Sylvia Simmons – Growing Her Brand & Creating Her Lane

It was an absolute pleasure speaking with emerging author, Sylvia L. Simmons. A product of the Washington D.C. public school system and retired Public Affairs specialist, Simmons has had plenty of life experiences, which lead to great fiction. Simmons already has two novels to her credit, both released under her own company, SiHoWa Publishing Company. She is currently working on several other projects as well, growing her brand and creating a lane for herself.

I was curious to know about the childhood of someone who has managed to have two totally unrelated careers and has found success in both. “It was normal,” Simmons says. She recalls going to after school or to the library and on some evenings just going to play basketball. Not only did she grow up in Washington D.C., but she sought out a higher education there as well attending the Prince George’s Community College. She later started her first career as a public affairs specialist. She did this for eleven years and with a $100,000 congressional budget she worked with various organizations promoting many events on a yearly basis. While in this position, Simmons was afforded many opportunities to travel throughout the United States and abroad to places like Japan, where she remembers planting a cherry tree as part of the cherry blossom festival friendship tour. Simmons loved this job and mentioned the happiness she felt serving on the various committees such as President Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Committee.

After serving Washington D.C. for many years, Simmons retired. She now lives outside of Washington D.C. and is focused on her writing, a part of her life that brings her great joy. When writing Ms. Simmons focuses on the things she knows and looks to fellow humans as inspiration, she recalls a family member telling her that she would not write a book, then later that same family member read her first book and loved it. Things like that keep her motivated. I asked her about the speech she delivered at Grants Tomb in Washing ton D.C. where she received an honorary Congressional Medal for her involvement in the Grand View Reenactment Committee. She chuckles as she remembers a young man coming up to her after the speech; he thanked her for writing so beautifully, and let her know that some of her work has helped him get through a particularly rough patch in his life. Simmons says its moments like those that motivate her to write better and write more often. She also remembers that her speech on that day moved the crowd. She admits she did not write that particular speech with that intention, but somehow it did.

Simmons is also the founder and president of SiHoWa Publishing Company. A company she started in the year 2000 that displays writing from upcoming writers, including her own granddaughter, J.D. Howard. Her work includes J.D.‘s Collection, A collection of poems for every age.

Today Simmons is working on the novel Beyond Love, the final book of the trilogy. Beyond Love is the continuation of Anything But Love and An Affair With A Stranger, and she is working on a how-to book titled, Nine Rules To Clubbing After 50, inspired by a poem her granddaughter read to her. We both agreed this might be a best seller.

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The collective team of Parlé Magazine. Twitter: @parlemag

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