INTERVIEW | Shawneda Marks

December 1st is World’s Aids Day. Today, author Shawneda Marks joins us to talk about her very timely book release, It’s in My Blood.

Shawneda, describe yourself for our visitors.

Wow…umm I”m a spunky, energetic down to earth chick who loves God, my hubby, family, words green living and lotsa things in between. I’m trusting God to show me how to write, read and promote books full time.

How do you find time to connect with God?

I never find the time…I have to make it. Life is hectic for everyone…always something else to be done, so I make myself take moments throughout the day to love on Him. He is my first point of contact in the morning and last conversation at night. I’m not real deep with it, we talk, I read his book, then I grow.

Do you have a favorite bible verse and or quote you wish to share?

My signature verse is Roman 8:28 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose. Even the things we don’t believe to be good and know were meant to do us good. God works them out for the good…I have to breathe that sometimes…like right now.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

Favorite authors Maya Angelou , Marilynn Griffith and Vanessa Miller. I love all of Maya Angelous work. Mom’s the Word is my favorite Marilynn Griffith book and Vanessa Miller because she writes about the stuff I used to live, she’s real.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

I was on ministry at my old church with someone who read my website and asked when my book would be written. My husband had been asking about it as well. I’ve been writing all my life but really became serious in 2005. I released my first novel and poetry book under my publishing house SC Creations then found a critique group. God told me to start my own publishing company but I chased a contract because of the “stigma” of self publishing. I was 2nd place two points away from winning a book contract on Kendra Norman Bellamy’s Cruisin for Christ inaugural trip. God had to let me know if He wanted me to have it I would have, so I pursued the plan He gave me and started accumulating a team for my publishing house. I have several graphic artists, and an editor. Prayer and lots of revision and lots of tears. Did I mention I cried a lot? This journey has been one of much growth and I appreciate every moment because I’m still on it.

Tell us about your current book, It’s in My Blood .

It’s in My Blood is an awareness novel. One girls story of life with HIV, how it affects her family and community. Her child’s father has died, and she is left with her worst fear. She has to return home.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

A very good friend of mine passed away from the complications of full blown AIDS. Few people at our church knew he was positive because he feared how they would treat him. He showed me the need for the book. Some of the instances in Rosalyn the main characters life mirror my own, I’m not HIV positive but it is only by the mercy of God. If many in the church were honest they would recognize they could have been HIV positive too.

What influenced you to write this book?

A lot of the things going on around me. I also love to raise money for worthy causes. I let my natural inclinations meet and realized I’d be able to give to worthy cause and share my love of words with people by penning this novel. Plus the characters wouldn’t leave me alone I had to get them on paper.

Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?

My favorite character is Phoebe, probably because I’d love to have a friend like her. She’s cool, mature, loving and very patient.

What’s next for you?

I’m currently working on a devotional called Diamond Butterfly for women who have experienced emotional trauma especially as a result of being in foster care, and sexual trauma. I have experienced both and want to see women healed of the after effects these events have emotionally. I’m also working on my next fiction novel My True Essence about how triple negative breast cancer affects three friends. My show Faithful Folios (online book review show) will return December 1st for my online release party as well.

Where can visitors find you online?

My home on the web is www.shawneda.com a link to all of my hangouts are there too. Hope you stop by, I’d love to hang out with you. (cheesy right)