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Episode 62 - Nikesha Elise Williams

Nikesha Elise Williams is a real one. I had a great time talking to her about her latest novel Beyond Bourbon Street, which explores how childhood trauma affects a couple living in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina.

Graigh and Bombei are married and live in a house in the Lower Ninth Ward that belonged to Graigh's grandmother. Graigh met Bombei while she was restoring the home, which was damaged during Katrina. When the novel opens, Graigh is expecting and feeling anxious about her pregnancy. She and Bombei fight often about her bottling up her feelings and not wanting to examine the pain she carries from a painful breakup and her childhood, but Bombei also keeps his past trauma close to his chest.

In this novel, Nikesha explores what it takes to have a successful relationship, the effects of unresolved past trauma, and how important it is to seek help when it comes to healing.

Beyond Bourbon Street was honored by the National Association of Black Journalists with its 2020 Outstanding Book Award and by the Black Caucus of African-American Librarians, which awarded it Best Fiction in the 2021 Self-Published eBook Literary Awards.

In addition to being an award-winning writer, Nikesha also hosts and produces the Black & Published podcast, a show you should definitely check out. It features interviews with Black authors and poets.

During our interview, Nikesha reveals...

- why she wanted to validate and affirm the many different ways women feel about their pregnancies

- how these characters first came to her when she was an undergraduate at Florida State in 2007

- her connection to New Orleans and how she made the city come to life on the page

Click here to listen to the episode. You can help Nikesha and the show by purchasing Beyond Bourbon Street here.

The first listener to reach out to us on either Facebook or Twitter to tell us the author of the book Nikesha used to read three times a year will win a free copy of Beyond Bourbon Street.

If you have won a ReadMore giveaway in the last 90 days, you're ineligible. If we ever hung out in the library together at CHS, you're probably ineligible. ReadMore doesn't have a friends and family plan, but we'll always have those memories of the librarian who gave us grief every. single. day.


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