It is a great pleasure to introduce Dr. L.A. Davis to you this week on our author spotlight session. In her latest book, she shares her personal story of her trials as a doctoral learner. I truly enjoyed interviewing her as it gave me an opportunity to get up close and personal with this brilliant and kind-hearted young lady.
I truly love how selfless she is when it comes to helping the needy. I hope you’d enjoy reading this interview with Dr. L. A. Davis as much as I did.
Describe yourself in five words:
Straightforward, Giving, Compassionate, Tenacious, Affectionate
What fact about yourself would really surprise people?
Every year I try to do some type of daredevil activity that scares me. One year I went skydiving in tandem, and another year I took a motorcycle lesson. Halfway through the class, I got kicked out. I couldn’t handle the bike and I dropped it. Gone was the dream of me riding a crotch rocket with my hair whipping in the wind under a helmet with a dark visor. It was a disaster. LOL, I wish I could go into detail. The second fact is, I used to be a mechanic. I won’t say which kind, but I do know how to swing a torque wrench.
How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
I do things afraid. There is nothing in the world worse than regret. If I fail at whatever it is, I just call it an adventure and move on.
What scares you the most?
Not being able to take care of myself financially. Money to me is not about status but about security.
What makes you happiest?
Being around my family, having money in my bank account so that I can pay my bills and buy the things I need. I also enjoy giving when and however I can. You can never have a happy life if you are not giving. I do not care if you have billions of dollars or if you are dirt poor. Unless you share what you have with others, you will never have a happy life. I am not just talking about giving money. Many people are struggling and cannot afford to give monetarily but giving an ear or a shoulder to cry on, a word of encouragement, a smile.
Have you always enjoyed writing?
What writing are you most proud of?
My dissertation. If I write 1,000 books, and they all make it to the number one bestsellers list, I do not think it will top the pride I feel about writing my dissertation.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
What books did you love growing up?
I was an avid reader. In high school, I read 10 novels per week. I did not have a specific genre, I just loved to read. I was never into romance novels though, something about them seemed too far out there in fantasy land for me.
What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
That I was a giving, loving, kind, and compassionate woman whose desire was to leave a legacy. That I raised my children as my positive investment to society. That I built an after-school tutoring center to help children including the blind or visually impaired.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I was born on the island of St. Thomas United States Virgin Islands in the historical neighborhood of Savan. Though Savan is not the gem she used to be, I would not trade growing up there for anything in this world. I live in Texas but will be relocating eventually.
How did you develop your writing?
My book was very easy to develop because I wrote it directly from my experience. I started writing in 2016 but did not complete it until 2018. I did that on purpose. I needed to finish the journey in order to finish the book. Though I was angry when I started writing, I used it to fuel the finished product. A simple story about healing and triumph. I am grateful that I wrote down so many things back then. It is amazing how much you forget until you go over old notes. I am working on my second book called “Where are my Children.” This book was also born out of a painful experience during the hurricane season of 2017. I am hoping to have that self-published in 2019.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
The writing was difficult. It was painful to remember my experience. Getting published was easy because I self-published. Marketing has been the most difficult. I have heard of authors not selling a single copy of their work. For someone to put in their time and love into any project and not get one ounce of recognition from it is sad. I did not want that to happen to me. I have only sold one eBook since September. I was elated because the buyer was someone that I do not know. Every other sale of my book came directly from me. They came through book signings, in person, or email. No one wanted the book unless I signed it. Even if a friend purchased one and they told a friend, they did not want to order it from the site. I am not complaining, I love it and I am grateful.
Do you find it hard to share your work?
Yes, because I am not a well-known figure. That part of it makes it difficult to get it out there. If I am standing in a room full of people, I can share what my book is about. Never in a million years did I think I could stand in front of anyone and talk about anything, but I love it. I have a dream to do a TED talk one day. Only thing is, I have no idea of what I would talk about.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
My family has been extremely supportive. Many of my friends have been very supportive and others have not. My work might not be their interests, so I do not take it personally, I cannot afford to.
What else do you do, other than writing?
I live a very simple and private life. I am a dissertation coach which again falls into writing, or at least showing others how to write. I specialize in qualitative methodologies. I am very eager to learn more about quantitative methodologies and eventually mixed methods. In 2019 if I can return to researching, I would love to tackle a quantitative study.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
Studying at a university will never happen again since I have already earned my doctorate. I believe I missed my calling as an engineer. I would specifically go into the aerospace engineering field. I stink at math and I only know how to draw stick figures, but I know how to think, and engineering would have been an incredible experience for me. I love trying to figure things out.
How do you write – laptop, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
All the above! I really enjoy writing in notebooks also. Notebooks protect your information when technology decides to fail.
It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
I try not to discriminate when it comes to marketing considerations. I am willing to try almost everything until I discover which works best for me. So far, word of mouth has been selling my books, but it can only go so far. I want my book to go global so I am trying your site since it has an international audience. Radio interviews, blogs and just getting my links out there are other options. In a year, I will be able to tell you which campaign worked best.
Tell us about your new book?
I have always been the blue M&M. It has not always gone over well but it is who I am, and I have no choice but to accept it. It is called. “So, You Want To Be A Doctoral Learner Huh? Are You Nuts?” A short story of my difficult journey as an online doctoral learner, and some tips to help you succeed. I do not know what genre to classify it in yet. It is my story about my doctoral journey. I would say it is my story wrapped around a guidebook
Why did you write it?
I had a very traumatic experience while going through my doctoral program. The difficulty came from a chairperson who made it his business to hinder me from completing my program. I found out that he not only hindered others, but he was also poaching. I will not say much more about the poaching, but the university would not help. I was bitter and angry and decided to write a book. I wanted to warn people about this university. As time went by, I did not want to put that negative energy into the atmosphere. I did not want to hurt anyone, even the university. I decided to use my negative experience for positive. It is not very long because researchers do not have time to read.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
I would invite all my ancestors. I want to kiss and hug my grandmothers again. I want to meet my grandfathers that I never knew. I want to meet the people I never met so I could see where I come from. I would ask them if I made them proud, what I should do to reach my goals, and if they liked my cooking. If not, I would ask what they suggest I do to make it taste better for our next visit.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
The freedom of putting down the pen, papers, and computer is the beginning of the relaxation. Going into a bookstore and having the occasional cup of coffee is one of the things I really love to do to relax. Having a huge cup of ginger tea or what we Virgin Islanders call bush tea is very soothing. Walks, working out, the occasional jog, and sauna sessions are things I love to do. The most relaxing thing in this world to me is having my children around debating anything with me. Whether I agree with their positions or not, being able to listen to how they have turned into independent thinking adults is the most wonderful thing in this world to me. I am a very blessed woman.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing?
I want Ph.D. or Ed. D learners to understand that they can make it through their program with good guidance. That their study is important, and it is not about them. The most important thing is to enjoy the journey, good bad or indifferent. It is the thing I dislike the most. I did not enjoy my journey outside of my coursework.
How will your words make them feel?
It is my hope that my words will motivate learners all over this big blue marble to finish their journey. If they do not finish, I want them to understand that they are still awesome. I quit my program. I am no different. The only reason that I am Dr. Davis today, is because I told the right person THANK YOU! I am no better because I completed my journey. It was all in the bigger plan for me so that I could fulfill my purpose; whatever it might be.
Do you have links that you’d like to share for others to read?
Dr. L.A. Davis
P.O. Box 690923
Killeen, Texas 76549
Dr. L.A. Davis
2403 W Stan Schlueter Loop #690923
Killeen, Texas 76549
Thank you to everyone who read my interview, and I hope that you enjoy reading my book.
It was a great pleasure to interview you, Dr. Davis, and we wish you all the best in your future undertakings!