Hey guys and welcome back to the blog! I wanted to switch things up a bit today and highlight a writer and author I had the pleasure of interviewing. As we know, on Thursday’s I choose to highlight a creative and we get a deeper look into business and creativity but this is a woman who’s on her A game so it’s only right that she made the cut on Wednesday. People usually use Wednesdays to highlight their crushes but Wednesdays over on this side are to highlight hard working women.
It’s not everyday that you hear “I’m proud of you” or “Keep up the great work” and not only is it nice to hear, but its needed sometimes. I’m big on support and uplifting people but women especially, we need more sisterhoods and less of pitting women against each other and putting each other down.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Sultry Sage, a writer and author. I came across her as we’ve been following each other on social media for quite sometime and her work always graces my feed so I had to reach out. So take a seat and kick back and let’s get into this.
Creators & Entrepreneurs
A Closer Look Into Creativity and Business
Sultry Sage: Writer & Author
Me: I see how hard you go for your work and I admire that. You’re a creator, and I believe what you create is art; being able to captivate people with your words is a talent. When did you realize you had this talent? And what motivated you to pursue it?
Sage: I really appreciate you noticing my hard work and thank you again for this opportunity. I’ve always had a way with words, I know how to talk to others and make them feel comfortable. I think that was God’s gift to me because I know my words have touched hearts. They’re genuine and you can feel the love. Even if we’ve only had one conversation, you might forget who I am but you won’t forget the love you felt on that day, during that time. It was pure.
When I first started to write I was in my freshman year in high-school, I started with poems about my pain. I started experiencing puberty, love, deaths and I started figuring out or trying to figure out who I was as a person and the only way I could understand the way I was feeling, was if I wrote them down. I didn’t understand myself, I had no idea who I was. I sought those answers in my words.
In May 2017, May 2nd to be exact, I was sitting next to this person I hold near and dear to my heart and said I’m going to write a book. And she asked me “About what?” I said about love. About the Good and the bad. About how to get through the pain and the growth that it brings. I know my experience with love is different than anyone else’s, but this story is amazing and I have to share it. Ever since that day, my life has been nothing but “The Truth About Love”Me: Were you nervous to put your work out into the world? Tell us a little about your book “The Truth About Love (Girl x Girl)” without giving too much away. Do you plan on writing more books?
Sage: Was I nervous? Nervous is an understatement. I was terrified. I was afraid that no one would read my work. I was afraid that I wouldn’t go anywhere. What would I say? How could I keep my motivation going? All these things ran through my head. I pushed passed my fears and put out four chapters that first week. My direct messages on social media were being blown up, my friends were calling and texting me and even harassing me. I was on a high I didn’t know how to come down from because people were actually enjoying my words.
“The Truth About Love” is a love story based off my actual life. I am the main character Sonna Neil. The characters are based off of real life people. The events are real, this book is the TRUTH on love. Not the stuff you see on TV or read in fairytales. It’s real and it’s raw. It touches on love between two women, the emotional and mental pain caused by love, the struggle of anxiety and depression, pain caused by deaths and even the hardships of being a part of the LGBT community because it’s not easy. All these things happen in your everyday life no matter what your sexual orientation is and I just want to share my story with the world.
I do plan on writing more books, Sultry Sage is here to stay. I’m planning to do a “Truth About Love Two” because the story isn’t done yet. I have so much more for my readers. Even now, I want to start another book, something fresh and new but “The Truth About Love” series has to be completed first.
Me: I love the way you put your book out into the world. You do it by chapters and not all at once. That’s a great way to keep people interested and coming back for more. It’s like a cliffhanger in real life. What made you present it in that way?
Sage: I presented my book that way because I write all my chapters off my emotions. Every event in my book has happened, maybe not in that exact timeline of the book but it has happened and I puzzle all those pieces together. If I’m feeling pain that day and I’m writing that chapter, you’re going to feel that pain with me. If I’m happy, I’m going to feed you that happiness and make your day with my words. My readers are going to feel me no matter what.
Me: I know how much focus and discipline it takes to build a brand and run a business, and your business is ultimately your craft. What kind of self-care techniques do you use to refrain from becoming overwhelmed with juggling life, work, and creating new content, what do you do to relax and get your mental together? If you don’t have any what kind of self-care techniques would you like to incorporate?
Sage: During my everyday life I battle depression and anxiety. Somedays are harder than others and often times I don’t know if I’m going to make it through. I’m a full time student at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and I work part-time, Life can get very stressful. I pray A LOT, I cry a lot and I give myself breaks. Some weeks I’ll give my reader 2-3 chapters others they might get one or none at all because I need that time to deal with my pain. Mental breaks and staying strong in my faith is how I get through.
When it comes to creating more content, I think about my life and what’s the next lesson I want to teach my readers. What’s going on in the world? What have I noticed them going through? I and my readers have a beautiful relationship, I know a lot of them by name and I know what most of them are going through and incorporate some help and insight in my chapters so they know “This was for you”.
Me: How do you balance writing with your daily life obligations? Because I know for me it sometimes becomes hard to create on a daily basis.
Sage: I’m honestly not the best at it, I’m laughing as I type this. I’ll literally sit on the couch for 12 hours out of the day and write. I won’t eat, I won’t sleep, I won’t do anything until I have that chapter out. One thing I am going to do is try to get my life and time management so controlled, that when I have to write, that’s all I’ll have to do. I now have a new feature on my Social Networks called #SultrySundays where I’ll publish a chapter each Sunday NO MATTER WHAT so I make sure my schedule is clear for that day. It does get hard but I know in the end, it’ll be worth it.
Me: Is it just me, or do you sometimes get writers block? What do you do to get you in the right mood to create?
Sage: I’ll get writers block so bad to the point where I cry and get frustrated about it. One day, I had just finished a chapter I worked a week on and just as I was almost done editing I deleted the entire thing. Talk about devastated. When I do have writers block, I talk to my readers. I’ll ask how did you feel about those last couple of chapters and sure enough they get right with me. Seeing them excited, gets me excited and just like that my writers block is gone.
Me: Where did the name Sultry Sage come from or do you refer to yourself by just your name? What are some of the goals you hope to achieve with your talent?
Sage: Sultry Sage comes from my love of the Sage herb. Every morning when my anxiety was really tearing me up inside, I’d burn sage in the morning and meditate. I loved the way I felt afterwards, I was extremely calm. When you use sultry to describe a woman, she’s described as passionate. I felt like the two just went perfect together. Passionate, the meaning of Sultry and Sage the way it made me feel.
I always refer to myself as Sage, My name is Nichelle but I aspire one day to have them form as one and not two separate people. Sage is fearless, confident, strong, Nichelle is still working on trying to be that.
With my talent, I want to one day make “The Truth About Love” a TV series. I have big plans for my work, but that’s one of my biggest goals.Me: Do you have a specific audience you gear your writing towards, or can everyone read and take something away from it?
Sage: Anyone can read my writing, there are men reading my work which shocked me. Women of course and those who are heterosexual. You can take all the life lessons from my book and apply them to your life. That’s why I started writing this book, to help any and everyone who needed it.
Me: Where can we find your work?
Sage: My book is located on the free Wattpad app, which is available on the Apple store and Google play store. Search “The Truth About Love By Sultry Sage” and it should pop right up.
Me: What have been some of your failures so far on this journey?
Sage: My biggest failure has been me not believing in myself. Sometimes my thoughts and lack of confidence can really harm my spirit. But I’m working on it. Especially when the support system isn’t the best, you start to learn that all you need are those who are there and rolling with you. You stop worrying about those who aren’t.
Me: What advice would you give someone who is interested in starting their own brand or pursuing their dreams and talents?
Sage: DO IT. It’s going to take some time, don’t let your fears hold you back and be ready for the mental growth that’s coming your way because you’re about to transform. Islah is Arabic for reform. To improve or better yourself. You’re about to become a better you and whatever gift God has given you nobody can take that way.
Me: Excluding yourself, are there any people such as writers, poets, etc. in the world that you admire? Any people in general that inspire or motivate you?
Sage: Issa Rae is my number one. I admire her work ethic, how genuine she is and what she stands for outside of her writing. I’ve never looked up anyone until I was introduced to her. I’ve been amazed ever since and one day I hope to work with her.
Me: If you could change just one thing about our society through your writings, what would it be?
Sage: It would have to be what’s consider what’s proper English and what is not. I feel like the way I write is unique to who I am and my personality. I don’t want to have to conform to society’s idea of what’s proper and what isn’t.
Me: What makes your writing unique?
Sage: I think what makes my writing unique is my word play. How I pair words together that actually make you feel them. I and another person could say the same thing, but the way I word it just gives you a different feel.
Me: Fun fact about yourself?
Sage: I’m deeply, and utterly obsessed with dark red roses.
Me: Drop your socials so we can be sure to follow you!
Sage: Instagram: Sultry.Sage, Twitter: SultrySage
It’s important that we continue to uplift, empower, and inspire one another. Support your black owned businesses and brands. Be sure to stay tuned for more post!
Did you miss the last interview? Be sure to catch up: Creators & Entrepreneurs – a closer look into creativity and business
Thanks for reading. Be Blessed & Stay Humble.
Interested in checking out my first two self-published books? Head over to my site: $elf – choose you always.
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