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Intimate Conversation with Dr. Natalie A. Francisco
Dr. Natalie A. Francisco serves as Co-Pastor alongside her husband, Bishop L. W. Francisco III, and Minister of Music at Calvary Community Church (Hampton, VA). She is author of Wisdom for Women of Worth & Worship: Lessons for a Life of Virtue, Value & Victory and founder/executive director of the Women of Worth & Worship (WOWW) Conference and Institute.
Ella: Dr. Francisco, tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?
I developed a love for reading and writing in grammar school and excelled at it throughout my educational pursuits and career. My passion has always been centered around educating and empowering others, particularly women, and my writings have been in alignment with my heart's desire to serve others.
Ella: A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another period of time. Finish this sentence: My writing offers the following legacy to future readers...
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... Women of all ages who read my book will discover it to be a resource that will motivate them to uncover their dreams and desires in order to live a quality of life that is honorable to God, self-fulfilling and of service to others.
Ella: Please introduce us to your book Wisdom for Women of Worth & Worship.
Wisdom for Women of Worth & Worship: Lessons for a Life of Virtue, Value & Victory is a wealth of information tailor-made to address the questions that women have regarding spirituality, relationships, marriage, parenting, maintaining balance and so much more. I share the triumphs, tragedies, and lessons learned from my life to captivate women and catapult them into their destiny. Biblical principles, self-reflective journal exercises and practical wisdom intermingle to create a mentoring memoir that readers will enjoy time and time again.
Ella: Where are you from? What is your favorite genre? How did you start your journey?
I am a native of Hampton, Virginia who loves to travel. Being in full-time ministry has afforded me the opportunity to visit many nations as well as to establish and assist ministries across the United States and around the world for which I am extremely grateful.
My favorite genre of books to read would be the categories of Inspirational and Self-Help. Michelle McKinney Hammond, who happens to be one of my favorite authors and a personal friend, inspired me by her own writings to launch out and do the same. I have helped to write and edit books as well as church, leadership and Christian school manuals for our church, Christian schools and other organizations, but had never given much thought to publishing my own works until I was encouraged to do so by another friend, Rev. Connie Jackson. I will be forever grateful to her, Michelle and my family for the gifts in me that they have helped to nurture.
Ella: Who are the main characters in your book? Can a non-fiction title have a character?
I am the main character and serve as the storyteller to introduce the reader to the profound moments in my life that helped to define who I am and what I was created to do. The transparency and candor utilized allow women to see themselves within the pages as they identify with real life issues that we often face. I have even included anonymous women who have asked questions of me concerning relationships, parenting skills, career choices and the pursuit of purpose in their own lives. I love the fact that the lessons I've learned and the wisdom shared have proven to be helpful in the lives of countless women, and men for that matter, that have benefited from reading my book.
Ella: How does you book shape or add value to the reader's life?Many who have read my book have already expressed how it has impacted them to the core, causing them to re-evaluate their perspective, relationships and habits while rediscovering who they are and pursuing what brings them joy. Here are just a few comments from others:
"In a time when many have abandoned the call to “teach the younger women…” Natalie Francisco emerges as a true Titus woman. As a modern day Proverbs 31 woman, she proves we can all be the women God created us to be if we are armed with the right truths to work with. So take the time to read, to absorb and then apply these rich lessons to your own life. But don't just stop there. Share the wealth with others. Wisdom for Women of Worth and Worship is a jewel of a book that has the potential to change the world one home at a time." - Michelle McKinney Hammond
"Your book is really wonderful. To be honest I have so many friends releasing books that I just had the opportunity to read yours. I thoroughly enjoyed it!! This is not a read through in a few sessions. It is a life manual that one needs to take the time to soak in. Kudos my dear! Love it! Love it!" - Pastor Tracie Davis
"I have been truly blessed by this book. It has helped me to understand that some of the things I felt I was dealing with alone, I'm really not alone. It helped me to realize that you have to let go of any fears that you have and be able to step into whatever your calling is with boldness, knowing that your worth and value as a woman of God is very important. The lessons in the book help to strengthen you and help you to be able to deal with some of the issues that are going on in your life. Also, I think men can read this book. The principles don't change. The lessons can help men understand what their wives or significant others are going through." - Rita LaVeist
"Your book is a wonderful resource for all women -- the cover alone is very impressive. I've added it to my collection of suggested reading for the women's groups that I facilitate weekly. I'm running a series of therapeutic support groups called Healthy Women/Healthy Relationships. We are delving into a lot of the topics that you cover and I'm sure that the ladies' experience will be enhanced by reading this book. I especially like the moments of meditation -- they really help to re-focus the mind and deepen self-awareness. GOD has blessed you with great insight and a beautiful gift of expression through writing. May the LORD continue to richly bless all that you do for HIS glory. May HE enlarge your territory and keep you in HIS perfect peace." - Minister Pamela LaVeist-Bell, LCPC
Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?My greatest accomplishment would be for my book to contribute to the positive transformation of women who are empowered to excel beyond their wildest dreams personally, spiritually and professionally after reading it. God-consciousness, self-discovery and service to others would be the three-fold cord that I would desire for readers to hold onto without ever letting go.
Ella: Who would this book really "speak to" and why?I initially wrote the book as the curriculum for my Women of Worth & Worship Institute classes. I soon realized that women regardless of age, race, ethnicity or socio-economic status should read, learn from and enjoy it. I have even been told by husbands, fathers and brothers of those who purchased the book for the special women in their lives that they have learned much from reading it and that the principles I share are also applicable to them.
Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
I was pleased to find out that my book was listed as number 13 on Black Christian Book Company's Top 50 Bestseller List of Black authors and Independent publishers soon after its release. In retrospect, however, I would have to say that receiving emails and reviews from others concerning their perspective of my book and how it has left an indelible mark upon them, fills my heart with unspeakable joy.
Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
It is important to write about whatever moves you, for in doing so, others will be moved as well. I have found that people readily identify with fiction or non-fiction stories with subject matter that will speak to the heart and feed the mind. Writing then must be passionate and intellectually stimulating, and the writer must be first partaker of what he or she desires to communicate to others.
Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion.
In order to be a successful author, one must enjoy reading and writing, networking with others, and consistently promoting one's own book.
Ella: What book already published is similar to your book in its writing style?
A number of books written by my friend Michelle McKinney Hammond are similar to my own in that the writing style is transparent, candid and thought-provoking, causing the reader to have an epiphany of sorts after encountering the book.
Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?My next published book will be my dissertation written in 2000 entitled The New Demand for Christian Education: Targeting the Urban, African-American Community. I am also planning to write a book about effective parenting in the near future. In the interim, I will continue to offer year-round mentoring classes and seminars both onsite and online, as well as annual conferences and community outreach efforts to educate, encourage and empower women as well as middle and high school young ladies.
For more information regarding Dr. Natalie A. Francisco and the ministries in which she is involved, contact:
Dr. Natalie A. Francisco, Founder/Executive Director
Women of Worth & Worship, LLC
P. O. Box 9853
Chesapeake, VA 23321
Wisdom for Women of Worth & Worship: Lessons for a Life of Virtue, Value & Victory by Natalie A. Francisco, Ed. D.
(Foreword by Michelle McKinney Hammond)
Websites: www.wisdomforwomenofworthandworship.com or http://www.wowwithebook.com/
Purchase the paperback version or eBook format at: http://www.nataliefrancisco.com/.
(Also available at www.Amazon.com, www.Target.com, www.BlackCBC.com, and http://www.gospellightbookstore.com/. (Coming soon online to Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Borders and wherever fine books are sold.)