Deya Direct: Former Pageant Queen Tells Women To “Touch Yourself”
She’s a former Miss Black USA turned radio producer for the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show, but now Deya Smith is an author releasing her first tome, “Touch Yourself: 30 Ways to Boldly Live, Love and Let Go!.”
Smith, who also hosts the digital shows “Girlfriend FM” and “Beyond the Studio” on Joyner’s site BlackAmericaWeb.com, told AlwaysAList.com that she wrote “Touch Yourself” so that she could “help every woman who reads it come into her own.”
The New Haven, Conn. native, named a “Future Leader” by Ebony magazine, decided to pen this “provocative, spiritual and insightful” book to offer a blueprint for “young women everywhere who are trying to figure out how to be successful and take their lives to the next level.”
The sassy, opinionated and passionate motivational speaker and social commentator believes “Touch Yourself” will also serve as “a confirmation and supporting tool for women who are already making it happen.”
Tamara “Taj” George of the veteran R&B group SWV believes Smith’s “Touch Yourself” is guide for healthy female friendships as well.
“Deya gets down to the nitty gritty with sensible step-by-step advice for the everyday woman to follow and succeed. I look forward to putting Deya’s Directives to work on my girlfriends,” said the singer.
AlwaysAList.com caught up with Smith to find out more about this Dallas resident’s first book.
What was your inspiration to do this book?
My inspiration for this book was understanding the need for women to take control of their lives unapologetically in love, at work, spiritually, physically and sexually. “Touch Yourself: 30 Ways to Boldly Live, Love and Let Go!” is more than a book, it’s a movement. While the book may come across as sexual, it’s far deeper. It’s less about intercourse and mostly about “innercourse.” Too often women are looking for someone else to make them feel good, when in fact, you should be teaching others about you not vice versa. This project is about confidently making love to your own life and recognizing that everything you need begins within. Every woman has the power to be the love of her life, to make her dreams come true and to impact this world.
What do you want the ultimate take-away for women to be?
I want women to embrace the power of touch – to boldly get in touch with all of who they are; even the ugly, scary parts and to ultimately grow and honor their heart’s desires. The point is to use their truth to propel them into the life they’ve always wanted by taking ownership and action steps on a daily basis to be better and do better. The key is to believe that you can and to get out of bed and do something even when it’s hard to do. Bottom line, if you don’t like you, if you’re not willing to take a risk on your dreams, if you don’t invest in your brand, if you’re not “in touch” with yourself, don’t expect anyone to do it for you. Your life’s work is your responsibility.
How much of the book is based on your personal life experience and how much is from research?
Every single chapter is based on personal experience and supported by research – a combination of experts, interviews with celebrities, powerful women, testimonials and facts. I don’t write about anything that I don’t know. This book is authentic. Even if you’ve heard about some of the topics before, you’ve never heard it quite like this. I tell my truth in this book. Some of what I share is very scary to do; but that’s why I know I’m supposed to do it. You overcome by the word of your testimony. I promise I’m better for it. I’m no longer worried about being judged. I’ve already judged and finally forgiven myself and it feels great. I know that as a result of my own metamorphosis, other women will get free as well. The moment to do so is now, not later.
Having been a former pageant winner, do you think that platform is still viable in today’s times?
Yes, as a former Miss Black USA, that title gave me and hundreds of other young black women a platform to be seen and heard as beautiful, talented, intelligent, passionate and issue-oriented. Further, it supports a young woman’s dream to complete college, and will always be relevant.
What female celebrities could benefit most from the life skills you’re offering in this book?
In this book, I profile several celebrities that I’ve interviewed or known over the years including Taraji P. Henson, Alicia Keyes, Pam Grier, Tamia, Judge Lynn Toler, Taj from SWV, even Andrea Kelly of “Hollywood Exes.” All of these women have come into their own. They understand through trial and error what it means to live, love and let go. I’m confident that how they are highlighted will benefit every woman that reads this book.
“Touch Me” is available now for presale orders on www.TouchMeBooks.com.