Author of Preseason Love, Ahyiana Angel

Preseason Love is a novel that encompasses the life of today’s female. I haven’t read a novel straight through in quite a while, but I found myself up at 3am trying to see what happens next. It’s a story about a young publicist, who left her life in California for New York. Scottie left her old life to start over fresh. She surely did just that, new job, new love, and new drama. This story of career driven women, friendships, relationships and all that comes with it, was amazingly written leaving you wanting more.

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(Photo retrieved from Ahyiana Angel)

I had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Ahyiana Angel, author of Preseason Love. Our conversation was one of the best I’ve had, so easy to talk to and her personality shined bright. Below you’ll find out more about Ahyiana, her transition from NBA Publicist to author, her progress, and Preseason Love.

Miss Jones: For those who don’t know, tell the readers a little bit about yourself.

Ahyiana Angel: I started off in PR. I never intended to be a writer, however, I adored writing because it’s needed in the publicist field. I had a thought about the novel and played with the idea. But I put it on the back burner. I then realized I needed a career change. I started designing jewelry, but I needed something new. So I started the novel. Nine months while I was working as a publicist, I worked on It. I didn’t know anyone who published a book traditionally, so the whole journey was new for me. I didn’t go to school for any of this, but I still did it.

Miss Jones: When did you start the book?

Ahyiana Angel: In 2007 I had the idea. It wasn’t until 2012 that I started the first chapter and sat on it. 2013 was when I got really serious and started researching.

MJ: How did you go about publishing your book?

AA: I did my research first. I knew I wanted to be traditionally published. After I did all of the research, I found out about self publishing. I found company names and knew I needed an agent. Putting a book out is much like putting out music. You have to have a finished product to present. So I had my completed manuscript and took it to an agent. He loved it; but the only problem was, he couldn’t take it to an editor as it was. I thought publishing companies did the editing. That was a wake up call for me, I realized it wasn’t ready.
One day a friend of mine told me about a writers bootcamp in Maryland (it’s important to tell people about what you’re doing.). Sitting at the finals in Miami, I realized I didn’t want to be there. Then I said to myself, “If you’re going do it, you have to do it. Try all avenues to get to where you want to be.” So I decided to go. There were fifty people at the bootcamp. Zane was also there, as well as her publishing director. They gave those in attendance an opportunity to submit their story, but I knew I wasn’t ready. When I finished, I had it edited and sent a query letter with my full manuscript. I made sure I was prepared this time. She then offered to publish my book.

MJ: What were a few steps you had to take to get where you are today?

AA: I figured out my storyline. It sounds simple, but it’s the most important. It’s a lot to write a book. Having the material is most important. When I didn’t feel like writing, I did my research, from publishing companies to finding out everything about the industry. Almost completing the manuscript, I shopped around before signing a deal. I then started promoting to build my name as a writer. I also started by blog, Life According to Her before the book came out as well as writing for other publications. Promotion and marketing was all me. I had to be ready to hustle and move my product. It’s the publishing company’s job to put the book on the shelf, and my job to get them off the shelves. My PR background was able to help me through the marketing phase.

MJ: What was the deciding factor to shifting careers?

AA: I would say the lack of desire for where I was. I was a publicist for the NBA for 6 years. It seems fun to everyone, but it has its ups and downs with the policies and long nights. Many people in the field have transitioned. Being all in as a publicist, you get tired of being on for other people. I started to feel stifled creatively. I loved jewelry and tried jewelry designing. But I felt like there was more. I felt that if I didn’t do something, I’d get stuck. And I didn’t want to lose myself. I wasn’t excited where I was.
When I talk to college students, I always say, “find an avenue that works for you. Pay attention to what interests you, what comes natural, and is effortless.” I was blessed to be able to find the avenue that works for me.

MJ: Would you consider yourself to be a motivational speaker or mentor?

AA: I wouldn’t say that I’m a motivational speaker, but I am a motivator by nature. I like to help and push people in the right direction. I also mentor college students I’ve met through programs I’ve spoken at.

MJ: Did you have a mentor to help you through the process?

AA: No, didn’t have one. I was raised to be independent and know how to seek out information. There was no one consistent person to fulfill that role, but I knew how to push myself.

MJ: Ok, let’s talk Preseason Love. I loved the book! I was up all night reading. I have a few novels in the house and haven’t been able to get through them, but I was able to with this one.

AA: I’m so happy you did. I just wanted to tell a story. I’m glad that people are reading and enjoying it. I was confident in the book, but once it’s out there you get a little nervous. I’ve heard Lauryn Hill say, “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my….” I understood her statement more after I wrote this book. (Laughs)

MJ: What inspired the book? Was it your life?

AA: Fiction comes from some idea. The idea was from my reality or someone else’s reality. I never wanted to write an autobiography. I wanted creative rhythm and to keep people guessing.

MJ: Is there going to be a sequel?

AA: Yes there will be. I’m currently working on it. When you rely on yourself for promotion and making sure you book sells, it’s hard to put out another. However, I have the outline so it’s all about completing it.

MJ: What will we find in this one?

AA: Scottie did the right thing by facing her past with Ivan. Going towards it head on, shows the growth in her. New York changed her. Part two, we will see her humble herself more. She didn’t appreciate all that she had, but all of that taught her. We’ll be pleased how she comes into her own and handles herself.

MJ: What do you hope to accomplish through your books and your writing?

AA: It’s twofold. In real life, I’d like to show my family members and women in general, that when you put your mind to something, you can do it. You’re limitless. I want them to see that transition is not impossible, I’ve done it. No one pulled me up, I had faith and was confident in who I was. I took classes and sought out information that I needed. This is a competitive field and I wanted to be the best. I didn’t want to set myself up. I’m not great, but I want to be a source of inspiration and change.
Within the book, I want women to see that they’re not alone. We all go through this. Maybe we didn’t, but someone else went through it. Black women are used to being groomed to be strong and provide, that we can’t open ourselves to be vulnerable. And this is what the book is all about.
In college I read a lot of urban books, and I was tired of the same storyline. When I got older, I realized that wasn’t my life or reality. There are women who have a career and are driven, but still enjoys her life with her friends.

MJ: What advice would you give someone who wishes to be an author like yourself?

AA: Do your research. You may not know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s a lot of work and research to know so that you can always be prepared. You should have an idea of what’s expected, so when you have the opportunity, you’ll be ready.
Keep writing to see if you want to stick with it.
You have to network and get to know people.
Tell people about what you’re trying to do. I’m not saying go broadcast it to everyone, but let those key people in your life know so that they can put you on to things.
Always pay attention.
Lastly, create a platform outside of a publisher. Figure out your name and what works best for you.

MJ: What’s the most fulfilling thing about being an author?

AA: Actually seeing your work and idea come together. Seeing the first book, was like wow it’s really a reality. Also, seeing people read and enjoy it. Hearing people say they loved it shows that your hard work, time, and ideas were all worth it.

MJ: What were/are your biggest struggles?

AA: Through the process, starting was the biggest struggle. Trying to keep myself on track was a little difficult. It was the springtime when I started and I wanted to be out and about. But I had to discipline myself. Now I would say my biggest struggle is putting myself out there. As much personality as I have, I’m still a little hesitant to put myself out there. To share yourself with others is a little nerve wrecking. As a publicist for the NBA, you would never say who you were. It was just something you didn’t do. But now I have to push myself as a writer.

Ahyiana has toured the U.S promoting her newly released book and showing the world who she is. Check out more of Ahyiana Angel by visiting her networks. Website: http://www.ahyianaangel.com. Blog: lifeaccordingtoher.com. Twitter/Instagram: @ahyiana_angel.
Preseason Love is available for purchase at Barnes and Noble, Walmart, amazon.com, and more. I’m telling you from experience, you’re going to want to get your hands on this one!

The Coaching Cupid: Dhylles Davis

After meeting and hearing part of Dhylles Davis’ story as an overcomer at an event a few months ago, I was able to sit and talk with her about her book, her life, and her journey.

Dhylles is a life coach, motivational speaker, and author of ‘Your Life! Your Purpose! No Explanation!’ Her book is not your ordinary self-help book. It is a book that not only causes you to think and make changes in your life, but also shares personal experiences within every chapter.

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Below you will find some of the highlights from the face to face interview with Dhylles Davis herself.

Miss Jones: At what point did you make the decision to become a life coach?

Dhylles Davis: It was at the age of 32 that I realized I needed to find myself. I had gone through many trials, from being sexually abused from 7-14 to having battles with death. This is when I realized I needed to share my story and help others as well.

Miss Jones : What were some of the steps you had to take to get where you are today?

Dhylles Davis: I had to be honest about my truth, embrace who I was, and forgive. I had to forgive the person in my life that molested me, as well as my mother.

MJ: You speak a lot about the importance of having a relationship with yourself in your book. How did you get to that place?

DD: I didn’t always have a great relationship with myself. I couldn’t be alone with myself. It was something that I had to practice. I had to look at myself in the mirror until I was comfortable with who I saw. I also had to take myself out on dates.

MJ: What were some of your fears during this process?

DD : My greatest fears were being honest in my book, confrontation with others, and learning how to say no.

MJ: What were some of the biggest things you’ve overcome during this process?

DD: The conversation I had to have with my mom after the book was written was one of the things I had to overcome. Because of the transparency in the book, she didn’t like everything I decided to include.
Then having the conversation with my family, helping them to understand that this is something I needed to do. I had to face my truth and share it with others.
And through all of this, I had to find my own voice.

MJ: After putting out so much into other people through your coaching and motivational speaking, how do regain your strength?

DD: Sometimes it can be overwhelming to pour out so much. I had to go on hiatus for a couple of months, where I took a step back from everything. I also have a wonderful husband who’s always there for me. We have created a beautiful space within our home, where I can have a clear mind and breath. Lastly, my positive outlook on life always keeps me lifted.

MJ: Speaking of your husband, when we first met, I instantly saw how supportive he was of you. How has having him by your side been helpful to you and your progress?

DD: My husband has been amazing. The love we have for each other is incredible. He’s been tremendously supportive of me in every way possible. We can literally talk about anything. We keep communication at the top of our list, and I believe that is what sustained us all of these years. We’ve been together for seven years, and married for three. We’ve been through so much throughout that time. I’ve had three miscarriages, a still born, three DNC’s, and got very sick afterwards. I almost died because my fibroids were infected, and I had to have them removed. Three weeks later, I had to have my gall bladder removed as well. This was two weeks before my wedding. I told the doctors I had to still be able to fit into my wedding dress. My husband said he was marrying me the date of our scheduled wedding, no matter what.
There was really no time for me to fully process all that I had gone through until after the wedding. A week later is when I just broke down. Sitting in the living room, I just sat and cried. And my husband sat there right beside me.

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MJ : What were some of your biggest struggles throughout the duration?

DD: Marketing and promotions of the book were one of my biggest struggles. Repeating and sharing my affirmations, along with my story. Also, being dedicated was a struggle of mine. Being able to complete my book without offending people. And lastly the conversation I had to have with my mother concerning the book. It was a struggle because she is still my mother, however, I had to let her know that I couldn’t be a walking contradiction I had to first clean out my own closet before I was able to help someone else with theirs.

MJ: What’s the most fulfilling thing about what you do?

DD: I have to say the most fulfilling thing about my job as a life coach is when I hear someone say, “I didn’t know that was my purpose.” Or ” I didn’t think about it like that. You’ve really helped me.”

MJ: How would you encourage someone else who’s going down the same path that you had to go down?

DD: I would tell them not to be afraid to open up, be fearless. You never know who you’re inspiring.

MJ: What do you ultimately wish to accomplish?

DD: Peace, purpose, and happiness. At the end of the day, this is what everyone is seeking. I’d like to touch lives and help others accomplish this as well.

MJ: What are your favorite motivational phrases?

DD: I have two. The first is a quote by Mahatma Ghandi, which says, ‘Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” And the second is, opportunities are new everyday.

MJ: Is there anything else you would like to leave with the readers?

DD: Love life and live it. Don’t live in the past. Be fearless and take leaps of faith and positive risks. Remember, through vulnerability comes strength. Acknowledge necessary change. And crawl before you walk.

Stay up to date and for consultations with the coaching Cupid, Dhylles Davis by visiting her networks. Website: Dhyllesdavis.com. Blog: http://www.startlivingstopexisting.com. Instagram/Twitter: @thecoachingcupid.

Also, visit her website and purchase her book ‘Your Life! Your Purpose! no Explanations!’ I’m telling you, you won’t be disappointed. This book has personally pushed me to think and reconsider some of the things in my own life. It’s encouraging and inspiring to say the least.

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Pain into Passion: Dee’s Explosion

Denice Martin- Thompson, known as Deepassionate1, pours out her heart and soul in her latest book, Dee’s Explosion. You can feel every feeling and emotion in each of her poems displayed.

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Dee’s Explosion is comprised of various poems exemplifying a myriad of trials and peaks that Denice has encountered throughout her life. Through her writing, she turned her pain into passion.

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My readers know just how big I am on sharing ones story. And Denice does just that. She’s encouraging people through her experiences in life. And I’m sure it’s in hopes to encourage and inspire others who have gone through or are going through some of the things she’s included in this book.

This book is very powerful. Denice does a great job sharing her story without even writing an autobiography. These poems are captivating and anyone who reads this book will feel the same way.

Here’s a glimpse of what you will get when you read her latest project, also one of my favorite pieces:

“Watch me
As I turn my pain into passion
Inking up my pen and watching it flow
Creating a language I call my own
Watch me
As my poetry dominates me
Empowering me to speak
Unlocking the magic that hides within
Watch me
Transcend these prison walls of my mind
Stopping only to catch my breath
Watch me
Give birth to my future
Watch me
Turn my writing block into stepping stones
Watch me live
Watch me breathe
Watch me move into my destiny”

This piece shows one of the peaks in her life. A point that she realized she could take all that she’s gone through to speak out and unlock some of her gifts to help others.

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I strongly suggest that you check out this book. Visit deespassionateworld.com to purchase it. As well as her other books. Also find Denice on Facebook, Instagram, and twitter under the name Deepasionate1. You will not be disappointed!