PERSONAL: Born in Blue Island, IL; daughter of Clifford Brown (an entrepreneur) and Marilyn Dejohnson (a laborer). Ethnicity: "Black." Education: Columbia College, Chicago, IL., B.F.A., 2004. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Baptist. Hobbies and other interests: Interior design, business management.
ADDRESSES: Offıce—Beanie Publishing, P.O. 1263, Calumet City, IL 60409. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Author and publisher. Works at Beanie Publishing, Calumet City, IL.
Forever Outcast, Beanie Publishing (Calumet City, IL), 2003.
Choices!, Beanie Publishing (Calumet City, IL), 2004.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Frienemy, for Beanie Publishing.
SIDELIGHTS: Shervene Dejohnson told CA: "I began writing Forever Outcast as therapy for myself. The purpose was to somehow help heal the pain that was never ending, from painstaking choices that had been made for me, and had become a negative factor in my positive and successful progress as a woman. Being able to finally say the things that I've always wanted and needed to say, gave me the strength to share my past life torments with others. In hopes of somehow healing myself, I didn't know at the time that I would be healing others as well.
"To date, I haven't received one negative comment or review for my book. Forever Outcast is told totally from my heart. There's not a moment of easiness, calm or a second of politeness. I wrote this book out of my head and through my fingertips. I screamed as loud as I could, and said every single angry word that came to mind. This book is told in 'raw' form, and I choose to keep it that way so my readers would feel what it was like for me during those times. The many testimonials I receive daily from my readers lets me know my writing style reached out and touched them in a way that somehow helped them to better deal with their own personal past torments, and life.
"Writing started out as therapy for me, and it became a job. When I completed Forever Outcast, I realized I had become an author and I wasn't trying to be an author. It's funny how your life takes turns that lead you in directions you never dreamed of. Now, I've dedicated my writing career to helping others; Beanie Publishing publishes "raw" talents of true life, with real life consequences, that everyone can relate to.
"I had always said 'I'm going to write a book about my life' when I was a younger woman. I had lived through so many harsh times that I felt my story needed to be told. I never planned on actually writing it. But in June of 2003, I sat at my computer and began writing my thoughts about my life down. I started from my birth, and continued on until it was complete. Four months later, I had written a book. My life story was my main influence. I took my life and told the events as they followed. I displayed my feelings, and the actual scenarios that were taking place at that time.
"The most surprising thing I've learned as a writer is how quickly those that you believed would stand by you are always the first to turn their back on you. I've learned as a writer your creations are endless. There is so much to write about and so much that needs to be said. I've also learned that writing isn't about competition but about creativity. There are so many people willing to help you in the writing world. I've learned that you must believe in what you're writing. You must feel it, taste it, and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you've created something wonderful. Not just something wonderful that will sell millions, but something wonderful that will help people.
"My favorite book will always be Forever Outcast because this book healed me, coddled me, and let me know it was ok to cry or be angry about some things. It's up to me to make my life mine forever. Forever Outcast made me realize that my past doesn't dictate my future. It's growth for me in a way I never imagined. Now, I counsel others. Wow!
"I hope and pray my book have a positive effect on everyone who reads it. I hope this book will help guide young women and men through their hardships in life and give them the inspiration they need to keep going; even when it seems like the road has run out, you have to keep going. And if they can receive that strength through my past life, then I've done something wonderful to help others, and all of the backlash I've received from family and friends will be for a greater good.
"It's time to stop hurting ourselves, and our children. We all must turn and face the mirror!"