Belinda Grimes & Chanda Tracy Lightsey – Red Flag for Women Everywhere

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Red Flag for women everywhere is a book that was written based on real life Red Flags that were shared by women across America through research, surveys and one-on-one conversations. What are Red Flags? Red Flags are warning signs that demand attention or provoke a reaction. These women shared personal details and insightful experiences on subjects like dating, marriage, exes, abuse, the kids and much more.

In RED FLAG for women everywhere, we explore over 365 of these compelling quotes. This book will empower, motivate and equip women to embrace a quality lifestyle while avoiding the pitfall of unhealthy love relationships.For many women, these are warning signs that we can’t live without, Red Flags that plague and keep our hearts, spirits and souls in bondage. Our goal is to open the heart, mind and soul of women everyone to live a love life with greater possibilities.

Tell us something about yourself.

BELINDA G. GRIMES was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She is an author and fashion designer. Her passions include traveling, writing poetry, illustrating, painting and serving a hurting world. She owns Belinda Grimes Design Group, with product lines such as Bridal and Eveningwear, Belinda G Signature Collection and King Queen Urban Couture. Her exquisite designs were featured on CBS News “Better Mornings Atlanta.” She was selected to showcase her designs at the My Lifetime “Project Runway – Season 7”casting call. Belinda is a member of New Life Church, where her cross-cultural mission work has taken her to Liberia, West Africa and Jacmel, Haiti. Today, she lives and works in Decatur, Georgia. For more information on her designs, please visit www.BelindaGrimes.com.

CHANDA TRACY LIGHTSEY was born in Warner Robins, Georgia. She is an entrepreneur and founder of All About Business Networking Group for entrepreneurial women. She is also a freelance photographer and desires to one day travel the world turning her photography of artistic works into coffee table books. Chanda is a member of Covenant Christian Ministries of Marietta, Georgia. She is married to Tom Lightsey and has three children, Corwin (Decatur, Georgia), Delvin and Alexandria.They currently reside in Marietta, Georgia.

What inspired you to write this book?

Belinda was having a conversation with a close friend venting about life’s ups and downs in love relationships, as well as the sequence of events that were unfolding in other relationships shared by several of her friends.The conversation went from frustration to laughter as Belinda expressed the need to write a book related to these red flags shared with her over the years.Shortly after, she began working on the project.In sharing her book concept with Chanda, they decided to collaborate, and RED FLAG for women everywhere took off from there.

How did you choose the title?
The title came instantly as the words “red flag” flowed naturally, and since the first book idea is geared toward women everywhere, it was an obvious title choice.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

Funding has been our primary obstacle in publishing and promoting the book.Since our funds were limited in the beginning of this project, we decided to self-publish.It has been very challenging, yet beneficial in learning about the publishing business.Chanda has been the driving force in finding creative ways to expose the book through our website www.RedFlagTheBook.com and our social media network links on our website such as Twitter and Facebook.We have also engaged in events such as book festivals and book signings to market the book.Our goal is to self-publish other authors as well.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

Belinda:I started writing poetry and short stories in high school.For me, this was a natural progression to write books.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

First, the writing process began by taking numerous conversations shared by family and friends, and condensing their thoughts into quotes in an anonymous context.Second, the research continued by reading material referencing female relationships via the web, magazines, and media outlets.Last, Belinda and Chanda wanted views from a diversity of women, so they created a survey and interviewed women throughout the country asking them to share their personal experiences on various topics such as dating, marriage, abuse, etc.As a result, they compiled those stories into the book.Belinda prefers to tell a story that people can relate to about everyday life.Chanda states, “Being a recruiter for many years, I classify myself as the investigative type of writer.I like to interview and compile stories.”

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

The anonymous characters in this book are real women with real stories.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

Belinda: I learned that writing and publishing a book is challenging and committed work.Also, the marketing process is never-ending trying to find creative ways to expose your work that you know will be a positive impact on the lives of women and the people that love us.

Chanda:I always knew I wanted to write a book.I had no idea years ago how to go about doing this, but I was destined and determined to make it happen.I have learned the self-publishing side of the business and I am able to help other self-published authors.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

Belinda: I’m pleased with the outcome of our first book.

Chanda:I would have done this years ago in my twenties versus my forties.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

Belinda:I enjoy poetry, motivational and real-life stories.My favorite poet is Nikki Giovanni.She captures the soul and spirit of a hurting word, while awakening our consciousness to become a change-agent.That is also why I have a passion for local and international mission work.

Chanda:I love inspirational, rags to riches type of stories.I don’t really have a favorite author, but if I had to name someone it would be Iyanla Vanzant, I like her work.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

Yes, we are working on RED FLAG for men everywhere, which is basically the same premise as this book.Men ask us all the time, “What about our side of the story?”We heard them and we listened.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

If there is a book inside of you, WRITE IT!Regardless of what others might say, don’t put off your desires or aspirations.Do something each day even if you write one sentence.Just do something!

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

It appears that our book appeals to the 18 to 30 year old age group.However, regardless of your age everyone at some point and time in their lives has experienced a red flag or two.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

www.redflagthebook.com (Visit our blog from the website)
www.twitter.com/redflagthebook
Amazon.com

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