Wednesday, July 17, 2024
HomeFEATURESAUTHOR SPOTLIGHTAuthor Spotlight: Brandi Forte

Author Spotlight: Brandi Forte

Brandi Forte is a powerful and inspiring mother, trailblazer, visionary, and entrepreneur. A highly respected and renowned author of four published books, Forte is a native of Santa Monica, California, and a proud graduate of Howard University. Forte’s commitment to transformation and service to underserved communities for two decades has led her to create her own legacy as the founder of a non-profit and an adult trade school in the District of Columbia. A true humanitarian, Brandi Forte is a passionate leader who believes in equipping, empowering youth, families, and communities nationally and globally.


Fancy: How would you describe your swagher? What makes Brandi, Brandi? 


Brandi: My swagher is innovative, fly, resilient and bold. What makes Brandi, Brandi is my ability to bounce back from trauma, turning pain into champagne and being unapologetically dope. But I love how I am vulnerable and real with a whole lotta goddess energy. 


Fancy: What inspired your latest work, the love story “Stronger”? 


Brandi: “Stronger” is a Black Love Story told from an urban lens. It is based on events in my own life that I had to pen. What inspired “Stronger” was my own ability to survive what would have killed most people and then sit back and have an “‘aha moment”. That “aha moment” birth “Stronger”. 


Fancy: So when you say “based on a true story” is it based on your marriage? 


Brandi: Based on a true story, Dream Angelou is a college-educated, single mother hailing from Santa Monica, California striving to make a better life in Washington, D.C. with her son, King. Dream is as vulnerable as she is guarded with her heart after experiencing lost love. She focuses her new energy into building a great career as an executive in the nonprofit field. However, she recognizes that there is a deeper power that speaks to financial freedom and independence that she cannot suppress.  Yes, “Stronger” is based on 7 years of my life – the most intimate years. 


Fancy: Can you share an example of something from the book that you pulled from your real life?


Brandi: Once I wrote the last page of the book, I realized that it was a Black love story. In all its craziness, uncertainty, pain, joy, and losses. I painted what it means to love without boundaries. A lot of times we live in this perfect world that is an illusion, and other times we act like being human doesn’t come with a price. I was able to pull from my own life and ink it on every page of 26 chapters. I never cried or laughed so much.


Fancy: Do you agree that there is a need for more Black love stories and if so, why? 


Brandi: Indeed! We need a variety of Black love stories. We need these stories to be real, tangible, accessible. We need to read and see Black love from the books and adapted to films. We need to promote more love than violence, the way that Black people love on one another organically – during the good and bad times. That’s it.


Fancy; What was the writing process like for you? 


Brandi: It was a roller coaster ride, to be honest. I would write for a year straight and then life would happen. I would then have writer’s block, go into therapy. Through therapy, I began to release so much that was inside of me. Once those defensive walls came down, I was ready to write. My writing process began. I would commit to writing every day for 90 days during the pandemic. I would write from 9 pm-1 am every day. I had my outline together, my characters developed, a visual storyboard, chapter titles, and I stuck to my daily writing schedule and overall deadline. This system works for me. I made sure I had my incense burning and a calm quiet space to write in my house and outside. I created a playlist of music that I wrote to and helped to create a whole mood. Then when the book was done I sent it to my editor.


Fancy: Did you find writing your novel to be therapeutic? 


Brandi: Absolutely! I started writing “Stronger” while in therapy. The way that my therapist showed me how to use my writing as a vehicle to healing was such a muse. I was always a writer. But this time it was deep, it was therapeutic. It was my love note and our love story. 


Fancy: What was your late husband like? 


Brandi: In the first chapter and first page of “Stronger” I describe my late husband so vividly. “He was Amistad Black, yearning to be Sankofa fee. A Mandingo warrior enmeshed with a Zulu swag. He was Shaka strong and immortal it seemed. He wasn’t aesthetically beautiful, but he was continental beautiful- African beautiful.” My late husband was family-oriented, a good father, a protector- wild, with a lot of heart. He brought both laughter and pain. He applied pressure. He was the duality of so many young Black men in America.


Fancy: What words of advice would you give to others who may have lost a spouse and are dealing with the after-effects or trying to make sense of things?


Brandi: Wow. I would say to cherish the memories. Keep the memories in your heart and the lessons from the relationship in your head. I would say if you have not forgiven, you can forgive even in death. I would also say go to therapy. Therapy is so pivotal to your healing and how you will live your life moving forward. Create new memories on your loved one’s birthdays and holidays. Pray and meditate. Know that they are in the ancestral realm and they are now watching over you. 


Fancy: What can we expect next from you? 

Brandi: More inspirational healing books, adaptations to film, a Stronger apparel line, conferences, and speaking engagements. I want to travel the world to teach sistas and brothas how to bounce back after you have lost it all! I want to live to inspire and empower. “Stronger 2: The Trilogy” is to be released this winter. 


Fancy: Do you have any other projects or events that you care to share? 


Brandi: Yes, I will be on the Black Authors Matter (BAM) Tour kicking off on February 12th in Washington, DC. I will also have a book signing on March 2nd at the Sankofa bookstore. I am scheduled with several media outlets over the next couple of months. I will also be shooting my trailer for “Stronger 2” this spring. I can’t wait!

Connect with Brandi below.


Facebook: AuthorBrandiForte
Twitter: brandiforte78


Francheska Felder
Francheska Felder
Francheska “Fancy” Felder is an award-winning editor, publisher, publicist, and quiet Southern media mogul. In 2010, she launched SwagHer Magazine, an empowerment and lifestyle publication for the Black woman who likes to keep it real, which also doubles as a PR boutique. SwagHer Magazine uses positive media and storytelling to create new narratives and mindsets around Black women, their communities, and the businesses and organizations they lead, while the boutique strategically executes press and brand campaigns. The proud SU alum is also the publicist for Power Influence Radio and hostess of the CEO Chatter LIVE Podcast. Because she battles with bipolar disorder, Fancy is a proud mental health advocate.

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