“Becoming a writer wasn’t something that I always wanted to pursue but in school I was good at writing. Growing up I always thought of writing as a choir I did not enjoy it until I became an adult”.
VERSAFI MAGAZINE: How did your journey as an author began?
DAVID SLEDGE, JR.: My journey as an author actually begun about 8 months ago when I first came up with the idea to write a children’s book dedicated to my late grandmother Marie Sledge.
VERSAFI: Was becoming a writer something you always wanted to pursue?
DAVID: Becoming a writer wasn’t something that I always wanted to pursue but in school I was good at writing. Growing up I always thought of writing as a choir I did not enjoy it until I became an adult. Words are powerful and if positive can spark change in the minds of others and I’ve always wanted to be apart of that change.
VERSAFI: Who motivated you?
DAVID: My family and friends motivated me to pursue the idea of writing and publishing my children’s book Thank You Grandma.
VERSAFI: What inspired you to write your first book?
DAVID: My late grandmother Marie Sledge was my inspiration for writing Thank You Grandma. She was very important in my life and I wanted to do something positive in her honor. My grandma was a big dreamer and always pushed me to strive for my goals so I wanted to use Thank You Grandma as a way to show my appreciation for her and grandmothers like her.
VERSAFI: How does it feel to be a published author?
DAVID: To be honest it feels unreal to say that I’m a published author. Writing wasn’t something that I enjoyed doing until I went to college and I was able to use writing as an outlet to express thoughts that I felt like I couldn’t share with others.
VERSAFI: Since becoming a published author, what challenges have you faced if any?
DAVID: Building an audience and marketing the book have been two challenges that I have faced since be-coming a published author. The COVID-19 virus has slowed things down and I’m unable to go out and promote the book in front of people. I have had to rely heavily on social media and using virtual platforms which isn’t my strong suit.
VERSAFI: What genre do you write on?
DAVID: The genre I write on at the moment is children’s books. Children’s book allow me to be creative and unique and that’s the main reason why I chose to write in this genre.
VERSAFI: What message do you want your readers to take away when reading your books?
DAVID: When people read Thank You Grandma I want them to take away my message of appreciating the all contributions that grandmothers instill in our lives. Life is short and many times we take time for granted and think that the people we love will live forever. I want to show appreciation for the women who are the backbones for most black families.
VERSAFI: What does being an author mean to you?
DAVID: Being an author means to me that I have the opportunity to put positives message out to my com-munity. It means that I’m able to show young people no matter your background you can achieve any goal you put your mind to.
VERSAFI: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
DAVID: Five years from now I see myself using my platform to build into the youth of my community through my writing and motivational speeches. I want to continue writing children’s books but I also want to get into making short black children films.
VERSAFI: Have you ever thought about being an author full-time?
DAVID: Yes, I have thought about being an author full-time but I enjoy coaching and instructing youth sports and I want to continue that as my full-time job. Being an author is more of a side gig for me and something I want to continue to add onto the platform that I’ve already created.
VERSAFI: Tell us about your marketing strategies as an author.
DAVID: My marketing strategies includes the use of social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. I started blogging about the release of my book and created an event to garner attention for my book.
VERSAFI: Do you find it to be challenging at times when promoting your books?
DAVID: It is challenging at times to promote my book because the whole process is really a slow grind. Being patient is probably the hardest part form me. As humans we want things to happen right now but we don’t realize the importance of the small calculated steps needed to reach our end goal.
VERSAFI: Do you have any current book projects that you are working on?
DAVID: At the moment I’m taking a break on book projects to focus on promoting my current book to a broader audience. In the near future the plan is to release a Spanish version of my current book Thank You Grandma.
VERSAFI: How many books have you published in total?
DAVID: Thank You Grandma is my first and only children’s book at the moment.
VERSAFI: How can readers connect with you and support you?
DAVID: Readers can connect with me through my social media platforms:
Book Link: http://www.store.bookbaby.com/book/Thank-You-Grandma
This interview has been brought to you by Versafi Magazine. Please follow us on Instagram @versafimag