Shana Gourdine, an accomplished poet/author, recently released her highly praised self-help book, The Mask Behind The Mask. She took some time to share how she uses her personal experiences to help others.
What was the inspiration for your book “The Mask Behind The Mask”?
My inspiration for The Mask Behind The Mask is that we wear varies of different masks to get through life. I was inspired to help people to love themselves regardless of what they dealing with on a day-to-day basis. I want to help people not feel stuck and learn how to let go of their past or move on with their future.
So many African American writers choose urban fiction, you went in a different direction. Why?
I chose to go a different direction with my writing because there are a lot people walking around with incredibly heavy baggage. I noticed the masks people are carrying. I went through my own challenges including domestic violence and health conditions. I feel my poetry and my own story will help some people heal. Hurt people keep hurting other people, so if I can heal a few hurt people in society maybe we will have less people hurting others.
How did your past experiences prepare you to write a self-help book?
My past experience with life prepared me to write this self-help book. With my experience with domestic violence and my trials with my health conditions, it helped me to be able to teach others how to embrace the good ,the bad and the ugly. I had to first help myself in order to being able to help others.
Some people believe that we all wear masks every day to cope with the expectations of society, would you agree?
I agree we do wear many mask to go through life on day to day basics. We deal with so many people, personalities, and energy so we mask ourselves to deal with society.
Your cover art is very intriguing, tell us about the concept.
I need my cover to speak volumes like my title. I needed to speak to people like my words speak to your soul. Most readers the notice the cover of the book first to decide if the might want to read it. I needed it to be a conversation piece.
What is the overall goal you hope to accomplish?
My goal to empower and inspire people to help themselves. I want help people to unmask themselves and get comfortable in their own skin.
Do you have plans for another book in the immediate future? If so, what will be the subject?
Yes, of course I have plans for a second book. As we speak, I am working on it right now. Hopefully, it will be done by end of year.
What advice would you offer first-time writers?
My advice to first-time writers is that it is a long process to get to the final stage. Don’t give up. No matter the barrier you may cross, finished your dream. You hold the power in your future.