Author Spotlight: Arlisha Myrie
Arlisha Myrie is an author that was born and raised in a small Alabama town who made her big dreams come true! With a series of novels that deal with real life issues and characters that go through situations that most of us have faced in the world, her work is sure to keep both adults and teens entertained. Arlisha Mryrie sits down with LuxeLife ATL to discuss how life experience, growing up in a small, unknown town and keeping faith in both her god and herself has lead to three novels and starting a publishing company.
– What was the inspiration behind your “Second Chances” series?
One of my biggest inspirations behind this series was my niece and my children. Watching the teen phase that my niece was in and knowing my children would soon be there, reminded me of a time not too long ago when I was that age. I was faced with so much temptation and made some horrible decisions. No matter how much my mom and dad talked to me about how to avoid those things or how to respond to them, I still felt as if I needed to figure things out on my own. I often wished there were books out there that would teach me how to deal with things like sex, lust, anger, jealousy, etc. without just telling me “don’t do it”. With the Second Chances series, God allowed me the ability to give exactly what I felt I missed out on as a young adult.
– What inspired you to start writing and begin your writing career?
As a young girl I always loved writing and creating things. I would write poetry, songs, plays, or whatever I could think of to express myself. It wasn’t until my eighth grade English class with Ms. Brewton that I knew without a shadow of doubt I would one day become a writer. We had just read Lois Lowry’s book, The Giver, and we had to create our own ending to the story. I remember being so excited to create something, even if it was in continuation of someone else’s imaginative creation. After that, I would often think about stories and declare I would one day put them on paper.
– Your series deals with very real issues, putting teenagers in situations where they must grow up fast. How are you able to bridge the gap between adults and teens so that your novels can capture the interest and be relatable to both age groups?
Great question! To be honest, that was pretty easy to do. Even though this book was written with teens and young adults in mind, if you are an adult, you were once in their shoes. This made the ability to bridge the gap fairly easy. I coupled that with making sure some of the parents played active roles in the storyline as well to ensure adults would have someone they could relate to. Even though this book was not necessarily targeting adults, I have found that they are my biggest audience so far.
Countless times I have received emails or messages from adults stating they understood where Sheila was coming from. They feel like it was their story as well as Stacy’s. I’ve also received messages from teenagers saying the book changed their life. They were going to try to commit themselves to God and remain abstinent until marriage. Bridging the gap, I believe, was one of the easiest things for me to do. One of the hardest, I believe, was trying to sound authentic as a teenager in today’s society. LOL. I relied on my niece a lot for that.
– What can we expect in the future? Will we see older characters returning for new stories? Do you have an interest in experimenting with different genres?
YES!!! The fourth novel in the series, deals with Stephanie (Stacy’s little sister). Her story fast forwards to ten years after Jasmine’s Triumph (book 3 in the series). The book is entitle Stephanie’s Choice and I am planning to release it later this year. I also plan on completing a book of short stories that will be released next year. At this time, my only interest is Christian Fiction, however, I won’t rule anything out. As a writer, I just flow with my imagination. If I can breathe life into a thought, I try to make it happen. I really thank God for this gift.
– You’re the co-founder of a publishing company, Ink Trails Publishing. Can you give us a little information about your company and how it got started?
Ink Trails Publishing is a Christian-based publishing company with a mission to establish a legacy of positive literary works. Our goal is to publish unique and high-quality fictitious and non-fictitious titles from all genres, and for audiences of all ages. Our company’s core value is to assist those who are passionate about sharing life-changing and self-improving content with the world, while leaving behind a legacy of literary art. This company was founded by myself and two of my church sisters who are also writers. It was birthed during our many writing sessions we would have while trying to write our individual novels. We have been together now for a little over two years and have released more than twelve novels from four different authors.
– How important do you feel it is for authors & artists from similar backgrounds to connect with potential fans before moving their work to wider audiences?
I am a firm believer that one of the best ways to advertise is my word of mouth. Most of the people who have grown to love my work, found out about me through a friend or family member. Also, I know the importance of keeping a great relationship with your family and friends. In many cases, they are the ones who will be your first supporters.
Coming from such a small town, I feel a lot of love when I go home. When you know that you have people who are in your corner it helps and motivates you to strive for better. I have been asked many times to speak at my hometown library. I have even spoken at the sixth grade graduation at the elementary school I attended, Pike County Elementary School. My books are featured in every high school library in Pike County. They were donated to the campuses by my old high school Principal’s wife, in his honor.
One of my goals is to speak at each of those high schools as well. My home town has been a tremendous blessing to me. I would encourage anyone seeking to rise to the next level to never forget where you come from. It will surely help you determine where you would like to go.
I started a Vlog earlier this year called Kapturing Karson after I gave birth with my youngest son.
Through his amazing personality, we have been able to reach over 6,000 followers. Many of which are now fans of my novels as well. Every time we reach a milestone (five hundred-one thousand new followers), I have a giveaway for a free eBook of my first novel, Stacy’s Story. Many times, after they read the first one, within days I receive emails asking me how to purchase the other ones.
Also, I post my short stories to his Facebook page so his fans are able to see my style of writing. I received a lot of new readers this way as well. Learning to connect with people and be able to provide them with something they can appreciate is vital in this business. Spreading the love of Jesus Christ through authentic and heartfelt literary works has become my mission and, I believe, my purpose. I will honor God through this work and my efforts continuously.
You can find Arlisha Myrie’s “Second Chances” series for sale on Amazon. Visit the Ink Trails Publishing website for more great books and announcements.