DR. MEL'S MESSAGE - From my novels to my other projects, no telling what you will read. This is the only place you will get to read about how I developed a screenplay into a novel and what is the driving force. I will talk about many things from films to books to acting to producing. It really will depend on where my mind takes me. I hope you will join me on this journey.
your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now,
where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
My name is Chetoca Barfield. I was born and
raised in a small town in Eastern North Carolina with my parents, two siblings,
and an older brother and younger sister. My parents are retired and living
their best life doing whatever it is that retired folks do 😊. My brother resides in Virginia, and my sister
resides in Western North Carolina, where she recently received her doctoral
degree in Social Work.
Growing up, I had dreams of becoming a lawyer. Nothing
sparked this interest, but I knew early on in grade school that I loved to
research and explain how things came to be. After graduating from high school,
I knew I would pursue criminal justice studies at Elizabeth City State
University (i.e., ECSU) with hopes of having a career as a criminal prosecutor.
In my freshman year in college, I laid eyes on
my dream guy, who has been my husband for the last 19 years. I knew I was going
to marry him when I saw him walk out of the café. I know that may sound weird,
but it’s the truth. Michael (my husband) and I didn’t begin dating until one
year later. It’s funny how things happen, but that is a story for another day.
In 2000, I graduated from ECSU and began working
in corporate America, starting from the bottom as a customer service
representative. I was studying to take the LSAT to enter law school during this
time. In 2003 Michael and I wed. Marriage was fun and enjoyable, and I didn’t
want anything to interrupt our marital bliss 😊.
So, I decided to no longer pursue law school. To
be honest, studying has never been my strong suit, and I knew law school would
have demanded so much of my time that I just wasn’t ready to commit. I enjoyed
working in corporate America but knew staying in a customer service role wasn’t
my “forever” career choice. I wanted to move up the corporate ladder into a
In 2006, I received my MBA degree from Strayer
University. During this time, my corporate career was taking off. I moved into
a supervisory role and led an operations team for a few years within the
financial industry. In 2011, I was offered a higher-level leadership
opportunity with a different company, but still within the financial industry.
Leading teams for the last 15 years led me down
an unexpected path; mentoring. I’ve mentored many colleagues and peers from a
career development perspective. This was an undisclosed passion I didn’t know I
had until I was knee-deep in it. It was the best decision I could have made for
my career goals, as I have thrived promotionally ever since.
As time passed, mentoring evolved into helping
individuals, groups, etc., navigate life challenges. My parents had a rule for
my siblings and me growing up in my household. Every Sunday, we were in church.
If we didn’t attend church on Sundays, we couldn’t go anywhere for the rest of
While I didn’t appreciate attending church as
much as I did, I’m thankful that I did. My Sunday school teacher taught me how
to develop a relationship with God versus focusing on religious affiliations
rules. As I’ve grown in my walk with Christ, this vital lesson has helped me
through many difficult moments.
When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit in 2020, all our
lives were altered. The daily routines once in place replaced social isolation,
mental health challenges, social injustice, and doubting faith. The need to
have a healthy support system was magnified, and this need led to the birth of Treasured
Treasured Possession is a mentoring community that I created to
provide encouragement, support, and tools to equip the body of Christ to lead
healthy lives in body, mind, and spirit. The name Treasured Possession comes
from Deuteronomy 7:6 (ESV) “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; The
Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure
above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
You and I are his most Treasured Possession.
inspired you to author this book?
My inspiration came
from my relationship with my Sunday School teacher, Ms. Nelly. She was a very caring,
soft-tone lady who emphasized the importance of building a relationship with
God through communication. She made God relatable to me. Through my experience
and her teachings; I learned that it’s not about religion but about a relationship.
did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?
In my head, I
developed a mood board of what a “modern-day” Ms. Nelly’s Sunday school class
would look like. From there, I could create the cover.
has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
I know for most people,
the response to this kind of question is always someone within your immediate
family, and it’s no different for me. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting people
from all walks of life during my 44 years on this Earth. Out of all those people,
my parents have significantly influenced me through their service and
dedication to God and to our family.
This will be a weird
answer as a writer, but it would be God. I have never wanted to write a book,
nor did I know anything about how to write a book. He literally spoke to me,
and this book came to life.
were the struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
I wish I had a brand
message to my readers and other inspiring authors about the struggles of
writing this book, but I honestly didn’t have any. As natural as it is, having
a conversation with a friend is as natural as it was for me to author this
your readers about your book.
Welcome to Ms. Nelly’s Sunday School Class is a
book comprising six short stories about how Ms. Nelly and her class are
preparing for their Sunday School program. The assignment of bible verses and
each student crisis led to doubts about who God is. Ms. Nelly helps each
student navigate their crisis by simply encouraging them to converse with God.
My target audience is adults
(i.e., parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, Sunday school teachers, etc.) trying
to introduce God to a child but struggling with where to begin. There are so
many adults within the body of Christ that weren’t properly taught how to live
out biblical truths and apply biblical principles to everyday situations that they
may face. We all know that having a good foundation for anything we try to
succeed in is critical. This book shows how to do both, starting at the early
age of six.
you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read, why
should they buy it?
To instill in your
child having a relationship with Jesus Christ vs. following a list of religious
do you consider your most tremendous success in life?
The ongoing growth and
development of walking this life with Jesus.
one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?
That I was a
42-year-old lady (at the time, I wrote “Welcome to Ms. Nelly’s Sunday School
Class”), who wrote a Christian book for children based on the promptings of the
Holy Spirit. Yep, that is a story 😉.
For this book, I
didn’t have any. But I would imagine it would include going for a walk and
talking with God over a pack of Oreos if I did.
one piece of advice do you have for new authors?
Go with the flow, and
your only competition is you!
is next for you in your writing career?
Here’s a sneak peek: While
I’m not ready to fully disclose during the time of writing “Welcome to Ms.
Nelly’s Sunday School Class,” I wrote two other books. So…… TO BE CONTINUED. Hint:
join my website to keep updated on all things.
your readers anything else you want to share.
I hope you all enjoy
Welcome to Ms. Nelly’s Sunday School Class as much as I enjoyed writing it. In
Ms. Nelly’s simplistic way, she was able to make God relatable to her students
just as she can help make God relatable to the child in your life.