Despite her being raised in church and serving as a church musician since age 12, LaDonna accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into her life at age 13 at the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church (Washington DC). She soon found that becoming a new creature in Christ was difficult especially without the proper encouragement and general “growing pains” - not to mention the peer pressure of being a teenager.
Coincidentally in her adult hood, most of the situations that she hears young people discuss cause her to blurt out words like “I have been there” and “trust me I know.”
Ms. Smith is a native of Fairmont Heights MD (Prince George’s County) and graduated from Fairmont Heights High School (1996), Prince George’s Community College (Associate of Arts in General Studies 2001) and is only 26 credits away from graduating from Bowie State University with a 3.41 GPA. She is persuing a Bachelor of Science in Communications concentrating on Broadcast Technology.
LaDonna has experienced situations in several realms of her life to include but not limited to: physical, mental, sexual, spiritual and emotional abuse; homelessness; hunger; depression, and suicidal thoughts, to name a few. All of this by the age of 29 years old. If you ever hear her testimony you would not believe that she is still able to smile in spite of and just because. And she believes that she has to smile because there is nothing left to do after all that she has experienced and endured.
LaDonna has worked with The Dr. Michael Eric Dyson Show (WEAA), The Bernie McCain Show (WOL/WOLB), Justine Love Sex Talk and Slow Jams (WPGC), Community Affairs with David Haynes (WPGC). She is also the Events Coordinator and Board Member on the Board of Directors for the Black Writer’s Guild of Maryland, Inc.; and a member of the Maryland Business Roundtable Speaker’s Bureau. Her book has also been listed on Essence Magazine’s www.essence.com. She is also the Editor and Founder of G.R.A.Y. Magazine and G.R.A.Y. TV Show –returning soon!
On March 15, 2013 LaDonna will be releasing the exciting info-tainment follow up to “I Married Satan” called “Oh! Is That Why I am Still Single?” She also hopes to release her children’s book “Hannah’s Song: A Musical Approach to Potty Training” in 2013 as well.
About “Oh! Is That Why I'm Still SIngle?”
At age 33, LaDonna M. Smith wondered why she was still single and unmarried. Could it be that she has some deep down hidden issues masked by a smile? Or could she really be that jacked up when it comes to dealing with a man in a relationship? Then again could it be that her issues were because of her past experiences with males in and around her life? Well whatever it may be, one day a light bulb came on in her mind. “Why don’t you ask some of the men who actually mattered in your life?” Some left a memorable and long lasting impact. Others assisted with the experience and/or lesson. Some she really valued and fantasized about marrying. Some just took up space and time in her life. But oh my! Who would have known? Some of the things that she discovered made her look at, respect, and understand men with a totally different perspective.
This time a man who finds me will have a platinum lady by his side and not just on his ring finger! Ladies, this book will answer many of the questions that we have about men and why we can’t seem to secure our Mr. Right and Knights in Shining Armor. Why is that we see others in happy and successful relationships but we are still alone, despite us being able to handle our business financially, and on the home front? Men, this is the most non-male bashing, female-educating book that has ever been written. You will truly approve!
DP: When did you first decide you wanted to become an author?
LaDonna: Becoming an author wasn’t a decision but moreso something that I fell in with. I've always loved to write and can remember getting in trouble for staying up at night to write poetry and long drawn out diary entries.
DP: How did you decide on the idea for your first book?
LaDonna: I Married Satan started as a revenge tactic. I was going to write an article in a magazine to expose the fact that my ex-husband was able to obtain an illegal annulment. But as I wrote the article about him and his issues, God began to deal with me about me and mine. And the 1-2 page magazine article quickly trickled down to a book.
DP: How long did it take you to write your first book?
LaDonna: The first time a few days to a few weeks. I don’t recall exactly. But then the worst thing happened to this project. I had completed the draft and then the computer crashed with no back up of my files. On one hand it was a good thing but on the other it was a horrible thing. Here's why: the second draft included more details. And then I didn’t have the money to get the books produced anyway do to a job lose so the entire process took almost 2 years to go from conception to print.
DP: Did you self-publish or are you signed to a publishing company?
LaDonna: I had quite a few vanity press publishing companies offer me "deals." But at the advice of my cousin who is also an author to "never pay for publishing" I declined their deals. Then I had Publish America offer me a 7 year publishing deal and I was excited. HOWEVER, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson himself told me to walk away from it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it, but I soon after received a letter from Publish America stating that they didn’t want to publish my book. That was awesome because after I researched them even more that was the best thing that could ever happened to me.
DP: How did you decide on the cover for your most recent book?
LaDonna: All of my covers come from my love and knowledge of graphic art and design. Typically I draft a few layouts and then post on Facebook and via emails to colleagues and friends for their input.
DP: Tell us about your writing style. Do you write on a schedule?
LaDonna: I only write when motivated. I never force it or schedule it. However, I need noise to function lol. May sound strange but I need music, TV, or ambiance to do it. Peace and quiet rarely works for me - even though late night is my favorite time to write and I seem to be most creative at night. The only schedule I make surrounds my editorial and publishing calendar and deadlines.
DP: What makes your writing unique?
LaDonna: My writing is unique because it contains my voice and definitely shows my personality, character and thoughts. A lot of times my writing expresses the questions and thoughts that people have or want to say/ask but haven’t or are afraid to.
DP: As a writer, what motivates you?
LaDonna: The people who read my books and give me their stories. I write from experiences, things that I see or more importantly whatever God drops in my spirit. I get an adrenaline rush when I'm working on a project and it is close to be completed.
DP: How do you balance your writing and various responsibilities that come along with being an independent author?
LaDonna: I make an effort to market and promote every day. It doesn’t always work that way but I try. I try to work on a variety of projects and time-taking periodic brain breaks also help me to avoid writing blocks.
DP: When you’re not writing what are you doing?
LaDonna: Promoting and marketing. It may sound cliché but I am and I do. I try to schedule media appearances, keep my websites up to date and oh I can’t forget about posting on Facebook and various other places around the web, and passing out flyers to keep my name and works fresh on people's mind and in their conversations.
DP: What’s a typical day like for you?
LaDonna: I really do not have a typical day.
DP: Tell us about your last book signing.
LaDonna: It was in October at Amayah Entertainment books stand at the Patapsco Flea Market in Baltimore MD. Because of the overall slow pace of the Flea Market as a whole that day, I did more networking than book sales. I think I only sold around 6-11 copies.
DP: Do you have contests or giveaways?
LaDonna: Periodically and from time to time. I do giveaways for eBooks and advance reading copies.
DP: Many independent authors find it hard to get readers to buy their books. How did you handle the challenges that come along with being a first-time author in a competitive and ever-changing market?
LaDonna: I do a lot of research and out of the box marketing strategies and tactics. I do not accept no as the final answer. Also from time to time I'll play around with the prices meaning I may sell it for less than the retail price. The wonderful thing is that I have such a great printer that my profits are not affected.
DP: What did you do on your 2nd book that you did not do in your first one?
LaDonna: I included work from two other up and coming authors Matthew Bacchus and Darrell Freeman Jr,
DP: If you could give one piece of advice to an up and coming author, what would it be?
LaDonna: If God gave you a story stay encouraged because if he gave you a story that means he has someone to read it.
DP: Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
Barnes and Nobles.com
Directly from me: http://ladonna.wix.com/102010
The best thing to do is to Google or Bing search my name and links to the various places where my books are available will come up.
DP: Please list any literary awards, honors, and book club affiliations.
LaDonna: I am the Events Coordinator and on the Board of Directors for the Black Writer's Guild of Maryland.