Author Spotlight is back, newly branded as In the Spotlight!
For my first feature this year, I’m thrilled to shine the light on a young lady who is making a difference in huge ways.
Meet LaDonna Marie
LaDonna Marie is an Author, Writer, Poet, Co-host, and Motivational Speaker. She is originally from Mississippi, and now lives in Georgia.
In 2007, she published her first poem in an anthology, Whispers with The League of American Poets. In 2010, she self-published her first book Expressions of the Mind, Body & Soul.
LaDonna received a Certificate of Congratulations from Congressman Bennie Thompson of the 2nd congressional district of Mississippi. She was inducted into the “Who’s Who in Black Mississippi” in 2012, and also received a Humanitarian award that same year. In 2013, she released her second book Until Tomorrow Comes, and was nominated for a Stiletto Woman in Business award. In November 2013, she launched her first Youth for Christ conference, Planting Positive Seeds, to help motivate, encourage, and empower youths.
LaDonna Marie has been featured in International Author Blog Interviews for South Africa, London, and Italy. Her first poem to music “I See You” was played on the Jazz soul radio in Australia. Magazines that feature her include SHINE, YOUnique, Precioustones, C. Hub, Image and Style, Blaq Rayn Poetry Publications, Honey Drip Radio Magazine, Urban Grapevine, and Sibyl Women Magazine. She is a part of the 2014 Anthology: The Gospel According to Poetry, and the Good Newz Project.
Until Tomorrow Comes made the Amazon Best Selling Lists in Poetry and Personal Growth, and has been awarded an Honourable Mention in the 2014 Paris Book Festival in Poetry Category, and the 2014 DJ Gatsby Book Club Literary Award in Poetry. Her third book, Lessons: Shattered Pieces Being Restored was released in December 2014. She is a finalist for The Diva Author Award for the Divas of Colour 2015 in London.
A Conversation with LaDonna Marie
NT: LaDonna, it’s so good to have you in this space. How would you describe yourself if you only had 30 seconds?
LM: I am a person who loves to empower and motivate others with my poetry and motivational speaking. I aspire to help others to heal from life experiences, and help them to find hope through encouraging positive growth.
NT: I love that you’re transforming lives through the power of the spoken and written word. When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
LM: When I was 12 years old and I started journalling my feelings. Then as a teenager, my writing turned into poetry, to help filter through some of my life experiences, perceptions, and observations of the world around me.
NT: It’s pretty clear that poetry, as a genre, chose you. What sealed it for you?
LM: In high school, I started reading sonnets and rhyming poetry. I fell in love with poetry by Maya Angelou, and Nikki Giovanni, whom I both met, which immediately enhanced my love for writing and creative expression. Poetry allowed me to pour my gift into lines and prose. It became an amazing pastime, and I became very passionate as every word blossomed into stanzas. I would let a selective few of my friends read my poetry, and found that each poem told a story and captured the emotions that others could relate to.
NT: That must have been life-changing, meeting those two amazing women. I’m inspired that those encounters empowered your writing. What’s the essence of your books?
LM: Creating an atmosphere of empowerment, while promoting positive growth and awareness along the journey in life. I always want to let people know that they are not alone and that they can make it out and through whatever life may throw at them.
NT: I’m feeling the positivity and loving it. What’s a typical writing day like?
LM: I have learned throughout my life to never leave my pad and pen behind. I am always thinking about writing or I am actually writing. I’m blessed to say, I am always inspired to write, so I do daily and at any given moment, a piece will come to me and I have to immediately write it down.
NT: How do you stay inspired?
LM: I get my inspirations from God. When I feel passionate about an issue, I can expound about it more in my poetry. I love writing about love, relationships, overcoming adversities, spirituality, and guidance.
NT: What’s your favourite thing to do, apart from writing?
LM: My favorite thing would be hanging with my boys Landon and Lathan, and being a mom.
NT: Beautiful. What advice would you give to persons who are seeking to be published?
LM: The first thing I would tell them to do is to get started writing and stay focused on their dreams. I started writing at 12 and it took me 19 years to self-publish my first book. So when the time came in 2010, I was prepared because I never stopped writing. So the key is to get started and complete your manuscript, then start to research publishing companies they may want to work with.
NT: I wish I could frame that response. So encouraging! What’s on the horizon for LaDonna?
LM: I have been bitten by the writing bug for 2015. I plan to release more poetry books, and I am looking forward to doing my first children’s book this year. I love to find ways to empower and uplift others as much as I can.
NT: It sounds like you have an awesome year lined up. Any last words?
LM: I would like to invite everyone to my website at http://www.ladonnamariebooks.com/ and my fan page at www.facebook.com/LaDonnaMC to stay connected. Thank you so much for this opportunity, Nadine. Let’s continue to encourage and uplift others.
LaDonna Marie’s Books
Available on Amazon
Connect with LaDonna Marie