When the odds are stacked against people, they often find the best parts of themselves. Author Miasha was the product of drug-addicted parents, but never allowed the difficulties in her upbringing to slow her down. Instead, she put her thoughts and feelings into writing, an outlet that led her to penning full-scale novels. Her first book Secret Society was published in 2006, and in between writing more books, she produced a stage play for the story.
Now with several novels under her belt, the ambitious mother of two has developed her own ePublishing company Fifth Avenue Productions. Her first eBook release is The Return of Chatman, a prequel to the successful Secret Society story. From her days of college and odd jobs to becoming an Essence best-selling author, Miasha has a clear understanding of how to set goals as her entrepreneurial path progresses.
In this UrbLife.com exclusive, Miasha gives us some insight on her business, and offers some tips for writing and publishing hopefuls.
Tell us a little about the process of writing and marketing your books. What do your day-to-day duties involve?
Miasha: Whenever I’m under deadline for a book, I tend to write overnight and then get up at like noon. By about two I’m checking my emails, updating my social networking sites and checking on other areas of the company. For the most part, I’m constantly busy planning my work and then working my plan.
How many jobs did you take on in your career before you found your calling as a full-time writer?
Miasha: I had one job after graduating college, and it was as a secretary at an auto-body shop. I worked there for about eight months and was fortunate to get a publishing deal shortly after.
How did you get the idea to start your eBook company? Do you feel electronic books will ever replace physical books?
Miasha: I wanted to put out my own book as a bonus book before Til Death (Secret Society 3), and my publisher put certain stipulations on it. It had to be a certain page length, which I felt would be better as an eBook than a print book. After deciding to write an eBook and researching the distribution channels of such books, I realized that there was a need for an ePublishing Company that represented and highlighted urban fiction eBooks just as much as other ePublishing and Digital Bookstores did other genres. So I decided I would fill the void.
I don’t think eBooks will replace physical books, but I believe that the way mp3s have changed the way people buy and listen to music, eBooks will change the way people buy and read books.
Do you have aspirations beyond what you do now, or do you feel you’ve found “the one” in your worklife at this point?
Miasha: I definitely have aspirations to go further. I really want to make movies. I am pursuing that dream now in addition to touring the stage play Secret Society, starting and developing my ePublishing Company and continuing to write novels.
What are the best parts about your work, and what are some things you’d like to see change?
Miasha: I love the fact that I can be my own boss, have control of my time, all while providing a great life for my two children. I also like to be able to inspire others and create happiness or a means of entertainment to people. The only thing I’d like to see change in the book industry is the unnecessary disdain toward urban/street fiction. It’s enough room for us all in this business. Let’s be more encouraging and supportive.
What is the biggest misperception that people on the outside (non-coworkers, family, etc) have about your work?
Miasha: That I can lay around all day or that I don’t work. That’s so not the case. I actually work more than most people who have traditional nine-to-fives. I tend to work well past eight hours a day.
Do you feel that social networking on sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn has helped your career?
Miasha: Yes. It allows me to reach more people and connect to my fans on a more personal level, which makes it all the more likely that they will buy into my brand. When people feel like they know you personally, they are eager to support all you do.
If someone wanted to follow in your footsteps, what kind of education and/or experience would you recommend for them?
Miasha: I recommend writing classes, and most importantly a love and passion for writing and telling stories. I also suggest researching the business, as well as the topics you write about. Give what you do your all, and put out your best work possible.
What is your best advice for balancing career, relationships/family and personal time?
Miasha: Always make a schedule, start routines and stick with them, and never let one thing get more or less attention than the next. It truly is about balance. Equal it all out, and don’t stress when things become overwhelming, which they will at times. Just step away from it all, pamper yourself and come back to it when you’re renewed.
Miasha is the Essence Best Selling Author of Secret Society, Diary of a Mistress, Mommy’s Angel, Dior Emerson in Diamond Playgirls, Sistah for Sale, Never Enough and Chaser.