Author Spotlight: Tiara Riley
Divine Legacy Publishing author Tiara Riley released her first book, 23 . . . And Finally Loving Me, in December and hasn't stopped moving since! Let's take a moment to get to know this author, coach, and motivational speaker . . .
First, let’s get to know you a little better
Where would you go in a time machine?
This is a tough question, I often want to visit my future self just to make sure everything works out how I’d like it to! But then I’d also like to know how things were during the Civil Rights Movement and experience Black Wall Street! Getting to experience Jesus during his walk on Earth would be nice too! So yes, if we can get this time machine thing going that would be great…clearly I have a few trips to make!
Which super power would you like to have?
Truthfully I never really wanted a superpower, I was blessed to have 2! I’m a Black Woman and that’s already a double superpower. Not sure anything else is needed!
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
My color would be somewhat of a hybrid color combining polar opposites because that’s the clearest description of my personality. Every aspect of who I am creates an oxymoron type of description combining characteristics seemingly opposite. For example: I am a social introvert.
What’s your favorite old school jam?
Just Kickin It – Xscape
What TV show can you absolutely not miss?
Because my schedule is so hectic I very rarely see shows during their initial airings, but I often catch up on demand. My current favorites are (warning it’s a long list!):
This is us
Real Housewives of Atlanta
ALL of the Love and Hip Hop franchises…yes all! (Atlanta might be my fave)
The Good Doctor
The whole TGIT line up (Scandal, Greys Anatomy, and How to get away with murder)
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
“23…and Finally Loving Me” – shameless plug!
Now, on to your writing
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
My 6th grade teacher sparked this passion for writing by publishing my first short story, the book is still in my mother’s house. I wasn’t sure then that it was a passion of mine, but when I look back that’s where it goes.
What inspires you to write?
A firm belief that telling our stories can help someone get through their struggles. I believe that my purpose in life is to be open and transparent to help others get through their issues.
What genre do you write and why?
Self-help is my genre of choice because I’m a very practical person aiming to help people learn to do better. Due to my close relationship with God, my writing often has a spiritual tone mixed in as well!
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
A little bit of both, but mostly based on when I feel inspired. As different topics of discussion come to my mind I usually jot them down so that I can remember them (my memory is bad). But due to a very tight schedule, I often have to set aside time to write.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have a slight case of professional ADHD meaning I have different interests in different topics/ideas that change regularly. So there was a given point when I had 5 unfinished books saved on my computer. As I got passionate about different ideas I went with the flow and when the passion shifted back around I completed the project. I’ve heard people say that they want to write a book but have so many ideas that they don’t know where to start. Don’t allow that to stop you from writing any of the books…write them all! Allow your interests to guide your writing and if you’re having difficulty with completion…set a schedule for yourself.
What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?
Finishing the project! Before publishing my first book, there were plenty that never saw “The End”. I realized that had to do with me not recognizing the value of my voice and how important my story was.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I didn’t use names in my book, one of the perks of self-help!
And just a bit more
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A butterfly. I always felt very out of place, unsure of myself, and insecure. Then a shift occurred and it was as if I’d finally broken through my cocoon and have experienced my freedom and beauty.
How did it feel when you published your first book?
A roller-coaster of emotions to say the least. There was a huge amount of pressure wanting the moment to be absolutely perfect, most of the pressure I’d placed on myself. Additionally, I felt completely unstoppable after achieving a lifelong accomplishment and embracing my truth 100%.
Can you tell us about your current projects?
I’m currently working towards publishing my next book around the subject of perseverance. I know that this book will help others get THROUGH their challenges in a real and honest way. I cannot wait for everyone to hear it!
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I’m working on reading more often, my goal for this year is 15 books! Some of my favorites are Sarah Jakes-Roberts, TD Jakes, and I loved “The Wait” by Devon Franklin & Megan Goode
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Your voice has value!
Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
Just do it! Stop allowing yourself to provide excuses. Create a game plan, set deadlines, and hold yourself accountable.
What does literary success look like to you?
Touching lives in a positive way.
Thank you, Tiara, for allowing us to get to know you better! We look forward to your second book which is due out in October.
To find out more about Tiara, please visit her website at www.nicolesnetwork.net.