We had the good fortune of connecting with Yecheilyah Ysrayl and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yecheilyah, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind my success is my relationships with other people.
Through networking with bloggers, podcasters, and other authors (combined with my work ethic), I’ve been blessed to take advantage of opportunities that took me to another level. A practical example is when someone referred me to a woman who worked with Indie Authors at the local Barnes and Noble. Those connections helped me to get my poetry book on the shelves.
This is important because I think it is underestimated the impact collaborations can have on small businesses. Am I hardworking? Yes. Am I consistent? Yes. Am I determined and driven? Yes. I am all these things, and I am undoubtedly talented.
But talent will only take you so far. I believe what sets me apart and successful entrepreneurs, in general, is the power of collaboration, of leveraging each other’s platforms so that when one wins, we all win.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My story begins in childhood. I grew up on the south side of Chicago, and I have always found solace in reading. This love for reading naturally transitioned into a passion for writing, first short stories and then poetry.
My art blossomed when I joined the UMOJA spoken word poetry group in High School and the Drama team. These programs helped cultivate a deeper understanding of poetry as an art form in me. It also helped me get into performance poetry, the realm of Spoken Word.
What I am most excited about is the chance to influence young people. Aside from writing, teaching and children are something I absolutely treasure. So, whenever I have the opportunity to write, teach, and change the lives of young people, it is a triple win. I am honored to say several of my books are available at the Griffin High School Library in Griffin, Georgia, for all the students. This is what I am most proud of.
What sets my work apart is my unwavering devotion to restoring Black Historical Truth. Whether it is a novel about the Harlem Renaissance, a novella about the Jim Crow South, or a poem about what it means to be Black and proud, I aspire to infuse these truths into everything I write. Black representation is critical, and as long as YAH blesses me with hands to hold a pen and fingers to type on a keyboard, I will do my part to ensure the world never forgets that.
Getting to where I am today was not easy at all. Having battled poverty, homelessness, car accidents, infertility, and the loss of both parents, I have endured enough trauma for several lifetimes. But, I’ve learned from these obstacles that trials are necessary for our education and refinement. The pain will turn into pearls of wisdom if you let it. I believe that.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am not originally from Georgia, but there is a lot to do here, depending on what part of Georgia you are in and what you are into.
I would take my people to the Sweet Auburn Civil Rights District in Atlanta. We would start with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. birth home tour and explore the King center and the For Keeps Bookstore. Speaking of bookstores, we would have to visit the Medu Bookstore at the Greenbriar Mall and Nubian Bookstore in Morrow.
If you are more into eating than reading, I will take you to check out the Metro Cafe Diner for the food and Karaoke, South City Kitchen, Slutty Vegan, and Big Dave’s Cheese steak.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people and organizations that helped me along the way. I’d like to shout out all the bloggers who interviewed me in those early years, the people who invited me to their podcasts, the family and authors who root for me, and all the readers who support me by buying, reviewing, and recommending my books.
Other: Tik Tok: Yecheilyah