Interview with Andra Douglas
Author of Black & Blue; Love, Sports and the Art of Empowerment
Where are you from originally and where do you reside now?
I am from Zephyrhills, Florida and I have lived in New York City for 35 years.
If you currently reside somewhere besides where you were born, what’s the story that lead from there to here?
I received my undergraduate from Florida State University and moved to NYC for my Masters Degree from Pratt Institute. I was in the entertainment industry for many years but collected notes on my life and finally, I sat down and weaved them into a book.
What made you decide to write and publish your first book?
I have always written about things that mean something to me; humor, excitement, sadness, a special time or place…a person and what they did that meant something, a pet, a loss, a regret, a wish—a wish that came true. The little things are so fleeting but also the meat of life.
How would you describe your books to first time readers?
Black & Blue; Love, Sports and the Art of Empowerment is a coming of age story about a girl who had a passion and never gave up. It’s a feel-good story about finding your voice and realizing the strength we each have deep down.
Who do you feel is most likely to connect with the topics you write about?
Women who feel like they’ve always wanted to do/be something but were overlooked, underestimated or discounted altogether. Which is many, many women!
What unexpected or surprising thing did you learn during the process of writing and publishing?
I learned that actually sitting down to write the book the book was the hardest thing to do but once you begin, the flow is surprisingly non-stop. For the publishing part, it’s important to do your homework! Research and understand as best as you can about the process and what you can expect.
If you could, what advice would you give to your past self before embarking on this journey?
I let a lot of time go by waiting for the right agent, or thinking maybe I needed a ghost writer or a certain editor, the perfect publishing house, marketing team, etc, etc. In the end, I let it go and felt the universe would lead me to the right people one way or another and truly, it did.
How many people would you ideally like to reach with your books?
All of them!
What has been the biggest challenge and frustration during the process to date?
First it was hearing agents try to pigeon-hole my book: It’s a sports story…no, it’s self-help, no, its a this or that. Once that got decided, because this was my first book and I am so new to the process, it was hard to feel secure in my choices whether it was publishing houses, agents, etc. Hopefully mt second will be easier!
What’s your biggest strengths when it comes to book a) writing, b) publishing and c) marketing?
My biggest strength in writing is honesty. In publishing; my design work on the cover. For marketing; researching and choosing the right agent for me and my style of writing.
What’s your biggest weakness when it comes to book a) writing, b) publishing and c) marketing?
My biggest weakness when it comes to writing is carving out time each day to do so. Publishing; not knowing enough about it since I am new to the publishing world. Marketing; not partaking in enough social media. That’s huge!
When do you think you will write your next book?
I have already begun the next book which will be a sequel to Black & Blue.
Are you self published or did you use a hybrid publisher, or a traditional publisher?
I am self-published
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