By the grace of God, I am an award winning daughter, sister, wife, teacher, mentor, inspirational speaker, doctoral candidate and model. I am the reigning Mrs. Essence 2013 and I enjoy pageantry. I became a fan of pageants as I embarked upon a way to raise awareness of two personal causes: sexual and domestic violence—I am a survivor of both. I also get a thrill from being a natural hair and fashion blogger via my blog, Corner Curl Girl. I spend a lot of time supporting and volunteering for my community and being a role model to girls through my mentoring program, Queendom T.E.A. Finally, I enjoy spending time with my super supportive husband of 8 years, Mardis Hall.
How do you find time to connect with God?
While it should be very easy to spend time with one who cares and does so much for you, I do find it difficult at times. I won’t proclaim that I say my prayers in the morning and evening every day, but I do pray daily. I gain additional time with God on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at my church, Open Door Fellowship, in Randallstown, Maryland.
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
I adore the writing style of Jodi Picoult and I have read most of the books she has written! One of my favorites is called My Sister’s Keeper. I had the pleasure of meeting her immediately after her publication of Nineteen Minutes.
Tell us about your journey to publication.
My first time experiencing the publishing process was when I created a fundraiser book, From One Queen to Another. It is a compilation of stories, poetry and artwork from the girls in my mentoring program, Queendom T.E.A. Without the guidance of my dear friend Best Selling Author Tamika Hall, I would not have known how to approach the publishing process. She supported me through self-publishing and getting the book distributed internationally. I repeated the process for Positively Bodyful.
Tell us about your current book?
I wrote a journal for teen girls, Positively Bodyful, to help promote a positive and healthy self-body image. This journal is written from my perspective of being naturally thin, but encourages all girls to be proud of their bodies and who they are as a person. I tried to find books like mine at bookstores to support the girls in my mentoring program whose self-esteem was low from being thin, but these books were non-existent. So, I decided to write it myself!
The girls who are comparing themselves to others or putting themselves down are not alone. As young ladies, they are going through a lot of changes in their bodies and as their bodies change, so does their image of themselves. It is not always easy for our youth to like every part of their looks, but when they get stuck on the negatives it can really bring down their self-esteem. I was teased for being “skinny” throughout my life and I understand their plight. I wrote this jou rnal to encourage girls to use their creativity to keep their mind positive.
How did you come up with ideas for this book?
I am motivated in general and in writing by all of the young girls I meet through serving as a teacher, beauty queen, mentor and inspirational speaker. This is the reason I created my business, iEAT (Empower. Aspire. Transform.). It pains me to hear my story told of past hurt told back to me by such beautiful, intelligent young girls. I want to inspire them to be victorious in spite of any obstacles they face.
It has truly been my life experiences that have influenced all that I have accomplished and written. I am a survivor and overcomer in every sense of the words. I did not allow sexual abuse, domestic violence, low self-esteem, depression or suicide to take over my life. Now, I empower others, especially women and girls, based on my past catastrophes through my writing.
What valuable lessons do you want readers to learn from your book?
Writing was rewarding for me as a young person because I did not know who I could trust or talk to about my problems. Writing became a way for me to release all of my feelings at a young age.
Finally, do not give up on the dream! I have had manuscripts on my computer since I was a high school student (I am now 32 years old). Having a busy schedule can make a writer feel that they will never accomplish the goal, but it is very much possible. I also learned from my favorite author that it is important to write something or read something that you wrote every single day.
What’s next for you?
I am currently working on creating a Facilitator’s Manual, to accompany Positively Bodyful for those who have girl groups. I am also completing a young adult novel called Unholy Communions about a young girl who tries to escape the hands of a pastor who sexually abuses her. This novel is a reflection of my childhood.
Please tell us where we can connect with you online.
Positively Bodyful can be purchased on Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other book retailers or it can be purchased via my website: laquishahall.com.
- Book Trailer: http://animoto.com/play/iUleUhoxlT8KdStkNZ0xrQ
- Follow on Twitter: @laquisha_hall Hashtag: #PositivelyBodyful
- Instagram: @laquishahall
- Facebook: (iEAT) https://www.facebook.com/LaQuishaHallQTea?ref=hl
- (Mrs. Essence) https://www.facebook.com/MrsEssence2013?fref=ts