Meet the Author
Jamie is a native of DeRidder, Louisiana born on November 8, 1982. Growing up the in the housing projects of DeRidder, Jamie experienced the aches of living in poverty and a single parent home. Externally a happy child, Jamie internally fought issues of low self-esteem and childhood depression until her mid-teenaged years when she discovered her talent for writing and speaking. She began writing poems and "stashing" them under her bed to help her cope with feelings of insecurity and pressures from school and home. With the encouragement of a school club sponsor, Jamie entered a public speaking contest and found personal joy by verbally releasing messages of positivity and encouragement to her peers. While she continually fought difficult days, the comfort she received through writing and speaking helped her to understand her significance in the world.
Her determination to become successful pushed Jamie to begin working at twelve years old, earning money by cleaning houses, babysitting, and “doing hair” from home. It was with these earnings and financial support from her family and community that Jamie was able to seek opportunities to continue to write, speak, and compete. It was also in high school that Jamie became deeply intrigued with creating works that shed positive light on American culture. She wrote and directed the first black history play in the history of her high school and continued to compete in public speaking events. During her final year of high school, she won first place at a BETA club state convention and went on to earn fourth place at the BETA national convention.
Following high school, Jamie enrolled at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Jamie eagerly anticipated college life with the expectation of much easier days to come. However, the demand of a full time job to make ends meet, broken heart experiences, the death of a close childhood friend, and a journey to find self gave Jamie a view of reality. Consequently, she found herself once again leaning heavily on her pen for motivation, inspiration, and consolation.
Upon graduation, Jamie completed studies in English with minors in Communication Studies and African American Studies at Louisiana State University. Following college, Jamie worked in sales for a short time, but found that it did not satisfy her desire to be a positive contributor to the future generation of leaders. Eventually, she became a high school English teacher. The desire for something new and a chance to pursue a graduate degree led Jamie to northeast Louisiana. There, Jamie obtained her Master’s degree in Education from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Despite an unstable life, one thing remained stable-writing. Jamie continued to write poetry and essays and began writing short stories. With the encouragement of a friend, Jamie decided it was time to turn pieces of paper into a book. Shortly after finishing graduate school, Jamie began working on the publication of her first book Tear Stained Dresses & Dusty Shoes.
Publication of this work was a tremendous challenge as it forced Jamie to deal with childhood pain and life disappointment that she had initially coped with by ignoring. However, embracing the trials that created the woman she is helped her to become comfortable with herself and accept her experiences with an attitude of positivity. Jamie says she is truly liberated and now sees her experiences as things to be shared through the literary canvasses she creates.
Since the release of her first work, Jamie has gone on to publish a total of 5 books and served as guest speaker at more than a hundred events. She received the Women on Fire Award presented by Delta Sigma Theta and was named One of the Women who Shape the Delta by DeltaStyle Magazine. In addition to being a writer and speaker, Jamie is also a high school English teacher in Monroe, Louisiana and recently launched her company Jamie Mayes Educational Consulting & Literacy Services, LLC.
“The once cocooned worm inside of me is now a beautiful butterfly that has been set free.” ~Jamie Mayes
© Copyright 2011 by Motivational Inspirations