BookLife Talks with Jacquii Leveine
A sponsored Q&A with the author of 'Knocking from the Inside"
Numerology and spirituality feature heavily in Leveine’s memoir about her past traumas and unhealthy relationships. Her goal in writing Knocking from the Inside is to help readers identify the negativity in their lives using Leveine’s life as a guide.
Did you always plan to write a memoir about your experiences?
It was never my intention to write a memoir. In March 2018, I received a psychic reading from my friend’s uncle. I was heavily focused on honing my craft as a jazz singer when he told me, “Your singing career will take off after you’ve written your book.” I looked at him incredulously, because that was the farthest thing from my mind. He predicted that the book would be about my life and that it would be beautiful. I can still visualize him clutching his chest as if he felt the words.
Unfazed, I asked, “What do I have to share that would be so interesting?” He answered, “You’ve been blessed with this beautiful gift. Why wouldn’t you use it to heal others?” Just then, I knew what I had to write about, and it had to come from the heart.
What was the writing process of delving into your memories like? Was there anything you wanted to include but couldn’t?
This memoir was conceived on a beachy island in Brazil called Ilhabela. Writing in natural surroundings while wearing my amethyst and angelite bracelets, I felt more like I was channeling the words than delving into my past. It truly was a co-creation between my ancestors and me. I was able to recall vivid details and conversations verbatim, as if they were transpiring in real time. I transcribed these memories in sequential order, exactly as they had occurred.
The first draft of my manuscript included a parallel story line about my plight as an African American woman working for the N.Y.C. Department of Education and dealing with its political inner workings. My editor advised that readers would be more interested in my personal life, so I removed that plot. However, considering the status quo, it’s relevant.
You’re very involved with numerology. How does it factor into Knocking from the Inside?I’m a numerologist. In the book, I use numerology to demystify my connection to the antagonist, Siete Jackson. I wanted to analyze my spiritual, psychological, and sexual patterns to gain a deeper understanding of myself, so I used the vibrations of the numbers found in my birth date and birth name to reveal my life path and purpose, my sexual attractions, my parental compatibilities, and my lessons and challenges.
The book covers the span of nine birthdays. Each birthday foreshadows the events that unfolded in my life that year. I illustrated this notion by calculating the number for each personal year and referencing it with the findings of renowned numerologist Lloyd Strayhorn. I chose the moniker “Siete” for the antagonist in my memoir, because his life path number is seven. Siete means seven in Spanish. The life path number reveals the lesson we came into this lifetime to learn.
If you could pick anyone to give this book to, who would it be and why?
I’d give my memoir to the woman who feels silenced by her struggles, because, within it, she’ll find raw honesty dressed in beautiful prose, immersed in intriguing suspense, and garnished with sparkling humor—all voiced by interesting characters who’ll pull her in and guide her along a path of unconditional self-love.
What do you hope readers will get out of Knocking from the Inside?
I want readers to laugh, cry, and reflect on my journey as copilots, seeing themselves through the lens of a woman who’s navigating all forms of relationships, energies, demons, mental health issues, accomplishments, and moments of redemption. Ultimately, I hope Knocking from the Inside provides readers with the tools to identify their past traumas, create safe healing spaces within their soul tribes, and realize their life paths and purposes.