Naima Y Ince Shares What Inspired Her Poetic Memoir "Pure"

This week, we had the pleasure of interviewing Naima Y. Ince. She was recently featured on Boss in the Making Podcast, and we had a few more questions. She shared a lot ofdetails on what she does, who she is, and what has inspired her to write. One of the most interesting things about Naima is that she has recently written a Poetic Memoir. Find out more about how she decided to do this compared to a typical memoir on her recent podcast episode.

What made you fall in love with the art of storytelling?

I began writing at a very young age. In fact, I was only 6 years old. I started with

poetry and then wrote lyrics for songs. I loved the ability to use words in such a way

that was both entertaining and relatable. My mother introduced me to children’s

poetry and that only increased my thirst to continue to tell my own stories with

poems. Later when I was between the ages of 12 and 14, I learned about Maya

Angelou and Nikki Giovanni and Langston Hues just to name a few. I was moved by

them and the way they used their words to tell stories that mattered especially for

the African American experience. I began writing spoken word poetry and didn’t

even realize that’s what it was called until I found myself at the Nuyorican Poetry

Café. I was moved once again by the ability to put performance by giving movement

to the words. During my high school years my mother introduced me to James

Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Toni Morrison and many, many others. My mother

gave me stories that I could relate to by wonderful storytellers. I loved the way they

captured the “real” in their work, it felt like I was living through their stories and

that’s what inspired me to say, yes, I love storytelling and I want to tell my stories

for others.

How is Playwright similar to writing Poetry?

Playwrighting and Poetry are different. However, they are similar in that you want

to give movement to the dialogue, movement in how you write the words to deliver

the story that is being told. I began with poetry, before writing plays. I found ways to

utilize poetic lines in my plays which lend another layer to the character that is

being developed.

What encouraged you to publish a work of your poetry?

From a young age I believed in a high power. I believed that God gave me this gift to

share with the world and that maybe, I was giving voice to someone who didn’t even

know how to tell their story. I don’t just write for myself; I write for those who don’t

even know me.

How has publishing your book shifted the way you look at your plays?

Publishing my book has inspired me to publish more of my plays because they are

another medium for storytelling and the poetry that develops between the dialogue

of the plays is very telling to specific characters that I feel that others can relate to.

Outside of being an author, what do you do?

I started a Theater and Film Company that supports all the works and services I

produce and the name of my company is N.Y.I Productions LLC

As a playwright I am a member of the Dramatist Guild and I am constantly writing

new material with the plan to get the stage plays produced.

As a screenwriter I would alongside Quentin J Hammonds the Film Director with

N.Y.I Productions LLC to write screenplays for film and I act as the Assistant


As Spoken Word Poet and Speaker I perform pieces of my poetry from books like

have published or newly written. My poems can be thematic or chosen for a

specialized program.

Do you offer services or products? If so, please name a few and why they matter.

Blogger- Because I am a storyteller, I want to discuss topics that are relatable to the

people and connect others. I have designed 4 segments of my blog that are designed

to engage. One is Motivate Move, which falls in line with motivation Mondays, all

topics centered around jumpstarting your week. I have a segment called Girt Talk

Wednesday’s where the topics vary between matters that women love to discuss or

have a hard time discussing. Next is Tough Guy Thursday’s which is where I feature

a gentleman who is making strides in his community and or has their own company.

This is where I connect others with the blog to help them tell their stories. Lastly is

Poetry Saturdays, where I post my own poetry and feature others, another

opportunity to connect with other poets. Other specials which are not regular

segments are Power Couple-Thursdays, Book Reviews and Transform your wallet

Tuesdays. My blog matters because it is unique and it’s a platform that is not only

inspirational but informative.

Consultations for writers-This is a service where I help other storytellers organize

their stories to develop their manuscripts. This is usually a 2-4-hour session where

we will go through a client’s material and organize what they have or provide them

with tools to develop more. Additionally, I review stage plays and screenplays to

assist in the development process of a script to achieve the goal of production.

Which means, my clients should have the tools to formulate with product in a

professional outfit to present to a producer or publisher for production. This matter

because some creatives, do not have a mentor or someone who can guide them in

the write direction towards having their work polished to achieve their

development goals.

Workshops-The workshops I provide are for writers and for theater enthusiasts.

There are a variety of curriculum formulas that speak to my mission which is to

educate, illuminate and entertain.

Is your book self-published, or traditionally published? How did you decide which

route to take?

My book is self-published, I am someone who loves the process of development.

How do we get from behind the scenes to a finished polished product? I wanted to

know the ins and outs on what it meant to be published and how to do it,

independent of traditional publishing. Lastly, traditional publishing is a very

challenging process that I didn’t feel as though I wanted to go through. I wanted to

own my work at 100%.

What was your publishing process like? What kind of hiccups or great aha moments

did you encounter in the process?

I felt as though my process was both challenging and rewarding! I had hiccups with

the publishing platform I was using which is Ingramspark. Ingramspark, has many

guidelines and parameters for publishing. Knowing how to format your book so that

it is ready for print was a huge challenge for me. I haven’t done this before but I was

determined and that determination and drive saw me to the end with a polished

product. An aha moment would be understanding what it meant to not only have a

great manuscript but having the proper resources and network to see you through. I

had a great deal of support with this project though I was self-publishing.

How did being a successful playwright encourage a successful book launch?

Anything I do, I give it all I got. Being a playwright or being an author none of which

are different to me. I wanted to be sure I had the right team and supportive network

as I would when developing a play so that I have a great experience and can have

success. I knew I needed great PR and a killer marketing strategy. These are skills

that I knew were very limited when it came to my own devices. So, I hired J&S

Communications where I work directly with the founder Stephanie A. Wynn and

honestly, this has been one of the best decisions I have made to help me to have a

successful book launch.

What was the best part about writing this book?

The best part about writing this book was its purpose. I wanted to write a memoir.

But I wanted to do it, my way in my voice and what better way than to do it as a

poet. It is unique and it taught me so much more about myself.

What do you want readers to gain by the time they have finished reading your book?

I want them to gain a sense of finding their own purpose and the power in self-

discovery and how in life, there are so many battles and it’s not always that we fight

but how we fight that matters. I hope they gain a sense of hope and most

importantly I hope they can relate, that though I am telling my story something

sticks out for them and gives them that aha moment.

What was the hardest part about writing and publishing your book?

I think I answered this best in the previous question. However, just to reiterate the

publishing aspect was the most challenging. It really taught me that with every other

aspect of my business, I need to search for and develop the proper toolbox to make

sure I can publish this book correctly. When it came to writing there is nothing hard

about writing for me. I am the kind of writer where things just flow and if I get

writers block I either free write or write about having writers block which loosens

the strings around my thoughts.

Knowing what you know now about publishing, what would you do different for

your next book?

Knowing what I know about publishing now, I would hire another self-publishing

book company, to publish my book as long as I can negotiate the terms of the

contract to be fair in how I would like to see it published.

If you went back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?

To be patient and to be kind to yourself. Sleep is important, taking time out to go on

a solo trip to rejuvenate is important, selfcare matters and can give you more clarity

to better inform all aspects of your life.




IG: @naima_yetunde_ince




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