Author Interview: Lily Ratliff

Author Bio Lily L Ratliff


Author Lily L. Ratliff is a teacher by profession who has a passion for writing. She has taught elementary and middle school English and reading for ten years. Lily has served in many ministry capacities, from singing in her local church choir to teaching Sunday school and reading enrichment for the youth in her community.

She has a master’s degree in reading education and an education specialist degree in educational leadership. Lily currently resides in Lithonia, Georgia with her daughter, Asia Denise.

Author Interview:

It’s rare today to find an author who does nothing but write for a living. Do you have a ‘real’ job other than writing, and if so, what is it? What are some other jobs you’ve had in your life?

Lily L. Ratliff: I am a teacher by profession. But in my former years, I’ve worked as a beauty consultant with Merle Norman and Dudley Cosmetics, an Art Consultant for Ethnic Expressions, a cashier in a grocery chain, and a pharmacy technician for a nearby hospital.

What compelled you to write your first book?

Lily L. Ratliff: I was awakened one late night in 2001, led to write down all that God wanted to share with me. In that time of reflection and self-discovery, one of the things that God shared with me was to write my testimony. It first started as a diary/journal until 2004. In 2005, tragedy struck when my brother was killed by gunfire. It had already occurred to me that I was ready to turn my diary/journal to a full fledge book, but that terrible circumstance opened up a whole new chapter in which to write about.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Lily L. Ratliff: Actually no. When the vision to write this book came to me, it was at a turbulent time in my life. Never did I ever felt sharing my life through print would be worth the backlash and stares from people. But it wasn’t about me or even for me, but for God’s glory that lives would be changed.

Tell us a little bit about your book/s. What are their titles; which is your favorite if you have more than one, and briefly let us know what they are about. Pay particular attention to your most recent book and/or your first book:

Lily L. Ratliff: The Life of a Lily: Growing in His Strength, Blooming in His Love-my first book.

Are you going through life’s ups and downs alone? Are you a victim of the foster system or adopted and want to know, Why me? Can there ever be life after abuse or abandonment? If you have experienced opposition or neglect, this book is for you.

In her autobiography, The Life of a Lily, author Lily L. Ratliff shows you that through all of your mess, God can bring you to a point of acceptance of what life has given you, with the vigor to carry on. A catalyst for hope and restoration in your life, with easy-to-read vignettes and relevant corresponding Scriptures, The Life of a Lily shows how a young girl triumphs by discovering what so many others failed to realize that God had a plan for her life.

Are you currently working on any writing projects our readers should watch for release soon?

Lily L. Ratliff: Yes, my next book, There’s Hope for the Weary: Affirmations of Love from Your Father, is somewhat of a God’s promise book. It takes specific scriptures that tell about what God has promised his people, and laid not only biblical accounts and stories related to it, but also stories of today’s miracles and promises being fulfilled for God’s people that we as laymen can understand and confirm within their spirits that God’s promises are real. Tentative Release Date is April 2009.

How did you feel the day you held the copy of your first book in your hands?

Lily L. Ratliff: Absolutely unreal! And I couldn’t believe that it was finally here. After about a week, I then started to think, “Ok, now the hard part begins. Marketing!”

What type of music, if any, do you listen to while you write?

Lily L. Ratliff: I listen to gospel and jazz music while I write. Very soothing and non-distracting.

What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most?

Lily L. Ratliff: The persistence to get it on paper motivates me because I feel that as I write, every weight that I’ve ever carried has lifted from my shoulders. I feel that I have so much to share and so many ideas and stories to tell, that it must get done. So I push until I’ve accomplished my set goal.

What one thing are you the most proud of in your life?

Lily L. Ratliff: My personal overall successes despite the odds that were against me.

What about your family? Do you have children, married, siblings, parents? Has your family been supportive of your writing?

Lily L. Ratliff: I am a single parent of one beautiful little 4-year-old girl, Asia Denise. All of my family and friends have been extremely supportive.

Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite genre to read?

Lily L. Ratliff: Michelle McKinney-Hammond is my all-time favorite! I usually like to read Christian Self-Help or books on Christian Living.

Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now – city? Suburb? Country? Farm? If you could live anywhere you want to live, where would that be?

Lily L. Ratliff: I grew up in Kissimmee, Florida-where most people call it KISS-I-MEE! Could never get it right. However, back when I was growing up, Rodeos were very common and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see chickens and roosters crossing the street. After graduating high school, I moved to Tampa, Florida which I thought was truly a BIG city. I lived there for 15 years. Now, I will be Lithonia, GA, a small suburb of Atlanta, GA, and I love it. But if given the opportunity to live anywhere in the world, I would choose Alexandria, Virginia. It is a beautiful city that I’ve had the opportunity to visit. Or “tropically” retiring in St. Lucia where the water, oh the water, is blue and breathtaking!

Do you watch television? If so, what are your favorite shows? Does television influence of inspire your writing?

Lily L. Ratliff: “24” and Fear Factor (when it was running), American Idol

What about movies? Same as above.

Lily L. Ratliff: My favorite movies are Grease, A Time to Kill (All of Samuel L. Jackson’s movies), The Passion of the Christ, Terminator 3 None of these movies and television shows inspires me to write. I just love them!

Focusing on your most recent (or first) book, tell our readers what genre your book is and what popular author you think your writing style in this book is most like.

Lily L. Ratliff: My book is a non-fiction, inspirational autobiography. Really I can’t say I have a particular writing style that’s like another author, because of the nature of this book. However, I do have a favorite author-Michelle McKinney-Hammond. I have just about all of her books and I hope to meet her one day. She definitely has helped me through a many situations through her writings.

How long did it take you to write your most recent (or first) book? When you started writing, did you think it would take that long (or short)?

Lily L. Ratliff: I started writing this back in 2001. Seven years later, the book is being released. Now for some, that is a long time. Even I thought I would never get through with it. However, God saw things differently. He has also carried me through situations that led me to realize that it needed to be shared as part of my testimony. God’s timing is definitely not like mine! I am glad and thankful for it.

Is there anyone you’d like to specifically acknowledge who has inspired, motivated, encouraged or supported your writing?

Lily L. Ratliff: Yes, the inspiration behind this book came from several people, some of which are no longer with me. First, my late grandmother, who taught me style, to follow my dreams, and to never give up no matter who may think I wouldn’t succeed. Then there’s my younger late brother, Maurice, whose story needed to be told. Finally, my mother, who even though never raised me, is getting a second chance to love me the way mothers are intended to love their children, unconditionally. Now that this book has been published, the relationship with my mother has soared and reshaped the foundation of our relationship.

Anything you want your readers to know? Where can they find your book?

You may go to my website www.thelifeofalily.com or www.cushcity.com to purchase advance copies of my book. On April 8, 2008, you may purchase my book at any bookstore or internet retailer-Amazon, Wal-Mart, Borders, and Barnes and Nobles. You may also learn more about me at www.myspace.com/1NTenseZeta and www.blackplanet.com/1NTenseZeta.

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3 comments to Author Interview: Lily Ratliff

  • Tina Molly Lang  says:

    I’m always a fan of Christian inspirational writing. Inspiring interview!!

  • Charlotte  says:

    Lily,
    I used to teach 7th grade Language Arts and I admire anyone who can stick with it! I enjoy inspirational writing, as well. Best wishes for a long, fulfilling writing career.

    Charlotte Barnes
    Author of “The Mansfield Lighthouse Cats”

  • Lily L. Ratliff  says:

    Thanks so much for your encouragement! Please tell others and support by purchasing my book. That’s how the word gets out! Much love, peace and blessings to you!

    Lily L. Ratliff

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