Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My name is Liela Marie Fuller. I was born and raised in Camden, New Jersey. I started writing at my Great-Grandmothers kitchen table. Back then my stories were simple ones, fairy tales mostly but I found my true voice in high school. What was once short fairy tales, became poetic words that allowed me to express love, fear, joy, and sadness. Writing helped me through one of the hardest times in my life – losing my first love. After processing that loss, I realized that I had found my voice through writing and I’ve been writing ever since.
I have written six books and created six journals all of which can be found on my website – www.ThoughtsofaThankfulHeart.com.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is called Bag Lady. It’s a short story that I wrote after prayer several years ago. I was thinking about all the baggage we tend to carry around with us and how if we are not careful that baggage can affect other areas of our lives. Bag Lady is my first short story and I originally intended for it to be a play, but after sitting on it for a while, I released it as a short story and the readers love it.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I am not sure if these are unusual writing habits, but I prefer to write either near water or windows. I can write anywhere, but water and good views help my creative juices flow. I do write at home, but I often find that I get distracted by household chores, so when writing at home, I try to make sure everything is done so my focus is not broken.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The authors who’ve influenced me are Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Langston Hughes, Alex Haley, Edgar Allen Poe, C.S. Lewis, and Walter Mosley.
The books that have influenced me are The Bible, The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley, Disappearing Acts by Terry McMillan, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, and The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I’ve been a reader since high school so this list is not exhaustive, but these are the books that have touched me in some way.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on a book called The Journey of Faith. In 2016, I moved in faith to Minneapolis, Minnesota with almost nothing and God provided for my son and me every step of the way. It was a tremendous journey, so I decided to share it with others to remind them that with God all things are possible, if we just believe.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
While I am still exploring market strategies, I find that my website and mailing list have been the best tools for me. I use social media too, but it’s not as effective for me.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Never stop writing. I think most new writers have the misconception that their first book will be a hit and when it’s not they get frustrated, but I will tell you don’t stop writing because someone needs to read your story.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
The best advice I have ever heard is to be true to yourself first. You can’t help anyone else if you’re down and defeated.
What are you reading now?
I am currently reading Driven by Robert Herjavec and Wealthy Women Think Differently by Kervin J. Smith.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I have a long list of books I plan to write and release over the next few years. I would also like to host workshops to help aspiring writers finally write their first book.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
1. A Parallel Bible (NKJV and Message or Amplified)
2. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
3. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
4. The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela