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Greenville native’s book lands film deal

BY DAAYIAH LATHAM

A production company based in Atlanta, Georgia, is interested in turning Greenville native LaWanda Burrell’s “Stand Up, Speak Up, Because Your Time’s Up” book into a film in 2021.

Just last year in December 2019, the Greenville author held a book signing in the Greenville Library.

With a year of receiving positive feedback such as a 5-star rating on Amazon and listed in the top 30 percentile in the Women’s Biographies category, the best is yet to come.

Readers have described the story as “enjoyable, insightful, and encouraging, it is such a great read that once you begin reading it, it is hard to put it down.”

“My goal was to write about stories that would engage everyone no matter your background. My true inspirational stories are uplifting and heartfelt, it displays my journey of how I had to stand up and speak up during the time of adversities, and lays out motivational life lessons along the way,” said Burrell.

Burrell said her journey included some trials and tribulations, but she always remembered, “success doesn’t always come easy, sometimes our struggles become our strengths.”

She received some rejection with submitting her book in bookstores but kept on trying. A year later, her book is now being sold in several independent bookstores in the US, also in Canada, Australia, and the UK. In March 2020, she discovered that it is available for purchase at Walmart.

The Greenville High School graduate’s book is also available in the library for students to check out.

Growing up, the author was known as the shy, small-town girl from Alabama with big city dreams.

Burrell said, “growing up in Greenville, I experienced a lot of people that genuinely care for one another. You never meet a stranger, everything is in a short driving distance, a very close knit community always willing to lend a helping hand for people in need. It is totally different than the hustle and bustle of a big city, but definitely pros and cons with both.”

Coming from a toxic work environment Burrell started to follow her long-time dream to become an author.

“As a child I was always told that I was a great storyteller with a vivid imagination. Journaling was always fun for me because it allowed me to fertilize my spirit with positive thoughts, decrease stress, and give me reassurance of who I am in Christ,” she said.

“I am filled with excitement about this once in a lifetime opportunity. Stand Up, Speak Up, Because Your Time’s Up will be an independent film targeting an audience that is looking for faith based, inspirational movies.”

At this moment, they are working towards hiring known actors and actresses within the state of Georgia. The production company plans to work with distributors such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and HULU, Sling TV, BET, Pure Flix, etc. through their streaming services.

The film is much like the book as far as topics. The film will be including messages such as hope, faith, forgiveness, and love to the world.

The book Stand Up, Speak Up, Because Your Time’s Up is more than 250 pages, and although the author would like the film to include every story in the book, due to the time constraint, they will highlight her journey of speaking up and finding true love.

The film, based on a true story, will be, “a 90 minute film about a shy, small town girl from Alabama that relocates to the big city, but as she focuses on building her career at the HR firm she finds herself in an entanglement with her college sweetheart and a new love,” said Author Burrell.

“In reference to film, my goal is to be as involved as possible with the making of my film Stand Up, Speak Up, Because Time’s Up and educate myself in learning more about the film industry in hopes to pursue more production opportunities.”

The journey does not stop here, Burrell’s goal is to start a book writing and narrating service with her husband to help inspire others to write and share their journey with the world. She also plans to publish many more books and become a New York Times Bestseller.

The author shared what is next for her journey as a writer.

She is working on publishing a children’s book that is dedicated to her 9-year-old son Nalin. Also, young adult fiction books that are dedicated to her two daughters, Neziah and Nylah.

She will be publishing some relationship books and inspirational self-help books.

“Although we have potential investors for the film, my family and I would like to produce our film debt free. If you are interested in being a sponsor for our film project, which will include perks and rewards, please see my fundraising link with I Fund Women. Thank you in advance.”

She is now married to her husband DeMorris Burrell Jr., for 15 years, and the couple has three children, two daughters Neziah Camille,13, Nylah Catherine, 11, and one son Nalin Chase, 9.