Melica Niccole has many titles to her name from writer, author, and boss lady to her biggest and brightest title-mommy. This Ohio based writer is planting her writing seeds into the literary world of adults and children alike in order to make a special impact.
Melica gives readers an inside look at how she started in the writing industry, how her move back to Ohio impacted her business connections and what inspired her latest children's books.
Writing isn't for everyone and yet you've established yourself pretty well, how did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Prior to attending Otterbein University many years ago, I used writing as a way to express myself. When I was in high school it was interesting that the first time I took the 9th grade proficiency test, the only portion I passed first was the writing section. I believe it was evident here that I enjoyed writing; however it took several years for me to actually identify I loved writing.
You've now gotten the hang of writing and how you wish to be creative, did you branch out into writing while in school or was it merely on your own time?
It wasn’t until I graduated from undergraduate school that my passion of writing returned. I guess I believed that writing was just a temporary thing and going to college would bring about a different passion. College did bring about another passion; however that was in addition to writing.
Since your passion for writing took it's full form, what was first thing you did with your set skill? Publish? Enter a contest to put your writing talent to the test? Explain what you did.
Before releasing my first book, I found myself working a full-time job, two part-time jobs, going to school to get my master’s degree, and writing when I had time, which believe it or not, I made time to do. I also had to decide if I would release this work as a self-publishing author or should I form a publishing company. I chose the latter and created Hampton Publishing House, LLC and released my first book in 2010. Currently, I have written/co-authored 19 books.
An author's first novel doesn't always happen over night. Many face obstacles on their way to the publishing stage, Melica Niccole was no different.
But, she knew writing was her passion and so, her very first book was born. Niccole explains the storyline behind her first book "Dead Wrong" and the inspiration behind the thrilling best seller.
What was the first novel you ever wrote? What was the inspiration for the storyline?
The first novel I wrote is called "Dead Wrong". The book is a romantic-thriller about falling in love for all the wrong reasons, which I am sure we all have done. Lol. It’s funny because the majority of this book was written in 2-3 days. However, it took me a very long time for an editor to read it and others to provide me advice on this piece of work. Initially, I was afraid let anyone read the book, but finally I had to tell myself it’s ok and this book is meant to help others.
What is "Dead Wrong" mainly about and what can readers take away from it after reading?
"Dead Wrong" is a book about domestic violence, which is meant to tell a relatable story that everyone wants to pick up and no one wants to put down. I had to go to a very dark place in writing this story, especially when describing or identifying the perpetrator’s actions. It was an emotional roller coaster of lies and deceit with poetic introductions and rhythmic dreams. I even included questions and answers at the end of the book to help coordinate a discussion about domestic violence and getting help.
Mothers are superheroes in their own way, having many jobs to their name. Melica Niccole-writer, entrepreneur and mother has dedicated her talent to the literary world and it shows in her beloved children's books "All in Together Girls" and the soon to be released "Good Morning Amira". Niccole details her popular children's novel and what's next for kids and parents to get their hands on. An escape into new adventures is all one hopes for when reading!
What were the inspirations specifically behind your children's books? Was it yourself or others?
My first children’s book was inspired by my nieces and a childhood game my sister and I played as kids. The main characters are my nieces and the book, “All in Together Girls!” is about a jump rope game we use to play. "Good Morning Amira" is a new children’s book that will be released next month. It is inspired by my daughter Amira and the steps we take to get her ready each day. She indirectly helped me co-write this book.
No matter where you are, if you want your talents to shine, it will happen. Based in Ohio, Melica knows her writing and entrepreneurship skills know no bounds.
When asked if when locating back to Ohio hindered her networking skills and if it's difficult making connections within Ohio's own black writing industry, Melica clarified that no matter where you are, North or Midwest, progress and connections can still be made.
Has working within the black writers and entrepreneurs industry remained the same and or changed since relocating back to Ohio?
When I first started publishing books in 2010, there were not many book festivals focused or developed by African-Americans in Columbus, Ohio. We did have a lot of events focused on poetry, art, writing, and culture. My search online led me to books festivals in Cleveland, Ohio; Livonia, Michigan; and Houston, Texas. All of which I attended. Since relocating to New Jersey and moving back to Ohio, the industry has definitely increased. Not to say that there were no African-American writers in Ohio because there were definitely a lot of us here. Since returning to Ohio, I have seen a lot more book festivals either developed by someone from the culture or geared toward us. Columbus is a progressive city, which I have seen a lot of changes taking place. I assume years from now there will be more festivals and writing events.
What about networking, any drastic changes to your routine as a writer and entrepreneur?
Networking is very similar to New Jersey, which is word of mouth, cold calling, social media, and flyers on college campuses and surrounding businesses. When you’re connected to others in the community, we keep each other updated about different events, projects, and support each other.
What does it mean for you to not only be a black woman in this cut throat industry, but a writer and entrepreneur?
Being a black woman and entrepreneur means that I have to push harder and I may not always get recognition for things I have done, which means the motivation and the criteria for success has to come from me. I have to be my own cheerleader. Although I say that, I have been blessed to have individuals in my corner that believe in me and my success. I have individuals who have applauded my return to writing from taking a hiatus due to childbirth. It’s a sweet gesture from others. I stand for steadfastness. To be unwavering towards your pursuit to to your dreams and being purposeful. Live on purpose not because you have to, but because you choose to do so.
Do you have any upcoming projects-books and business wise? Give readers a snippet of what's next for you.
I am currently working on a few other children’s books to be released next year and so forth. I also post stock information on the Stock BossUp App to assist investors with investing. Stock BossUp is an app dedicated to assisting those who would not normally invest learn how to invest and be successful at it. Great concept and they have really done a great job with increasing membership.
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