Featured Author Lafrieda Smith

Interview With Winn Publications

How did your journey as an author begin?

My journey as an author began last year while trying to figure out what kind of book I wanted to write. I was wrestling with ideas of many subjects to write about but then I realized while watching a YouTube tutorial that I needed to do as they say “Write what you know”. I came up with the perfect first book to write which was about my family’s adventure in house hunting. 

Was it something you always wanted to pursue?

Writing a book wasn’t always something I wanted to do; I wanted to be a teacher or psychologist. I enjoyed writing pieces. I used to write children’s stories for my kids when they were little that they found entertaining but other than that, because of the rejection of my manuscripts to publishing companies asking for money; I didn’t think I wanted to publish anything. 

Who or what motivated you to write?

A motivation for me in writing is everything that surrounds me including family and friends. The journeys they go through; I love writing about what inspires me and the people that added to its content. A big part of my writing comes from what I said earlier about writing about what I know and see. Helping others and making a difference in someone’s life has always been something I do not hesitate to do for it is my passion.

How was the publishing process?

The self-publishing process took some time for me. I didn’t want to go the traditional route because of the past experiences I have had. I did a lot of research on self-publishing by following on Pinterest and YouTube influencers who have done it. I started with working on Fiverr to get my book designed and formatted. It is very reasonably priced so it fit well into my budget with everything all in one. While the book was being done, I had to learn about platforms to publish it on and that’s when I started with Amazon Kindle Publishing where you download and set your prices accordingly. I had already seen the process from tutorials so it was easy. Next thing I know it was done. 

One of the challenges you face as a self-published author is where to advertise. When you start a following on social media, you get a lot of people that will message you about paid reviews and promotions for your book and you will get wrapped up in trying to get a sale. I pick and choose how I do my promotions. Some things like webinars, appearances on podcasts, book tours and even blog features within reason or even no cost options are worth it but if you spend too much time reading every single DM you get for promotion, it distracts you from the real picture. I have been approached by companies that want you to spend thousands to promote and authors don’t even make that much. 

Do you have a tip that you can offer your peers (poets and writers worldwide)?

A tip that I would give writers in the community that I always stay true to is; keep yourself in your writing. Everything you write is yours and is not written for others. Everyone is not going to like what you have to say in your book so write as if you are entertaining yourself. For every person that likes your story it is shared with others; don’t ever give up on your own writing. 

Are you currently working on any new projects? If so when can we expect them to be released?

I am currently working on a 3 part series for Parenting. It will be called Being Independent Series.  As a mom, my kids have always been my number inspiration. I am in the process of publishing my first book of the series scheduled to be out at the end of May. It touches on Women’s Empowerment and the power of sisterhood in the community. My second book of the series focuses on the fundamentals of growing up as an adult which is going to be a letter to my younger 16-year-old self. The third book in this series will be a dedication to my youngest son who is on the Autism Spectrum. It will be my first time writing a poetry book about his life on the Spectrum. The last two books will be released later this year. 

What’s your favorite quote and who’s it by?

One of my favorite writers is Maya Angelou and she put into perspective a lot of things that most people take for granted. The will to be better, your attitude, and how you react to things is a big part of why society today is so mixed up. Two of my favorite quotes by her: “If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” / “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

If you could co-author with anyone – dead or alive- who would it be and why?

If I could co-author with anyone, I would have loved the opportunity to work with Maya Angelou. Her words speak volumes about how much culture has changed. She brought to light how the world truly is and how emotions reflect how the world sees and influences one another. I would have loved to have had her help with my first poetry writing. 

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