[INTERVIEW] Author Sereniti Hall Shares Story of Redemption & Her Passion For Urban Fiction

Her story is one of redemption.  Author Sereniti Hall could have given up while serving a prison term in Marianna Federal Prison Camp.  Instead, she found her voice as a writer and began penning stories, most of which were close to her heart and told of the struggle of growing up in the urban community.

Inspired by Wahida Clark and many authors of that era, Sereniti would end up releasing her debut novel via a two book deal with the Queen of Thug Fiction herself at Wahida Clark Publishing.  That debut, the highly successful, Feenin’ would help set off a passionate career in writing and publishing.

Now a publisher herself, Sereniti has founded 7 Figure Publications.  The first story she decided to tell under her company was the story of another young woman who stumbled upon the wrong path at a young age, the story of Falicia Blakely.  Falicia has had her story told on television with the TV One film, When Love Kills, but Sereniti takes it a step further with personal stories from Falicia in her story, A Treacherous Hustle.

We caught up with Sereniti to talk about her journey as an author, hooking up with Falicia Blakely, her company 7 Figure Publications and much more.  Check out the full interview below.

Parlé Mag:   Lets go back to the beginning, how did you discover you passion for writing?
Sereniti Hall:  I was sitting in federal prison try to figure out what I was going to do with my time. I didn’t want prison to be a revolving door for me and I wanted to give my two girls something to look up to.

Author Sereniti Hall
Parlé Mag:   Understandable for sure.  At what point did you know you wanted to pursue a career as a writer full time?
Sereniti Hall:  After my first novel Feenin’. It felt so good to be able to produce art that others would enjoy.

Parlé Mag:   The aforementioned debut novel, Feenin’ was released in 2011, it won several awards. Was there any pressure after that release to top it?
Sereniti Hall:  To be honest with you, I really didn’t feel how big of a deal it was until Wahida told me, but I just continued to write as my heart lead me to.

Parlé Mag:   How long did it take you to create that first book and how long did it take you to get it published with Wahida Clark Publishing?
Sereniti Hall:  It took about a year to write, and after being turned down by so many others, I finally got a yes when I received Wahida’s letter at mail call.

Parlé Mag:   You wrote the novel while incarcerated as you mentioned, but for those that don’t know your story, can you just give us some back story to that and tell us how you found the motivation to make the most of your time with writing?
Sereniti Hall:  I was motivated by not wanting to waste valuable time doing nothing. After writing my mom a few letters, she was like, did you write this, I said yes. She the said “you should be writing books.” I read a few of Wahida’s books among many others, but it was something in Wahida’s that said I could do it. Coming from the streets and reading street lit opened a door for me to birth Feenin’ among my many other novels.

Parlé Mag:  Your real name is Dorothy Hall, but you write under the name Sereniti.  Why that name?
Sereniti Hall:  I used to be a problem child in my young adult years and I was in and out of youth development centers. In one facility we had to get up every single morning and recite the serenity prayer before our day got started. That prayer was something that I’d always held on to. When I started writing I chose the name Sereniti because it’s significant to my life.

Sereniti Hall - A Treacherous Hustle
Parlé Mag:   You’ve released several novels to this point, but which one would you say has been the hardest to write?
Sereniti Hall:  A Treacherous Hustle and that’s because it’s the true story of a young child that is spending the rest of her life in prison and because 3 human lives were cut down.

Parlé Mag:  That leads us right to my next question.  Your latest books have been helping tell the story of Falicia Blakely. How did you two meet, what was that first encounter like?
Sereniti Hall:  We met through a mutual friend that is also incarcerated with Falicia. Our first encounter was very informative, I had a chance to talk to this person that I had read and heard so much about, I got a chance to verbally hear her story uncut and raw.

Parlé Mag:   At what point did you decide that you needed to share her story? I’m sure you encountered many women, but what was it about her story?
Sereniti Hall:  The moment she told me how Michael Berry set her on fire after a robbery went wrong. the way she explained the pain and how her pubic hairs started to burn brought tears to my eyes. She was in a lose-lose situation with no help as a young teenage girl.

Parlé Mag:   The novel, A Treacherous Hustle, came out around the same time as the TV One movie about her life and you’ve continued to be in contact with her. How is she dealing with the added exposure to her story and the added popularity that comes with that?
Sereniti Hall:  She hasn’t changed, she’s a very humble person and she continues to encourage others. In fact she has started writing and has since released her first novel—When What God Has Ain’t Good Enough—under my company 7 Figure Publications.

Parlé Mag:   Your most recent release is the letters, From Her Pimp. Talk to me about the decision making behind putting those out there?
Sereniti Hall:  These letters came from Falicia’s pimp. Nothing has been changed, we put them out as he wrote them to her. I felt that these letters will give the people an inside look on the manipulative person/pimp Falicia was dealing with, the person that she once thought loved her more than God himself.

Parlé Mag:   I think after people watched the movie and see these letters and read her story, they always wonder why Ike/Mike/Dino/the pimp isn’t in jail and if there are any efforts on Falicia’s end or even your end to help put him behind bars?
Sereniti Hall:  Falicia has reached out to her former prosecutor and they are looking into making him pay for the part he played in this crime.

Sereniti Hall
Parlé Mag:   Transitioning a bit, talk to me about 7 Figures Publications? How did that come together?
Sereniti Hall:  When I decided to take on Falicia’s project, I felt it necessary to publish it under my own company and open doors for other incarcerated women and men to tell their stories as well.

Parlé Mag:   What’s the main objective with the company moving forward?
Sereniti Hall:  Our objective is to put out awesome reading material and help as many incarcerated men and women get their stories told. Some people in prison don’t have outside support. This will be a way for them to care for themselves and young children that they have left on the outside.

Parlé Mag:   Sure you get these a lot, but before an author approaches you or any other publisher/publishing company, what should they know or be prepared to have?
Sereniti Hall:  Solid material. A decent social media following and for myself, I feel that they need drive, they need to be hungry in this game because there are so many books out here today, it’s doesn’t need to be the same old story line. They need authenticity.

Parlé Mag:   You came into the literature business the beginning of the ebook phase, how has the business of books changed since you’ve been in it? Are you satisfied with the direction it seems to be going in?
Sereniti Hall:  Ewwww. let me see, ooowwee, the thing that’s good is the fact that we have kindle unlimited because putting in hard work and selling books for .99 makes it hard especially for the people that are incarcerated. How are they going to read an ebook. Of course millions of people read ebooks, but their are millions of prisoners that will never get the chance to read some of those books. I’m a paperback pusher, I’ve always been one to love something tangible but to each their own. As a company, I have to jump on board or get left behind, kinda how society is today.

Parlé Mag:   What’s next for you?
Sereniti Hall:  What’s next for me, well first things first, as I continue to write my own novels, I’m building my brand for 7 Figure Publications. I will continue to sign authors that have awesome story lines along with those that want to release their true stories, this goes for authors both in and out of prison. I have some new releases coming from some amazing authors and my very first novel Feenin’ will be re-released this month. I’m very excited about that. The story has been rewritten and is so much better than before. I will continue to push A Treacherous Hustle because there are so many people that still haven’t read The Falicia Blakey Story. We have just finished with the writing of 4 episodes of A Treacherous Hustle, and are looking to get it into production. We have a full plate over here at 7 Figure publications and we are continuing to grow.

Parlé Mag:   For anyone interested in getting in touch, how can you be reached?
Sereniti Hall:  We can be reached at
www.7figurepublications.com
Instagram:  7Figurepublication
Facebook: 7Figurepublications
Email: 7figurepublications@gmail.com
And Of Course I’m Sereniti Hall on all social media networks.


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Kevin Benoit

Kevin Benoit is the editor of Parlé Magazine. He founded the magazine while in college and continues to run it today. Follow him on IG: @parlewithme Read more articles by Kevin.

Kevin Benoit has 1806 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin Benoit

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