Our country has survived a time of deep division, and now it’s time for unity. When you look back upon the strife of racial tension, you want to be on the right side of history.
You want to stand against division and for unity. You want to stand against hate and for love.
You’re called to use your voice to uplift those around you to make the world a better place.
At Halo Publishing International, it’s our mission to publish voices that matter. That’s why I’m proud to bring you “Publishing Black Voices: An Interview with Jordan Sullen” on The Award-Winning Authors Show.
In honor of Black History Month, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of our favorite authors, Jordan Sullen. Jordan is a former NFL player, children’s book author and illustrator. He’s published three books with us:
In this interview, we didn’t talk about politics. We talked about something more sensitive: Black Lives Matter. Jordan released his newest book, Numbers Don’t Lie, in a pivotal time of history.
Numbers Don’t Lie was released during the peak of the protests and election tension in 2020. Given the state of our country, this story needed to be published now more than ever.
We believe more BIPOC voices need to be heard. We’re proud to serve our clients who use their gifts of writing to share stories that will shape the next generation.
Jordan’s perspective comes from an interesting background. His writing career began during a transitional time of his life. Before he became an author, he was playing in the NFL.
As a professional football player, he used to travel around the country playing football games. Now, he’s traveling to schools and reading his books to students.
While most professional athletes fail to transition into their next career, Jordan persisted. He says his career change required him to take a leap of faith. Now, his books are molding the minds of young children around the country.
Jordan recalls one reading where he asked the room: “Did you know that less than 9% of children authors are colored?” The kids were shocked. The parents were shocked.
It’s a calling that’s lacking representation from people of color. That’s why Jordan believes it’s even more important for him to continue writing, so children can see themselves living his life.
It allows them to dream big, too.
We all know that big dreams don’t come easy. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us that, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Jordan’s life proves that pursuing your passions with determination and hard work is the recipe for success.
While the majority of professional athletes struggle to transition into their next career, Jordan poured into his writing. He allowed his creativity to construct stories to share his writing and illustrations to inspire others. Nothing could prevent him from exploring this new passion.
Most writers are afraid of taking their stories to the publisher because they fear how the world will judge them. What’s even more frightening is what will happen if they never publish them?
Successful authors know that the book you write isn’t about you. It’s about the reader. It’s about the moment they read your words on the page and their eyes widen in understanding.
It’s about them realizing a truth for themselves.
Three books later, Jordan has made an immeasurable impact on the world. While he was writing his books, he was balancing the demands of life: career changes, moving, getting married, nurturing family relationships, building businesses and more.
He still prioritized his writing. Jordan felt called to communicate stories of change, love and healing. His life exemplifies discipline, excellence, creativity, community and passion.
Given his impressive background and ambition, I curiously asked him how he wanted to be remembered in this life. He responded:
“I want to be remembered by the things that I did for everybody else. I want to honor my mother and father. I want to be remembered as a great husband and family man.
I want to be remembered for loving my people, especially people who look like me. I want to be remembered as a lover of all people, especially people who have come from similar situations.
I want to be remembered for finding a way to rise from the ashes.”
Now, I’d like to know: how do you want to be remembered? What’re you doing to build your legacy? If you’re feeling stuck, here are five questions to help you brainstorm your first book.
- Which injustice in the world do you care about deeply?
- What personal connection and experiences do you have about this issue?
- Who would benefit from hearing this story?
- What would the world look like if more people were aware of this issue?
- What’s holding you back from writing this story?
Writing your first book takes courage. Jordan advises new authors to, “Be patient with yourself and utilize every resource you have available to you.” Once you have your book published, it’s up to you to get creative and grow your audience. Tap into your entrepreneurial skills and think about the networks, organizations and people who would be interested in your story.
Remember, you only have one voice to share your story. How will you be remembered?
If you’re ready to publish your book, please submit your manuscript on HaloPublishing.com.
Or you can download our free publishing guide to learn everything you need to know about the entire self-publishing process.
Start writing your legacy and become an award-winning author!