Monday, September 25, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 'DON'T CALL ME CRAZY! I'M JUST IN LOVE WITH GOD' SWIYYAH WOODARD

Swiyyah Nadirah Woodard was selected as a Bay News 9 Everyday Hero, which was seen by two million viewers, for publishing a book and teaching the community about her own battle with mental illness. She was hospitalized six times and misdiagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Her first book, Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm Just in Love, became required and suggested reading in Reading, Writing, Abnormal Psychology, and General Psychology classes at a four year Institution. 

She was born in the housing projects of
Saint Petersburg, FL. Her father left when she was three so she was raised in a single parent home. At the age of five she was
molested by her eight year old brother. She later started school, she had slurred speech and didn't care to make friends so she was bullied by her peers. At the age of eight, she wanted to kill herself because a girl wanted to fight her. She looked into the medicine cabinet for medication. Thank God, she couldn't find any.

As a teenager she was physically abused by her step dad. The abuse was so severe, God blocked it from her memory. At the age of 20 the brother that molested her committed suicide, which was devastating to her and the entire family. Swiyyah has always viewed herself as normal. She never received any disciplinary problems in school, made good grades, and received her BA degree in Psychology from the
University of South Florida.

When the doctors misdiagnosed her with the most debilitating mental disorder known in mental health, paranoid schizophrenia, she denied it. She questioned their expertise. She refused to take medication. She was then hospitalized six times. Her family took a picture of her at her worst and that's when she knew she needed help. She has been taking medication now for ten years without a relapse.

She is now a published author and a National Inspirational Speaker. Her first book is entitled, “Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm just in Love,” and is inspired by her true story. 

She was raised Muslim and the revelations she received from God and placed in her books, didn't make any since until she meet her Christian husband 14 years after her first relapse. 

Please contact Swiyyah to book speaking engagements, life coaching, author and speaker coaching, radio and TV interviews, or to purchase her books at 727-495-3217, Swiyyah@swiyyah.com.

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Title: DON’T CALL ME CRAZY! I’M JUST IN LOVE WITH GOD
Author: Swiyyah Woodard
Publisher: Swiyyah Productions, Inc.
Pages: 229
Genre: Inspirational / Motivational / Romance / Christian
BOOK BLURB: 
Because of God, nothing will stop Anika from marrying the love of her life, not even paranoid schizophrenia. You don’t want to miss this spiritual journey filled with inspiration and power.
This book is insightful and perceptive. Inspired by a true story. Few people consider the God factor in mental health. Join Anika and journey with her as she receives revelations from God while on her walk to overcome mental illness and naiveness towards religion. Required reading for High schools and colleges.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble




Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m a certified TV producer. I create video production for my church, weddings, school programs and I recently created my book trailer. My first production was a TV show entitled, “Living My Dreams,” that I created. My show aired in only 200,000 households and I was able to feature platinum selling artist such as Rick Ross, Khia, and DJ Trans. I’m also a marketing student at the University of South Florida and I just received my creative writing certificate. I also apply for grants to put on mental health awareness events and provide inspirational speeches on how to overcome mental illness.

When did you start writing?

I started writing poetry and story books as a teenager just for fun and I never saw myself publishing a book. I received my first writing award writing an essay for a district wide high school competition. I was published in the newspaper for the first time.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life? 

I was awarded as a Baynews9 Everyday hero, seen by two million viewers, for publishing my book and teaching the community how to overcome mental illness.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why? 

I would go to England. People in England love American work.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

I would work on my upcoming book, “Horror on 22nd St.” It’s going to take a lot of work because I have to figure out how to write it and not lose my Christian audience.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

I want to write a historical book that takes place around 1900 that would go into detail about a family ancestor that ran away from Nigeria onto a boat to the Us.

Back to your present book, “Don’t Call Me Crazy! I’m Just in Love with God, how did you publish it? 

I first published my book with Publish America in 2007. It was an exciting experience but I learned quickly that the majority of publishers do don’t market each book and it’s up to the author to figure it out. I’m now self-published and loving every bit of it.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

No, I didn’t travel but prior to writing my book I received my BA degree in Psychology. And I did much online research on mental illness. 

Why was writing, “Don’t Call Me Crazy! I’m Just in Love with God,” so important to you? 

Growing up I never experienced any known mental illness so when mental illness affected me, I just had to share my experience to help others. My main message is that we shouldn’t be so quick to call someone crazy. I’m finding that many people with mental illness are brilliant. Their minds move fast and if they have not learned how to relax and stay focused they can lose their mind completely.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

I just learned that I get my ideas from the Holly spirit. Throughout my life I would make huge accomplishments and would always think big and for a long time I thought this was all coming from me until I filmed my book commercial and the lady of my church gave a testimony about my book and said that I have an anointing in my writing.

Any final words?

The Holly spirit told me a long time ago to take baby steps. Through God any dream is possible. If we can only see the struggle we will never reach our highest potential. Never focus on the trial but the future triumph. 

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