“Take each day to use your gifts and talents to help someone else. I promise-You will not regret it!”
Today, I have Shelia Lipsey, “ also known as God’s Amazing Girl, is a nationally acclaimed, multi-award winning author with thirteen titles to her credit thus far. She was bestowed the 2012 Disilgold Magazine Editor’s Choice Book Award for four of her ten titles; nominated for a 2012 Christian Literary Award by Joy and Company, recipient of 2011 Book Clubs Unite Literary Award; 2011 Kindle Awards for Literary Contribution; 2010 Pink Diamond Literary Award; 2009 SORMAG Readers’ Choice Awards for My Son’s Wife, 2009 Black Pearls Magazine Top Book Shelf Award, 2009 Urban Reviews Top Shelf Award and 2008 Author of the Year by Conversations Book Club. Lipsey is the founder of BWABC (Black Writers And Book Clubs) Literacy Festival (www.bwabcliteracyfestival.com), Memphis African American Writers Group (MAAW) as well as an acquisitions editor for Bonita And Hodge Publishing Group, LLC (www.bonitaandhodgepublishing.com). She is a much sought after inspirational speaker who shares messages of empowerment and overcoming obstacles with audiences all over the USA.” With that being said, it is a pleasure to get to know a little more about her today. If you aren’t familiar with her books, they are Amazon linked. You can also find her books on B&N and Smashwords.
What are your passions outside of writing? Shelia E. Lipsey is a unique, wonderfully created individual (smile). My passions in life outside of writing include being a walking talking, breathing example of what it means to live your dreams now. I am passionate about family and friends, about living my life to the fullest. I am most passionate about inspiring others to be the best they can be.
Where are you from?
I am a true Southern Belle (lol). I reside in Memphis.
Tell me about life growing up. How does it affect your writing?
Growing up was good yet difficult. I contracted polio at age two and it proved to be tough at times growing up with a physical disability. However, as I mature in life I continue to understand and realize that it makes me who I am. What I used to consider as an obstacle, a curse and a struggle I now see as an opportunity to motivate and encourage others to live their dreams now. Instead of a curse, it has instilled courage in me to fight for what I believe in. It has given me courage to go hard after my dreams and the desires of my heart. Lastly, instead of a struggle, it has induced strength in me. Strength in character and convictions, and strength to stand firm against the adversities in life.
How poignant. When did you know you were a writer?
Ummm, I can’t say when I officially knew that I was a writer. I still pinch myself sometimes, because I am in awe of my writing ability. I have thirteen books to my credit and I am continuing to write, write, and write some more. It’s crazy, because I always enjoyed writing poetry when I was younger, and performing speeches, I’d written at my school and in my church, but I never connected it to being a writer until about fourteen years ago.
What motivates you to write?
What motivates me to write comes from deep inside. It’s simply part of me, something that I need to do, have to do, must do. It’s like I said in the answer to the question above, I never officially considered myself a writer, I guess because it seems truly a part of everything I am. So motivation comes from the fact that I am doing what I love to do. I am doing what I believe is one of the things that I was placed on this earth to do.
How much of what you write is based on personal experiences?
There is one fiction book I wrote that is based on personal experience, That book is, Always Now And Forever. I also wrote a nonfiction book based on personal experiences, A Christian’s Perspective: Journey Through Grief. The books I write all come from living life, hearing and seeing what goes on in the world then transforming it into life on paper. It is why I call my work ‘Perfect Stories About Imperfect People.’
What is your research process when preparing a post?
My research process is dependent on what my book/story is about. For example, my recent release, “House of Cars” is a teen story based primarily on a homeless youth and his family. I did quite a bit of research on the subject of homelessness, heavily concentrating on information about homeless men with children. I searched the internet, interviewed people, contacted shelters and soup kitchens to find out the process homeless men with children primarily experience, most of which I discovered was quite unfortunate for a homeless man with kids. I was totally surprised by my findings.
That sounds intriguing! What genre do you read? What authors do you admire?
I do not read any one type of genre. I simply love reading: period, that’s it. I’m just looking for a great story that is both entertaining and realistic. I admire Jay California Cooper who I would love to meet. I also admire Anjuelle Floyd, Terry McMillan, Reshonda Tate Billingsley and many more, but these are just a very very few.
What advice would you give others about writing & in general?
Do not give up. Live your dreams now is what I always encourage others to do. If you are a writer, then write. If you are a speaker, then speak. If you are a teacher, then teach. You can’t accomplish your dreams if you don’t put your dreams in action. Many times people say go after your dreams, or follow your dreams, but I say you don’t have to ‘go after or follow’ your dreams because the dreams are already inside of you. They are already a part of you and who you are. All you have to do is bring them to life by living your dreams.
What would you like people to know that they might not know already?
That’s funny. I think I’ve said more than enough already. BUT, I guess I want people to know that I consider myself a champion, an overcomer. I was born to win. I was born to do great things. I am not mediocre, I am well above average. I am special. I am God’s Amazing Girl!
Excerpt from latest book (House of Cars) Teen story
I know Pops is trying, but I wish things would hurry up and change for us. It’s only so much room inside a Yukon. A lot of our clothes, along with a few blankets, a couple of sleeping bags, and a small chest that contained our personal items like toothbrush and deodorant, made it impossible to be comfortable, plus a whip is made for going from one place to the next, not to live in.
I let my seat back as far as I could, but I was still cramped. My little sister was so close up on me, it looked like we were superglued together. But, I understood because the blankets we had were hardly enough to keep us warm. We slept in our Wal-Mart foam jackets and I kept on two pairs of pants, two shirts and two or three pairs of socks to keep from freezing my butt off.
And when Nyla has her crying spells, man, I tell you it’s like living in a nightmare. I guess Nyla cried because like me she was tired of having no place to call home. And with Pops being so secretive, and sometimes downright mean, I think it made things even harder on us. He warned us every day before we got dropped off at school not to tell anyone about what was going on. He told Nyla if she told anybody then mean people would come and take her away from him and she would never see him or me again. I don’t know how much of that was true, but I wasn’t about to take the chance, plus I was like Pops, I didn’t want anyone to know that he couldn’t afford a place for us to live.
Thinking back over the last few years, naw, I’ll just say over the last three months, if someone would have asked me if I could ever see myself living on the streets, I would have laughed in their face so quick that they wouldn’t have known what hit ‘em. Pops had been some kind of big time director at a manufacturing plant for almost twelve years when they up and fired him; and just like that, things started getting bad.
House of Cars Trailer Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93XCjClpcfE
Excerpt from What’s Blood Got To Do With It?
Chapter 2 excerpt
On the drive home, Adanya nestled on the passenger’s side of her father’s luxury automobile. Her thoughts leaned toward Bleak. Of all people to run into, why him? What kind of name is Bleak anyway? Why am I bothered about it? Stop it, Adanya. He’s just another flirtatious man trying to get what he wants out of a woman. She would definitely take into account what her father told her.
The closer they got to home, Adanya felt herself growing weary. Her eyelids fluttered and she positioned her head comfortably on the back of the head cushion. It had been a great day and a fantastic evening.
YOUTUBE VIDEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysXbjhbQTbg
Thanks so much Shelia for dropping by and sitting in my Chat Chair! I hope you will come again!