Thursday, October 4, 2012

An Interview with Author & Speaker Merisa Davis

Remember The Cosby Show? A situation comedy that aired from September 1984-April 1992, TV Guide named it, "TV's biggest hit in the 1980s..." The star of the show, of course, was Bill Cosby. According to Wikipedia, the show was "based on comedy routines in Cosby's standup act, which were based on his family life."

This past spring I had the distinct pleasure of taking a writing class taught by none other than Bill Cosby's cousin, Merisa Davis. A multi-talented lady, Merisa is the author of "Bill Cosby IS Right: But What Should the Church Be Doing About It?" 

Recently, I had the privilege of catching up with Merisa. I invite you to grab a cup of coffee and join me in welcoming Merisa Davis!

Maria: Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us! Tell us a bit about yourself:

Merisa: I am from a real life “Cosby show” family with four boys and a girl. Everyone always compared me to quirky, fashionable Denise Huxtable. I grew up in Charlottesville, VA  and went to college at LibertyUniversity…I actually have two degrees from Liberty. My first job out of college was as a TV reporter and anchor at my hometown station of WVIR-TV. I now work part time at WATC-TV 57, a Christian station here in Atlanta. I also have a women’s ministry and travel around the country.      

Maria: You definitely stay busy! Are there any funny stories you can tell us about Bill Cosby?

Merisa: Whenever I do book signings and events for “Bill Cosby IS Right," everyone always wants to tell ME about THEIR favorite Bill Cosby story or episode from “The Cosby Show!!”
My own favorite “Bill Cosby” story is on one of his albums where he tells about how his wife is gone for the weekend and he decides to let the kids eat chocolate cake for breakfast. Then the kids start singing “Dad is Great! He Gives Us Chocolate Cake!” and then his wife finds out!
I am proud of my cousin and all he has achieved in television, he is an inspiration to me and others as he shares his family humor and gift of storytelling.

Maria: Seems the gift of storytelling runs in your family. Give us a brief overview of your book:

Merisa: “Bill Cosby IS Right” is about Dr. Cosby’s controversial comments given in his speech celebrating the 50th Anniversary of “Brown v. Board of Education,” which was a major news story. I took Dr. Cosby’s entire speech and created ten chapters, and examined the problems facing Black America, using the Bible to provide spiritual solutions. The book also documents the church’s role in the Civil Rights struggle.   

Maria: Fascinating! What inspired you to write your book?

Merisa: When Dr. Cosby was attacked by the liberal media for his statements, I became upset. I knew the Bible supported everything he said and that was the ultimate authority on all issues. Also, at the time I was enrolled in my graduate studies at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, and my leadership there encouraged me to become a published author.   

Maria: I know encouragement goes a long way for those of us in the writing field. How has your Broadcasting and Journalism background aided in the publication/marketing process?

Merisa: Because of my Journalism background, I understand exactly how a newsroom works, and how producers and reporters decide which story gets on the air. This knowledge helped me to get publicity and sales for “Bill Cosby IS Right.”

Maria: Way to use your expertise! How has your relationship with Jesus Christ impacted your writing?

Merisa: My relationship with Christ is everything and my all in all. It was the Holy Spirit’s leading for me to write “Bill Cosby IS Right” and also to choose a career in Journalism. I am an avid student of the Word of God and thus the Bible impacts my words. Also “Bill Cosby IS Right” launched my ministry.

Merisa Davis with Dr. Fred Luter
The Word lets us know that “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great and mighty men.” My gift of writing is from the Lord, and has opened many doors for me and allowed me to meet and discuss world issues with Gen. Colin Powell,  Dr. Ben Carson, Dr. Ben Kinchlow and members of the Martin Luther King family as well. Just recently I was able to spend time with Dr. Fred Luter, who is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and he was supportive of “Bill Cosby IS Right” as well. I am grateful for God choosing me to be a writer and I want to use my talents to further God’s kingdom.

Maria: That's wonderful! I had the privilege of attending a 6-week class you taught entitled, Publishing a Christian Book. Give us a summary of the class and when you’re scheduled to teach it again.

Merisa: The class is how I give back to First Redeemer Church, where my ministry was launched. The class teaches people how to organize their thoughts and guides them through the publishing process using materials by Thomas NelsonPublishers, which is one of the nation’s premier Christian publishers. There are many people who have a desire to write a book but do not know anything about the process. My class de-mystifies the process and helps them to write their vision and make it plain.

I teach the class once a year and will teach the 2013 class in the Spring. Signup begins in March.  

Maria: I know your class was extremely helpful to me, so those of you who are local, be sure to make note of that date. What goals do you have for the future?

Merisa: I hope to someday teach at the college level and desire to obtain my PhD in Communications. 

Maria: Great goals! Share some lessons you’ve learned on your journey as a writer:

Merisa: Double check your facts and have a good editor to make sure the product looks clean and professional.

Maria: What words of wisdom would you like to leave with our readers?

Merisa: Recently I had a 12-year-old girl take my class and she has co-written a book with her Grandmother - Alive in Him  -  that was released  in April 2012. Her book is doing very well and she has plans to write a series! I would encourage everyone who desires to write a  book to prayerfully consider following their dream, because if God helped the 12-year-old do it, He can help you too!!!    

Maria: Thanks for those encouraging words of wisdom. I look forward to seeing how the Lord continues to use you and your ministry in the days ahead!

Good news! Merisa has graciously agreed to give away a signed copy of her book, "Bill Cosby IS Right: But What Should the Church Be Doing About It?"

 *Leave a comment to this post, include your email address in the following format: morgan(dot)maria(dot)i(at)gmail(dot)com. Entries without an email address are not eligible.

*Receive an extra entry by becoming a follower, or by reminding me that you're already a follower.

*Receive a bonus entry by posting about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, and/or Twitter.
 Please be sure and let me know you did so in your comment.

*This is open to US residents only. My sincere apology to those followers outside the US.

*Deadline to enter is midnight Eastern Standard Time, Tuesday, October 9th, 2012. Winner to be announced in Thursday's post. The winner will be notified via email.

Connect with Merisa:



  1. a wonderful posting/interview...thanks for the chance to read this book

    i'm a follower, too

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Karen! I've entered you in the drawing to win a copy of Merisa's book (you have 2 entries - one for commenting and one for being a follower!!). Have a beautiful day. God bless~

  2. Hi Maria and Marisa! I love how Marisa never stops learning and achieving her goals! You both are so inspiring.

    cherbleusky (at) yahoo (dot) com

    (follower) :)

    1. Great to see you Cheryl! Merisa is definitely a go-getter! Appreciate your kind words of encouragement. I've entered you twice in the drawing for Merisa's book! Have a blessed weekend! :)

  3. I love that "chocolate cake" story he'd tell too! So funny!

    Would love to win this book!
    jennifer AT jennifershirk DOT com

    1. Hello Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by - the chocolate cake episode is one I don't remember. I'd love to see it! I've entered you twice in the drawing for Merisa's book. Have a blessed weekend! :)

  4. What a great interview! Thanks for sharing your new friend, Maria. I was a big fan of The Cosby Show - a great hit in Australia.
    I love Merisa's encouragement to 'prayerfully' consider following our dreams. Not just following - but prayerfully! xx

    1. Great to see you Dottie! Glad you enjoyed the interview. It was a pleasure being in Merisa's class, where the emphasis was definitely on writing for the Lord. A thought she wove throughout the teaching-time was that nothing of eternal significance could be accomplished without prayer. Powerful thought!

      Have a fantastic weekend. Hugs & Blessings to you and yours!

  5. I'm disqualifying myself from the drawing because I'm family, BUT I enjoyed meeting Merisa. I fondly remember the "Dad is great! He gives us chocolate cake!" Thanks for the memory.