Leandus Poe interviews Tamika Newhouse…check it out

It’s an honor and privilege to welcome the sensational, multitalented author Tamika Newhouse, to the Million Dollar Book Review’s family! You have so many hats; I really don’t know how to properly address your title. You know, as I conducted my initial research on you I got the mental picture of physically plugging myself into your world. Ultimately, what I have concluded is simple; you don’t join networks you create them! Before we talk about your highly successful career, I want to set the mood. Let’s dim the lights a little, light a few candles, kick your shoes off and tell me about Tamika.

LEANDUS: Who is the woman behind the empire?

TAMIKA: Hey Leandus, I love the word empire. Is that me? I only see myself as a visionary you know? I’m someone who just wants success. I’m obsessed with succeeding and it’s all I ever think about. Growing up I didn’t have a great circle of friends. Shoot, I had none. My mother was a single parent and had to work so I rarely saw her and my sister, well let’s just say we didn’t get along. Read about it in Cookie my upcoming book. LOL! But I have always said since I was 12 and I completed my first novel that I was going to be a novelist. Becoming a mother at 16 didn’t stop that dream either. I wrote but never took it seriously. It wasn’t until in 2006 when my mother passed and coping with the reality of it, all I could do to heal was write. You Know Leandus, I say God sent me here. I am just a regular ole Jane. I’m not big headed, I don’t expect much, and I never stop aiming for the next best thing. Am I a woman behind an empire? Well you said it and I do agree. God is my empire. My dream is my empire. This is my reality, you know?

I grew up in Fort Worth Texas, near Dallas but it is so not Dallas as everyone wants it to be. I lived in a white neighborhood in the early 90s. No one on our block was black. So our cousins and peers use to call us boogie. Maybe I was, or maybe I talked a little different but I knew only what I saw. My mother tried her best to make sure we didn’t know what living in the ghetto meant. As a teen I remember blacks slowly moving in, and my passion for just writing took a turn of it’s on. I was a lonely child. Not many friends and didn’t care to have many. I am still that same person today but this time around I have a job. LOL! I can’t eat and watch television without thinking about the cost. That’s the affect of being grown. But on my down time when I’m not on the computer working or when I am not thinking of concepts and promoting my works I eat, sleep, and watch television, nothing more than that. That’s enough for me.

LEANDUS: “God is my empire.” “My dream is my empire.” That’s spoken with great power and a sense of great understanding, and by the way, that was a nice plug for “Cookie” your upcoming book, which will be available at stores everywhere books are sold…let me stop…lol. See, I got you Tamika! lol We are definitely going to get our promote on real soon. But seriously, I love the fact that you are humble, a characteristic that many authors fake. Now I know you have some stories about some “fake” people(authors) out there with some enormous heads, but we won’t take it there. You know, the people that don’t return emails, the ones probably reading this now and thinking, wow, she made it. Looking at your career now as compared to your first encounter with this industry, what is the worst aspect about this industry that you have seen?

TAMIKA: LOL OK Leandus don’t get me in trouble now. But being fake is only part of it. I am over here laughing at how honest and blunt you are. That lets me know you’re real. I have had many put my name in the dirt just because I am not doing what they want me to do. One person even talked about me so bad to others but yet they put on an event and not one person walked in the door. Remind you I paid money too, and no refund… LOL… See things like that tear other authors down. They smile and grin in your face but it’s always some “wishing that they fail going on.” You are right when you say I am humble because I hate for folks to say I made it. I am still trying to get there y’all.

LEANDUS: You know Tamika, I don’t enjoy bringing these topics out about the negativity but I feel that it’s necessary so new authors have a good insight as to what goes on in this industry. I don’t sugar coat anything and this information is useful to others.

LEANDUS: I want to talk about something that you mentioned earlier before we move on to talking about your most current book. You mentioned becoming a mother at the age of 16 and not allowing it to stop your dreams. What was your greatest fear at that time in your life and how did you overcome it?

TAMIKA: My fear was in the form of this question: What did everyone else think? I had one partner. I married the father of my child at 18. I wasn’t bed hopping but really just simply fell in love young. So my fear was my image. What would they think of me? Would I be classified as a hoe? Whatever the case may be I wondered about others thoughts. I grew out of that easily and quickly because at the end of the day I could care less what others thought of me. If I did do you think I would still be standing here now, talking about me?

LEANDUS: That’s a very good point. Life has a way of teaching us valuable experiences that shape us in a major way. I’m hoping your experiences will help a young teenager deal with what’s currently going on in their life. What advice or encouraging words would you give to a young mother today?

TAMIKA: If you sit there and try to use this pregnancy or this beautiful child as a crutch to not succeed, or a reason to stay on government assistance and not want more, you got another thing coming. There is no such thing as “I can’t do.” Cause I am doing. I have done it, and I will continue to do it. Remind you, I became a mother for the second time at 20. I still stayed in school and you know what, I still wrote that first book that would go on to open many doors.

LEANDUS: Well said Tamika, and very inspiring.
Would you say that life has prepared you to be an exceptional novelist, meaning reflecting on real experiences, or do have an exceptional imagination possessing the ability to captivate what is needed to produce a great book?

TAMIKA: Oh I have an imagination! I can recall having my fun in the years from 14-15 years old but when I gave birth to my first child life was pretty boring after that. So I used my sisters and her friend’s mistakes for the entertainment in my books. LOL, and she will soon see many of her mistakes in print.

LEANDUS: You know I don’t just see Tamika the author, CEO, publisher, promoter etc. I see a woman who has overcome tremendous obstacles by removing the word “can’t” I honestly don’t think that word is in your vocabulary. Were you always driven or was there a turning point where you said “enough is enough?”

TAMIKA: Now, I do say I can’t when it comes to turning down some good cooked catfish LOL but when it comes to my life and becoming a success my main words are ‘what else can I do” I am constantly trying to find a new angle to make myself current. To sale more books and to let people know who I am. To know my name and become aware of what my dream is. My mother passing was what started me writing my first published book. Not knowing I was going to publish it but I refused to use her death as a reason to be depressed. I actually used it as motivation to show her that I can do it even though she isn’t here. You see everything I do reflects her as a woman and a mother. I do not want to embarrass her, so I must keep on pushing for more.

LEANDUS: I think we have a great sense of who Tamika Newhouse is back then and today. Thank you for being open and honest about your past. Let’s talk about your current book.
TAMIKA: Cookie A Fort Worth story is based on truth and it is also embellished. One thing is for sure they will learn life lessons through this story. They will learn how to deal with family, a broken heart, death, sex, and everything in between. When I decided to write this book I had a vision of just exposing some things. But I recently discovered a family secret a few months later and I now know it was my position to tell this story.

LEANDUS: What lessons will readers walk away with?

TAMIKA: My readers will walk away with thankfulness and hopefully strength to make good sound decisions in life.

LEANDUS: Are you working on any current projects, if so, tell us about them.

TAMIKA: Well I am almost done with Cookie and then I’ll immediately go into writing my fourth book titled, Will Love ever know me. It’s the third part in the ultimate series. It’s a fictional drama but nothing I write is ever unrealistic. I write about life.

LEANDUS: I noticed that you are involved with an organization that promotes black women in business. Can you elaborate on the site for me so aspiring black women in business can learn about it?

TAMIKA: Well I am the founder of AAMBC. It is an online organization for black writers like me to get expose. Through that I gained a grand audience just because of my involvement. My goal was to help expose all writers who are unknown. It’s geared towards men and woman. I am also apart of Onix Link another African American community. I just got my hands in a little bit of everything.

LEANDUS: Tamika it was a pleasure talking with you today, you can put your shoes back on (smile) and I’ll blow out the candle. I had a great time learning about you and hopefully we can sell some books. To my audience please support this hard working woman. To all the “real” black authors, try to connect with her; she’s really helping by showcasing other talent.

TAMIKA: Thanks Leandus, so much for the support. As a publisher, writer, mother, wife, woman, and author I want to encourage everyone they can do it all. We live once right? So work like a slave today so that tomorrow you can eat like the king or queen that you are. Stay positive!

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