With February, being the “month of love” it was only right that your February Ambitious Woman of the month be someone that’s made a career out of doing something that I hold so dear to my heart.
Our February Ambitious Woman of the Month is Detroit-based author Tamika Oliver-Hicks. She’s pinned four books: Dysfunctional (the root of betrayal) completed in August 2010, followed up with the sequel Dy2functional (the constant deception) completed October 2011, took a break and wrote “A Love Worth Preserving” December 2012
Born and raised in Detroit, she still resides in the Metro Detroit area with her husband and two kids.
Hicks says although she’s sold a lot of books she doesn’t consider herself to be an author.
“I think too many people refer to themselves as authors and that title is earned not just said,” Hicks says.
She also says, to be an author you have to be known by more than just your family.
It all started when…
Hicks has been writing since the tender age of seven.
“I remember my English teacher challenged us to write a story for extra credit,” she says.
Although she didn’t need the extra points she still participated and accepted the challenge of writing her own story with the bonus of the story being in the hallway’s showcase for everyone to view.
“When she dropped the bomb that grades Kindergarten through 5th would participate, everyone’s mouth hit the floor, including mine,” Hicks admits.
Despite feeling overwhelmed and knowing she’d be competing against older kids, she still participated and ended up re-writing the Christmas classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and won.
“I rewrote the story of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ but I had him get lost in the ‘hood’ and the teachers and students loved it. My teacher didn’t tell the class that the winner would win an automatic A+, showcase display, fifty dollar McDonald’s gift certificate and a trophy. The trophy and showcase meant a lot to me but those Big Macs were to die for in the 80’s,” Hicks says.
She says the experience taught her that she could achieve whatever she desired.
“To be able to write a story that people conversed about sparked my first true love—writing… sorry, Tyrice.”
The moment of clarity
Hicks says from then on she’s always loved writing but it wasn’t until the summer of 2000 that she would decide to take a dream that kept occurring, put it into a word document and really pursue it.
“I constantly dreamed about this family—not knowing who the heck these people were, I would tell my family about it and they all agreed that it would make a good movie—these people were insane,” Hicks said of the family that her Dysfunctional books are based on.
“Realistically, I probably had five dollars to rub together so making a movie was definitely out of the question but then I began to see the light within the situation. I thought, ‘write about it, girl! How much will it cost you to put it into a word document?’ I had access to a computer, I wasn’t employed at the time and my husband and children were gone in the mornings so it would cost me nothing but time—time that I had too much of, so I created my first draft and got busy.”
It would take her a total of seven years to publish her first book, “Dysfunctional,” but she says she wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.
“Truthfully, I don’t consider myself an author. Yes, I create stories. Yes, I sell books. I have an editor and a publishing company to print out my work but I have a long way to go,” Hicks admits.
“I have sold over 200,000+ downloads on Amazon, however, I have a lot to learn in this world of writing so I refer to myself as an aspiring author—sounds crazy but believe me when I tell you, I can’t wait to become an author. You may hear me shouting, ‘I’m an author from your hometown!’
The Process of writing a book start to finish
According to Hicks, there is no real definite timeline, it’s more “to each it’s own.”
“Some may say ‘You can write a book in 60-90 days’ but I say there’s no way that can be done unless you are writing a short story then okay—maybe so. Keep in mind that that rushing will get you ripped apart by consumers,” Hicks says.
“Depending on how long you spend on the manuscript, I think six months is a substantial amount of time to complete a good novel.”
Hicks admits that although she has a number of author friends that dwell in all genres including but not limited to erotica, drama, romance and religion, she doesn’t have a favorite genre.
“Romance is my least favorite and after reading my Dysfunctional series you will see why but I can’t deny my love for drama-filled novels.”
Advice to aspiring writers
A song written by R. Kelly and revised for fun by Tameka Hicks.
“It fits my advice to aspiring writers perfectly,” she says.
If U can see it, then U can write it
If U just believe it, there’s nothing to it
I believe U can write
I believe U can touch some hearts
U think about it every night and day
Spread my imagination and fly away
I believe u can soar
I see you writing behind that open door
I believe u can write, I believe you can write
Write, write , write.
You read it here first!
Stay Ambitious, Stay Motivated!