When Ms. Bancroft was a little girl, if she got fussy, her mother could always calm her down by giving her a pencil and a piece of paper or a book to read. Born in Chicago, she grew up on the rough, west side of the city enduring domestic violence and childhood abuse, which left her with deep-seated, low self-esteem. Writing was her saving grace, keeping her distracted from her destitute surroundings. After moving to Los Angeles as a teen, she found coming of age further confusing and painful as she tried to find her identity. She finally found her place in poetry, music, and writing short stories. But her artistic passion was never realized until she stopped living her life as the “victimized girl” and conquered drug addiction.
Ms. Bancroft has written poetry and articles on a wide range of subject matter: self-help, spirituality, marketing, business, family, and relationships. Notably, the poem Jena Six: Our Strangefruit Is Still Hanging, emphatically questioning how far African Americans have come, was published in TRIBES Magazine. She is currently penning the sequel to her debut memoir, Bitter Sweet & Mo’ Sweeta due for release in late 2010. She enjoys yoga, meditation, tennis, and dancing, and resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
Interview with the Author
The Melody of My BitterSweet Blues is a riveting, true story which is narrated through the eyes of a woman who has endured sexual abuse as a child, struggled through coming of age, finding herself in abusive relationships as an adult. Not only is the story told candidly and graphically, revealing the secrets that lurk behind abuse, the narrator takes the reader inside a journey of spiritual healing and unbridled courage through poetic enlightenment and poignant imagery.
What lead you to create this book?
Actually it was God-inspired. As someone who has survived several forms of abuse, it has been on my heart for many years to share my strength with others who may still be trying to find their own empowerment. The book was also inspired by Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Who should read this book and why?
There are several groups, I believe, that can benefit from this book: adult survivors of abuse, victims of spousal abuse, even those who have been perpetrators of abuse who aspire to change how they deal with problems. This book serves as a reminder to those who have suffered from such dysfunction, that they are not alone, and encourages them to seek their own healing.
Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp and share?
The message that I want men and women to grasp is that we need each other’s love and support in order to stop domestic violence—victims and perpetrators.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Meditation and yoga helps me to stay in mental and physical shape. I love to go out dancing and spend time with friends and family.
What does your family think of your writing?
For the most part, everyone’s supportive. My mother read the book in one day. But exposing family secrets and having them read about them in a book is not easy for some people to accept, yet it has brought healing to my family.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?
First of all, make sure your life is clear of major stressors that can get in the way of writing, such as unhealthy relationships and jobs that drain you. Writing takes time, energy, dedication, and discipline. Learn every writing technique you can, practice good grammar and spelling and, most of all, write from the heart.
Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. Also share with us your online contact information.
I am currently developing the sequel to The Melody of My BitterSweet Blues, which is entitled BitterSweet & Mo’ Sweeta. I am also working on a self-help book geared toward dating and relationship issues between women and men. The Melody of My BitterSweet Blues can be purchased at www.melbancroft.com, Amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble.com.