LaKesa Cox

by Terry Watson | November 15th, 2019
LaKesa Cox

LaKesa Cox

LaKesa Cox of Richmond, Va is a wife of 26 years, mother of three, daughter, sister and a self-proclaimed “superwoman”. She is also fond of long summer days and Caribbean vacations. She graduated from Strayer University with an Associate’s Degree in Marketing and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. In September 2019,

While utilizing the gifts that God has blessed her with, LaKesa is serves an author, screenwriter, and content creator. She recently retired from her career that spanned 22 years in corporate America, to pursue writing full-time.

“I love writing dramatic and true to life stories filled with realistic and interesting characters,” she says. “I am definitely a drama queen when it comes to writing. I’m a multi-genre writer. I write adult, young adult, and children’s books. I write something for everyone!”

The journey for LaKesa as a writer hasn’t always been smooth. In 2018, she was at a crossroads. I was working a corporate job that paid well but she was no longer happy. “My passion had always been writing and when given the opportunity to take a buy-out, I prayed about it. I wanted to make the right decision for me and my family. I could’ve stayed at my corporate job for eight more years or I could take the buy-out and follow my dreams. Then, out of the blue, I received a random email titled ‘Take The Leap’. I felt like God was telling me to step out on faith to follow my dreams, and that’s what I did,” she says.

As a child, LaKesa says she was one of those kids who loved reading, so much so that her family members would give her books as gifts for birthdays and holidays. As a teen, her taste in reading grew as she became interested in books by Jackie Collins and Danielle Steel. “When I discovered authors Terry McMillan and Eric Jerome Dickey, I was fascinated. Mainly because they wrote stories about characters who looked like me. It was then I realized it was time for me to put my pen to paper and start creating my own stories,” she says.

LaKesa started writing her first book in 1993, right around the time she got married. However, she put the book down for a while because life got in the way. She was working full-time and had two small children, in addition to taking college courses. “I watched as the African-American literary world exploded. In 2002, I finally published my first novel, After the Storm. A year later, I followed up with my sophomore title, Water in My Eyes,” she says.

A few years passed before LaKesa met and befriended author Nikki Turner. She offered LaKesa an opportunity to collaborate with some amazing authors for an anthology titled, Street Chronicles: Girls in the Game. It became a New York Times Best seller and was featured in Essence magazine.

Throughout the years, she wrote another short story in another anthology under the Nikki Turner Presents banner and completed her third full-length novel, Fetish for a Blue Skyy. She became an award winning author as a result of a short story she wrote in an anthology, The Ex Chronicles, was published by Brown Girls Publishing. It would receive the 2016 African American Literary Award for best anthology.

LaKesa’s highly acclaimed young adult/teen novel, Mulatto Girl Aggie, 13: Name on the Ledger, was released in 2017 and her children’s picture book, Shirleen and the Shoes, was released in the spring of 2019. She hopes to release her next adult novel titled, Is Love Enough very soon.

In 2015, LaKesa decided to expand her creativity by crossing over into screenwriting. Her first feature film, I Love You to Pieces was selected for several screenwriting festivals including the 2017 Urban Mediamakers Film Festival and the 2017 International Houston Black Film Festival. Her comedy TV pilot script, Wait a Minute Mr. Postman won 1st place in the Best Spec/TV Script at the 2017 Urban Mediamakers Festival, and was selected as a quarter-finalist in the 2017 WeScreenplay TV Pilot Screenplay competition and was also selected for the 2017 Atlanta Comedy Film Festival. LaKesa’s second feature screenplay, social drama Black and Blue (title change pending) was recently selected for the Beautiful Soul Film Festival screenwriting competition, and was selected as a semifinalist in the 2019 WeScreenplay Diverse Voices screenwriting competition. It was selected as one of the top 50 finalist for the 2019 Your Script Produced screenplay competition. She recently completed her third and fourth feature- length screenplays, a romantic comedy titled, Christmas Hiatus and a drama titled, Purple Roses. She has completed another 30-minute comedy TV pilot titled, Oh Brother!

She was named one of the top 100 African-American authors of 2017 by UBAWA.org.

LaKesa shares her love for writing in rooted in her ability to bring characters to life. “As a writer, I battle with the characters who take up space in my head. Often times, it keeps me up at night. I have a vivid imagination and one word or thought could spark a story idea,” she shares. She also loves talking to her readers and discussing her books with them. “It’s humbling when a person who’s never met you reaches out to you on social media to tell you how much they enjoyed your work. My readers give me the motivation to keep writing.”

As an author, LaKesa shares that she faces various challenges. “Writing a book is the easy part for me. The hardest part is marketing. Getting my books into the hands of my targeted audience is the biggest challenge. I have learned to remain committed by pushing my work on every social media platform, relying solely on the impact of word of mouth. I also and attend book festivals as a means to assist with marketing,” she says. Another challenge is writer’s block. However, she understands that writing is a self-motivating job, therefore she sets writing goals weekly, and works diligently to meeting these goals.

LaKesa says she inspired mostly by her family and a small circle of close friends, of which are her biggest cheerleaders and supporters. She is also inspired by other writers. “I love the art of storytelling and I know that as long as people are still buying books, there’s still room for more of my stories,” she says.

LaKesa advises others to don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. “Being comfortable won’t get you anywhere. Ever since I decided to step out on faith and become a full-time writer, so many doors have started to open for me and I’ve met some amazing people. As an extreme introvert, it’s a struggle talking to strangers and meeting new people but the Lord has put me in rooms with people who had the power to change my life. The one thing I can’t stress enough is you have to get uncomfortable to make progress. I’ve done a lot of that this year and it has paid off tremendously,” LaKesa shares.

Going forward, LaKesa plans to write the movie scripts for her current books while continuing to release new material. Along with being an author, she has written several feature-length movie scripts. She is in the process of pitching them to networks and streaming platforms while also searching for funding to produce and direct one of the movies herself. Her goal is to see all of her books on the big screen while continuing to create more content.

In her spare time, she serves a mentor to 4th and 5th grade. The mentorship program she shares provides a variety of activities that promote healthy physical, social, and emotional development to young girls.

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