Thursday, September 16, 2010

Authors On The Rise Interviews Yvonne Pierre.

Authors On The Rise Is proud to bring you an interview with author Yvonne Pierre. Read this powerful Interview and be inspired. Enjoy!

AOTR: Briefly tell us about yourself and your book.

Yvonne: Sure, my name is Yvonne Pierre, proud mom of two boys ages 17 and 8. Over the past few years, I have been focused on advocating positive special needs awareness through various online projects. My passion for the disabled community stems from my own experience of having a child with special needs. My youngest son was diagnosed with Down syndrome after birth. I am also passionate about using my voice to inspire those who have went through some of the struggles I have. Just recently, I launched a memoir called, “The Day My Soul Cried.” The book is about the process I went through to overcome many trials from child abuse, financial struggles to personal battles such as reading, ups and downs with weight and self-esteem. To sum it up, I’m a mom, advocate, entrepreneur, first time author and soon to be filmmaker.

AOTR: Why did you decide to write, The Day My Soul Cried?

Yvonne: Initially, I started off writing another book. I wanted to write an inspirational book, but I was struggling to write it. I couldn’t find my voice. During this time, I started to question why it was so hard for me to write it. I think I rewrote that book several times before I realized why I was running away from writing it and completing other projects. I was standing in my own way and I didn’t feel I was worthy of success. I had a breakdown period. It was placed on my spirit that this internal struggle was “The Day My Soul Cried.” The book pretty much found me and wrote itself. That is what the book is about: the internal struggles I faced that were preventing me from moving forward in life, until the day my soul cried.

AOTR: What do you hope readers will take away after they have finished your book?

Yvonne: I think everyone will walk away with something different. I have been through a lot in a small amount of time and I believe that one of the reasons God pulled me through was to be a testimony of hope. Dee, my hope is that readers who are struggling with self-acceptance and self-worth are able to read my story and walk away with a sense of empowerment and inspiration in their journey to never give up on themselves. I hope that they are able to face their circumstances with a new perspective about facing and overcoming adversity.

AOTR: Being that your book is a memoir, was it painful writing it? If so how did you overcome it?

Yvonne: I don’t think I’ve ever shared this publically - during the time I was writing the book, we were financially struggling badly. I kept praying to God and asking Him what He needed me to do and His response was to finish the book. I fought it. But the process of writing this book helped me get through. It reminded me of what all God has already brought me through. To answer the question, no, it wasn’t painful. Yes, I cried and had to walk away several times, not because it was painful, it was tears of joy.

AOTR: Tell us about your journey to publication and the obstacles you faced?
How did you move past them?

Yvonne: Years ago, with my first “attempt” to write a book, I took time to study the publishing industry knowing that I wanted to start my own publishing company. So, as far as publishing that went fine, but the biggest obstacle I had to face with publishing was getting over my fear to do it. I’m sure you could attest to this Dee, but fear is natural; to overcome it is to just go through it despite the fear. Thinking of myself as an author or publishing a book was too much pressure for me. I’m not sure how to explain it, but right now I’m in school working on my MBA and I’m cranking out 3 to 4 reports a week and not finishing is not an option. I had to look at completing this book the same way. I had to look at it as a task or assignment that had to be done.

AOTR: Describe how it felt the first time you saw your book in print.

Yvonne: It felt good, but I guess because I also run the publishing company too and working on all aspects of the business, being an “author” haven’t hit me yet.

AOTR: Please tell us about Have Ya Heard.

Yvonne: As I mentioned, I have two sons and my youngest son, Zyon was diagnosed with Down syndrome after birth. Prior to him reaching school age, I wasn’t involved with any kind of support group. When Zyon was diagnosed we were told mostly what he cannot and will not be able to do. The doctor told us that he will not be a contribution to society and offer us to join a support group. My perception of a support group was a bunch of parents having a pity party and I didn’t want to be a part of that because I did not feel that way about my son. Since then, my perception changed but to make a long story short, when Zyon turned three, I started to seek out support groups to find out what other parents experiences were with public special education. I joined several Yahoo online groups and after reading many of the comments from parents who saw their own children in a negative light, I was heartbroken.
After reading too many heartbreaking stories, I cried for a couple of weeks. I could not believe that parents felt this way about their own children. I went online to research inspirational stories of individuals with Down syndrome and I came across so many powerful stories. I questioned, “Why aren’t these stories being told?” So, in November of 2004 that was the birth of “Have Ya Heard the Abilities of Downs.” I had no idea what I wanted to do but I knew parents needed to hear about these success stories - people with Ds who were college grads, self-advocates, artists, musicians and so on. Since then, I dropped the name to simply “Have Ya Heard” to include all disabilities. HYH online is a community for parents, caregivers and loved ones and it’s an online magazine.

AOTR: What inspires and motivates you to continue to do all that you do?

Yvonne: Dee, as you know, there are so many hurting people. At one point, I had to stop watching the news, answering my phone because it was so overwhelming to the point it kept me up at night. I will continue to produce products such as book, online works and soon film to empower others. Although it is not easy, giving up is not an option because it’s absolutely not about me. I feel the things that God places on my spirit to do, must be done.

AOTR: Do you have a motto? Please share it with us.

Yvonne: My motto is that whether the adversity I face is a test from God or the enemy trying to break me, either way I have to learn, grow and be strengthened by it. I refuse to be defeated.

AOTR: What is the best advice someone gave you?

Yvonne: The best advice I’ve received was to use my fears to my advantage.

AOTR: What words of encouragement would you give to someone who may be going through someE- of the same issues you wrote about in your memoir?

Yvonne: Because of what we go through, sometime we end up hurting ourselves more. I would say to someone who’s been through or going through any form of adversity that you owe it to yourself to forgive, heal and let go. No one or nothing is worth your sanity and peace. In order to move forward you have to let go and reach for yourself. Don’t allow the enemy to win. When we hold on to the pain and hurt, we’re not hurting the other person; we end up standing in our own way.

AOTR: When you are not writing what other things do you enjoy doing?

Yvonne: Aside from school and working on other projects, which I love too… I love spending time with my significant other and my children. And I’m pretty simple, as long as there is either a good movie, laughing, a good conversation, music, dancing, and food, I’m good.

AOTR: What do you want your legacy to be?

Yvonne: Wow, my legacy, hmmm. I will be launching a film production company next year and I would love for my legacy to be that I produce some ground breaking documentaries, film, books and other projects that made a difference.

AOTR: How can readers find out more information on you and your books?

Yvonne: You’ve asked some great questions that I had to ponder on and I would like to thank you Dee for the opportunity. I truly appreciate it. But to answer the question, the best place for readers to find out more information is through my website Thanks Dee!

AOTR: Thank you Yvonne for this powerful interview, and for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with Authors On The Rise. We wish you much success in all your future endeavors!

AOTR: We wish you continued success!


Day of the week: Saturday

City: Los Angeles (nice place to visit, but I’ll never live there)

CD: “The Fight of My Life” by Kirk Franklin

Book: “In the Meantime” by Iyanla Vanzant

Ice cream: Butter Pecan (sugar free)

Social networking site: Facebook

Vacation spot: A nice quite hotel room, anywhere

Friend: Steffan, my fiancĂ©, we’ve been through a lot over the past 12 years we’ve been together but through it all our friendship grew and we have both proven that we have each others best interest at heart.

Food: It’s hard to pick one; I would say it’s a tie between Soul and Mexican food.

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