Like faith can uproot mountain, writing has the power to shake souls, and Myrlande Sauveur is without question one of the advocates of this literary line. “A writer is an artist, and like all successful artists, his/her heart and mind must be the cornerstone from which every one of his masterpiece is crafted,” once said Jacques Stephen Alexis, one of the greatest Haitian writers ever lived. One can explain why writing can prove to be at time a dazzling mechanism out of which the price for freedom is stemmed. Other time, it deems to be a dangerous precedent.
Before I read Daily Spiritual Vitamins and Minerals for Your Soul, I had no idea whether someone could skillfully craft a manuscript through the verses from the bible. This book, however, is a living proof that writing with all its purposes, for it to reach its desired end, has to be written from the soul. Ms. Sauver penned this manuscript from the deepest fiber fibers of her soul. This latter statement is not a marketing ploy, nor is it a half-hearted contrition. For me and for many others, perfection is a relative term. However, the quest to be perfect is what propels the most daring individuals among us to get up every day with a gleeful attitude that somehow holiness will someday be at hand. A devoted servant of God, Ms. Sauveur, like all Haitian writers operating outside of Haiti, also concedes that her native land is first and for most the prime source of inspiration as she emphatically acknowledges in this interview.
Daily Spiritual Vitamins may be the book that ushers M. Sauveur to the awesome plateau, but many of her previous writings, which she hopes to publish someday, were put to bear, drawn from her Haitian experiences. Molded in a tan of a creamy coffee with an unforeseen extrovertedness foregrounded in a profound self-assurance, Myrlande Sauveur is a distinguished writer. Her book, upon released, has received instant recognition for it was voted the Grand Prize Winner of 2013/2014 Fifty (50) Great Writers You Should Be Reading contest hosted by the Authors Show. In this powerful interview with Dr. Ardain Isma, Myrlande Sauveur speaks candidly in plain-spoken and straightforward words about the reasons why she wrote this book, about her desire to keep on writing and about her hope for the future.
A.I.: Bonjour Mylande, I have to say that it’s a joy to have you here at CSMS Magazine. To begin with, could you please introduce yourself to our readership?
M.S.: Bonjour, Dr. Isma. Hello readers from near and far, thank you for having me. It’s an honor to be here. It’s hard to talk about myself, but I promise throughout the interview, you will discover more about me on a personal and professional level. To keep it short, my name is Myrlande E. Sauveur, and I am the author of Daily Spiritual Vitamins and Minerals for Your Soul, the 2013 Readers Favorite International Bronze Medal Recipient in the Christian Devotional/Bible study. In early December, I was voted the Grand Prize Winner of 2013/2014 Fifty (50) Great Writers You Should Be Reading contest hosted by the Authors Show. I am a health and wellness consultant, teaching people how to live a healthy and well-balanced life. I am the co-founder of Dorcas Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on helping Haitian college students and women in the community. I obtained my MBA in Business Management from Strayer University.
A.I.: It seems like you had to strategically plan for writing Daily Spiritual Vitamins and Minerals Four Your Soul. Am I correct? If yes, how did you do it?
M.S.: I didn’t know about strategy. If there were any, it wasn’t mine. It was God’s. Truth be told, the book is a compilation of the steps that God took to take me out of the chaos that I was in emotionally.
A.I.: Can you elaborate a bit more on this last statement “that God took to take me out of the chaos that I was in emotionally?”
Some time ago, I was going through a lot emotionally. My life was not going as planned. I was under a lot of pressure. So I became confused, depressed, angry, impatient and very ungrateful. I felt like God had forgotten me; but when I started writing, praying, meditating on His Word, and reading about His promises for my life, I began to feel better and stronger day by day. Then, I started to understand that He had a plan for my life. I just had to trust Him and be patient.
A.I.: In writing this book, you must have had a good grasp of what a positive attitude can do for the body. Why do you think someone’s mind—his spiritual life—must be in sync with his physical well-being?
M.S.: Man is a tri-parted being: spirit, soul and body. All of them must be in sync in order to function properly. The mind directs the body. Consequently, if you are spiritually healthy, it will carry through the body. The quality of your thoughts will have an effect on your life; it will even affect your physical well-being. Therefore, a positive attitude is always a good thing. However, having faith in God is the best for a well-balanced life, because only faith can sustain us in time of trouble.
A.I.: In a prayer on page 65, you’re saying thanks to God for “guiding me through these storms of life and teaching me to welcome them with joy.” Is this a metaphorical statement designed to teach us how to go through vicissitudes with strides?
M.S.: It’s both metaphorical and literal because we cannot avoid the storms of life. Whoever you are, you will always face some storms in your life. What truly makes the difference, however, is how you go through them. When you have Jesus as your pilot, you can walk through them with joy because you know He is faithful to see you through them and help you overcome them successfully.
A.I.: We’re living in a world that is amazingly and technologically wired, and everything deemed concrete has to be scientifically proven. How could this interfere with someone’s spiritual growth?
M.S.: Someone’s spiritual growth is not predicated on technological developments, nor does it need to be scientifically proven. When someone first comes to Christ, he/she needs the spiritual milk which is the Word of God to grow spiritually. Spiritual growth is matching your position in Christ with your daily practice, whether you live in an igloo, a jungle, or the most technologically advanced city. It’s the same path, spending time with God, meditating on His Word and living worthy of your position in Christ. As we focus on drawing closer to God, we can block out all the distractions from the world.
A.I.: Why do you think it’s easier to convince people from disenfranchised populations to do God’s works than it is with those who are financially stable?
M.S.: This is not a totally true statement. Like you mentioned in the previous question, this statement cannot be scientifically proven. A lot of Bible characters were very wealthy, like Job, Abraham etc…. Matthew said that Joseph of Arimathea, who buried Jesus in a brand new tomb, was a rich man. Even Solomon, the wealthiest man who ever lived on earth, was a man of God. One thing you have to realize, Dr. Isma, is that financial stability can never erase the fact that all men are going to die. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. People need to come to God and commit to doing His work whether they are rich or poor, uneducated or Ph.Ds—not because of their position or social status in life but because He is the only one who has the answer to the problem of sin, which He provides in Jesus Christ.
A.I.: To some extent, you address this pertinent question on page 63; but I’d like for you to clarify it even further. Some people might say if God has all the answers in shaping our lives, why would he let millions be destroyed around the world—either through wars, famine or other types of natural disasters?
M.S.: God is Sovereign. He does not have to answer to anyone. The Psalmist said “He does what He pleases.” He is not obligated to save anybody, although He offers salvation to everybody.
A.I.: I understand you’re also a creative writer. Was writing something you’ve discovered in your blood since you were a child?
M.S.: I wouldn’t say that writing was in my blood but it was something that I started using at a very early age as a coping mechanism because I was too afraid to talk, due to my stuttering.
A. I.: I pray every day. This was always part of my cultural upbringing. I have a lot of respects for God, but I can’t picture myself leaving everything to Him. When you’re asking your readers to leave everything into the hands of God, don’t you think you’re also asking them to somewhat believe in miracles?
M.S.: I do believe that God works miracles. This does not mean that I don’t have to work or I don’t have to do anything. Paul says, “I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me”. I leave everything into God’s hand because when I give Him my worries, he gives me peace, when I bring to Him my sorrows, He gives me joy, when I come to Him with my pain, He comforts me. He is my All in all, so I leave everything into His hands because He knows what’s best for me. (She throws a subtle smile and gazes upward.)
A.I.: What I truly like about your book is that it is customized in a way where every month brings a new round of focus prayer, yet every one of the themes gears toward one single goal: Healing the mind through spiritual means. I believe this idea has grown out of previous hands-on experiences. How long have you been doing this before you became convinced you needed to reach a wider audience?
M.S.: It was not really a matter of time but a matter of finding the right key to unlock the door to the healing process. Based on my experiences, I understand that one cannot deal with all the emotional issues at one time. He/she needs to work on one, then move onto the next. By concentrating on one subject every month, it gives one enough time to understand it and overcome it.
A. I.: I understand you’re now living in northeast United States. Where did you grow up?
M.S.: I was born in Marchand Dessalines, and I grew up in the Pétionville, Haiti. Pétionville is a sprawling suburban town, northeast of Port-au-Prince.
A.I.: When did you discover your talent as a writer?
M.S.: Writing was a way of evasion for me when I was little. As I grew up, it became a passion. However, until I published this book, I didn’t know how talented I was as a writer.
A.I.: Is writing your main professional activity?
A.I.: For our readers who might be interested in this same form of marketing, can you please further explain your Internet Marketing strategies?
I provide Internet marketing solutions to professionals and small business owners. I do promotional email marketing, press release and social media.
A.I.: I’m sure you’re familiar with the Haitian literature. Who is your favorite Haitian writer? Why?
M.S.: One of my favorite Haitian Writers is Edwidge Danticat, I admire her because she is very talented, and I think we have a lot in common.
A.I.: How do you see your writing career a year from now?
M.S.: A year from now, I see myself conquering the Haitian market by publishing the French version of Daily Spiritual Vitamins and Minerals for Your Soul, and be one of the top 10 New York Times bestselling authors with multi awards.
A.I.: Go for it sister! Will “motivational” continue to be the cornerstone of your literary genre?
M.S.: Since my first devotional book was inspired by God, so I cannot answer that question for certain. One thing I know, I will write anything He inspires me to write.
A.I.: Has Haiti ever been in your writings?
M.S.: Yes, many of my previous writings—short stories and poetry—are about Haiti, which I hope to publish one day.
A.I.: Your book has received a lot of praises, critically acclaimed, and most noticeably is your prestigious bronze award for one of the top best Christian devotion studies. Where were you when you learned about your win? What was your first reaction?
M.S.: I was at work when I got the email, my first reaction was, “wow is it really me?” I read the email more than three times, spelled my name and the title of the book in my head to make sure it was really me. I then took a screenshot of the email and sent it to my best friend. I wanted to use another set of eyes to verify it. When I became convinced that it was truly me, I screamed “Glory to God, I made it.” Some folks thought I was going crazy…
A.I.: On page 13, you say that Jesus Christ is your one true love. Are you sure of that?
M.S.: Yes Jesus Christ is My One True Love. I am more than certain about that because He loves me unconditionally. He knows my flaws and still loves me, and because of all the love He pours in me, I want to love Him back the same way, and that makes Him my one true love.
A.I.: Are you married? If not, have you ever been in a relationship before?
M.S.: No, I am not married, and yes I have been in relationships.
A.I.: Do you keep contact with other Haitian writers in North America? Do you regularly participate in literary forums?
M.S.: I keep contact with a few, connecting with more through social media and using every opportunity I get. It was not as much as I would love to last year; but that will change this year.
A.I.: In literature, there are two kinds of success: Literary and commercial. Which one do you favor?
M.S.: Both. I favor both because not only I want to make a meaningful contribution to the world, but also I’d like to be compensated for it. An artist must live off his/her arts.
A.I.: Myrlande, we could talk forever, but like everything else in life, our conversation has reached its end. Before we say goodbye, what advice do you like to give to our young Haitian writers trying to secure their own niche in what seems to be a very difficult market to break through?
M.S.: My advice to our young Haitian writers is to write, write and keep on writing. Believe in yourself as a writer, and get a mentor or two.
A.I.: Once again, thank you Ms. Myrlande Sauveur. It’s been a pleasure to have you at CSMS Magazine.
M.S.: Thank you so much for having me; it was an honor to be here at CSMS Magazine. Have a Happy, healthy, joyous and prosperous 2014.