Black Butterfly Press is honored to interview
Anfra Boyd, author of
the inspirational book
You Are My Sister.

M.T.: Was there any particular incident that inspired you to write 'You Are My Sister'?

A.B.: I started the column on my job in Corporate America and emailed it to some of my co-workers. After I quit, I stopped writing it, and six months later one of the readers called me and told me that she saved all of the emails and read them everyday. She said that the column helped her to get out of a relationship with a married man and she just wanted me to know how I had inspired her. I decided to start writing the column again that day.

M.T: What is your purpose in doing "You Are My Sister" as a column, now as a book?

A.B: Well, I never dreamed that the weekly column would last this long and reach so many sisters around the world. I started out with only 20 people on my list and after two months or so women started sending me emails wanting to be added to my mailing list. I was getting at least 100 emails a day from women around the world. The mailing list was growing faster than I could handle it. The purpose of the column is to inspire women like myself, who have been unhappy with their lives, jobs, and relationships. I felt the need to write about the reality of the world that we live in and all of the different obstacles that we have to face each day and how living spiritually is the only way to grow and find peace, happiness and love.

M.T.: Who are some of your influences as a writer?

A.B.: I must say that I haven't been writing that long. Or I didn't consider myself a writer all of these years. I used to teach Sunday School and Bible Study for years and I didn't like the stories in the books so I started writing my own and teaching the Bible in a more practical way to the children in my classes. But, I guess I'm like most of the current fiction writers, Terry McMillan set off this fire in me to write. After reading her books, I realized that I too could write about everyday life. Iylana Vanzant has the most influence on me as a spiritual writer though. Her books teach, and are powerful, so she's my greatest influence as a writer and speaker. My writing is so diverse. My first book is fiction and I'm waiting on a book deal from New York right now. You Are My Sister is actually my third book and I decided to self- publish it because people were wanting to read all of my messages and poetry and NY is so slow when it comes to getting a book deal and having the books released to book stores and my audience couldn't wait that long.

M.T.: Tell us about your speaking engagement in Massachusetts and how it helped to promote "You Are My Sister"?

A.B.: The power of the Internet is all I can say. One of my articles, "From Powerless to Powerful" was sent to the Kem Lewis the founder of the Sisterfriends Weekend in Springfield, and after reading it she immediately e-mailed me and asked if I would do a workshop there. She didn't know anything about me, but she said that the article touched her and the Spirit moved her to write me. The rest is history. She promoted You Are My Sister on her weekly talk show, for four months, and had me on as a guest one morning and people started signing up for my workshop. The workshop sold out both days and people wanted more. I'm already booked for next year's event there and have plans to travel to Manhattan and Boston soon, just because of that one weekend.

M.T.: What is your writing schedule like?

A.B.: I've learned to write everyday no matter what. I write everything, short stories, books, songs, poems, and greetings. So I don't get bored or writers block. I have written so many lyrics that I hope to one day sing or have other artists sing.

M.T.: Where do you see the future of publishing?

A.B.:The future of publishing is at the writer's fingertips. We don't have to wait on NY to get a book deal and for them to promote us. We now have the power and resources to self-publish, promote and distribute our works. That's what I love about living in this information age. It's perfect timing for me because I love having total control of my life in every aspect. I'm not just waiting on someone to find me...and believe in my work. I took control and found success on my own!