Thank you! Sure, the title of my book is called, “The Day My Soul Cried” and it is a memoir about the many obstacles I’ve faced – battles with reading and writing, sexual abuse, alcohol abuse at a very young age and the list goes on but the greatest battle I faced was the internal battles that stemmed from things that happened to me. Most importantly this book talks about how I managed to overcome and step out of my own way.
Tell us something about yourself.
I’m a proud mom of two boys Zyair (18) and Zyon (9). I was born and raised in Gary, IN and moved to Atlanta, GA in 1998 with my first son. I met Zyon’s dad, Steffan shortly after moving to Atlanta and we’ve been together 12 years now. My youngest son, Zyon was diagnosed with Down syndrome and I’ve been advocating for special needs since 2005. I launched a website called “Have Ya Heard? The Abilities of Downs” which I later dropped the name to HYH Online and the purpose of the site is to highlight the achievements of those with special needs. I focus primarily on inspirational stories whether it’s in a film, book, or interviews with parents and individuals with special needs to shed. The mission is to give hope to parents as well as provide a platform for the works of individuals with special needs. In addition, to special needs, I am also very passionate about empowering others through my works and my story.
What inspired you to write this book?
Years ago, I wanted to do a film and people kept telling me to write a book. But I ran from it. I didn’t consider myself a writer. Let me backup for a moment. One of my greatest struggles in school was reading and writing. I talk more about it in the book, but through my struggles and embracement I began on a self-destructive road, which I go into more details in the book. But because of my complex with writing I ran from writing a book, even though life seemed to keep pointing me in the direction of writing it. Prior to writing this book, I was working on another book but I kept starting over and I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t understand what I was so afraid of. Facing my fears and learning why I was standing in my own way became the focus of the book. To make a long story short, the book wrote itself. And my gut, which I believe is God, was telling me to share this with others. Although the book is my story, it’s NOT about me.
How did you choose the title?
The title literally just came to me when I wasn’t looking for or thinking of a title. It was during a time when I was debating with myself about me writing a book, “The Day My Soul Cried” and the direction the book should go in came to me at the same time. This might sound a little crazy but it was as if someone whispered in my spirit this is the title and this is direction. It then became a task that I had a complete. And that’s how I treated it as an assignment. I believe if I would have continued to look at it as writing a book I would not have completed it.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
In 2005, I started a publishing company under the name Zyonair’s Unlimited, LLC, but during that time I began to focus on advocating for special needs and placed the business on hold. I guess I would say the greatest challenges where not publishing business itself, it was me. How did I overcome me? Have you noticed how if your day job requires it or you have a homework assignment, it’s not an option – it get done. But when it’s something you’re working on whether it’s a book or starting a business- it’s never the right time and we find excuses of why it cannot be done. For me, to over come it I had to identify what I was afraid of and why. I had to realize fear is natural, but the only way to overcome it is to face it. As I mentioned earlier, instead of viewing it as writing a book I had to look at it as a task that was given and I had to take away the option not to.
Do you have any writing rituals?
To master any craft, it takes ongoing practice. I’m always reading blogs, books and even watch “how to” videos on writing – different styles of writing – scripts, books, fiction, nonfiction and so on. Also, I joined a writers group called Write of Way in Atlanta. In this group, we’re given writing assignments that has been very beneficial to strengthen my writing skills. Now I’m always coming up with books and film ideas. If I don’t have time to sit and write it, I’ll just write the synopsis and outline.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
OMG, yes! When I first started studying the industry in 2001/2002 a lot has chanced. I’ve learned a lot about different forms of publishing. The internet has opened up many doors for book publishing. Publishing costs have changed significantly because of the internet. I guess the main lesson I’ve learned the power of the internet!
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
Great question! Hmmm, I’m not sure what I would change, there was so much I learned from the process and if I would have changed it, I wouldn’t have learned the lessons. These lessons will be beneficial for my next books.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
The best advice I can give is for writers to stay true to themselves and their vision. Always be receptive to learning more and mastering your craft and the publishing business. Hire a professional editor. Get reviews before you launch the book. Friends and family are fine but I suggest someone who will be unbiased and tell you what you need to hear. Network and join a local writers group. Criticism is good but don’t allow it to discourage you, use it to your benefit.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
The perfect reader for this book is women and teenage girls who are struggling with self-worth and individuals who enjoy reading an inspirational story.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Yes, thank you, I truly appreciate the opportunity to talk about writing, publishing and let your readers know about my book, The Day My Soul Cried. Please go to my website at www.ypierre.com, “like” my Facebook page for the book at www.facebook.com/mysoulcried or visit the Amazon page to order the book directly in print or digital form at Amazon.com.