1. What inspired you to publish your book?
I was inspired to publish my collection of poems, Lessons Taught by Daddy, because I wanted to share with others my journey toward healing in hopes of being a light in the midst of darkness. Many individuals struggle with strained relationships with their father. While the dynamics of the relationships may be different for each reader, seeking validation and approval to feel the void of a love never received can effect our relationships and views of self. I want to encourage readers to do the necessary work to heal and move forward so that they can begin to see themselves through their own eyes and not through the actions of others.
2. What can readers take away from your book?
Readers can take away many points. One of the biggest is the importance of forgiveness. In order to move on from a situation that has left you feeling hurt, disappointed or betrayed, forgiveness must take place. You have to acknowledge those feelings and do the work to let go. The process of forgiving is one that is not easy, but certainly worth it.
Another important topic is self-love. We often hear expressions about self-love, but no one talks about the amount of work it takes to get to a place where you are content with being yourself. Often, individuals put on facades to impress others or to be accepted. Humans desire connection and approval - so much so that they can become lost in societal views and never learn their true identity, or, even worse, be too afraid to be who God has called them to be. Learning to love oneself is a freedom that brings true happiness and peace.
3. What was your writing process like?
My writing process was one in which I would write diligently… and then go months without working on my project at all. I was not as focused as I should have been when I first started my project, and I became distracted by the need to provide for my son over pursuing my dreams. Ultimately, I decided that I wasn’t going to give up on my dream to become a published author. I wanted to lead by example and show my son that you can make your dreams come true and to never stop pursuing your passion.
4. Are you planning to write other books?
Yes, I am working on a book of positive affirmations and poetry for mothers. Often, moms have to continue to live their day-to-day life and be strong for their kids while dealing with depression, financial stress or unresolved trauma. I want to encourage all mothers to take time for themselves—self-care is very important. As a mom, you cannot properly care for your children if you are not in a good mental space.
Additionally, some mothers lose their identity in their children. Of course, when you have children, your kids become your priority, but you must continue to enjoy your hobbies, connect with family and friends and, most importantly, remember you are someone outside of being “Mommy” - although that, too, is an amazing and honorable title.
5. What's a cool or interesting fact about yourself?
One interesting fact about me is that I was born in Fairbanks, Alaska. That always seems to get people’s attention. I lived there until I was in the 4th grade and eventually moved to Shoreline, Washington before coming to the great Midwest (Illinois).
6. What is some advice you would give aspiring or first-time authors?
I would tell first-time authors to set a goal each week for what you want to accomplish with your book. Make sure the goals you set are specific in nature, such as achieving a certain word count. Also, continue to work and write through obstacles. I personally had to delay the release of my book due to other financial obligations, but I never gave up on my vision. Sometimes in life, when obstacles arise, you can feel defeated and halt your progress, but I’m a living testimony that you have to keep moving forward. I am truly thankful that November Media Publishing was willing to work with me through the hardships.