Author Yvonne N Pierre
Your writings are very powerful and seem to captivate and draw readers into the story. How do you do it?
That’s a great question. Hmmm, how do I do it? I guess by allowing myself to be vulnerable and tap into the emotions of the characters. I allow myself to go where they are. For example, if the character is depressed, I allow myself to go into what that feels and looks like. If I’m not careful, I often become depressed. For me, it’s the same as an actor when they are playing a role. You have to be able to embody the person for it to be believable. When I try to force a story, versus allowing the story to manifest visually, it never works. But when I allow the characters to tell me their story, so to speak, I was able to tap into that source and I write from that space.
When did you know that you had to put pen to paper and share your gifts? Was it someone that told you do it, or was it a “feeling” so to speak?
It was definitely a feeling but I didn’t see it as a gift right off. I tried to run from it for many years. But the feeling wouldn’t go away. Let me explain. When I graduated from high school, I could barely read. So, when God called, I just knew he had the wrong number. I was terrified to do it, because of the complex I had about not being good enough. Eventually, I decided to stop running and to answer the call. And to do what I needed to do to become qualified. Like the saying goes, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” I had to come to a point of realizing that my troubled past didn’t disqualify me, it helped qualify me. It enabled me to relate to the many of my characters on various levels.
Your first short film Never Alone garnered many accolades and awards. What was your creative influence behind this film/story?
I wrote this story as part of the 11Eleven11 Project through Studio 11 Films. It was 11 writers, 11 producers and 11 directors developing 11 short films. Each group was given a celebrity mentor. My group consisted of Zoana Price (director) and Juan Campbell (producer) and our mentor was Tatyana Ali. It was an awesome and motivating experience. Without giving the story away, Never Alone came from the concept of someone coming into your life just in a nick of time to saving it. It’s about a woman on the verge of suicide because her entire life is turned upside down until she meets someone who helps her turn it all around.
Statistics report that one in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, or about 6,000 each year. Do you think that ZOEY can be that piece of work that will draw more awareness to Ds, and draw society closer to those families that care for children with Down syndrome?
Yes, I hope it does draw more awareness. Ultimately, I hope ZOEY is able to spark conversations that are typically taboo in regards to the special needs community as a whole. And my hope is that people become a little more compassionate when it comes to people in general. This is a story about love.
Your story, better yet….your life, you’ve freely shared your testimony with the world. How do you stay so encouraged and positively influenced?
I’m encouraged by my children. I’m encouraged when I see more needs to be done for Down syndrome community. I’m encouraged when I see the accomplishments of those who have been “counted out” but yet they excel. I am encouraged through everything – good or bad. I try to stay in a state of gratitude. And when I find myself out of that space, complaining or when I allow everything to get to me, I pray and seek things that will remind me that God is in control. And I remind myself how life could have been, if He had not been my center. There’s so much going on in the world, I consistently feed my spirit positive things daily.
The creativity you exude, from your memoir, stage plays, short films, and even radio. What is next for Yvonne N Pierre?
Thank you so much. I truly appreciate that. First, let me say this was a great interview, awesome questions and I appreciate you allowing me to use this platform to share and hopefully inspired your audience. I wish you and Urban Tymes continued success. All the best!
Right now, I am working on The Rise Awards for 2016. This will be the third one. It’s an award event that honors and gives recognition to individuals with Down syndrome who are making an impact in the company. It will take place in October. In addition to that, I definitely have more stories that I plan to release over the next couple of years.