LaKeah Shannelle is a new author from Cincinnati, Ohio. She discovered her love of the written word fairly early in life. Always with a book in hand she decided why not touch the hearts of others as hers has been. A lover of people and the human emotion, she will keep you engrossed with every word no matter what genre she takes on. Take the challenge and go on the adventure with her.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
I was fairly young when I discovered I could write and tell interesting stories. I would stay on the phone for hours with my friend weaving tales. I never knew how good I was until I would do really well writing in English class. The part I love the most is when everything is done, the product is finished and in my hands, and I get to see the reaction of those who read it. It frustrates me when I have no idea how to get my works out there. I hate roadblocks, and let me tell you my life is full of them. LOL
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
I am a multi-genre author. I love to write a little bit of everything, but at the moment I write Suspense with a side of brown sugar. I did an interview once and my friend Barbie came up with that and I have loved that saying since LOL.
I am currently writing Revenant Series. Book one and two are completed and the third is being edited. Toni is a sweet-loving woman who has had a rough life. One Halloween night she happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnesses an assassination. No matter where she goes The Ghost finds her and she can’t figure out how he is in her dreams at night and makes her life a nightmare during the day.
I just released my second poetry book that I co-wrote with a good friend. Its titled Sex, Love, and Romance. It’s a view on love from his and her POV. My first poetry book is titled Lady’s Story and it’s some of my thoughts, emotions, and desires that I have kept quiet over the years. That was hard to peel back my flesh and let my soul lose to share with the world.
My cozy mystery is also in the editing phase and should be ready before fall. I have plans to release at least two more this year, but we will see how life goes…I did mention roadblocks, didn’t I.
All of these works plus all I release can be found on Amazon. Outside of that you can sign up for my newsletter for updates, more info on me, and see other suggested reads. By Facebook, you can find me through this link https://www.facebook.com/lakeahshannelle/.
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
I am a dreamer. I dream like I’m playing a movie. I keep a notebook and my phone next to my bed so that I can write things down. You should see how many stories I have started, outlined, or written down. I have material for years. Human interaction also plays a large part in it. I add what I see in my everyday life to what I dream and BOOM magic happens. I draw from the people in my life. Toni’s friends in Revenant are made after my sister, daughter, and a close dear friend.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
I am trying to adopt a better more disciplined schedule. I do better at night when the world is quiet and I can hear just myself. I turn on my music and let it flow. I do outline, it’s not organized and structured. It’s chicken scratch and in my shorthand but it makes sense to me. Now when I am writing poetry it all just pours out of me.
The length of time depends on if the book has been started and I am adding to it, it can be a month. If I am starting fresh then around three months with a month of editing, but that is only if nothing gets in the way.
I am thinking of doing a Sci-fi type novel about a girl who is so hurt by losing her love to a lie she finds a book based on an old African legend to travel back in time and change things to secure her future. I’m just playing with it right now, but I keep peeking at it.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
The name of the book was Walk Through Cold Fire. I had to be like twelve and it was about a girl who runs away from her abusive home, and just wow!!
My favorite author is Karen Marie Moning
I have been reading a little bit of everything, but I met a really sweet lady on Facebook and she writes a good book, Kristi Tailor check her out. Vivian Arend has a cool romance series about some ranchers that I love, and Kendra Elliot’s The Last Sister is a good mystery to lose yourself in.
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
Just getting my books written, edited, and published is a blessing. Every time I see one pop up on Amazon I cry. Hitting number one for black poetry and number two for women’s poetry was cool too.
Well, a girl can dream right. I see myself going full-time assisting other black authors while still writing and publishing for myself.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing?
Being black and writing is not always easy. When I first started it was hard to get my vision across. No, I don’t like that cover my lead is black, no I will not change that sentence to that, it’s meant to sound that way. They are a black family and no it’s not meant to offend non-people of color. It is meant to reflect us. I have had all of those conversations. My advice is to just keep pushing. You are not alone.
8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?
YYYYEEESSSS!!!! LOL I just want to write. I have a PA that is how trying it was on my nerves to learn and execute. I am still attempting to build my name. It is not easy, but I keep at it to the wee hours of the night sometimes.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself after it’s out there for the rest of the world?
Strangely I do. I forget it was written by me and I just write. I know I it’s strange. Do you enjoy reading yours? Do you pat yourself on the back?
Me: Actually I don’t dislike reading my work and I’m usually impressed when I read over it but I would much rather move on to the next story or read someone else’s than read my own. It feels weird if that makes sense lol.
10) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
No. I think it’s never too late for any dream. Follow it wholeheartedly.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
I can say things in a way that shows the different sides myself. I pour all of the layers of my personality and wrap who I am on every page and it is therapeutic for me. It humbles me and keeps me real. It quiets my brain and fills me with a purpose.