JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
LaShawnda Jones, author of My God and Me: Listening, Learning and Growing on My Journey
(Jazzy Media, LLC)
My God and Me: Listening, Learning and Growing on My Journey is a collection of snap-shot narratives of my life, concentrating mostly on the years I underwent a spiritual transformation.
A few years ago, I moved to New York City from Milwaukee, WI. Alone. No family, no friends and no job. I learned without a doubt how to trust in the Lord. I did odd jobs around New York City for six months. Thereâ€™s no rational-intellectual explanation of how I was able to feed and shelter myself. But I had a place to lay my head every night and not one day passed that I wasnâ€™t well fed.
The Lord provides! My God and Me is full of illustrative stories of how He holds me, guides me, teaches me, provides for me and loves me. It not a story of lack, itâ€™s a story of how Iâ€™m being prepared to reap a spiritual abundance!
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write My God and Me?
LaShawnda Jones: My God and Me is derived from blogs. When I started blogging in 2006, my only intent was to be entertaining. My goal was to promote my VoLux Full-Figure Calendar. My early posts were about plus size fashion, body image and self-esteem. Somewhere in that mix, my exploration of my self-esteem exposed a struggle with my self-confidence. Did my strength come from my physical connection or my spiritual connection? The deeper I dug for the root of my insecurities, the more I desired a deeper connection to my Source. I describe this struggle in detail in Self-Image is Everything, a piece in my book.
I blogged for two years. Throughout that time I didnâ€™t have a complete picture of my transformation. During the fall 2008, I realized I had nearly one hundred blogs. After categorizing them, I had enough material for three different books. But I wasnâ€™t interested in publishing just any three books. I wanted to publish something that said something, that spoke to people. Truthfully, I had no idea what was in the midst of those one hundred blogs.
The Holy Spirit led me to create My God and Me. Thatâ€™s truly the only explanation I have for what has been delivered through me. There was no conscious effort on my part to come to the finished product I came to. The cohesiveness of the message is amazing to me. Itâ€™s like I wrote it from beginning to end with intent, when in actuality it was pieced together from different stories throughout the years from various areas of my life.
JP: What sets My God and Me apart from other books in its genre?
LJ: Many Christian and self-help books are telling you how to improve your life. Do steps one, two, three and your life will be perfect. Most of them create the illusion of a conclusion.
There is no conclusion to my book, but there is completeness. Thereâ€™s no theory on whatâ€™s right, but thereâ€™s evidence that all things work out for the best. My God and Me is a series of stories that contribute to a larger picture. Itâ€™s a book detailing the process of oneâ€™s growth. My growth.
Thatâ€™s not to say your growth and evolution will be the same. In my process, I am open and honest about how I dealt with all the changes my life and relationships have gone through thus far. Itâ€™s a book about human frailties becoming supernatural strengths when covered by the love of God. My God and Me is really a book of examples.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to My God and Me getting out to the public?
LJ: Focus and belief in the value of my work. I know I have a message I am to share. And I know writing is one of my gifts. Everything else falls in line.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish My God and Me?
LJ: My writing process is to simply sit and write. But I have to write when Iâ€™m in the mood to write whatâ€™s on my mind. Once the mood passes, the inspiration for the piece passes. I have a lot of material thatâ€™s sitting unfinished because I didnâ€™t follow through when the mood was on me.
As I said before, My God and Me is a result of a couple of years of blogging. The process of compiling, sifting and editing took nearly a year. And even after publication, I find I am still tweaking it â€“ which is possible through the use of a print on demand printer.
JP: What’s next for LaShawnda Jones?
LJ: I have several unfinished novels and many ideas for new books. No real plans on which one will get the most attention as of yet. Weâ€™ll see what happens and where Iâ€™m lead.
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