- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am from Bishopville, SC. I am married for over 26 years to Mathis Bradley and we have one daughter, Alisha Nycole. I received my Masters from Webster University in Educational Technology and I write poetry.
- What do you do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m just at home relaxing and spending time with my family.
- Do you have a day job as well?
Yes. I do. I am a full-time data analyst at a local area hospital.
- When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I started writing later than most. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that I started to write poetry. I was writing for about 15 years before I finally decided to publish.
- How did you choose the genre you write in?
I didn’t even know I could write poetry. It wasn’t until I went back to school that I had to do an assignment on what the Bible meant to me, and from there, my poetry journey began. So I would have to say that I didn’t choose poetry but God chose it for me.
- Where do you get your ideas?
Poems that I’ve ever written have been inspired by my family and friends. Just living life.
- Do you ever experience writer’s block?
I have experienced writer’s block. But the best thing for me to do when that happens is just set it aside and come back to it later. It’s all about eliminating the distractions.
- Do you work with an outline, or just write?
No outline. I just write. However, there have been times when someone has asked me to read a poem at their event and I ask if there is a theme. If at all possible, I would want to write something that aligns with what they are celebrating.
- Is there any author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Not one specific author but as a whole, just to read about and know that there were so many authors that looked like me that paved the way for writers like myself and others is so inspiring.
- Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
To be honest, I have an awesome publisher. She made the process so easy. I did not have any challenges whatsoever in getting my first book or any that followed publishing. If anything, the challenge was in me deciding to step out and just do it.
- Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?
Influential as a whole in the writing community, I would say Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, and Maya Angelou just to name a few. Their work is amazing.
- What impact have they had on your writing?
They had more of an impact on my life. Just to see so many African American female authors that set the standard for the younger generation is the best motivation there is to keep going.
- What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
I think reading and writing are here to stay. The way we do it may change because of the digital world but it will always be important.
- Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
I think both play a part in the writing process. I just listen to God. He gives me ideas and I go with it. It could either begin with the title or some parts of the poem. There is no specific way and it’s not always given the same way every time. I write and re-write until I feel it flows and makes sense.
- What is your role in the writing community?
My role in the writing community, I think, is to just share the gift that God has given me to His people, and if one person is encouraged then it is all worth it.
- How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?
My book is all God. He is at the center of every verse.
- What is your testimony?
When my daughter was 13, she was diagnosed with major depression and psychosis. No parent wants to see their child go through anything like this. But God is awesome. Prayer still changes things. God still performs miracles. He still heals, restores and delivers. My daughter is 25 now and she has come so far. And I know God had so much more in store for her. She is a testimony!
- How has your environment & upbringing colored your writing?
I was brought up believing in God and prayer and that hasn’t changed at all. You can see it in every poem that is in my book.
- What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
My best accomplishment would be becoming an author. I never would have thought that was an option for me. The first in my family to ever do it and I can’t thank God enough for it.
- What projects are you working on at the present?
I am currently working on another poetry book and word search puzzle book that I hope will be out soon.
- What do your plans for future projects include?
My future projects include a poetry cd and children’s book and coloring book.