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Break the Cycle of Despair

Denise Monique
Denise Monique Author Interview

Despite My Odds is a candid and heartfelt retelling of your tumultuous upbringing and the difficult path that led to love and success. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I have always been a helper and wanted to show others the power to move forward lies within. My life has always had purpose, but it took me a long time to really embrace that idea. In telling my story, I gained ownership of everything that happened to me. The transparency freed me in a way I had never felt before. Many have had similar challenges, yet struggle with the courage to tell their story-to define their worth and walk in power. These are the people I held in my heart as I wrote my story.

There were many points in my life that I could have ended up on the other side of the statistics. My grandma used to tell me she was so happy I wasn’t somewhere crouched in a corner after being raped. Despite My Odds proves that we can break the cycle of despair and live a better life.

What do you feel is a common misconception people have about abusive relationships?

Oftentimes, there is the misconception that there was something the victim/victor did to provoke the abuse. Some think it is easy to just leave, just pick up the pieces and go. Perhaps outsiders don’t understand the components and levels of abuse. Abusers teach you to abuse yourself. When you feel you are nothing, how do you leave? How do you get the strength to move on? A bird with a broken wing cannot fly.

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What were some key ideas that you wanted to express in your book?

Thank you! I spent too many years trying to fit the mold others created for me. Just as the raw memories erupted, I wanted my readers to feel the sting of the details. It is important to truly love yourself, and no matter how bad your past seems, know that you can still shine.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your memoir?

I hope readers feel empowered after reading my book.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Layla spent the first eight years of her life in a loving home with her grandparents. That comfort all ended once welfare caught up with her mother who was still receiving food benefits for her. After moving to her mothers’ home, the dysfunctional relationships continued for years. Layla was abused emotionally, physically, and sexually. She looked to her mother for love and protection but never found it. Layla’s mom, Val, often told her she looked like a boy and would never amount to anything just like her dad. Layla began connecting with the wrong men for what she thought was love. Several of those relationships produced children and ended just as quickly as they began. A life full of low self-esteem, promiscuity and one bad relationship after another continued until finally, she had enough. Layla sought to take her power back from all those that had taken advantage of her.

This story will inspire you to look within for the strength to push forward. Life does not come with a road map and sometimes we fail miserably. But even with the vicissitudes, we can pick up our pieces and rise above it all.


DESPITE MY ODDS: A Memoir by [Denise Monique]

Layla has overcome a multitude of hardships. It is almost impossible to comprehend how much her life has changed over the years and how strong one woman can actually be when push comes to shove. From abuse endured at a tender age to failed relationships with men who repeatedly took advantage of both her and her family, Layla has seen and survived it all. As a young mother herself, Layla understands the importance of protecting her children and the impact their environment will have on their futures. It is at all costs that Layla looks onward and upward when life’s curveballs never cease coming her way.

Despite My Odds: A Memoir, by Denise Monique, is the true story of the author’s tumultuous upbringing, the difficult path that led her to true love, and her second shot at success. Monique’s life story is completely captivating. The descriptions of her childhood and her mother’s neglectful manner pulls at the reader’s heartstrings. The author’s life, unfortunately, is one with which many readers will relate. The amount of bravery it has taken for Monique to tell her story is immense, and her candor is, at times, chilling in its raw truth.

It is not often that I read a book cover-to-cover in a sitting, but Monique’s begs to be one of those books worthy of a one-and-done session. I immediately found myself lost in the tragedy that was her childhood and rooting for every one of her relationships to finally be the one that took her life in a positive direction. I was invested from the first page–completely. Her frustrations and losses became, if for a moment in time, mine. Monique has a way of making the reader feel as if they are lifelong friends. She writes in a way this open, honest, engaging, and, most of all, freeing. This is a gripping work of the author’s heart from beginning to end.

Despite My Odds: A Memoir is a must-read for anyone who has survived abuse and is looking for inspiration and the encouragement to keep looking forward. Monique’s willingness to examine her past and share it is a gift to readers everywhere. It is through stories like hers that we find purpose in our pain and real hope for healing. Though any reader stands to gain from Monique’s story, I highly recommend her book to social service workers and guidance counselors. There is a level of empathy that can be reached by absorbing Monique’s story they will find nowhere else. It is through the eyes of survivors we can find answers.

Pages: 95 | ASIN: B0854CZ6HH

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