For the longest time, I watched Ann from afar. She became one of my favorite “plus-size” person to reference when it came to modest dressing. I admire her confidence and how comfortable she appeared in her own skin. When I realized she was an author, among many other amazing things she does, I purchased her book “The Rage Within”. You should read it! I was excited to interview her. I wanted to know more about her. This was a very funny but informative interview. I’m glad to know so many gifted women.
“Everyone has a book in them.” -Dina
Who is Dina?
Dina is my middle name. Ironically, I used the name because I’m not a fan of my first name. It’s so common. Dina was what my mom called me. Sometimes when people ask me who’s Dina? I’d usually say, “I’m mommy’s girl.” From a business standpoint, I’m an author, editor, writing coach, publisher, and empowerment speaker. I did knew when I became an author, I didn’t want to use my full name, so it all worked out.
When did you realize writing was your thing?
Umm, I think I was nine years old. Actually, books were my thing then. It took me about another year before I realized writing was also my thing. I loved putting words together. Come to think of it, boys were the reason I became a writer. At school boys used to pay me to write poems or love notes to their girlfriends. I used to charge them a dollar.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I would have to say it’s a tie between William Shakespeare and James Joyce. “Titus Andronicus”, written by Shakespeare, challenged me to take risk in my work and not restrict myself. I should probably note that most critics concern that play to be his worse, but there are several scenes i found to be quite colorful. Anyhow, some of my favorite modern day authors are Adrienne Thomas and Khaled Hosseini.
What do you tell aspiring authors who want to write and publish a book?
The main advice I give writers and authors is to “just write.” I believe everyone has a book in them. Write and then go back and connect the dots. That’s how I wrote my first book, Rewriting My Story. I noticed patterns in my journal entries. I think most authors make the mistake of wanting everything to be perfect the first time around. Let the editors do their job. And if they do their job well, they’ll help connect the dots and make it flow well.
If you could sum up your childhood in a book, what would the title be?
***Laughed*** I did. “Rewriting My Story.”
Tell us a little bit about your services?
Primarily I offer editing services, not just for those wanting to publish a book. I’ve edited essays, thesis, poems, business plans, marketing materials, blogs, and more. I realized many people wanted to become authors and needed help, so I also became a writing coach. I also host several worshops on writing, organizing, project management, and event planning. I love to teach and share whatever knowledge I have.
Who or what inspires your writing?
This is going to sound bad. Currently, watching ratchet tv shows inpire me. Seriously, I like anything ratchet; I know this sounds crazy. In my stories, I tend to write about heavy topics and sometimes I need comic relief. I’ll watch something like Maury or Love After Lockup. As crazy as these may be, some of those storylines inpire some of my characters development.
Any editing advice?
Try not to edit your own books. I can tell when an author edited their own work. It’s not a good idea because more than likely, they’ll miss several errors. Although I understand editing services are not cheap, it is worth the investment.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
Ok. Let me preface this by stating things I find funny are not funny to others. Secondly, I’m notorious for chewing gum. Okay. So, my goddaughter’s mother was pointing at photograghs around the house and encouraged my goddaughter to name the individuals in the picture. My goddaughter correctly named all the individuals; however, when her mom pointed at a photo of me, my goddaughter hesitated and looked at her mother and said “Gum.” ***Laughing*** She’s two so I forgave her.
What is it like being the co-founder of a publishing company?
It’s exciting and nerve-racking all at once. It’s exciting because I get to do it with two awesome ladies. It’s nerve-racking because it’s still business. Things don’t always go as smoothly or planned.
Teach me something I don’t know in the next three minutes?
I’m trying to think of a common mistake people make in their writing. Ok, so if a number is two digits or higher, you can write the number itself and not spell it. Of course, there are a few exceptions to this rule, but that’s a lesson for another time. Also, “alright” is not a word, it’s two words, “all right.” This is such a common mistake that even editor forget to correct this. I would correct it in a thesis but in a book, it depends on the character as their style of speech may require the misspelling.
If you woke up and had 5,000 new editing projects and could only choose 500 of them to work on, how would you choose which ones to edit?
Assuming I received all of the projects at the same time, i’d begin with the ones with the least amount of words. This way, I would feel more accomplished. Of course, money is also important. Whoever pays their deposit first, gets priority. It wouldn’t matter what the word count was as I value each literary work. Pay me on time, and I’ll get to work.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Earning my B.S. degrees. I dropped out of college during my senior year. Ten years later, I returned and after two semesters, I graduated. This accomplishment pushed me to seek a masters in Creative Writing, which i will complete in May of next year (2019).
You’re in Paris right now, what are you doing?
I am probably going to some historical site; whether it’s a museum or the Eiffel Tower.
What do you hope readers learn through your writing?
There is always a level of redemption through Christ, no matter what. I don’t care what you’ve done, God loves you and is ready to forgive.
Learn more about Dina’s services and books at http://worksbydina.com/. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn @worksbydina.