Photo Courtesy of Tissanie Simmons
Author: Tissanie Simmons
"As an up and coming author, Tissanie has inspired others to reach for their dreams and create their own magic. Known to her peers as a “Dream Builder”, Tissanie has been featured in UBAWA in December 2016, the Transparency Library Magazine in May 2018, and on the XoNecole entertainment blog.
With her innate creativity, Tissanie can take readers on an inspiring and imaginative journey. With a screenplay in the works, she is setting new goals and reaching new heights!"
My stories stem from my own personal experiences as well as family and friends around me. I am a firm believer that life is a movie. We interact with characters daily that have a significant story to tell.
As an author, I want to bring more of the personal and relatable stories to light because there is a true connection in the authentic script of our lives.
- Fan Question #2: As an author, do you have to personally identify with a character to create their story?
No, I don’t think I need to identify with a character to create their story. However, I think an author who is genuinely empathetic can create any story. If I can place myself in your shoes, I can gain a sense of what is felt through your words. Then, I can begin to create from a relatable space.
- In your book Exit 27A, you tell a love story with entanglement, where did you find inspiration for this story?
Love can be a roller-coaster of unexpected experiences. I was once in a love triangle between the love from my past and choosing new love for my future. It was an indecisive and confusing time in my life. It was only once other women voiced their same dilemma that I felt this was a story worth telling.
- If you could describe your writing style in one word, what would it be?
- What is your writing process like for 'Exit27A'? Does your writing process change from book to book?
With Exit 27A, there were a few stories I needed to tell; the struggles of dating, finding unexpected love and trusting your intuition. I began connecting all three scenarios through experiences and built out the full story from this point.
When I am zoned in and feel moved to tell a story, I begin constructing the full story in my head. My mind has no format or order. As I keep telling myself the story, I begin writing the pieces that I feel most compelled to put on paper. I then begin putting the pieces together in the way I feel the story should be told. So, the process varies from book to book.
- What got you into storytelling and why do you enjoy telling stories so much?
I’ve been an unpaid storyteller since I was a child. My mom would force me to retell stories in front of her friends and family. I was labeled “extra” because my stories would be so animated and exaggerated. Instead, I viewed “extra” as being gifted. So, innately there are tons of stories in my head.
The storytelling continued until adulthood where I developed a passion to create more. This realization forced me to write my first book and I’ve been writing ever since. There is a thrill that comes with storytelling. Receiving reader reactions and affirmations that my story hit home has been the ultimate gratification.
7. What is the best book you have read in 2018?
The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish. It was organically her story in her own voice. Overall, hysterically inspirational. I loved it!
- What is the best advice you have ever received on happiness?
I used to run and think happiness could be found in external places. The older I became, I realized it starts within me. There was no place I could run to find it, so I needed to deal with myself in order to discover true happiness.
“Happiness is where your heart is.”
9. What is the best advice you have for overcoming writer’s block?
Silence is my number one remedy to writers' block. When I am searching for more of my stories I simply turn off everything around me and allow my mind to wonder. The story dances in my head until it finds the beat. Secondly, I listen to Sade. For some reason, she has been the seasoned salt needed to add flare to my stories.
- Do you plan on writing more books in the future?
One day writing will become my full-time job. There are so many stories I want to write with little time to write them. Until then, my goal is to release at least one book a year. I am currently also learning how to write screenplays as well. My ultimate dream would be seeing my stories on the big screen!
11. Can you talk a little bit about your publishing process and how hard or easy it was to get your books published?
Starting any new process is hard when you don’t have guidance. The con of self-publishing is doing it all yourself. With my first book, it was all trial by error. I did a ton of research and still screwed up a lot along the way, but it was worth it.
The upside is appreciating the finished product and, again, learning along the way. The second and third time around became easier and I built a team of people I trust to help bring your books to life.
- Why do you think it was so important to tell the Generational Curse story and what type of impact has your book had on people that read it?
The African American community is infested with perpetual generational curses. It has been an ongoing pandemic for centuries and will always be a story worth exposing. However, there are millions starving to break these chains. Generational Curse aims to inspire that craving purpose beyond their disparities.
I solely intended to write this book to inspire the younger generations in my huge family. I had been intentional about being a role model and showing them that achieving anything was possible. Many remained stuck in the cycle. However, in one graduation picture, my cousin held on to one of my books as a symbol of breaking curses in her family. This was the most significant impact thus far.
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Facebook: Tissanie Simmons
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