The Lyfe Magazine: You have so much on your resume. CEO & Founder of “Slick E Entertainment Group”, a film & TV development company. You’re also an author, screenwriter, producer, actress, motivational speaker and a mom. How do you manage it all?
Sonia Everett Mckie: I manage it by knowing that I’m the only person that has control of my destiny. When I am told it is up to me to succeed, I make it work. I rise to the occasion. I started Slick E Entertainment maybe seven years ago when I stopped doing hair. I owned several salons that were successful between the east coast and the west coast. When I started Slick E Entertainment, I started writing and developing television and film content and selling it to networks. From there, I went on to write a book, because God put in my spirit that I should write a book and it had something to do with me but it was going to benefit many other people in the same situation.
TLM: Your first book, “Why are You Single? ( And It’s Probably Not What You Think)” takes a deep look at what many women and men don’t realize; that our childhood as well as our spirituality plays an enormous role in our quest for love. When did you have that “A-ha” moment of realization?
SEM: After two failed marriages and several break ups of relationships in between, I found myself asking, why am I single? I am this great woman. I cook. I love sports. I look girly. I can do all of these things. But God showed me that things that happened to me as a child impacted the way I thought. The way I thought was influencing my outcome that lead to being single. And He said to me, that is the problem with many people today. So, that was the book I had to birth. I say I am the author of that book, but truly, God is the author of that book. I was just the instrument he used to write it. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, what nationality you are; when you read this book it’s going to help you. It’s designed to be a self-examination book. It’s designed to take you back to a place that can help you understand why you operate the way you operate today and how that influences your relationship status.
TLM: There’s a quote in your book, “We are not transformed by our struggles, but only by our survival. You are stronger and better because you made it through.” Are we truly stronger in the face of adversity and is this something we can only come to realize once we have made it through?
SEM: Yes! That’s absolutely correct. I hear a lot of people misquote a lot of things and that’s why I had to correct that and say it that way. People think that I am strong because of all the bad things I went through. No. You’ve been strong. God made you strong. We only know just how strong when we are forced to go through these things and make it through it. Some people have the mindset that they are not even going to try or that they just can’t. But when they have that “can’t”, they won’t even bother to test their own faith or their own ability. You may not think you can do it with your own ability, but you can do it with God’s ability. If you take out your ability and replace it with God’s, you can do all things, because we were created in His image.
TLM: Your faith is obviously very important to you. Where does God fit into your day to day life? How do you give thanks for all He has given you?
SEM: How I do that is through all the jobs in my life. When I say “jobs”, these are things I created for myself and I’ll always give back. I see people struggle every day. I see they want success. They want to win! I know in my life, no one helped me. When I say that, I mean, no one handed anything over to me. Because of that, I craved it. I opened up my eyes and saw it right before me. I saw how I was able to obtain it. So, if nothing else, I want to be able to open someone else’s eyes and help them to see it. If I have to put it in their face, if I have to put them on the path, I will. I’m always giving information. People contact me all the time and ask, “How did you write your book?” or ask questions on how to be an author or a screen writer or an actor. I’ll tell them. People out here are like crabs in bucket and I hate to say that. They don’t want to help another person because they think if I help you, you’re going to make it before me. What they don’t know is that by helping others, it opens the door for God to help you. I never look at it any other way. I know that when I let go of what I know, I can bless someone else. That’s when God lets go and opens His hands to give Sonia whatever she wants and desires in her life. It’s always been that way for me in my life. People think I don’t struggle or have the same problems they do, but I do. I just might have it on a more magnified level. But I don’t sit around and dwell on the misfortunes or obvious troubles in my life. I’m too busy concentrating on the prize, the victory. The Bible says, “For much to be given, much is required” and I just look at all that can happen because of all of it.
TLM: You’re a single mother who is out there showing other single women, mothers or not, that a woman does not need to depend on a man to get all she wants out of life. Was there a lot of sacrifice along the way? Do you feel you have it all right now?
SEM: Oh, no. I am nowhere near having it all, but I can tell you this. I am on my way. Yes, I did sacrifice. I think that the true definition of a parent is not just having a child. I would like to think I am not perfect, however, when you have your children, your children come first. I’m always at basketball games, basketball practice, track meets and anything that they require. I’m there. I balance it out. I never bring any man into my life around my children. My children never saw any man coming in and out of my home or calling my home. I respected my home. If they don’t have the home number, then they are not the person that my child needs to have in their life. I did sacrifice a lot of relationships. I sacrificed a lot of things I could have been doing, but I did it for a reason. I was more concerned about the values I place upon my children’s lives. What I do in front of them is what they will be left with as an influence in their lives and what they will pass onto their children. However, I do want you to mention I am a bachelorette. I do want to get married again someday, but for now I am single and in a place where I am welcoming suitors. [laughs aloud]
TLM: I think I can work that in for you, Sonia! [both laughing] Switching gears for a moment, during my research, I came across your movie trailer and video pitch for the film you are writing called, Hell’d Accountable. The premise is amazing and the trailer is totally creepy! You stated it’s a cross between Friday the 13th and You Got Served. Where did you get the idea for a film like that?
SEM: [laughs] Let me start by saying, I don’t go see horror films. I don’t like them at all. I like to write suspense thrillers. I was raised up on Elliot Ness, Perry Mason, The Untouchables, all of that. My mom loved suspenseful movies or shows like The Rockford Files. I always liked the “who dun nits”, so my mind is always creating suspense thrillers. It didn’t start out as a horror film, but it started to turn that way and I had to commit to it. It couldn’t contain some horror, but not be a horror film. I had to go all out! What made me come up with that idea was, I was watching the BET Awards one year and I was so disgusted about what was going on onstage. They had some rappers up there with their children and they were singing a song , “I Wanna F*** All The Girls In The World”. There they were, up on stage, beefing it out, with their children standing right next to them, on television! So, I thought to myself, what if they were held accountable for the things they said and did? That’s where it came together for me, writing about this psychopath father who blamed Hip Hop for the loss of his son. He goes on a rampage, a killing spree, after the biggest Hip Hop artists in the world. He kills them one by one, making them recite their own rap lyrics as they were being killed. I thought it was going to be a suspense thriller, but then it turned into horror. Being that he makes them recite rap lyrics, now we’re adding the Hip Hop element to the screenplay. Now you have a soundtrack of rap! That’s the “You Got Served” part. You’re going to be taken to the skating rink or the concert and have that music along with the horror element of the slasher. It’s just that mix. Someone said it reminded them of “Saw” a little bit. That’s a big compliment.
TLM: You have Grammy award nominee and Sundance Film Festival Winner, KC Amos on board for this production. In the rap industry, you don’t get much better than he as a director. How did you two hook up for Hell’d Accountable?
SEM: I told him about the script. When he had some free time, I sent him over a copy. He read it and said, “Oh my God, I want to do this! I want to be a part of this!” I have people from Grammy Award winning writers like Ronnie Jackson, who also wrote for R. Kelly wanting to write the music for it. We’re just waiting for the finances to put it into production. We’re hoping to get that done by this year through some online fundraising we’re setting up through Kickstarter. It hasn’t gone live yet. We’re hoping to get it running real soon.
TLM: You have another book in the works, called“How To Get Her, When You Think You Have Nothing To Offer” which is obviously targeted towards your male fan base. Can you give our readers a little taste of what it’s about?
SEM: The book is going to be about men who miss out on women could have been the woman that was sent to them to complete their life, but missed out on because they thought they didn’t have enough to offer. They either thought they didn’t look a certain way, have enough to give, wasn’t the right height, whatever. The man who thought what they do have is not enough to get her. So I am bringing some truth about women to them. It can be that the shortest man can get the tallest woman. It has nothing to do with what you think you have to give her. You can give her things, but that will only attract her. That’s not necessarily what is going to keep her. That’s what the book is about, knowing the difference between attracting the woman and getting the woman. I think a lot of people have that twisted, including women. Women who are showing off their bodies, walking out looking like a stripper, they think they have to look like that to get a man. No, you’re going to attract a man, but you’re not going to get him. It’s the same thing with guys. The book is going to help them with a woman’s knowledge on how we see things and how if you use what you do have, it can get you what you the woman you want.
TLM: I want to take you back to the old days for a moment to your youth here in Tampa, Florida. I heard this rumor that you used to be a rapper and opened for 2 Live Crew and Roxanne Shante? Is this true or have my sources gone crazy?
SEM: Oh my God. [laughs] Yes! It’s true! I was the celebrity girl back in the day! I was in college when I was rapping, Tampa College! I performed at the fairground. The local radio station had me come down and do drops. I was called “Slick E.”! That’s where my company’s name came from. Every mix tape that all the guys did, you would hear me on there, jamming! They would all say, “I want the mix tape with the girl on it!” All of the rap battles, they all knew me. They used to say, “Oh man, if she’s gonna get in it, I’m not gonna even get in it. She’s gonna win!” [laughs again] I used to win all of them!
TLM: Along with the book and the film, what next can we expect from the great Sonia Everett Mckie?
SEM: I have my radio show going, “The SEM Factor”. I’m also starting production on a national television show, my own television show. I am going to host it. It will be a talk show. I am very hopeful that, with these steps I am taking now, especially with my radio show, this is the road to take me to where I want to be. I feel like some sit around and wait for opportunity to knock. Not me. Now, I create the opportunities so that they will be seeking me instead of me seeking them.
You can follow Sonia on Twitter at @SoniaMckie or on Facebook at Sonia-Everett-Mckie. Her book is presently available for purchase on Amazon.com.
Cher Tushiah is a Social Media Guru and freelance journalist who delights in getting paid while working in her pajamas and spends more time on Facebook than your average teenager. A published author, plus sized advocate and CEO/Director of “Let Me Shop It For You”, a social media company specializing in small businesses, Ms. Tushiah lives in the northern Tampa Bay area with her boy toy of a husband. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet her at @thegoddesscher, where you will find her embroiled in some heated discussion about wearing the perfect pair of shoes or spewing the importance of reality television on pop culture.