Licia Gregory is the author of "My Favorite Girl." Gregory, 48, graduated from GAR High School and attended Luzerne County Community College where she studied journalism. Licia received her degree in communications from Bloomsburg University. She has two sons: Donovan and Julian. She lives in Wilkes-Barre.
What is your book about? "It is a great cultural American tale about the love between a mother and her daughter. It focuses on the ups and downs of a relationship that include divorce, teenage angst, high school achievement and integration into white, middle-class society. It shows how a strong African-American woman can thrive and grow in society and bring positive attention to herself despite some stereotypes or how the media might portray some women in a bad light for their beliefs or stances. It pays homage to women of the 1950s and has spiritually woven tones or themes of great gospel music and scripture within the book."
So how did this book come to fruition? "I've been working on it for many years and it's always been with me and in my heart. I was adding to it and keeping it up and it got to the point where I decided to bring it to a publisher. They wanted more when I presented the first chapters to them."
What has been the most satisfying moment that you have achieved since penning this novel? "One of the greatest rewards was to be able to present the story at a book signing at Barnes & Noble. It felt like all my hard work had finally paid off and I had arrived. It felt wonderful to be accepted for my literary work."
For all those individuals out there who strive to write a book or accomplish anything in their life, what would you tell them? "Follow it! Do not listen to negative voices telling you cannot do something. Use that negativity as fuel to fire yourself up and build on it."
Your words are very inspiring. Who was someone in your life who inspired you and how so? "Dr. Julianne Malveaux and Toni Morrison were both very instrumental in my life. They are strong and resilient African-American women in the publishing industry. They gave me and other women strength with their inspiring backgrounds."
Is there anyone you like to follow on Twitter? "I really like Pam Grier. I follow her."
What is your favorite main course in a meal? "I love filet mignon."
What is a favorite read for you? "I really enjoyed the book ‘Emperor of Ocean Park' by Stephen Carter and all Walter Mosely books."
Do you have a favorite movie or Broadway show? "I like the film, ‘The Constant Gardener' and ‘The Lion King' on Broadway."
Do you have any favorite musical artists? "I love Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. I am also fond of Mozart. I can't forget Common, the Temptations, Sting, The Roots, Sean O'Connor and Mos Def. Okay, I'm done."
What do you think Northeastern Pennsylvania needs to improve upon the most? "People are afraid to go out in the daytime as well as the nighttime now. Authorities need to bridge the gap of crime in the area. I was really affected when Tyler Winstead was shot. Something has to be done."
Other than your book completion and signing, what was a proud moment in your life personally or professionally? "The birth of my two sons is golden. I am also proud to be a member of the Who's Who in Journalism. That is very special to me."
John Gordon writes about area people for the Meet feature. Reach him at 970-7229.