As my first ever post under this segment ‘Inspire and Be Inspired’, I am really happy to have spoken to Tosha Michelle.
Though we chatted over mail, I can tell you for sure, she is an absolute wonderful human being. She constantly strives to make her family, friends and the people around her happy.
She is amazingly talented and without doubt inspiring. She has self-published two books. She is not only a poet and writer but also a social activist fighting against human trafficking and a being with a beautiful voice.
Read On to know and understand more about her. Definitely not an interview you’d want to miss out on..
☆ What defines you?
Excellent question. I think it’s more of a who than a what though. I define myself and that definition is constantly evolving. I’m very much a work in progress.
☆ What do you do? Tell us a little about yourself…
I’m the author of two books, Confessions of a Reformed Southern Belle: A Poet’s Collection of Love, Loss, and Renewal and Self Help to Self-Harm: The Dubious Guide to Life, Love, and Relationships.
I’m addition, I work in the non-profit sector helping to raise awareness about the plight of human trafficking victims. I also host two podcast. La Literati and Chit Chat Chicks
In my spare time, I hang out with my insane but loveable family and rock star cat.
That’s the boring answer, now for the real truth, I am a super hero, a secret agent, and snake wrangler. 😉 I’m also a shoo in for president. Tosha Michelle 2016- The Delusions of Grandeur Start Here 🙂
☆ Your journey in blogging? And your role in raising awareness?
I started blogging as a way to express my feeling. When I first began my blog, I would post about life’s little oddity and just general observations about the world, in particular my world. As time went on, I rediscovered my love for writing poetry. In the last few years my journaling has taken on a more poetic feel.
As an aside, I have to say I love the blogging community. The support and kinship is such a lovely thing
In answer to the second part of your question, about 10 years ago, I met my mentor and darling friend Colin Smith. Colin is a musician and human rights activist. It was through him that I began my work in the non-profit sector. He is passionate about making people aware of the horrors of human trafficking. His humanity is infectious. My work has since evolved into grant writing and social media campaigns.
Human trafficking is the second largest criminal business in the world. It is sickening that these barbarians are getting rich off the exploitation and the debasement of the innocent.
☆ What made you want to write the books? What are the books about?
I wrote them at the urging of my family and friends. I strive to make them happy. It’s as simple and as lame as that. 🙂
The first is a chapbook of poetry tilted “Confessions of a Reformed Southern Belle: A Poet’s Collection of Love, Loss, and Renewal. The poems are a bit amateurish but full of heart. I’d like to think my poetry has evolved since then.
The second book is my take on the self-help genre tilted Self Help to Self-Harm: The Dubious Guide to Life, Love, and Relationships. It should be read tongue in cheek. It’s full of snarky and silliness.
☆ What is next for you? What are you looking forward to?
I’m in the process of submitting a few of my writings to various journals. I also hope to publish another collection of poetry. Other than that, you can find me attending to my super hero duties, acting like a loon on any given day of the week, and obsessing over James Purefoy. You wouldn’t happen to have his number would you? 😉
☆ How was the support from family and friends?
Wonderful. I’ve been really blessed. Their love and support is everything.
☆ What were the challenges you faced when you first started out?
Confidence, having faith in my abilities. In all honesty, it’s something I still struggle with. I think first and foremost, we should write for ourselves, if others derive joy from our efforts then that’s just the icing on the literary cake.
☆ The challenges you face today..
I think the biggest challenge is the one most of us face, trying to balance work, family and friendships. I tend to want to do everything and help everyone. Of course, that isn’t possible. I find myself over extended on many occasions. Perhaps, one day, I’ll find some harmony with it all. For now, the dissonance works for me (in a crazy way)
☆ You sing so well. Have you always loved and enjoyed singing? Who is your inspiration?
Yes, I’ve always loved to sing. I started at a young age. I used to love to entertain the elderly people at my great grandfather’s nursing home. It was there a star was born. (Laughs!)
As for my inspirations I love Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Stevie Nicks, Patsy Cline… the list is endless really.
☆ What do you have to say to the young people aspiring to do what they love?
Work hard, believe in yourselves, find a good mentor to help cultivate your craft and most importantly have fun.
Find Tosha Michelle:
Soundcloud: Tosha Michelle 2020