The first four years of college can be difficult. Most students experience a sense of feeling left out, culture shock and depression among many other issues. One recent Texas Southern University alumna was able to pick up her pen and paper and create a page turning novel from her experiences.
Houston, Texas author and journalist Jasemine Knowles known as the African/ Egyptian name Nailah (which means successful) to her readers is a women’s fiction literature writer, journalist, editor, publisher, entrepreneur, photographer and blogger.
“I write about real life issues women deal with on a daily basis. From dealing with stress, anxiety, low-self-esteem issues, to dealing with rocky relationships with family, friends, and significant others, I spin different spellbinding storylines to ultimately help women better relationships not only with others, but with themselves,” said Knowles.
She first realized she wanted to write in her adolescent years. The military brat had a love for traveling from seeing beautiful and unforgettable places as a child. But one move wasn’t so easy. She found herself struggling to find her place.
“The heated sands of El Paso was a challenge. Attending middle school was stressful for me because it was the first school I’ve ever went to where there was absolutely no diversity. There were no other students who looked like me–barely any other ethnic groups outside of Mexican and Hispanic,” said Knowles.
Knowles was the only Black girl at her school and was often bullied by other students for her ethnic hairstyles, dialect and her culture. As a result, she developed anxiety around people, dealt with low self-esteem and had non-existent confidence.
The feelings of anxiety and panic attacks would continue to drown Knowles throughout her college years at Texas Southern University. She finally sought out help from her school counselor Dr. Velox. Along with the counseling sessions, Knowles always knew she could turn to writing to give her a peace of mind.
“Writing soon spilled over into my adult years. Daily diary entries soon turned into poems, then short stories. I was also doing a lot of reading around this time, and one day I just decided to write a book,” Knowles said.
Some characters the novelist has written about are based off emotions or experiences she has been through herself.
“I may not have had experienced everything my female characters go through, but a piece of me is within them. Especially my female character from ‘A tease-spoon of Love and Revenge,’ she’s battling anxiety, and a horrible relationship with her significant other. It’s similar to the anxiety I was dealing with at a point in time when I was in a rocky relationship with my ex,” said Knowles.
Even though writing was her way of coping, it still comes with its challenges. One of the hardest things she has experienced as a young black author is building a loyal readership and promoting her books. But, Knowles continues to encourage young black writers who are interested in becoming authors to not procrastinate, spend time researching and asking questions and to be themselves.
“Go for it. The minute the thought of writing a book crosses your mind, do it. Don’t put it off for another day, because that day can easily turn into a month, then a year, and eventually you’ll tell yourself you just don’t have the time. No. that’s the devil speaking.”
When Knowles isn’t writing chapters in her latest fiction literature book she can be found either writing for her local black newspaper the ‘Houston Defender,’ interacting with her fan base or book club she created on Facebook (She Knowles Books). There she also host virtual book discussions and post motivational pieces for her fans. Her fans favorite day of the week is #SteamyShortStorySundays. This helps readers to stay engaged while she is finishing up some of her latest projects.
Years from now, Jasemine Knowles will continue her writing and career as an author and journalist. However, she does plan on opening her own business, releasing paperback books in Target and Walmart, and seeing her books come to life on the big screen.
“In a couple of years I plan to open up my own bookstore/bakery, where readers can come in and enjoy a good book and a delicious pastry.”
In the meantime, she will be finishing up her standalone novels that highlight various single women character such as the hopeless romantic and the woman who is too picky to find love.
Readers can purchase her latest five star rating E-book ‘A Tease-Spoon of Love and Revenge on Amazon.com and follow her on Facebook for the latest juicy novel at Nailah.