From the small town of Duncan, South Carolina author Ciera Young wrote a book about her experiences in relationships and how things have unfolded in her life. She also shares her story of triumph and victory over the things she’s struggled with. Her mission now is make sure young girls don’t fall prey to the same mistakes she’s made in the past. Her inspiration? Her two young daughters who have learned everything valuable from their mother.
What are your favorite tips for self-love/ self-worth?
Investing in yourself is NOT selfish. Unless you love yourself and understand your worth, you cannot be with or expect the same from anyone else.
How do you deal with depression? Faith? Family?
Depression was and has always been apparent in my life before I invested in going to see a therapist, I wrote, Writing has been so therapeutic to me since I was younger because when I express myself on paper, no one can make judgments or say anything back. The paper just listens. I also communicate how I feel more to others now so they are aware and can help me if necessary.
Forgiveness is always a hard thing to do. What steps would you suggest when taking when it comes to showing forgiveness?
I always start by acknowledging my own feelings and making sure I understand where the hurt and pain came or comes from. Once you’re able to sort those out, it is easier for you to forgive someone, but forgiveness is never for the other person, it is for yourself.
Communication is often the biggest factor that’s lacking in relationships. What do you suggest people try any tips or tricks that have been successful for you personally of those you’ve studied that would help?
A lot of times, when we communicate, it’s not effective. We tend to not address issues or concerns as they come up. We wait until the feelings fester and then explode. My suggestion, always keep communication open and honest and do not always take things personally. I have talked with many people and I have also experience that being able to just say how you feel in the moment versus later, helps build and maintain trust and keep a solid foundation because the communication is open.
What’s next for you as your book has been out for a while now?
I have so many things that I am working on including continuing to push Cheers to Him. I am a life coach, photographer, makeup artist, and this fall I started a Teen Empowerment Luncheon Tour as well, so all of those things keep me busy and always challenging myself.
Who is your biggest audience when it comes to Cheers to him?
My biggest audience has been women ages 25 and up, but I have had men read it to and get a female’s perspective about relationships. Because of how I set Cheers to Him up, it’s relatable to someone as young as 16 to someone as young as 70, because everyone has experienced heartbreak.
How long did it take you to write ‘Cheers to Him’?
It took me almost 10 years to complete Cheers to Him. I had a lot of the book finished for a while, but it just wasn’t completed until my last relationship ended a few years ago.
How has writing Cheers to Him changed your life?
Cheers to Him has changed my life in so many ways. I think that the key thing is that I can live in my truth and be transparent at all times. Since publishing Cheers to Him and gaining an audience, I feel that my ability to be transparent has allowed me to connect with so many people who have experienced the same situations or similar situations as me. Cheers to Him also gave me the drive to pursue full-time entrepreneurship which in turn gives me a lot more flexibility to do the things I love like spending time with my daughters, Chloe and Chyla.
You’ve admitted that you’re not a heavy reader, but who are your influences?
Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant are my two biggest influence. Growing up, my grandma was always watching them, reading their magazines, and playing tapes of the speaking in the car. Both women have created a platform for themselves and really focus on the betterment of people, and I find myself doing the same. I like to think I’ll be as big as Oprah or Iyanla one day. That is the goal.
You’ve done several events mentoring young girls – how has the turn out been and what’s next with this part of your mission?
The turnout has been amazing and far beyond my expectation. Being able to connect and open up with them has truly been a blessing. I am continuing my EMBRACE Teen Empowerment Tour and I plan to start my own mentoring program next year.
You’ve got two children. What would your advice be to them if they were ever apart of an abusive relationship?
My advice to my girls would be, do not be silent, and don’t expect things to change. A lot of times I think we feel that abusive relationships are only physical, but they are not. I want my girls to always know I am a safe space for them to tell me anything, and that when I person shows you who they are, believe them.
Describe your writing space.
I can write anywhere at any time. Writing is therapy but it’s also my creative space. I tend to write a lot before bed.
Outside of being an author what do you do?
I am a mommy to two princesses, a certified life coach, a certified makeup artist, and a freelance photographer.
Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
You can purchase my book and learn more about me on my website, afanceelife.com
What was the journey like publishing your first book?
Self-publishing was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I did have to do a lot of research to find the best printer and understand the marketing, but once I had a plan in place, realized I needed a team to make everything come together, it was magical.
What was the highlight of writing this book?
The highlight of writing Cheers to Him was definitely making it a reality. Sometimes we dream of doing things and never make it happen, but when I reached out to the artist, Lance Rhodes, who designed my book cover and he returned the finished product, I was in all. He took my vision and did an amazing job, and that gave me something tangible to run with. When I got the cover, everything made sense, and I went full force with making sure I got it out.
Do you have any more books coming in the future?
I do want to do more books in the future, but right now I am focusing on Cheers to Him reaching it’s full potential because it is a game changer.
Have you considered doing an audiobook or podcast?
I have considering doing a podcast. I think because they are so popular it would be a great avenue to connect with my current and future audience. Stay tuned because it may be coming soon.
What’s the best part of your day?
The best part of my day in the morning. Waking up in the morning is always a blessing. Not only to see another day, but to wake up in my house, and most of the time next to my girls always reminds me of how far I have come.
Tea or coffee – tea
Hot or cold – cold
Movie or book – movie
Coke or Pepsi – Coke
Toilet paper – over or under – under
Morning person or Night owl – night owl
Shower or bath – shower
City or country – country
Social Media or book – book
Paperback or ebook – paperback
For more from Cierra visit her website above and follow her on social media at afanceelife.com & on social Media @Fan_cee