Monday, September 28, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Vernita Simmons

      Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I am Vernita but I’m known to many by either Nita or Neat. I am a mother of one beautiful daughter and the grandmother of three adorable grandchildren who keep me vibrate and exuberant. I’m a worshiper at heart and love to express my love for God as an illustrative Majestic Dance Worshiper using Streamers, Flags and Veils. God’s words are My Voice in writing as an avenue to reveal to others that they are valuable and precious. God placed greatness inside and He has a specific design for their life. I apply these collective gifts and skills when I teach at conferences, workshops, seminars and various church or community functions.



I was raised by my grandmother, who was blind. As I listened to her dictate letters to my cousin, I was both intrigued and captivated thru her eloquent and classy way of expressing her thoughts. In addition to this, we were trusted companions at the monthly Mother’s Board Meetings at Antioch Baptist; the church we attended; and sometimes, I was given the opportunity to make a comment on the Bible lessons these powerful Church Mothers would expound upon. Little did I know this would propel me into the plan and purpose God had orchestrated for my life. I later realized my grandmother had inspired me to become a writer, thus, I wrote my first play at the tender age of nine. This, and speaking/teaching has become a passionate gift.

     How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

Most of my writing is done during the early morning hours. However; I write throughout the day as I am in the market for a paid position and this provides me with more time to write.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

Most of my writing is done at the kitchen table, when I’m alone, listening to my music. I love that sweet, quiet serene time with Jesus and I coming together to create these inspirational writings. I always keep a pad and pencil handy when I go to the park, etc; or at night because many ideas flow during the wee hours of the morning and I can either jot them down or record them on my android. I love to actually write out my draft and in between writing, transfer them onto my word document using my tablet.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

The wisdom from life experiences igniting into a story is my favorite part. As I visualize bringing the events of my life to a book format, I get excited at the thought of being able to share my unshakable faith in God in a positive way to encourage, inspire and edify people of all walks. It’s a great way to reveal Jesus’ Amazing Love and Forgiving Grace.

My least favorite part is what Authors call “writer’s block” as I sit to write and only a few words or a paragraph come and nothing else may come for a couple of days. This can be frustrating. Now, on those days that the inspiration flows, I’ve find out what is known to get “writer’s cramps” because I’ll go for hours upon hours pouring out those God breathed words.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

My book; “CAPTURING The Spirit Of God’s Word with Vernita” is from life experience which I use in my writings to empower the lives of others to see themselves as God see them ~ A One Of A Kind Person marked by God to do what they thought they never could and use such to make a significant difference in the world.

Get Vernita's book at Amazon

You see….My friend, Lisa Castracane, who I connected with on LinkedIn was inspired by my writings and had suggested to put them as a collection of inspirational readings. Thus, this is how the name of my book was birthed. Though, as I think back, several years ago, upon the urging of the Holy Spirit, I began to compile my sermons to create a book. I published my first Devotional on November 26, 2014 on LinkedIn Pulse as a means to instruct professionals across the nation to apply these inspirational principles within their work culture. Then, I ventured out to InCourage Community Christian Service Workers and Faith Filled Family Magazine. With the assistance of my brilliant Editor, Lynn, it took me a little over one month to form several articles into an actual book.

Here’s what you can expect from my book: No one plans to be unemployed for more than two years and without income for more than 18 months. Nevertheless, that’s my story. In my book I invite you to travel with me and discover how Tough times don’t last but Tough people do.  See how God transited me from a single parent on welfare to becoming an aspiring Author, be encouraged to hold on during your darkest times and learn that God will never leave nor forsake you. He will always love you no matter what you do. Learn a valuable lesson about GOD’S Forgiving Grace and much more.  Only God can restore what’s been shattered and heal you to move forward to a Progressive Life of Wholeness and Victory.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I use my social media outlet as a means to advertise and promote my book. I created my Facebook Page and website specifically to open a channel thru which to engage my readers and for them to have access to either purchasing my book or discovering where to purchase it. In addition to this, being a Featured Writer for Faith Filled Family Magazine has afford me the opportunity to have advertising space in their magazine which has international followings of 150,000 readers. Also, I've been interviewed on Ravens Price’s “Author Talk Show” and Carol Graham’s “Never Give Up Hope” radio broadcast. Now, being interviewed by you, Kathryn Jones, these experiences have been a tremendous help. I am grateful to God for each of you for the exposure.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I have written four other books and working on two more. The next two books which will be published are: A Collection of prayers I’ve written which are biblical based - how prayer turns fear into faith and despair into joy. And Forgiveness ~ Road To Recovery - reveals three scriptural cases which overrules ones need to avenge the offender. Each book will contain a set of Inspirational Readings For The Heart ~ Mind ~ Soul!

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

Yes, indeed I do! ~ The Essence Of A consecrated Ministry ~ Though any ministry within a church will be enlighten, this book is specifically geared for the praise and worship team, choirs and dance ministry; informing them that worship is a lifestyle which needs to permeate every aspect of their life while bringing the nation into an awesome encounter with God.

You’re Worth More Than That ~ My story of overcoming being raped while in an abusive relationship from whom I thought was a good man which I meet at church.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Firstly, always keep pencils and pad handy because you never know when the inspiration to write will move upon you. Never give up writing. Whether you write poetry, articles/blogs, books, sermons, interviews,  etc; keep moving forward in your writings; simply because, you are a writer ~ you are an Author.  Just because it’s not published, doesn’t change the fact that you already are an Author.

Despite the fact that there may be rejections of your writings, God yet has a plan and purpose for your life. The Lord breathed greatness inside of you not to become complacent and immobile. He desires you to utilize your gifts, talents, skills and potential to do what you thought you never could.  You see, your words in writings can penetrate the hearts and minds of others and motivate and encourage them to do what God destined them to be.

You may have to take a leap of faith, as I did. I encourage you to connect with someone who will motivate you and give you that support you need to aide you in your journey. Be open minded if they give you constructive criticisms because it’s aim to help you to do your absolute best. Moreover, when someone attempts to dissuade you, remember this is what God has ordained you to do. Allow their negativity to be a source not to debate or argue but, taking a stand against all odds, maintain an enthusiastic Jesus and I can do this attitude.

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My question to you is: For a new Author of his/her first published book, how to go about setting the best price to charge for the purchase of the book?

My overall purpose for writing isn’t merely about making money. Yes, I do want to receive satisfactory monetary rewards from my books. However, I write to use as an avenue to inspire, encourage and empower others through my books. Additionally, I desire my readers the ability to afford to actually buy the book. Therefore, if I have to charge a lower price which could probably increase sales, I would do that rather than charge a high price and not have my books to make enough sales.

I'm right in line with your thoughts. That's why my marketing book, "Marketing Your Book on a Budget," is under $10 and the rest of my books are under $13. When I do speaking engagements, author presentations, etc., I mark down at least one or two of my books for those attending the event. 

Writing any book should never be just about making some money. It should be about sharing your talents, giving someone an opportunity to learn from what you've experienced, maybe even to take a load off for awhile and just sit, read and relax. 

I set my prices from the heart.

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Thank you, Vernita!





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