Nothing is more essential than staying true to yourself. What stayed as a constant reminder of leveling her self-worth, Indie Author Daijah Shine projects her love for Urban Fiction, along with becoming a well-developed writer.

How did you get started in the writing field?

I started my writing journey at the age of fourteen. A year prior, in my last year of middle school, a few of my friends started to bring urban novels to school. We started what was our own idea of a book club. During that time, I read The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah. I can’t seem to put into words what it was about that story, but it sparked something. I just remember having this overwhelming feeling of “I can do that!” And so, I did. I started by just using the notepad application on my homeroom desktop and letting a few of my friends read what I was working on. It was their feedback that urged me to use this site/app known as Wattpad. That was where things really took off. I wrote on there for about five years and gained a following of 30,000 readers. It was on Wattpad where my first publisher found me at the age of nineteen.

Did you find it hard trying to find your footing within the writing world?

Truthfully, no. I was young and excited. I was motivated by the fact that someone believed in me enough to give me such an opportunity. I hit the ground running with my first book, A Thug Worth Fighting for, now titled, A Forever Kind of Hood Love. To date, it was my most successful release. Finding my footing didn’t seem to be the problem, it was keeping it. Now that I’ve gotten older, I can identify a lot of the mistakes I made as a younger author– not taking my craft as seriously as I should’ve and not being consistent. However, by learning those hard lessons and coming to terms with those things, I’ve grown not only as an author but also as a businesswoman.

What authors would you say gave you the most inspiration to develop your artistry?

This is an easy one! I’m most inspired by authors like Wahida Clark, Kia Dupree, Terry McMillan, Ashley, and Jaquavis.

     What story were you trying to tell in your first published books?

I think that with the first few books I published, I was trying to tell the stories that made me fall in love with Urban Fiction. In my first series, I was telling a story about young love. With my characters, Chinno and Poochie, I wanted to show what happens when these two people from two completely different worlds come together, as well as the adversities they faced. The trials and tribulations they overcame, individually, and as a couple.

What made you choose to create within the urban fiction / urban romance genre?

Initially, I chose the Urban genre simply because it was what I knew. Urban fiction consisted of the stories I fell in love with and was something I could identify with. I just wanted to create my version of the stories that held my attention for hours at a time, and eventually, inspired me to become an author. Now, I feel like I have a different responsibility in writing this genre. I get the opportunity to use a platform to talk about the things we don’t seem to talk about enough, to shed light on real issues in our community, to paint better images of our people, and to be a voice for those unheard.

   Would you say that each book you’ve created holds a special message with you?

Yes, absolutely. I think that’s my goal whenever I sit down and get to work on a book. All my stories have a special place in my heart, but most importantly, I like to leave something for my readers to consume. Whether it is a lesson in relationships or self-love, some sort of morality test, or touching on important topics about friendship, family, brutality, community, or the black experience, overall, I always want to have an underlying message embodied in my work. 

How do you feel now versus the first moment you realized that your work was becoming a success?

After six years, I still feel like the new kid on the block. I still feel like I have something to prove to myself more than anything. I feel like I’m more strategic when it comes to the decisions I make now. I guess you can say that I’m more business-minded now. Whereas, before, my sole focus was on telling the stories I wanted to tell and getting accolades and recognition for my work. Chart-topping, and other things of that nature just aren’t as important to me anymore. I continue to write because it’s something I love to do.

Looking back, do you feel as though your decisions have helped you as not only a writer but as a more well-rounded artist?

Yes. I feel that growth always comes with time. As someone who learns mostly from their experiences, I’d say that I’ve gone through a phase of trial and error in my writing career. Because I have, I’m more mindful of what I write, how I write, and my brand as a whole.

What are some things that you’re working towards that you cannot wait to share within the next few Months?

I have so much in store to be excited about! I just released my 15th novel, I Wish You Loved Me: A Tale from The Plug’s Wife and will be starting on my next one very soon. I think I’m the most excited about stepping into a new genre, as well as trying my hand at screenwriting. I mentioned this before, during a virtual event I attended with Broward College, but I’m also looking forward to mentoring aspiring authors, as well as hosting workshops. I just feel like that’s something that would’ve helped me, as a new, young author. There was so much that I didn’t know and taught myself along the way, and I just want to be able to share that knowledge.

If you could relay a meaningful message with other creators like yourself, what would you tell them?

As cliché as it sounds, I would tell them that consistency is key. It outweighs so much, sometimes even talent. My point is though, if they are looking to be a success in whatever they choose to do, consistency will take them so far. I would also tell them to maintain their individuality. I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go since I’ve become part of the writing industry. A lot of people tried following them, and while it worked for some, for others it didn’t. I believe that staying true to yourself as a creator allows your genuine supporters to gravitate towards you and it sets you apart from others. If your end game is longevity, in my opinion, those things are essential.

For more information on Daijah’s work, visit to keep up with her latest project and more!

Photo Credits: Shyann Brinson Photography