We had the good fortune of connecting with Nadine Luke and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nadine, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
My business of creating culturally relevant books not only impact our community but children all over the world. Research shows that children who see themselves represented in a positive light in the books they read develop a positive self-image. Not only will it have a positive impact on children of color but it will help others see children of color as someone who has greatness inside of them who can make a positive difference in the world.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Though writing has always come easy for me, releasing my work has always been a struggle. People are usually shocked when I say this because I wrote, produced and directed a play and I majored in Theater in college. However, inside was this scared little girl afraid of rejection. Somewhere along the lines I lost my “Sasha Fierce” and picked up “Fearful Betty.” The turning point in my life was almost dying from sepsis. Looking at the doctor telling my husband that there is a strong possibility I might not make it and me screaming “That’s not my reality!” (I didn’t know that all they heard were groans and mumbles.) I was determined to fight! My mind was racing and I was reminded of a message our pastor preached about the grave being the richest place on earth because it’s filled with gifts never realized, unwritten book, song, etc. In that moment I decided I would release the books I had written and continue to write the ones that were still inside of me. When I was finally released from the hospital I asked my husband for my computer so I could get started. During this process I was hospitalized with sepsis two additional times. However, my support system continued to support and encourage me to keep going. I had a need to make a difference in the world and specifically in the lives of children who would grow up to become adults. I needed children to love themselves, be confident and believe they could do anything! I needed the world to see people and specifically children of color as intelligent, kind, caring, powerful and creative! When people see NJ Luke Publishing, LLC and the subsidiary, RAW 4 U Publishing (that makes writers into authors), they need to know that we change lives around the world from the youngest to the most seasoned person. I truly believe my companies are what is needed to bring communities together in a positive way.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting for a week the first place we could go is Burke Williams Day Spa. This is one of my favorite places to go to regroup, relax and get completely pampered. The spa is an all day event because how else can we get through the week if we are not relaxed. Following the spa we would go to the Cheesecake Factory for a light yet delicious meal. Yes, sometimes I do cheat and have a slice of cheesecake. If we are in the mood for Soul Food, Dulans on Crenshaw is our spot.  Returning home, we would probably put on a comedy and fall asleep on the couch where our husbands would wake us up. The next couple of days would be spent to catch up and play board games, Black Card Revoked and Gestures (my favorites) with our family. To end our visit our families would go to the movies probably to see something the children voted on (Anything Marvel) earlier that day and order dinner at Lee Esther’s Creole Restaurant to eat at home while we continue our visit.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to thank my husband, children, my father in love (my number one salesman), my mentors, Crystal Swain-Bates and Loureva Slade, my family at large, my Sorors of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., my friends and colleagues. Each of them have supported and encouraged me through this journey and I am forever thankful. My father in love is the reason people I have never met in Los Angeles have my books. When I was deathly ill during this process my husband, Gerald Luke, Jr. and my children Tiara, Jelani and Adia helped to sort, mail and or deliver books. There are so many who lifted me up in prayer, encouraged or played a part in my success I am afraid I will leave someone out. I am truly loved and supported and I appreciate everything everyone has done.

Website: Www.njlukepublishing.com

Instagram: @NJLUKEPUBLISHING

Facebook: @njlukepublishing

Youtube: NJ Luke Publishing

Image Credits
Jay Eff Photography (Joe Fields, Jr.)

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