Dr. Brown was gracious enough to offer her book and her phone application as a Women of the African Diaspora 3rd Anniversary gift! Thank you Dr. Brown and thank you for taking the time to share some of your wisdom:
AG: How did you start out your writing career?
I have always liked to write. But I really begin to write more through my Twitter page from my mayoral campaign. I started with leaving famous quotes and begin to gradually share my thoughts about life for the ambitious.
AG: What did you learn while writing this book?
TB: I learned not to take things so personally. Most decisions are based on individual personal ambition. Ambition is never right or wrong; it is the inner drive to have something more in your life. But sometimes your ambition can clash with others. You must not take it personally.
I also learned that having just me is enough because of God’s love. I now feel comfortable in my own skin; imperfections in all. I may not be perfect but I am attempting to be a best that I can. And that is enough as long as I try to stay aligned with God.
AG: What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
TB: Never give up on your goals in life but allow God to revise or tweak them into being aligned with his Will. Every failure is not a nightmare and every opportunity is not a blessing. Some failures can be blessings; some opportunities can be nightmares.
Allow God completely into your heart and watch your life begin to expand in the most amazing ways. I trust God in completely different way than before because I now have a testimony that I never had before. There is nothing like spectacular fall to truly give you a new relationship with God.
AG: Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be?
TB: No. It definitely a lot more business than I thought. You have to really hands on and have a strategy to encourage book sales.
AG: Which five characters (can be from books, movies, or tv shows) would you invite over for dinner and why?
TB: The five characters would be:
• Claire Huxtable (Cosby Show) because of her poise and thoughtfulness
• Mark Zuckerberg (Real person and Social Network Movie) for his passion and drive
• Juror No. 8 (12 angry men the movie) for his tenacity and perseverance
• Bourne (The Bourne Ultimatum ) for his intelligence and ability to think fast on his feet
• Jesus (The Bible) for his unwavering faith
AG: What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
TB: The three things are business strategy, marketing and publicity. Each are incredibly important when you building yourself as a brand. I don’t think I really understood this component when I was younger.
AG: Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
TB: One do is to be to be strategic about selling your books. Hiring your own publicist may be a good idea to ensure you get your desired response. Don’t assume you’re a major priority just because you have book deal.
One don’t is similar to the do. Do not wait on the publicity department for your publisher . Do not rely on your publisher for everything. You can miss out many additional revenue streams by waiting on your publisher to act.
AG: What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
TB: That it is not as easy as it looks and it is a emotional experience. You are really putting yourself out there; good and bad. You are allow yourself to be complete transparent and it can be scary experience.
AG: What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?
TB: The best advice was to hire my own publicist and the worst advice was not worry about digital rights. The digital rights are extremely important and you should try to retain them if you can.
AG: What is something readers would be surprised you do?
TB: That I listen to an appalling amount of rap. I listen to very little R &B. I am big fan of Young Jezzy, Jay Z, TI, Kayne and Drake.
AG: If you could be a character from any book you’ve read, who would you be?
TB: It would be Nico or Victory in Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell. They are such strong woman but are human as well.
AG: Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?
TB: That as long that I have God in my life that I will be fine.
AG: Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
TB: My next book will be a book of prayers. There are some prayers in this book and it was such overwhelming positive response to them via Twitter that the next book will be just prayers. I also may do a cookbook but that depends on my schedule during the holiday to do the legwork.
AG: I love how you have included your life stories onto the pages and you are so relatable; what has been one of your biggest challenges in life and how did you overcome it?
TB: My biggest challenge was bouncing back from my failed mayoral bid that was a disappointment on a professional and emotional level. It was completely humiliating because I was marginalized and misunderstood throughout the campaign. I felt like people didn’t get me; they just stereotyped me.
There were many people that I had supported in the past that didn’t return the favor added to the humiliation. I was very disappointed in people that I had respected and loved in every facet of my life. It definitely changed the way I see the world.
I was able to overcome it all through forgiveness. God forgives us for all our transgressions and I was forced to do the same. All the inspirational stories I wrote are from perspective of a reader; I wrote what I needed to hear at those desperate, heart wrenching times in my life. I wrote to encourage myself and now decided to share it with others.
AG: I get a lot of requests for advice from women who want to become expatriates and live overseas as I have done. I often feel ill prepared to dole out advice on a subject that is in a large part life changing, especially when I sense the motivation to move abroad may be to get away from disappointing situations. I have learned that your inner self will move with you wherever you go. What is the best piece of advice you would give a woman who wants to leave the USA and create a life abroad?
TB: Do not be afraid of Change and Allow God to direct your path. Change is important in order to get to next level and achieve your goals. Regardless of your path, allow God to lead your path. Trust him. Never lose and never give up. He will give you a breakthrough but it doesn’t mean that you will be exempt from pain and suffering. Trust. Pray. Believe.