Dr. LaVern McCants, the talented, brilliant, and fascinating author, has established herself as one of the hardest-working professionals with her latest book, “Wise Girl Talk.” Besides being an author, she’s also a motivational speaker and a School Improvement Consultant. She followed the footsteps of her late mother, who was also an author. McCants says, “My father and mother were extremely gifted with words of wisdom. Their influences provide a major impact on my writing.” Many of her self-help books are influenced by the wisdom that she gained from her late father and her late mother. She says that her parent’s possessed great wisdom.
She’s done quite a lot of writing on diverse topics from numerous genres, but most of her books are self-help books and books related to youth guidance. Soon after entering the field of education, she developed an unyielding passion for providing youth with valuable guidance through writing books. In fact, she wrote her first book for youth in the 1990s.
When she entered the educational field, she knew early on that education was her niche. Soon after commencing in education, she became determined to make a difference by making significant contributions in the field. She became extremely dedicated to this profession. She also elected to advance herself in the field. She earned two master’s in education: one master’s in educational leadership and a doctorate in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership.
She held varied positions on the K-12 grade levels. Her diverse experience with students on the secondary, junior high, elementary, and pre-school levels with students, parents, teachers, and school administrators significantly influences her writing on a wide range of school-related issues. She has a passion for addressing issues that society deems as problematic. She believes in getting to the root of a problem, then developing solutions to address the problems at hand. Years later, she’s still addressing predominant issues with their youth population globally through various means, including her data-driven books for youth, parents, teachers, and school administrators.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Dr. Lavern to discuss her journey as an author and here’s what went down:
What inspires you to write?
Since my early twenties, I had a passion for writing books, or maybe even earlier, but my late mother likely inspired me. She was also an author. Also, she encouraged me to complete Single Lady Wise Talk: The Rule-Changer. Based on the sections that she reviewed before her death, she stated that she believed that it would be a real winner that would help many single women in significant ways.
I promised her days before her death that I would complete it. However, I became extremely busy with work, school, and life. But even though I had every intention to complete this book, it took years to complete. Finally, I knew it was time, and I moved forward to complete it despite my hectic schedule.
What is your writing process?
Your question is very interesting. Before your question, I never realized that it is a pattern on how I started the writing process. I believed about 99% of the time, I come up with a topic first, then the process begins.
Do you do a lot of fiction writing?
I do a lot of non-fiction writing. Most of my writing is technical and involves years of research. I have only written a couple of books that are fiction writing.
What advice would you give to other authors?
You have to realize that all books do not become bestsellers. Besides, I suggest that a person should write because they desire to write, not for financial gain. Even if a book becomes successful, the writer earns an exceedingly small portion from the sales of a book. A traditional publisher pays an author about $1.00 to $1.25 per book in royalties typically. Writing a book reminds me of becoming an educator. They are both professions that I would recommend pursued because of a passion.
What do you think about the future of publishing?
I know more about writing than publishing, but I can say that our society is leaning more toward digital reading, though studies show that people still appreciate print.
I appreciate print. When I find reading that intrigues me, I like to refer back to the material. I also enjoy having the opportunity to keep good reading as a keepsake.
What drove you to the field of writing?
Two people influenced my work. One was a writer, and one was not. Those individuals were my late parents. My late mother was an author, but my late father would have been an excellent writer as well, but he did not elect writing as a profession. They both had amazing wit.
As a young child, teenager, and as a young adult, I cherished spending time with them and learning valuable things about life and life choices. I avoided many unnecessary mistakes as a teenager and young adult because of their valuable and wise guidance. I believe their guidance was a driving force for me electing to become a professional writer.
How do you spend your leisure when you are not writing?
During my downtime, I love to read, play tennis, and go out to dinner. I also always make time for worship.
What is the hardest part of writing?
The greatest challenge that I often experience as a writer is finding adequate time to write.
What does the word creative mean to you?
When I think of the word creative, I think of using my imagination to develop or design something that meets the requirements of what I set out to do.
How do you hone creativity?
I spent a lot of my adult life in the educational field working in various positions, whereas I had to home my creativity to ensure that students advance academically. I also have a highly creative side of me outside of the educational field. The creative side of me has been evident as a professional in traditional educational settings, alternative settings, and outside the education world.
In the educational field, I appeared to flourish in positions where I could use creativity to develop methods to improve student learning. Even books that I have written to enable children to perform better in school allowed me to use my creativity while supported by research.
Besides having a passion for aspiring youth, I have always loved fashion. I have been a lover of fashion for as long as I could recall. My late mother was an author and a fashion executive. She also had a love for fashion. I loved her style of dress. She would say that my love for fashion came from admiring my parental grandmother, but in essence, it was my late mother that demonstrated a chic fashion style and business savviness that I admired and adopted.
In late 2016 following my late mother’s footsteps, I became an entrepreneur in the fashion industry. I evolved professionally in fashion by establishing “LaVern McCants Corporation™ that features LaVern McCants and McCants fashion lines. My late mother had a keen insight into the fashion industry. She demonstrated her enterprise ideas, venture, and implementation of fashion lines’ presentations through fashion shows and other sorts of domestic fashion presentations. From her training, my fashion experience launched my preteen through my college years though I did not start a professional journey as a fashion executive until 2016.
I am positively not a universally recognized or widely acknowledged fashion designer, but I enjoy designing. I find it therapeutic and rewarding. I plan to remain a writer for the rest of my life, but I am unsure if I will remain a fashion designer in the future.
Tell us about your two recently released books.
Two of my books were released last month. Those books were Single Lady Wise Talk: The Rule-Changer and Wise Girl Talk. Single Lady Wise Talk: The Rule-Changer is an excellent empowerment book for single women. It reminds them of their value, and it offers much more. Though it is not one of my books filled with several hundred citations from other scholarly works, I find this book to have great value for single women. The other recently published book was Wise Girl Talk. It offers sound guidance for teenage girls.
Are you releasing anything else? If so, what, and when is the release?
In addition to my two recent releases, I have several other books for teenagers and children released this year. Those books include, What Every Teenager Needs to Know: Choices That Lead to a Promising Future, What Every Child Needs to Know: Choices That Lead to Futures, Parents Right to Know: Proven Methods on How to Influence Youth to Make Wise and Responsible Decisions That Lead to Promising Futures; From Boy to Manhood:: Every Boy Has an Opportunity to Become a Great Man, Every Girl Deserves to Live Her Dreams and Bullying Stops Here. I also have a few education-related books that are scheduled to go on the market later this year. The release dates always appear online at www.lavernmccants.com and on Facebook at Facebook.com/lavernmccants.
The inspiration behind these books is to influence my readers to live their lives to their fullest. I believe in aspiring people to choose the best path laid out for them.
I have many books on the market this year, but I started my research and writing drafts many years ago. Finally, these books are going on the market.
How do you research for your projects?
I use multiple ways of researching. I received training as a researcher in several courses while pursuing a doctorate and master’s degrees. After much training, research feels natural to me.
Dr. McCants, in a recently published article on Yahoo News, you encouraged parents to avoid in-person learning for their children and to have their children take advantage of remote learning only. Please state your reasons and concerns on this issue.
Yes. Before opening the 2020-2021 school year for most K-12 school districts across the nation and some school districts in international countries, I pleaded with parents to ensure that their children had the opportunity to take advantage of remote learning and avoid in-person learning at all costs.
After doing a massive amount of reading and research about this unprecedented pandemic, I realized that the costs were too significant to open schools. By opening schools, students, teachers, school administrators, support staff members, and the families of all mentioned would be at-risk of the virus.
I presented facts to parents about the risks. Having many years of experience working closely with parents of youth in K-12 schools, I have keen insight into the value of a parent’s voice.
I did not know or cared about parents’ reactions; I just wanted to get some facts to parents concerning risk factors in the hope that many parents would make informed decisions.
What are your goals as an author?
I started writing books in the early nineties to enable youth to make wise choices. Early in my career as an educator on the elementary and secondary levels, I developed a yielding passion for guiding youth in the right direction. Youth are incredible individuals that await sound and robust guidance from adults. Since the early nineties, I have done extensive research on issues related to children, teenagers, and other school-related issues, which have influenced my writing.
Where can we buy your books or find out more about you?
Books currently on the market and pre-orders can be purchased at www.lavernmccants.com, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell Books, teacher stores, university presses, or other bookstores globally. The publisher also provides order taking via phone at 212-692-0000. My official website sponsored by the publisher is www.lavernmccants.com. This website lists my tour dates and locations, forthcoming books, and other information related to me.
Can you please share your social media handles so we can follow you?
My social media handles are as follows:
Facebook.com: lavernmccants /drlavernmccants
Dr. LaVern’s official website: www.lavernmccants.com