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HomeFEATURESAUTHOR SPOTLIGHTInk and Empowerment: A Literary Journey with April Duplessis

Ink and Empowerment: A Literary Journey with April Duplessis

Come on a literary journey with April Duplessis, the visionary behind Nola Natives Books & Tea, as she shares her story of how her love for reading and writing led to the creation of a unique book club for working women and mothers. In this conversation with Christina, April reflects on the challenges and triumphs of expanding her literary reach internationally, navigating her roles as a writer, columnist, and president of Nola Natives.

Discover the heartwarming commitment to fostering a love for reading among children through the “Story Time” summertime event and get a sneak peek into April’s upcoming third book, promising to inspire readers while showcasing undiscovered African American talent.


Christina: What is your SwagHer? What makes April, April? 

April: What is my SwagHer? My SwagHer is being able to be April in my whole entirety. I’m God-fearing, gentle, loving, intelligent, humble, and okay with not following the world and its trends.

Christina: What inspired you to start Nola Natives Book & Tea? Was the goal always to empower women and mothers? 

April: I’ve always loved reading and writing. I wanted to create a club with like-minded working women and mothers. It was my mission to create a safe place for women to express themselves whether it was about the book we were reading or everyday life. We as women, mothers, and especially working women rarely stop to take time for ourselves. I wanted Nola Natives Books and Tea to be the break women needed. Creating a non-traditional book club that supports and promotes African American authors has been one of the best decisions. The woman of Nola Books and Tea keeps me motivated. I love hearing their stories. I originally wanted to read with women who look like me, I gained a sisterhood, and for that, I’m forever thankful.

Christina: Your work is not only recognized in the US but also found in bookstores across Paris, Italy, and Australia. What challenges and triumphs did you encounter while expanding your literary reach internationally? 

April: The biggest challenge reaching bookstores internationally was the wait time. Simply just waiting to see who approves you and the length of time. Not to mention I had an amazing publisher, Gillian Zane, who is also an author. One day I decided to Google myself and there I was, in bookstores everywhere. It was an amazing feeling.

Christina: Having succeeded as an internationally published author, how do you balance your role as a writer, columnist, and president of Nola Natives Book & Tea?

April: Honestly, as a writer and columnist, I have no balance. The ideas come to me and I write. I have no schedule when I’m going to write. I just wait for my creative ideas to start flowing and begin to write. Nola Natives Books and Tea is an inclusive book club. Every member is allowed to share their ideas and be creative. Each member is responsible for choosing a book and activity for the assigned month. I encourage leadership, fellowship, and women empowerment. Every member has a voice.

Christina: Your commitment to promoting literacy extends to children through the “Story Time” summertime event. Could you elaborate on how this event fosters a love for reading among children and the impact it has on the community? 

April: “Story Time” was one of my favorite parts of the day in elementary school. It has inspired me to read and write regularly. I thought if thirty minutes of story time could inspire me, why not encourage others? Nola Natives started with local children’s book authors. Not only were we promoting summer reading for children, but it also gave the authors recognition for their hard work. 

Christina: As you wrap up your third book, what goals and aspirations do you have for this year? What can readers expect from your upcoming work? 

April: My goal for this year is to inspire more people to read, write, and research African American authors under their favorite genres. There’s so much undiscovered talent that deserves recognition. 

Christina: Is there anything else you would like to share? 

April: I would like to express my gratitude for SwagHER’s positive exposure, providing the writer’s community with a great introduction to my goals and services. I am indeed grateful for your willingness to include me in your magazine. Please extend my thanks to everyone involved.


Connect with April below: 


Instagram: beyond.the.pen

Facebook: Author April Duplessis 


Read more by Christina here. 


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