International Award-Winning Author & Inspiration Specialist Toneal Jackson has written relationship books, children’s books, books on effective communication, as well as those geared to inspire. Though a native of Chicago, her titles have been featured in various cities throughout the country including Detroit, Dayton, Dallas, Houston, Baltimore, and Kansas. In 2011, she ranked #3 as the National Black Book Festival's Best New Author. Her relationship book, Pleasing Your Partner: A Spiritual Guide to H.A.P.P.I.N.E.S.S. was celebrated at the 2011 Dayton Book Expo. Toneal served as a seminar speaker for the 2011 Ultimate Women's Expo in Dallas, TX. She was featured in the 2011-2012 Global Directory of Who’s Who.
In 2012, Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier featured her in their “Celebrating Authors” exhibit throughout African-American Heritage Month; later that year, CBS Chicago recognized her as one of "5 Indie Chicago Authors and Publishers to Watch Out For". In 2013, Toneal appeared as a guest on The Exchange TV Show; she was later featured in the June issue of Promoting Purpose Magazine. She was the Silver Medal recipient of the 2013 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards.
Toneal is the founder of i2I: Inspired to Improve, a social enterprise geared to impact individual improvement to enrich character development and create a holistically better person. She is also the owner of Toneal’s To-Dos Publishing; and co-founder of Authors Promoting Success, a company that offers not only mentorship, but an array of professional and promotional services to assist both novice and seasoned authors build, brand, and boost their business.
Additionally, she serves as a member of Chicago Writers Association; is a motivational speaker, life coach, licensed evangelist, and youth leader. She hosts her own radio show, Inspirational Talk with Toneal, which airs Tuesdays on Blog Talk Radio.
Toneal has been married for over a decade, and credited with raising more than 10 children. She received her Bachelor's degree in Communication with a Spanish minor from DePaul University. She obtained her Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
How do you manage to maintain your work schedule? You obviously have a lot to juggle, what are some tips you can give to help others stay on track?
Not to sound cliche, but I literally keep a "To-Do" list of all my dreams, goals, and endeavors. I recommend that everyone have a "to-do" list; it not only keeps you focused, but it also tracks productivity!
What inspires you? You have so many avenues of helping others, what is the motivational force for you?
I am often asked that question, so much so that I wrote a book about it! "Inspiration from A.B.O.V.E." employs the acronym to demonstrate from where I derive my sources of inspiration: Adversity; Belief; Overcoming; Venture; Emotion. It's no secret that I thrive on helping others succeed; these are the sources that motivate me to do all that I do.
How do you manage both family and business without becoming overwhelmed, and if you do start to feel overwhelmed, what do you do to combat that feeling?
I live in the state of overwhelming! We've become very good friends! But seriously, to answer your question, I don't think about all that I do; I just do it! What I have found is that I become more overwhelmed when I think about everything that needs to get done; it's just easier to keep it moving. When I began to feel like it's too much, I simply put myself in a timeout, before my body does it for me!
Tell us about Toneal's To Do Publishing, how can authors become a part of this?
Because I've been relatively successful as a self-published author (ranked #3 as the 2011 National Black Book Festival's Best New Author; recognized by CBS Chicago as being one of "5 Indie Authors and Publishers to Watch Out For" in 2012; Silver Medal recipient of the 2013 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards), I felt that I could help other authors discover their purpose, and walk in it. I am now accepting manuscripts for titles within the Inspirational, Christian, and Self Help genres. All interested can visit my website for more information.
With so many accomplishments under your belt, how do you remain humble?
Honestly, I always pray that God keep me humbled. I know that all I am is a vessel being used; I discovered my purpose a while ago, and have dedicated my life to fulfilling it. Without God's favor, I am nothing. I am smart enough to know that despite the Master's degree, if I wasn't walking in my purpose, I wouldn't have any of the accolades!
You currently have six available titles, tell us about your upcoming release.
I have a few titles "coming soon", but the one that will be released within the upcoming weeks is entitled, "She's Out. I'm In. Solutions to 7 Relationship Problems". This book is my first collaboration project; I'm working with Dominique Wilkins, and I am very excited as we give our audience the best of both worlds - entertaining scenarios with actual self-help solutions!
Can you offer any words of advice for aspiring authors?
This would be my advice for aspiring authors: Determine the reason you want to become an author (fortune; fame; notoriety; to spread your message; to prove to yourself that you can do it); and develop a plan/strategy that enables you to stay true to that!
What is next for Toneal Jackson? What should readers be watching out for?
For authors, Dominique Wilkins and I just recently launched our business, Authors Promoting Success, geared to assist authors build, brand, and boost their business. I will be launching my nonprofit organization, i2I: Inspired to Improve, which focuses on enriching character development to create a holistically better person, in early Spring 2014. For readers, I have three solo projects for them to be on the lookout for:
The B.E.S.T. Y.O.U.: A Guide to Basic Business Principles to help any Entrepreneur Succeed
Growing up to be Happy!
Love Me...Please (my debut novel)
For more information on Toneal, visit her website.