Berdeisha McClinton is a native of Monroe, Louisiana. Berdeisha went to Wossman high school from 2009-2013. Berdeisha was in the 4-H club and in book club.
AMPS: Growing up did you know what career path you wanted to choose?
Berdeisha: I wanted to become a teacher because I thought that was the only career path I could follow coming from a family of educators. But when I got to high school, my dreams changed and I wanted to become a mortician. Unfortunately, around that same time I found out, I had heart issues and I ended up having to have heart surgery. The heart surgery put my dreams on hold and cut out a lot of things that I really wanted to do.
AMPS: When did you start writing books and what or who inspired you?
Berdisha: I use to write poetry when I worked at the charter school and when the school closed I started working at a daycare. I heard an ad on the radio about a mentorship and I thought to myself I think I would like to do something like that. I called and was set up for an open interview, but when I got there, I met with a woman named Marie Brown who told me their company was only looking for men. She decided to still conduct the interview and she began to ask me questions about my interests and myself. Miss. Brown told me that I should write children’s books, but that was not something I wanted to do. She told me that I should give it a try because I had the gift and the resources all around me. When I got home that night, I was asking myself why she wanted me to write children’s books so badly. I started writing and I named it “Ice Cream Cone”. It was ok, but there was something missing so I wrote another one about bullying because that was something that I had experienced myself. When I was being bullied in school, it made me feel worthless and like I didn’t belong. I can’t write unless it’s something that’s in my heart. It has to come from within.
AMPS: How many books do you have out?
Berdisha: I have two out right now. One called “Raymond’s Reflection” and the other book is called “Big Mama and her Prayer Closet”.
AMPS: Now that you’ve done all of that hard work; how does it make you feel now that the books are completed?
Berdisha: Today was the day that actually made me feel accomplished. The books have been done, but they had errors. They have been in my hands and everything I just never felt that spark. I think it was because some of the main people that I wanted to see my work are not here anymore and that made me lose focus. I feel so much better now seeing how so many people shared and commented on my work via Facebook. I feel like my stories are very close to being in the hands of readers and touching the lives of others.
AMPS: What was the motivation and how did you come up with the titles?
Berdisha: When I started writing there were two names that, I came up with and they were Raymond’s and Ruben Reflection, but I really didn’t have motivation for that. I tried to write “Raymond’s Reflection” in lieu of me being a female but not knowing the sacrifice and the things that the opposite sex goes through made that difficult. I know they say that trials and tribulations can interfere in life when you are trying to reach success. So I came up with a game plan to get the book going. Being in different relationships with different guys in my life helped me get an insight into a guy’s mind and create the inspiration that I believed guys need. I know that a lot of guys need inspiration. People always write about girls and girl power, but people hardly ever write about boys and give them inspiration. I feel like starting at a young age we need to correct a lot of things that are going on in the male community. A great number of our young black men face so many issues and problems; and no one has been there to support them and tell them that they can do it. “Big Mama And Her Prayer Closet” came from a place of hurt and pain. I didn’t really get the full experience of having a grandmother on either side. I had a grandmother on my dad’s side but I didn’t have a relationship with her. So I didn’t get to experience that. Now I do remember my great-grandmother. I didn’t have a big mamma but I do have a mother. What gave me the inspiration behind that is I wrote a poem a few years ago called “On Bending Knees” and it was about praying. Not praying in the bed or the car I mean getting on your knees like there’s nothing else that you can do. In the beginning of the pandemic, I was scared like everyone else and right when it started getting rough a really good friend of mine died from Covid. We were close she was like a grandmother to me. When she passed away, I didn’t know how I was going to make it. After that, I knew that I had to prune up my religion and how I deal with God. I’m a Christian, but I just didn’t put in the effort or the work. So, I felt like I needed a place to talk to God. You can talk to God anywhere, but it is good to have a secluded place to talk to God.
AMPS: What keeps you motivated and gives you strength to not give up?
Berdeisha: Sometimes it just takes one person to say good job you’re doing that. I can relate to older people, and being around my younger kids at work inspires me. There are some days that I do want to give up because it get hard. But I remember that I have to keep moving forward and pushing through.
She is a 2x published author!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!
The books are 2 for $10 or $5 each. CashApp Berdeisha at $BeStrong95 to pay for the books.