Well, the kettle is on and the chocolate digestives are on the table; all I need now is my guest. Wait a minute, there’s a knock at the door; this must be her. Yes, all the way from Augusta, Georgia to my living room here in Tetbury, it’s inspirational author Jacqueline Rainey. Thank God for the bus service!! Whilst Jacqueline is helping herself to tea and digestives here is a bit about her…
Jacqueline Rainey’s life has been filled with adversity and battles to survive. After overcoming child abuse, sexual assault, being a foster child, domestic violence, and drug addiction, she became in her own words “a walking miracle of God” who is joyful, medication free, and spending her time writing and speaking to others to provide inspiration and healing. She regularly shares her stories with women’s and church groups, veteran’s hospitals, and anyone who feels lost and in need of a little guidance.
Rainey is not your typical author. She has stated that book sales are important to her “for a different reason; the more books sold the more opportunities to change lives.” She writes to help those in situations like hers to experience the same freedom and healing she has known. In “I Used to Be,” she writes closely of her own difficulties with addiction. She has stated about this story, “Addiction has a way of stripping us not only of our self-respect, but of our families and faith. Being a spiritual person and a woman of faith is what I believe intensified the battle and my struggle to break free not only from the substance, but also from the people whom I saw as destructive to me and to themselves. These stories are reflections of my personal struggles and my victories.”
Good morning Jacqueline and welcome to my humble abode. Thanks so much for coming to talk to us today.
Ok I need music “Flaws and All” Beyoncé. Now I’m ready. Hello Richard thank you for inviting me to lovely Tetbury, England; is the Monastery still nearby? (Yes, it’s about four miles away in Malmesbury. Ed.) If so I’m in the right place because being an inspirational writer I’m sure to find lots of inspiration there.(smile) By the way I couldn’t help but notice the Snooty Fox Hotel which sounds like the perfect place for me, lol. (From experience I wouldn’t wish The Snooty Fox on anyone Jacqueline! Ed.)
You have had such an eventful life that it’s difficult knowing where to kick this interview off. But I suppose the burning question for me is this. Having experienced in your life, and overcome, child abuse, sexual assault, being a foster child, domestic violence, and drug addiction, when did you first realise that none of these things were bigger than Jacqueline Rainey? When did you first realise that there is a power within you that can literally move mountains?
The truth is that all of them are bigger than me, but they are no match for God. I was fortunate enough to be in a veteran’s hospital rehab program and I know you must be thinking what is so fortunate about being in rehab. Well keeping with being honest I was in a drug rehab and once a week a veteran’s Chaplin would come by to give a class and one day I asked him if I could speak with him. Long story short he gave me the name and phone number of a Pastor that he was close to and once I was out of that program I called her and she took me under her wings and so did the rest of the church. That was the beginning of the life changing events, but I have to admit that things did not get easier after that, they got even harder and I had to fight.
Everyone I have ever met who has an understanding of spirituality realised at some point that the key to overcoming life’s demons is forgiveness, and to take that a step further, being able to forgive and love ourselves. Was it the same for you?
I wish that you could see the look on my face right now, but yes that is true, but it is not easy to forgive because when you have been so hurt and repeatedly it takes work; sometimes daily. I also had to realize that I would never forget the things that were done to me, but over time the pain and power that those things have over you dissipates; the stronger I became spiritually the weaker they became. I had to learn to self-love because of the things that I have experienced and been through they made me feel like something was wrong with me. I love me today and can also love others and I realize that there are many different types of love and that you can love someone, but not like them.
So many people who experience and overcome great trials and tribulations in their lives realise that they can turn adversity into advantage and use their experiences to help others. Was it the same for you? Is this what inspired you to become an author?
I have been writing poetry since I was elven years old. My first two books are all about helping others as a matter of fact I did not expect to profit from my first book “Through Whose Eyes: Rise, Child of God” because I believe that if I could get it into the hands of as many women as possible and in turn make a personal appearance it would change their lives. The places I am referring to are where women are incarcerated, domestic violence organizations, drug rehabilitation centres and Psychiatric wards; yes I have been there too. But I did struggle with the fear of knowing that everyone would know so much about me, so many personal things. There are people in this world who like to use your past against you and try to break you. I have since walked through that fear and took control of it by putting as much as possible about me out there in public to take their power away.
Onto your work now Jacqueline; tell us about your book Through Whose Eyes: Rise Child of God. What is the book about?
“Through Whose Eyes: Rise, Child of God” is my first published book and “Toni’s Blues” is my second work of love and hope. “Through Whose Eyes: Rise, Child of God” is a book of short-stories and poems. The opening poems set the tone for the story to come. I didn’t really use any character names in the stories because I felt it was a way for the readers to insert the names of those who they felt the stories related to, including themselves. The most important thing to know about these two current books is that all the short-stories in “Through Whose Eyes: Rise, Child of God” contain actual pieces of me and my life experiences in them as a writer I embellished but the realism comes through loud and clear and it is the same with “Toni’s Blues”. Yes I write about things like Child Abuse, Rape and Addiction to name just a few, but the emotions are all real; as a matter of fact I acknowledge and give thanks to my Psychiatrist and my Therapist in “Through Whose Eyes: Rise, Child of God” they were very proud of me and one of them has known me for many years. My Psychiatrist has seen all of me and I can only imagine the fear she must have felt for my life during those times of utter despair.
Moving on to Toni’s Blues; what is the book about?
In “Toni’s Blues” there’s a whole lot of me in there, more than I really care to admit, but I did dress it up and romanticised it a bit, I think I did that for me, even those who have been victimised like to somehow try and protect themselves. I’m sure that all of us would like to rewrite some part of our lives and Toni literally writes Bible passages on her living room wall in the hopes of wiping out all the horrific memories of her bad choices in men. I worried before it came out about how men would feel about my story, but the truth is that men are also victims of domestic violence and they share the same shame as women. Who should read it? If I had to choose it would be to start with teenage girls because we tend to think it is so cute that he is so jealous “Oh he must really care about me, he really loves me if he is acting so jealous”. Sometimes those are warning signs, but not always.
Changing the mood slightly Jacqueline, I know music plays a big part in your life. Do you play any instruments and to what level?
Richard I wish I could lol, I bought an Acoustic Guitar and now I need an instructor because I believe once I learn to play that guitar I can then start to write songs because I can sing. I was once signed with Maurice Starr’s brother Michael Johnson as part of a group known as the J-Girls and was in the studio with the New Edition back in Roxbury Massachusetts, yes I stood in the actual room with Bobby Brown and all of them, lol. Hey I said I have a very interesting life and I meant it, lol.
What is your favourite album/song of all time and why?
I am going to have to say the album “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. It’s hard to choose just one song but it’s got to be “Human Nature” because it reminds me of my last foster parent Ms. Helen Greene.
Who is you favourite singer/band of all time and why?
Man Richard you are really bringing on the flashbacks, lol lol, Minnie Ripperton, I swear to you I had never heard opera before, but her voice on “Loving You”(Minnie Ripperton was fantastic. I’ve still got the original 45 vinyl version of “Loving You” that I bought when it first came out, but unfortunately, I no longer have anything to play it on. Ed.) My so-called step-father at the time used to wake me up from sleep because he had made a bet with some of his friends that he brought home that I could hit those notes. And Richard if you are wondering if I could, the answer is YES, each and every time, back then my voice was perfection, but my talent was not nurtured.
Tell us about any projects you are currently working on?
My stories are a place where I can lay down the emotions within me in written word because I may not be able to find the right words to speak them out loud. Yes I’m an author telling stories in ways that no one else can because I add the broken pieces of me to all that I write; and that includes the books in my upcoming double release project.
“Dark Harmonie” a character who is special because the hand of God is on her, but she has become the object of desire by those using dark supernatural forces and black magic to steal what is within in her.
“30”, a little girl who was fascinated with boys, but curious wondering why they never noticed her, wanting to know what made her different from the other girls; she becomes a woman who loses herself to another part of herself that she names “The Dragonfly Catcher”.
“30” is the second book in my ambitious double-book release project to accompany “Dark Harmonie”. “Dark Harmonie”, which is in the editing phase, still carries the spiritual messages that I so love to incorporate in my stories that is evident in my first two published books. But I have taken it further and added a supernatural aspect as well as the evils of dark and black magic. Yes all my main characters are females and I love showing that women are both strong and survivors. Even in the piece I am working on now “30”, although the woman is struggling with some issues I have painted her as a multilayer seductress which called for the story line to border on soft erotica.
You are a very inspirational lady Jacqueline. So, as time has once again beaten us, can you leave us with a pearl of wisdom; a piece of inspiration that will help any of our readers who may be struggling at this moment in time?
I believe in gentle guidance I don’t believe in forcing my beliefs on anyone so I just ask them to try it for themselves and just ask God for something simple like peace of mind, patience or to cover all the bases; just ask to be blessed and then have faith. For all those who know that I love music and music loves me because it is what I do, I enjoyed every minute of this interview while listening to the true Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin: “I Never Loved a Man” Aint No Way”, Baby, Baby, Baby” and “Giving Him Something He Can Feel”. So now it’s time for me to return to my posh suite at “The Snooty Fox Hotel” (Don’t do it Jacqueline, you WILL be disappointed! Ed.), just kidding, I’m still in Arizona and it is HOT! (She’s not readers, she’s here in my living room drinking my tea and eating all my digestives!! Ed.)
Thanks for that wonderful wisdom Jacqueline and thanks once again for being my guest today; it’s been a pleasure.
To find out more about my lovely guest and her books please check out the links below.
Jacqueline’s website: http://sbpra.com/jacquelinerainey/
Connect with Jacqueline on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJacquelineRainey
Follow Jacqueline on twitter: https://twitter.com/BlueHarmonie
Buy Through Whose Eyes: Rise, Child Of God on Amazon US: http://ow.ly/pCUNK
Buy Toni’s Blues on Amazon US: http://ow.ly/pCVeR
Buy Through Whose Eyes: Rise, Child Of God on Amazon UK: http://ow.ly/pCVo3
Buy Toni’s Blues on Amazon UK: http://ow.ly/pCVEt