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
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
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
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
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.