Friday, August 21, 2009
FEATURED AUTHOR: Baraka J. Truss
Native Montgomery, Alabamian, Baraka J. Truss, has an awesome testimony. She is not an award winning author, neither does she have any books on the best sellers’ list, but she does have an emotionally moving, and finally put it into words, true story to share with others.
Baraka received her early education at Vaughn Road, and St. Jude Elementary schools in Montgomery, Alabama. She received her high school diploma from St. Jude High School in 1992, graduating valedictorian of her class – Go Pirates! She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the illustrious Alabama A&M University in Normal, Alabama. Several years later she continued her education at Alabama A&M University earning a Master’s degree in the same field of study.
Baraka is not only an aspiring author, but she is also a well sought out public speaker. She has created a collection of workshops geared toward personal growth and development. These workshop sessions are designed to assist participants in exploring their “inner capabilities” so that they might function to the best of their potential. These individual sessions focus on leadership, attitude, communication, vision, empowerment, trust, success, teamwork and coaching. Baraka and her husband reside in New Market, Alabama (Huntsville) and have one young son.
Lover of a Loser - A testament of hope and endurance
What is a loser? Many people can formulate their opinions in regard to what constitutes a loser. One may say that a loser is classified as a team or an individual that is not successful in winning a particular sporting event. Modern terminology may classify a loser as one who has no potential to do anything positive. Lover of a Loser takes losing to another plateau as well as provides a different approach to the concept of losing. It chronicles the ups and downs of a family that has lost almost everything imaginable both tangible and intangible.
Lover of a Loser dramatically gives a first-hand account on the struggles of a wife watching her spouse go through physical and emotional changes due to multiple amputations as well as her internal struggle with such an enormous change. Lover of a Loser was not only designed for the family and friends that are affected by the amputation, but it is also designed for the amputee as a ray of hope.
What would you like readers to take away from your book?
That no matter what your situation may be a loss is a loss. Though my story is slightly or probably totally different than theirs, the road to victory is still the same.
Why did you choose to write this book?
I chose to write this book as a means for me to cope with this traumatic experience and new lifestyle that I was now forced to live.
What did you learn while writing this book?
While writing this book, I learned that I had some hidden emotions that never surfaced during these trials that came pouring out as I begin this project. Many nights I tasted the salty tears of sadness and joy while reliving the moments documented in this book.
What was your favorite scene/chapter from the book?
I love chapter seven. It culminates everything so well and brings to light the hope that is threaded through each of the previous chapters.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
Like anything else in life, writing is a process. The start at times can be slow or fast, somewhere in the middle there is a bump and as you come to the end it can get out of control until you come to a screeching halt.
What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?
I have learned to pace myself because “life” can happen to you and get you way off track.
What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?
Getting past the insecurities of whether or not your work will be accepted by readers is the toughest. As a writer, you put your heart and soul into your work. And writers are like artist and we can be a little “sensitive” about our creations.
What is something readers would be surprised you do?
Writing is a passion for me, but floral design really takes me to my calming place. I am also a national award winning wedding floral designer!
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
1. It won’t happen overnight.
2. Keep your patience card out at all times. You will need it.
3. Your work is just that, your work. Don’t let anyone try to change the focus of your project.
How do you reach new readers?
I am reaching out to new readers via the internet, at speaking engagements, book signings and interviews such as this one. Every avenue that is made available to me, I am on it telling my story and inviting them to experience it by reading my book.
If you could have dinner with 3 authors to talk with about their writing (living or deceased) who would you invite and why?
Oh, wow! I would love to have dinner with Toni Morrison for the strength that she puts into her work, Nikki Giovanni for the passion I feel from reading her works and Gwendolyn Brooks so that I can see where I am as a writer because of her works.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
1. DO – follow your heart.
2. DON’T - try to write like anybody else
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
I can be reached by email at email@example.com through my blog at www.barakajtruss.wordpress.com or through my publisher’s website at www.drallidpublishing.com
Our theme for this month is STAYING OUT OF THE SLUSH PILE. What is your advice to an author who is ready to submit and doesn’t want to end up in the slush pile?
Be sure that you have taken the time to capture every thought that was intended for your project. Also, be sure your manuscript is edited and edited again. Last, but not least, have something that people will enjoy or will make them a better person after having read your work.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
My next book is titled, “Hope for Tomorrow”. I am still praying on where it is going. So far it will be a non-fiction account of how we go through our daily lives with the need to “Hope for Tomorrow”, just to get through today. Stay tuned.
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I'm also a happily married mother of three who's trying to break into the Christian writing field. The writing road can be rocky.
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