"Felicia Dortch, "Black Mastermind In front of The Lens and Behind the Pen!
is a Black Mastermind that has overcome many obstacles, emerging from the fire a stronger woman, author, publisher, and entrepreneur. Felicia has overcome many obstacles in her life, which has caused her to pusher harder to achieve her purpose. I was able to sit down with her as she shared her world and experiences with me.
LS: Tell me what inspired your journey?
FD: I’ve been writing since I was in the fifth grade. That was something that I’ve always loved to do. And as I grew up, my parents didn’t understand that you can make money for writing so I was pushed to do something else. As a result, I ended up going to school to be a nurse, then I got married, and had children. The person that I was married to was very controlling. He didn’t allow me to do those things I enjoyed because they took time away from home. So I stopped writing.
LS: What was that process like for you to be creative?
FD: I went through numerous things during that time, things that just pulled me down into this black hole. I didn’t read, I didn’t write, I didn’t want to do anything. I was just merely existing. Until I met a group of ladies and they started helping me build my faith and my strength back up. I prayed every day to find what my purpose was in life because at that time I was going through domestic violence. Dealing with all that, I didn’t want to even live. I started to create stories for my children but, they didn’t want me to read a book. They’d rather I create the stories for them. I started telling my friends about it and they encouraged me to start writing again, and I did. I would do it at work because if I did it at home, it would be a problem. So as my faith and strength grew in God, I started understanding my purpose. I ended up being able to get out of that relationship after nearly being killed, and at that moment, I walked away and trusted what God had for me. From that day forward every opportunity I could think of opening up for me.
FD: I was a traveling nurse in Tennessee. I came back to Texas and I was in my old room at my parents' house, and I started finding some of the things that I had written. That’s when it hit me…I needed to publish. So I started reaching out to different publishing companies, but it was so difficult. They either wanted to take half my royalties or they wanted to own my book. There were so many different things that were so frustrating, I felt like the devil was trying to stop me again. I prayed and asked God for understanding and guidance. Now, this is what was so crazy. At the time I wasn’t a big Facebook person. This lady I’d met on Facebook was teaching people how to publish and how to create a publishing company. She walked me through it step-by-step. I have no idea how I saw her on Facebook at that time. But everything just fell into place. And that’s when I knew that I needed to get this company going, which is now called Purpose Publishing. Everyone has a purpose and a story that needs to be told.
LS: What inspires your pen?
FD: I think my life and what I’ve accomplished, I don’t allow anything to stand in my way. So when I write, it just flows. It's me against the world to reach my dreams.
LS: You’re an author and a publisher, what do you feel is missing from the industry?
FD: More black publishers that understand the business. I would also say pushing the love of reading and knowledge about writing and publishing.
LS: What advice would you give a new author or an author that may be trying to push their brand forward?
FD: Don’t give up. Sometimes the person that you think is supporting you, may not be supporting you. If you feel in your heart that this story needs to get out, do it no matter what. Because what we need to understand is the devil shows up in many forms and fashion. So they tell you privately, I support you, but they have to limit the things that they can do. They’re just waiting to see how long it takes you to fail. Be careful and don’t give up.
LS: Who was your biggest supporter throughout your journey?
FD: My children. They’re always pushing me with modeling, writing, just everything.
LS: How have you grown as an author and a woman from the beginning of your journey?
FD: When you go through domestic violence, you don’t have the confidence or self-esteem. You don’t even believe in yourself. So now, I trust what I write and walk boldly. I also started modeling again.
LS: What has been your experience throughout your modeling journey?
FD: Oh, it has been fun. It feels natural, you know, it does not work. I did it all through high school, but again, I stopped. And recently my boyfriend’s son was interested in it. So I started out helping him and ended up getting back into modeling myself.
FD: So originally there was a different group called Black CEO that was trying to form here in Houston. And it wasn’t able to get off the ground. So I partnered with one of the ladies that wrote the program. She decided to launch her program, which is called Black Mastermind and we’re now trying to get it in all 50 states. We teach other entrepreneurs to have a foundation in their business. The statistics are horrible. You know, most black businesses close within six months to a year. So our organization brings these entrepreneurs in and we teach them step-by-step. We have mentors for them, we help make sure their paperwork is correct, and that they are aligned with what they’re trying to do. And if it’s a sustainable business, we help them get funding so they can continue.
LS: What is next for your brand?
FD: I just partnered with a young lady I met again on Facebook. She owns an organization sort of like HGTV, but she redecorates a cancer patient’s room. So I’ve partnered with her, and it’s called Coming Home. So when they return from the hospital, and they have to do the chemo, they come back to a better place. The room makes them feel better. Also, I would like to start an organization called Girl, which stands for God’s Intelligent Respectful Lady. It’s an organization to help uplift young girls. I want to reach girls between the ages of 10 and 16. They’re vulnerable, and that’s my opportunity to increase their self-esteem and teach them to love themselves more. I want to push them beyond their wildest dreams. In society, we cover everything else except for self-esteem. Some don’t have the support system or the role models around them to show them.
LS: Domestic abuse has been on the rise during this pandemic. What are some ways that women can deal with COVID while being isolated from their abuser?
FD: Yes, it is because people are stuck. I think one of the biggest things will be for them to try to get a support system or just at least one person that they can give a code or something that’s not obvious. That lets them know when they need help.