Dr. Teresa A. Smith, aka Dr. TAS, is a prophetess, media personality, author, life coach, college administrator, web series host, and motivational speaker who has built a brand based on personal development and empowerment.
A North Carolina native and a contributor to ConversationsLIVE, a radio show on ABC NEWS Radio Network, the radio in Mississippi, and several online outlets such as iHeart Radio. Her segment, Talk with TAS, is also heard on Positive 365net and has over two million listeners worldwide.
Through her weekly Talk With TAS LIVE on Facebook, Dr. TAS provides coaching that educates, encourages, and empowers her audience to persevere as they encounter life’s trials in search of their truth. She is the author of Stronger How Overcoming Life’s Adversities Can Push You Into Your Purpose. STRONGER was number two out of twenty on the 20 Books Oprah Should Read in 2019.
Stay connected with Dr. TAS at www.askdrtas.com
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?
Jimmetta, thanks for this opportunity to share my writing journey with you and your audience. Since I was a child, I have had three passions, the legal and medical systems and writing which fueled my thirst for knowledge. Writing allows me to wed the judiciary and healthcare to create a holistic perspective on the topic that I write about. The legal system has procedures and processes for interpreting and enforcing the law. Hence, there is a logical flow to addressing an offense and the possible consequences. However, sometimes the individual’s circumstances can mitigate the impact of the sentence received. Likewise, physical or mental symptoms may indicate many illnesses. It is incumbent upon the doctor to determine which disease the symptoms suggest. Both the legal and medical care institutions require critical thinking. As a writer, I don’t provide an answer to the reader. I provide information for them to consider that prompts the reader to investigate and determine their truth. This makes my writing process challenging because I have to remain loyal to my calling and purpose.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
I have published three books that readers can purchase on Amazon. My first book is biographical, Stronger How Overcoming Life’s Adversities Can Push You Into Your Purpose, and was listed number two on the list of 20 books Oprah should read in 2019. As an incest and trauma overcomer, the reader learns that they too can succeed regardless of life’s challenges. Stronger Book Link: https://amzn.to/3vrOFPN
My ebook From Bravery to Victory shows how to turn challenges into a road map to victory by becoming a student of life lessons and the wisdom they bring. From Bravery To Victory Book Link: https://amzn.to/3psl84F
My latest book, Transformation, is a collection of ten messages that illustrate the transformation framework God gave me to assist others in developing an unapologetically rewarding life for themselves, others, and in service to God. Besides the ten messages, Transformation is a study guide and workbook to help fuel the reader’s passion for personal development. Transformation Book Link: https://amzn.to/35cRpG3
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
My inspiration comes from God and the work He has and still does to support my growth and those closest to me. My mantra is, “I own who I am,” the good, bad, and ugly. I am not perfect. Like everyone else, I struggle daily to remain faithful to my commitment to God and myself. This is not a straightforward process. Every day, I am confronted with new situations that test this mindset. Yet, I understand that my past trauma did not destroy me but is used to develop the person I am still becoming. So, each day I remind myself to appreciate and accept the present life circumstances in my quest to reach my fullest potential and help others achieve theirs.
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?
Jimmetta, I wish I could say I have a set writing schedule. No, I don’t. Haha, you see my wacky sense of humor in action. What I have learned is everyone’s inspiration for writing appears differently. My writing coach says that I should write daily, and I actually do. Yet, it’s not a linear process. Because my inspiration comes from God, I write sections that are puzzle pieces. When I edit the manuscript, the parts become apparent, and I see the picture. Then I approach the project from a different perspective but still from a spiritual lens. Given my writing process, it takes 18-24 months for me to complete a book. Currently, I am working on my first work of fiction, a children’s novel, Trinity and The Yellow Bus. I will birth this project soon, or my doctors will induce labor!! In all seriousness, I plan to have delivered Trinity and The Yellow Bus in late 2022 or early 2023.
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?
I have been a reader my entire life. I read Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, Hardy Boys Books, Marvel Comic, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Harlequin Romances, and the Bible, to name a few. The book outside of the Bible that told me I could be anything I wanted and still causes an emotional response is When I Grow Up by Jean Bethell. In this book, they offered many career paths to the little girl and the option for her to choose the career path that best suited her needs. I have never forgotten this truth and have applied it to all aspects of my life. I like mystery and love the Tamara Hayle Mysteries by Valerie Wilson Wesley. In my spare time, I am reading The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani.
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?
Released in 2021, Transformation has been the most significant achievement. This book became the impetus for the Transform with TAS Show which was launched in spring 2022. Transform with TAS Show extends my writing and shares healthy cooking tips that strengthen God’s vessel and spotlights individuals who have learned their worth and have thrived regardless of their circumstances. The guests share transformative life lessons and wisdom with the audience. Your readers can watch the Transform With TAS Show on my YouTube Channel: youtube.com/c/DrTAS
Jimmetta, I am gonna be honest with you. I can’t say where I will be in the next five years. My goal is to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit so that God can still use me to develop people. What that looks like remains to be seen, which is exciting and frightening!
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?
Mike Murdock says, “Your sheep will know your voice.” I believe Mike uses the Shepherd and sheep to illustrate the critical lesson that everyone will not embrace your writing. Your manuscript, no matter how great, is not for everyone. Rejection will come. As the writer, consider the source, the aspect of the writing being called into question, and determine if the declaration has merit. If it does, how will you correct it? And, if it doesn’t, identify the lesson to be learned. Remember that every question or comment does not require a public response. Do the work to determine if there is merit to the rejection and proceed accordingly.
Developing a growth mindset helps the author throughout the traditional or self-publishing process. As writers, most of us want to publish the best representation of our work. Use constructive feedback as the fuel to improve your manuscript, and don’t take it personally. As the author, become a student of the traditional and self-publishing process. This is a business, and we have to understand how publishing works, so you don’t get burned.
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?
Great question. The author has two sides: the creative and the business or entrepreneur. Writing is an occupation, and the marketing and promotional aspect are necessary. Honestly, I struggle to get of my head and be creative from the marketing stance. I am still learning the power of social media. The struggle is real!
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?
Jimmetta, this is an excellent question. I enjoy reading my work after it has been published. I believe it is because I am sharing life principles. Therefore, every time I read my books, I gain another personal life lesson. I’ve found it is the lesson that I need for that moment in my life.
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, it is never too late to pursue your writing dreams. As I stated early, the book outside of the Bible that has affected me most is When I Grow Up. This book showed me I could have any career I wanted with hard work. When I Grow Up didn’t have an expiration date on my career path. Man puts the expiration date. It is up to each of us to accept the manufactured expiration date.
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?
Writing keeps me grounded. It is part of my journal writing process. When I review my writing, I get to govern what works with who I presently am and who I am becoming. For me, it is a wraparound approach to living an authentic life.