Meet Author A’ndrea J. Wilson

Posted on December 19, 2011

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Today I’d like to introduce you to a writing dynamo, to say the least, A’ndrea J. Wilson. Enjoy.

Tell us a little about yourself. I am A’ndrea J. Wilson, author of six books (five currently in print). I write fiction and nonfiction books, my most recent being a novel entitled Wife 101. I am also a college professor, teaching psychology, sociology, and health and human services courses. I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology, a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Global Leadership. I am the founder of a new publishing company, Divine Garden Press, which specializes in books on marriage and family issues. I am the current chairperson for the Ladies of the Dove Literary Festival which takes place every March in Hinesville, Georgia. Additionally, I conduct workshops and seminars on topics related to writing, education, marriage, and families.

When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax and have fun? I love to travel both domestically and internationally. I read all of the time. I enjoy shopping, watching movies, going out to eat with friends, and listening to music.

Tell us something few know about you. I watch cartoons and children’s TV programs even when no kids are around. I love and collect Christmas music. Back in the day, I got into a fist fight with a friend because she said that I couldn’t do “The Alf” (an old 80’s dance).

What genre(s) do you like to read? I read almost everything! I love reading and books are one of my favorite things! I read fiction and nonfiction, romance, general fiction, mystery, thrillers, self-help, religious, autobiographies, etc. The only genres that I don’t really read are science fiction and fantasy.

When did you begin writing? I started writing when I was in the ninth grade. I would come home from school every day and work on stories about teenagers. My sophomore year in high school, I transferred from my vocational high school to a school for performing arts. It was there that I began to develop my art. After high school, I abandoned creative writing and focused on going to college for psychology. It wasn’t until a few years before I finished my doctorate that I returned to creative writing and actually finished writing my first book.

What genre(s) do you write? Too many! I write Christian fiction/Romance, General Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Self-Help, Christian Nonfiction/Inspirational, and Thriller/Suspense.

Tell us about your latest book? My most recent book is Wife 101, a novel about a successful and overly independent woman who wants marriage, but is hardly marriage material. Through the course of the book, she enrolls in a wife training course, hoping to figure out how make her relationships work. Readers get the opportunity to watch her as she learns important lessons about womanhood/wifehood and attempts to apply these lessons to her life and relationships. Wife 101 is a great book for any woman, married or single, who wants to improve their relationship, but be entertained by a witty novel in the process.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write? I know the general idea when I start. I also have an idea of the kind of ending I want, but that is really it. I allow the story to unfold as I write and most times the ending is not exactly what I had in mind when I began, but I am okay with it. The most important aspect for me is the message in the story. I am intentional about the message that I want to convey before I start writing and I try to make sure that message is brought forth at some point in the book.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters? Amber Ross is the main character of Wife 101. She is a self-made woman who knows what she wants and knows how to get it–with the exception of a good man. Amber is feisty and used to playing hardball with men in the work world, so when it comes to her personal life, she has no clue of how to positively interact with men. She is afraid of becoming like her mother, like many women are, so she rejects any behavior that even hints at submissiveness. She has a single, best friend, Tisha, who encourages her self-sabotaging actions and loves to give bad advice. Her ex-boyfriend, Chris, is that guy who knows he had a decent woman, but was looking for a woman who would play a more feminine role in their relationships and just didn’t know how to be honest with her about his needs. There are other characters, but to tell you who they are would be ruining the story. You will just have to read it to find out…

Can you tell us who or what was the inspiration behind your latest book? Two things inspired Wife 101. First, seeing the struggle women, especially successful black women, have in relationships. Women complain that finding a mate is difficult (which it may be at times), but don’t recognize the behaviors that they demonstrate that keep them away from the love and commitment they crave. Second, reading and studying Proverbs 31. After a month of study and divine revelation, I found so much wisdom in the verses that still applies to the role of women within society and families. I knew I wanted to write about what I had learned, but I wanted to do it creatively so that more women would be inclined to read it. Learning doesn’t have to be boring; it can be fun and exciting. I believe Wife 101 is the perfect balance between an educational tool and a laugh-out-loud, page-turning, juicy novel.

Where can readers purchase your latest book?  Softcover and Kindle. Book is also available on Nook

What other titles have you written?
Nonfiction
My Business His Way: Wisdom & Inspiration for Entrepreneurs
Kiss & Tell: Releasing Expectations

Fiction
The Things We Said We Would Never Do
Ready & ABLE Teens: Ebony’s Bad Habit

If you could change one thing about your writing career thus far, what would it be? I would have started much earlier. I sat on my gift for 13 years before publishing my first book. I always had the talent and knew it was something that I was supposed to do, but I was so caught up in having the career that I thought I should have rather than the one that was truly what God had in mind for me. It took me a while to really accept the calling to write as a profession and purpose. I always wonder if I would have accepted my purpose earlier on, where I would be as an author now.

What do you find to be the best and worst part of being an author? The best part is hearing that something I wrote positively impacted another person. Just knowing that what I write has the power to help, heal, and provide hope is priceless. The worst part is the money. It’s hard out here for a pimp–I mean an author!

Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author? I believe that my writing is better. I read a lot and am constantly learning new ways to improve upon my style and delivery. I also have come to learn much more about the industry than when I began which helps me to write better books and know more about how to market them.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors? Learn to write every day. Be willing to develop your craft. The real work comes after the book is published so be ready to work like a Hebrew Slave. Learn to accept criticism because it is coming. Don’t do it for the money because it will most likely never be as profitable as it should be.

What do you have on the burner for the next year? I have a short story that will appear in an anthology edited by Kendra Norman-Bellamy. The second book in my Young Adult Series, Ready & ABLE Teens: Desiree Dishes the Dirt will be released in March 2012. The sequel to Wife 101, Husband 101, will be released in the winter of 2012. And I plan to do a lot of book events and media throughout the year, including the Ladies of the Dove Literary Festival in March of 2012 which my sorority chapter hosts.

How can readers reach you?
Website: www.andreawilsononline.com
Email: drajwilson@gmail.com
Facebook: Author A’ndrea J. Wilson
Blog www.drawilson.wordpress.com

Dee here. A’ndrea, thank you so much for giving us a little insight into your work and you. I hope you come back again and let us know when your future books are released. I look forward to meeting you in person at the Slam Jam.

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