Supreme Culture caught up with the very busy Lannytha Henderson to discuss an array of topics. The Detroit native recently debuted her first novel, Behind Closed Doors, which has been creating quite the buzz since it’s initial April 2016 release. The self-proclaimed Selfie Princess and proud mother of one isn’t one to just live in the moment. With a second novel already in the works, it’s without question Lannytha has every intention to keep the momentum rolling in her favor.
How long did it take you to complete your first book, Behind Closed Doors?
I began writing Behind Closed Doors in Late 2014 and was officially done with it in December of 2015. So I’ll say it took me about 14 months to complete.
Talk about the feedback you’ve received from readers that purchased your book. Are you satisfied with response?
I have received so much positive feedback and support for my novel that it feels surreal. I was so nervous about publishing because I was afraid that people wouldn’t like the story that I was telling, but I am so glad that I kept it pushing and went along with it. I am definitely satisfied with the responses that I have gotten so far. I love and appreciate it all. When people tell me that the characters are realistic and very relatable, it makes me so happy! That’s exactly what I wanted to do. They’ve all told me that they couldn’t put it down, they had to see what was coming next.
They say writing a novel is really a test of will and dedication, so what was the most difficult thing you had to encounter when writing this book?
You definitely have to be determined and dedicated when writing a novel. That is the absolute truth for me. The most difficult thing for me was staying motivated. I’d catch a bad case of writer’s block and I would stop writing for weeks until I became inspired again. One day I’d have so many ideas flowing and the next day I could draw a blank. There were times when I would go back and change things, causing the entire story to become something far different than my original intentions.
Some of the greatest novels have been written by women authors. Who were some the women you’ve found inspiration in when you decided that you wanted to be a writer?
The wonderful Maya Angelou is at the top of my list for female writers. Also Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, JK Rowling. They all have great, powerful work published. I’ve always known since elementary school that writing was my thing. I just wasn’t sure what kind of writing I would do.
Switching gears for a moment, I know you’re a huge Beyoncé fan. Her latest album was controversial; I think people took the project way out of context as far as the message she was trying to convey. What are your thoughts on the project?
Lemonade isn’t her best work if you ask me, but I do love the message of forgiveness behind the project–at least that’s what I got out of it. No human nor relationship is perfect. Many people only look at the aspect of it being about Jay cheating on her, but I hear more than just that. I hear someone urging women to step up and use their voices. Figure out whatever it is that’s keeping you from being the best version of you, and break those chains! Set yourself free, love yourself, and your life will change.
“A lot of black women accept those misconceptions and begin to adhere to them, making them become the truth.”
Being a black woman in America comes with many misconceptions. Do you believe it’s just society and it’s double standards towards women or the problem lies deeper than that?
To me, the problem lies deeper than that. A lot of black women accept those misconceptions and begin to adhere to them, making them become the truth. Not all black women fall into the categories that we are placed in, but if people of other races continuously see this certain behavior portrayed all over social media and reality tv they are going to assume that that is the culture of the black woman in America. Even the black women with college degrees and careers as doctors, lawyers, and successful business women are being exploited on reality tv shows. Its really the 15 minutes of fame that they want.
Are you familiar with the Ayesha Curry tweet when she said the NBA was rigged when her husband Steph Curry got ejected out a game, a game in which his team lost? She caught so much heat with having an opinion. Were her comments out of pocket or was it just because she was a women–a black women with an opinion that garnered her so much backlash?
Ayesha was acting as a wife who supports her husband. We all know how intense the NBA Finals are. I don’t think she received backlash because she’s black. It happened because she is a woman and “Women- don’t-know-anything-about-sports.” They felt like she had no voice or right to express her opinion simple being a woman.
You put up a post on Instagram that said “I have no desire to be well known. Only well paid.” We live in a world where it seems everybody wants to be famous. People are using social media to catapult themselves into stardom. You present yourself as someone who rather plays the background and just reap the benefits. What is your reason for not wanting to go that route?
I’m an introverted person. Family and friends know that I’m shy and I don’t really like to be the center of attention. I like to play the background and I’ve always been that way. Fame or popularity isn’t going to feed my child or pay my bills.
“Never give up! Also to keep in mind that everything isn’t for everybody. Not everyone’s going to think that your work is great but as long as you believe in yourself, that’s the push that it takes.”
What do you do on your downtime?
What is downtime? I never get that. [Laughs.] But I like to spend time with my son, read new books, learn new makeup techniques, and set new goals. I’m always thinking of ways to become a better woman.
What is some advice you have for young writers who want to make becoming a published author a reality?
Never give up! Also to keep in mind that everything isn’t for everybody. Not everyone’s going to think that your work is great but as long as you believe in yourself, that’s the push that it takes. Work at your own pace because you can’t rush a great thing. One last thing, an author doesn’t pay a publisher to put out their work, a publisher is supposed to pay you! Be careful.
Any last words?
Be sure to check out my book Behind Closed Doors today Its available on Amazon, and it’s a very good read!!! I’m also working on part 2, hopefully it will be done in time for the holidays.