Thank you for the opportunity to share. I was born and raised in Chicago Illinois and currently reside in San Francisco, California where I work as an enthusiastic flight attendant for a major carrier. When I’m not soaring above 30,000 feet, I’m usually at my local library or sitting on a park bench sharpening my delight for written expression, in particular, non-fiction works of inspiration for people of all ages and walks of life.
While many would forego crowded cafes and bustling metropolises, I like to move in close, drawn by my keen interest in social and cultural anthropology. In fact, I have embarked upon an extensive self-guided study to understand humankind. It is also this passion and interest that fuels my desire to publish stirring anthologies with ordinary people just like you and me. To date, I have published one book, Start Again: Inspiration from the Sunny Side of Adversity. An anthology of overcoming adversities, in which women share candid and heartfelt stories of their climb from the depths of human trafficking, domestic violence, homelessness, infidelity, and grief.
I am excited about the June 2018 release of my second anthology which honors our favorite superhero—DAD! This anthology is comprised of 25 stories from men and women, sharing their most precious lessons and memories of their fathers. Stories that range from life-enriching and heartfelt to those that tickle our funny bone.
My life’s work is to inspire others to embrace their authenticity for both self-empowerment and service to others. Along my journey to self-empowerment, I took a brave leap and established my own publishing company, Pens and Pearls Publishing, LLC, under which I desire to help aspiring writers and poets publish their creative works.
What inspires you to write?
I am inspired by the world around me. I draw inspiration from the environments that I engage. Whether in an airport or sitting in a park. In fact, as I sat in a park one sunny morning in California, I was inspired to write a poem entitled Along the Way. Nature has been a huge source of inspiration for many of my blog posts. My desire to inspire and help others also inspires me to write.
Tell us about your writing process.
We’ve been taught to start with the end in mind, but this method doesn’t always work in creative writing. So, I usually start with the five W’s of journalism—Who, What, Where, When, and Why. This method allows me to create a working outline (the skeleton) from which I develop the story (add the meat). However, when creating an anthology, I start with the message I want to convey and then seek out stories to add to the anthology. Much of my time is spent interviewing people I encounter in my travels, as well as friends, and acquaintances.
When I entered NaNoWrimo2017, I used the Save the Cat beat sheet for my romance novel.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I challenged myself to write a romance novel using the momentum of NaNoWrimo2017. As I began to develop my characters, I found myself becoming my characters and feeling what they felt. It was so intense that I had to step away from the writing. Fiction is not my niche, but I do want to finish this book this year.
Who are your favorite authors?
My list of most influential authors is vast. So, I’ll list my top five.
1. Toni Morrison
2. Alice Walker
3. Maya Angelou
4. Brene Brown
5. Wayne Dyer
How did you decide how to publish your books?
From the time that I first dreamt of publishing my writings and poetry, I knew I wanted to self-publish. My mother was a fearless entrepreneur and she instilled in me a desire to build my own empire. I have never considered submitting my work to a traditional publishing house.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Self-publishing is on the rise. Traditional publishing houses will have to find new ways to attract authors.
Because it has become so easy to self-publish, quality writing is lacking. I hope we'll see more authors investing in professional editing.
What genres do you write?
Non-fiction, inspirational, motivational, romance fiction, and poetry.
What formats are your books in?
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.