AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR, LAQUEISHA MALONE was born and raised in Arkansas, where she currently resides with her family. She has worked as a Psychiatric Aide at a children’s Habilitation Center for 9 years, and was the Education Administrative Assistant at the same Habilitation Center for 5 years.
Writing has always been a part of her life. She began writing fiction stories and poetry about the age of 13. It was her way of coping with everyday situations. She accredits Dr. Maya Angelou for her love of writing poetry.
Her poetry has been entered into numerous contests, and many of them were published in book and CD compilations through The International Library of Poetry. She also won many awards for these publications.
She taught Creative Writing at The Lighthouse of Wisdom for three years, and has released three books A New Pair of Shoes Step In Mine, Cell of the Mind, and A Walk In My Shoes. She has been featured several times online from Blogs, Radio, and Magazines such as Sledge Rock City, NuSouth Magazine, KnowUrEnemy BlogTalkTadio, The1Essence Radio, One West Radio, and Urban Grapevine Magazine. She also taught Creative Writing in her community for 3 years.
2015 AAMBC Poet of the Year
2018 The Literary Affair Helping Hands Award
Her future goals are to create youth based writing groups and workshops to give the youth a voice.
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 never thought writing was something I was called to do. I used to only write to clear my mind. Pen and Paper was my best friend growing up because I didn’t think I could trust people. It wasn’t until a friend of mine in Atlanta encouraged me to publish, that I began to take it seriously. What I love the most about writing is being able to express myself freely and people relating to it. The frustrating part about writing is when I am going through writer’s block. All the stories are there, but they are jumbled. It drives me crazy.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
I write poetry, young adult, children’s books, and self-help books for authors. A Walk In My Shoes Step In Mine & Cell of the Mind (poetry). Love, Marriage, & Divorce; Rebuilding Your Life Moving Forward; Sex, Lies, & Church; & A Mother’s Day Nightmare (anthologies); Author Content Marketing Ideas & Author Branding Checklist (self-help for authors). Readers can find my books available on all major platforms as well as my website www.laqueishamalone.com
3) What projects are you currently working on?
Currently I’m working releasing some young adult fiction books, a YouTube TV Show to interview authors, and releasing more magazines.
4) 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?
My most significant achievement as a writer is when I won the AAMBC Award for Poet of the Year in 2015. In the next five years I see myself when more awards and getting into film.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
Well, dealing with rejection is hard for any author and it’s something you must get used as you come into your own. I take a moment to embrace my feelings. Being the over thinker I am, I analyze what I did and how to approach the situation differently.
6) 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?
I don’t have a schedule to write at the moment (I should…). I do outline my novels it is the only I can write them and stay on track. I have so much going on in my head that outlining makes it easier to keep up with which story I’m on at that moment. It can take me weeks to a few years. I general tend to write as I’m feeling like it and not every day religiously. When I get stuck on one book I just go to the next instead of forcing it. When I’m not writing I’m working on my magazine.
7) 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?
I don’t think it is ever too late for an aspiring author to become successful. Most of our well-known authors didn’t become successful right away it took patience, time and consistency. I don’t feel a late start would hinder their chances. If anything, it should make them wiser and have more stories to tell. I say in the time when your idle research your craft and prepare.
8) Are you an avid reader and have you always been? What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
I love to read. I always tell people that you can travel anywhere just pick up a book. I heard that said once and I stick to it. I don’t read as much now with everything I have going on with the magazine. The first book that touch me emotionally and moved me was “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Dr. Maya Angelou when I was in elementary school. It was the first book I read by an African American Author. My favorite author is Nikki Turner. Currently, I am reading ‘The Price of Being A Princess’ by Regina Bumbrey.
9) How has the current state of the world affected your writing? Because writing is an isolated practice, do you find it easier to deal with quarantine? Has it stifled your creativity or has it made you even more driven to get things done?
The current state of the world has inspired me to write, but I haven’t found it easier to write. I’ve worked my day as normal without having to quarantine and I didn’t get out much before hand unless was for business, so I was already doing a lot online. This pandemic has definitely driven me and made me want to be self-sufficient.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry as it is being represented today? Do you lean more towards traditional publishing or self-publishing as a preference? Does being a hybrid author interest you?
My thoughts on the publishing and its representation today… I believe that it’s moving in a must needed pace. There are many authors who weren’t able to or didn’t know how to get their stories out are not able to do so very easily. I lean towards self-publishing. I have always loved the control it gives you. So for the past 13 years I’ve been self-published. Hybrid does not interest me because I don’t want to be under contract with anyone just yet. I prefer to keep my control for now.
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 feel same way. I began writing to cope mentally with everything I was going through as child, teenager, and adult. It’s the only thing that gets me through tough times. A unique quality about me or my work is that I like to take social issue that’s important to me through my experiences and tell a story and being hope. Writing helps me be more empowered in my purpose because I’m able to share myself in my most vulnerable state with the world.