Author Jeanine Nicole has been writing since she was five years old. In fact, it was at that age when she penned her first fictional story, “The Princess Who Never Wins.” She’s been writing ever since.
Now, the author turn motivational speaker, has founded her own production company, A DayDream Production, and is speaking about her latest work “Choices.”
We got the opportunity to speak with Jeanine and learned quite a bit of insightful details about her, the book, her influences, and new business ventures, all the while raising two young sons single-handedly. Here’s what she had to say.
If anyone asked, ‘who is Jeanine Nicole?,’ what would you tell them?
Jeanine Nicole is a variety of things. She’s a single mother, a writer, an editor, a lover of all things Will Smith and MAC. She’s a foodie, loves the Giants(football lol), is emotional, cries at anything, crazy, goofy, terribly introverted, and curses like no other. She’s also polite, respectful, faithful, and hardworking. Basically, I am a little bit of everything. A true definition of a Gemini.
Why did you write Choices?
I wrote, “Choices,” in the 11th grade. I was actually bored in my science class and I noticed these two guys from New York that sat by me. Now, I live in Atlanta, but I have always been infatuated with New York, especially the men and the accents. Lol. I was daydreaming about what it would be like to date one of them and thus, “Choices,” was born. With this book, you have Amari who begins to date Terry while in high school. Everyone can remember that first love. Those feelings and that connection. It’s one of the hardest connections to break because it is the first time you had those feelings and you don’t want to let that go. This is Amari’s dilemma because she has to choose with being with someone who gives her those irreplaceable butterflies or being with a man who loves her but she unsure.
Did you channel some of your own experiences from your own life to
write the book?
I actually have been in the position where I had to choose between being with someone and leaving them because I didn’t have those same strong feelings. I ignored it for so long, but after a while it boiled over and I finally left. I also understand how hard it is to let go of someone that you are truly in love with because of the feelings they bring you when you see them. You know that it may not be the best situation, but you just base your decisions off of the feelings you get being around that person.
What were some personal and professional challenges you had to
overcome? Motherhood etc.?
A few personal challenges that I have experienced range from becoming a single parent at 20 to being in a mentally abusive relationship and becoming pregnant while I was homeless. To most, these challenges would seem like horrible moments, but I looked at them as lessons. I learned a lot from these situations and they also opened doors that got me where I needed to be at this exact moment. I am able to write from a different objective and point of views because I have experienced so much in just my 28 years.
What are you looking to teach young adults/young women? What do you
want your sons to know?
I am looking to encourage young women. I am currently starting to focus on trying to create more positive representation of Blacks in the media. I believe that if there were more of these images for young women to look up to, they would be able to aspire to more. At 5 years old, I wanted to become a writer. Reading Terry McMillan, Maya Angelou, and Alice Walker helped to confirm that this was a possibility. A goal that I could actually obtain. I want young woman to know that life is hard. It doesn’t get easier. You will always be hit with something. The thing is how you actually respond to that obstacle. As you get older, you get stronger. This is what I always tell myself. No matter how much money or if I am blessed with everything I want, life will still become harder in some way. I am just stronger and my reaction to those situations allow me to handle things differently which gives the illusion that things are better because it was handled differently. You have to keep that mentality throughout life.
I want my sons to know that no matter what, if you have a dream, go for it. Even if you have no one supporting you, this is your life and you have to live with yourself. Doing what others want is not going to make you happy. I want my boys to experience true happiness in their lives.
What did you learn about yourself during the writing process?
Whenever I write, it is related to me in some type of way. I believe I learn the most about myself through my poetry. Poetry is the truest form of release, in my opinion. This is where I get to be the most open and vulnerable. I can literally boil over with emotion, write a poem in 2-3 minutes that expresses everything I am feeling, and be absolutely okay as soon as I finish the poem. I will go back and read my poetry as a reminder of what I have been through and to learn from it.
Who are some of the authors or inspirational people you feel inspire
you to become a great author?
Some authors and writers that have inspired me are Terry McMillan, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, and Eric Jerome Dickey. That’s just to name a few. On a personal note, I have always wanted to write and produce screenplays. I attribute this to witnessing Whoopi Goldberg in, “The Color Purple.” Her role and her acting still sends me on emotional rollercoaster to this day. I knew then that I wanted to be able to provoke any type of emotion from an audience by what I wrote. I wanted to have that power to make people, for just a small time, believe what I am writing or come into my world.
Tell us about the production company you’ve just founded.
My production company is called, “A DayDream Production,” and our motto is, “Let us turn your dreams into a reality.” When I write, I have to visualize every thing. If I can’t see it, then I can’t write it. I feel like this is the start for most creative products. Many people do not know where to go after they have written a manuscript or even have just an idea for a screenplay. That’s where my company comes in. From book covers to editing to typesetting to publishing, we have a variety of services geared towards helping the client achieving their production goals.
Why did you start it? What do you want to accomplish?
I started the company because it is something that I love to do. I am very interested in every part of the writing process, from beginning to end. I want to, also, be able to help others achieve their goals. Many publishing or production companies do not actually listen to the client. Having a fellow author as the CEO assures the clients that I have been in their position and fully understand. I want to accomplish as much as God allows with this company. This is the main reason why I decided on a production company instead of just a publishing company. The sky is the limit and I don’t want to be boxed in.
Other products in the works?
I have my three other books, “The College Tour: The Introduction,” “The College Tour,” and “The First Day of School,” that are currently available at www.iamjeaninenicole.com. I am currently trying to focus on promoting “Choices” as well as gathering resources for my next venture which is producing, “The College Tour Play.” The play is one of my main focuses because I want to not limit myself to just being an author. I want to be in every realm that is possible and add another title to my name
Anything else you want to tell the readers?
I just want to tell anyone who is reading that anything is possible. I tell people about my life and they are amazed that I continue to fight and go for my dreams. This type of career is a hit or a miss. There are no guarantees, but I believe in it because I am so passionate about it. I challenge the readers to find that one thing that they are passionate about and go for it! Don’t let people or society tell you it can’t happen. If you believe and put in the work, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.
Website links, social accounts etc.?
A DayDream Production:
(Photos: Jeanine Nicole)