I recently had the pleasure of interviewing author and Virgin Island native Eboni Brathwaite. With journaling as one of her main hobbies, she used this as an outlet to express herself and share some of her notable life experiences in her latest book On the Corner of Unhappy and Delivered: A memoir of Love, Deceit, Witchcraft & Faith.
Interview questions for KISH Magazine:
Q.) If you don’t mind to introduce yourself again, and give us a little background on your book as well.
A.) My name is Eboni Brathwaite, I’m the author of On the Corner of Unhappy and Delivered: A memoir of Love, Deceit, Witchcraft & Faith. I am a Virgin Island native. I lived on the island most of my life and spent adulthood in the states. I attended undergrad at Norfolk State University in Norfolk Virginia, and completed grad school at Walden University. I hold a Master’s in Public Health. My professional background is in healthcare. I’ve been a certified HIV testing and counselor for many years. I decided to write a book because I’ve always enjoyed writing and journaling. I owned a blog site four years ago “Dear Ebie” where I talked mostly about topics related to health care, relationships and love. A section of my blog entitled “STD Chronicles” was where I wrote about my encounters with patients and giving sexually transmitted disease diagnosis while working in Public health. I gave numerous HIV and STD diagnosis and with that, there were a lot of things that I saw and heard that I know most wouldn’t have an opportunity to experience. Hence, prompting me to write about them for the purpose of bringing awareness to my community of situations in relationships that may lead them to contracting STDs. I enjoy journaling to help get me through tough times in my personal life and have consistently practiced this throughout my life. I remember starting to journal as far back as when my mother bought me diaries when I was a little girl and I would journal about some of my exciting days and weekend activities. I remember journaling all through undergrad. Many times, I would go back and read my journals and I said that I would really like to put my life experiences into a book. So, in the past year I have been praying about my purpose in life, and I have gotten closer to God. In seeking God, he put it on my heart to do what I’ve always wanted to do and that was to finally write my book. It took me under a year from start to finish and with God’s grace I was able to write, edit and published my book by myself in August of this year.
Q.) Do you still have any of your journals from when you were little?
A.) The last set of journals that I’ve found was in 2018 when I was packing up my apartment to relocate to the states. I found two and tore out some of the pages I knew I would eventually reference when writing the book and I threw away the rest.
Q.) What was the journey like when writing the book?
A.) Writing for me has always been my outlet and mostly therapeutic when I’m stressed, depressed or just sad. I write more often when I’m emotional. So, writing this book wasn’t any different. I have a one-year-old son, and when I put him to bed especially on the nights that I am not feeling my best I would stay up and write till wee hours of the morning. Sometimes I didn’t sleep, or take a nap during those hours and wrote straight until six or seven in the morning. I noticed when I was having better days, I would not write for weeks, sometimes a month would go by and I wouldn’t have touched the project at all. However, when I received a word from God that “I need to finish this book” that is when I went full speed ahead and finished it in 90 days of that word.
Q.) What books or authors have most influenced you and have an impact on your own writing?
A.) I don’t have a favorite author per se; however, I do know the genres I enjoy most are urban fiction and young adult literature. My mom has always been someone that read a lot. She would read very large books and different authors of all genre’s and expected me to be like her but she noticed early on that I wasn’t into books like she was. She would say “you are not a big reader” and complained about me not finishing books. It wasn’t until I went to undergrad did, I discover my love for books. I remember my first two books that jump started my love for reading. I’ve never completed books throughout my childhood. I would always start books but couldn’t finish any. The first two books I completed were “The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Souljah and “Dopefiend” by Donald Goines. I bought Sister Souljah’s book at a trip to Barnes and Noble and Donald Goines book I checked out from the University library. After the high I received from reading those books I simply couldn’t stop reading. I’ve finished, “Flyy Girl” by Omar Tyree in one day. I sat down at work for almost eight hours and read the entire book. I believe the genre of books that I read helped me as writer because I realized it’s accepted and the world is comfortable with the not so great parts of someone’s story and the readers are open to the real. Urban fiction may be made up stories however, we all have heard of stories similar to many we’ve read in our favorite novels and totally related to the characters. That is also how I wanted my memoir to hit my readers.
Q.) What inspired you to still write a book opposed to going the more technical route and publishing an eBook or creating another blog?
A.) I always wanted something in hand, so I could have it for the rest of my life. Or my children could read it and have it to show that their mom wrote her story. It’s something tangible that they’ll always have. I love blogs and the technology of electronic versions of most things, but I just wanted it on paperback so readers that enjoyed the book could always keep it in their library.
Q.) What knowledge would you give to someone who wants to write a book?
A.) I think you should first ask yourself and be completely honest; are you truly ready to be an open book? Especially if you’re planning to write about your life. Are you comfortable enough to put your entire life out for the world to read because the reaction may be good or bad and you just have to be ready for it either way. If you are, then go ahead and pursue it. I would say first decide your purpose for writing, then put your thoughts on paper, and always keep a running list of topics you would like to cover. The list would keep your mind fresh of the experiences you feel is most important to tell.
How can people connect with you on social media?
Facebook: Eboni Brathwaite
I’d like to thank Eboni Brathwaite for conducting this interview with K.I.S.H Magazine and on behalf of our editor and Chief Dr. Kishma George.
Tune into the next Dreamers Spotlight! If you feel that you have a story to tell to be featured in dreamers spotlight, give us a call at (302)-399-6477 or visit our website at http:/kishmagazine.com/