August 8, 2008

Faith & Writing: Niambi Davis, author of From Dusk to Dawn

The Author

Niambi Davis was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She and her family lived for many years in Washington, DC and for three and a half years, made the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago their home. She has written for Bronze Thrills, True Confessions, and Black Romance magazines. Niambi indulged her passion for sailing and travel by serving as publicist for the Black Boaters Summit and as a member of the National Association of Black Travel Writers. Presently, Niambi writes for Travel Lady Magazine. Her first digital novella was published in January 2008 by Arrow Publications, LLC. Aside from writing and travel, Niambi is an avid reader of historical fiction, and deeply involved in tracing the history of both branches of her family tree. Her day job is running the business of Sand & Silk/Soleful Strut, where she produces private label products for hair and skincare companies as well as her own line of handcrafted soaps, creams, and scrubs.

INDULGE yourself in more of Niambi by checking out her website, her blog, and her MySpace page!

The Book

Taliban wanna-be! Bible-thumping Crusader! Is this any way to begin a love affair? In the case of Ayo and Bilal, the answer is a resounding yes! After the dust from religious and familial wars has settled, the 42 year old widow and 32 year old appraiser fall deeply in love, until an unexpected diagnosis convinces Ayo that loving Bilal means letting him go. But has she underestimated the man who, in spite of a tragedy of his own, vows never to let her go?

Click cover above to purchase FROM DUSK TO DAWN today!

The Question: How does your faith, your spirituality integrate itself into your writing?

I was a child when I first heard the word ecumenical. Once a year, the local AME, Episcopal, Catholic, and United Methodist congregations of our small town gathered together to praise the Lord. It was the only Sunday of the year when religion trumped race. When I looked up the word in our giant, ornate dictionary, I read that as well as “pertaining to the whole Christian Church,” ecumenical was also defined as general and universal. The Latin word oecumenicus struck a chord, translated as “belonging to the whole inhabited world.” That got me to thinking – what about the other religions of the inhabited world? What made them different? But more important, at least to me, were their similarities. Later in life, it was only natural that I chose a spiritual rather than religious approach to life.

But I do believe, without question, that all roads lead to the ultimate peace we all are seeking. In my first novel, the “hero” is Muslim. And in telling his story, I hoped to strip away the stereotype of Muslims as wild-eyed, sword-wielding fanatics and Islam as an inherently intolerant, oppressive, and violent religion. Instead, Bilal was strong, tender and talented, a man, so fully steeped in his own faith that the need to criticize or convert was nonexistent. So stay tuned - in my next story a few Christians, a couple of Hindus or a Bhuddist or two may show up. Rest assured that at least one of them will live up to the best of their beliefs.

Scratch the letter of each religion and underneath the spirit is the same – the call for faith in God and good; the need for compassion; the requirement to share what we have with those who have less, and that most golden of rules - to treat others as we wish to be treated. No matter where or on what day we worship, we’re all looking to the light of God.


Jennifer C. said...

It seems like living a religious life puts limitations and boundaries on a person. But living a spiritual life leaves the door open to enormous possibility.

Nice blog.

Shonell Bacon said...

Like your comment, JC. You know, I kinda think there are limitations in a spiritual life, too, but they aren't called "limitations." We all have things we won't do or say or think because of our faith, our spiritual walk. Now, there's not the limitation as in having a religious life, but there are "some" - I would think there would have to be if you want to get to the best you that you can...not everything fits into that path.

'Cilla said...

Religion is such a touchy subject... people say and do things in the name of The Creator very quickly and then forget it in the next. Interpretation also plays a big factor - you can be a muslim but not a practicing muslim. The idea of being politically/religious correct is difficult because howcan you .... I agree with both JC and Chick LIt gurll..

Something to make you go Hmmm......
Great Blog

Dera Williams said...

I agree with the comments about spirituality and religious. I am usually suspicious of those who are holier than though. I want to strive to be a spiritual being.

Shonell Bacon said...

Hey Dera, Book Maniac...

I have come into contact with those who are so religious that they can't relate - at all - to the real world. I definitely don't think that's what God or His Son planned for us.