your other activities all relating to marriage.

Monica: Thank you. Marriage is a beautiful union, but it takes a great deal of work to maintain.

Blaque: Well, thanks again for stopping by. I wish you luck on your writing journey. Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

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

Author Q and A: Richelle Resto

Author Richelle Resto

Blaque: Well, it’s a new month, and it’s also time for a new author spotlight. Helping me to bring in the month of March, is Richelle Resto. Welcome Richelle!

Richelle: Thank you so much Blaque Diamond.

Blaque: No problem. Spring is on the horizon, so why not freshen up my blog with a fresh new interview?

Richelle: LOL. I’m glad I’m the person you chose to help you freshen things up a bit.

Blaque: I am as well. So, tell me about your book “The Gift of life Nobody Wanted: Your Tears have Purpose.”

Richelle: Well, I wrote this book to help women understand the rationale of the gifts of pain, devastation, rejection, and the purpose of tears. Throughout this book, I sprinkle little spiritual nuggets and strategies needed to triumph over years of pain.

Blaque: Hmm… Sounds interesting. Coming from someone who knows all about pain, it seems as if this book can perhaps help many women who don’t know how to deal with the obstacles that life may throw in their path. Tears can also have a cleansing effect on the soul. I had to learn that from first-hand experience.

Richelle: You are so right!

Blaque: So, where are you from Richelle?

Richelle: I’m proud to be from Durham, North Carolina.

Blaque: Oh, wow! I’m from Greensboro. I’m not originally from the area, but it has been my home for the past eight years. Durham is only a hop and a skip away from Greensboro.

Richelle: Yep. LOL. Durham is my home.

Blaque: Where is your favorite place to write?

Richelle: I enjoy writing near the water, and listening to the sound of the ocean.

Blaque: What is your biggest pet peeve?

Richelle: People that make excuses for not accomplishing goals is my biggest pet peeve.

Blaque: We all have that favorite something that we just can’t live without, what is your favorite food?

Richelle: My favorite food is Mexican and Seafood.

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

Richelle: I tend to eat ice cream and chew Super Bubble gum until my next thought generates.

Blaque: Wow! That’s different. I’ve never heard anyone say that before. LOL.

Richelle: Well, it works for me. LOL.

Blaque: What is your favorite color?

Richelle: My favorite color is purple and magenta.

Blaque: So, you’re a purple girl.

Richelle: Yes, ma’am.

Blaque: For most authors, writing is something they do on the side apart from a regular nine-five. Do you write full-time, or is writing like a second job?

Richelle: Writing is my passion, and not a hobby that I love to do every day.

Blaque: What is your favorite type of dessert?

Richelle: My favorite dessert is snicker bar cheesecake

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

Richelle: Most of my story ideas originate from college experiences, family, friends, and journal notes.

Blaque: Do you have any other talents besides writing?

Richelle: Yes, my favorite talents include writing poetry and making t-shirt designs.

Blaque: Are you a sports fan? If so, who is your favorite team?

Richelle: My favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys for life.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite movie?

Richelle: My all-time favorite movie is “This Christmas.”

Blaque: I have several works in progress, but what are you currently working on?

Richelle: I’m currently working on two new releases: All Eyes on Me to Achieve My Destiny, and Married to the Church, Wife is a Mistress

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

Richelle: My best friend would describe me as SHY.

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

Richelle: My favorite thing to do is explore different types of restaurants, wrap up in my Snuggie and play Candy Crush.

Blaque: What inspired your latest book?

Richelle: These books were inspired by my husband and father-in-love.

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

Richelle: I love my two pets Sir Julius and Princess Eva.

Blaque: Awww! What cute names for your pets. LOL.

Richelle: Yes, they are my world.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite book?

Richelle: My favorite book is “Woman thou art loose” by: T. D. Jakes.

Blaque: How would you describe your personality?

Richelle: My personality is fun, serious, and loyal.

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

Richelle: My favorite show was Good Times.

Blaque: I agree one-hundred percent. I still watch reruns on DVD to this day. My favorite character of all was JJ, of course. He was dynamite! LOL.

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

Richelle: My favorite imaginary character that I’ve created is Lynette.

Blaque: Ok, before we wrap this up, describe your latest book in just ten words.

Richelle: This book offers spiritual nuggets to triumph over years of pain.

Blaque: I see you are a person who believes that there is purpose in your pain. I do as well.

Richelle: Yes, I do.

Blaque: What we go through in life helps us to become who we are supposed to be. You take the joy with the pain and make the best of it.

Richelle: I agree.

Blaque: Well, Mrs. Resto, I am so glad that you stopped by to speak with me today. It has been great getting to know you better.

Richelle: Thanks so much for allowing me this opportunity to speak with you. It has been my pleasure.

Blaque: So, any of you readers out there looking for some spiritual nuggets to get you through tough times? Check out Richelle Resto’s book “The Gift Nobody Wanted: Your Tears have Purpose. I’m sure you’ll find some wisdom and inspiration that will help get you through the murky waters of life.

The gift of life nobody wanted: your tears have purpose book cover

For more about Richelle and her books, check out her website here.

Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

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

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.

 

 

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.