Friday, October 16, 2020

Interview - The Queen of Harlem Commandments by Michelle Smalls

What inspired you to become an author?

Watching the obstacles and pressures that society, institutions, media, and the government put on the youth inspired me to write Queen of Harlem Commandments.  They would have the youth believe that if you had a rough childhood, grew up in poverty, or made mistakes in your life that it disqualifies you from becoming a successful person. By sharing my story I want troubled teens to know that the odds are not against you. Success is your birthright, and you can have anything you desire. 

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

Growing up in Harlem, New York the only way I was going to survive in the streets was to live by a certain code of ethics. It is not to say that the way that I lived was right or wrong, but it is my story. There are unwritten rules that you have to live by if you want to reach a certain level of success. The circles that I ran in required that of me and it became ingrained in DNA.. The title represents struggle and triumph. 

The Queen of Harlem: Represents the evolution of my life. 

Commandments:  Represent the unwritten codes that guided me on my journey to success

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Maya Angelou

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

The unfolding of what seems to be a ‘typical’ girl from the hood that kept going in spite of the challenges she faced. They'll read how my transition from a girl to a woman was not easy but I made it through because I decided to trust God. My story is not uncommon. Unfortunately and there are a lot of young Michelle’s out there in tough situations. I want readers to see how hard times can build your character IF you use your intuition and you choose to learn from the lessons. I want readers to understand the power of intuition and bear witness to the power of God.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

Lytoya Parker (Gorja RCC Marketing Agency ) & Latesia Horton (LvH Creative Media)

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Get your ideas out. Don't worry about there being a RIGHT or WRONG way to the process. Once you get the story down on paper decide the type of people you want to share your gift with. Everything is not for everyone so let acceptance the measure of success or failure. More than anything DON'T STOP! 

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

I do not but I have a lot of songs that I can put together to create the perfect play list.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

That I am a highly spiritual woman

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

Gambling & Building my brands

What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?

The launch of my Merchandise. I decided to turn The Queen of Harlem Commandments into an apparel and accessories line. We will offer sweatshirts, mugs, t-shirts and some other great items.


The Queen of Harlem Commandments 
Michelle Smalls

Genre: Biographical Fiction 
Publisher: Michelle Smalls
Date of Publication: August 18th 2020
ISBN: 979-8674253112
Number of pages: 218
Word Count: 42,000

Book Description: 

The Queen of Harlem Commandments is the first book by Michelle Smalls, a Harlem powerhouse who turned her pain into prosperity by following a code of conduct she first learned living the life of a street boss. Ms. Smalls's journey is not unlike many young women of color living in the inner cities that learn early in life how to rise above pain, loss, and disappointment.
Through it all, the Queen made no excuses. Instead, she made commandments.

This book shares Ms. Smalls' moments of heartache, triumphs, betrayal, and disloyalty. She believes in order to survive and be successful in the hustle of life, you must respect the Code and follow the Commandments.



"I remember when you didn't have shit, and your bed was on the floor," said my son's father.

I am sharing my story because not all that glitters is gold. Do you think you want to walk in my shoes? Let me tell you, my inner soles (from the little pink pumps to my Fendi boots) have nothing but tears, pain, and disappointments. My teenage years and early twenties were not the brightest. I dealt with plenty of hurt and deception.

Yes! I once was a bum. Yes! I have a criminal history. Yes! I've done things I am not proud of in life. But something I learned early in life: The best thing you can do in life is to accept your past. Once you fully accept the turmoil and embarrassment, no one can use it against you. You will have the confidence, courage, and strength to stand within your very own power. You will inevitably build your character and your life commandments.

My son's father's expression about me was 100% facts! There was a moment in my life when my bed was on the floor, and I did not have shit. His words were unable to penetrate me because I've grown to be emotionally detached and accept my past. His goal was to humiliate me in public in front of a crowd of millions, at the club while shooting a reality series. We were in front of the producers and executives, and yet I was able to laugh it off. Some shit is not even worth my attention! I didn't even entertain him with a response.

I went from sleeping on the floor to owning a $700,000 home, multiple investment properties, owning businesses, becoming a real estate broker in multiple states, and a philanthropist. My accomplishments came from being focused, hardworking, and determined to "Never take my shoes off."

I am Michelle Smalls also known as the Queen of Harlem.

You think you know me, but you have no idea!

Welcome to my journey.

About The Author:

Michelle Smalls is known as “Queen of Harlem” to many in the community. Michelle’s goal is to put smiles on the faces of young people, by way of giving back to the community at large. Michelle is an influencer, serial entrepreneur, real estate broker, and philanthropist. For well over a decade, Michelle smalls, as a social impact leader, has always placed a high priority on youth and the community.

Michelle intuitively sees the needs and desires of her community, as an inspirational leader who focuses on problem-solving. She takes full action and hosts outstanding charity events like her Christmas Toys and Coats drive, Community Halloween party, Back to school drive, preparing teens for their proms, and having an all-girls basketball team.

Ms. Smalls is a pillar in the Harlem community. She is transforming the lives of our youth by empowering them with love and opportunities that could build a tighter bond in our lifetime.


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