Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Authors On The Rise Interviews LaDonna M. Smith

Authors On The Rise is happy to bring you an Interview with Ladonna M. Smith. Please visit her site and order a copy of her book today!

AOTR: Please tell us about yourself and your books.

LaDonna: First and foremost I give honor to God. Thank you Dee for this opportunity.

I always find it hard to answer this question because I am humble, and a giver who doesn’t know how to receive. So here is my stab at it…I am the most down to earth individual in the world. I always say that I am a “homeboy’s homegirl and a homegirl’s home girl.” I try my best to get along with most people.

By my mother I have one younger brother Tommy, and by my dad I have 2 younger sisters.

I am a native of Fairmont Heights MD (Prince George’s County) and graduated from Fairmont Heights High School (1996), Prince George’s Community College (Associate of Arts in General Studies 2001) and am only 26 credits away from graduating at Bowie State University. However, it was not until I had to survived on my own going from house to house or “house hopping” until I ultimately ended up in Philadelphia, PA and heard the voice of God that I grew wiser, and more mature in me own walk of life. I was 19 years old. Despite me being raised in church and serving as a church musician since age 12, (I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into me life at age 13 and I was baptized that same year) I soon found that becoming a new creature in Christ was difficult especially without the proper encouragement and general “growing pains”; not to mention the peer pressure of being a teenager. Coincidentally in my adult hood, most of the situations that I hear young people discuss cause me to blurt out words like “I have been there” and “trust me I know”. I have experienced situations in several realms of my life to include but definitely not limited to: physical, mental, sexual, spiritual and emotional abuse; homelessness; hunger; depression, and suicidal thoughts, to name a few. All of this by the age of 29 years old. If you ever hear my testimony you would not believe that I am still able to smile despite of and just because. And I believe that I have to smile because there is nothing else to do.

AOTR: Why did you write your book and what was the inspiration that made you complete it?

LaDonna: My own personal experience allowed me to write this book. I had actually began the book while launching G.R.A.Y. Magazine and co-founding another magazine, and working on an article. I started typing my experience with my “marriage” and before I knew it I had the mind set to get revenge on my ex for what he had done for me. I was going to tell the entire story and get him in trouble with the law. But as I wrote and more importantly my mind and heart transitioned from wanting revenge to becoming healed and delivered from him and the circumstances.

I completed it because I kept meeting people (notice I didn’t just say women) who had similar stories and we were both relieved to discover that we were not alone in going through these situations. We had survived and were now helping others.

To be “The voice of so many whose voices have been silenced” soon became my motto and goal for the book.

AOTR: Are there any important social issues your characters faced or discussed in your book?

LaDonna: The characters discuss domestic violence, sexual abuse, rape, feelings of being unwanted and being lonely, and the cycle of family and generational curses. Oh and endurance and survival, until inner strength is discovered and USED by the power of God!

AOTR: Who was your favorite character in your book and why?

LaDonna: Hmmm…that is a hard one…I really do not have a favorite character in the book.

AOTR: What do you hope a reader will take away after closing your book?

LaDonna: That like the bible says “this too shall pass”. I want people to know that you do not have to stay in a bad relationship. There is hope, there is a way out and most importantly God never leaves you during all of this. Reach out to Him for His guidance and direction and He will direct your path. There are 12 steps which help “jump start” a person’s motivation to begin to prepare themselves mentally for the process. Bottom line know that just because you may have had a ruff life up until the point you are at in it-there is still time to change, and redirect it. It’ not too late. No matter who counted you out or what obstacles you have been thrown – keep it moving. Your dreams and visions can still come into fruition.

AOTR: With so many books in the market, what sets your book apart?

LaDonna: My book gives you the perspective of domestic violence and abuse from the inside out. Meaning through my eyes. The preface tells you how I ended up getting into a marriage packed with domestic violence and I am totally transparent in this book. I didn’t try to appease to the Christian or non Christian market –I just told my story. I get “wows” and “for reals” all the time when I start explaining the premise behind the book.

AOTR: What projects are working you working on now?

LaDonna: God has allowed me to have so many different types of experiences and to see so much that I have several other books being worked on. Without realizing it I have become a cross-genre author.

Hannah’s Song”: A Musical Approach to Potty Training is a children’s book which has the most annoying yet affective potty training song to go with it. It is copywritten and awaiting illustrations. I have also finished a children’s book for kids sleeping in the own bed. My works in progress are a motivational book, a ministry book, another book dealing with relationships and life and more.

AOTR: What keeps you typing and creating books? Is there a person, place, or thing that inspires you to do what you do?

LaDonna: God sends me through my experiences. I write from my personal life situations and events as well as what I see around me.

AOTR: Finish this sentence. Twenty years from now I hope to have accomplished.... in my writing career.

LaDonna: Success with my own publishing company, whereas I have helped other authors transition through the process. Without sounding selfish I hope to have several other books completed and released and at least one movie. These are the minimal milestones I would like to have accomplished in much less than 20 years.

AOTR: How can readers contact you?

LaDonna: The best way is through my website because a copy of ALL emails comes to my personal email. Next would be I’m on the site very often.

LaDonna's ten favorite things:

Fruit: tropical fruits-strawberries, pineapples, mangos, kiwi, cherries, juicy sweet green grapes, watermelon, cantelope, honey dew…most of the fruits.

Season: late spring into early summer when the temperatures are around 75 degrees consistantly unlike now when it’s 70 one day and 30-40 the next day.

Restaurant: of all time would have been Shakey’s Pizza which now has been closed. I guess I really don’t have a favorite one anymore but I do like to eat at the Olive Garden.

Actor: Male-Idris Elba Female: Loretta Devine and although he’s not really an actor Tyler Perry –I’m a true fan! It’s almost guaranteed that projects which any or all of these people are in-I’m going to buy a ticket.

Food: Soul food; I can eat candied yams and macaroni and cheese with just about anything!)

Author: Terry McMillan when I think about her and her accomplishments as an author I say “I wanna be like her when I grow up”.

Movie: Beat Street- the part when Ramone died still makes me cry every time I watch it. I have gotten more into plays now-I watched Tyler Perry’s “Diary of A Mad Black Woman” just about every day when I first separated from my “husband”.

Social networking site: Facebook

Accessory: Unique rings and earrings. Without earrings my face looks “funny” and “different” lol and I feel like I’m not totally dressed.

Time of day: early afternoon. I’m not a morning person and can be considered a “late owl”.

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