Daughter, granddaughter, sister, friend, and student are some of the hats that Leah Forney wears. A native of Queens, New York, who is currently residing in Maryland, writing and speaking came naturally to her. Leah Forney is the oldest girl of six siblings. She grew up without her mother and father raising her. She learned early on the importance of having a relationship with Jesus Christ from her maternal grandmother who raised her in the church. Leah’s love for writing came at a young age when she would pen poems to release the pain she felt from not having her parents in her life. Never knowing where her writings would take her, Leah penned her first book. Leah has lent her voice in numerous projects from being a sexual assault awareness advocate to acting in her church’s drama ministry. As she continues to accept the calling that God has placed on her life, Leah is open to seeing where her gifts and talents will take her.
She released her first book, Unapologetically Me: Living, Owning, And Walking In My Truth, on April 1, 2017. She released her second book, Courage to Win: Igniting the Winner Within, on April 30, 2018. She started alongside her close friend Carmen, who is now deceased, a nonprofit called SAAVE ME (Sexual Assault Advocacy for Victims Everywhere). She can do it all. She has a heart for service. You can follow Leah on many social media sites.
The bond between mother and child is a strong one, but what happens when that connection is complicated by drugs, addiction and mental illness? What becomes of the child whose only desire is to be loved by the mother who abandoned her? And how does that child, now a woman herself, avoid the mistakes her mother made that seemingly come natural to her? In Unapologetically Me, Leah Forney recounts her personal story of abandonment and redemption to inspire others and teach them that even the painful parts of our lives have a purpose. Moving and gut-wrenchingly honest, Leah offers no sugary solutions to life's tough questions. Instead she presents the truth she learned after years of fruitlessly searching for love in all the wrong places—that only God's love can change you and move you beyond the shame and guilt of your past. Read Leah's story and learn how you, too, can become unapologetic about who you are and who you were created to be.
How can readers get in contact with you?
Readers can connect with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am also on social media outlets. My Facebook page is Leah M. Forney. My instagram is IamLeahMichelle
What inspired your book?
I am a firm believer that everyone has a story to tell. I am also a believer that our pain has a purpose. My book was birthed from pain. Each of my books recounted personal stories of trials and triumph.
What would you like readers to take away from your book?
I would like my readers to walk away with motivation and inspiration from my pain. I want them to know that he/she can overcome as well.
What did you have the most fun writing about?
Writing for me is therapeutic. It is always a great feeling to be able to look back at events in my life that I thought I couldn’t overcome and now that I have overcame these events it makes me so proud of myself.
What advice would you offer to someone whose book is about to be released?
My advice would be to go hard or go home. No one is going to push your book harder than you. Also, be willing to put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is a part of the process.
What does literary success look like to you?
Literary success for me is being able to truly inspire each reader with my story. It is to motivate and show others that no matter what challenges you are facing that you can and will overcome.
What has surprised you most about being a published author?
My biggest surprise as an author was the reality that you are not an overnight success. I learned that my book is not for everyone. Although, family and friends would support you as an author, it is very important to identify who your target audience is and where to find them.
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
As an author, I wish I would have known all that it takes to publish a book. I was clueless to the publishing process in the beginning. I wish I’d known the importance of building a brand around your book. I've learned that your book is just the product that is the business or brand around your product. I also wish I knew how to create consistent products to keep your brand or business out there.
What do you do to interact with your readers?
I have done a book tour in the past. I have done giveaways. I have done magazine, blogs, podcasts, and radio interviews as ways to interact with my readers.
What are your three favorite social media platforms and how are you using them for promotion?
I only use Facebook and Instagram. I use these two platforms to push my books as well as my product store. I am working on a new strategy now to prepare for my third year as an author.
What are you reading this summer?
My summer reads will consist of Becoming by Michelle Obama and Win from Within by Pastor John Gray.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I practice a lot of self care because I work in the mental health field. I tend to go to the spa or take a walk by the water or sometimes just lay in my bed and do nothing.
Oprah always asks, what do you know for sure?
I know for sure that you will overcome every challenge that you face and that your pain really does have a purpose.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
Sure, My next book is entitled Defining Moments: Discovering Destiny Through My Grief Journey. It is an real and raw look at my life and how I have been discovering my destiny through two significant losses in my life which were the unexpected passing of my fiancé and the unexpected passing of my sister/friend Carmen.
Anything you'd like to say to the readers of SORMAG?
I would like to say that no matter what you are facing, Greater is still coming. Your pain still has a purpose and you will overcome because you were built for this.
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