Updated: Jun 23
Hey there, lovelies! Ash, here. I hope all is well. Can you believe another month has passed us by? March, though crazy as hell with Miss Rona and all her shenanigans, has been a pretty productive month. I was able to accomplish 2/3 of my goals (there's still a few days for me to be 3/3 so we'll see lol.) Anywho, for the final blog of the month (and the final blog every month going forward) I decided to show some love to fellow authors. Aside from there being so many amazing readers, there are plenty of talented writers. With most of us being on quarantine, I figured this to be the perfect opportunity to meet some new faces.
Starting off, you'll meet one of my fabulous pen sisters under BLP, Shajuana McDuffy. My first introduction to her was knowing her to be an insanely supportive reader, so when she took the plunge and published her first book, I couldn't wait to dig in! She's a non-fiction author who's books are raw and that's putting it mildly lol. There's a sense of realness and authenticity in her stories. So much so, that you can't help but feel she wrote it, just for you. Now, enough of my ramblings lol. Get some of Shajuana and the Juandom Thoughts that make her the one of a kind talent she is.
Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Shajuana McDuffy is real, raw, and a little rough around the edges. She has no filter and is as blunt as they come. Her bold statements and unapologetic nature have been known to shake a few foundations. She says exactly what's on her mind with a lot of humor. She encourages people to own their truths and show their authentic selves. She always says, "If a person can't love and accept you for you, then they're not deserving of you or what you have to offer. Forget them!" Shajuana's delivery is raw and will pierce the heart. Her storytelling is an "in your face" conversation among friends, dipped in love, with twists that will leave you on the edge of your seat. It will also force itself to penetrate your soul to have you seeking to become a better version of yourself. The most exciting thing about her is her smile and personality. She's fun, witty and edgy. She's your southern homegirl from around the way. Shajuana may not be everyone's cup of tea, but she's somebody's Crown and Hennessy.
1. What inspired you to start writing?
All the shit that I was going through as well as others, and I had something to say about it.
2. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
Honestly, the truth. Because I'm so raw and blunt, some people don't know how to take me. The only way to do it is straight up like a smooth glass of whiskey with no chaser.
3. How do you deal with the emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story? (Especially with your Non-Fiction titles?)
Honestly, I don't. During the writing process, I detach. I really don't deal with anything unless I'm forced to deal. All of my books are personal, especially my nonfiction books. Everything I write I've lived or had seen someone else live it. The only way for me to do that is to detach from it, let God lead me, and state facts. If I get too caught up in it, it won't make it to the paper. I'd be too embarrassed. All of my nonfiction titles are lessons. The only way to help someone else is to expose yourself, and who wants to do that? Now, once it's written, I'll go back and read it then deal. Most times I be like, "I can't believe I wrote that or told that." With my fiction debut, I was in touch with my twisted side. I was on an emotional roller coaster with that one because a guy I had a situation with pissed me off. The last thing you want to do with a woman who is a thinker is leave her to premeditate and strategize. Honey, I let all of those emotions surface and laughed about it. Twisted, huh? LOL
4. You've written nonfiction and fiction works. Do you have a preference?
Nope. I don't discriminate. I write whatever comes to mind or what I feel at the time.
5. Can you share with us something about your current work in process?
Sure. With my current work in process, I'm finally allowing myself to deal. I am very attached to this one. This WIP is so personal that I am taking it very slowly, like turtle pace. I am allowing all of my most intimate thoughts and feelings to show in order to heal. It will be another twisted fiction release based off of a lot of facts and fiction combined.
6. Who is your favorite author and why?
Actually, I have two; old school and new school. They are Maya Angelou and B. Love. Maya is so phenomenal and extraordinary. She speaks to me in a way that is so empowering, encouraging and motivational. She makes me proud to be a black woman. B does the same. She uplifts and encourages. She is the sister that will walk with you and be waiting for you at the finish line. Even if you've fallen a thousand times, she will be right there with open arms to give you that hug or that boost you need to try again. Her characters have those qualities and she gives you the right amount of hood too. I love those ladies.
7. Favorite book/story you have read as an adult.
There are several! I have a top 10, but my number 1 is Rule & Camryn Series 1-4 by B. Love, lol.
8. What is your favorite spot to visit? What makes it so special to you?
It was a lounge called Memphis Sounds until they closed it down. It had a very smooth and laid back setting. The drinks were off the chain, and the bands were the best in the city. It was mostly for the 30 and above crowd. It was a grown folks atmosphere.
9. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Loyal, Loving and Blunt
10. If you could choose three people to invite for a dinner party, who would they be and why?
Tupac because it wouldn't be nothing but a gangsta party. Notorious B.I.G. because we gon' party and bullshit. Ronald Isley so we can smoothly sail all that shit out, lol!
Would you rather?
I would rather have an endless summer than an endless winter.
I would rather live in an un-haunted cottage than an haunted mansion.
I would rather always be an hour early than be constantly twenty minutes late.
Share Something Fun!
Recipe for Authenticity
1. Keep God first!
2. Cut the bullshit!
3. Keep it 100!
4. Own your shit!
5. Be yourself!
I hope you enjoyed! Be sure to check out Shaujua on social media.
Facebook - Shajuana McDuffy
Twitter - @MzJuana2U
Instagram - authorsmcduffy
BookBub - Shajuana McDuffy (@authorsmcduffy)
As always, take care of yourself. Until next time.