I don’t know about you, but the Quarantine has definitely given me a bit more free-time. While I’m sure we all miss the outdoors, I must admit there’s a certain peace in shutting out the noise. One of my favorite things to do is curl up with a good book and drift into another world. Therefore, I’ve decided to start a new series where I highlight authors in hopes of giving you guys some new reads.
The first is Kenya, the voice behind 100 SHEATS. Kenya is a hard-working creative known for her behind the scenes efforts in journalism and public relations. However, it’s her personal story and vulnerability that provoked our conversation. Check out a few nuggets from the interview below.
So, why Authorship?
“I’ve always wanted to write a book. The time just wasn’t right in the past. I had the vision but I didn’t have the story. I had to go through experiences so my story could resonate with people.”
In November of 2019 Kenya lost a friend due to gun violence. The following Thanksgiving, she suffered a freak accident that caused her to fall down a flight of wooden steps. Simply put, writing was a big portion of her healing process. “I was in a very sad place, writing was my therapy. 100 SHEATS ignited me in a way where I still can’t recognize myself. I had to understand that life still goes on, pain exists but it’s what you do with it that counts. This book has been the best thing to happen to me. I broke the barrier of self doubt.”
Self doubt, that surprised me when she said it. Kenya has been a journalist for the past seven years. She’s also the creator of a lifestyle faith based outlet called MyWay Magazine and a celebrity publicist. What doubt could she possibly be feeling?
“I was comfortable working behind the scenes in media and birthing everyone else’s dream.”100 SHEATS is different, it was honestly and clearly from her voice and that was a unique experience for her. “I’ve always been able to tell my story, but seeing it in fine print is what hit me. I finally decided to bet on myself and give birth to my dreams, my heart’s desires.” That desire was creating 100 SHEATS.
What was that creative process like?
“It’s a distracting process! I had to power my phone off, it takes a great deal of discipline to write a book. I can’t say I’d write every day, but I’d write about a chapter per week. It was tedious; I was the graphic designer, editor, and publisher.” Still, I could hear the happiness and pride in her voice as she explained the journey.
What can we expect from the book? What is it about?
It is an introductory self-help book created for faith based people, entrepreneurs, and anyone going through a difficult time. It reflects on her perspective of reality and how to navigate through life. “100 SHEATS was birthed through my life experiences. It’s an inspirational memoir that expresses God’s love through my vulnerability.” Through each page she shares endured hurt, pain, and life struggles. Kenya opens up about suffering homelessness, difficult relationships and more.
The story consists of roughly 100 pages, and the title is a play on her name, Kenya Sheats. SHEATS is an acronym which represents phases of her life and the book’s six chapters: self love, entrepreneurship, anxiety, transformation, and success. It discusses topics like the importance of forgiving yourself, the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur, and attempts to bring comfort to those who struggle with isolation.
If you are looking for an uplifting read or would just like to support a fellow creative and HBCU grad. Visit her website www.kenyasheats.com . You can also keep up with Kenya on social media at @authorkenyasheats.
Written by: Kirby Carroll Wright (@askKirbyCarroll)