Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Detroit Michigan in a predominantly Deaf environment. Growing up in Detroit has not influenced me as much as having the privilege of being raised by my Deaf grandparents. The two of them being president and vice-president of the only African-American Deaf Club and a strong role model for many of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Deaf-blind truly shaped the way I visualize and relate to people, events, struggles and vision. In this environment, I gained a different perspective as a result of the way my grandparents and other Deaf people were treated prior to the American Disabilities Act (ADA). Seeing my grandparents prevail through it all embedded a determination in me to be the best I can be and to help others do the same along the way.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing in the 4th grade when our teacher challenged us to go home and write a poem about Martin Luther King. I was so excited and I went home and wrote a one page poem which to my dismay, I was the only one in the class who completed the assignment. Although this made other students dislike me, it was my first inspiration when weeks later I won a ribbon for my poem. I have been writing ever since.
What's the story behind your latest book?
When I wrote "GPS vs GPS, Which is Leading You?" I was at a crossroad in my life, having moved away from my family and being overtaken by a painful event and in a state of depression. I walked around wearing a mask, smiling on the outside but feeling like I was losing my grip on the inside. In spite of the kindness and the beautiful home of the friend I was living with, I felt alone, and isolated. I prayed to the Lord morning and night, engaging in worship to try and keep my spirit lifted. About two months later for nearly 10 days straight, Holy Spirit woke me up every morning with a title which are all six of my chapter titles. I knew nothing except general information about the global positioning system, the Lord began to show me comparisons, leading me to research and learn there were amazing similarities between Global Positioning System (GPS) and God's Protective Service (GPS) that taught practical life lessons. I found that I had the greatest GPS, yet I had been following the wrong GPS at this time in my life. This helped me to re-focus and get back on the right track. A few months later, I was challenged by a friend and editor to write an e-book. As I was sharing this writing with another friend, she said..."You already have an e-book!".
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is related to my upbringing as a child of Deaf adults (CODA). It's the art of expression! I found through writing I can get a release, I can discover who I am (and who I am not), and I have learned there is always something to share to encourage another person. I have been blessed as a speaker to make my audience feel they were right there in whatever I am presenting, OR like I was with them through an event in their life. As a writer, I get that same joy of relating, encouraging through the beautiful art of expression...again and again.
What are you working on next?
I currently have a book in editing that my husband and I wrote together titled: "Married Out of Obedience", Subtitled: "A Marriage we Never Wanted, A Love we Never Had and A God Who gave us both". I am currently working on 4 other books...1) a book on praises and thanksgiving lifting your spirit 2) When the Promise Looks Like its Dead; 3) A Myriad of Miracles and 4) I am Finally Free to Love Me!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am inspired to get out of bed each day simply because I am breathing! I say that because of events going on in our lives can cause our moods and emotions to be high, or low. Our feelings about things change from day to day, but one thing I have learned...as long as there is breath in our bodies, we have purpose! Successes can be few, failures can be many, but the ONLY thing that will beat a failure...is a try! So I rise to try with purpose!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work as a sign-language interpreter, I like to jog, play games, play with my dog and have quiet evenings with my husband, I love to read the Bible and post encouragement on social media, blogs, vlogs. As a visionaire, my mind is always going. I see an issue, I see a resolution and so I need the fun, quiet and downtime to let my mind rest.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes as a matter of fact I do. I wrote a play, a short story about a Deaf girl who felt stuck in her world because she was treated as if she was different from every one else. She had dreams, inspirations, but because she could not hear, no one could hear her. I actually sent my script to a Los Angeles address that I got off of the TV show "White Shadow". Months later, they wrote me back and told me that I had to be a member of the "Screen Writer's Guild" for my script to be accepted. I was only 14 or 15 at the time and I was clueless about what that meant. It's funny though, they never sent my script back!
What is your writing process?
I simply write freestyle. I have so many experiences, trials and triumphs, heartbreaks, heartaches, and healings, struggles, deliverances and miracles. Most of all, I have so much love and hope for people that I can't keep up with the thoughts that come. I simply love to write. I have never brainstormed for writing, I don't think, plan or anticipate what audiences my books will appeal to. I think about people and how I can be a blessing. I have learned at any given moment, one person can change your destiny. I have been blessed to meet many people throughout my life, however, I realize I don't have to meet a person to be inspired by them. I determined to learn from them, apply it and move forward. Through my writings, I hope that readers will be, encouraged, educated and enlightened. I hope maybe something I wrote will inspire them and move them forward on their journey. ..Then I pray they will inspire another.
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