Margo Thomas earned degrees in Accounting from the College of The Bahamas and Valdosta State University, respectively. She is the Director of the Take Stock in Children Program in Tallahassee, Florida where her team helps families eliminate the cycle of poverty through mentoring and providing students with resources and tools to help them navigate the pathway through high school, college, and a career.
As she was the first in her family to go to college, Margo fully understands how this opportunity makes a significant impact on the lives of the students she serves. A few years ago, while researching resources to help her parents navigate the college-prep journey, she was disappointed that she could not find information that would speak directly to them. A lightbulb went off and she asked herself, “Why shouldn’t I write exactly what I am looking for?” A year later, Margo published the book, Help! What I Tell Parents About Preparing Their Kids For College. This simple, easy-to-read guide has been preparing parents to successfully help their students transition from high school to college. Because Margo is passionate about getting students through college with limited debt, she also developed a college-prep planner for high school students called I Am College Bound, which was published in June 2020.
Margo’s other passion is educating women about basic financial literacy. She coaches and supports recent college graduates in getting their financial houses in order. She meets women who are overwhelmed in the rat race and are tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck. Many of these women are college graduates who have been saddled with crazy student loan and consumer debt. They are at the place where they would like to purchase a home, but because of their extreme debt, they do not know where to start. Margo uses her professional expertise and personal experiences to help women assess their financial situation, change their behavior with money, develop their money management toolkit, and crush their debt. Margo recently published a budgeting and financial planning workbook called, Get Your Financial House in Order.
La Wanda Marrero is an author, poet, mother and grandmother, missionary, community advocate, and Associate Marriage & Family, clinician. She is the founder of Adnawal Inc. (nonprofit), promoting family health and wellness, physically, emotionally, and mentally. She works through community collaborative partnerships and services for seniors, adults, and youth. She created a therapeutic writing class called “Start Steppin.” After publishing Alice N Crackland in 2008, she realized her writing was an essential tool in acknowledging and accepting and overcoming challenges that she faced as a child. She thought others could also benefit from learning to express themselves through the art of writing and pretense. It’s within her understanding that her past addictions and actions impacted many lives. The Lord’s grace is her redemption road, a bridge to healing. Having firsthand knowledge of dysfunctional family dynamics has become her motivating passion to become licensed in her field. She recently opened Unstoppable Publishing Company to give others an opportunity to store their experiences in between the covered pages making room for the new. She has co-authored several books such as Unstoppable, When the Vow Breaks, Mounted Wings Beyond What I See, the publication of her mother’s book, Marie’s Treasure Chest, and a host of other evolving projects. Over the years she has grown in the skills of coaching, editing, ghostwriting, and BBS a certified therapist. A sound mind makes sound choices. Her services in these areas are for hire. Contact email@example.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?
I knew that writing was a great love of mine at about age 12. I used to write so many poems, Science fiction stories, and plays. I had a great imagination and a need to escape myself and be anyone else but myself during that time trauma of in life. Over the years I would just journal, journal, journal. As I matured I found myself always writing poems for obituaries. Writing creates the opportunity to enlarge my thinking and gives me room to exhale and deal with frustration, pain, and the heaviness of the world. What I love most is the transparency and being able, to be honest, and upfront about who I am and my journey in life as it is happening.
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 engaged in a few book anthologies so some of the books have to be brought through me but My Love Was blind is on Amazon and Marie’s Treasure Chest is on lulu. I am in the midst of developing a website that books can be ordered from. I like to think reading my work I am an open book and sometimes my stories are very relevant to my life experiences to share with others.
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
Chapter titles I am given, people placed in my life to assist me with my development and I just have a great imagination
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?
I generally try to write something every other day I use the memo pad on my phone to talk or text, sometimes it is just a series of thoughts that come to my head that comes together in time, when I’m working with other people there is a deadline, However, I have been somewhat slow in writing my own personal material except for My Love was Blind was written in about a week of nonstop writing. I am currently working on completing My mother who passed away book My Life is nothing Personal and Neither is Yours and Let Him Tell It, and a revision of Alice N Crackland.
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?
To be honest my earliest memories of reading the Bible to my great grandmother. I think my favorite book to read is the Bible, I get caught up in the stories that I coach other authors to write. I don’t have a favorite author but my favorite movie came from a written book and that Is the Notebook
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?
My greatest achievement is the ability to assist other authors in bringing out the story that lies within them. In five years it is my expectation to retire from my straight job as a therapist and do my writing and exercise my life insurance license as an agent as well to let my community know about the importance of living benefits.
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?
I would say write your material and then seek publishing avenues get with people who are self-publishers take a course do it yourself or find someone to do it for you. Get help.
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?
I am an author, not a marketer and yes this has been difficult for me. I get the writing in, and I speak when asked to do so but I am not on any social media platform seriously, so just like I am reaching out for help in those areas that are barriers for me I would tell authors to do the same and get help. Don’t let the creativity of your writing stop. Sometimes what you don’t know or can’t do can cause you to get overwhelmed but I am a believer that the universe will provide.
9) 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 is healing and I write at the moment without hesitation about the circumstances and experiences that I have even if it is fresh I want to share them for others to use as tools.