Hey, Ya’ll! It’s that time of year again. Author Spotlights are back!
This next spotlight author, I met a year ago at a book festival in Memphis, TN. Nigeria’s table was next to mines, and her gentle presence left a lasting impression on me. The way she captured festival goers with her outgoing personality and colorful lipstick was amazing. I connected with her via social media and her daily messages inspire me. We need more people like her in the world.
Give a great big Kickin’ It With KeKe welcome to Nigeria Lockley.
Author Nigeria Lockley
KC: So tell us, how long you have been writing?
NL: Do you mean writing as a passion or a published author? I’ve been writing since I learned how to read at the age of four. I have never wanted to be anything else except for the few years I spent desiring to be the black Madonna. I’ve been a full-fledged published author since 2014, with the release of my first novel, Born at Dawn.
KC: What genre do you write or prefer writing?
NL: I write Christian Fiction with a slant for women’s issues.
KC: How did you know you wanted to become an author/writer?
NL: My sister spent the summer before I was supposed to start kindergarten teaching me how to read. At the end of the summer, she wrote me a book to make sure I could read and had not memorized the words. After reading her book, I declared I would one day write a book for her.
KC: What a great story. My “big” sister has inspired me throughout the years more than she’ll ever know.
KC: What inspires you to write?
NL: Life inspires and so do words. I used to be a poet or rather write mostly poetry. So, sometimes I just have to hear a word that sounds delicious, and I need a reason to use it. Boom. Just like that, I’m inspired.
KC: *Boom* Alright nah. LOL
KC: What message do you want readers to take away from your work?
NL: At the end of the day I want readers to realize that no matter how far they’ve gone or how messy the situation is God is still waiting for them.
KC: How would you describe your writing style?
NL: I wouldn’t and couldn’t if I tried, but I love how Michelle Monkou described my writing style when she reviewed Born at Dawn for the USA Today blog, Happily Ever After, “Gritty, powerful, and inspirational mark Lockley’s brand of fiction.” That sounds about right.
KC: Who are some of your favorite authors?
NL: In my genre: Michelle Stimpson, Unoma Nwankwor, E. N. Joy, and Rhonda Bowen
Poet: June Jordan
Playwright: August Wilson
Fiction: Zora Neale Hurston, Claude Mckay, Ntozake Shange (although she does it all), William Faulkner
KC: Great list. I met Michelle Stimpson a year ago. She is very sweet. Too bad I didn’t have any books for her to sign.
KC: What are some of your favorite books?
NL: Boaz Brown by Michelle Stimpson, Home to Harlem by Claude McKay, Seven Guitars by August Wilson, and for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange
KC: What is your formula when working on a new project? (Do you listen to music, use an outline, meditate, or simply start typing?)
NL: I prefer to be about rather than talk about—I just start.
KC: If you could collaborate with any of your peers, who would it be and why?
NL: Unoma Nwankwor. I love her tender style of writing and the African culture (say that wholistically because she writes about multiple countries, not just one) she incorporates into her work, plus the romantic element. There’s nothing like a combination of sweet (her) and salty (me).
KC: I bet that would be something.
KC: What advice would you give aspiring authors?
NL: Do not write the story you think will sell. Write the story you want to tell.
KC: What are you reading currently?
NL: I’m doing like triple duty. I’m currently reading, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Not with the Church’s Money by Michelle Stimpson and Casandra McLaughlin, and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
KC: How can readers find you?
NL: My online home: www.nigerialockley.com My reader’s group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NLBookBlock/
My author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorNigeriaLockley
For aspiring authors visit www.instagram.com/InheritanceBooks
KC: As an author, do you think using social media is a great source for gaining new readers/supporters?
NL: Absolutely. I’ve gained most of my readers from social media. If you don’t have the money to travel to events, your social media game better be tight, especially if you write in a special niche within a particular genre. I’m working on a challenge for authors this summer.
KC: Well, please keep me in the loop.
KC: Tell us about your latest work?
NL: My last release, Tempted to Touch is about a marriage in crisis. When Kira Seagram is reunited with her former lover and presented with the opportunity to pursue her passion she has to decide if she’s going to follow her flesh or follow the spirit.
KC: What’s next for you?
NL: I’m currently in-between three different projects. I’m crazy as I don’t know what. I’m only three chapters away from finishing my first non-fiction book, a book of prayers for creative Christians and entrepreneurs. I’m about half-way through my fourth work of fiction, Children of God, which deals with the Haitian immigration crisis of 2015 in the Dominican Republic. Rounding out the three is Saving Grace the sequel to Seasoned with Grace.
KC: That’s what I’m talking about! *fist pumps* Do your thang, Sista.
KC: Do you believe networking is crucial to being successful in the writing industry? Why? Why not?
NL: It’s absolutely essential. Your network is your net worth. The people you surround yourself with can introduce you to influencers and a new audience. In addition, they can tell what to do and what not to do. Thus creating wealth for you and preserving your dollars.
KC: Where do you see yourself in five years?
NL: On a beach. Five years from now I’ll be writing and speaking full-time and after a crazy first half of the year with engagements and book releases I’ll be on the beach in Costa Rica chillin’.
KC: I hear that and feel that! Just got back from Puerto Rico, and I didn’t want to leave. I love the beach. It’s so peaceful and serene, the perfect backdrop to creative flow.
KC: Tell us something that you live by daily, that we can carry with us that should inspire and motivate us to pursue our purpose?
NL: God has never created anything mediocre. He is the creator of the sun, moon, and stars yet He made us in His image. I will walk in that greatness.
KC: Well said and Amen!
KC: What is your favorite color?
KC: What is your favorite food?
NL: Bacon, pork chops, pernil (roast pork). Okay, anything pork except pig’s feet.
KC: What is your favorite pastime?
NL: Is watching reality tv a pastime?
KC: Football or basketball?
NL: Football. #BradyBunch until I d-i-e.
KC: Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
NL: Jordan and that’s not based on any statistics just the fact that I was born in the ‘80s and grew up in the ‘90s.
KC: Thanksgiving or Christmas?
KC: Books or movies?
KC: Winter, spring, summer, or fall?
KC: If you were allowed only one thing with you during the day, what would be the thing you pick?
NL: That’s tricky can I get two. I need my Bible, but I also need my lipstick.
KC: Breakfast or Lunch?
KC: Please list your website so the audience can stay connected with you.
Thank you so much for Kickin’ It With KeKe today. It has been a true delight. I’ve learned more things about you and established that we have many things in common. I will definitely add your titles to my list of books to read. May God continue to bless, strengthen, and keep you under His grace!
Until next time, Be Inspired, Be Encouraged & Be YOU!