Please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today
A lot of hard work and tenacity.
Though I attended university and followed a career path to childcare and early education, I quickly discovered that I was also a creative being who would never be happy being confined to a 9-5. As a teen I led praise and worship at my church, and often sang in talent shows at Lanier High School and CCPAC (Carver Creative Performing Arts Center.) I recorded my first music in 2010, being featured on a rap album called “Riding With Christ.”
Growing up in Montgomery, being the child of an educator who worked at Brewbaker Junior High and Baldwin Magnet Schools, going to college was nonnegotiable. I attended Alabama State University and majored in English. While at ASU I cultivated my love for writing by serving as the Campus News Editor for the Hornet Tribune as well as held the title of Miss Black and Gold.
My debut book was a memoire titled: “Pages from My Journal” which was easily extracted from dozens of journals that I kept throughout my teen and young adult years. The second and third books took a bit more effort and intentionality. I was honored that Montgomery’s current mayor (then Judge Steven Reed) penned the foreword for my only fiction novel, “A House Built on Sand.” He did a phenomenal job and I encourage everyone to check out Mayor Reed’s literary skills.
I got to where I am today by refusing to quit, researching what I wanted to know, and seeking out mentors who were already doing what was aspiring to do. Being stuck is never an option.
Shaunda, what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from others?
I am in my zone when I am creating new things. The name Eve means giver of life. My purpose is simple: To leave a legacy (of the Gospel) through books, blogs, and beyond. I enjoy inspiring people to never quit on life and follow their dreams.
One of the things that sets me apart from others is that I have a strong moral character. It sounds simple, yet it is rare and difficult to find. It blows my mind that people can so lie so easily and casually. I am baffled by folks who cause drama in the lives of others simply for the sake of doing so. I try hard to be integral and accountable… not perfect, but accountable.
What is “failure” and “success” for you?
Failure says things like “It is what it is,” or “It’s too late,” or “I can never do that, because no one in my family has ever done that before.”
Success, on the contrary is having an abundance of joy and that allows you to do exactly what you enjoy doing. Success is waking up with determination and going to bed with satisfaction. Success is ultimately being in God’s will.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
My latest book is called Nameless Wonder. It is meant to be a self-help devotional about influential women in the Bible who made a tremendous impact even though they were not given names in the text. The purpose in writing that book was to help women understand that just because you are not a household name does not mean you don’t have something of significance to offer. You can stand in an arena of thousands or you can stand in the break room at your job. Your voice has reach and your story has weight.
My latest work is a new single titled “More” which debuts on July 3rd. “More” is a powerful ballet which speaks to the heart of a person who might be close to the edge or about to give up. The message is simple: If you only knew how much you were loved by God, you would make different decisions. You would make better choices for your life. He is not like man. He loves you in spite of you.
What excites you right now?
What excites me the most right now is having no limits. There are literally NO LIMITS or brakes on what I can do and where I can go. I always say you have to be just a little bit crazy to write a good book or a good song!
Yeap, we are in a pandemic, BUT what’s the best thing that has happened to you this year?
This pandemic gave me the opportunity to get back into the studio to record new music. I didn’t tell my mama (because she doesn’t play about nothing dealing with Covid-19!) I have not been inside of her house since March. So I literally walked in the studio, pulled my Lysol out to spray the microphone, elbow-bumped the engineer, and told him: “Let’s do this!”
The quarantine has also allowed me to slow down and pay more attention to what foods I am putting into my body. I am eating far more fruits, veggies, whole grains and nuts. I have been able to work out and become intentional about taking care of my body.
What ONE thing would you like for our readers to take away from this feature story, about you?
I want people to see my life and be determined to improve their own. I am the self-declared “Unstuck Champion.” I call myself that because nothing has been able to stop me from reaching my goals. Not disloyal friends, not a broken heart, not lack of financial support from people who I thought would be there, not judgmental and jealous people… literally nothing. Until one become relentless in the pursuit of their goals, they will always find an excuse. Once they do, they will always find a way.
How can our readers connect with you?
FB: Shaunda Davis Mathieu and Nameless Wonder