02 August 2010

Glow Girl Spotlight: Venesha

Welcome to our latest glow girl spotlight. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this series, we feature inspiring women and their journey to success. I'm honored to introduce you all to Venesha, who's a 5x Literary Award Winning published author of Urban Fiction novels Mistress Me & Notorious. Her most recent release entitled Mirror, Mirror is a motivational guide that offers 16 tips on becoming a new and improved you! I had the chance to ask Venesha, (who's also one of my fave twitter buddies) a few questions. So join us if you will, and read how experience, wisdom & faith have guided her to success.

When did you first know that you wanted to become an author? Was this something you've always aspired to be?

Honestly, I don’t think I really knew for sure until my Bishop preached a message at church one Sunday, April 2006 to be exact. And, I went home and started writing my first book. Even then my goal was to simply write what was on my heart, which I did. I didn’t know if it would turn out to actually be a book or even something worthy of other people wanting to read. No, I didn’t aspire to become a writer. I went to college and doubled majored in Criminal Justice and Speech Communications. The plan was to be a sports agent or go into family law. However, my last year in school I needed a job and became a teacher. And, truly fell in love with Urban Education and teaching. I taught school for six years.

Was there always a supportive foundation as you embarked your journey?

Of course not! I went through hell and high water to get where I am as a professional writer and build a brand behind my name. I’m not mad at anyone because I own all of my mistakes and errors along the way. I should have made better choices and picked better people to network with and trust. But, when you know better you do better. Now, my circle is small and I can honestly say if you have my cell number and can reach me 24/7 we are friends with trust, and we have a bond. Everybody else…not so much.

What's been the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome?

Hmmm let’s count them shall we. *giggles* Well I’ll give you my top six.
*Learning not to trust just anybody and allowing people to earn my trust over time before letting them in.
*Trying to get paid for books that I have sent to bookstores and distributors on consignment.
*Learning to say NO when I simply don’t want to do something or be a part of someone’s DRAMA and champagne DREAMS.
*Being okay with not being able to help everyone that is thinking about writing a book.
* Not really caring what other people have to say about what I write and the moves I make.
* And, learning how to deal with the negative comments that mainly other publishing industry folks write and say about me.

Mirror, Mirror is your third self published book. Why was it important for you to become a self published author?

In the beginning I didn’t have a choice. The offers for the publishing deals didn’t come until a year after I began to build a brand. The same publishing companies that didn’t bother to open my manuscript in 2006 or sent me a rejection letter were the same ones offering me a deal. What a difference a year makes when you have a dream and goals and move towards them people take notice.

What advice could you give to someone aspiring to do the same?

Do your research, study your craft, and enlist topflight professionals to help you make your dream a reality. Don’t cut corners or cost because by doing that your books begin to resemble theirs. *sigh* And, you simply become one of many instead of building a quality brand. Authors need to take more time with their stories and stop rushing to get a book done just to have a book. If you don’t have enough money to get a great cover from a great graphic designer wait until you do. You want your book to have every possible opportunity to succeed and be successful. So, don’t just settle. If you have to wait just simply wait. With new authors popping up like Dollar Stores you have to prepare yourself and aspire to have your book sit next to the best of the best. These people will tell you anything to see you fall and stumble. I know because they did it to me. But, I just knew how to get away from them before it was too late. Now, I rarely talk to anyone in within the publishing industry. Hell they are not buying my books no way. A few authors think I just disappeared and stopped writing just because I don’t make it a point to inform authors what I am doing. Little do they know I never disappeared, but changed the game plan. I don’t need anyone to co-sign MY dreams. Catch me if you can!

There's a chapter in the book entitled Love Thy Self, which focuses on the importance of knowing, loving and valuing yourself unconditionally. What would you say is an essential part of maintaining a healthy relationship with self?

Forgiving yourself for past mistakes and regretting little. If we keep living in the past the present as well as the future doesn’t have a chance to be any brighter. Changing your outlook and thoughts on life allows urban women to live, breath again, and win at life. I wake up every day expecting to be blessed whether it’s a big blessing or a small one.

I really love that this book not only touches on subjects that most women can relate to, but also guides us into becoming our ultimate selves. How would you define someone who's their ultimate self?

They are truly truly happy and at peace with who they were, are, and where they are going. They have goals and dreams outside of catching a baller or a Prince Charming to save their lives. Save yourself! We are such strong and powerful women! We often doubt ourselves just because we are creatures of habit. When he cheats we blame ourselves for not being pretty enough or sexy enough. If he doesn’t want to be in an exclusive relationship, but remain friends with benefits we blame ourselves. We have to learn to either deal with folks where they are or keep it moving. Many times a lot of our heartache comes from US not knowing how to love US. If we had higher expectations bet a dollar people would have to treat us differently or learn how to do without us in their lives. We conform all the time for them. Now, it’s time for them to fly right or diddybop in another direction.

One of the visions behind Mirror Mirror is to encourage urban women to support one another. Do you feel this is something we lack in our community as a whole? Why?

Oh yes indeed! Women are so damn catty it is unreal. Very few women are supportive of their peers because everyone wants to be that standout chick. Everyone is so materialistic as of lately. Everyone is too busy keeping up with the Jones’ to realize when a friend needs a hug or to simply go out for coffee or a Martini. We are so self-absorbed and that bothers me. Both women and men.

Throughout the book you talk about your spirituality a lot. Is your faith something that motivates you?

Yes, my faith in God truly motivates me and dictates how I treat people. At the end of the day I want to please God. Just the other day I was mega disappointed with a friend and his actions. However, God told me to check on him because we also do business together. So, I did what God said despite how I felt. So, yes the goal everyday is to treat God’s people the way God treats me no matter what I did yesterday. Most importantly I can lean on God forever and day and he will love me just the same. Most people are fickle and funny acting so I take my worries to God. That way I don’t have to worry about folk spreading my business and talking about me behind my back in Wal*Mart or the Gucci store. Child please!

What's one thing that you'd like your readers to take from reading Mirror Mirror more than anything else?

I want the readers to walk away from Mirror Mirror encouraged, motivated, and inspired to be the best they can be. I also want them to encourage the women and men around them as well. And, LOVE.

You're a busy woman and I'm sure there are times when things can get a bit hectic, how do you find balance?

I write and I write. When I’m sad sometimes I just rather not talk to anyone and those are the diary entries in Mirror Mirror and my next book. I read from time to time some fiction and more self-help/motivational books. I listen to music, drink my glass of Moscato or coconut Martini, and I THINK. I spend 70% of my day alone praying, thinking, and writing. But, that’s how dreams are made. I should know I have seen many of my own become reality. I thank God!

What's next for Venesha?

I’m half way through the follow book to Mirror Mirror. A new Urban Fiction book that I’m so excited about and ready to write. My fly and fabulous blog, Lollipopnews.com, and a few upcoming projects as well. And, HAPPINESS and PEACE above all.

on Beauty...

What are five beauty products you can't live without?

Boscia face moisturizers and eye cream
Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm
Philosophy body lotions and shower gels
Mizani hair products
Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder

Heels or Flats?

Heels of course!!!

I've read that you've been into fashion since a really young age, how would you describe your style?

Very very simple and traditional. Urban preppy perhaps. I normally don’t do the latest trends. I love dresses that fit extremely well. If I have an event I normally wear a dress and a fly pair of heels. I do love my black American Apparel leggings though. I love Banana Republic and J.Crew. But, I will also shop at Target and get a ton of compliments as well. I really think fashion is more so your look and how you can rock an outfit or pair of shoes. And, your purse needs to be chic and fly as well. You don’t have to rock all the lastest designers and break the bank to be fly. Fly and fabulous is a lifestyle not a designer. I wear my clothes they don’t wear me.

You're in a rush & don't have time to get all dolled up, what are three items you'd grab on the way out the door?

Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm
Beach Girl lotion by Philosophy
Aviator sun glasses

What makes you a Glow Girl?

My lifestyle. My experiences. My wisdom and willingness to share. My goals. My dreams. My confidence. My passion for life and motivating others. Yes, I am a Glow Girl!

I hope you all enjoyed the interview! Venesha was kind enough to sponsor a giveaway just for our readers. Be sure to check back tomorrow for details


  1. I love that she made her own way by self publishing her books!

  2. I loved this line in the interview "*Learning to say NO when I simply don’t want to do something or be a part of someone’s DRAMA and champagne DREAMS."

    You go girl!

  3. I really loved when she talked about urban women supporting each other. There are so many young and old women out here who look at another woman who is successful and won't congratulate her for their own bitter reasons.

  4. Great Article... Like she said we have to definitely get to the point where we don't need anyone to co-sign our dreams... I'm going to look up her first couple of books and support... Again good interview

  5. I was really inspired by her motivation and determination to reach her goals and keeping at it even though there were plenty critics and naysayers along the way. I can definitely relate to trying to go for something and people around who know nothing about what you are trying to accomplished doubting you. I loved that she believes in supporting one another as well, we definitely need that in our community. But even if you don't have that support you have to believe it for yourself! If you can dream it, you can achieve it!

  6. I love the line, "Save yourself." Sometimes people sit back and miss blessing waiting on someone to save them. Just step out on faith...

  7. Lovely and very insightful responses! All of you have such positive things to say. I so appreciate each and every one of you!


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