Maurice Skillern



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The Rock Interview


Maurice Skillern

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THE ROCK: Who is Maurice Skillern, tell us something about you?

Maurice: In this life, I have been many things, Black Man, Soldier, Father, Leader, Teacher, Physicians Assistant, Writer and much more. At this point in my life I work hardest at being a father, I love my two boys more than life and feel they deserve all I have to give mentally and physically. Unfortunately, neither of my sons stays with me so I travel as often as possible between Texas and Virginia to see them.

THE ROCK: Where are you from, and currently residing?

Maurice: I was born and raised in Houston, Texas (Acres Homes) and lived there most of my life (when not away for the military). Since being deactivated after 15 months on active duty (in July 2004) part of which I served in Baghdad, Iraq I have lived between Columbus, Georgia and Columbia, South Carolina.

THE ROCK: Are there any other writers in the family?

Maurice: No, actually I am the first writer that I know of in my family as well as being the first person in my family to earn a Masters Degree.

THE ROCK: When did you start writing?

Maurice: I actually started writing long ago as an outlet in high school (it seems so long ago) and my writing and need for it went dormant for many years. I actually started writing again when I was in nursing school in 1990 and completed the foundation for my current book "Messages" at that time.

THE ROCK: What prepared you to become an author?

Maurice: I think life itself prepares us all to be authors and gives us the innate ability to tell the world of our thoughts and ideas. It is just that some develop the further ability to frame those thoughts in written word, in a format that is palatable to others.

THE ROCK: What inspired you to become a writer?

Maurice: Truth be told, it was the words and phrases themselves that inspired me to become a writer. In fact, the only way I could keep a poem from resonating in my head (spoiling my focus in nursing school) was to put it down on paper.

THE ROCK: What inspired you to write your book?

Maurice: As mentioned above, my book "Messages" in many ways wrote itself with me being the modem. I have always, in some way, walked a different path and my book "Messages" is a compilation of philosophical thought gathered from my living and interacting with our world today. Its purpose is to stimulate new thoughts and ideas.

THE ROCK: Tell us about your newest creation. What is the premise?

Maurice:"Messages" is a book of poetic-philosophy. This is the only classification I can think to give it. In fact, when I completed it, it truly did not fit into any of the genres of poetry that I had ever been exposed to. Only in crossing these two (poetry and philosophy) figurative concept can you capture the essence of the book. It combines aspects of general poetry (rhyming verse), aspects of abstract poetry (non-rhyming verse) and philosophy (free flowing thoughts).

THE ROCK: Any publishing contracts in the working?

Maurice: My book "Messages" is currently published through Cedar Hill Publishing ( in conjunction with my company Baseline International ( ). It is now available through most of the notable bookstores (Barnes & Noble, Hastings, Amazon, etc…) but autographed copies are only available through Baseline International.

THE ROCK: Have you ever self-published? Why or why not?

Maurice: This current project can be considered somewhat a self-published project. Before I took it to Cedar Hill Publishing, my book was about 98% completed. I had already done a lot of research of the book industry and learned some of the ins and outs and necessities. I had also already set up my own company (Baseline International) with a Prince-like mentality to sell my work myself eventually. I took "Messages" to Cedar Hill Publishing primarily for finish work and final polishing and I feel the finished result is exceptional.

THE ROCK: What are "traditional publishers" looking for?

Maurice: Traditional publishers are looking primarily for commercially marketable product. This is the plain and simple unavoidable truth of it.

THE ROCK: If you were a publisher, what would be your niche? Why?

Maurice: I hope to one day publish works of other authors through the company I founded Baseline International, Publishing LLC this is the ultimate goal of my company with my book being but the first of many. By taking my own book through the process first, it allowed me to see and fabricate ways to avoid the pitfalls for others. My niche will be works of writers who represent new thought and ideas, not work spurned by commercial marketing covering age-old subjects. We have truly lost the way when it comes to free flowing thought. What in our existence ever happened to the Socrates’ and the Edgar Allen Poe’s?

THE ROCK: For an author, is having a publishing contract with a "traditional publisher" important professionally? Why?

Maurice: Yes. This answer is simply and self-explanatory. This in many ways is the ultimate goal for many authors for to be able to write with focus one must have financial support on some level. Even the many successful writer who did self publish initially eventually through perseverance sought and gained favorable contracts with traditional publishers. Doing this allows a writer to write and not have to pursue all the intricate and distracting aspects of publishing.

THE ROCK: What are some of your professional and personal achievements?

Maurice: I have been a soldier in the Army all of my adult life reaching the rank of Sergeant First Class before becoming a Commissioned officer (1st Lieutenant) obtaining various military awards in the process. I am the first individual in my family to become a Physicians Assistant and obtain a Masters degree.

THE ROCK: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Maurice: I have had the pleasure of reading the works of many great authors, but a few that immediately come to mind are: Maya Angelou; Walter Mosley; Michael Baisden; Iyanla Vanzant; Edgar Allen Poe; Langston Hughes; Nietche; Sun Tzu; Dante; and most of The Great Philosophers of ancient times. These are a concentrated few of the authors who I would say had some influence on me. Yet, though esteemed, this list is but a small sample of the authors who's books I have read, and by proxy been influenced by.

THE ROCK: Where do you want to be in 5 years?

Maurice: I want to have completed and published two other book projects I am currently working on (Backboard Warrior and Chronicles from the Brink) and have a Masters in Philosophy.

THE ROCK: Where can readers find you?

Maurice: Readers can find me through Baseline International’s website ( and or through my blogg ( They can also contact me through my email address is .

THE ROCK: Thank you, Maurice.

Maurice:  You are more than welcome. I also want to thank everyone in your organization for this interview as well as for all the positive support your organization has provided. When all else fails and an author is at the end of the perpetual rope; it is the support of friends that can make him or her look again at that before un-scalable mountain and engage the impossible again with renewed vigor.