I am excited to introduce to some and present to others, Ms.Tumika Patrice Cain to the blog today! Learn about her work which includes two fiction books and two poetry books and get to know her better by reading her interview.
The stars seemed to have been aligned for Avery and Alicia. From the outside looking in, Lady Luck passed their way and left a fortune! They had a whirlwind, fairytale romance filled with all the little things that make dreams come true, a wedding of grace and beauty, and perfectly magical careers that produced almost enough money to burn. They were the picture-perfect couple. Unfortunately, time has a way of revealing fissures in what appears to the naked eye as impenetrable. The results send this fairytale romance spiraling out of control. Avery, as perfect and so right as he seemed, struggles to free himself from his demons. He clings to this delicate relationship that he desperately needs as if his last breath depends on it. Alicia, on the other hand, struggles to make the necessary corrections that will release her from a prison of unexpected, agonizing turmoil.
A novel of enduring strength, undeniable empowerment, and the compelling ability to overcome incredible odds, Book one in the When a Man Loves a Woman series is a powerhouse that will impact readers long after the last words have been read.
Jacquie remembered a time when she was once a tender, caring, hopeless romantic. But happily- ever-afters and once-upon- a-time fairytales, proved over time to be just that – fairytales. After what she feels has been “a lifetime” of true love eluding her, she loses all hope, resigning to live a single (and loveless) existence. As time passes, she shifts her focus, choosing to concentrate on her career and makes the best of it…alone.
Gorgeous, artsy and charismatic was the man who Jacquie’s eyes fell upon, causing her heart to beat in a rhythm she’d forgotten existed. Michael was more than enough man to make her lose herself inside dreams of a future interwoven with the very fabric of all that defined the beauty of being in love.
But just like in fairytales, there’s always something out of place. For alas, this knight in chocolate armor, was twelve years her junior – an age gap that defined a cultural difference and a major problem for Jacquie’s overbearing mother. Will pressure from family and other obligations turn their love into a nightmare? Or can Michael and Jacquie tune out the rest of the world, embrace the sweetness that they share, and build a foundation that lasts? In book two of the series, When a Man Loves a Woman 2: A Love Divine, is a story of hope, accepting love, embracing one’s personal truths, and making no apologies for it.
After the rain is the poignant account of life through the eyes of one woman written in poetic verse. After the rain will titillate your senses, arouse your passion for life and justice, and inspire your greatest essence for love.
Sit back, relax and let the heartfelt words of The Heart of a Woman, touch you, heal you, encourage you, inspire you and celebrate your very real experience. Through right and wrong, good and bad, highs and lows, happiness and sadness, times of plentiful and times of lack, pleasure and pain, love and loss…these are the seasons of our lives. Between the pages of The Heart of a Woman, the author takes readers on an emotional journey through life with a decidedly poignant, sincere and poetic meter.
Tumika Patrice Cain is an award-winning author and media personality whose works center around the complexities of the human experience. Through her writing, she takes a global look at issues that affect women and crafts authentic, well-rounded characters and plots so rich that are so relatable they feel like personal friends to the readers. She is also the founder of Say What?? Book Club, book reviewer, contributing writer for The Belief Magazine, and former columnist/book reviewer for PEN & Ashe Magazine. An assignment for a second grade class sparked her interest in writing that would quickly become her raison d’etre. As an educator, she wholeheartedly believes that each one should reach one; each one should teach one. Tumika is also a respected editor and publisher. When she is not writing, she may be found teaching writing workshops, blogging, volunteering, hosting her radio shows and otherwise beautifying the world around her. She is the author of the award winning novel, When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change; When a Man Loves a Woman 2: A Love Divine; After the Rain…a Poetry Collective; and The Heart of a Woman: Poetry, Short Stories & Tekaisms. Her works have been published in a number of anthologies, magazines and periodicals. She is also the publisher of the award-winning novel, The Wanderer’s Game by Keri D. Singleton, through her imprint, Inkscriptions Publishing.
Tumika Patrice Cain is changing lives one word at a time…
1. When did you decide to become a writer?
I started creative writing at age seven after a class assignment introduced me to poetry. After writing my first poem, I was hooked. I was already an early reader with a love for books. The feeling I had after writing that poem and seeing my words written out sparked an interest that would not go away. While I wasn’t sure I had any real talent, I kept writing. By the time I was in junior high I was getting recognition for my work, and by the time I reached high school, I had been published and was the recipient of an award for my writing. It wasn’t clear to me that I should become an author, nor was I sure if I’d ever do anything professionally with my writing, I just knew I’d always write. When my first book was written in my early twenties and I saw that there was a message there that could help other people, I knew then that I had to become an author. The road to becoming an author was a long and rocky one, but eventually the vision I had in my twenties, when I finished that first draft, has become a reality.
2. Why do you write?
I was created to write, born to write. Words can heal or words can hurt. They can empower or they can entertain. Words have power and what we choose to do with that power is up to us. I choose to use words to uplift, inspire, encourage, empower and to give a voice to those who have yet to find their own. I write because I have something significant to say. I write to free myself…and others. I write because without those words, I would be unable to breathe.
3. Which writers inspire you and why?
I was in the fourth grade when I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. Through her writings, I not only found a reason to keep writing, but also a message that brought validation, telling me that my words were significant, my voice was worthy to be heard, and who I am, exactly as I am, was valuable and important. I never forgot it. Pearl Cleage writes about topics that are important to me. I love her style of writing. I can read her books over and over and never grow tired of them. Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni they write the truth of the black experience, the black female experience, and they don’t sugarcoat it, water it down or make excuses for it. Far too often the voices of black people, of black women, are silenced. All sorts of atrocities happen to us and those who perpetrate those crimes tell us to be quiet, to ignore or minimize our pain. Those writers refuse to do that. They bring validation to our experiences.
4. What is your favorite book and why?
I don’t have a single favorite book. I have many favorite books that have touched me in one way or another for a variety of reasons. As I mentioned earlier Maya Angelou’s series that starts with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, would be among them. Several children’s books like A Little Princess, which coincidentally I happen to be reading with my daughter now, A Wrinkle in Time, and The Lottery Rose are among my favorites. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay has been very significant in my life. There are a number of newer and/or indie and small press authors whose works have crossed my path in recent years, since starting the book club, that have stayed with me. Too many to name, and I’m sure the list will continue to grow!
5. Of all of the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
Michael from my newest release, When a Man Loves a Woman 2: A Love Divine. He is such a solid individual. Although he is a young man (only in his mid twenties), he has a firm grasp of who is, where he’s going and what it will take to get there. He is not swayed by the opinions of others. When tragedy struck his life early on, he chose to see it and make adjustments instead of having the mindset that says “that happened to them, it has nothing to do with me.” He is a person who lives life on purpose, who lives authentically, and who makes no apologies for it. Have to respect a man like that, especially in a time where too many young men choose to define themselves by stuff that means nothing and who choose to live as predators. Michael chooses to live a life that uplifts, not destroys.
6. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Yes, I do read my reviews. I like to see if the readers ‘got’ what I was trying to convey when I was writing the story. Whether they are good or bad reviews, I am thankful the person took the time to read my work and leave feedback. If there are specific comments they make that can be used to improve the quality of my writing or story, I take those suggestions into consideration. My response to reviewers is simply to thank them. There are a million or more other books they could have chosen to read and yet they took the time to read and review mine. I don’t take that lightly, even if they don’t care for my writing. I am not for authors fighting with reviewers or bashing their readers for not ‘feeling’ their work. Not everything is for everyone and we just have to accept that. Also, people who loved one of your books may not respond as favorably to future works. Each book is different. There are a number of variables that go into whether the book is received, including the mood of the reader at that time. Reviews are important, but in the end they are still just the opinion of the reader. Authors should take what they need that will help them and leave the rest….after
all, we’ve got more books to write, we have no time to get stuck!
7. How do you think you have evolved creatively?
The more I come into myself and become more focused on my passions and what moves me, the more those elements show up in my writing. I’ve learned not to rush the process. While it has taken me a relatively short amount of time to write some works, it has taken me years to write others because I hadn’t lived enough to make my contribution to the story authentic. I just go with it. I also think I write with more boldness and don’t shy away from topics or opinions that would put me in the hot seat. Life isn’t always pretty and we need to be able to tell those stories also. I do that.
8. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
None other than the ones that I write. I wasn’t sent to earth to write anyone else’s stories. My literary voice is unique, just as it’s supposed to be. I can’t tell anyone else’s stories the way they can, even as they can’t tell my stories the way I do. There is no comparison of gifts. We are each given our gifts to use in a certain way. It’s important for authors to flow in their own lanes. I try to do that.
9. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Believe in yourself and in your authentic gift. Know that there is room for every gift. Develop your gift and also develop your character. Your gift will make room for you and place you before great men, however, it is your character that will keep you in the presence of that greatness. You are your brand. What image do you want to portray about yourself? Your writing? Who you are? Figure that out and then be consistent. Learn the business. Have fun. Remember why you came into this. At the point that writing becomes a chore, you have gotten away from why you picked up your pen initially. Tap back into that emotion and just enjoy it. The rest tends to take care of itself.
10. Why do you think so many well-written books don’t sell?
I’m sure it’s a number of factors, starting with many people don’t know how to market and they may not have the funds to pay someone to market for them. They may not have tapped into their target audience. Many authors are introverts. They are comfortable behind the computer, but may not be
comfortable talking to others. Consequently, they miss opportunities to tell others about their works and ask for the sale. The introverted author needs to push beyond their comfort zone. And finally, just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a team of qualified, passionate people who desire your success to promote your books.
11. Where do you see publishing going in the future? How do you think we can promote and increase diversity within the literary industry?
I’ve always been a reader. Good books are good books, despite the nationality of the author. Too often black authors are relegated to being ‘black authors’ telling ‘black stories’ and those who are not black don’t think they can relate to their stories. The same is often true for other ethnic groups of writers. But I challenge readers to give some of those books a chance because many experiences fall under the human experience…not a racial one. We are far more alike than we are different.
As far as the industry as a whole, I see authors continuing to take their works and creating opportunities for themselves and each other. We no longer need to sit around waiting on a few elitist publishers to tell us if our work has merit or not. There are enough resources available to take our gifts and create our own opportunities and I imagine we will continue to do so.
12. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
To keep writing great books that challenge people to grow and live an authentic, abundant life. There are a few other genres I’d like to try writing. Each year I want to advance beyond where I was the year before. Add to the events and opportunities for exposure with each new book. Continue sharing feedback and advice that will positively affect us all as writers.
13. How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Feel free to checkout my website where books may be purchased. I offer a discount for multiple paperback books purchased at one time through my
website. They are also on Amazon, BAM and Barnes and Noble. Working to make them available wherever books are sold, although initially it may be
through request only.
14. Are there any final words for the readers of Reading in Black & White?
Thank you for the love and support you’ve shown me since my first novel was published, for the positive words and encouragement telling me how my works have impacted you. I appreciate each of you more than you know!