Intimate Conversation with Tumika Patrice Cain

22 May

Intimate Conversation with Tumika Patrice Cain

Tumika Patrice Cain
is an award-winning author, media personality and publisher whose works centers around uplifting, encouraging and empowering others to live the abundant life. She is also an accomplished poet; founder of the Say What?? Book Club; and host of the internet radio shows Living Abundantly with Tumika Patrice Cain, In The Spotlight, and Say What?? Author Spotlights. 
In addition, she is a respected book reviewer and columnist for PEN’Ashe Magazine, a contributing writer for BLOG and Belief Magazines, and editor for two smaller publishing companies. A champion for indie authors, she works tirelessly to level the playing field to bring exposure to those authors who excel at their craft, but whose marketing budgets are limited. Inkscriptions, her publishing company, offers a myriad of book publishing services. Living by the motto of each one reach one, each one teach one, Tumika shares her passion for purpose and for life with all who cross her path.
She is the 2013 recipient of a Spoken Word Billboard award for her debut novel, Season of Change (December 2012), a novel that has since been picked up by Shan Presents and will be re-released as When a Man Loves a Woman – A Season of Change in December, 2015. To her publishing credit, she is also the author of After the Rain…a Poetry Collective (March, 2014) and The Heart of a Woman (August, 2015). Tumika’s works have been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, newsletters and periodicals.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
I was an early reader, so the love of words was already there. A classroom assignment when I was in the second grade would become my raison d’etre. I found my reason for being early on. The teacher introduced poetry and gave us the opportunity to write a poem. I loved how the words came together and that feeling the completed work gave me. The seed had been planted and I continued to write. Growing up in turmoil and being very shy, writing gave me a voice when I felt voiceless. For many years I didn’t know that I had any talent, I only knew that I liked to write. By the time I was in junior high, I had started to receive recognition for my work and in high school I started winning awards. It wasn’t until I wrote my first novel while in my early twenties, which many years later became When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change, that I decided I wanted to do something professionally with the gift. Combining my love of writing with my passion for empowering others seemed the ideal solution.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?
Through my writing I am able to give a voice to the voiceless, to shine a ray of hope for someone who has lost their hope. Even through fiction, lives can be changed. I write to empower others. I write to free myself. I write to free others. I write because I have something to say. I write because others have something to say and many have yet to find their own voice, so I tell their stories. I write to uplift. And I write to impart the message that with each new day, we can have a fresh start. We can decide in this moment to start living authentic, abundant lives. Writing gives me wings. My tag is Changing lives one word at a time…. It’s more than just a quote, it’s a lifestyle. It’s not just what I do, it’s who I am.

BPM: What hurdles, if any, did you have to overcome as a new author and business owner?
When I first wrote the novel and tried to get it published almost twenty years ago, the market was very different and there wasn’t really a place for me. I put the book up for quite a few years knowing that eventually it would be published. Around 2011 I started getting the “feeling” to pull it back out and look into publishing it again. While I had done my research years before, lots had changed that I had not kept up with. When someone that I knew started a publishing company, I just went with it. Since it was a vanity press, once she received her money, her commitment to me was done. I learned very quickly that in choosing to work with people on your vision; your dream, it’s important to connect with those who are as concerned about your success as they are their own. Many services that had been provided were only marginally done and I had to pay out of pocket to have things redone. It was stressful and very frustrating. 

However, the silver lining is that out of that experience was birthed Inkscriptions, my publishing company, and Say What?? Book Club. Being a solution-focused person, I was able to put systems and programs in place to streamline and improve the process for other writers. In the end the challenges I experienced turned out to be a tremendous blessing.

BPM: Success leaves clues, whose clues did you follow on your journey?

I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings when I was in elementary school. Maya Angelou had a way with words that didn’t just tell me that what I had to say was important, her words told me that who I am is important. Through her writings, I felt encouraged to share my sacred truth, and to keep writing that truth. Through her writings, I learned that I had a voice worth hearing.

My paternal grandmother was also a woman who used her words with power. She was classy and elegant and could put you in your place without raising her voice, swearing or belittling. I saw her write to corporate heads when products and services she’d spent money on left her displeased….and change would come as a result of her expressing herself. That was very powerful and had a lasting impact.

When the literary market began to change about twenty years ago, the writings of authors like Beverly Jenkins, Pearl Cleage and Terry McMillan gave me hope that my works could also be in print. I am thankful for reach one and how their lives have impacted my own.

BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and the characters.
In When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change (book one in the When a Man Loves a Woman series), readers meet Avery and Alicia Ayers. They are a couple who appear to have the perfect life. To their credit they are attractive, wealthy, successful, and esteemed. It’s a life anyone would want. However, what others can’t see are the cracks that exist in their persons and in their relationship. They’ve built an amazing life on a shallow foundation. Each must face themselves and determine if the life they are living is true, is healthy, is empowering and decide where to go from there.

This award-winning, full length, standalone novel is a gripping tale in women’s contemporary fiction that will make readers think, feel, celebrate love when it’s beautiful and right, and reflect on its demise when it’s not.

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book?
I would encourage readers to stop for a moment and reflect. Think about which scenes in the book left a lasting impact and why. I would tell them to reflect on the areas of their lives where they have not been living their truth and make a decision to live authentically from that point forward. Life is short and to spend it unfulfilled is a great travesty. If the book struck a chord and they felt a sense of connection to it, I’d encourage them to share information about the book so others can purchase it. And of course, I’d ask that they leave a review on Amazon so I can know what they thought about it – good or bad.

BPM: What are you the most thankful for now?
I am thankful for Shan Richardson seeing potential in my work, enough where she signed me to a three (3) book deal. Working with her has been a great blessing. We are able to share ideas and work together as a team. I am thankful to be able to reach a larger platform of readers with my work with her help.

I am also very thankful for my family and handful of people who support me behind the scenes. It takes many hands and lots of effort to get and keep our works in front of the others. I could never do it all on my own, or have gotten as far as I have without them. I am truly grateful.

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?

Believe in yourself. Not everything is for everyone, so some people will not buy into your work. That doesn’t mean you can’t write. That person just may not be your audience. Hone your skills, take classes to make sure you are putting out a quality product, learn the business of writing, and keep forging on. At some point you will connect with those who will help make your dream a reality.

BPM: How may our readers follow you online? Please share your social media links.


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