An Interview with Black Cotton author Tomeekha Pitre
Reprinted with permission from Black Pearls Magazine
BLACK COTTON is a photography art book that celebrates the beauty of African American Women, the Afro hair style and the diversity of African Decent individuals. We do this through fashion, hair, makeup, digital media and Photography.
BLACK COTTON brilliantly marries these strengths and presents a new definition of the African Woman while telling the photographic journey of the African presence in other cultures. “Have you ever wondered what it is about the Afro hairstyle that makes people stop, look, and stare?
To some, It may remind them of a time period, to others it may be simple admiration, a reminder of their inhibitions, or the proof within self that they can be free to rock the most powerful hairstyle that represents the FREEDOM of self expression.
Beyond the stylistic glamour of the Afro, the hairstyle is full of history; from styling combs, spiritual association, the unforgettable Black Pride era, to the African presence in Asian culture.”
BLACK COTTON re-identifies the pride and dignity of our African American women here and abroad. We are sure you will feel the same.
About the Author
Tomeekha is a successful business professional within the corporate world of medical healthcare. She has curated and represented emerging visual artists, produced theatre productions, and spearheads HUEMANITEE, Inc.
Tomeekha is the co-owner of Black Cotton, LLC where she is Publisher of literary projects for the Black Cotton Publishing division. Her expertise in business and the arts allows her to enjoy consulting for startup businesses and creative projects.
Her debut novel, Earth’s Quiet Chaos, is a fictional narrative inspired by life experiences. She is spirit-led to share stories that will uplift, empower, educate and inspire individuals to live in the highest version of self.
Purchase Black Cotton by Tomeekha Pitre
Book genre: Art & Beauty, Photography
Celebrating the beauty of the black woman
Target audience: African-American women, ages 10-65
Intimate Conversation with Tomeekha Pitre
Tomeekha is a successful business professional within the corporate world of medical healthcare. She is a zealot for multi-media art and community advocacy for artists. Tomeekha is the co-owner of Black Cotton, LLC where she is Publisher of literary projects for the Black Cotton Publishing division. Her expertise in business and the arts allows her to enjoy consulting for startup businesses and creative projects. Her debut novel, Earth’s Quiet Chaos, is a fictional narrative inspired by life experiences. She is spirit-led to share stories that will uplift, empower, educate and inspire individuals to live in the highest version of self.
BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?
TPE: This is an interesting question because it reminds me of a haiku I wrote to address questions about why I paint. It goes like this,
Music is the reason
Painting is my life
I write to tell the story
In the past, I mostly wrote poems and short essays. It wasn’t until the year of 2012 that I acknowledged my passion to tell stories. I love to write. If I’m thinking it, I have a strong need to write it. What drives me is being of service. I’ve adopted something my husband always says, “We were born of creativity to create.” This statement resonates with me because I strongly feel that we show each other the way by sharing our stories.
BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? Did you ever self-publish? Why or why not?
TPE: In 2013, my husband and I published our first book. That book is an art photography coffee table book titled, “Black Cotton”. The development and research took so much time and we learned so much that we decided to birth an LLC named after our first published book, Black Cotton LLC. Our business is a media and publishing company. The purpose of our business is to create an opening for independent authors with the intent to (not just publish their book) work side by side. This way the author learns each step of the publishing process. The goal is to provide them with the tools to self-publish their next project and create their own businesses.
BPM: What hurdles, if any, did you have to overcome as a new author and business owner?
TPE: WOW! Let me start with business owner; and I’m going to keep it real because I’m all about sharing lessons learned. Our biggest hurdles were accounting, marketing, sales and promotions. These “lessons learned,” taught us that we couldn’t do everything as well as we thought we could on our own. We had to come real in knowing our skill set, know our weak areas and pay someone with the proven skill to fill our weak areas and trust them to do what they do. The other lesson is there has to be a benefit value for everyone and everything you do and plan for, for the best results.
As an author, my biggest hurdle writing conflict. Oh, my goodness. I was so scared because I know the power of written words. I was scared to write some deadly horrible for a character or have a character get shot or anything. OH MY GOODNESS… I had to get over it. It was the hardest thing as a writer for me to overcome.
BPM: Our life experiences, challenges and success help define who we are on many levels. At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it?
TPE: YES! Great question. I’m 42 and I didn’t get this until the age of 37 or 38 and it’s something that I wish I had discovered at 28. We can’t expect others to respect our worth if we don’t own it ourselves. What that means is – I know I’m really good at taking an idea and through the planning, development and implementation phases. So if I’m going to be of service for anyone in this area, I have a minimum and maximum price for my services. Because I’m serious about what I do, putting a price tag on my work will only attract those that are serious about their work and will pay for what they need.
BPM: Success leaves clues, whose clues did you follow on your journey?
TPE: I followed and follow the clues left behind from my ancestors.
However, in 2012 I attended a healing retreat with Queen Afua. After that retreat, the group decided to continue our meet ups via conference call. We were doing the gateway work outlined in Sacred Woman by Queen Afua. The first gateway was: Sacred Words. Within each gateway we’re to create an altar in the spirit of the spiritual guardian and in gateway 1 the Kemetic Spiritual Guardian is Tehuti (The scribe). The altar is to consist of specific artifacts that carry the energy of each gateway. It also calls for adding pictures of ancestors, elders, and contemporaries to follow in their footsteps. So I posted the following pictures on my wall and typed out each of their names under their pictures:
Ancestors: Zora Neale Hurston and Phillis Wheatley
Elders: Sonia Sanchez and Maya Angelou (living at the time)
Contemporaries: Sister Souljah and Edwidge Dandicat
I wasn’t thinking of writing a book of any kind at this point. My purpose in conquering this gateway was to journal every day. Little did I know, that God had another form of journaling in store for me. During gateway 1, is when I began writing the story of Earth’s Quiet Chaos.
BPM: Do you set out to educate or inspire, entertain or illuminate a particular subject?
TPE: My purpose in displaying any of my gifts is done in the spirit of healing and inspiring others. I used to co-host a poetry venue and one of the things I’d always say is that we learn and heal from each other. Which is why it is a requirement in life for us to share our stories (even those we are ashamed of) and our gifts, because for every person who thinks you or your story or your gift is whack, there is that one that will be healed and inspired to BE. So, with that, I’d say I set out to inspire and heal.
BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing this book?
TPE: Although this book is fictional, it was inspired by my relationship with my youngest sister. Writing it was healing for me. It was like I gave birth to something new and refreshing. One of the big things I learned was taking it one step at a time. Don’t rush the process. This was really hard for me because I have a project manager background, so I was stressing and getting overwhelmed when I wasn’t sticking to the timeline. Then a soft voice said, “Why are you rushing? This book isn’t being created for you. Let it take its time and it will be the right time.” I was like, “Yeah. Right on!” So, I learned how to take my time and not rush.
BPM: What was your primary quest in publishing this book? Why now?
TPE: My quest in publishing this book is to make it available for people to read in hopes that it reaches the eyes of those in need of it. Why now? Well, because the book chooses its own time to be released.
BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book?
TPE: Well, after recommending the book and/or purchasing for their friends or family – Pray, meditate, and give thanks for no longer allowing another person’s journey to compromise their own.
BPM: Readers you can follow the author online at the links below.
Tomeekha’s website: http://www.tomeekhapitre.com
Reprinted with permission from Black Pearls Magazine