LaToya: If you could choose a famous African American who has impacted your life who would it be and why?
LaTerra: Jill Scott because she is so open and honest in her art. She embodies power, grace and majesty. Her work makes me feel beautiful and helps me to embrace everything about me, flaws and all.
Lisa: Oprah Winfrey, because although she encountered obstacles in her childhood, she was not defined by them, rather she overcame them and went on to be successful.
Amanda: Gwendolyn Brooks; writing was always her passion and adversity never killed her vision.
LaToya: Where are you from? Where do you live now?
LaTerra: I’m from Eden, MD and I now live right down the street in Salisbury, MD
Lisa: I am from Eden, Maryland and I live in Salisbury, Maryland
Amanda: I am from Snow Hill, MD and I now live in Salisbury, MD.
LaToya: Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
LaTerra: No, growing up I actually wanted to be a Pediatrician. I have always loved writing, but I wasn’t comfortable sharing my work with others.
Lisa: I always knew there were books within me; however, bringing life to them on paper was a different story.
Amanda: No, even though I loved to write, I always wanted to be a daycare provider or nurse.
LaToya: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
LaTerra: I started writing as soon as I was able to put sentences together; my first poem was about owls. I finished my first book in June.
Lisa: I started writing as a child and finished my first book in 2015 as a collaborative effort with 2 others.
Amanda: I began writing somewhere around the mid eighties (mostly poetry/small writings). The first book was completed June 25, 2015.
LaToya: How did you choose the genre you write in?
LaTerra: I have always loved to read and write poetry so it came naturally to me. This particular book was God saving me from myself. It was given to me at 13, the night I decided to take my life. It gave me purpose and made sense of my pain.
Lisa: For this particular book, I was a co-author, so it was decided by my daughter, who started this project.
Amanda: I never had a general genre, but poetry and journal form would be my choice. I enjoy reading poetry; I love how the words flow to give a picture and journaling was pouring the thoughts and emotional part of myself and my perception of others life events on paper.
LaToya: Where do you get your ideas?
LaTerra: I get my ideas from everyday life. I am a very empathetic person, so I like to look at situations from different perspectives and write from that point of view.
Lisa: From within, from life experiences, from others
Amanda: My ideas come from life situations, viewing people, peers in society, and allowing myself and my writings to be led of God.
LaToya: Name one book that you would categorize as a life changing read.
LaTerra: For me, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” because it showed me something beautiful and powerful can come from your pain and it pushed me further into my purpose.
Lisa: The Bible
Amanda: No book comes to mind but the Holy Bible. It always reveals a word that brings revelation for a particular season in my life.
LaToya: Who is your favorite author?
LaTerra: My favorite fiction author is James Patterson. My favorite poetry authors are Maya Angelou and Gwendolyn Brooks; I actually have a poem in the book dedicated to them.
Lisa: James Patterson would rate as one of my favorite authors.
Amanda: I have no particular favorite but E.B. White, Maya Angelou and Emily Dickenson all come to mind.
LaToya: Name one book you wish you’d written.
LaTerra: I don’t really think there is a book I wish I would have written simply because everyone’s story and imagination is different and I know the books I love wouldn’t be the same from my perspective and I enjoy the peek into the minds of others reading provides.
Lisa: Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas (Alex Cross)
Amanda: Not one, if it was meant for me to writhe then it would have been given to me.
LaToya: Tell us about your latest book.
LaTerra: Design of a Woman: Heart, Mind, Body, & Soul is a collection of poems and writings reflecting the shared experience of womanhood, the good and the bad.
Lisa: It is a collection of poems and writings inspired by women, for women to get them thinking and to uplift and speak life.
Amanda: The book deals with the heart, mind, body, and soul of women. It touches on embracing and loving the woman you are. It talks about the pain of abuse, suicide, depression, life decisions, and so much more that women silently try to deal with on their own. It gives hope to those who feel lost. It brings hope and healing.
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LaToya: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
LaTerra: No matter what, never give up on your vision. It took almost 20 years for this book to come to fruition. Trust the timing of your life and maintain focus. Your words matter and your story needs to be told.
Lisa: If you can think it, dream it or live it, then you can write it! Just do it!! Procrastination is a terrible thing.
Amanda: Believe in yourself, write from the heart, never let the dream of writing go unfulfilled, accept criticism, and learn from your mistakes.