Sonya Felice Jenkins-Dedicated and Inspiring.
Sonya Jenkins has been in the creative scene for a long time, ranging from the cut throat industry of modeling and singing to now the world written word. With a big imagination and seasoned knowledge of the to how she conducts her internet radio show "Raven's Closet Talk Show" and many books, Sonya is in a lane of her own and is dedicated to sharing her craft with audiences/readers.
Was the idea of becoming a writer and businesswoman natural to you? How did you begin your journey into the industry?
I guess it’s half naturally and half learned in school. As a child, I would create various story scenarios with my dolls to entertain myself. When I was in high school, I was a member of the creative writing club, my teacher, who taught my English class, read my poems and enjoyed them very much. Each creative paper I turned in, she would write a note on them about how much she enjoyed them and that I should make English my major when I go to college.
What did college teach you about becoming a writer?
My English professor, suggested that I look into becoming a writer after he read all of my research papers I turned in for his course. My professor would talk to me about my writing and thought I have the gift to be writer. However, I didn’t take him seriously, until someone special came into my life who was a writer. As we spent time together, we would exchange short stories as personal gifts to one another.
Did your professor give you advice on how to start this new path? What were your initial thoughts on what to do in regards to writing?
Somewhere along the way, another suggestion was made, and I started to seriously think about becoming a writer and see what would become of it as a profession.
What did you do following the suggestion?
I began doing some research on being a self-published author, what the publishing business was all about; then I attended a few seminars on the subject, met with other traditional/self-published authors to get their perspective on the industry.
Now that you walked this new path into the writing industry, what was the first thing you did? You were established then as a radio host, what was next?
It wasn’t until, I interviewed several authors for my radio show, that I really felt I could give it a try and see what would happens. Once I started the process, it turned out to be not as bad as I thought.
What do you think of the progress you've made? Surely you can congratulate yourself?
Looking back over it, I’m sure there were a few missteps I’ve done, for which I’ve learned from for the next time and/or share with others but I'm proud of what I've achieved thus far.
Sonya Jenkins has participated in many anthologies of various topics from love and loss to new life beginnings. With the short stories that she has produced, readers are able to connect with her on a deeper and personal level through the characters that come alive.
Through your short story "Silly Teenage Dreams" in the anthology "We Rise Above" created and published by Vanessa S. Jerman, what was your inspiration behind it? Was it a personal experience?
I contributed a short story titled, “Silly Teenage Dilemma.” The inspiration/message behind my short story, was based off my teenage life experience with an older man, how my teenage world turned upside down by the choices I made, the journey to overcome and start life anew.
What was the inspiration/story behind your novels "Once In A Lifetime" Books 1 and 2? What about these short stories related to you?
Real life romantic rendezvous, romantic break-ups, first-time sexual experiences, etc. of myself and of those within my inner circle were the inspiration for the short stories and a few of the poems.
What can readers learn from these books?
The books are for those readers who lived similar experiences; remember/relive memories of what it was like to be so deeply involved with someone that you did things/experience things that you never thought you would do or thought you weren’t capable of doing. . . in a good way, all in the name of love.
Jenkins has been in the media scene for a long time now, having established her own radio show called "Raven's Closet", she has been able to reach audiences world-wide. The show has come to a pause but Jenkins is still creative, and still thriving in her multi purpose craft.
Give readers an inside look at your internet radio talk show, "Raven's Closet,". What is it about, what topics do you tend to discuss?
As of to date, my internet radio talk show, “Raven’s Closet” is on hiatus until further notice but will return one day. The "Raven’s Closet" talk show was a weekly ninety-minute show, formatted for the mature audience to come together and share their experiences they have hidden in the “closet” - learn from one another, and network.
What was the main mission of the radio show?
The show wasn’t geared to get into anyone’s personal business, however, transparency was key; allowing their victories over their traumatic experiences be a source of support/inspiration to someone who is going through the same or similar.
When audiences toon in, they are taken to a place like their "closet"? They connect with your topics by thinking about a set of clothing?
The “closet” have items that everyone have in theirs; each week the topic(s) of discussion were based on those items. A few examples, everyone have a “shirt” hanging in their closet; the symbolism of the shirt means, newness/renewal. “Suit” represents amour of faith.
“Accessories” for acceptance of self & others. “Shoes” for walking a mile. “Hat” for wisdom. “Mirror” for the manifestation of dreams & future possibilities.
What was the range of guests that you would air each week?
The guest(s) each week ranged from authors, entrepreneurs, musicians/entertainment performers, medical/healthcare professionals, survivors (cancer, child/domestic abuse, addictions, etc.), life/relationship coaches, financial advisors, and so many others.
What is the easiest and hardest part about being a "one woman" team or do you have a whole team of collaborators that you run your books and other content by?
I’m a “one woman” team, however, I do run project ideas by my mom/manager, who will give me feedback and/or other options on how to start and/or accomplish a specific project.
I like doing things a particular way; to be honest I am a bit controlling when it comes my business(es)/projects, which is a challenge for me, because, I don’t trust too many people to do things the way I like it or rely on someone to finish their designated task(s).
What does Black Women Empowerment mean to you as a whole?
As a whole, Black Women Empowerment means encouraging Black Women of all ages to follow their dreams. Take a chance on themselves regardless of what others may think/say. Always being open to constant learning, networking and sharing with other women.
Any new projects related to novels, your radio show and or business coming out? Give a snippet to readers on what's next for you.
My creative mindset is currently scattered and with the current state of the world with Covid-19, being inspired & focused has been a little off for me, however, I do have a draft of the last book in the "Once In A Lifetime Love" series, pending title, “Once In A Lifetime Love 3: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Side Of Love.” Before the world was turned upside down, I attended an online class on mystery writing so there could be an erotic/noir mystery novella in the future. As previously mentioned, the Raven’s Closet Talk Show is on indefinite hiatus with plans to return. And there are other potential projects brewing in my head but nothing is worth mentioning at the moment but I will make announcement(s) when they are ready for the public.
Follow Sonya Felice Jenkins via: