Interview: Christina Nicole Smith
About the Author
Christina Smith is an entrepreneur, consultant, mother, and published author. “Joseph’s Journey” is her first children’s picture book.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, she grew up in a house with 3 children, WITHOUT the white picket fence and no dog! However, there was lots of love and laughs to go around. When she was about 10 years old, she thought she was going to be the “next coming” of Whoopi Goldberg! Well, “life happened” and “that” did NOT happen, but in 2014 she was able to cross ONE ITEM off of her bucket list and perform stand-up comedy in front of a live audience.
When she’s not homeschooling her son or driving him all around town to his various activities, some of Christina’s favorite things to enjoy are: PEET’S COFFEE, the local library, a throw-your headback, “that brought tears to my eyes” kinda laugh; organic, gluten-free, dairy free, non-gmo food (did we mention she’s from the BAY AREA?) and good music.
Christina is a certified graduate/alumnus of, certified professional speaker/author, George Ramirez’ “Present with Purpose” (2008) & two-time student of his “The Miracle in the Mirror” programs. She has received a Certificate of Recognition from California State Assembly in Honor of Graduating from the Women’s Initiative for Self Employment and dedication to empowering the quality of her life and her community (2007).
Additionally, she is a student of Certified Rebirthing-Breathwork Practitioner, Iris Nelson. She holds an Associates degree in Legal Administration/Paralegal Studies from Heald Business College.
About the Book:
Title: Joseph’s Journey: When Dad Left and Never Came Back 2nd Edition
Author: Christina Nicole Smith
Publisher: Be A Blessing Enterprises
Genre: Juvenile Literature/Nonfiction
As a mother, how do you explain an absentee father to your child without blame, anger or resentment? Empower them! Seven-year-old Joseph shares his story about when he first learns about the POWER of choice he possesses after his father leaves and doesn’t come back. His mother teaches him the difference between his father’s choices and his own. Do Joseph and Mom become angry with Joseph’s father? Well, a belief is just a thought you keep thinking over and over…find out what happens on Joseph’s Journey!
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Christina! Can you tell us where you are from?
I was born and raised in the Bay Area in California. The East Bay to be exact, which is Oakland & Alameda.
Q: How did you come up with your title?
Since the genre of the book is non-fiction juvenile literature, and the story was very personal to me because it was me and my son’s story, in some ways it was easy to come up with a title. I did some brainstorming and came up with a few different titles and since it was hard for me to whittle it down to just one, I got on Facebook and asked for feedback from Facebook friends on which title they thought would be best. The rest is history.
Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?
Yes, the cover art is a piece of graphic art I found on depositphotos.com. It’s called “helping hands” created by someone named “Andreus”. I felt like this image best conveyed to any potential reader what the book would be about once it was put together with the title. After I found this image, I went to Fiverr.com and found a service provider who created book covers. I worked with someone named Helen Measures. I feel like she did an awesome job! I hope any potential readers who sees the book cover feels the same way.
Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?
Sure. I’d like to share with your audience one of the editorial reviews of my book that might inspire them to do so:
“If you care about children and families your heart will resonate with this book.
Taking ownership of our choices is directly related to our destiny.
The stories will strengthen children to develop their voice and confidence to realize, how energizing their choices are.”
—Wil Cason, Inspirational Speaker & Teen Success Coach Author of: Visualize Your Victory
Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?
Yes, overall this book is not only about a 7-year-old child recounting his experience of how he learned the power in making his own choices to experience what he deems important in his life because of the circumstances surrounding his father being absent. It is also about a mother teaching her son social and emotional intelligence. This is key because if a child is taught social and emotional intelligence at a very young age, the chances are very good that there would be less bullying on playgrounds and less fighting. We could see more compassion, empathy and acceptance for any perceived differences in others. So, Joseph’s Journey is a good book to get for children for that reason too. Not all children are dealing with the experience of an absentee father.
Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?
Joseph’s Journey is a children’s picture book and there are no chapters.
Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?
I felt I had to write this book because I had MANY girlfriends who were raising their children without fathers. I honestly thought that when I had my child, I wouldn’t be doing it alone. I picked Joseph’s father. I saw something beautiful in him. We both agreed to make Joseph. However, for whatever his own personal reasons were, he decided that he could not be present in Joseph’s life. I knew I didn’t want to be angry about it, but I was at first AND yet, I knew I had to find a way to heal from that anger because Joe was watching and he was NOT angry with his father. He just felt love. Joseph was almost four years old when his father stopped coming to see him. The first thing I did was go to the library, because I’m an avid reader, to look for a children’s book that addressed this matter. I found a couple but they were related to couples that had been divorced and Joseph’s father and I were never married. There was another one, but there was this awful quote from the book akin to the mother telling the child, “At least your father pays his child support on time”! I thought to myself, “NO WAY am I getting that book!” So, I knew I had to find the right words to talk about this with my son because there wasn’t already a book available that I could use. Once it was done, I just felt that not only did it help Joseph, it would help other children out there just like him. That’s why I felt compelled to write this book.
Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?
Oh! Uh-uh! I don’t know about sharing a deep dark secret because I don’t know ya’ll like that! (Ha-ha)
However, I can still share something fun about me that most people don’t know. I write my own comedic material and I got a chance to perform my material on stage in front of a live audience back in September 2014! I was just warming up and getting lots of laughs when, I just felt this overwhelming sense of stage fright and I couldn’t continue. It was paralyzing. I forgot all of my material! I was encouraged to go back and finish but I just felt like I couldn’t, the fear was too crippling. However, when I look back at the footage, I’m proud of myself for just getting up there because it had been almost a life-long dream to do stand-up comedy. I had done lots of acting in my school career, theater, drama club, the whole bit, however, when I graduated from high school, I was discouraged from pursuing an acting career and I went on to do other things in life. The “funny” thing is that it wasn’t like I was a stranger to being on a stage in front of a live audience. So when I had that bad case of stage fright it was so stunning and I wasn’t “prepared”. I guess I’m doing better now because I’ve gotten such positive feedback from a recent author spotlight talk I gave at the Carnegie Arts Center on November 5, 2016.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I would travel to Africa because I know my ancestors descend from there. Therefore, I descend from there. I’ve seen lots of videos, read lots of books, but there is no substitute for being able to experience something firsthand.
Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?
I’m definitely a morning person!
Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?
My sister, Angela. She writes her own songs and poetry.
Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?
Certainly! I thought I was going to be a famous actress and comedienne like Whoopi Goldberg. That was my dream for the longest time when I was a child.
Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?
A large home for me and my family on at least 5 acres of land. (not sure where I’d want to reside yet), with my “she shack” for writing in the backyard!
Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?
Yes. I want to encourage those reading this interview that no matter what challenges life brings you, if you have the wherewithal to make it through those challenges, there is something to be learned…a story to be told. Dare I say the gift of wisdom that you have been given? Accept the gift and use it for your self-growth and prosperity. I promise you that if you do this, life will be more fulfilling. You will see life’s meaning and purpose. PLUS, you will see how many lives you touch by not being afraid to step into your greatness.