International Author, Tulsa, Oklahoma native Allie West has the gift of gab. She’s got a knack for telling stories and rarely meets a stranger. She spent most of her career in Atlanta, Georgia in Early Education. Taking her passion for education a step further, she earned her Master’s degree in Adult Education and Training in 2011. She’s trained both nationally and internationally for education, non-profit sectors and as a government contractor. West has many titles – mom, wife, entrepreneur, and newly acclaimed Messologist. After sharing the story with her Atlanta, GA based branding firm, of how fans kept asking her how she got out of her “mess” and changed her life around the term Messologist was born.
A Messologist is someone who turns messes into masterpieces. West enjoys providing practical nuggets to help people deal with their mess. She believes It’s Okay to be a mess, but its not ok to say a mess.
Her debut novel , A Dressed Up Mess published in November 2019, is the first book in a series based on her life. A Dressed Up Mess captures her lucid way of undressing her internal chaos, facing her ugly truths, and her ability to bounce back. West now lives in Germany with her husband, where she spends her time writing, traveling, building her company Allie West Productions and marketing her Messologist brand. Her second novel in the series will be released in September 2020
Interview With Winn Publications
Winn Publications: How did your journey as an author begin?
In 1992 Dr Julia Hare spoke at the University of Central Oklahoma, she was the first black author that I’d ever seen up close and person. She was gracious, poised and commanded the room. I was intrigued by her and toyed with the idea of becoming a writer but did not pursue writing until several years later.
Winn Publications: Was it something you always wanted to pursue?
The urge to purse writing surged around 2003. I’d write poems and begin books. I would write a page, share it with my friends, they would be hooked and I’d never finish the story. I did this several times over the years. I call it fifty first pages.
Winn Publications: who or what motivated you to write?
In 2012 I was severely depressed and needed to heal so I started journaling and the journaling led me to writing. Writing helped calm the chaos, it was a healing journey. It took seven year off and on to finish.
Winn Publications: Have you published your writings into a book? If so, where can we find it/them?
I published my debut memoir A Dressed Up Mess in November 2019. It is the first book in a series. It is available on my website https://www.alliewest.com and Amazon
Winn Publications: How was the publishing process?
I have a wonderful editor who has worked with several authors so she provided a lot of insight on the publishing process. She provided options, that I researched the and compared seeking a publishing company verse self publishing.
Winn Publications: Are you self-published?
Since I decided to self publish through Amazon KDP the process was pretty self explanatory and easy to follow. Many of the services that they offer I already had those things in place. Such as the ISBN, Copywriting, Book Cover and Back Cover Designs. My editor’s package included formatting so I already had the dimensions of my book.
Winn Publications: Since becoming a published author, what challenges have you faced if any?
Since becoming published my greatest challenge has been marketing and expanding my reach. I there is so much knowledge to gain, it can become overwhelming. It’s important to align with the right companies to ensure that your marketing plan and the dollars spent have a RIO. I am still a novice in this area but I though networking I have recently teamed up with someone who’s been in the industry for a while. We have just started working together. She’s a mentor as she’s taken me under her wing.
Winn Publications: Have you written anything outside of fiction/nonfiction?
My background is education and training so I have experience in grant writing. My master’s degree is in Education: Specializing in Adult Education and Training so I have written training materials and course content. My primary genre is nonfiction. I have plans to write fiction, children’s book and complete my dad’s cook book that we were working on before he transitioned in 2014.
Winn Publications: Do you have a tip that you can offer your peers (poets and writers worldwide)?
Invest in your craft, hire professionals for the areas that you need to hone your skills on whether that be a writing coach, editor, professional photographer, marketing and or branding companies. Do you’re research, learn as much as you can about the business side of authorship. Invest in professional photos. Build a great team around you. No man or woman is an island. I had to learn that.
Winn Publications: Are you currently working on any new projects? If so when can we expect them to be released?
My second book in this series is currently in the editing process and will be released in September 2020. I also working on building my brand. I have speaking engagement in July at a conference at the University of Deleware I am hopeful that the conference will still happen in lieu of current climate with COVID-19.
Winn Publications: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I see Allie West, Messologist as a household name – Inspiring and encouraging people to turn their messes into their masterpieces. I’ll have multiple books, workshops and speaking engagements and will help people transform their lives. I see my coaching and clothing business’ flourishing. I love to travel, so their will be lots of me galavanting over the world.
Winn Publications: What does being an author mean to you?
Being an author is a dream realized. It makes you an immediate authority and provides a vehicle to impact lives in meaningful ways. Authorship has opened up a plethora of opportunities for me and has allowed me wonderful opportunities such as being featured in Winn Publications. What I love most about being an author is inspiring others to heal and live their authentic lives. I also love engaging with my readers/fans and them sharing their feedback and testimonies. I enjoy giving back my time and resources. One of the coolest experiences was I met a fan to sign her book that she’d purchased on Amazon and her eight-year-old daughter couldn’t believe she was actually going to meet the author and ask her to FaceTime her when she was with me. So she did and it was the coolest experience ever!
Winn Publications: What’s your favorite quote and who’s it by?
It’s okay to be a mess, it’s not okay to stay a mess. Allie West, Messologist
Winn Publications: If you could co-author with anyone – dead or alive- who would it be and why?
This is a touch one it would be between Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison. They were both amazingly proleptic authors. It would be an honor to collaborate with such beautiful minds that produced bodies of work that will be relative for generations to come.
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