Atlanta has become the new home for one of Louisiana’s best-selling online writers and publishers.

But Alandria Lloyd will tell anybody willing to listen that the journey up success mountain was, to quote a line from poet Langston Hughes’ “Mother to Son, “no crystal stair.”

“You’re a skinny, black, ugly little girl” was a phrase she heard too much during her upbringing in Hammond.

“My cousins used to say that to me,” she said. “I would be teased about it all the time.”

Those were not the kind of words from which positive self-esteem was built.

It was a journey fraught with mistakes and missteps. Because of it, the soft-spoken young author sought love and acceptance in all the wrong places, best illustrated in her autobiographical “I’m Coming Out – Overcoming What Tried to Overtake Me” (the Writers Block).

Sexually active by the time she was 9, Lloyd wound up becoming pregnant twice but losing both her girls before Lloyd turned 18. In what could be described as an ironic twist, she became pregnant yet a third time. To borrow an old phrase, “the third time appeared to be the charm.”

In 2002, a boy she named JaKobe was born. At or around the same time, she became thoroughly acquainted with God.

“I thought that receiving love from my child would solve my heart issues, but to my surprise, it didn’t,” she writes in “Coming Out.”

Lloyd finally achieved some solace through her budding relationship with God, became absorbed in the scriptures and essentially learned to “love myself.”

She acknowledged always having a religious undergirding while also delving into writing, which started through her keeping a journal of her troubled life.

“For the first time, I was making decisions and doing things to please me,” she said, referring to a line from her book.

She wound up creating two businesses, one as a personal development coach for women to (“like me”) “personally redefine themselves and live their best lives.”

Her other business was to set up a vehicle allowing other women an opportunity to share their stories to impact the lives of others.

From that came a second book, “Dear Young Woman – There is Triumph after the Trial”, an anthology of 26 female authors sharing their lives.

One, Dr Onika Shirley of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, overcame pent up anger, sexual abuse and the need to be non-resilient and tough, embraced religion and “let go and let God.” She is now a much sought-after motivational speaker, founder and CEO of Action Speaks Volume Inc. and founder of an orphanage in India and sewing school in Pakistan.

Lloyd, meanwhile, hopes the move to Atlanta will help expand her “Writers Block” publishing company which now boasts six titles, notwithstanding “Coming Out,” and the authors anthology, (part II of which was released in April of this year) and these:

Change Agent: The Missing Piece

Fasting for Change Prayer Journal,

While I’m Waiting Devotional for Single Women.

Letters to My Future King

Girl Power Uncensored (co-author)

Dear Young Woman to expand.

She also hosts a commentary on Facebook and hopes to help 200 women become first-time authors and “continue to help women rise.”

Find out more about Alandria by visiting info@thewriters

Hal Lamar is a retired broadcast and print journalist and contributes occasionally to the Daily Star.

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