Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Meet Souraya Christine #AAMBOOKCLUB #Author of When is Strong Strong Enough



Souraya was raised in a relatively low-income household, by a single mother, with one younger sister. Originally from Cleveland, OH, she lived in Atlanta for a couple of years, and has resided in Las Vegas, NV since 2003. She endured a lot of trauma early in life, and throughout her early adulthood. It was during these times that she would often ask God exactly how strong she needed to be because it seemed as if the blows kept coming without any time for a breath in between. Throughout school, although “gifted” academically, she experienced many problems stemming from the traumatic events in her life, including drugs and alcohol, promiscuity, associating with the wrong people, near death experiences, and becoming a single parent herself at age 16. She used these experiences to fuel her love for writing. She began writing poetry and short stories early in school, and even had the divine opportunity to be introduced to Maya Angelou in elementary school.
Through many more traumatic and dramatic events, including two failed marriages, she is now the proud single parent of 3 children. One daughter age 20, who graduated with high honors, works and goes to college full-time; another daughter, a high school freshman, and well on her way to living a very productive life; and a five year old son just starting school and learning who he is. Souraya is not proud of the events of her life, but she feels truly blessed to have lived the life she did, because to this credit, she has been led to a fulfilling relationship with God, and the opportunity to use these events to help others through this book. She is currently in the process of releasing her first book, entitled “When is Strong – Strong Enough….How to push through the pain”, that chronicles the events that shaped her life. In addition to working full-time and being a single parent, she is working toward finishing her Bachelor’s Degree, owns and operates a phlebotomy and CPR training company, and looks very forward to a long career of providing her readers with stimulating and alluring works that will help fill the soul.
Get to know Souraya:
Introduce yourself and style of writing to readers.
My name is Souraya Christine. Having escaped a turbulent past, I am the proud single parent of 3 children, living my dreams, and keeping it real. My style of writing is what I like to call, “Girlfriend Language”. To me this represents an easy, lighthearted approach to life that anyone can relate to.
What inspired the title?
The title, “When is Strong – Strong Enough?” represented the questions I would ask God throughout my life. I was always the “strong” one in the family, the one who could handle and push through anything. So, it just seemed fitting for this book.
With the onslaught of books available to the public, what can you do to get your books into the hands of readers?
One thing, that I am very proud of, is the radio show that was created as a spin-off of the book, entitled “Never Strong Enough”. The show has been increasing its audience over the past few weeks since it first aired, and will hopefully and eventually reach to every corner of the world with internet or phone access. Additionally I plan to travel promoting the book. I am also developing relationships with different organizations at the fore-front of the topics that relate to my personal struggles, such as, sexual abuse/assault, domestic violence, and being fatherless.
The radio show can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/never-strong-enough.
What will readers enjoy most about “When is Strong – Strong Enough”?
I believe that my readers will enjoy the fact that I am so transparent. People with similar struggles will be able to relate to me on a personal level. They will also appreciate the advice given at the end of each chapter on how to push through the pain.
Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write this book?
The idea and inspiration actually came many years ago. Growing up there was no real outlet for me to be able to face and deal with the pain I was experiencing. My family did not discuss problems, and never sought any help for me, so I was left to figure it all out on my own. I started writing poetry and short stories in grade school, but gave that up after a while. Well into my twenties, I realized that I still hadn’t coped with all of the traumatic events of my life and therefore couldn’t grow as a person. I reverted back to writing and figured that if I could get all of it out of me and onto paper, then I would feel much better and be able to heal. The result was a novel.
Compare writing to your poetry, what are the similarities and differences?
My writing and poetry styles are very similar in that I write just the way that I talk. Again, this is where the “Girlfriend Language” comes into play. I really want people to be able to relate to and understand everything that I present before them. I don’t ever want anyone put my book or poem down and look puzzled, wondering what that was all about, as I have done so many times.
As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish “When is Strong – Strong Enough”?
My writing process, I believe, has developed a little over the years. Now I begin with an outline, from there I develop a summary of the book’s plot, and from there the story is created. With “When is Strong – Strong Enough”, I just started writing….I went all the way back as far as I could remember and began writing out all of my experiences in as much detail as I could recall. The book originally took me years to write because it was for the sole purpose of healing for me, so I would just write periodically when the need struck. Eventually, however, it took on new roots and developed into more of a self-help book that could be shared with the world. With that in mind, and once over my fears of sharing the book, I went back through it and re-wrote it and developed it further. That process took less than a month.

Synopsis:
When is Strong – Strong Enough gives a riveting account of the life events of author, Souraya Christine. Although Souraya is not a celebrity of any sort, her mission, with this book, is to provide an avenue of self-help for any female who may be struggling with molestation, abuse, lies, promiscuity, alienation, death, teen pregnancy, domestic violence, or any other traumatic situation. Souraya’s family was what we call a “sweep it under the rug” kind of people. No one really discussed issues, which caused Souraya to “deal” with her experiences the best way she knew how – on her own. It wasn’t until adulthood that she sought counseling, however, each time she left with the feeling that her level of knowledge surpassed that of the therapist who intended to help her. As a result, she was left feeling unsatisfied and un-rescued. This book details Souraya’s bad decisions, wild ways, and subsequent recklessness as she learned to cope with her tragedies, process pain, and ultimately forgive and love herself. She is still a work in progress, but as a recently baptized Christian, she is slowly learning to trust againand to extend her new-found love to others. This is a gripping true story that will have you on an emotional rollercoaster from beginning to end!
Excerpt:
These girls had it in for me. Every day, the chase was on. It had gotten to a point that I no longer wanted to go outside to play. Stepping outside would make me instantly nauseous. Pretty soon, the twins had enlisted the assistance of other girls on the street to torture me. I remember being surrounded by a fairly large circle of girls, shoving me back and forth, pulling my hair, hitting me. I was terrified. I wasn’t a fighter. I had absolutely no intentions of fighting, not even to defend myself. Where were the parents of these children? For that matter, where were my parents? I mean, we’re right outside of our homes and no one recognizes this commotion? Do they assume that we’re all just playing? This was ridiculous, and getting completely out of control.
“Stop crying”, my mom would say. “You don’t let anyone bully you. If you can’t stand up and fight, then I’ll beat your ass when you come in this house.” Wow! I guess that’s one way to build character. Or begin the cycle of insanity.

Web-links:
Twitter: @sourayachristine
Facebook: Author Souraya Christine
LinkedIn: Souraya Christine

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