Pitch THONGS & BRA STRAPS to us in 50 words or less.
Thongs & Bra Straps demonstrates God’s power to overcome any obstacle and accomplish any goal. Whether you are going through a storm or about to come out of a storm, this book will inspire you to seek God and become the person He called you to become.
Why THONGS & BRA STRAPS for the title?
Let me start by saying that too many people want different results, but they don’t want to change. There was a time when I always sought books that were entertaining. I decided one day that I needed to expand my reading if I was going to expand my knowledge and my finances. Once I started reading books that taught about things relating to my goals, I started to achieve them. Now, to answer your question…
I chose Thongs & Bra Straps for the title because I wanted to minister to people that usually don’t feel ministered to by the church. I knew this would be difficult and that it would require creativity because I am competing against many urban novels and publications. The difference is that Thongs & Bra Straps is not just another good, entertaining book. It leaves you with life changing lessons, powerful solutions, and most of all renewed faith in God.
How did you know it was time to compile these wonderful poems for this collection?
I knew that it was time to compile these poems into a book because God sent me several forms of confirmation. When it was all said and done, I didn’t have a choice.
After speaking engagements, there was always someone that requested a copy of my autobiography. So, first of all, I got tired of admitting that I hadn’t written an autobiography. Second, I compiled a personal copy of the poems just to carry with me and read in order to decide if I should publish. Strangers started coming up to me and taking the book out of my hand! After reading a few pages, they starting requesting their own copies. Yet, I was still reluctant to publish. Lastly, I told God that I didn’t want to expose all of my past because I was a successful education administrator and professor. God was not thrilled by this argument. Believe it or not, two totally separate institutions of higher education that had just given me outstanding evaluations laid me off in the same month because they could no longer afford to pay me after I completed my doctorate degree.
While I was praying to God for answers to this situation, I found a scripture that said, “I shall rescue you and you shall glorify me.” I realized that my book was my way to glorify God. I published the book five months later–and He rescued me!
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Review of Thongs & Bra Straps
5 out of 5 Lattes
Thongs & Bra Straps was created for urban women audiences. However, this little book has been adopted by rural women’s groups, churches, men’s prisons, college students, and teen groups. I am so amazed.
I admit that the title was initially controversial. There were a few people that emailed me (or told me face to face) that my title was offensive. These were minimal compared to the number of people that emailed testimonies. Furthermore, some of the offended people apologized after hearing about the book from other people. I will continue to promote this book no matter what people think because I am obedient to God.
I know that most artists see every one of their creative works as their baby, but if you had to select three of your most favorite pieces within THONGS & BRA STRAPS, what would they be and why?
This is the hardest question! As you probably already guessed, Thongs & Bra Straps is a compilation of my favorite poems out of the hundreds that I’ve written over the last 17 years. My three favorites would have to be The African Picnic, The Virgin Ho, and The Dopeman Got My Wedding Ring.
The African Picnic really glorifies God instead of focusing on me or my life. Just reading this poem gives me peace, joy, and appreciation for God. The Virgin Ho truly captured the pain that resided in my heart after numerous unsuccessful attempts to meet a man that would truly love me, appreciate me, and marry me. No matter how much sex I gave, it was never enough to heal my pain or fill my void. The Dopeman Got My Wedding Ring represents healing for me. It also represents truth. I honestly had no idea that I still had unresolved issues related to that relationship. I was engaged to someone else and five years had passed! This poem taught me that it takes more than time itself to heal wounds.
Faith plays a major role in the creation of THONGS & BRA STRAPS. How important is faith to your life?
Faith is my life. I really believe God’s Word. I read my Bible daily. I live like I believe God’s Word. God blesses me to help other people find solutions to enormous problems daily. Also, I have accomplished many things that others deemed impossible. I attribute all of this to my belief that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
How important do you think faith is to American society?
Faith is very important to American society. Yet, it is not important enough. I say this because millions of American people claim to have faith. I know from experience that faith cometh by hearing the Word of God. I believe this is because the things that we hear are absorbed in our spirits. Thus, if God’s Word enters your spirit, it should be evident in your life and your behavior. The state of America is not symbolic of the characteristics of God. If more people exercised their faith, America could resolve many of its dilemmas.
Do you think there is a current disconnect between people and faith today? If so, what do you think some of the causes are?
I definitely believe that there is a current disconnect between people and faith today. I believe that some of the causes are that:
A. Not enough people of faith are reaching out to those that are lost. Often, they pray about the lost but not for them and there’s a difference.
B. Not enough people are delivering messages that teach people to grow. We get people saved but don’t teach them enough about faith, prayer, deliverance, or spiritual warfare to help them become mighty vessels of honor.
C. Not enough ministries offer messages that appeal to multiple audiences. Although this is challenging, it is a must.
D. Not enough people are truly aware of how powerful faith can be…faith can move mountains! I’m a witness.
What do you hope the reader will get from reading THONGS & BRA STRAPS?
I hope that readers will get revelation, information, and transformation from reading Thongs & Bra Straps. I pray that they will learn new scriptures, seek salvation, and understand the benefits of being obedient to God’s Word.
What three adjectives best describe THONGS & BRA STRAPS?
Three adjectives that best describe Thongs & Bra Straps are powerful, life changing, and controversial.
What three adjectives best describe YOU?
Three adjectives that best describe me are enthusiastic, focused, and redeemed.
How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?
When I am not writing, I am either: teaching courses in self-publishing and grant writing, home schooling my son, coordinating community programs for low income youth, opening group homes, praying, reading my Bible, or Evangelizing. My calendar is never empty. I am so excited about my work that I usually wake early and go to sleep late.
What other projects are you currently working on or plan to work on in the near future?
I am currently working on several projects. Multitasking is in my blood! Three of them will be released in early 2008. They are called From Bankrupt Single Mom to International Speaker, The Deliverance of Shameko Tolliver, and Your Friends Prophesy Your Future.
From Bankrupt Single Mom to International Speaker explains to readers how I quickly and successfully took authority over my life after losing almost everything. I was forced out of my comfort zone and into my destiny. I spent months reading business books, learning more effective marketing methods, and networking with professionals from all walks of life. The end result was that I had colleagues from all 50 states and many other countries around the world. A significant portion of these colleagues have utilized or promoted my products.
The Deliverance of Shameko Tolliver is for young adults. Many people don’t know this, but when I was in my early teens, I changed my name. I felt that Angela was boring, so I changed my name to Shameko. My name change, which wasn’t approved by my family, resulted in a lifestyle change, too. I started stealing, going to jail, cutting school, smoking cigarettes, and more. This book chronicles my journey to deliverance.
Your Friends Prophesy Your Future is a book about discernment and deliverance. It provides Biblical solutions to modern problems. Readers will laugh, cry, and think as they read this book. It contains deep, thought provoking questions that help readers determine if the people they call their friends are actually their biggest obstacles.