Notes & Narratives goes “On the Record” with author Keischa Pruden

by: Tania Lasenburg

 Image by: Cathy R. Foreman
Image by: Cathy R. Foreman

If you happen to be in Raleigh, NC near Cameron Village, there is a cute hipster Belgian waffle and coffee spot, that if you speed down the road you will miss. This little place, filled with dark coffee and Nutella covered waffles, is where I met Ms. Keischa Pruden and her tribe.

Author of Walking with Moo and Other Adventures of Faith, Keischa walks in with an assurance and confidence that only time could have helped nurtured. Following behind her were her two sons, Aaron and Bryant, her husband and her mother. With southern hospitality, a huge smile and arms open, Keischa, greets me and begins to tell her story.

Faith is interwoven into everything I do. 

N&N: Out of all the different media outlets that are currently out there, why did you choose to write a book to tell your story?

KP: Well, I’m going to be perfectly honest. The book started as Facebook posts. The book is written in between the years 2011 and 2013. Three things were going on around that time. I had diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol; I call it the Black people’s trifecta. So I started working to get my numbers right. That was the first thing. 

 Image by: Cathy R. Foreman
Image by: Cathy R. Foreman

The second event that was going on was my youngest son, Bryant, was playing rec (recreational) league football.  He has always been a little chubby and when you are a little chubby, you get an X placed on your helmet, and you can’t have two kids with the X on the field; I guess to protect the other kids. That one year he was embarrassed by it. So I told him to come walk with me to lose the weight and you can lose the X. 

The third thing that was going on was just me working. As these three things were happening at one time, I would walk with Moo, alone and work my flower beds and what I called blessing and thoughts would come. As that was happening, I thought why don’t I share this as it would not just help me but help other people. I felt like I am a person of faith and God was speaking to me but he wasn’t just speaking to me just for me. So I just started sharing and then over time, people were like this is awesome work, why don’t you write a book.

It was really an accident.

It took Keischa approximately 90 days to pull all the posts from Facebook and to divide them into categories/chapters. Each chapter has a theme; Obedience and God’s Protection are two example chapters that can be found in her book. New to the publishing industry, Keischa shopped her book around but no one picked up. As opposed to giving up, she went to the growing self-published platform, CreateSpace, at the suggestion and pushing of April Dorsent, the leader of the writing group, Just Write.

N&N: How has CreateSpace been for you?

KP: My experience with CreateSpace is you have to really read and follow directions. So, if you do that, it will be pretty easy. I’m ADHD-ish. So my journey was a little bit different. I would skim it and then I would have to go back and read it. If something of the task was too difficult, I would have to have them [CreateSpace] do it at an additional cost. For me, it was worth it to have someone professional do it, instead of me trying over and over again. I would recommend CreateSpace; they help you format your book and create your prices. The biggest thing I have learned is to allow things to happen and not rush the process.

 Image by: Cathy R. Foreman
Image by: Cathy R. Foreman

Keischa is a clinical director for a mental health agency, a psychotherapist, an advocate for I.E.P (Individual Educational Programs) for children and she provides supervision for those who are trying to get their credentials in mental health. But let’s not forget that she is a mother and wife.

N&N: How does your structure . . . your faith tie into your jobs?

KP: Basically because I am a person of faith and belief, it’s interwoven into everything that I do. Because I do so many things, I do rely heavily on my faith and family to help me do everything. My mother and husband are my backbone as well as my spiritual confirmation. 

You don’t let negative time define your life.

Not everyone in this world is able to find a sense of peace like, Keischa has. Alongside her spiritual journey, she discovered a love for photography.

KP: The best time to take photos are in the morning when I’m walking. It’s the best time when I feel free.  

Pure joy is how she describes it. And as her family sits and waits near by for the interview to finish, you can see Keischa reflect on her words and journey with a small smile on her face. There is nothing better than that.