Dominique Wilkins is a licensed cosmetologist and married mother of five children who writes short stories to which everyone can relate. In a time where crime is high, morale is low, and drama is everywhere, Dominique writes to encourage her readers and provide them with resources to keep them going and do better. Read real stories about bad parents; jealous neighbors; backstabbing friends; cheating; love; pain; and the ability to inspire change or provide a life lesson. Transferring a decade of emotional support and encouragement from the beauty shop to the pages, these stories are written with biblical messages intermingled for the reader to refer back to or research for more healing on their particular need directly from The Bible. In addition to the books, she is now the COO for Authors Promoting Success- a mentorship service that helps other authors in similar genres build their book business. Dominique is always interested in helping others verbally, in writing, online or however way that she can do her part to give back the blessings that God constantly rains down upon her!
Where do you find the inspiration/ideas for your books?
Each book is inspired by someone's pain. Maybe I've watched the news, took a phone call, hugged someone going through or just logged into social media and see someone going through something that I feel needs to be addressed. Someone going through something that can be fixed or alleviated so easily if they could just step outside of themselves and see what I see. If the situation tugs on my heart for too long, I won't be able to sleep and have to write the story until I get it out.
How did you go about starting Authors Promoting Success? What made you decide to do so?
For the past two years, I've coordinated a local author event called CAPS (Chicagoland Authors Promoting Success) where I solicited various authors to come together under one roof and professionally market themselves and educate current and aspiring authors about the craft. For the past two years, Toneal Jackson has been very supportive of me and helpful when participating in it. So one day, after our CAPS expo, for the second time in the row, we were talking about how great it was to get together and always learn something new from other people's experience. At that moment, we decided to start APS. To combine our desire to help and encourage others as we always had done under one umbrella. Toneal has a blog talk show where she features authors every week as well as offer life-coaching services, while I interview and promote authors on my site once a month in addition to the yearly CAPS event, which people have come to look forward to! With these elements combined, we believe that APS will be something that people will also appreciate being a part of!
Do you worry about the people whose stories you adapt? Their reactions to knowing that you have taken their pain and made it public? Or do you keep the stories vague enough where they wouldn't know?
Actually, when I talk to people and they do share something that is book worthy, I will stop and ask them if I can use the material. Normally they're obviously pretty ticked off about their situation (which is the purpose of them venting), that they don't mind and are often looking for an "Amen”. On the flip side of it, due to the knowledge of the type of books that I write and the intention of the stories, they are also excited to share them because deep down, everyone would like to save someone else from the heartache that they may have experienced. If featuring their input in a segment of a book is what does it, they don't mind me doing it. It also gives them their 15 seconds of fame under some strange character's name. To be honest, I've never wrote entirely about one person's life, I don't think anyone is THAT interesting, or would share all of the nitty gritty if they were. I usually take the good stuff and let my mind make up the rest and add onto it. When the story is done, it may seem like it was their story, but we all go through the same things, which is what makes the read so enjoyable, when a person can see themselves in the pages. So, no one story truly belongs to one person. We all love and we all hurt.
How do you find balance with writing, being a COO and having 5 children on top of your day job? Any tips for mothers in similar situations?
My partner Toneal is the extreme multi-tasker. I am more of a winger, which is why I love being self-published. The way my life is now, I don't believe that I could conform to a writing schedule and be happy. That is why I only write when the Lord puts the passion on my heart. Sometimes, He will wake me up with a story and I will pound the keyboard as if sleep was not necessary until I get it out. This is why I am VERY passionate about my books and my craft. I ONLY write when I am very excited about something. I don't force it. So there's been times, when I will crank out four to five stories at once and then there's times, when I will just jot down ideas until I decide that they need to come together and need to be told.
Right now, I only have 2 children actually at home with me, my other 3 are floaters and come and go at will, so I thank God, that I don't have them all on a regular basis, but that doesn't mean they don't have needs and require time and attention. Ultimately the children come first. My priority is my family, so whatever is more pressing after them, is who/what gets my attention next. I guess I have a life schedule more-so than a daily schedule. Since the APS is new, it takes a lot of thought and preparation right now, but I expect after it gets going, it will level out. It is then that life will tell me what next pressing thing will fill the spot after the family.