Meet Shataya Simms! Shataya is an Author representing Ardmore, PA, who is motivated daily by her love for creating worlds outside of reality. So what made Shataya write her own book? Shataya tells us that she has always had a love for books and writing.
“I’ve been writing since I was seven. I think then, I subconsciously knew that I wanted to publish a book someday. When I was about 24, I was driving to work and the idea for my first book popped into my head. I didn’t exactly act on it but as the storyline haunted me, I finally sat down to write it. When the series was completed, I didn’t publish it right away. Just kind of sat on it. It wasn’t until a friend of mine inspired me to publish it.”
Shataya’s books are more for women of ages 16 and up. All of her books except “Nyce” are told in first person, from a woman’s point of view. Shataya has written the following books:
1. Living Anonymous
2. Still Anonymous
The Living Anonymous series is more of a coming of age love story with much drama. Shataya says that she knew that she wanted to tell a story about a girl, who is still on the path of figuring herself out.
“I feel that the best way that anyone can identify in what type of person they are is through relationships with other people. How do they handle themselves when they’re mad or disappointed or when life is simply not going your way. Because you take the journey through the eyes of the main character Aneesah, starting at the age of 9 and watch her develop into a woman. I feel that most women are able to identify because we pretty much all share the same story; we just have different characters and settings.”
“Nyce” will always be a special project for me. I always wrote first person female and Nyce is first person male. I’ve never written from a man’s point of view so this was very different for me and fun at the same time. My female characters are more reserved and with Nyce I was able to just tell it how it is with no filter. I would write a scene from my point of view as a female and then go back and ask myself “Now, how would a man say it?”
“Because my books’ main focus is relationships—not just a girl meets boy relationship, but relationships with family and friends – people will reflect on the love that they have with the people in their lives, as well as self-love and seeing that we all have weaknesses and flaws, and sometimes life just isn’t fair but you have to take on the challenges and seek help when you need it. It’s okay to fail but it is your choice on whether you’re going to dwell on your failures or get up and swing at life even harder.”
Initially, Shataya started out as self-published Author. As a self-published Author, she was responsible for everything, including the money that was necessary to spend to produce a book. Also, with her being a newbie, she found the process slightly harder because she had to build a following- and a lot of times, people are skeptical about taking a chance on a new author. However, this did not stop Shataya! For Shataya, it only took her a year and a half to write a complete book series, though she didn’t publish it right away. After seeing her work in print – she was completely overjoyed and proud of herself, that she accomplished a goal that she set out to attain!
“It took approximately eight years to publish, due to my fears of failure and just plain old laziness. I am glad that I didn’t release the books when they were completed though. I was 26 when all of my first drafts were completed, and 34 when I became serious about publishing it. I matured as a woman between that time and that allowed me to go back and make corrections to my characters. As I matured, my characters matured as well. As for the writing aspect, the hardest part is piecing together all of my ideas so that it becomes a good story. The main character in the series is in the music world. I wanted to get more into her career but realized that if I added too much, it would have possibly killed the story by becoming boring. I had to learn when something was too much and learn to elaborate when a detail was too little.”
Make sure you keep up with Shataya, as she is currently working on a story that plays off of the Black Lives Matter movement. She also has a children’s book that will be releasing soon under SJ Simms! Shataya plans to continue to write from the heart, and would love to land on the New York Times Best Sellers and/or Oprah’s Book club list, and to become a household name. Shataya also tells us that she would like to see one of her books making it onto the big screen.
You can meet and greet Shataya as the following upcoming events:
556 Book Chicks (Atlanta, GA)
If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of Shataya’s books, you can do so via Amazon or by contacting her directly: Shataya.Simms@gmail.com
You can follow Shataya via:
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: Author Shataya Simms.
If you are an aspiring author, Shataya has the following advice:
“To follow your heart and go with your gut. AND always do your research.”
Shataya has these final words for our readers:
“Ashanti Jumps the Broom; my children’s book that is written under my pen name SJ Simms will be releasing sometime in July. It is about a little girl who finds a magic broom in her Grandmother’s attic and each time she jumps the broom, it takes her back into time where she learns black history prior to slavery.”