JEIDA K. STOREY - AUTHOR
Who are you? Where are you from?
My name is Jeida K. Storey. I’m an author and freelance editor. I’m originally from Atlanta, but I currently live in Dallas, TX with my husband and son.
What is most important to you?
Faith, family, and my work. They’re all so important to me.
When did you first fall in love with Jesus?
I was raised in a Christian home so I was always well acquainted with the things of God. I was the quintessential Christian teenager, super devout and dedicated to this faith but I hadn’t yet encountered God in a real way. I admit that I was a walking cliche. I went to college and lost my mind, my identity, my pursuit of God. But I’m glad I had a season of wandering and rebellion because I was forced to reckon with a merciful God who was eager to collect the broken pieces of my life and rebuild me. After that, my relationship with him grew. Suddenly the Bible stories I read as a child seemed to stand off the page. I heard his voice clearly. I started changing, working on all of my weaknesses. It became a love so deep because I started to understand how much he loved me.
Tell me about your writing journey, why you started it, and what it means to you.
I’ve always loved writing and creating stories, but I knew when I wrote my first novel at fourteen or fifteen that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. I started writing really young. Short stories, poems, plays, even a novel. I loved story. I graduated with a degree in English and Creative Writing, and tried to write a novel right after school. It didn’t happen and I struggled for years. In 2016, I submitted a short story to a boutique publisher and was accepted. Two of my short stories were published that year and I got a taste of the world I so wanted to live and thrive in. Recently, I finally finished my first draft of what I hope will be my debut novel and I’ve begun writing another book. I plan to pursue traditional publishing. In the meantime, I’m focusing on my characters and writing the best books I can.
What has being an author taught you about God and faith?
It has shown me how important it is to trust the process and put faith into action. While writing this last book, God has really shown me the power of grace and faith. There were many days when I’d beat myself up for skipping a writing day or two...and as a result, I’d sink into guilt and stop writing for even more days. What? That made no sense. How did I ever expect to finish if I punished myself for being busy or being tired or being a mom? I wasn’t kind to myself. I didn’t offer any grace whatsoever. Once I became gentler with myself, I started activating my faith. I stopped waiting for the inspiration to write… I simply wrote. I made time and I did it. I showed up. And when I showed up, so did my Muse...and my word count increased. And that’s how I was able to finally finish a book. Grace + Faith = Miracles!
How has being married impacted your author journey?
I wouldn’t be published, I wouldn’t have finished my book, heck, I wouldn’t be writing at all right now if it were not for my husband. He constantly cheers for me, encourages me, pushes me to create. When I don’t feel inspired because I’m bogged down with other things, he removes those obstacles (essentially ridding me of my excuses) and sends me away for hours to connect with my work. When we got married, he agreed to partner with me and with God to ensure I reached my fullest potential. He has never forgotten that promise.
How does being a Christian shape how you write?
Being a Christian shapes everything about who I am. It definitely shapes my craft. Loving Christ and being loved by Him compels my heart to fiercely love and empathize with others. And isn’t that what you want most in an author? I tell the stories of people you might not otherwise care for, take the time to get to know, or appreciate. I like to tell stories about people who might be overlooked or ignored. The grieving mother, the heartbroken husband, the overworked pastor, the jealous and conniving frenemy. They all have stories that deserve to be told.
What advice would you give to other women who desire to be a writer?
Write. Be intentional about your writing time. Be selfish about it. Fight for it. Protect it. I could give you some lofty advice, but you have to write the words. You have to commit to the work. If you want to be a writer, you can be! Study the craft, read a lot...foremost, you must write the words. Roxane Gay said it best: “I am happy to answer your questions but they are all seeking the same thing: some magical answer that isn’t sit down. Write. Write some more. You don’t need permission or to find some ephemeral thing. You need imagination and a work ethic.”