A couple months ago, I appeared on a the ‘Authors In Focus’ podcast with author James Reid. It was my first live interview so needless to say, I was nervous. Oh so, so nervous. Especially when it came to speaking with other writers.
No matter how much I prepared, I was not ready for the crippling anxiety that came in those first few minutes of being on the other side of the interview.
Up til now as a media professional, I was used to being the one giving the interviews. Hardly ever was I ever have I been on the other side of the mic. It’s funny, you know. How our childhood dreams seem to make the most sense later in life. As if the wisdom we had back then has always been there, as if our personalities were predetermined, but diluted over time.
It wasn’t until I was older that I began to doubt myself, because growing up I had no choice but not to. I had only one way out. I was duty bound. ‘Light Wings’ was my only means of escaping the hellscape, that was my upbringing. But when I left home, I was told many things. Manipulated by so many people, people who doubted me, people who didn’t believe in me. “Writing’s not practical,” they’d say. “What makes you so special?” “You come from nothing.” You don’t even have a family…” “Who’s going to support you.”
Sometimes, I’d believe them. I let their words sink in. Because it was not at all like there was no truth to those words. I couldn’t deny where I came from. I couldn’t deny, for the most part, I was on my own. There wasn’t a home for me to go back to. I had to work harder than everyone.
So, I kept writing. I worked through school, sometimes struggling to make it on my own. But no matter the adversity, no matter how crazy people thought I was, I believed in myself. I supported myself and refused to believe I’d lived for no reason. I was after all a survivor…wasn’t I?
So, when my media training brought me into the light of speaking about my passion for the first time, it left me shaken. Because at that moment, nothing else mattered. Only my book, the light of my life, the sanctuary of my hope’s salvation, became the focus of everything, almost as if I had always known that this would be my endgame.
These feelings, I can’t explain them. As we head deeper into this campaign, closer to Dutybound’s release, I can only wonder how a kid from Houston’s inner-city north-side did this? How could I have survived everything, only to find myself sitting here… Finally an author too…? My dream’ come true? It’s still hard to believe sometimes…
Since, I’ve been on other podcasts, done more interviews… All with ease. None could compare to the pressure I felt when I took the mic on this one, but, you know what… That surreal moment has only been followed by many more. Moments where my tears fall upon own book’s pages. My heart swelling with a pride I’ve never felt. My life, now taken by my own determination, claimed this ongoing conviction.
Much of what this book’s supposed to say is that one’s conviction can inspire another, because it comes from a place we often forget exists. The will is humanity is stronger than any darkness. Every light is stronger than any adversity. Nothing is impossible, and anything is achievable, as long as one believes in the words they do and the actions they take. With faith… No one walks alone.
You can listen to my full interview by clicking below.
To pre-order a copy of Dutybound due to release on June 22nd, 2021, click HERE.