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Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Ideas in the back of our mind are the best ones to act on. They are planted there for reasons, and we won’t know what those reasons are unless we act on the ideas. Karen Landry’s journey to become an author is an inspiration for anyone who has ideas in the back of their head that they want to accomplish. Before the release of her highly anticipated cookbook “Killa Be Cookin” I was grateful for the opportunity to discuss the release of her cookbook, her background in the kitchen, and her favorite food cities.

Ross: Books are one of the most valuable resources in society. How high does becoming an author sit on your lengthy list of accomplishments?


Ross: When did you first get the idea to write a book?

Killa: I actually think the idea has always been in the back of my mind. Or at least, looking back at it, I think my ancestors were telling me I should do it one day. I always had an inkling to write down my ingredients. I've been making up my own recipes since a child. I'm just now beginning to document with details and measurements though. It feels really good that I’m creating that.

Ross: When did you first start cooking?

Killa: I started cooking when I was a child. It was just something I took to. My mom would call me over and say, "let me show you how to season this chicken, make this gravy, or fix this dish." One summer, she just started calling me from work while I was home and telling me to start dinner. And I started to enjoy it. I'd look up recipes to cook and try my own little remixes. It was an escape for me. A chance to really let go and just be me. So, it started off as a way to contribute to my household and ended up being my creative space.

Ross: What are people who don’t cook missing out on in the kitchen?

Killa: Good ass food! Haha no, but seriously, I think they are missing out on a chance to just try new things. New dishes. New flavors. New techniques. I don't know about you, but I get bored eating the same things over and over. I like to mix up flavors, try new cuisines, and tap into other cultures.

Ross: What are your top 5 favorite food cities?

Killa: This is hard because I live in New Orleans. But NOLA is obviously number one! Then I’d say New York City- they have so many different options. Chicago and Austin are on my list.

Who is your favorite food city?

  • New Orleans

  • Austin

  • Chicago

  • New York

Ross: How do you want your cookbook to impact your entrepreneurial career?

Killa: I'd like this to be the start of all kinds of food-centric ventures. More cookbooks, for one. But I'd also like to have my own line of sauces/seasonings, a "cook with me" style box, and even tap into a visual podcast or show that allows me to eat good and talk about some relevant shit. My friends and I have some really solid conversations that I think the world would benefit from hearing. And we love to eat! I’m just kind of going with the flow and seeing where life leads me. I’m putting it out there and walking on faith.

Ross: What advice would you give someone trying to publish their first book?

Killa: On the front end, just do it. Write it out. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can perfect it along the way but starting is the biggest piece. And then I’d say get organized. Take it step by step. Make sure you have everything you need to not only create the content but make it look good and ensure you have a way to sell it.

Ross: What do you have planned next for your literary career?

Killa: Next, I'd like to work on a cookbook that either showcases southern-style foods or combines food with comfort and feeling good. I'd like the ingredients to mean something. Not just your typical "unhealthy comfort foods," but some things that actually boost your mood or aid in certain benefits. I don’t fully have it ironed out, but I just want to share the “feel goods” that food gives me with the world. So, stay tuned! I'm trying to get something else out in late winter / early spring.

Thanks for reading our article with Karen Landry who can be found on Instagram and Tik Tok.

Check out Killa Be Cookin and follow us on Instagram.

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The biggest misconception in therapy across various cultures is that something has to be "wrong with you" to see a therapist.


Until recent years, therapy and mental health have been swept under the rug by society. There is still progress to be made regarding social stigmas and systematic support for mental health, but there has been a shift in society to realize the importance and normalcy of therapy. Regardless of race, religion, gender, or economic status, each human will endure obstacles, situations, or challenges that will test our mental health. Therapy isn’t always utilized for crises. The best time to make sure your roof is in order is when the sun is shining. Crises are more prone to happen when regular maintenance hasn’t been performed. Therapy is often utilized as a resource for maintaining healthy mindsets, relationships, marriages, and careers. After learning of how important mental health professionals are, I made an intentional effort to lift the voices and publish books for Black Therapists that are making a difference in the culture, community, and economy. Dr. Shundrika Jones has been doing all three plus more. This week I had the opportunity to catch up with Dr. Jones after she published her first book with Williams Commerce.


Ross: 2022 has been such a productive year for you, and I believe you have many more things to accomplish before 2023. Could you please tell the readers about your achievements this year?

Dr. Jones: 2022 has been a busy yet exciting year so far for me. I published my first book, and my business Collective Psychotherapy expanded. Additionally, I had a lot of success in my military career. I successfully completed my Company Command time.

Ross: What motivated you to start your business?

Dr. Jones: What motivated me to start my business was my passion to help others and my own mental health journey. I learned a long time ago to enjoy the journey instead of focusing on the results. That is truly what I teach my clients to do. Understanding that taking time to enjoy your healing journey creates mental stability like no other. Additionally, wanting to help the youth was another significant contributing factor to my business. For every child, I can reach and help equal one less emotionally and mentally damaged adult in the world.

Ross: What advice do you have for new authors wanting to grow their brand?

Dr. Jones: My advice for new authors is to follow your heart and be sure you are keeping your target audience in mind when you write or produce any new products. Most authors will probably agree that we are inspired to write in order to help others in some way, but as we build our brand, it is important that we continue to keep our purpose and customers in mind.

Ross: What are the unique aspects of your business?

Dr. Jones: At Collective Psychotherapy, we focus on helping individuals, families, and couples heal from traumatic events. We currently have two therapists, which allows potential clients to choose the therapists they resonate the best with. Additionally, I am hosting groups for teenagers to help them learn their emotions and effective ways to navigate and communicate with them.

Ross: How has releasing a book changed your career?

Dr. Jones: Releasing my book has been a bonus in my career. I talk a lot about shifting your perspective with my clients. One way to do that is to use positive affirmations and journaling. Therefore, my book has been used by many of my clients, and it has helped them identify their own thinking patterns.

Ross: What are the biggest misconceptions about mental health and therapy?

Dr: Jones: The biggest misconception in therapy across various cultures is that something has to be "wrong with you" to see a therapist. Therapy is viewed as a luxury expense for many people. Many people also only think of mental health as a label such as a diagnosis. The truth is you can see a therapist to learn ways to adjust to life changes or cope with life stressors, which we all experience in life. We do not have to go through life suffering in silence.

Follow Dr. Jones on Instagram & visit Collective Psychotherapy - Are you looking for relief from life’s daily... to learn more about her business.

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Ross: When did you first get the idea to write a book?

Brian: I first got the idea to write a book back in 2015. Writing was a cathartic experience for me and helped me to release a lot of the feelings that I was hiding and holding in. By writing things down I was able to find my voice to be able to talk about all the things that happened and start to process it all to move towards healing.

Ross: What were the biggest challenges with completing your book?

Brian: Some of the biggest challenges in completing the book for me were actually finishing it and making the decision to release it. I was struggling with how do I bring the book to a closing as well as deciding how vulnerable I wanted to be with sharing certain elements of my story. Completing this book was definitely a process that I learned to trust wholeheartedly. I had to understand my true job in this whole process was simply to share my story.

Ross: What are the biggest lessons you learned about the book creation process?

Brian: I have learned that writing a book can be a very tedious process overall especially when you want what you’re saying conveyed a certain way. There is a lot that goes into telling the story just the way you want it.

Ross: How has releasing a book impacted your career?

Brian: I believe overall it has raised awareness about who I am and what I am capable of. It also, has established my credibility as an author.

Ross: What is your profession aside from writing?

Brian: Aside from writing I have been a defense contractor since 2011.

Ross: What advice would you give to someone trying to publish their first book?

Brian: I would tell them to grant themselves grace along the journey and don’t be afraid to create visuals to develop how they want their book to flow from beginning to the end. Also, I would tell them that power lies in vulnerability because it helps to build true connection with readers.

Ross: That’s amazing advice! How did you find strength in your vulnerabilities?

Brian: I was able to find the vulnerabilities did not mean I was weak. It meant I was strong enough to be transparent and have a very human experience. Vulnerability requires you to get really honest with yourself about a lot of things. And if you won’t be honest with you then don’t expect anyone else to do it.

Ross: Which books inspired you to become an author?

Brian: The Four Agreements, The Power of Now, The Alchemist and A Course in Miracles. These books helped me to understand that all you really need is already inside of you if you’re just willing to tap into that power.

Ross: What do you have planned next for your literary career?

Brian: I want to explore some different genres of writing. I want to see what I can do with fiction and poetry. I don’t want to limit myself to one style of doing things. I believe there are some more ways to become innovative with literature.

Ross: What are the main takeaways you want readers to have from your book?

Brian: I want the reader to know that they can overcome anything and that they should never count themselves out. I also want the reader to understand that life is a learning process, and you have to be willing to grow through what you go through. Healing is a beautiful journey of becoming the best version of yourself along the way. Forgiveness is a powerful tool and making peace with your past sets you free to focus on the present moment and look to the future with optimism.

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