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HomeFEATURESAUTHOR SPOTLIGHTA Journey of Resilience and Diversity: An Interview with Creole Gumbo

A Journey of Resilience and Diversity: An Interview with Creole Gumbo

Join us in this interview Rieshelda White, the talented author known as Creole Gumbo, as she unveils the intricacies of her writing journey in an exclusive interview with Christina. From her poetic roots in youth to the realization of her calling after the completion of her fourth book, Rieshelda reflects on the evolution of her craft. Her narratives and characters are deeply rooted in real-life situations, she discusses the delicate balance between portraying struggles and infusing hope into her characters’ journeys. Learn about the origin of her pen name, Creole Gumbo, and how it mirrors the diverse and flavorful essence of her storytelling. Discover Rieshelda’s commitment to inclusivity as she shares insights into her writing process and the compelling human experiences captured in her characters. 


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

Rielsheda: I believe the fact that I’ve been through a lot, and I’ve overcome a lot. It allowed me to have my own unique perspective which allows me to offer insights and solutions that others may not have. I’m able to address specific topics that others struggle with.

Christina: Have you always wanted to be a writer? What inspired your journey to authorship?

Rielsheda: I have always been a writer, but when I was younger, it was basically poetry. One day, I started writing stories, which turned into 22 chapters before I was finished. I wrote another, and the same thing happened. It wasn’t until my fourth book that I realized my calling.

Christina: Your journey as a writer has been deeply rooted in real-life situations, drawing inspiration from your own experiences since childhood. How do you navigate between sharing real-life struggles and maintaining a sense of hope in your narratives?

Rielsheda: Most of my characters face challenges and struggles that are relatable to readers. They show their vulnerability and flaws as well as their strengths and resilience. I introduce conflicts and obstacles while offering and providing opportunities for them to overcome these challenges and find solutions. 

Christina: How did you come up with your pen name, Creole Gumbo, and how does it reflect the essence of your writing style and storytelling?

Rielsheda: I am creole, black, and Native American and that would be the creole part, but when you think of gumbo, you think of a dish with many different things in it, depending on what you have in the fridge, and it depends on what culture of people are cooking it, but in the end, you create a meal that is both unique and delicious. I believe my stories represent this.

Christina: Are there specific themes or topics that you find particularly compelling to write about, and how do you ensure your stories capture the diverse facets of the human experience?

Rielsheda: I aim to include diverse characters in my stories, and I put myself in the shoes of my characters from diverse backgrounds and consider their unique experiences and challenges.

Christina: Can you share a specific story or character from your writing that you feel encapsulates the essence of the human experience and the challenges individuals face in their journeys?

Rielsheda: I feel all my characters encapsulate the essence of human experience, but if I had to pick one, it would be Caleb. To me, he is a great person who had to endure a lot, from his mom not wanting him, to him running to the streets to building his own family, and taking over their city due to intruders invading their town. He maintained a positive attitude throughout all of his turmoil. 

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

Rielsheda: Only that my name is spelled Rieshelda and the fact that  I was born to do this.


Connect with Rielsheda below:


Instagram: @CreoleGumboLLC



Read more by Christina here. 


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