Interview with Alberta Lampkins, Author of Teach Me How To Fly

Alberta pic

Alberta is a proud Army wife and has been married to her husband Command Sergeant Major Al Lampkins for over twenty-five years.  She is the founder of A.L. Savvy Publications and has been working toward publication for over five years while working as an Adult Services and Child Protective Services Social Worker.  In addition, she completed her Master of Arts Degree in Sociology from Fayetteville State University in 2012.  Her graduate research project on HIV testing among African American women has been accepted for scholarly publication in the Journal of Research on Women and Gender, Texas State University. All roads have led Alberta to following her dream of writing and publishing her first novel.

Alberta is the Project Coordinator for the book Messages to Our Children and the author of her debut novel, Teach Me How to Fly.  She is also the Project Coordinator of the book, Mixed Bag: A Cultural Journey Around the World, which will be released the fall of 2014 by A.L. Savvy Publications.

Alberta founded A.L. Savvy Publications, an independent publishing company, after realizing how much she enjoyed listening and reading stories about everyday people. She wanted to create a platform for others to share their stories in print.

Alberta is a native of Buffalo, New York, however, currently resides in Tennessee with her husband and their son.

Visit Alberta at: Facebook.com/A.L.SavvyPublications. Twitter.com/ALSavvyPub or on the web http://alsavvypublications.com.

Q & A with Alberta Lampkins

Q: When did you decide you wanted to write?

AL: During the winter of 1996 I decided I wanted to write a book, but I didn’t actually begin writing it until about five years later. In 1996 my oldest sister, Agnes passed away, leaving her three year old daughter behind.  I thought, my niece will never know her mother’s story – and I wanted to write about, not only my sister’s life, but my father who passed and my aunt.  Their lives mattered and I wanted to share their stories in a creative format.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?

AL:  I like to write about very real issues, those that can or have affected everyone at one time or another. I am inspired by what I see happening to others and in many cases what I have experienced personally.  In Teach Me How To Fly, I based Jocelyn’s character on parts of my own life and I patterned Angel’s character after a mixture of cases I worked as an Adult Services and Child Protective Service worker.

Q: What made you decide to write a story like Teach Me How To Fly

AL: I decided to write about faith, friendship and forgiveness with ordinary people because, unfortunately, too many people hold on to things that happened to them in the past and allow those things to hinder them from being happy and moving forward in life.  I realize that there are some really great people in this world, but many of those people are consumed with regrets, mistakes and hurt and are unable to see the best in life. The characters are a compilation of many people I know of, but there situations may not be identical to those of some of my characters.

Q: In Teach Me How To Fly, you wrote about domestic violence, is that an issue you feel needs to be addressed in the black and other communities?

AL: Yes, I do feel that domestic violence is not discussed as much as it should be. Especially, since so many women are experiencing it. I think it is very easy for any of us to overlook what is actually going on if we are not in that sort of situation ourselves. But what we really need to do is become more aware and figure out what we can do to help those who are victims.

Q: Why did you choose to self-publish your first novel? What was that experience?

AL: Well, I asked God to teach me how to fly and I set out to learn everything I could about the publishing business.  Once I learned how to design a book cover, how to set up files for print and eBook publication and how to market my book, I decided to not only self publish my book, but start my own publishing company, A.L. Savvy Publications.  I completed a book project titled, Messages to Our Children, where I enlisted twenty-two others along with myself to write encouraging messages and thoughts to our children.  The purpose of that project was to come together as one to help uplift and encourage our children and all children to move towards success in life.  I believe we must be the example for the young people following in our footsteps.  It was an amazing project – everyday people coming together for a super great purpose.  It was thrilled to self publish such a positive body of work.  Self-publishing involved a lot of time and a lot of hard work, but it was very well worth it. I look forward to seeing where this venture takes me.

Q: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

AL: Please write at least something every single day. Even if it is only a page or two in your journal or manuscript, make a habit of doing it daily. Also, follow your heart and write the book you would want to read.

Q: What would you like readers to learn from your stories?

AL:  That they life is an amazing journey and that they are not alone in dealing with their particular circumstance in life and that obstacles can always be overcome. And that even when we are not able to overcome them completely, we can find a way to live with or deal with them and then move forward in our lives. If we have faith and begin making the right choices, we can still find peace and joy at the end of every road.

Q: What upcoming projects are you working on?

AL: I am working on publishing a book written by my husband, who is a Command Sergeant Major in the Army.  He wrote a story about his experience as a leader in war.  The book is titled, Suicide in the Mountains of Afghanistan.  We are looking towards an October 2014 release date.  Additionally, I am working on a book project titled, Mixed Bag: A Cultural Journey around the World – it will feature people of diverse cultures who are now living in America and a book project with teen and young adult expressions titled, Our Voices Matter: Through the Eyes of A Young Adult.

Q: Where can people purchase your books? Do you have a website?

AL: All of the books are and will be available on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks. My web site address is http://alsavvypublications.com.

Book-Flyer-TMHTF

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