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Your last book, The Journey of Ruthie Belle, was published in 2016. Since then, you've been quiet. What's the reason behind the silence?
All sorts of things have happened since I published TJRB. The job I've had while publishing the book, the hours were long and demanding. I barely had to time rest, let alone finding a flow to write something new.
But, in 2018, I left the job due to stress. And worse, my grandmother transitioned with my ancestors months later.
I was in a mess. Depression had taken my mindset with dark thoughts. Not suicide but questioning my validity of worth and purpose on this earth. Sure, I've written two books and started a publishing company. But I felt I had nothing to show from the years of establishing my name, “Imani Wisdom” and “Pink Noire.”
It sounds like you were on the verge of quitting. Is that a fair statement?
I did quit and wanted nothing to do with writing, publishing, or any characters from my books because grief is powerful than we know.
It overtakes the mind, rattles the soul, and leaves a person in such disarray; they can’t think straight.
If you’d asked me, then, about the completed first drafts on my hard drive, I couldn’t tell you. Nor remember how many I had written.
That shows how dark my depression was.
And how are you feeling today?
Like I can breathe again.
I have a therapist, and she’s phenomenal. I also do these three things daily: Pray, meditate, and understanding the strength of gratitude. All can manifest and centers your spirit for more extraordinary things.
It sounds like Spirituality means a lot to you, and I know you’ve incorporated that into your work. Since leaving the industry, however, have you had an urge to create again?
All the time.
You have to understand; creativity comes from within like said about breathing. It’s natural. I often get whispers to write a short story or a novella—and sometimes I would do it to quiet the character’s voices. Right now, I’m focusing on one door, which is rebranding “Imani Wisdom” and “Pink Noire” before diving into many projects.
So, will you write again?
Yes, when that time comes.
First, I need to heal from years of unresolved trauma. And I have used those feelings in my work, which made the storylines raw and intense. But rebranding also includes how I change my writing process. It won’t be anything drastic; I just want to stop relying on the “pen” as an emotional crutch, channeling that energy to my therapist instead.
That sounds great, Imani! What have you been doing in the meantime?
Pink Noire Publications has a new name: Nece and Company Publications.
I’ve heard about this move! It sounds bold—
I wouldn’t say bold, but necessary.
I established Pink Noire Publications ten years ago in September 2011.
Between the several attempts of stealing my intellectual property, such as my logos, a hijack of PN’s domain, and failed projects after another under the old brand, I decided to listen to my spirit and “let go.”
Will Nece and Company still support Creatives and Independent Authors?
The new website www.neceandcompany.com dedicates strong support for the innately talented. Compared to the Urban eBook Fair I founded in 2015, this opportunity will be more personal, getting one-on-one attention for the creative.
And Nece and Co. will also continue to be an Independent publisher for “Imani Wisdom” and “Wildflower” brands. The powdered pink logo will lay proudly on our books.
Since you’ve mentioned “publishing,” have you considered upping your brand to publishing other authors?
Not in the foreseeable future.
I mean, that’s a huge responsibility when you have someone’s dreams in your hands. Not only do you have to give them superior service, but it must be flawless. Their “babies” could be their breakthrough to greatness.
I’ve heard many horror stories and have seen authors’ dreams crushed because of scammed publishers.
However, there’s a vast crop of qualified ones in the industry. All authors (novice or seasoned veterans) need to do diligent research and get references from present clients.
What’s your pitch to bring new prospects to your services?
Indie authors do the crux of operations day in and day out: We wear plenty of hats to make our businesses competitive while focusing on the next book. And we learn fast to navigate both sides of the brain—the logic and creative sides. Sometimes, it’s daunting.
The Creative’s Corner, a new Nece and Co-service service, will alleviate some of the artist's stress. We’ll promote your “baby” on leading social networking sites and have fun on a Twitter Q&A on the last Saturday of the month. It’s basic promoting, for now. We will add more services later.
Let’s go back to your books: Do you have regrets about not releasing a follow-up book after TJRB? If so, how are you going to gain back your readers?
I don’t regret the aftermath of its release; I regret how I handled the marketing and the publicity before publishing.
In retrospect, I should’ve expanded my reach to promoting to audiences beyond Women’s Fiction, that’s one. The book has multiple genres similar to “Lovecraft Country,” including Paranormal.
During the promotion, I should’ve focused on the selling points to the reader’s feelings and why they should have bought the book.
I’ll remember that for my next project.
This is nonfiction—my first ever. And, the reader will take charge of the premise of the story and character. Essentially, the book will write itself.
I’m intrigued? Do I dare ask the name of this book?
You could, but you know I’m terrible with naming titles. It’s my unfortunate weakness. I will say the details are coming soon to my website—and the name.
It’ll also have a page dedicated to the release and other necessary information.
The date is slated for Summer 2021, and it’ll be a gift of appreciation of the reestablishment of Nece and Company, our website, and of course, the readers.
Without them, any of this wouldn’t be possible. My fuel of believing the impossible. And for that, I thank you.
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