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VERSAFI MAGAZINE: How did your journey as an author began?
SHANELL MONIQUE: Writing always been something I enjoyed. It was the only way to express my feeling . It first sparked my interest when my English teacher use to tell me I had a wild imagination . But It wasn’t until I went through my divorce when I really made the decision to write. I wanted to encourage other women because sometimes we don’t notice the beauty we already possess because we’re too busy trying to create it. I tell people all the time , “Only if y’all knew how motivated I’ve been by the PAIN I been through”. It mean so much to me to help other women with their confidence because I remember one time I lost confidence in myself and I didn’t think I wasn’t enough or worthy enough. That’s why I have to keep promoting self- love. Self- love is easier when you stop trying to figure out why they don’t love you & instead figure out why YOU don’t love you. I hear so many women say they felt “stupid” for staying and trying to make it work even when deep down inside they knew nothing would ever change. They reminded me of myself, so I reminded them that they are beautiful and strong women, and that they were never “stupid.” They were in love, and real love is not something a good woman simply walks away from. She fights for it! She cries for it! She holds on to it until it burns at the very core of her soul! No, they were never “stupid.” They were real! If anyone was stupid, it was the wrong man who lost them. Why? Because he may never know just how close he came to receiving the blessing of a lifetime. I just want all women to love themselves first, chase their dreams, make mistakes (and learn from them) and, believe in God’s plan. So going through my divorce is what really sparked the fuse.
VERSAFI: Whew chile! That was almost like a sermon! LOL. So much great knowledge and information for women who have trouble loving themselves and those that struggle with self-worthy. This is definitely a great reason to start your writing career in the first place! So was becoming a writer something you always wanted to pursue?
SHANELL: I can’t really say it was something I wanted to pursue but writing was one of my passion and I always wanted to write a book .
VERSAFI: Who or what motivated you?
SHANELL: To be honest, my life motivates me. My pain motivated me . I didn’t let my pain control me, I turned my pain into power.
VERSAFI: That is some great motivation! What inspired you to write your first book?
SHANELL: It wasn’t until I went through my divorce when it was put on my heart to tell my story. I went through a depression but yet had to wake up and show up with a smile on my face. While hurting inside, I wanted to be a voice for women. I just want to reach as many women as I can to let them know it’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Throughout my life I had a passion for writing as I got older & gained more life experience I began to share my passion with the world. I believe, you must be able to love yourself to make better decisions for you. You must understand that GOD loves you and placed you here for a reason and sent his son to rescue you. Just knowing that, you should know that you have everything you need. I work with women who want this and understands. We all get to create a legacy & I’m here to help women do this in style. We don’t understand why we are chosen to go through the storms because we don’t understand our struggles. To heal a wound you need to stop touching it.
VERSAFI: Understood! So now how does it feel to be a published author?
SHANELL: I love it. It’s a feeling you can’t explain and to be able to share your passion with the world is a beautiful feeling.
VERSAFI: Since becoming a published author, what challenges have you faced if any?
SHANELL: It’s never a smooth road. It’s always bumps in the road. You have to stay focused at all times. I am my worst enemy. When looking in the mirror you have to love yourself naked. I always remembered that every storm is your chance to reap results. Every storm reveals and every storm challenges you. If you can’t see the blessing in the storm and mishandle it, you will see that same storm again so handle it with praise. Good times are good but who you are in the midst of the storm is your greatness.
VERSAFI: With all the great motivation and talking about the reason why you start writing, what genre do you write on?
SHANELL: I mostly write non-fiction , but lately I’ve been writing fiction.
VERSAFI: What message do you want your readers to take away when reading your books?
SHANELL: The message I hope my readers take away from my books are receiving. My story is not a good or to happy story but I made it through and so can the next person . I don’t complain. My brand is just about helping women WIN in life and in love. No more mask, no more pretending, no more feeling like they’re not enough, and no more being society’s definition of a strong independent woman. I am a firm believer in living a balanced life. I understand that in order to be successful in business, your home, and personal life must be in order as well. Don’t be afraid to start over. This time I’m not starting from scratch, I’m starting from experience.
VERSAFI: Very well received! What does being an author mean to you?
SHANELL: It mean so much. It gives me the opportunity to express my thoughts and feelings to be able to share it with the world.
VERSAFI: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
SHANELL: I see myself being a full -time writer traveling around the world doing book tours and owning my first bed & breakfast Air BNB.
VERSAFI: That sounds like a great plan! Now have you ever thought about being an author full-time?
SHANELL: Yes I think about it everyday. And someday soon I will be .
VERSAFI: Tell us about your marketing strategies as an author. Do you find it to be challenging at times when promoting your books?
SHANELL: I find it to be very challenging but you can’t give up on yourself. You have to be patient, and understand that in everything there are failures and frustration. You have to have DRIVE, to have the determination to work harder than most and make sure things get done. You also have to have the strength to see things through. Honesty is the best policy for everything you do and integrity creates character and defines who you are. If you want to succeed, it’s not politeness but rather passion that will get you there. Life is 10 percent what you experience and 90 percent how you respond to it. When communication is present, trust and respect follow.
Have a plan. If you want to succeed, learn the traits that will make you successful and plan on living them out every day. Be humble and great, courageous and determined, faithful and fearless. That is who I am, and who I’ve always been.
VERSAFI: Do you have any current book projects that you are working on?
SHANELL: Im currently working on ‘The Wife Between Us’ episode two and releasing my first children’s book called ‘My First Activity Book’ .