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Interviewing Lakia Berrien



Where did you get your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?


LB: This might sound crazy but I used to hate reading. My passion for literature didn’t

emerge until the fourth grade when my class was assigned to read Bud Not Buddy by

Christopher Paul Curtis. Sadly, this was the first time that I read a book that featured

black characters and it taught me that I didn't hate reading. Instead, I was just bored

with the books that centered around people who didn't look like me. Later that year, my

school had the opportunity to visit Progress Village, a miniature town that simulates a

work environment with businesses and a local newspaper. I joined the newspaper team

and wrote an article that was ultimately selected for the final copy. Although I was

excited back then, I still had no idea how far I would go with it. I was too young to

recognize my potential.

Then in the ninth grade, one of my friends got a hold of The Coldest Winter Ever by

Sister Souljah and it was a wrap. I was exposed to stories that literally left me thirsty for

more and I was hooked. During my senior year of high school, I secretly started writing

and decided that I wanted to bring characters to life for girls that grew up like me could

relate to.



Any author(s) that you'd like to collaborate with?


LB: All of the Florida girls! We are a different breed and it translates on the pages.

Lemonica, Jazz E, S. Yvonne, Ms. StreetCred, Diamond Johnson, and M. Monique are

definitely on the list. They all are putting Florida on the map.



Can you give us your favorite author(s)?


LB: No. This is a hard question for me to answer because I read so much at random. Before becoming an author in 2019, I didn't hang around people who read like me, I always

picked books at random from Amazon. People always looked at me like I had three

heads when replying that I haven't read a book by some of the industry’s faves.

Honestly, I just never knew who they were. I didn't learn about all of these book groups,

booktok, and who the readers deem popular until recently.

Although I don't have a list of favorite authors, I do have a list of favorite books:

True to the Game by Teri Woods

Demon's Dream by Elle Kayson

Daddy's Gurlz by Diamond Johnson

Down To Ride For A Carolina Menace by Nikki Brown

Fast by Millie Belizaire

Lickin' License by Intelligent Allah



Is there a genre you haven't tried but would like to?


LB: Yes. I would love to try my hand with children's books. Working with children has always been my passion and venturing over to that genre is something I've told myself I was

going to do. I definitely plan to make it happen in 2024.



How do you research for your books?


LB: For me, life experience is the best research. My social work background and knowledge

exposed me to so much, witnessing things that the average person probably thinks only

happens in books and movies. However, when touching on an unfamiliar topic, I reach

out and speak with people who I know have the experience and knowledge dealing with

the specific topic. When learning about a certain topic, Google used to be my best friend

but recently, I started using TikTok and YouTube because they provide visuals instead

of just reading an article. I always tell people, “Don't judge me by my search history

because it is wild.”


What is your work schedule like when you're writing?


LB: My schedule fluctuates but I try my best to stick to writing 5,000 words a day Monday

through Friday. If I don't have plans on the weekend, I'll write throughout the day with no word count goal in mind. Although I have a schedule, I don't force myself to write when

I'm not feeling it.


If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?


LB: My aspirations were always a secret to everyone around me until it was actually

unfolding. My kids’ dad was the only person who knew my plans prior to my public

announcement. Truthfully, I used to be real timid about my writing for fear of judgment.

So, reflecting back, I would tell my younger self to be loud and proud when it comes to

your work. Now, I'm at a point where I don't bring up my books to others, they bring

them up to me, and I had to become loud and proud to achieve that.



Which one of your books is your favorite?


LB: This is my least favorite interview question because I never have a clear answer. Often,

I reread my own work and whatever book I'm reading becomes my new favorite.

However, if I had to choose, all three books in the Kingpin series (A Week With A

Kingpin, Summertime With A Kingpin, and Wrapped Up With A Kingpin For The

Holidays) and both books in the Crushing On The Plug Next Door series. I had the

hardest time letting go of the characters in the Kingpin series because Kane and Manny

were so lovable. As far as Crushing On The Plug Next Door goes, I love that series

because the toxicity between the main characters was hilarious, and I loved every

second of writing and rereading that story.


What are you working on now?


LB: I am geeked about my WIP. My next book is a standalone entitled Saint. It's a beautiful

story that follows a pair of brothers dealing with dreams deferred and redemptions after

incarceration. I've been sitting on this storyline for over a year so I cannot wait to share

it with my readers.



Where can readers find out more about you & your work?


LB: I love interacting with my readers across all social media platforms so please don't be

shy! We can gossip about these characters like they are people we know in real life.

Mailing List: https://bit.ly/2RTP3EV

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Unknown member
Jul 12, 2023

Thank you ladies for the opportunity! 🥰🥰

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