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Sheila Brown is the founder and president of Queendom Qare, an online wellness shop that specializes in providing custom products to promote Divine Health in women. These products include vaginal steaming, eye, ear and oral cleanses, as well as foot health. She is also the author of three books: The Divine SelfQare Strategy; Divinity Soup: An ancestor-inspired recipe starring Collard Greens; and Sometimes Raw Sometimes Cooked: Always Divinely Prepared.
Find out more about Sheila and her work on the Queendom Qare website.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The Divine SelfQare Strategy: A Wellness Guide to Total Body Alignment is a book I wrote because of personal experiences with health, healing and medicine from childhood living with my grandmother, Betty Brown, who instilled in me some very important concepts about health and wellness. These concepts are shared with the book’s readership as anecdotes and principles about total body alignment through head, womb and feet care.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I would have to say Alice Randall. I have read and enjoyed a lot of authors including Zora Neale Hurston, but it was Alice Randall’s, The Wind Done Gone that sort of ignited a deeper passion for books and piqued my interest in authorship.
What book are you reading now?
I am reading two books right now. The first is Amy Jacques Garvey: Selected Writings from the Negro World, 1923 – 1928. The second is Desert Rose: The Life and Legacy of Coretta Scott King by Edythe Scott Bagley.
What are your current projects?
Well, this book has turned out to be a larger project than I initially anticipated. I am currently working on audiobook version of The Divine SelfQare Strategy; and if that isn’t enough, I am also developing the book into a course designed to teach the principles to young readers in middle and high school primarily.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would change one thing. I would make chapter 9 the start of a whole new book by turning into a workbook or part two of a series since it is more instructive and feels like a how-to guide for the Divine SelfQare strategies being explained in the first 8 chapters.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
This is a good question. You might not know it but the book was written from the perspective of me as an aged grandmother – even though currently am not one. It was hard for me to write consistently in the tone of a grandmother. But my goal was to make a book that sounded to readers like they were listening in one an intimate conversation between a wise, old matriarch and her adoring granddaughters and sons as they sat out by a campfire under the moonlit sky discussing the important concepts of this book. I hope I succeeded with this goal since it was not intuitive for me as a lawyer accustomed to a more academic and professional style of writing.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you will give my book a chance. It is written from a very deep and sincere place in my heart with the aim of making people think deeply about the role of traditional healers and their modalities of healing. It is both historical and visionary in that it focuses on both the past and the future with a goal of transforming the way young people think about their own heath, medical autonomy, and of course self-care practices.
What is your favorite genre to read?
I love historical fiction the most! In fact two of my favorite books in this genre are vastly different eras and cultures. The first is, The Wind Done Gone, by Alice Randall – published by the Houghton Mifflin Company. The second is, The Twentieth Wife, by Indu Sundareasan - published by Washington Square Press. Both novels feature the lives of powerful women overcoming the hardships of their lives in unusual and surprising ways while giving readers insights about life during their lifetimes. Both are fascinating and carry you away to a different world.
If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?
I would choose Ethiopia because I enjoy the culture, people, and food so much! I am lucky enough to have resided in downtown, Silver Spring, Maryland which is alternately called, “little Ethiopia!” And for a good reason too, the area is richly populated with Ethiopian culture, restaurants, places of worship, and stores centered on the beautiful people of Ethiopia. It would be a dream to visit and write a book there. In fact, a whole chapter of my book is centered on Ethiopia and the wellness traditions of Ethiopian women so there is already precedence for making this idea a reality.
What is your favorite time to write, and why?
I find writing easiest after the sun has set, the noise of the day gets quieter, and the hustle and bustle of business activities subsides. Basically, my favorite time to write occurs when most people are winding down for bed -that’s when I’m typically going to produce my best writing.
Give a shout-out to a fellow author.
A good friend of mine, whose pen name is M. Princess Best, authored a wonderful book. It is titled, My Barz Heal Scars: The WombPrint to Healing the Girl Within. I enjoyed reading it and I think others will too. She is a talented vocalist and hip hop artist here in the DMV, who cares deeply about the experiences of her students.
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