Hello Aisha, welcome to Urban Christian Fiction Today. Introduce yourself to my readers. Thank you for having me Rhonda! Well as you know, my name is Aisha Gant aka A. Life…. I am mother of 2 and I am a business woman who owns a salon w/a patented product called; The Ears Free Hair Wrap. I too, am a personal trainer/group fitness instructor (who needs instructional training herself LOL). So as you can see, I am always doing something. (Smiles) Aside from all that, I Love Happiness & I Love to Write. It is my release and I do it with the intent that my work would help heal the hurt with happiness!
Tell us about your novel, Secrets Wounds and Hidden Pain. Secret Wounds & Hidden Pain is a novel about 4 women, all leading different lives, while wearing the same mask. Charlene is the estranged wife of a minister; who finds that she’s spent too much time keeping the books of her business when she should have been keeping track of her husband’s infidelity. Denise is an exotic dancer and single mother of 5; who because of her past life’s circumstances have had to make possible, the seemingly impossible. Michelle is a battered newlywed; who thought ‘a piece of paper’ would change a man. And Katrina is a well-dressed, good girl; stashing skeletons in her closet. Each lady dons the mask as if no one can see that the beauty behind it is really wounded.
What inspired this novel? In one word; LIFE! And not just from my perspective but from the lives of so many people I come in contact with on a day to day basis. I’ve seen and do see us, as a people, hiding behind the walls of wounds, when in fact we should all be showcasing the scars of victory! A scar says, ‘I’m healed!’ (And I’m not talking about a scab either! That just states that the healing process has begun!) So in short, my inspiration stemmed from a desire to see people healed…for real!
What would you like readers to take away? I want everybody, readers as well as listeners, (the ones who let others read and then ask for a report) (LOL) to first understand that life happens. And during life; life happens again and again. But it is what you do during and after the ‘happening’ that matters. Pain is sometimes unavoidable and the wounds that we receive are usually evident. BUT…if we learn to accept the things we can’t change, we’ll get a better understanding of how to deal with the things we can. As in the case of Secret Wounds & Hidden Pain; it is my endeavor that readers realize that it’s okay to remove the mask! Hiding can only be done for so long. And besides, wounds don’t heal properly in the dark. So…snatch off the mask-like band-aid and let the air of life act as a healer!
The cover art is pretty graphic. It definitely will grab a readers’ attention. What has been the response to it? (SMILES) The cover is doing exactly what I wanted it to do! (LOL) Which is: Arrest the attention of the reader, incarcerate the wounds of the mind, convict the pain plaguing the heart, and then set the reader free…to walk in healing! It has been well received by all and I thank GOD for that. It is a slight variation of what I originally ‘saw’ while talking to ‘My Daddy’ but thanks to Him and a spirit-filled graphic designer, what is seen is a depiction of everybody at some point in their lives. So it makes you wanna, at least take a glance. (SMILES)
Tell us a little about your journey to publication. With my first work, Chaya’s First Death-The beginning of an end to her life as an enabler I didn’t really know, know what it took to make it successful. I just knew I loved to write and I had something to share with the world. I contacted many different publishing houses and even talked to a few authors, of who some were and are, reluctant to share information. After doing so and being rejected, I decided with the help of an author sis of mine to go the self-publishing route. And here I am.
What have been your challenges as an independently published author? Marketing! Of which takes: Moolah! So I might need to rephrase that huh? (LOL) Marketing and/or having the money to market, to me, is the most difficult, esp. in times like these. You can only push an email for so long to the same list of unresponsive people! And even though some sites offer discounted rates for exposure, that can sometimes be expensive as well. And who’s to say they are really sending out blasts with your info on it? (I dunno, I am just funny like that.) (LOL)
What marketing and promotion tips have you found most effective? To be honest with you, I haven’t found one that supersedes the others. I send out frequent emails, Facebook notifications, etc. and although I am not receiving the support I’d like, I am still grateful for that which I have received thus far. I have even sent out a number of review copies and the ones who’ve responded have all given me 5 stars. I guess it just takes time, being that I am independently published. But be on the look-out because I’m comin’! LOL
Share a scripture that defines your goal for your writing? Rhonda, since I use my hands for everything I do (hair, gym, write, etc.), I have always found Psalms 90:17 to be my stay. It simply states: “…Let the beauty of the Lord my God be upon me; and establish the work of my hands…”
Tell us where readers can find you on the Internet? EVERYWHERE! (LOL) Actually, they can go to my sites; www.eborya.com ; www.alife3dots.com ; Amazon.com and I’m also on Facebook and Myspace!