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Author | Blogger | Workshop Facilitator Visit my website at www.authordeelawrence.com to learn more about my romantic suspense novel, Gotta Let It Go, which is set in Baltimore. Connect with me online @authordeelawrence (Facebook) and @thewritepen (Twitter). Thanks for visiting with me today!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Interview with Maxine Bigby Cunningham, Author of Power Walking, A Journey to Wholeness

Author’s Bio: Maxine Bigby Cunningham is an engaging, inspiring, and empowering speaker, workshop facilitator, writer, and mental health advocate.  She is the creator of The Empowered Walking Steps to Wellnessä, a proprietary system for overcoming impediments to mental and emotional wellbeing.  Her audiences learn novel tools and “inside-out” strategies for optimal wellbeing - body, mind and spirit.  Cunningham is the author of POWER WALKING, A Journey to Wholeness, a metaphorical recounting of her recovery from a chronic mental illness, and a contributing author of Surviving Shocking Situations, Finding the Courage to Succeed in spite of Painful Moments.

Cunningham completed studies at Goucher College, Syracuse University, George Washington University, the Federal Executive Institute and Baltimore School of the Bible. 
She is a member of the Black Writers’ Guild of Maryland, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), City Temple of Baltimore (Baptist), and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

What inspired you to write your book?  
Friends and family encouraged me to write a book.  I began writing poems and short stories during a period of recovery from a major illness and some major life losses. As I shared selections with family and close friends, I received requests to write poems for special occasions and to read my poetry. 

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?  
Several authors and books have been influential. I have always loved to read. A few of the influential authors are: Iyanla Vanzant, Bebe Moore Campbell, James Redfield, Portia Nelson and Carter G. Woodson.  Growing up, my favorite author was poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Is this your first book?
Yes, this is my first book.  It covers a period of 11 years; it was written in four years.  Sometimes months passed without me writing a word; I wrote some selections that did not “find their way” into the book. 

Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?  
This book flowed organically.  I am currently working on two more books.  This time I am following a broad outline.

Do you listen to music when you write?  
I usually write in silence.  I wrote portions of my book while sitting outside on a bench in my yard, portions at my desk in my home office, and portions at my kitchen table where I would gaze out the window every now and then.  If asked about a theme song, I would cite the hymn “Lead Me, Guide Me”.

What are the keys to success in getting your book published? 
The keys were research of my publishing options, hiring an excellent content editor, and receiving support of family and friends.

What advice would you give to new authors? 
Know why you are writing; execute your craft (writing) with excellence; present your story and ideas with boldness.

How about sharing an excerpt from Power Walking, A Journey to Wholeness? 
In the spirit of this Season, I share the poem “Holy Days”

Let’s embrace the Blessings of this Season of Holy - Days
Peace, Joy and Love

Peace upon Birth: the New Born,
The Now Re-born; the Not Yet Born

Joy of Connection: Creator, Community, Cousins.

Love of the Lord, Light, Life

I think that I will live as if each day is HOLY.

What’s next for you?
I am considering publishing a new, limited edition of PWJW.  The re-publication would have different dimensions and a new cover, large print, color art designs, a Reader’s Guide and other special features.  In addition, I am now drafting two books, increasing the reach through my blogs and newsletters and collaborating with other authors, businesses and organizations to reach women and others who and

Where may readers find out more about you and your book?
LinkedIn, Good Reads, Amazon, FB, CAOT (Christian Authors on Tour). Information about me and my books can be found at the following:

a.       Website:www.mentalemotionalwellness.com
b.      Twitter:    @maxine_empower
f.       Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/98541

It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.

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