{{{ AUTHOR INTERVIEW }}} Swiyyah Woodard, Author of 'Don't Call Me Crazy!' @swiyyah

Swiyyah Nadirah Woodard was selected as a Bay News 9 Everyday Hero, which was seen by two million viewers, for publishing a book and teaching the community about her own battle with mental illness. She was hospitalized six times and misdiagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Her first book, Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm Just in Love, became required and suggested reading in Reading, Writing, Abnormal Psychology, and General Psychology classes at a four year Institution. 

She was born in the housing projects of
Saint Petersburg, FL. Her father left when she was three so she was raised in a single parent home. At the age of five she was
molested by her eight year old brother. She later started school, she had slurred speech and didn't care to make friends so she was bullied by her peers. At the age of eight, she wanted to kill herself because a girl wanted to fight her. She looked into the medicine cabinet for medication. Thank God, she couldn't find any.

As a teenager she was physically abused by her step dad. The abuse was so severe, God blocked it from her memory. At the age of 20 the brother that molested her committed suicide, which was devastating to her and the entire family. Swiyyah has always viewed herself as normal. She never received any disciplinary problems in school, made good grades, and received her BA degree in Psychology from the
University of South Florida.

When the doctors misdiagnosed her with the most debilitating mental disorder known in mental health, paranoid schizophrenia, she denied it. She questioned their expertise. She refused to take medication. She was then hospitalized six times. Her family took a picture of her at her worst and that's when she knew she needed help. She has been taking medication now for ten years without a relapse.

She is now a published author and a National Inspirational Speaker. Her first book is entitled, “Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm just in Love,” and is inspired by her true story. 

She was raised Muslim and the revelations she received from God and placed in her books, didn't make any since until she meet her Christian husband 14 years after her first relapse. 

Please contact Swiyyah to book speaking engagements, life coaching, author and speaker coaching, radio and TV interviews, or to purchase her books at 727-495-3217, Swiyyah@swiyyah.com.



About the Book:

Author: Swiyyah Woodard
Publisher: Swiyyah Productions, Inc.
Pages: 229
Genre: Inspirational / Motivational / Romance / Christian
Because of God, nothing will stop Anika from marrying the love of her life, not even paranoid schizophrenia. You don’t want to miss this spiritual journey filled with inspiration and power.
This book is insightful and perceptive. Inspired by a true story. Few people consider the God factor in mental health. Join Anika and journey with her as she receives revelations from God while on her walk to overcome mental illness and naiveness towards religion. Required reading for High schools and colleges.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I had a troubling child hood. I was born in the projects and my father left when I was three.  My brother molested me at the age of five.  I attempted suicide at the age of eight. My step dad physically abused me. The abuse was so severe; God blocked it from my memory. The brother that molested me committed suicide at the age of only 23 and my lungs collapsed twice. With all of the stress and the drama, I broke down and was hospitalized 6 times with a misdiagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. After this experience I knew I had to write about it. I was ashamed of my diagnosis so I wrote my book as a fiction inspired by a true story.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?
It was difficult to come up with material. After my first hospitalization I wrote up to 14,000 words and then I was stuck for two years, then after my second hospitalization I had new material and I was able to finish the book. When I first started writing I had no experience in writing books and I had only read one romance book. Since then I have received my Creative Writing certificate from the University of South Florida and I reedited my book to reflect what I learned. My advice to those who are serious about becoming published authors is to make it a career. Read every professional book on writing that you can find to develop your skills. Many great books can be bought from Universities.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

For my first 7 years I was published with Publish America and after that I decided to publish my own books. I’ve learned from meeting major publishers that most publishers only market 3 books a year, so it’s up to the author to market their own books.  And I figured since I’m doing all the work, I might as well get all of the profit.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

My first royalty check was for 12 dollars. I had no idea what all went into creating and promoting a book. I was completely blind like most authors but I kept learning on my own.

Q: What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

I released the sequel to my first book entitled, Don’t Call Me Crazy! Again, which is available now for purchase. And I started writing a book called, Horror on 22nd St., which I have not made up my mind yet if I am going to publish it. I wrote it before I became Christian and I want to make sure that the book doesn’t lead people astray from living a righteous life.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

I was raised Muslim, and God gave me a lot of the revelations that I put in my book like, Jesus being the Son of God, 14 years before I became Christian.

Q: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

 I want to give the message that some people with mental illness are brilliant and shouldn’t be called crazy. They are connected to the holly spirit, and since they are connected to a higher power, they can come up with ideas that the normal person cannot. 

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

I used to say through God any dream is possible and just two month ago I read in the bible that through man many things are not possible but with God all things are possible. I believe God has given me this message to spread to the world.

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