Interview With Winn Publications
How did your journey as an author began?
My journey as an author officially began as a mentee at the All Access Foundation. This is a non-profit organization that mentors women between the ages of 25-45 in 4 main areas. The areas of interest are becoming an author, starting a business, going back to school, or becoming a homeowner. I have an MBA, and I was not interested in going back to school. I was a credit repair agent through FES so that was the business part. The homeownership piece came in after working on credit. So basically, becoming an author was the best option for me. I hadn’t written anything in a while and figured it was a good time to get back into my writing. I sat down with CC Harrison (CEO) and told her that I wanted to write a book. My book would be about relationships and the role that they play in our lives. Her response was “Ok, let’s do it.” I had my book’s title and a tentative chapter outline. I started the process and by the end of 2018, I was a self-published author. At All Access Foundation, we believe that Accountability + Action= Access. I was the 1st author to come through the All Access Foundation
Was becoming a writer something you always wanted to pursue?
Yes and No. As a child, I loved reading, writing, speaking, and acting. I started writing what would have been my 1st book at about 8 or 9 years old. Just writing about my childhood, life and growing up. I also loved to write poetry. Writing was a form of self-expression for me. I didn’t think about being an author as my profession or anything like that.
Who motivated you?
My motivations are my daughter Tiana and my paternal grandmother, Maggie. My grandmother instilled the values in me that I still carry with me. She taught me the importance of having a solid spiritual foundation, getting an education, believing in myself and being independent. These are values that I instill in my daughter. Now the title of the book was inspired by one of my favorite artists, India.Arie. Her album Testimony Vol 1: Life and Relationships spoke to my soul and evoked so many different emotions in me. But that’s a conversation for another day and time. I did have the chance to meet her and place a copy of the book in her hands.
Have you published your writings into a book? If so, where can we find it/them?
Yes, I am a self-published author. My book can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and my website, www.teriececherell.com
How you written anything outside of fiction/nonfiction?
My 1st book is a non-fiction, self-help motivational book. I read other genres and am interested in exploring other genres to write in.
What message do you want your readers to take away when reading your books?
The message that I want readers to take away is that all relationships are lessons or blessings, even the ones that do not work out the way we want. I want readers to understand the role that relationships play in our lives. My readers should learn the lessons these relationships are meant to teach them. They should use these lessons in their future relationships to live their best lives. I want them to learn how to love themselves and not to settle for less than what they truly deserve. I want so much for them to have the best healthy relationships possible. I want them to be true to themselves and make the best choices for their happiness, peace, and sanity.
Do you have a tip that you can offer your peers (poets and writers worldwide)?
Yes, I do have a few tips to share. The first thing would be to think about what you are passionate about, what you have experienced and what you want to share. Is it a book used for information, inspiration or entertainment purposes? After you figure out what type of book you wish to write, just start writing. I would suggest creating an outline so that you can have some structure, schedule some time to write and just then stick to it. For me, I like to listen to some soft music, light a candle and just allow my thoughts to flow. There is no right or wrong way to write. It’s really based on personal preference for the process and how to get in a creative mood. I would also suggest that you read something in the genre that you wish to write in. It helps give you insight, inspiration and can spark the writing process.
Are you currently working on any new book projects? If so, when can we expect them to be released?
Yes, I am currently writing on a devotional journal for my book. It may be ready by the end of July or early August. I am also working on a series of other books, which will probably be ready later this year. Part 1 may possibly be released in time for my birthday in September.
Tell us about your marketing strategies as an author. Do you find it to be challenging at times when promoting your books?
This may sound surprising, but I didn’t have a marketing strategy when I started out as author. Strangely enough, this didn’t hinder me from appearing on tv, radio shows, podcasts and on a speaking panel. Of course, trial, error and experience have taught me to have a better marketing strategy. There were some things that I did not know. Things such as identify your target audience, define your brand, and build an author platform. I did some research and discovered that these were all relevant to my success as an author. The main key is to be creative, consistent and have good content. I had the content, but I was inconsistent with posting on social media and my website. I would have speaking events or be a vendor at pop up shops, but these events were not promoted on my website. They would be posted on social media. Yes, sometimes it can be challenging but I had to find out what works for me and my target audience.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I see myself being a best-selling author, writing more books and expanding my author platform. I see myself speaking on stages, hosting conferences, being on panels and traveling the world. I see my business expanding and providing more products and services for my clients. I see a non-profit component to my business where I can go to schools, college campuses and speak on my book and how it helps others to evaluate their relationships. I see it being offered as an elective course. I can even see myself teaching a few classes based on the curriculum and inspiring and encouraging students to follow their dreams and pursue their purpose.
What does be an author mean to me?
Being an author means that I have the opportunity to share my story and experiences with others. It means that I have the platform to share and make a difference by my contributions to the world. It means that I have another opportunity to serve and please God by pursuing my purpose and spreading the message of love. I can help others to understand and appreciate the various relationships in their lives. I can help them to engage in healthy mutually beneficial relationships. I can teach them how to set healthy boundaries, stay true to themselves and make better choices in life and relationships. Consequently, being an author is a major personal accomplishment for me. It means that it is a part of my legacy that I am leaving behind for future generations.
What’s your favorite quote and who is it by?
This is a tough one because I have so many quotes that I love and can relate. My favorite quote is “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is by the late great Maya Angelou.
How can readers connect with you and support you?
Readers can connect and support me via social media. I have a personal Facebook page and one for the book. I also have an author Instagram account and my website links listed below.