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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Introducing Sha: The First Lady of Ghettoheat

The life that belongs to bestselling author Sha is one that many strive to have. She is a recent college graduate who went from working at a Waldenbooks store to having a book that was lining the shelves in Waldenbooks in stores all over the world.

When Conversations talked with her via conference call she told us that her father was the one who instilled in her the desire to read around the age of 3 or 4. “Wright was something that I always did. Beginning in the 3rd grade I began to write poetry and continued from there.” Sha said that her favorite author is Maya Angelou.

In 2005 she decided to take her love for writing to the next level. “A group of my co-workers decided to write a book of short stories. The others didn’t follow through with it, but I continued.” The result was HARDER.

The journey from manuscript to published author seemed to be just as seamless. “Hickson (author/founder of GHETTOHEAT) signed me to a book deal after a phone conversation on December 31, 2005. This gained her the title of being the First Lady of the publishing company, a title that Sha doesn’t take lightly. “I have to make sure that all the authors are well-represented. When I am out marketing or promoting my book, I am carrying the banner for them as well.”

What drew her to Hickson? “I loved Hickson’s desire and passion. “When he would come to Waldenbooks for a booksigning, he was very proactive. He knew his book (also entitled GHETTOHEAT) and knew how to sell it. He could leave there with cases sold when others were only selling a few.”

The character Kai that pulls readers into her book is someone we can all relate to in some way or another. “She has a sense of invincibility about her,” Sha explained. “She wanted what she wanted when she wanted it and didn’t want to accept anything less. I wanted to make her real because the life she lived was real to so many people.

“Its one of the most wonderful feelings when I see that people really get it. They follow the story and can relate to the world I am trying to convey.”

What does Sha want aspiring writers to know? “If this is something you want to do, then just do it. Life is too short to have second thoughts later or regrets. You have to take advantage of the time you have right now.”

When asked by a member of Conversations book club where she saw herself in five years, she responded: “I want my writing to affect people and encourage change. I would love to win a Pulitzer Prize or a Nobel Prize. After all, Langston Hughes did it. Why can’t I?

To find out more about this author, feel free to visit http://www.ghettoheat.com.

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