“I hope my readers walk away with the message to see the best in the person you love.”
Author Laquanda Everett is a devoted mother of four children. She was born and raised in Bradenton, Florida. Laquanda attended Southeast High School and went on to pursue a career in nursing. Inspired by the elderly through her grandmother and great-grandmother, Laquanda devoted ten years the University of Phoenix to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Administration.
Laquanda heard the voice of God calling her to serve in 2001. This is when she was appointed to serve as a board member and a team member of Faith, Action For Strength Together (FAST) organization. The group FAST is a justice ministry that is a non-denominational organization. The organization comes together to identify and solve community issues. This was to be her ministry to inspire and light a fire in God people.
Her mission is to write novels that ordinary people could relate to. Laquanda decided to move forward to pursue a writing career. With her mission and ministry together, she tells of the hope of the arrival of repentance, healing, transformation, and a closer walk with God that should come.
What motivates you to write?
I have been writing since the fourth grade, however, it was a calling I had to eventually start answering and stop ignoring. Really. I say this because I had started writing a story I never got to finish. One thing about God when He wants your attention sometimes a brick is thrown to get it. In my case, that is just what had happened. Someone that I loved had passed, so I wrote. It was therapeutic. Forbidden Love was a title God had revealed to me. From there on I knew it was my calling to change lives through my writing.
How much of the book is realistic?
That’s the million dollar question for a lot of my readers. Well, a lot of it was inspired by things I been through and people I know have been through. You have to keep in mind these are real issues that a lot of women and men of God have faced. Especially women, many of us have fallen for men that are not actually tied to the church. Many men have been judged for not knowing God by what their appearance is and their shortcomings in life. Of course, we all have been through relationships that have taken us on an emotional rollercoaster, and we wonder why me? So yes a lot it is realistic because we all can relate to the characters Lala and Marcus in some way.
Is there a message in your novel that you want your readers to grasp?
I hope my readers walk away with the message to see the best in the person you love, even though you have a whole world campaigning for the worst. Know that nothing matters more than love in this life, I mean nothing. So don’t be sweet anything, because true love is to be vowed before God. Who we know is the substance of holding all things together. That’s real.
What books have most influenced your life the most?
I love Steve Harvey books, T.D Jakes, and my favorite Joyce Meyer “The Battlefield of the Mind”. I tell you I love books that cater to the renewal of the mind. Books that change one’s mindset. It’s a horrible thing if your mindset [is] screwed up because this changes the whole game on you. The word changes how you choose to confront an issue. Those authors have influenced me so much how to confront my Goliaths in life.
If you had to choose which writer would you consider a mentor?
Oh, my that’s a hard one, But I would have to say, T.D Jakes.
What book are you reading now?
I just finished Myesha Tyler’s, Who is Jonathan Cruise, who is, by the way, a friend of mine.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes, Riva Tims new book, When It All Falls Apart.
Name the entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Most part my church family was a huge support. Myesha Tyler was especially she told me the in and the outs in the literary world.
Do you see writing as a career?
It is too early to say whether writing will be a career for me, but I know it’s my ministry right now. I have been writing like forever.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Forbidden Love was released January 27, now I working on my next novel right now along with finishing my 10-year-old daughter’s children’s book.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The most challenging thing I experienced with my book was time because I never want to work too much that I don’t have time for God and my family.
What is the hardest part of writing a book?
The hardest part of writing Forbidden Love was the highs and lows of emotions. It’s funny really because sometimes it was hard to take myself out of character. That’s how close the storyline was. Another was making sure you have a good group of people that working on your project. Such as editors, proofreaders, and graphic designers.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Take your time a book should not be rushed not when you are trying to gain an audience. The literary game can kind be like the Hollywood or music industry. You have to be very mindful of who you are working with. As a self-publisher just because it sounds good does not mean its good for you. I have heard horror stories. Do your homework on editors, cover designers and so on.
What is your writing process?
Well, I just create my storyline, and free write a little to get a feel of the story. Of course, you set the atmosphere. It has to be completely quiet for me. Forbidden Love took me four months to write, but I have heard of shorter time frames, copyright it, and then you on to hard part editing.
According to you, what tools are a must for writers?
Writers have to be patient and motivated. Believe me because writing has to be done in stride. There is no quick ride if you are trying to put out a good book. Lastly definitely plan time management.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Oh yeah, all writers do at some point. However when that happens to take a break then come back to it.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love my readers the feedback they have given me have been such a blessing to me. I wrote this book in a lot of pain, but you all have brought so much comfort. Just knowing the book has touched you in some way brings joy. I pray each of you has a closer walk with God as this is my soul purpose. I thank you for your support.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological) in bringing it to life?
You can jump through some hurdles writing a book because you have to go through editing several times, distribution, marketing. It can become quite draining at least for me. I started losing hair. My stylist [was] like ‘what’s going on?’
I see you like Women on the Rise page, what did you like about the program?
The program grasped my interest because I love the education, of showing women how to be entrepreneurs. In addition to that, there are so many writers who want to learn the process of how to publish their material. I would love to part of that movement.
How do you consider being a guest, to talk about your passion as a writer?
I would love to inform, educate and encourage others toward their dream.
To reach Author Laquanda for book signings or speaking engagements contact Laquanda at email@example.com