Best-selling author Dr. Eddie Connor Jr. has just completed his seventh book, Dear Queen, and from various book reviews, this book promises to be as empowering as the title suggests. Dr. Connor says of his newest book,’… it provides jewels of wisdom to love yourself, know your worth, wear your crown, and build your queendom.”
Dr. Connor brings a wealth of experience as he speaks extensively and works in communities extending throughout Jamaica and South Africa. He started his writing career during college and was inspired to write about his journey after overcoming stage four cancer as a teen. In addition to being a writer, Dr. Connor is also an international speaker, college professor, radio/TV correspondent and the CEO of the mentoring organization, Boys 2 Books. Boys 2 Books empowers young males via literacy, leadership, and life skills enrichment, and was the impetus for former President Barack Obama’s, My Brother’s Keeper initiative. He’s also the real-life cousin of the late, legendary Prince.
Rolling out had the pleasure of catching up with Dr. Connor to gain his perspective on his newest book, Dear Queen, and to also glean some insight on his inspiration for becoming a successful author. Check out the interview below and let us know that you think. Will you be joining the #QueendomMovement?
What inspired you to write your first book?
The inspiration and catalyst to write my first book was birthed through my pain of struggle. As a 15-year-old kid, I was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Growing up without a father, made my struggle even harder. For almost two years, I received chemotherapy and radiation, to eradicate an aggressive form of cancer. Many people didn’t think I was going to make it, but God healed me and I persevered. I found the can in cancer and wrote my first book, Purposefully Prepared to Persevere. I was a senior in college, with literally just a dollar and a dream, typing my story in my campus apartment. Initially, I never desired to be a writer. I have always been a good writer, but I never wanted to share this particular story. If not for my mother, encouraging me to write it, you would’ve never read it.
Tell us about your new book and the reason you decided to write it.
My newest book is Dear Queen. This is my seventh book and one that I am excited to share with the world, especially to empower a generation of girls and women. The genesis of this book emanates from my time in school. As a kid. I was very shy and so I would write love letters to girls. In fear of rejection, I would anonymously slip the letter into a girl’s locker of my interest. To this day, some of the girls never knew that I was their “secret admirer.” Even if I could never hold their hand, my words touched their heart. As I was writing Dear Queen, I began to compose a literary love letter in book form. I said to myself, “if I can write a letter of love to girls, why can’t I write a book of love to women?” As a result, Dear Queen provides jewels of wisdom to love yourself, know your worth, wear your crown, and build your queendom. Even with the political rhetoric that was steeped in misogyny, bigotry, and divisiveness, I wanted to craft a book that would unify the hearts and minds of women. There’s a quote that suggests, “No nation can rise higher than its women.” There is something unique about the character and charisma of a Queen. I define the term “QUEEN” as Quintessentially Unique Empowering Everyone Naturally. Real Queens are too unique to compete. They don’t compete they collaborate. They don’t chase a man, they chase God’s purpose and plan. They understand that their royalty demands loyalty. Much like Scripture speaks of Queen Esther, they are here “for such a time as this.” I’m honored that cultural movers and shakers, like Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and jessica Care moore, have endorsed the book. It’s a must read that every girl and woman must have, as a manual to build their brand and business, develop healthy relationships, embrace their value, and live with purpose each day. Dear Queen is the book of 2017!
What advice would you give other writers?
I am always asked about the writing process, particularly with beginning and sustaining momentum. I would suggest that everyone has a book in them and somebody needs what you have. How many other stories of success do you have to hear before you write your own? There’s a unique gift in each of us that we will never be fulfilled until we unwrap [it]. Someone said, “The tragedy of life is to be gifted, but never open the package.” You will never be fulfilled, until you walk in the power of your purpose. Identify your purpose and spend time honing your craft. Create a vision board and surround yourself, with those in the careers that you’re interested in. Basketball players hang around basketball players. Doctors surround themselves with other doctors. If you desire to be a writer, get in the arena of those who are writers and learn from them. Discover your unique voice. If you create, then you will never have to imitate. Write your chapter and create your story of success.
What books have most impacted your life?
Chiefly, from a life application perspective, the Bible has impacted my life completely. During my battle with cancer, it became my medicine. I’m a living witness that fear will paralyze you, but only faith will mobilize you. Through good and bad times, God’s word will always be food for my soul. Secondly, James Allen’s book, As a Man Thinketh is a tremendous critique on the human mind and the importance of positive thinking.
Where would you travel if you could to write your next book?
To write my next book, I would like to travel to South Africa and bask in the ambience of the motherland, to gain unique insight and inspiration. The opportunity to absorb the culture, embrace the memory and legacy of kings and queens on whose shoulders I stand, would be the ultimate travel destination for me as a writer. As a survivor of many situations, I know the strength, soul, and spirit of my ancestors flows through me and to channel peace from broken pieces would be a tremendous blessing.
What is the gift of reading and why does it take you to a new world?
The gift of reading is an empowering tool, to expand your mind beyond your world. The power of words creates a world beyond your world. I believe that readers are leaders. If you want to lead, you must read. More than 200 years ago, it was illegal for Black people to read in America. You would be maimed, lynched, and even killed because the oppressor understood that if you are free psychologically, then the physical chains will eventually be broken. Today chains are no longer metal, but now they’re mental. The tragedy is to live in a prison without bars and be psychologically enslaved to the past or your circumstance.
Writers [who] look like you and me, who share our stories, are very significant in order to stimulate the minds of the next generation. I’m blessed to carry the baton and light the cauldron with the flame of literacy, to empower people to overcome obstacles, by leading and succeeding. Indeed the meaning of life is to find your gift and the purpose of life is to give your gift away. As you read any of my books, particularly my newest one Dear Queen, you will realize that you are gifted and your life will be lifted, to a greater plateau of power and peace.
Dr. Connor can be found on social media at @EddieConnorJr., and his website is www.EddieConnor.com