The title of NiaShanta’s debut novel, Worth the Wait, could very well be the title of her writing story: This book has been a long time coming! But with help from veteran authors and the Great helper, she finally pushed through! We hope you’ll check her out – there are always new writers to explore!
Q: What do you want readers to take away from this book?
A: I want readers to take away from this book that delay is never denial, and that there is a blessing in waiting on God. I think too often women try to manipulate and manufacture things that God never designed. When I think about all the Ishmael situations in my life, nine times out of ten they occurred because I was overzealous and did not want to wait on God to give them to me. God can bless us so much better than we can bless ourselves, if only we would wait on him.
Q: Tell us about your writing journey?
A: My writing journey has been quite the journey! I wrote and self-published my personal memoir, The Five Men of My Life: What They Taught Me and What I Learned in 2007. I achieved a level of hometown success, but I knew that there was more in me to write. Worth the Wait was “finished” in 2009, however, God was not at all finished with it. I submitted the manuscript to countless publishers and editors, I attended several writing workshops and writing retreats, read book after book, and yet nothing came from it except rejection. I had had the book edited, re-edited, and edited again, all to no avail. I had come to the resolve that the book would stay locked on my computer, and would accompany me to my grave. I had given up on my dream, and as I result I was miserable. Then, one day, God reminded me that a delay is not a denial. My writing-fairy-godmother, Michelle Stimpson, messaged me on Facebook. She said that she was starting a publishing company, and that she wanted to publish my book. She also reminded me believed in me, my book, and me as a writer. The message awoke the sleeping giant in me, and since then I’ve been on a mission to achieve my dream of becoming a writer.
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
A: This book was written out of my pain, loneliness, singleness, and isolation. I penned this novel in a 450 square foot efficiency in Carrollton, TX. I had just moved to Texas from Oklahoma, and did not know a soul. What I did know is that I was tired of going to baby showers, attending and participating in friends’ weddings, getting the third degree at family functions (regarding my singleness and absence from motherhood), and waiting on God. I scribed what I wanted in an ideal man. I created characters that each represented a part of me, and a book that I would enjoy reading.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
A: I would tell aspiring authors to never give up on their dream, to step out on faith, and to do what God leads them to do. Also, network, hone your craft, read, and surround your with others on the journey with you (or those who have endured the journey).
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I currently teach high school English in a Dallas suburb. I am hoping to transition out of the classroom, and be afforded the opportunity to write full-time. I am also actively pursuing other positions that will offer me the flexibility to work part-time, as well as write.
Visit NiaShanta online at www.Niashantaross.squarespace.com
And check our her debut novel at Amazon.com.