Life, just like roses have thorns. People learn to grow through things, and growing can be painful, with thorns that create scars, heartbreaks and lots of disappointments in order to teach us something NEW for us to become a better version of who we are.
Today's author spotlight guest, Tracey Monique is no exception. She too had her fair share of life's travails while growing up and has used her many experiences as a medium of expression to thrive.
Tracey Monique is a writer, poet, and an international award-winning speaker who uses creativity to deal with life’s ever-changing moments. She has been in the United States Military for over fifteen years. Tracey is also a dedicated mentor and avid traveler on a mission to provide healing to others, through her written works and was honored as an Iconic Woman Creating a better world for all, at the 2019 Annual Women Economic Forum (WEF) in New Delhi, India.
Her bestselling book - "It's Okay to Feel...Everything" which ranked #70 on the Top #100 Bestsellers list on Amazon for Literary Diaries & Journals in Poetry is a book about dealing. It is a book about healing. It is a book about LIFE. Her book reveals what happens when feelings are locked away.
Someone once told the author that "it was okay to feel everything", and that statement changed the very core of her existence. In this author interview, she chats with BRAG! Editor-in-Chief - Alex Okoroji about her writing career, book inspiration, and the real motivation behind her latest work. Enjoy!
In the distance, there is a dragonfly on top of a rock. She seems peaceful, and at ease. Would it make a difference if it were known, that she was tired and wearily? That underneath her winged glory, she thought of dancing in the river and letting it overtake her? Would it also make a difference if she were me, and I was she?
"When I wrote this I was sitting on a dock in Columbus, Georgia. The dragonfly was magnificent. It danced around and flittered from rock to rock. I found myself longing to change places with her. I found myself wanting to escape, so I wrote a story for her."
- Tracey Monique (Author of "It's Okay to Feel Everything")
1. What is your writing process?
Emotions fuel my passion for writing. I usually will see something or have something happen to me that moves me and I will begin to write. It doesn’t matter what I write, I just put on paper what I’m thinking. Once that ideal is formulated, I mull over how I want to romanticize it. I’ll leave the words alone for a while, and then come back to them when I feel inspired. Then, of course, there are always the rewrites. I always find a way to enhance the things that I’ve written.
2. Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?
The first story I ever read was “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein. It was a huge collection of poems and I was enamored. The way he put words together and the pictures that were used to enhance his characters changed my whole world. He is still one of my favorite authors.
3. What are your five favorite books, and why?
- “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein because it made me want to write poetry, it was my introduction to writing, which has become the love of my life.
- “Stone Fox” by John Reynolds Gardiner. I loved this book because the story was so powerful. My grandmother would read to me as a child, and this is one of the Books she read. I remember this as the first book that ever made me cry. If was so raw and realistic.
- “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. This was also a book that my grandmother read to me, it has always touched my heart. I longed to be a part of their huge family. It was filled with such love and laughter.
- “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur. Her words are powerful and true. She inspired me to write and tell my own story. She is a powerhouse.
- “Jemima J” BY Jane Green. This was the first book I read by Jane Green and it would not be the last. Jemima mirrored the inner me, I longed to change myself into someone that I could love. I won’t ruin the ending but changing for the wrong reason breeds nothing good.
4. What do you read for pleasure?
I read poetry for pleasure, it sooths me more than I could ever say.
5. Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in several places, but mostly in Georgia and Florida. I moved quite often as a child. The moving around absolutely influenced my writing. At times writing was the only constant that I had.
"At times writing was the only constant that I had. I held onto words when I felt sad and alone as a kid. "
- Tracey Monique.
6. What inspired you to write your latest book?
My childhood was tumultuous, and I carried those burdens into my adult life. Through writing, I was able to understand the path that lead me to many of my triumphs and defeats. I learned that my feelings and emotions were okay. My book is about that journey.
7. When did you first start writing?
I started writing at the age of ten and I have never stopped.
8. What's the story/motivation behind your latest book?
The story is about what happens when lock your feelings away. The outcome can yield a negative result that can impact your entire life. It’s also a story about what happens when you realize your faults. Essentially it’s a poetry book about feelings.
9. What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had a story that I wanted to tell. I wanted to tell it in my own voice, and I saw this route as the best way to go.
10. What would you like your readers to gain from your book?
I want my readers to understand that no matter how they are feeling, it is okay to express yourself!