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Interview with author Lyvita Brooks

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It’s great to have writer and podcaster Lyvita Brooks with us to share about her new poetry and flash fiction book Nuggets for Thought, A Mother and Daughter’s Collection of Poems, Reflections, and Flash Fiction About the Life They See

Short Bio:  Lyvita Brooks, a retired educator, writes poetry, flash fiction, short stories, children’s stories and Bible studies. She is the founder of The Me Project Academy and host of Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast. For more information on Nuggets for Thought A Mother and Daughter’s Collection of Poems, Reflections and Flash Fiction About the Life They See visit her website https://lyvitabrooks.com/

Please tell us about your current release:
What do you know about yourself? About your heritage? In her award nominated book, Nuggets for Thought A Mother and Daughter’s Collection of Poems, Reflections and Flash Fiction About the Life They See, Lyvita Brooks shares her mother’s poetry and reflection with her flash fiction. The result of which makes you question what you believe and why and if you made the right choice.
“I’ve learned that it takes courage and forgiveness to love others, your family and friends, even when your choices are in opposition,” shares Brooks. Disagreements can make or break a relationship. It can be powerful enough to separate family members and even communities. Resulting in shattered dreams, unfulfilled hopes and unwarranted fears.
In Nuggets for Thought A Mother and Daughter’s Collection of Poems, Reflections and Flash Fiction About the Life They See, Brooks highlights that the decisions you make now will impact your future. “Every decision is based on a brick. Every brick becomes a step to stand on. Every step gets you closer to the stars, where the wind blows harder. When you understand that your decisions inform who you are and where they originate, then you will be able to choose your battles wisely or make a pivot. Run or Fight.

What inspired you to write this book?
I promised my mother that I would publish her writings someday. Unfortunately, I finally kept my promise after she passed in 2017. Now this book will stand as a legacy to her and all women who truly have nuggets they lived by.

What’s next for your book or future plans you’d like to share:
Near the end of the book, there is a story called, “When Will It Be My Turn?” The character for my next book is telling you, the reader, that she will be my next book, in order to entice the reader to look for it. Presently, it’s still in draft form but should be out by 2025. The story begins like this in the book:

She’s always promising. First her Ma and now me.

I’m broken, between, the “what if’s” and “what was”. (Change can do that to you. I thought.) She’s been through shingles, passing of her mother, pneumonia, job change, and now, she can’t seem to get me together. Always changing me, I’m likeable today, fighting someone tomorrow, or adding what I can do after striking out what I did do. Even though I guide her through my story on many sleepless nights, she still awakes mixed up.

She’s writing about me again!

Finally, I’m Desiree.

My author, Lyvita’s, first short story to publish, next.

What got you interested in writing things for others to read?
I am a booklover. Ever since I was little and realized that books can make me laugh, cry, help me understand things, take my imagination to all sorts of interesting places, I was hooked. My Ma always gave me books from the time I was born.
This desire to read turned into a desire to write when I was in elementary school and the teacher told us to write a story. Wow! That propelled me into writing stories for fun and later at 12 years old, I self-published my first book. It was stapled line pages with a colorful front cover, title page, table of content, and back cover. All written in hand and designed by me.

What’s one challenge you had to overcome to write your book?
My biggest challenge was writing the introduction to Nuggets for Thought. I found myself wrapped up in my Ma’s blankets just so I could finish writing it. Sometimes the tears were so thick I couldn’t see what I was writing, while others brought out laughter I couldn’t control. Every time I think the grieving process is over, I find something else that is special about her and become filled with joy. I conclude in my Introduction with this statement, “She truly was a woman with nuggets to live by.”

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like?
I am a full-time writer/podcaster. They seem to intertwine for me. I block daily time for writing that’s separate from podcasting, which also includes my business and academy. This way I can give each one their special time. It’s funny you would ask that because I went to a conference and found myself signing books but also being interviewed for a podcast to talk about the book. Like I said, they intertwine but I do schedule their separate times to work on each one, 5 days a week (ideally).

As a child, did you think you’d be a writer? Or what did you want to be when you grew up?
I have to laugh because I always wanted to be a baby doctor, not a GYN, because as a 7 or 8 year old I didn’t know that term. And yet, I was teaching school on the back porch of my grandparent’s house, in preschool, to my imaginary friends and making up stories when I didn’t realize that was what I was doing. Therefore, writing was always with me, it’s just that it didn’t come out until I fell in love with books. That’s when the characters in my head began to intensify and I had to start writing. One never knows the power of a good book, except God.

What’s something fun you like to do outside of writing?
Hanging out in the park with Jesus taking pictures of the uniqueness of God’s beautiful earth. Maybe that’s also my calling instead of trying to play the harmonica. Which I’m not doing very well.

Are you part of a writer’s group and if so, how has it helped?
I am a part of a flash fiction writers group (different genres) and a Christian writers group. Both have been instrumental in my growth as a writer but also in helping me see my common mistakes, as well as, catching things I see in their writing, which in turn helps me as well. Also, since I’m in a group with different genres and one that is not Christian, it allows me to get responses to areas that I would not have expected. For example, I talked about how God was in a person and one of the other writer’s said I should change it to God looked down on a person. That helped me realize that the concept was foreign to them and it needed more clarity if I was going to write for a non-Christian market. Whereas the Christian writers group loved it.

Interview with author Lyvita Brooks

Anything additional you want to share with readers?
Nuggets for Thought A Mother and Daughter’s Collection of Poems, Reflections and Flash Fiction About the Life They See (ISBN 978-1-889003-12-2, Paperback, $12.95; ASIN: BOBVL1KFLS, ebook, $5.95; 109 pages, Family Life Fiction) from LRW Publication, LLC, is available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and wherever fine books are sold. More information on Nuggets for Thought A Mother and Daughter’s Collection of Poems, Reflections and Flash Fiction About the Life They See can be found at https://lyvitabrooks.com/.

How else can readers connect with you?
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomuser_lyvitabrooks
Instagram: https://instagram.com/hangingoutwithjesuspodcast/
YouTube: https://youtube.com/

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