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Category Archives: Author Interviews

Black Hearts White Minds: A Novel by Mitch Margo

The year is 1964 and Carl Gordon is an ill-prepared New York Assistant U.S. Attorney who has lied his way into a transfer to Stockville, Alabama, where he is supposed to monitor and enforce the Civil Rights Act.

In a matter of days, the Ku Klux Klan takes aim at him, the outside agitator. Carl has agreed to represent Oleatha Geary, a black family matriarch who has inherited a mansion in an all-white, race-restricted neighborhood. Carl and Oleatha are engulfed in litigation that turns deadly. It’s anyone’s guess who will survive multiple assassination attempts, let alone whose integrity will remain intact.

Carl’s 12-year-old son, John, is unwelcome on Stockville’s white basketball team because of who his father is, and it seems there’s nowhere else for him to play. But ever-resourceful and impulsive Carl makes other plans for John, unwittingly putting John’s life, and the life of his new teammates, at risk. Ultimately, the young players don’t care as much about color lines as they do the lines on the basketball floor.




Praise for Black Hearts White Minds and Mitch Margo

“As I read Black Hearts White Minds, I was reminded by turns of Harper Lee, Willie Morris, and John Grisham. Like Grisham, Mitch Margo is an attorney; like Morris, he’s a former journalist, and like Lee, his writing is evocative with a moral center straight and true.”
-Richard H. Weiss, Former Daily Features Editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

 

“The early sixties are often thought of as a time of lost innocence. Margo reminds us that the era was anything but innocent in the American south. His novel rings with authenticity and his characters’ struggles in the fictional town of Stockville, Alabama foretell the problems we still face today. Stockville is not really so far from Ferguson.”
-Bill McClellan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Elbert: The Uncaged Mind by Joan Vassar

Elbert: The Uncaged Mind by Joan Vassar (Black Series Book 2)

Canada, 1860—While on a mission for Black, Elbert notices the lovely Anna Baker for the first time. Unable to think of much else, he leaves Canada to pursue the beauty that has captured his thoughts.

Anna is unnerved by the man with the lifeless eyes, who is relentless and forward in his approach. She offers nothing of herself to the intimidating stranger, but fate has a different plan. When Anna is assaulted by slave catchers on the streets of Boston, Elbert finds his manhood tested to the limit. He steps in to help, but the consequences prove devastating, and both are sold into bondage. As Anna learns the horrors of slavery, she comes to understand there is more to the foreboding stranger than meets the eye.

Elbert and Anna manage to escape—with the help of the legendary Black. But freedom is not enough to satisfy Elbert’s bruised ego. He wants the pound of flesh owed, and he will stop at nothing to collect.

 

The Uncaged Mind is a passionate story of love and healing despite the ugly backdrop of slavery. Native New Yorker Joan Vassar is an avid storyteller who enjoys weaving a great tale.

 

Elbert: The Uncaged Mind by Joan Vassar (Black Series Book 2)
Romance. Suspense. Adventure. Historical.
Sexy Black Men in love with Sexy Black Women
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M5H67VA
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/elbert-joan-vassar/1124695784?ean=9780692780077

 

 

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That Church Life by Teresa B.

That Church Life ( Books 1 & 2) by Teresa B.


“From beginning to end, That Church Life has you on the edge of your pew. What made this book a page turner: Three ladies on different spiritual paths that come to a head at the beginning of a major tragedy. The book unfolds as Missy, the preachers kid and heir to the megachurch throne is broken, bloody and on the run in these Durham, North Carolina streets!

The Church Gal Crew is leading the way to Salvation at Mt. Zion Holiness Church. Feisty Natalia Freemon is the “head” of the crew. Rebellious and outspoken, she has no problems challenging the church status quo. Years later however, her loss of faith will tragically impact her life.

Michelle Hanks, a country girl from a hardworking farm family is the peacemaker and “soul” of the crew. Although struggling with self-confidence she is wise beyond her years and can’t wait to escape the farm life and find success; even if it costs her soul.

Missy Jones, the “heart” of the crew, has the face of an angel and a voice sent from heaven. A pastor’s daughter raised in the church, Missy loves the ministry and her place in it. But the flesh is tempting, especially when it comes in the form of sexy church musician and Mt. Zion playboy Tommy.

These three best friends drift away from each other and the church but come back together through spiritual downfall, relationship crises, drug addiction, and even murder. Can the crew survive the drama involved in That Church Life?

 

Chapter Excerpt: That Church Life-Teresa B. Howell

“Lord, forgive my sin!” echoed down Burlington Street and off the row of brick tènements. I ran back and forth, screaming the words at the top of my lungs with a preacher’s tone. Is this happening to me? Is this a dream? Help please! Feet red and bruised, where are my shoes? Why wasn’t anyone helping me?

Could they not hear me screaming? Fluttering eyes continued as I looked up at the horizon. I was not surprised to see window shades pulled up and people glaring from their homes. All those empty stares watching me for a story, but not to help. I stood in the middle of the street feeling insecure and paranoid while dabbing at burning ears as my anxiety go the best of me. Tinges of red on the edge of my fingertips confirmed all my fears. Blood! But how? Where? Got to find some place to hide. Numb and still very confused, my chanting became even louder than before, “Lord, my God! Help me, Lord!”

The screams and the crying did not cease. “Lord, please forgive me for my sin.” The scene of violence was stuck in my head: Oxygenated blood gushed slowly out of his body and onto the brown carpet of the pastor’s study. The stranger’s hands were large and strong as he wrestled with the two of us. The handgun concealed in his boot was braced with his second hand before it went off six times. We all fell to the ground simultaneously. The musician laid there, still holding onto the candid smile he had when he walked in. The sound of the gun going off pierced my ears over and over again. The thought of losing someone I loved so intensely created shivers from my head to my toes.

 

More About The Church Gal Crew

NATALIA FREEMON
Feisty Natalia Freemon is the “head” of the crew. Rebellious and outspoken, she has no problems challenging the church status quo. Years later however, her loss of faith will tragically impact her life.

MICHELLE HANKS
Michelle Hanks, a country girl from a hardworking farm family is the peacemaker and “soul” of the crew. Although struggling with self-confidence she is wise beyond her years and can’t wait to escape the farm life and find success; even if it costs her soul.

MISSY JONES
Missy Jones, the “heart” of the crew, has the face of an angel and a voice sent from heaven. A pastor’s daughter raised in the church, Missy loves the ministry and her place in it. But the flesh is tempting, especially when it comes in the form of sexy church musician and Mt. Zion playboy Tommy.

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Red September by Marita Berry

Red September, is a contemporary, fiction, romance novel. It’s a coming-of-age narrative that tells the story of Constance (Connie) Brown. Set amidst the poverty of the 1950’s on an island in the Caribbean. After their father dies, Connie and her siblings live in fear of their alcoholic and abusive mother. Connie life changes when Nathaniel (Nathan) Hart, a charismatic twenty-one-year-old man arrives from New York City on family business. When they meet it is love at first sight for both.

However, Connie is forced to marry Mr. Henry, a wealthy landowner, for financial gain. He moves her into his home on the hill overlooking the town. Though this may seem like a fairy tale ending, events begin to unfold and secrets are revealed that subsequently fractured the center of angst that all of Connie’s conflict revolve around. Her life is riddled with lies, masquerades, and broken dreams.

Connie is left with the task of coming to terms with strong, ambivalent feelings towards her mother, staying in a loveless marriage, or risk everything for her independence and ultimately find her place in the world with Nathan.

Customer Reviews on Amazon.com

 

5.0 out of 5 stars.
I really enjoyed the book. It was a page turner from the beginning to the end. I would definitely recommend this book for the young and the old. I brought five books for my friends and family.

4.0 out of 5 stars. By Rico
One of the best books I have read lately
I have always felt that the most compelling gift that a writer possesses is the ability to describe places and characters in such authentic detail that the reader sees himself/herself there in the flesh watching the story unfold. This was my experience as I read Marita Berry’s “Red September” and being transported to a small fictional Caribbean island,Taino, that featured the same people, culture, beauty and poverty familiar to my own upbringing. On one hand it is the story of a mother who was dealt a cruel hand, losing her father at an early age, living with an abusive alcoholic mother and having the responsibilities of adulthood thrust upon her at much too early an age. Among those responsibilities was having to care for her siblings. Thirty years later with a family of her own she tries to understand the mother who had caused her so much pain and discomfort in her early years and she finds solace retroactively in telling the stories of her upbringing to her daughter, Brenda and at the same time finding room to forgive her abusive mother. “Red September” is much more than a story of struggle and survival. It is also a love story with it’s own twists and turns of the heart. This is one of the best books I have read lately. My advice to you, the reader, is to get a copy and lose yourself in a great story of love, forgiveness and a mother’s triumphant survival in the end.

5.0 out of 5 stars.
This book is a wonderful love story, chapter after chapter is gets more endearing that make you want to keep reading. A great buy!!

4.0 out of 5 stars.
A great story of an innocent woman coming into adulthood through unexpected trials and tribulations and how things work out.

4.0 out of 5 stars. By S. Stone
This was a Giveaway on Goodreads. Thanks so much!
I really enjoyed this heartwarming debut novel by Marita Berry. The story travels from the West Indies in the 1940’s to New York City in the 70’s. It’s the story of a young girl has to endure the harshness that her mother’s drinking evokes. Forced to marry their landlord in exchange for a place for her mother and younger siblings to live, raped, and becoming a mother herself at the young age of 16, it is a story of survival, of hopelessness, and of a love seemingly destined not to survive. Recounting her past to her daughter, Connie relives that love and what it has meant through the years. I will definitely look for more works by this author.

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The Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues: A Novel by Edward Kelsey Moore

When a late life love affair blooms between Mr. Forrest Payne, the owner of the Pink Slipper Gentleman’s Club, and Miss Beatrice Jordan, famous for stationing herself at the edge of the club’s parking lot and yelling warnings of eternal damnation at the departing patrons, their wedding summons a legend to town. Mr. El Walker, the great guitar bluesman, comes home to give a command performance in Plainview, Indiana, a place he’d sworn—and for good reason—he’d never set foot in again.

But El is not the only Plainview native with a hurdle to overcome. A wildly philandering husband struggles at last to prove his faithfulness to the wife he’s always loved. And among those in this tightly knit community who show up every Sunday after church for lunch at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat, are the lifelong friends, known locally as “The Supremes” —Clarice, facing down her longing for, chance at and fear of a great career; Barbara Jean, grappling at last with the loss of a mother whose life humiliated both of them, and Odette, reaching toward her husband through an anger of his that she does not understand.

Edward Kelsey Moore’s lively cast of characters, each of whom have surmounted serious trouble and come into love, need not learn how to survive but how, fully, to live. And they do, every one of them, serenaded by the bittersweet and unforgettable blues song El Walker plays, born of his own great loss and love.

 

Edward Kelsey Moore Book Reviews

“This lusty novel sings with life, saluting friendships through dreams, marriage and long-held secrets.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Summer Books”

“Moore’s bluesy, breezy novel takes readers through life’s highs and lows and in-between times when no one knows what is coming next; its air of folksy optimism should appeal to fans of Alexander McCall Smith and Fredrik Backman.”
—Library Journal (starred review)

“Edward Kelsey Moore, besides being laugh out loud hilarious, has a profound understanding of human nature. This gift, combined with his clear love and affection for his characters, makes him a truly remarkable writer. This book is a joy to read.”
—Fannie Flagg, author of The Whole Town’s Talking and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

“Spending time with the Supremes is like slipping into a warm embrace of love and laughter, soul-searching and sass. There’s nothing these three strong women can’t handle, and that includes the legacy of the pain inflicted by fathers to sons, mothers to daughters. Edward Kelsey Moore has crafted a novel that beautifully illustrates the healing power of forgiveness.”
—Melanie Benjamin, author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife

“The arrival of Edward Kelsey Moore’s new novel had me singing anything but the blues. Even better cause for celebration? Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean are back . . . and what a supreme encore it is!”
Julia Glass, author of A House Among the Trees and Three Junes

 

Chapter 1 (Excerpt)

It was a love song. At least it started out that way. The lyrics told the tale of a romance between a man and the woman who made his life worth living. Being a blues song, it was also about how that woman repeatedly broke the man’s heart and then repaid his forgiving ways by bringing a world of suffering down on him. The beautiful melody soared and plunged, each verse proclaiming rapturous happiness and gut-wrenching pain. Here, in a church, this piece of music couldn’t have been further outside its natural habitat. But the tune’s lovely mournfulness echoed from the back wall to the baptismal pool and from the marble floor to the vaulted ceiling and settled in as if the forlorn cry had always lived here.

As the song continued and grew sadder with every line, I thought of my parents, Dora and Wilbur Jackson. The blues was Mama and Daddy’s music. Nearly every weekend of my childhood, they spent their evenings in our living room, listening to scratchy recordings of old-timey blues songs on the hi-fi. One of those might have been as sorrowful as the dirge ringing through the church, but I couldn’t recall hearing anything that touched this song for sheer misery.

Mama preferred her blues on the cheerier and dirtier side—nasty tunes loaded with crude jokes about hot dogs, jelly rolls, and pink Cadillacs. The gloomy ballads, like this one, were Daddy’s favorites. I never saw him happier than when he was huddled up with Mama on the sofa, humming along with an ode to agony. He would bob his head to the pulse of the music, like he was offering encouragement to a down-in-the-mouth singer who was sitting right next to him, croaking out his hard luck.

Sometimes, before sending me to bed, my parents would allow me to squeeze in between them. They’ve both been dead for years now, but their bad singing lingers in my memory. And, because I inherited their tuneless voices, I remind myself of my parents every time I rip into some unfortunate melody. Whenever I hear a melancholy blues, I feel the roughness of Daddy’s fingertips, callused by years of carpentry work, sliding over my arm like he was playing a soulful riff on imaginary strings that ran from my elbow to my wrist.

I’d be ordered off to bed when Mama’d had enough of the dreariness and wanted to listen to a record about rocking and rolling and loving that was too grown-up for my young ears.

Even though the song rumbling through the sanctuary would have been a bit dark for Mama’s taste, she’d have loved the singer’s wailing voice and the roller-coaster ride of the melody. And she wouldn’t have let this song go unnoted. If she had been in the church with me, she’d have turned to me and declared, “Odette, your daddy would’ve loved this song. Every single word of it makes you wanna die. I’ve gotta write this in my book.”

My mother’s “book” was a calendar from Stewart’s Funeral Home that she kept in her pocketbook. The cover of the calendar showed a gray-and-white spotted colt and a small boy in blue overalls. They were in a meadow, both of them jumping off the ground in an expression of unrestrained bliss. Above the picture were the words “Jump for Joy,” and below, “Happy thoughts to you and yours from Stewart’s Funeral Home.” Whenever Mama ran into something that she felt was remarkable enough to merit celebration, she wrote a note on that day’s date so she’d never forget it. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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A Calm Heart Effect: Minding My Heart Business by Lola C Booker

A Calm Heart Effect: Minding My Heart Business by Lola C Booker

 

“A Calm Heart Effect” is a book of poetry and prayers about life’s relationships of love and friendship. The poems are earthy with emotions exposed, and they hit at the heart of relationships with friends and family. The author’s wit and wisdom come through the verses which evoke an emotional response that is delightful and satisfying to the reader. The author’s premise is “a heart needs to be whole to hold love”. She also believes that “minding your heart business” will help to turn your life and love right side up. This book is for adult readers who are seeking answers with a spiritual basis to help them cope and heal from relationship issues.

“A Calm Heart Effect” was written to bring true feelings to the light in order that peace of mind can be achieved. The author’s hope is that the readers can also experience a calmness of heart as they engage their minds into something other than the BIGness of life’s problems.

 

Purchase A Calm Heart Effect: Minding My Heart Business by Lola C. Booker
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1548024317
Poetry > Inspirational > Transformational literature

 

About the Author
Lola C. Booker is the mother of two grown children and a retiree from the Talladega County School System in Alabama. She has been a full-time writer for most of her life. Nothing has separated her from the pen and paper, and she hopes it never will. “A Calm Heart Effect” is her first published book of poems and prayers. She is a prolific writer, having written hundreds of poems and prayers over a span of years. Her poems are earthy with emotions exposed and they hit at the heart of relationships with friends and family.

She is a skilled wordsmith, weaving her wit and wisdom through the verses which evoke an emotional response that is delightful and satisfying to the reader. Her belief is that “when life and love are turned upside down, minding your heart business ll help to turn your life and love right side up”. Her hope is that the reader will be able to relax with her book and relate at a heart level. Her premise is that “a heart needs to be whole to hold love”. Her book of poems and prayers is designed to help the reader with their own “heart business”.

 

EyeCU Reading & Social Network Book Club

A Detroit native, Ebony Evans has always had a knack for creating and implementing exciting out-of-the-box ideas. Quite the event planner, she has embarked upon many different endeavors; be it a shopping trip to the Big Apple, photo shoots of all kinds, pole parties or giving her time to charities near and dear, Ebony was and is doing it!

EyeCU Reading & Social Network, is a combination of yet another creative idea, fused with one of her dynamic passions…reading. She and a host of friends together developed this idea into a reality. In addition to reading, being a devoted wife and mother, Ebony enjoys cooking, traveling, karaoke and spending time with family. Life has taught Ebony the value of surrounding herself with a close-knit circle of like-minded supportive friends, with whom she reciprocates compassion and that same support.

Ebony Evans, EyeCU Reading & Social Network book club founder is an enthusiastic reader and self-proclaimed “book nerd” at heart! Ebony has been married to her soul mate, Michael for sixteen years and together they have one high energy and very talented 10-year-old daughter, Essence. Essence’s “bigger than life” personality and sleuth of extracurricular activities keep Ebony and Michael very busy and very proud as they watch her grow!

EyeCU Reading & Social Network is made up President Ebony, Secretary Samara, Treasurer Bayyinah and members Chineda, Monique, Rhena, Satanya, Stacye, Tamara & Tina.


BPM: Please tell us about your book club. Where are you located?

EyeCU Reading & Social Network is in the Metro Detroit area with satellite members in both California & Arizona.

BPM: How did your book club get started? When did your group begin, what year?
Some of our members have known each other dating back to high school. In 2010 a small group of us, most of whom are avid readers got together for dinner one evening to hear Ebony’s thoughts on creating a book club. Her ideas were embraced, the details were discussed and the first group of EyeCU Reading Officers was in place. From there Ebony hosted a meet and greet/tattoo party to introduce EyeCU Reading to other women that she thought would like to join. And just like that… EyeCU Reading and Social Network hit the scene!

BPM: How many members do you have?
EyeCU Reading & Social Network currently has 10 fabulous members!

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization?
The purpose of EyeCU Reading & Social Network is to promote literacy in the African American community with an emphasis on African American women. To support primarily, but not exclusively, the works of African American authors. To encourage community involvement through charitable endeavors, support and motivation. Our club was born from the vision of providing an avenue for women to fellowship with a primary focus on reading thought provoking books, networking with other book clubs, attending literary events and meeting fascinating authors. We also want to show our beauty and boldness in all that we do!

BPM: Tell us about your bookclub and any contributing members. What is the demographic of your group?
EyeCU Reading & Social Network consist of a diverse group of women with a wide range of professional backgrounds and varied interest. We look forward to seeing each other at our monthly meetings to not only discuss that month’s read but to get caught up on each other’s lives, offer advice or sometimes just an ear and have some of the absolute best laughs.

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month?
Each member is responsible for hosting a monthly meeting. As the host, you also select the book for that month. Regardless of the genre all are required to read the book and write a corresponding review. This process really empowers the group with the opportunity to embark upon all sorts of stories and topics, as we have a diverse range of interests amongst us.

BPM: Do you read and discuss books outside of the book of the month?
Certainly! As we are all avid readers, we read, discuss, share excerpts, links and review many books outside of the monthly selection.

BPM: Do you use social media to share your featured books with other readers?
Most definitely! EyeCU Reading & Social Network’s social media is used to share our featured books and connect with authors and other readers. Recently we have even had a few scheduled “live” interactions with authors on social media as well.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color?
While our goal is to support African American authors, we are open to reading and have read authors of all ethnicities.

BPM: Do you support self-published authors?
Yes! We absolutely support self-published authors. Book club member Stacye Lewis aka Kaylynn Hunt is a talented self-published author of several books. Ebony is on the cover of two of her books, “Love With A Vengeance” and “Catching Dreams. Not all talented authors have a big house book deal so we definitely support and acknowledge authors both small and large.

BPM: Do you borrow books from the library?
We do! We do! We do! We feel it’s important to support our community libraries. So many people don’t realize or take advantage of the local libraries. And we super love FREE!

BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read?
We pretty much read it all! From Christian based to the most erotic and everything in between. The diversity of our group and our variety of interests leads us to open our minds to literature of all kinds.

BPM: Have the types of books changed over time?
As our group, matures, it seems that yes, the types of books have changed over time. While we started out reading lots of urban fiction, we’ve evolved to reading pretty much everything! We’ve even indulged in and enjoyed Sci-Fi; a genre that wasn’t even on our radar at first.

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Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason

Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason
Coming July 18, 2017

“Chock full of unexpected twists, turns, secrets, and spirits plus a healthy dose of redemptive love.” – Kirkus

When Abigail Rhodes bought that old house she fell in love with in Blink, Texas, she got more than she bargained for. After being told by the local psychic that it is filled with a passionate energy from the previous owners, who died years ago, Abby decides to fix up her beloved house and reluctantly moves in. But ever since then, strange things have been happening in her newly renovated home, and Abby has been plagued with dreams that wake her up and leave her breathless.

After a tumultuous life these last few years, Jordan Gatewood is following what amounts to a trail of breadcrumbs in an effort to find a renewed sense of purpose. Searching for the truth about the man his adoptive father really was, Jordan makes his way to the old house where his father was murdered, in Blink–and right to the petite, understated beauty that answers the door. It’s not long before Jordan realizes, quite unexpectedly, that Abby is the perfect woman for him. Jordan doesn’t believe in ghosts or fate, but he does know that the powerful connection he feels for this woman started the day he met her in that house and he is determined to make her his.

Robin is a successful Corporate Attorney and was proud to be the lover of the most sought after bachelor in the state of Texas–until he abruptly breaks off their relationship, leaving her confused, heartbroken and bitter. When she discovers that he’s left her for another woman, a woman she considers beneath her, Robin is determined to teach him a brutal lesson.

A man like Jordan has too many secrets, secrets that, if found out, could not only destroy his relationship with this other woman, but that could also cost him the biggest business deal of his life, and possibly, his freedom. Robin is the last person he wants to go up against, and she will stop at nothing to get him back or to make him pay for his betrayal, even if that means unleashing those secrets. The question is, will Jordan let her? Or will his all-consuming obsession with Abby win out, in Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason?

 

Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason
The propulsive second novel in a new contemporary trilogy about unforgettable love, scorching desire, and dangerous secrets.
https://www.amazon.com/Seducing-Abby-Rhodes-J-Mason/dp/1250052262/

 

Praise for J.D. Mason Books

“Chock full of unexpected twists, turns, secrets, and spirits plus a healthy dose of redemptive love.”
– Kirkus on Seducing Abby Rhodes

“A heart-pounding and terrifyingly awesome story!”
– RT Book Reviews Top Pick on The Real Mrs. Price

“Readers are taken on a phenomenal journey that elicits gasps when the bombshell hits. Mason pens another astounding work.”
-RT Book Reviews on Crazy, Sexy, Revenge

“Taut, suspenseful and unforgettable. Run, do not walk, and get this book!”
-Zane, New York Times bestselling author on Beautiful, Dirty, Rich

“Mason’s characters create an addictive drama with universal themes of laying claim to family–and to the truth.”
-Publishers Weekly on Beautiful, Dirty, Rich

“Effortlessly leaves no stone unturned in the lives of these tormented characters. Mason will take your breathe away.”
-Romantic Times Book Reviews on You Gotta Sin to Get Saved

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In the Dark by Unoma Nwankwor

In the Dark by Unoma Nwankwor

You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. Psalm 18:28.

Do you find yourself wondering about the expiration date of your “meantime place?” Are you struggling to hold on when you have no idea what God’s end game is?

 

Multi-published award winning author, entrepreneur and Purpose Champion, Unoma Nwankwor takes readers on a hopeful exploration of Jeremiah 29. Along the way, she provides strategies to remain anchored during the uncertainties of life. Storms come to move us out of place, but as Christians we must not only survive but thrive with persevering confidence.

Blending undisguised personal testimony, biblical references and in your face realisms, this book shows readers how to push past the stagnation of life’s uncertainties by successfully navigating the dark places, walking the walk of faith with hope for a favorable end, having peace by learning to trust God and relinquish control to Him. We can’t dominate our areas of influence in excellence if we give up every time we hit a rocky patch. This book will leave you equipped with tools and tips needed to help you push through the process by maintaining confident expectations for today and tomorrow.

Bonus: With the paperback, you’ll receive the Light Pearls in the Dark Prayer Journal. It contains 40 days of praise/worship song suggestions and anchor verses that will help you strategically defeat the enemy’s plan of sowing doubt in your dark place. It also provides space for you to write personalized prayers. Record your testimonies in accordance to the fulfillment of His promise.

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Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Danielle Seck


Who says a girl needs her mother to teach her how to drive down the road toward womanhood? That may not necessarily be true, but for Alyx, she can’t help but wonder if her mother could have at least helped her avoid some of the potholes; potholes that often leave her broken down and inoperable.

It doesn’t matter that growing up Alyx’s mother turns a blind eye while Alyx is one punch away from getting a black eye as a result of the torment her mother’s boyfriend, Tony, puts her through. As  if that isn’t enough, Tony invites his son to participate in the destruction of Alyx’s childhood. In spite of it all, even as an adult Alyx longs for the love and comfort of her mother. But at some point a girl has to realize that when someone doesn’t love her, perhaps she needs to let the relationship go, even if it is with her mother.

Bound and determined to jump behind the wheel without a license and find her way to her destiny on her own, Alyx does what everyone expects of a girl who ended up in foster care as a child; she gets lost. For once in her life she’s relieved when she meets a man who she feels she’s headed in the right direction with. When he turns out to be someone totally opposite than who Alyx thought he was, she finds herself at a fork in the road. Decisions have to be made. It’s a matter of life and death; and not just for Alyx.

Purchase Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Danielle Seck  
Link: http://a.co/cECQUCO

 

 


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Destiny’s Dilemma by Karen J. Anderson

Destiny’s Dilemma, a historical novel, tells the story of an African American woman in 1912 having to choose between a life of segregation with her family or leaving them to experience freedom the rest of the world offered.

Zorida Hughes Williams moved home to take care of her dying mother and found that some things had changed in her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. Some things had stayed the same, like Hells Half Acre, an area where saloons, prostitution and gambling ran wild. Like most of the residents, she wanted to keep her head down and stay away from trouble, but trouble came in an unlikely form of an Anglo Baptist preacher.  He set out to fight corruption and almost got them all killed.

Does she stay in the one of the most racist sections of the country and care for her dying mother while fighting for something she believes in or does she go back to her “good life” back east to escape it all?  If Zo leaves she will have peace and the luxury she has grown used to. If she stays she will have the final days with her mom, but also have to fight through Hell’s Half Acre.

Purchase Destiny’s Dilemma by Karen J. Anderson
https://www.amazon.com/Destinys-Dilemma-Karen-J-Anderson/dp/1514209616

 

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The Mysteries of Eva Miller Revealed by Eva D. Miller

The Mysteries of Eva Miller Revealed
by Eva D. Miller

Former American Idol contestant Eva Miller takes you on an inspiring journey of both tragedy and triumph. Through her courage and faith Eva set out on a mission to unravel the mysteries that shrouded her life, she never knew what could possibly await her. Join her as she shares her story of abandonment, abuse, and deception as the mysteries of Eva Miller are revealed.

About the Author
Eva Miller
was born in Los Angeles, California. She spent most of her childhood between North Carolina and Ohio. As she approached her teenage years, the Universe sparked a change within Eva and due to certain events in her life, she decided it was time to leave Ohio for the sunny state of Florida. Upon arriving in Florida, she began to thrive. It was here that she completed high school and went on to attend Florida A&M University.

After a few years, she felt it was time again to move to a new location to begin to gather the lost chords of her life. The location for the beginning of that journey would be Atlanta, Georgia and in 2004 she arrived to seek out many potential opportunities. She has been a contestant on American Idol, tried out for various roles in reality television, and has been used an extra in various productions around the city. Those experiences sparked her interest in film making and perhaps even bringing a production of her own life to the big screen. Before then though, the world needed to know her story and who she is. From there, she became an author in 2010, releasing some of her life’s memoirs in her book “The Mysteries of Eva Miller Revealed.”

Eva is now a mother of a beautiful daughter, a fiancé to her mate of ten years, and works to aid in various humanitarian efforts around the entire globe. She has been especially recognized for her vigorous work with adoption rights, women’s empowerment, and bringing awareness to multiple causes around the continent of Africa.


Purchase The Mysteries of Eva Miller Revealed by Eva D. Miller
Link: http://amzn.com/1450235220 


REPLAY: BLACK BOOKS WEEKEND OPENER

Listen to the entire show here:  http://tobtr.com/s/8118741  and share with your friends too!

FEATURED AUTHORS

* 8:00 – #LifeAfter with national bestselling author Bernice L. McFadden

* 8:30 – The Mysteries of Eva Miller Revealed by Eva D. Miller (Non-fiction)

* 9:00 – Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest Episode 1: The Quest for Screen Time by Marti Dumas

 

Ella Curry Featured on Book Look

 
ELLA CURRY WAS FEATURED ON:  The Book Look,  Season 2, Episode 1, January 2013



The Book Look is back for Season 2 with new authors, celebrities and contributors! In Episode 1, host Monda Webb and contributors Kwame Alexander and Charisse Carney-Nunes cover Nicole Sconiers’ Escape from Beckyville and Walter Mosley’s The Gift of Fire while hearing from Rev. Bernice King on the new book about her mother, Desert Rose: The Life and Legacy of Coretta Scott King.

Several emerging authors are put on BLAST (Book Look Author SpotlighT) including Trice Hickman, Stephany Greene and Jaunique Sealey; the AALBC Bestsellers List is presented; and EDC Creations’, Ella Curry is recognized for her ongoing contributions to the world of African American literature.

Charisse Carney-Nunes is the award-winning author of several children’s books including, I Am Barack Obama, I Dream For You A World, and Nappy. She is also a literary advocate, and the Executive Producer of The Book Look a webseries airing here on AALBC.com

The Book Look Social:   http://thebooklook.com
Join us on The Book Look – your online TV source for celebrating books and events relevant to the African American community.

 

Intimate Conversation with Dr. Natalie A. Francisco


Intimate Conversation with Dr. Natalie A. Francisco

Dr. Natalie A. Francisco serves as Co-Pastor alongside her husband, Bishop L. W. Francisco III, and Minister of Music at Calvary Community Church (Hampton, VA). She is author of Wisdom for Women of Worth & Worship: Lessons for a Life of Virtue, Value & Victory and founder/executive director of the Women of Worth & Worship (WOWW) Conference and Institute.

Ella: Dr. Francisco, tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?
I developed a love for reading and writing in grammar school and excelled at it throughout my educational pursuits and career. My passion has always been centered around educating and empowering others, particularly women, and my writings have been in alignment with my heart’s desire to serve others.

Ella: A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another period of time. Finish this sentence: My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers… Women of all ages who read my book will discover it to be a resource that will motivate them to uncover their dreams and desires in order to live a quality of life that is honorable to God, self-fulfilling and of service to others.

Ella: Please introduce us to your book Wisdom for Women of Worth & Worship.
Wisdom for Women of Worth & Worship: Lessons for a Life of Virtue, Value & Victory is a wealth of information tailor-made to address the questions that women have regarding spirituality, relationships, marriage, parenting, maintaining balance and so much more. I share the triumphs, tragedies, and lessons learned from my life to captivate women and catapult them into their destiny. Biblical principles, self-reflective journal exercises and practical wisdom intermingle to create a mentoring memoir that readers will enjoy time and time again.

Intimate Interview
Ella: Where are you from? What is your favorite genre? How did you start your journey?
I am a native of Hampton, Virginia who loves to travel. Being in full-time ministry has afforded me the opportunity to visit many nations as well as to establish and assist ministries across the United States and around the world for which I am extremely grateful.

My favorite genre of books to read would be the categories of Inspirational and Self-Help. Michelle McKinney Hammond, who happens to be one of my favorite authors and a personal friend, inspired me by her own writings to launch out and do the same. I have helped to write and edit books as well as church, leadership and Christian school manuals for our church, Christian schools and other organizations, but had never given much thought to publishing my own works until I was encouraged to do so by another friend, Rev. Connie Jackson. I will be forever grateful to her, Michelle and my family for the gifts in me that they have helped to nurture.

Ella: Who are the main characters in your book? Can a non-fiction title have a character?
I am the main character and serve as the storyteller to introduce the reader to the profound moments in my life that helped to define who I am and what I was created to do. The transparency and candor utilized allow women to see themselves within the pages as they identify with real life issues that we often face. I have even included anonymous women who have asked questions of me concerning relationships, parenting skills, career choices and the pursuit of purpose in their own lives. I love the fact that the lessons I’ve learned and the wisdom shared have proven to be helpful in the lives of countless women, and men for that matter, that have benefited from reading my book.

Ella: How does you book shape or add value to the reader’s life?Many who have read my book have already expressed how it has impacted them to the core, causing them to re-evaluate their perspective, relationships and habits while rediscovering who they are and pursuing what brings them joy. Here are just a few comments from others:

“In a time when many have abandoned the call to “teach the younger women…” Natalie Francisco emerges as a true Titus woman. As a modern day Proverbs 31 woman, she proves we can all be the women God created us to be if we are armed with the right truths to work with. So take the time to read, to absorb and then apply these rich lessons to your own life. But don’t just stop there. Share the wealth with others. Wisdom for Women of Worth and Worship is a jewel of a book that has the potential to change the world one home at a time.” – Michelle McKinney Hammond

“Your book is really wonderful. To be honest I have so many friends releasing books that I just had the opportunity to read yours. I thoroughly enjoyed it!! This is not a read through in a few sessions. It is a life manual that one needs to take the time to soak in. Kudos my dear! Love it! Love it!” – Pastor Tracie Davis

“I have been truly blessed by this book. It has helped me to understand that some of the things I felt I was dealing with alone, I’m really not alone. It helped me to realize that you have to let go of any fears that you have and be able to step into whatever your calling is with boldness, knowing that your worth and value as a woman of God is very important. The lessons in the book help to strengthen you and help you to be able to deal with some of the issues that are going on in your life. Also, I think men can read this book. The principles don’t change. The lessons can help men understand what their wives or significant others are going through.” – Rita LaVeist

“Your book is a wonderful resource for all women — the cover alone is very impressive. I’ve added it to my collection of suggested reading for the women’s groups that I facilitate weekly. I’m running a series of therapeutic support groups called Healthy Women/Healthy Relationships. We are delving into a lot of the topics that you cover and I’m sure that the ladies’ experience will be enhanced by reading this book. I especially like the moments of meditation — they really help to re-focus the mind and deepen self-awareness. GOD has blessed you with great insight and a beautiful gift of expression through writing. May the LORD continue to richly bless all that you do for HIS glory. May HE enlarge your territory and keep you in HIS perfect peace.” – Minister Pamela LaVeist-Bell, LCPC

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?My greatest accomplishment would be for my book to contribute to the positive transformation of women who are empowered to excel beyond their wildest dreams personally, spiritually and professionally after reading it. God-consciousness, self-discovery and service to others would be the three-fold cord that I would desire for readers to hold onto without ever letting go.

Ella: Who would this book really “speak to” and why?I initially wrote the book as the curriculum for my Women of Worth & Worship Institute classes. I soon realized that women regardless of age, race, ethnicity or socio-economic status should read, learn from and enjoy it. I have even been told by husbands, fathers and brothers of those who purchased the book for the special women in their lives that they have learned much from reading it and that the principles I share are also applicable to them.

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
I was pleased to find out that my book was listed as number 13 on Black Christian Book Company’s Top 50 Bestseller List of Black authors and Independent publishers soon after its release. In retrospect, however, I would have to say that receiving emails and reviews from others concerning their perspective of my book and how it has left an indelible mark upon them, fills my heart with unspeakable joy.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
It is important to write about whatever moves you, for in doing so, others will be moved as well. I have found that people readily identify with fiction or non-fiction stories with subject matter that will speak to the heart and feed the mind. Writing then must be passionate and intellectually stimulating, and the writer must be first partaker of what he or she desires to communicate to others.

Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion.
In order to be a successful author, one must enjoy reading and writing, networking with others, and consistently promoting one’s own book.

Ella: What book already published is similar to your book in its writing style?
A number of books written by my friend Michelle McKinney Hammond are similar to my own in that the writing style is transparent, candid and thought-provoking, causing the reader to have an epiphany of sorts after encountering the book.

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?My next published book will be my dissertation written in 2000 entitled The New Demand for Christian Education: Targeting the Urban, African-American Community. I am also planning to write a book about effective parenting in the near future. In the interim, I will continue to offer year-round mentoring classes and seminars both onsite and online, as well as annual conferences and community outreach efforts to educate, encourage and empower women as well as middle and high school young ladies.

For more information regarding Dr. Natalie A. Francisco and the ministries in which she is involved, contact:
Dr. Natalie A. Francisco, Founder/Executive Director
Women of Worth & Worship, LLC
P. O. Box 9853
Chesapeake, VA 23321
Email: wowwi@nataliefrancisco.com
Website: http://www.nataliefrancisco.com/


Book Details

Wisdom for Women of Worth & Worship: Lessons for a Life of Virtue, Value & Victory by Natalie A. Francisco, Ed. D.
(Foreword by Michelle McKinney Hammond)

Websites: http://www.wisdomforwomenofworthandworship.com or http://www.wowwithebook.com/

Purchase the paperback version or eBook format at: http://www.nataliefrancisco.com/.

(Also available at http://www.Amazon.com, http://www.Target.com, http://www.BlackCBC.com, and http://www.gospellightbookstore.com/. (Coming soon online to Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Borders and wherever fine books are sold.)

 
 

Intimate Conversation with Miss KP

Intimate Conversation with Miss KP
The Dirty Divorce Trilogy

Miss KP began writing in high school as an outlet to express her emotions as a teenager. She would write poetry and has even written unpublished songs. However, after feeling as if she had much more to say, she decided to purchase a laptop and began working on her first novel, which we now know as Dirty Divorce, Part 1.

Just months after a good friend introduced her to publisher, Azarel; Miss KP’s dreams came true. She became a published author with the Life Changing Books (L.C.B) family with a #1 hit behind her name. Along with being an author, Miss KP works in the fashion industry as a Merchandise Manager in prominent department store.

A native Washingtonian, Miss KP currently resides in Maryland with her eight year old daughter, and is awaiting the release of her second and most anticipated novel of 2010, The Dirty Divorce- Part 2. For more information on Miss KP or her books, visit her website at: http://www.misskp.com/

Ella: Introduce us to your book, Dirty Divorce 2 and the main characters.
Drugs turn out to be a way of life for Rich, a powerful, sexy Drug Lord hailing from Washington, D.C. His desire for fast money and the extravagant things that it brings puts his family in harms way. Soon, his ego forces him to leave his castle and empire to expand business on the West Coast. His decision to leave his love ones behind at the mercy of his enemies turns out to be catastrophic. One by one, each of Rich’s children spiral out of control.

Pregnancy, rape, and abduction all hit the family structure one day after another. With Rich putting his focus on money, sex, and insignificant things in life his wife Lisa, throws some new drama into the relationship as well; a side-piece and divorce papers. This creates an even bigger wedge between Rich and Lisa. The hate that Rich and Lisa develop for each other causes the divorce to get down- right dirty. Can their love out way their hate to save their family or is it too late?
  

Meet the Main Players in Dirty Divorce 2
Rich– Handsome and definitely a lady’s man. Father and husband that is ruthless and some think he’s heartless but he’s real. He lacks respect for women and his infidelity causes major issues in his home. His only love is for his money and his daughter. He keeps his son and wife on the back burner which causes major problems.

Lisa- Rich’s wife. A docile, fragile wife and mother that struggles with what’s important in life– the love of money or her happiness. She deals with Rich’s infidelity for the finer things in life but realizes when it’s too late the price of street life has a hefty price tag.

Juan- Rich and Lisa’s son. Has extreme hate for his dad due to his lack of respect for Lisa but doesn’t realize he’s more like his father that he knows.

Denie- Rich and Lisa’s daughter. Teen girl that loves her father no matter how much he neglects her. He can do no wrong until it effects her and their relationship is tested.

Carlos “Los”- Rich’s Cousin. Handsome street Colombian that holds rank in the street. His father Uncle Renzo makes things happen on both coasts and is the reason for the major cash flow that Rich and his family benefits from. Carlos and Rich’s loyalty is tested by the ultimate betrayal and causes the family to dismantle.

Marisol- Carlos’ wife. Beautiful but ruthless. A true ride or die chick. Will do anything for her husband.
A close friend to Lisa.

Ella: Who are your favorites? Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
I would have to say that Lisa would be my favorite character in Part 1 because of the transformation of her character. It was intriguing to have her go from being this gullible wife to this deranged woman that was lost and willing to do anything for revenge. The characters of the book are fictional characters but the situations are real.

Ella: What role do you give the mean spirited characters? Do you have such characters?
The mean spirited character in the book is Rich, but he is consistent. Sometimes we have to look inside to see what makes people tick and why are they the way that they are. When people treat others with lack of respect and there are no consequences, do we blame the victim for allowing it and not standing up for themselves.

Ella: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write a book?
As a teenager I would write as an outlet because I experienced a lot at a young age. My father’s absence through my teen years contributed to a lot that I went through. One of good friends was going through some relationship issues and made a powerful statement, she said, “I feel as though I’m being punished for everything my father did wrong to women, why do my relationships keep failing?” From there I said I want to write a book with a storyline that speaks to the troubled black family.

Ella: Who do you want to reach with your book and what is the message within?
The Dirty Divorce I feel anyone can relate to. Everyone either knows someone who has been through a divorce or has been through one themselves, even if they are a product of divorce. Everyone in the family is affected by the break up, whether dirty or not. The abuse in the home becomes a way of life and you take the risk of your off springs either becoming a product of their environment or finding a way out. I want people to see that even though this book is fiction, it’s somebody in this world going through the same things and what are we going to do differently in our lives to make a change in our current behaviors.

The one thing I always say is, I don’t want anyone to lose the message. The cars, the money, and the big house might seem all good but we need to know the consequences that come with it. The streets are always watching and you have to live a life in fear of the day it could all come to an end; whether if it’s the Feds or the next man trying to get on top it eventually comes to an end. Infidelity comes with the territory as well.

Know that these are all the things you sign up for street life, but the main message is not only what I just mentioned, it’s the effect on the family and the children. It’s a vicious cycle because we are teaching our children that this is the only way, and as young girls we choose the hustler as our boyfriend, and as young men we choose street life as the way because this is all we know.

Ella: What are some of the specific issues or problems addressed in this book?
Divorce has been such an easy way out these days, the younger generation doesn’t fight anymore for their relationships so this is definitely a topic everyone can relate to. Also the relationship between a mother and her son as well as a father and their daughter. How the decisions that we make as parents and how they affect our children.

Ella: Share with us your upcoming releases and online contact info.
The Dirty Divorce is a trilogy and Part 2  was released on November 24, 2010 and for updates on future release information or to contact me I can be reached on Twitter: www.twitter.com/misskpdc.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/misskpdc   or visit my website at:  http://www.misskp.com/  


Purchase Dirty Divorce 1 and 2 written by Miss KP, HERE.

Publisher: Life Changing Books
ISBN-10: 193423074X
ISBN-13: 978-1934230749

 
 

Intimate Conversation with Yayoi Lena Winfrey

Intimate Conversation with Yayoi Lena Winfrey

Born in Tokyo to an African American father and Japanese mother, Yayoi Lena Winfrey grew up on three continents. A resident of California most of her adult life, she’s also lived in Alaska, Hawai’i, Washington State, and St. Thomas U.S.V.I.
After attending art school, Yayoi freelanced as an illustrator and graphic designer before turning to journalism for the past 13 years. In 1998, she began working in the film industry and made a feature film, Watermelon Sushi, based on her life as an AfroAsian woman. She was a finalist for FIND (Film Independent) Project Involve, Fall 2005-Spring 2006. Besides contributing to numerous publications, Yayoi was twice nominated for journalism awards, and is referenced on Wikipedia. In 2000, she published an anthology of 28 black women writers and a chapbook based on her film.
Today, Yayoi plans a reshoot of the film while writing a weekly blog, Watermelon Sushi World, featuring cross-cultural stories. She’s also created a Facebook group, Hip Hapa Homeez, which addresses multiethnic experiences, as well as a Facebook fan page for Watermelon Sushi. And, she’s working on a collection of erotic short stories and a novella featuring multiracial characters and interracial relationships, as well as a novel about an AfroAsian family living in the Caribbean.
Featured Book Brothers and Others Anthology
compiled by Yayoi Lena Winfrey
Brothers and Others is an anthology of 28 black women authors writing about black men. Because I was tired of seeing the same old stereotypical images of black men as drug dealers, gangsters, prisoners and rappers, I sent out a call worldwide requesting stories about black women’s relationships with black men. Over 500 submissions were received including essays, poetry and short stories about black men in their roles as grandfathers, fathers, uncles, nephews, husbands, sons, friends, neighbors, celebrities, lovers, brothers and others.  A magazine-style book, Brothers and Others contains pieces ranging from poetic tributes like a woman’s poignant poem about her HIV-positive gay brother to a cute and classy short story about a man (from his POV) incredulous over his former big-breasted girlfriend having her bosom surgically reduced.
Book Review:  Brothers and Others
5 Stars! Reviewed by Heather Covington
“Brothers and Others is a collection of essays, poetry and short stories written by Black women from around the globe about Black men in their roles as grandfathers, fathers, uncles, nephews, husbands, sons, friends, neighbors, celebrities, lovers, brothers and others.” Shocking and down to earth poetry from woman poets who hold nothing back!
BPM:  Yayoi, are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
A: The characters in Brothers and Others are both fictional and non. They range from a real-life HIV-positive gay man to a fictional character who is incredulous at learning his former big-breasted girlfriend had her bosom surgically reduced.
BPM: What inspired you to write this story?
A: The inspiration for me taking on this anthology as an editor and publisher was because I was tired of seeing the same old stereotypical images of black men as drug dealers, gangsters, prisoners and rappers. I sent out a call worldwide requesting stories about black women’s relationships with black men. Over 500 submissions were received including essays, poetry and short stories about black men in their roles as grandfathers, fathers, uncles, nephews, husbands, sons, friends, neighbors, celebrities, lovers, brothers and others. The real challenge was selecting only 28 women’s stories to publish. Another reason I wanted to publish this book was to get my father’s story of growing up in Jim Crow Texas into print.
BPM: What is your most valuable lesson about the publishing industry?
A: I learned that the publishing industry, like the film industry and so many others, is simply not interested in stories about people of color unless they fit into some preconceived notion of what it means to be that based on the thoughts and ideas of people who are not of color. Unable to interest any publisher in this anthology about black men written by black women, I forged ahead and published it myself.
BPM: What writers inspire you and why?
A: Besides being an independent journalist, I also write fiction. Because I’m a huge fan of prose and interesting, complex characters, I’m heavily influenced by Caribbean women writers like Edwidge Danticat and Jamaica Kincaid. Of course, I also love Toni Morrison and Zora Neale Hurston. And, I’ve been moved by black American novelists like Earl Shorris (Ofay) and John A. Williams (The Man Who Cried I Am). I also enjoy African authors like Nigeria’s Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart). Because of my strong Japanese cultural roots, I’m also attracted to works by author Mishima Yukio as well as many Asian women writers. It’s believed that the world’s first psychological novel ever published was Tale of Genji which was written by Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the 11th Century. I’ve seen an anime version of the story, and it rocks!
BPM: What did you hope to accomplish by writing this particular story?
A: I hope to bring a greater awareness of just what it means to be a black man in this world as interpreted by their biggest fans–black women.
BPM: How may our readers connect with you online?
A: Brothers and Others is currently available by contacting the publisher, Yayoi Lena Winfrey, at lenastarwheels@me.com  or  esianthology@juno.com.
For more information, check out the Brothers and Others Fan page on Facebook where we support all independently published works by people of color. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brothers-And-Others/145195676524   As for me, I’m busy working on a collection of erotic short stories about multiracial people as well as a novel about an AfroAsian family in the Caribbean.
Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine.
Visit the magazine here:
http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/  
 
 

Intimate Conversation with Patti Lacy

Intimate Conversation with author Patti Lacy

Hello Patti! Welcome to Black Pearls, tell us a little about you and your family.
I’m Patti Lacy, a displaced Southerner who was gifted with teacher parents and a passion to read. In 2006, I left my beloved community college halls to set up a writing “room of my own” in the home I share with my teacher husband and a dog named Laura.

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
I was born in the back seat of a Buick in Waco, Texas , grew up in the South, and now live in Normal, Illinois. I devour literary fiction, penned by Austen, Kingsolver, Morrison, Dostoevsky, Stegner, Hemingway, Gaines, and many, many more. Unlike many writers, I didn’t put anything on paper, except maudlin poetry and embarrassing love letters, until 2005, when Mary’s story refused to settle into my brain and keep quiet.

Ella: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?
In 2005, God gifted me with a wonderful story about Mary, a brave Irishwoman who’d for years kept the secret of how she’d been betrayed by not one but two dysfunctional families.

I became obsessed with the secrets women keep and why they keep them. When the Still Small Voice kept whispering for me to capture Mary’s story on paper, I finally obeyed and penned my first novel, An Irishwoman’s Tale.

Why do I write? Because I HAVE TO! Stories and images bang on my skull and refuse to stop until I release them into a computer file. Hey, I’m 54 and want to share these stories for as long as God allows. That may be for another thirty years. Or it may be one…more…day.

Ella: What Legacy do you want to leave future readers?
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers: When a heart festering with pus-laden secrets is cut open and exposed to light and air, healing begins. Healing brings health. Healthy women can share with others to promote well-being.

Ella: Give us the synopsis of the book being discussed, What the Bayou Saw.

Sally Stevens, a chatty Midwestern college instructor, smothers her secrets with drawly talk, chocolate, and big-toothed smiles. Then the she-devil Katrina threatens her brother and Ella Ward, Sally’s former best friend, and three of Sally’s students are accused of assaulting a fourth student, Shamika Williams.

When a bigoted cop, Shamika’s mama tiger aunt, and Sally collide in Shamika’s hospital room, the past, which has been buried under Louisiana bayou mud, begins to bubble to the surface. Racism, sexual dysfunction, and the traumatic aftermath of assault reach across the span of time and threaten to destroy Sally’s tranquil life in Normal , Illinois . Dare Sally share her secrets with a hurting Shamika and risk exposing her own prejudices?

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
Segregation and a chain link fence separated twelve-year-old Sally Flowers from her best friend, Ella Ward. Yet a brutal assault bound them together. Forever. Thirty-eight years later, Sally, a middle-aged Midwestern instructor, dredges up childhood secrets long buried beneath the waters of a Louisiana bayou in order to help her student, who has also been raped. Fragments of spirituals, gospel songs, and images of a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans are woven into the story.

Sally Stevens, the 52-year-old college Humanities instructor whose friendly drawl and bubbly personality mask deep-rooted scars from a childhood rape. I admire Sally’s fierce devotion to her family and to her students.

Ella Ward, Sally’s middle-aged childhood friend who teams with Sally to kill a rapist and later faces betrayal at the hands of Sally. I love Ella’s professionalism, gift of healing, and ability to forgive an awful wrong.

Ella: How does this book shape or add value to the reader’s life?
What the Bayou Saw emphasizes the importance of exposing the prejudice all of us harbor, in varying degrees, to the light of truth so that healing can begin. This my second novel also deals with the terrible aftermath in the souls of young girls because of sexual assault and the chilling statistic that even in homes with “good” communication, many crimes continue to go unreported. I also hope my book entertains the reader with a good story and a satisfying ending.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?The need for dialogue about race issues in America to continue. The terrible human stain left by racism, sexual assault…and lies.

Ella: Who would this book really “speak to” and why?
My target audience is readers, especially women, between the ages of 25 and 100! Women have traditionally stoked the home fires, have shouldered abuse and misuse throughout the ages. By bonding with other women and honestly sharing our past, we put our heads together to better problem-solve. Think of cultures where women gather at the well to chat and chew. I hope to “chat and chew” with my readers!

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
The humbling opportunity to reach out to one reader at a time. I love each one of you and appreciate your investment of time and money in my book.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
Write for the Audience of One. Write because you’ve been given a talent. Work at it with your heart, your soul, and your mind. Read books. Study the great writers. Become a professional writer, no matter what other people say. Yes, you can.

Ella: Name three things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion.
The blessing of God. A crazy passion to read and write, knowing this passion will cost you dearly in other areas of your life but will give tremendous joy and sense of purpose. A solid foundation in crafting words, whether self-taught, through reading the works of literary giants (hopefully a combination of both).

Ella: What book already published is similar to your book in its writing style?
It’s hard to know something like that about one’s own work. I like to think that my voice is fresh and can’t be duplicated. That idiotic thought off my chest, perhaps the frame idea and regional dialect of Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg and the visual imagery of Ella Cather.

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?My Name is Sheba, another framed story that begins in the rollicking Age of Jazz in New Orleans and ends in the red light district of Bangkok.

Contact information:
Patti Lacy

patti@pattilacy.com
http://www.pattilacy.com

Books can be purchased anywhere books are sold, including Barnes & Noble, Borders, LifeWay Christian stores, and http://www.amazon.com/.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Author Interviews

 

Intimate Conversation with Lisa Douglass

Meet Author Lisa DouglassA graduate of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland , Lisa Douglass earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, and continued her education at Loyola College in Maryland , where she earned a Master of Engineering Science degree. Currently, she is a software development consultant for the United States Federal Government.

Ella: Give us the synopsis of the book being discussed.
Lisa: BaloneyBooks.com, offers a series of children’s books I’ve written all about five-year old Gwendolyn BALONEY Lomax. These stories recount childhood remembrances told to me by my mother, who grew up as the youngest of eight siblings in a four-story row house in Baltimore . I love these stories because they are simple, timeless, wholesome tales about childhood and family. I think readers will find the main character, BALONEY, to be both familiar and likeable. Each story unfolds through her eyes. My goal with these books was to write stories that are tenderly written, without being overly sentimental. They deliberately steer clear of moralistic themes, relying more on basic notions of love, youthful spirit, neighborliness, and the natural development of childhood awareness.

Ella: Tell us about your passion for writing.
Lisa: My enthusiasm for writing stems from my excitement for storytelling. I’ve always loved to hear a story being told and am thrilled to be able to tell a story that would be as exciting to the reader as it is to me.

Ella: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
Lisa: I am powerful because I can express myself artistically.

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
Lisa: I was raised in Baltimore County , Maryland . I started my writing journey in the classroom, taking creative writing courses. I loved the idea of creating characters and telling fantastic tales. Although I put that endeavor aside for a while, as I pursued my education and embarked on my career – that interest had never left me. Writing these books sort of brought me back to my first love. I feel like I’ve come full circle.

Ella: Who is the main character and what is most interesting about him or her?Lisa: Five year old Gwendolyn BALONEY Lomax is the main character of each book in the series. BALONEY’s mother plays a significant role in her life, reinforcing the nurturing environment that is critical to the context of each tale. The character, BALONEY, is one that both children and adults can relate to. I love that there is innocence in her lifestyle and purity in the basic relationships she has with her family and members of her community. Everyone in young BALONEY’s environment has a hand in cultivating a positive and loving environment. It truly does take a village.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and what would entice a reader pick it up?
Lisa: The world we live in today is so fast-paced, full and complicated. Yet underneath it all, we still have some very basic needs and values. Baloney Books takes the reader back to a simpler and less complicated time. Readers will be drawn to the relationship between mother and child and may quietly assess their own home environment and family relationships. While BALONEY’s environment is somewhat idealized, there are aspects of it that are very relatable and realizable to children and parents today.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
Lisa: Above all else, I want readers to have a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience. When they put these books down I want them to do so with smiles on their faces. I want them to appreciate the simple yet lasting values that Baloney Books conveys.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
Lisa: While writing these books was a very personal experience, I was surprised by how other people responded so enthusiastically to the books and the characters and how they were so willing to share their excitement with others.

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
Lisa: My biggest achievement has been ensuring quality through the writing, editing and publishing process. These books are dear to me. While they are fictional works, they are based on factual events from my own mother’s life. The person that my mother is today is largely a result of her experiences in family and society, notions that are at the core of each story. It was important to me to maintain quality throughout the entire production.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
Lisa: Select a subject that is authentically your own, express it with zeal, and have your work professionally edited!

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
Lisa: You can expect more short stories about the five year old main character, BALONEY, hence the Baloney Books slogan, “More BALONEY, Please!”

Ella: How may our readers contact you online?
Baloney Books Web Site & Online Bookstore: http://www.baloneybooks.com/
Author’s Email: lisa@baloneybooks.com
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Baloney-Books/40940843876
MySpace Fan Page: http://www.myspace.com/baloneybooks

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Author Interviews

 

Unwrapped: How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly

Intimate Conversations with author Connie May Fowler

New York Times bestselling writer Connie May Fowler is an essayist, screenwriter, and novelist. She is the author of five novels, most recently The Problem with Murmur Lee, and a memoir, When Katie Wakes. In 1996, she published  Before Women Had Wings, which became a paperback bestseller and was made into a successful Oprah Winfrey Presents movie. She founded the Connie May Fowler Women With Wings Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding women and children in need. Connie lives in Florida.

BPM: Take us inside How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly.
The book tracks a day in the life of Clarissa Burden, a woman who wakes on the Summer Solstice with the knowledge that her life must change because she is wracked with spousal death scenarios and writer’s block. Concurrent with her story is that of Olga Villada. Villada and her family are ghosts, their souls unable to move on from the place where they were brutally murdered. Their stories converge, resulting in a startling and life-changing chain of events.

BPM: What specific revelation prompted you to write your book?

I was reading up on pre-Civil war Florida history and discovered that when Florida was a Spanish territory, women could be property owners and slavery was outlawed. But Spain and the United States signed an agreement that would change all of that. The Florida Purchase Treaty of 1819 guaranteed that the United States would lay claim to Florida in 1821. With a stroke of a pen and strike of a clock, suddenly all women and blacks would have their rights stripped away. That haunted me and I walked around with that kernel in my head for a few years before I sat down to write the novel, which takes place in 2006 but is populated with ghosts.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
I think this book will have a broad appeal. The book, at its core, is about freedom—individual and universal—and it’s wrapped up in a story that is both comedic and dramatic. I think readers of many ages and races will identify with the struggles of Clarissa Burden and Olga Villada.

BPM: How will reading your book shape the readers lives?
One, I hope it will make readers laugh even amid a few tears. But if there is one message I want readers to gain, it’s that how easy it is for the course of history—the course of one person’s individual day—to go suddenly very, very wrong. There are bad people in this world—sometimes bad people have all the trappings of kindness—and they are capable of terrible things. So we have to be vigilant for ourselves and for one another. Casual prejudices and ordinary meanness can, in the blink of an eye, become lethal. So we have to learn to be pro-actively kind and relentless protective of our rights.

BPM: What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
Women’s issues, race, personal empowerment, marital relations, and Florida history.

BPM: What was the most powerful chapter in the book, How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly?
I think that once Clarissa decides—in a fit of rage—to kill her husband, this book takes a major turn and all the chapters that follow are highly entertaining, shocking, and ultimately satisfying.

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
I recently wrote a story for Slate’s online women’s site DoubleX about how the Haitian earthquake has severely impacted their women’s movement. How Clarissa Burden Learns to Fly was released to stores April 2, 2010.

BPM: How can our readers reach you online? Share with us your online contact info.
My website is http://www.conniemayfowler.com/.  I blog at http://blog.conniemayfowler.com/.   Readers can also follow me on Twitter and friend me on Facebook, where I’m very active. There is also a Facebook fan page for How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly.  In honor of Clarissa and those pesky spousal death scenarios that haunt her, I launched the Clarissa Burden Postcard Project  in which I will be asking readers to anonymously send me one secret they cannot tell their spouse or partner. The secrets can be silly or serious, and will be posted on my website.

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Shelia M. Goss: Delilah – When Love Deceives Online Tour

Intimate Conversation with Shelia M. Goss
Shelia M. Goss is the Essence Magazine & Black Expressions Book Club Best-Selling author of My Invisible Husband, Roses are Thorns, Paige’s Web, Double Platinum, His Invisible Wife, Hollywood Deception and the teen series The Lip Gloss Chronicles. Delilah is her tenth novel and first Christian fiction novel. To learn more, visit her website: http://www.sheliagoss.com/.
BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. What impact do you want your book to make on the readers?
My passion for writing blossomed after meeting Maya Angelou my freshman year in high school. I was shy growing up and writing was one form of me expressing myself. Writing is a part of me and even if I didn’t have any books published, I would still be writing. I want my books to inspire and encourage others on this journey we call life.
BPM: Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…
It’s a doorway into relationships during my time period. It shows, via the characters, how to overcome life’s trials and tribulations.
BPM: Introduce us to your latest book, Delilah, Christian fiction.
Behind every successful man is a good woman. The downfall of a good man is a woman up to no good.
Thirty and fine, Samson Judges is preacher of the Peaceful Rest Missionary Baptist Church . He’s beloved by his congregation, but temptation is about to strike in the form of divalicious beauty Delilah, and only the Good Lord knows if Samson will be able to keep his head on straight with her. Especially considering he’s about to be married to Julia Rivers. Julia helped shape Samson into the man he is, but Delilah wants to knock him down. He doesn’t know she’s been hired to distract him by real estate developer William Trusts, who wants to acquire the land where Samson’s church stands…. Samson feels like his relationship with God puts him above it all, but his weakness for Delilah may just cause him to lose everything. ~ Black Expressions Book Club
Delilah is an entertaining novel with a Christian message that is not preachy but allows the readers to see how our choices can affect our lives. The characters face many temptations but there is room for redemption. I think even if you don’t normally read Christian fiction, you will be able to enjoy Delilah and hopefully it will lead the reader into reading other books in the genre.
BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
I wrote Delilah because I kept hearing people trying to blame others for their transgressions instead of taking responsibilities for their own actions. I decided to take a tragic love story from the Bible and give it a modern day twist.
Delilah is the first book in my “Bad Women of the Bible” series. I’ve chosen women, who from mere appearances, was the cause of several great men downfall. But when you dig a little deeper, you realize the men had choices; just like we have choices in our life. It’s up to each individual to weigh their options before acting or reacting. Our decisions can lead to life or death.
BPM: Give us a little bit of the back story on Delilah.
Delilah is the main character. She makes the mistake of falling in love with her pastor, Rev. Samson Judges. Delilah hasn’t had luck with men in the past but feels her luck has changed when she meets Samson. In her eyes, Samson’s perfect and can do no wrong. Delilah feels if given the chance, Samson could grow to love her. She doesn’t care he’s already engaged to marry someone else.
Samson was called to preach at a young age but he ran from his calling until after college. During his college years, he was what most would call a player but once he decided to dedicate his life to the Lord, he became celibate. Samson feels that his relationship with God is so strong that he can withstand any form of temptation. Up until he met Delilah, he was able to deal with the temptations of the flesh.
Both characters are dealing with deception in one form or another.
BPM: What are two major events taking place in Delilah?
The first major event is when Samson succumbs to Delilah’s temptation. He’s at a crossroads and the decision he makes at this point will not only affect him, but his family and church.
Another major event occurs when Delilah realizes that she’s been deceived by her concept of love.
BPM: Were there things from “your world” incorporated into this storyline?
I don’t write about my real life. All of my books are fiction; any resemblance to anyone real is purely a coincidence.
BPM: What was the most powerful chapter for you to write in Delilah?
There were several, but there was one chapter where Samson prays to God to forgive Delilah for her sins, but Samson failed to acknowledge his own sins. While writing that chapter, it reminded me of how sometimes we are quick to judge others, but fail to examine ourselves.
BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
No one is perfect and we all fall short, but even with our imperfections, God gives us grace and shows us mercy.
BPM: Share with us your latest news or upcoming book releases.
I’m celebrating book #10 with Delilah’s release. I write in multiple genres, so I’ll have a suspense novel coming out on March 1, 2011 called Savannah’s Curse. I’m also working on the rest of the books in my “Bad Women of the Bible” series.
BPM: How can our readers reach you online?
Readers can reach me via the contact form on my website: http://www.sheliagoss.com/  or friend me at
Book Reviews
“Many stories that include preachers are over-the-top, but the author’s creative nature blends this topic along with deceit and betrayal into the story, making it just right.” ~ Review by Teresa Beasley-APOOO Book Club
“The book was highly entertaining, yet never lost sight of the Christian message. I recommend Delilah to those who love Christian fiction and to all readers who enjoy great writing and storyline.” ~ Angelia Menchan, Author and Avid Reader
 
Delilah by Shelia M. Goss
ISBN-10: 1601628854
ISBN-13: 978-1601628855
 

Intimate Conversation with author BJ Brown

Intimate Conversation with author BJ Brown

A graduate of NC A&T SU,  BJ Brown began his amateur writing career penning reviews for Honeysoul.com. BJ has published individual poems with The Poetry Place, NWLiterature.org, and Poet’s Ink. In 2007 he published his first poetry book entitled Diary Of An Affair via PublishAmerica. He recently released his first chapbook, Grey/Blue, on Lulu.com. As a freelance critic, he also writes for Soultracks.com, Heed Magazine, and Blogcritics.org.
What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
All my life, I’ve written poetry as a way to express the emotion that I am experiencing at any given point and time. In the past it was typically how I expressed my love or infatuation with someone. Well, when I went through my divorce and my affair, I was filled with more emotion than I could have ever wished for. I found myself writing poetry just to keep my sanity at times. At the same time as all of this was reading different poetry books by Saul Williams, Dead Emcee Scrolls more specifically.
While I was reading, I noticed the unique structure of his book. It wasn’t all poetry. It was a compilation of poems, thoughts, and writings all centered in around his central theme. Once my affair and divorce were done and I could focus on pulling my poetry, thoughts, and discussions together into a similar piece of work about my experiences. I found that structuring my book in that way would allow me to tell the emotional story of what I went through without fully chronicling the story itself. It seemed to be an intriguing way to tell my story. Doing so also turned out to be quite therapeutic.
Take us inside the book. How did you decide to structure the chapters?
Suppressive Fire is a chapter explaining how my emotions built up to my breaking point. Digitized Emotion is a chapter showing how my affair with an old flame began from a supposedly innocent email. Decaying Eternity showed the dynamics of how my marriage failed. She Still Lingers Within goes through how the affair began. Self goes through how both my affair and my marriage ended. In each, I tell the story through poetry, clips of actual discussions, and thoughts.
Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
This book is an exploration of love, passion, relationships, depression, and everything in between. It is meant to reach anyone who has experienced the hardship of failed love, the difficulty of being and staying in love, as well as any curious about the mind state of one within an affair. I hope it provides insight into how someone views or values love and their partner.
What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
Rather than explaining the details of the affair as a novel would, my poetry book explains the emotion. It’s intended to make the reader feel rather than simply observe the situation the story tells.
How will reading your book shape the readers lives?
I hope this book helps people evaluate love and relationships in a way that causes them to be more caring about their partner’s emotional needs as well as be more aware of their own. Sometimes we all tend to get so caught up in simply getting by with the day to day responsibilities that we forget how passion really feels with the one we love.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Other poets such as Jon Sanders (author of Ordinary Poems For Extraordinary People In These Ordinary Times) and Saul Williams were the main influences. Aside from them I found that listening to music was a great catalyst for a number of lines I came up with in my poems. Artists like MeShell N’DegeOcello, Prince, The Foreign Exchange, Janelle Monae, Sia, Dwele, Goapele, and Amel Larrieux were the common soundtrack to my writing sessions.
What else to you have in store for future books?
Well, I recently released my first poetry chapbook entitled Grey/Blue on Lulu.com. It is kind of me flexing my poetic muscle and tackling a number of different subjects like Obama getting elected and how historic that event was. I also included a few poems where I simply challenged myself to describe something or someone like a memorable character from a movie.
I am also working hard on another poetry book entitled ExIsT. I’m hoping that this book turns out to be more than just a compilation of poetry much like Diary Of An Affair. It is to be themed around self discovery and reflection. I’d like for it to be kind of an emotional handbook for those times when we find ourselves questioning where we want to go or be in life. I’m really excited about finishing this one since I think this effort could have a more broad affect on people than my previous work.
Of course this is all in the midst of the music and video game reviews and articles that I write for Soultracks.com, Heed Magazine, and Blogcritics.org.
Relevant Author Links:
Author Facebook site – www.facebook.com/Bunneh3000
Author blog on poetry and writing – http://bunneh3000-poetry.blogspot.com/
Author poetry compilation (with free samples) – www.writerscafe.org/writers/Bunneh3000
 
 

Terrance Dean Straight From Your Gay Best Friend

Q&A with Terrance Dean, author of Straight From Your Gay Best Friend

About Straight From Your Gay Best Friend by Terrance Dean
A sassy, funny, and soulful advice guide for straight women from the vantage point of a gay man.
In today’s society every woman needs a gay best friend—someone who gives it to her straight about life, clothes, sex, and relationships. From the inner city to suburbia, a gay best friend has become the new must-have for women.
Terrance Dean can be your new gay best friend. In Straight From Your Gay Best Friend he gives women terrific insights and advice on some of life’s most challenging issues—family, friends, career, love, sex, and intimate relationships. Dean offers direct and to-the-point perspectives, mixed with a little sass, wit, humor, forwardness, and spirituality, as only a gay man can do.
Dean also dedicates a chapter to the most controversial topic in the black community—down-low gay men. He writes, “I am often asked by women, ‘How can I tell if my man is on the down low?’ Or, ‘What are some signs I need to look out for so I do not end up in a relationship with a down-low man?’ This chapter will help women identify if the man they are in a relationship with or considering dating may be on the down low.”
This book will help women discover the power they need for a life of abundant success, prosperity, and happiness with loving relationships. It dispenses practical advice and tips on creating healthy relationships with themselves and any man they desire. And it’s all done from a place of love.
Terrance Dean lives in Los Angeles and will be promoting the book with appearances in New York; Philadelphia; Washington, DC; Atlanta; Los Angeles; and Chicago, among other cities. He is an anthologized fiction writer and his memoir, Hiding In Hip Hop: On the Down Low in the Entertainment Industry from Music to Hollywood, was an Essence best-seller.
Terrance is the gay best friend here to stay or is it a passing societal whim?
The gay best friend is here to stay. We’ve always been around. It’s just that now we are getting more recognition and visibility thanks in part to television programs, movies, and the internet. People will be amazed at the number of women who rely on their gay best friends for advice about everything, from relationships and fashion to dealing with their family members.
What does the gay best friend have to offer a woman that her girlfriends don’t?
First and foremost, we are men. We know men. We know how we act, and what we will do in various situations. We’re the best ally for a woman who needs advice on her relationships and love life. Trust me, we are not going to steer women wrong.
We can also be that go-to person for a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and the straight truth about everything. We’re not in competition with our good girlfriends, nor do we have an ulterior motive. We are not trying to sleep with our girlfriends, and we certainly won’t borrow your best fashions and not return them.
What do you hope your readers will walk away with from this book?
I hope readers will walk away with a sense of empowerment and inspiration. Women are naturally powerful, fabulous, and intelligent. In my book, I only reinforce what they already know, and remind them of who they are. Sometimes we forget who we are and what we are here to do, especially when it comes to dealing with other people. My book is intended to provide women with some assistance on their journeys, remind them of their inheritance of what is good and true. I also want every woman to know that no matter what, no one can take away your true divine place in this world. You have a purpose, and your whole life and whatever you desire all depend on you recognizing your purpose.
In your opinion, what are the biggest mistakes women make when entering a relationship?
One of the biggest is giving their power over to men, in the process forgetting who they are and allowing their emotions to take them over. Men think with their brains. Women think with their hearts. Also, women have forgotten how to date. We live in a day and age where people are too eager to hook up instead of taking the time to get to know one another. Another mistake is that women forget that men like to pursue; they like to hunt. A woman has to make the man pursue her and not give in so easily to her (or his) desires. Women have to own their power and virtues.
Another mistake is the failure to listen. Women must listen to men and observe their behavior. Pay attention to what he is saying and doing. If he is not living up to your standards and he is not doing what he says he will, then that woman must reevaluate that man and make him accountable, responsible, and integral. Finally, women tend to date the potential in men. They see who he will become, or what they want him to become, and they fall in love with that man instead of the man they meet. When he doesn’t become who they want him to be, women become disappointed, frustrated, and angry.
If you had to sum up in four sentences your career advice for women, what would you tell them?
Do what you love. Whatever you feel deepest in your heart, whatever brings you the most joy, that is what you are supposed to be doing. Whatever you think about before you go to bed, and think about first thing when you wake up, that is what you should be doing. Your career should bring you joy, peace, and happiness. Don’t do something just for money. If you love what you do, and it provides fulfillment beyond anything you’ve ever experienced, the money will come.
Your book talks about the down-low phenomenon—in your view, how prevalent is the issue of down-low gay men in the black community?
Well, the down-low phenomenon is not just prevalent in the black community, but in all communities, including whites, Latinos, and Asians. Unfortunately, when people hear the term down-low, they associate it with the black community. I feel there should be more open discussions in all communities around sex and sexuality.
We’re so afraid to have those discussions, though, that it’s crippling us—as a result, we have an alarming rate of HIV infection among women. People are scared to talk about gay sex, bisexuality, and down-low. If we talk about it then we have to admit it exists. As long as we avoid talking about it, we are keeping it in the closet, and we are keeping ourselves in the dark.
What is the most important ingredient to living a fabulous life?
Loving yourself. If you love who you are, then others will love you. If you don’t appreciate you, then others will not. If you don’t show yourself respect, then others will not. It’s all about love. And that means loving everything about yourself from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head.
Where do you go from here? Do you have plans for other works or projects?
Yes, I have plans to develop a  “Straight from Your Gay Best Friend” series. There are so many topics to address and so many wonderful opportunities to share with people who need support, advice, inspiration, and empowerment in their lives. So, I plan to continue providing material that uplift and encourage people to be their fabulous and fierce selves. People should be who they are and get what they deserve.
 
 
 

Intimate Conversation with Gloria Mallette

Intimate Conversation with Gloria Mallette

Book spotlight: Sassy

Join me in welcome bestselling author Gloria Mallette! Nationally acclaimed award winning author GLORIA MALLETTE began her true literary journey by self-publishing her second novel Shades of Jade in April of 2000. By July and 13,000 sold copies later, Gloria signed on with Random House who re-released Shades of Jade in 2001. Shades of Jade made several best sellers lists, including Black Board, Essence Magazine, The Dallas Morning News, and The Washington Post/Washington is Also Reading listing.

Gloria has been featured in The New York Daily News, USAToday, ToDay’s Black Woman, Upscale Magazine, The Dallas Morning News, and The Pocono Record. Gloria also has a featured novella, Come Tomorrow, on the USAToday website. To her credit, Gloria now has ten published titles including the newly released SASSY, a Finalist in the National Best Books 2009 Awards; Weeping Willows Dance; and Living, Breathing Lies, winner of the National Best Books 2007 Awards and the 2008 Indie Excellence Award.

Intimate Conversation with Gloria hosted by Ella Curry of EDC Creations

Q: Introduce us to your book SASSY.
GM: Finally SASSY! It took a while but SASSY is now available where ever books are sold. Order your autographed copy from the SASSY page, or order from Amazon.com. If not online, please order through your local bookstore.

Who is Sassy? A successful romance novelist, Sassy Davenport is a woman looking to fulfill her own romantic fantasy. When the man of her dreams steps right out of the pages of her latest novel, Butterfly, Sassy falls madly in love with him. But what evil lies behind Norris Yoshito’s beautiful eyes and sexy smile? Is the man of Sassy’s dream a serial killer of women who made the mistake of trusting him just as Sassy did? When Sassy finds herself caught up in a nightmare of deception and danger, she has to keep her suspicions to herself or fall victim to a heartless killer who sees her death as the ultimate act of revenge

Q: Tell us a little about your main characters. 
GM: The main characters in SASSY are Sassy Davenport and Norris Yoshito. Sassy is a romance novelist who has yet to find the man of her romantic dreams. That is until Norris Yoshito, an architect of Japanese and African American decent, by chance, attends one of Sassy’s book signings and purchases ten copies of her latest novel—which impresses her.

The attraction between Sassy and Norris is immediate. Norris is the embodiment of the leading man in Sassy’s novel, but Sassy quickly learns that Norris is a man of great compassion and substance when he helps her take care of her cousin Bernard who is dying of AIDS. However, there appears to be a darker side to Norris that frightens Sassy. Women associated with Norris are being murdered and the police believe Norris is the killer. Not knowing what to believe, Sassy fears that she might have to fight the man she loves in order to save her own life.
Q: Who was your favorite? Why?
GM: While I liked Sassy’s strength and tenacity, I fell in love with Norris. I liked that Norris was caring, loving, and strong. Norris didn’t shy away from Bernard’s illness; nor did he back down from Sassy whenever she tried to get the upper hand; nor did he fear his older brother Clarence who had hated him all of his life. Norris was indeed the man that most women dream about being in love with.

Q: What issue, person or thing inspired you to write this story?
GM: Actually, my character, Norris, inspired me to write this book. Strange as it might seem, I kept dreaming about this Afro-Asian man who marries an African-American woman who faces head on the problems they were up against because of his past. My dreams evolved into SASSY.

Q: What issues in today’s society have you addressed in the book?
GM: One of the issues I addressed in SASSY was AIDS and the other mixed race children in Japan who are technically outcasts in a very purist, racist society. Even today, Japanese people as a whole do not condone the mixing or tainting of their blood by foreigners, especially people of African decent. I even learned that bleaching cream is very big in Asia because Japanese people believe the whiter their skin the better. I had to do a lot of research and it was no surprise that women who bore mixed race children were ostracized. Big surprise—not.

Q: What was the most powerful chapter or scene in the book for you?
GM: There were several powerful scenes in SASSY that touched me. One in particular was when Bernard, who is dying of AIDS, gets to see his seven-year-old son Brice. Bernard had been afraid that he would scare Brice by his emaciated appearance and tried to end all contact with Brice and Brice’s mother Evelyn. When Brice was brought to the house, it was Brice who embraced Bernard and said he would take care of him. I actually cried when I wrote this scene.

Q: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.  
GM: SASSY placed as a finalist in the National Best Book 2009 Awards. I feel fortunate that it has been acknowledged, just as Living, Breathing Lies was in 2007 and 2008 wherein it won a National Best Book Awards and an Indie Excellence Award. As a self-publisher who has been mainstream published, a little validation goes a long way.

I’d like to extend an invitation to readers to visit my website: http://www.gloriamallette.com/  to see the videos for both Sassy and Living, Breathing Lies. Books ordered through my website are personally autographed.

Writing remains my passion. I am now hard at work on my next book, Shh! Don’t Tell which will be out in 2011.

Sassy by Gloria A. Mallette
ISBN-10: 0967878934
ISBN-13: 9780967878935
Purchase your copy today from Barnes and Noble or by visiting Gloria’s website for a signed copy.

Follow Author Gloria Mallette
Email: gempress@aol.com  
Website: http://www.gloriamallette.com/  
Blog: http://blog.myspace.com/gloriamallette

National Best Book 2009 Awards Finalist — Sassy
National Indie Excellence 2008 Award Winner — Living, Breathing Lies
National Best Book 2007 Awards Winner AA Fiction — Living, Breathing Lies
MosaicBooks.com 2007 Bestseller — Living, Breathing Lies

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2010 in Author Interviews

 

Christmas with author Andrea Foy

Christmas with author Andrea Foy

Andrea Foy has over twenty years of customer service experience working for companies such as McDonald’s, Sears, Delta and USAir Airlines, American Express Financial Advisors the Federal Government. A graduate of Dayton’s Wright State University, she currently resides outside Dayton Ohio where she is attending grad school in Organizational Leadership and volunteers for her community. Visit the author’s website: http://www.andreafoy.com/  
BPM:  What are you most thankful for today?
I am thankful for being a published author. It is one of the most challenging but rewarding things you can do in life. Being a self-published author puts you in complete control and it is nice.
BPM:  Tell us about your fondest holiday moment or event. Do you have Holiday rituals that absolutely, positively must be followed?
It is all about the food. I love eating my way through the holiday! I used to be a flight attendant and on what I thought would be my first Christmas away from home, I pulled an all nighter and got home by noon on Christmas day. That was considered the best present by my family.
BPM:   How do you celebrate the holidays? Have you planned anything special for this year?
This will be the first year without my father, who recently passed so it will be low key this year, remembering him.
BPM:   Do you have a favorite holiday menu, story or song? Share with us.
Menu – Turkey, sweet potatoes, homemade rolls, cranberry sauce. Story and song – The little drummer boy story and song.
BPM:   Tell us about your latest book, Hire Power: How to find, get, and keep a Job.
My book is a non-fiction book for the Mature YA, with tips on job hunting, customer service and working in general.
BPM:   Have you ever considered what kind of legacy you want to leave future generations?
I hope my book is used for future generations because they all need to learn.
BPM:   How may our readers contact you online and pick up your latest work?
http://www.andreafoy.com/  and Amazon.com. It is available as an e-book too, HERE
Follow me on Facebook: www.facebook.com//HirePower  and check out my Tweets at: www.twitter.com/HirePower2010
Hire Power by Andrea Foy

Hire Power  is a how-to guide that steps you through the process of landing the job you want—yes;  want—to knowing when to leave for better opportunities. Geared toward the workplace neophyte, this book provides insight for the experienced employee too.
In Hire Power you will learn:

• How to complete an application
• Appropriate and inappropriate attire for an interview
• How to deal with coworkers, bosses and customers
• Basic business etiquette
• How job performance can lead to great appraisals and promotions
How to find, get, and keep a Job
ISBN-10: 0981743692
ISBN-13: 978-0981743691
  
 
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Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Author Interviews

 

Conversation with Niambi Brown Davis

Intimate Conversation with Niambi Brown Davis


Niambi Brown Davis has lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, in Washington, DC and Trinidad and Tobago. She is the editor of Travel and Enjoy, an online travel magazine that will make its debut in December 2010. From Dusk to Dawn, her first full-length novel, and Love’s Redemption, a digital novella, were both published in 2008.  

In 2010 Sanctuary was released as an Apple iTunes application, and will be released in e-book format through Lady Leo Publishing. Sabor a Mi,  Niambi’s latest novella, was released in September 2010 by InnerVision Books.

BPM: What are you most thankful for today?
Without doubt, my fabulous family.  Second, would be gratitude for the lessons I finally learned: even in total darkness, keep looking for the light and it will find you.

BPM: Tell us about your fondest holiday moment or event. Do you have Holiday/Christmas rituals that absolutely, positively must be followed?
I have so many, but I’ll reign in my urge to share them all (lol). As a child the arrival of the catalog from Miles Kimball of Oshkosh meant Christmas was on the way. From that catalog my parents ordered our personalized Christmas cards (a snowy scene painted in white on midnight blue and inscribed “From the Three of Us” over our names). And then there was the yearly trip to Gimbels in Philadelphia to sit on Santa’s knee and later shopping for the one pre-Christmas gift I was allowed (usually a book, but when I got older it was a beautiful black watch plaid skirt).

In later years my mother would invite the little girls in our extended family over to bake Christmas cookies. She and I had our own ritual – we would leave one item on the list for the excitement of a last-minute Christmas Eve shopping sprint. And now each year my daughter and I buy a new pair of Christmas Eve pajamas. Lest I forget, we always put the Kwanzaa symbols up early so they don’t get left behind in the excitement that is Christmas. (I guess I didn’t reign in as much as I thought…)

BPM: How do you celebrate the holidays? While everyone else is asleep, I wait up until midnight, usually with a glass of eggnog one more gift to wrap. The next morning, we get up, open our gifts and get ready for a big family meal at one of my relative’s houses.

BPM:  Do you have a favorite holiday menu, story or song? Share with us.
One year a family friend and his wife gave my parents and I a Christmas card that came with a holiday punch recipe. We still make it every year.

I grew up when black radio was found only on the AM frequency and went off when the sun went down.  The next best alternative was Baltimore’s  WCAO,  where I first heard Brenda Lee’s  “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree”  and Bobby Helms  “Jingle Bell Rock.”  They remind me of my childhood Christmas, and are some of my favorites to this day.  It wouldn’t be Christmas for me without Donny Hathaway’s  “This Christmas”,  Carla Thomas’  “Gee Whiz It’s Christmas”  or any soulful rendition of O Holy Night.”

BPM: Tell us about your latest book. What are two main events taking place in the book?
Sabor a Mi  is the story of Melody Walker and Raimundo (Ray) Santos, two people who love Latin dance, but hate each other on sight, especially when Ray cracks on her culture and her size. When they’re paired together for a competition, it’s make or break in more ways than one.

I started Sabor a Mi right after a ballroom dancing class, but it eventually grew into more than just my love of salsa and Latin music.  It ended up being a story about the relentless pursuit of a dream, the unstoppable power of true love, real men, strong women, family first and second chances.

BPM: How may our readers contact you online and pick up your latest work?
Thanks so much for including me in the Holiday Book Tour. I can be reached by email at niambi@niambibrowndavis.com,  or  nbrowndavis@aol.com    Sabor a Mi is available for download at http://www.innervisionbooks.com/,    or  for the Kindle at  http://www.amazon.com/.  

My web address is http://www.niambibrowndavis.com/.  I look forward to hearing from readers and friends – Happy Holidays!

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Author Interviews

 

Conversation with Vanessa Miller

Intimate Conversation with Vanessa Miller


Vanessa Miller is a best-selling author, playwright, and motivational speaker. She started writing as a child, spending countless hours either reading or writing poetry, short stories, stage plays and novels. Vanessa’s creative endeavors took on new meaning in1994 when she became a Christian. Since then, her writing has been centered on themes of redemption, often focusing on characters facing multi-dimensional struggles.

Vanessa’s novels have received rave reviews, with several appearing on Essence Magazine’s Bestseller’s List. Miller’s work has receiving numerous awards, including “Best Christian Fiction Mahogany Award” and the “Red Rose Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction.”  Miller graduated from Capital University with a degree in Organizational Communication. She is an ordained “exhorter” in her church, explaining, “God has called me to exhort readers and to help them rediscover their place with the Lord.”

Read an Excerpt from A Love for Tomorrow.

BPM: Vanessa, what makes you powerful as a person and a writer? Who are your mentors?
The thing that makes me powerful as a person and a writer is my faith in God. I feel as if I have found this pot of gold that everyone is searching for, and I just want to share it with the world. I really don’t have any mentors at the moment. But I study authors, attended conferences and read and study this industry.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you? What impact do you want your book to make on the readers?
I have been writing since I was a kid. I have always known that I would one day be a writer. However, as a child and even while in my twenties, I didn’t know how to make my dream of writing come true. It was after I dedicated my life to the Lord that I began to research this business. Because I then knew that I really had something to say. So, the reason I write is to tell the story about midnight sorrows and morning glory… and the glory comes from knowing Jesus. My characters don’t always start off with this knowledge of Jesus, because I write redemption stories. The impact I’d like my books to have on my readers would simple be that my books help them to rediscover their place with God.

BPM: Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…
My writing offers the legacy of hope, healing and faith to my readers. I write stories about people with issues… issues that can be healed through trust in Jesus.

BPM: Introduce us to your latest Christian Romance novel,  A Love for Tomorrow.
Christian talk show host Serenity Williams may be at the top of her game professionally, but when her fiancé calls off their wedding, she learns the true price of fame. He can’t deal with her popularity, and when he walks out, she knows it will be a long time before she lets another pride-filled pastor into her heart. Then she gets assigned an interview with the charismatic Pastor Phillip McKnight. Delighted that she now has the opportunity to expose the arrogance of ego-driven pastors to the world, she isn’t prepared for the real man behind the pulpit. Recently divorced, Phillip is broken from his experiences, and soon his surprising humility causes Serenity not to want to ruin him, but instead to un-break his heart….

A Love for Tomorrow deals with trust issues. It is also a book that explores the benefits of forgiving and rediscovering faith in God. Along the way I add in a love story that is sure to touch the reader’s heart.

BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
I wanted to write a series on women in ministry to highlight their accomplishments and show that they are very much human and have feeling and love interests. The reason I am so interested in this topic is because the bishop of my church is a woman and I have met other women in ministry that struggle with the fact that many people still don’t believe that women should preach.

BPM: Take us inside A Love for Tomorrow. What are two major events taking place?
The first major event happens at the beginning of the book. Serenity’s finance’ breaks her heart by calling off the wedding simply because her talk show has made her more popular than he. She decides at that point that preachers are off limits and lumps them all in the same boat with her ex. But then she meet Pastor Phillip McKnight… and he isn’t what she expected…  The next major event occurs when has to deal with her trust issues in order to move on with live and love.

BPM: Who are your favorite characters? Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
Serenity was my favorite character in this book and the entire series thus far, because I really identified with her. Serenity Williams has been hurt by church people and one particular ego-driven pastor. She vows that she will never let another ego-driven pastor into her heart. But when she meets Pastor Phillip McKnight… she comes in contact with the very man who will help her rediscover her trust in humanity and faith in God.

Some times in life you can be hurt so much that you just refuse to be hurt again… and you build walls. This book shows the reader how to tear down those walls… with the help of God and one really good man.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
Anyone who has ever experienced heartbreak and then put up a wall to defend against it ever happening again. I want those people to know that with God in their heart, it is okay to trust and to love again.

BPM: How will reading your book shape the readers lives?
My hope is that reading A Love for Tomorrow will provide readers with answers as to how they can forgive and learn to trust again.  A CBA Retailers Reviewer recently said that… Trust, Forgiveness and faith were at the core of my message in A Love for Tomorrow. I would have to agree with her.

BPM: What are some of the other specific issues or problems addressed in this book?
I also deal with the issue of  “church hurt” in this book. Serenity has grown up in church… and she has seen Christian act not so Christianly at times, and therefore, although she wants to serve God, she wants nothing to do with His people.

BPM: What was the most powerful chapter in the book?
Some of my readers have told me that Chapter 23, when Serenity comes to terms with her trust issues and Chapter 24, the chase scene, when Phillip gets his woman are the most powerful scenes in the book.

BPM: What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
This particular series is Christian Romance. So, I think what makes my romances different from others is simply what a CBA Reviewer had to say about A Love for Tomorrow… it’s good romance that ministers.

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
A Love for Tomorrow – #1 on the BCNN/BCBC Bestseller List for September
Long Time Coming – Winner of the ACFW Book of the Month for December 2010

Other book releases:
Long Time Coming – November 2010
A Promise of Forever Love (sequel to A Love for Tomorrow) – April 2011

BPM: How can our readers reach you online?
Website: http://www.vanessamiller.com/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/vanessamiller01
Facebook: www.facebook.com/vanessamiller01

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Author Interviews

 

Christmas with author Renee Wiggins

Christmas with author Renee Wiggins

Renee Wiggins has mentored, trained, and changed lives in the health and wellness industry for more than twenty years. A strong believer and encouragerin living an authentic, healthy lifestyle, Renee specializes in designing customized lifestyle programs that are tailored to the client’s needs, goals, and habits.

Renee Wiggins is a registered dietitian, and certified massage therapist. She is the author of several books, “Can I Exercise Sitting Down?” and Stress Down and Lift UP. My fourth book, will be release in  March 2011, it is a collection of stories to help uplift and encourage people to embrace their struggles and to know that the  storm is only temporary.

What are you thankful for Today?
I am thankful for being alive. I am  in  constant pain with heel spurs and, some days, I hardly can walk, but I am grateful. I am thankful for the friends I have and for the  caring, love, and closeness among my family members. I’m also thankful for the freedom I have because of people who gave their lives to ensure it.  I thank GOD everyday for their sacrifice.

Tell us about your fondest holiday moment or event?
When I was 7 years old, I received an Annie Oakley cowgirl outfit as a Christmas gift. You know, the boots, the skirt, vest, shirt and hat along with two cap guns. I thought I was on top of the world with that outfit and that remains one of my fondest memories ever.

Do you have a favorite holiday menu, story, or song?
 My favorite holiday menu includes candied yams, cranberry sauce and macaroni and cheese. I love the way my mother used to fix these items and, to this day, I have to have them every Thanksgiving.

How do you celebrate the holidays?
I celebrate holidays with my mother.  She’s getting older, so now I do the cooking.  I make our special holiday meal for the two of us and we both enjoy it.

Tell us about your latest book, Transformations: Give UP The StruggleTransformations: Give UP The Struggle is a collection of affirmations that motivate the reader to do what’s necessary to heal their brokenness and to move forward.

How my our readers contact you online and pick up your latest work?
Your readers can contact me at renee@resultsbyrenee.com.

The book is available on Amazon.com or http://www.resultsbyrenee.com/ or Follow me on www.twitter.com/giveupthestrugg or http://www.transformationsgiveupthestruggle.blogspot.com/

Transformations: Give Up The Struggle by Renee Wiggins
ISBN-10: 098256130X
ISBN-13: 978-0982561300
Author website: http://www.resultsbyrenee.com/

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Author Interviews

 

Intimate Conversation with Gwynne Forster

Intimate Conversation with Literary Legend Gwynne Forster

Gwynne Forster, bestselling and award-winning author of When the Sun Goes Down, Blues from Down Deep, If You Walked in My Shoes, and A Different Kind of Blues, conjures a riveting story of fractured ties, secrets, and forgiveness in this powerful family drama in When the Sun Goes Down, the sequel to: If You Walked In My Shoes.

Gwynne Forster is a national best selling author of forty-five works of fiction, including her latest of nine mainstream novels, WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN. Gwynne is author of thirty-six romance novels and novellas, of which the latest novels are DESTINATION LOVE and YES, I DO. She has won numerous awards for fiction writing, including the Romantic Times 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award, the Romance In Color Author of the Year award, the Gold Pen Award and has been inducted in the Affaire de Coeur Hall of Fame.

Gwynne loves to sing, read and listen to music, especially jazz, classical music, opera and blues. She also loves to sing and dance, and enjoys entertaining at small dinner parties. She lives in New York with her husband, who is her true soul mate.

Listen to a lively interview with Gwynne Forster and BAN Radio host Ella Curry

BPM: Mrs. Gwynne, we are celebrating the holidays! What was your most memorable holiday from the past?
GF: My most memorable Christmas holiday was the first Christmas Eve that I spent with the man who is now my husband. I cooked a turkey, the first I’d ever cooked and, to my astonishment, it was a perfect bird. Many things happened that evening that we still joke about. We didn’t know each other too well then, and we “tiptoed” around each other, each wanting to assure the other a happy Christmas and neither of us knowing how. We had a wonderful evening, singing, eating, listening to music, telling each other tall tales of our lives and, of course, exchanging gifts. I shall never forget it.

BPM: How do you celebrate the holidays? What are the traditions for your family?
GF: We celebrate Christmas on Christmas eve, always with a roast goose dinner and mounds of gifts around the Christmas tree. We began the Christmas Eve tradition when my step son–then a teenager–got his first girlfriend. Of course, he wanted to have Christmas dinner with her and her family. So we invited her for Christmas Eve, and he went to her family on Christmas day. We liked the custom. We open the gifts after dinner on Christmas Eve. One beauty of that is that I enjoy Christmas day with no work to do.

BPM: What are you most thankful for today? What does all your books have in common?
GF: I am most thankful for Jesus Christ in my life and for the health and well being of my family and myself.

GF: My books have different themes, but everyone of them demonstrates the importance of loyalty and common decency and the rewards of reaching for a higher goal. Website: http://www.gwynneforster.com

BPM: Mrs. Gwynne please tell us about your latest release, When the Sun Goes Down.
GF: When the Sun Goes Down deals with the strengths and fragileness of relations among family members. When self-made millionaire and widower Leon Farrell dies, he leaves behind a legacy of family dysfunction—and a missing will. The possible loss of a fortune only increases the existing tension between his three grown children.

While handsome slacker Edgar kicks back in anticipation of his windfall, middle child Gunther struggles to save his software business, and fiercely independent Shirley unsuccessfully tries to stay out of the fray. But things soon take an explosive turn. And as the siblings find themselves battling each other to protect their own interests, they’ll face choices that could bring them together at last—or tear them apart for good.

Caught in the middle of her brothers’ ill-will, and doing her best to keep the peace, Shirley is further unsettled when she falls for Carson Montgomery, the smart, sexy private investigator Edgar hires to tract down the will. And when Gunther suddenly falls ill, Edgar’s attempt to manipulate him causes a conflict of interest that will shock them all!

BPM: Are your characters a portrayal of real people?
GF: Not at all. Something about a person may give me an idea, but I invent my characters.

BPM: Who did you write When the Sun Goes Down for? Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
GF: I wrote it for my readership. I thought that the women and men who have read my novels over the years would enjoy a frank discussion of some of the problems common among people of African descent. I’m not sure you’d call it a message, because I make it a policy not to preach to the reader. My first agent told me that it is a writer’s duty not only to entertain, but to inform. I’ve taken that advice seriously, and in every book that I write, whether mainstream fiction of a romance, I include some worthwhile information as a part of the story.

BPM: If you could change one thing you from your road to publication, what would you have done differently?
GF: I wouldn’t have written a romance as my first book. I write mainstream fiction, and some of my books have won awards, but they are always judged as romances, because reviewers associate me with romance. And when they complain about something, it’s usually what distinguished mainstream women’s fiction from a romance.

BPM: Do you write full time? Describe your writing schedule for your readers.
GF: I write full time. I get up around seven-thirty and usually write from nine to about four Mondays through Fridays. Important errands may interfere with the schedule, but that’s basically it. I write after dinner for about two hours, unless my husband and I are going out or have guests. I often write on Saturdays after I’ve finished my shopping and errands. I don’t write on Sundays. I work in my office, and I don’t listen to the radio unless there’s a program of Mozart music.

BPM: What do your do when you’re not writing?
GF: In the summer, I’m an avid gardener. I love music—opera and classical music, classical jazz, blues, some Sinatra/Nat Cole type popular songs and a couple of old fashioned country singers. I enjoy entertaining at small dinner parties and consider myself a rather good cook. And, of course, I read.

BPM: What does your family think of your writing?
GF: My family consists of my husband and stepson. Both are very proud of my success as a writer and read my books. Although my husband is an academician and not a computer expert, he makes my fliers, brochures, and bookmarks and does an elegant job of it.

BPM: What two pieces of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
GF: Don’t be disappointed by rejections. When you get one, clean up the manuscript and send it to the next editor on your list. The appraisal of fiction is, in some important aspects, highly subjective.

GF: Learn English grammar, and cultivate an extensive vocabulary so as to express yourself precisely as you intend. Write each day and, if possible at the same time. Try not to get a habit of procrastinating, and don’t rewrite until, say, you’ve at least written a chapter. It’s best to rewrite after you finish a first draft. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. Join a writing group such as the local

RWA group and attend writing conferences whenever possible. Remember: if you write a page every day, at the end of a year you can have a book.

BPM: Thank you Mrs. Gwynne for joining us today! Readers you can find out more about Gwynne Forster and her books at: http://www.gwynneforster.com/

When the Sun Goes Down by Gwynne Forster
Book Review: 5-Stars by Sharel E. Gordon-Love

Dysfunction can be part of a family even when one looks from the outside in and all appears to be well. In Gwynne Forster’s When the Sun Goes Down, we find this to be so with the three Farrell siblings after the death of their father, Leon.

Leon Farrell was an odd character, who seemed to lose touch with real life and the children that most fathers would hold dear to his heart, especially after the loss of his beloved wife. However, he retreated within himself and played a cruel joke on his family, that could have them at odds with one another and ruin their relationships for good.

The eldest sibling, Edgar, was determined to get what was coming to him as a means to an end and continue to be the rebel that he is and live life on his terms. In the meantime, his brother, Gunther, and his sister, Shirley, tried to live their lives in spite of Edgar and the way they were treated by their father when he was alive. No doubt, their upbringing had a lot to do with who they grew to be, albeit, all three different in their own way.

When it was all said and done, secrets were revealed and hidden things brought to the light as this family strived to keep their families together and receive the things that they believed they were entitled to outside of their father and his eccentric ways. At the end of the day, it is about family and the things that we do to remain one.

What I loved about When the Sun Goes Down is how author Forster took her time to tell the story; there was no need to rush the storyline. I recommend this book to everyone who loves stories about family love and romance. This book was provided to me courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.
–Review by Sharel E. Gordon-Love APOOO BookClub

When the Sun Goes Down ISBN-10: 0758246994
ISBN-13: 978-0758246998

“When the sun goes down on my life, you’ll all come apart like ripped balloons.” — widower Leon Farrell

When stingy self-made millionaire and widower Leon Farrell dies, he leaves behind a legacy of family dysfunction—and a missing will. It’s soon clear that his three grown children, Edgar, Gunther, and Shirley, don’t handle loss well—the possible loss of a fortune, that is. And when Edgar hires a private investigator to track down the will, it’s just the beginning of a search that will lead the siblings to re-visit their childhoods, uncover buried secrets, and ultimately learn for themselves what it means to be a family. For as tensions escalate between the brothers—with their peace-keeping sister caught in the middle—an unexpected conflict of interest is brewing that will shock them all—and either bring them closer together or tear them apart for good…    Peek inside the book and read excerpt chapters!

Purchase your copy today. Give as a great holiday gift book!
http://www.amazon.com/When-Goes-Down-Gwynne-Forster/dp/0758246994

ALSO AVAILABLE NOW!
Once in a Lifetime by: Gwynne Forster
ISBN-13: 9780373831944

With a young daughter to support, recently divorced Alexis Stevenson jumps at the chance to become household manager for wealthy businessman Telford Harrington and his two brothers. Though she knows it won’t be easy turning their bachelor-pad mansion into a home, she is determined to handle any obstacles, while maintaining a separate life for herself and her daughter. But Alexis isn’t at all ready for the red-hot chemistry crackling between her and Telford—or the fact that she’s suddenly caught in a maze of unexpected secrets and deep mistrust. But if she and Telford find their way through it—together—can they both embrace the love they so deeply desire?

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Author Interviews

 

Conversation with Literary Legend L. A. Banks

Intimate Conversation with Literary Legend L. A. Banks
Hosted by Ella Curry, EDC Creations Media Group
L. A. Banks  is the recipient of the 2009 Romantic Times Booklover’s Career Choice Award for Paranormal Fiction as well as the 2008 Essence Storyteller of the Year award. Ms. Banks has written over 42 novels and contributed to 12 novellas, in multiple genres under various pseudonyms.
She is a proud member of The Liars Club, and a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania Wharton undergraduate program with a Master’s in Fine Arts from Temple University. Ms. Banks is a full-time writer living/working in Philadelphia.
EDC:  You are a true literary legend! We love your work. What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
LEB: I think one’s power comes from a depth of experience and living life — and that’s my well as a writer, because I’ve lived a lot of life and have had a lot of experiences to draw from to help make my characters feel real. People can relate to the emotions felt by my characters, whether the story is a realistic romance or a truly supernatural, paranormal tale. Even though what I write is fiction, the emotions that I write about are always grounded in reality.
EDC: How much of what you write reflects on your outlook on life?
LEB: About 99.99% of what I write I also believe in. I write about good winning over evil (even though I may not believe in real vampires, per se)… but we’ve all seen “vampire acting people” who suck the life out of others via their negative behaviors, as well as people who do horribly demonic things to one another. But through whatever tragedies we see in the media or within our communities, most of us pray that good will come out victorious in the end. I also believe in love and I definitely believe in Divine Intervention. If you scratch the surface of any tale I tell, it’s all in there.
EDC: Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
LEB: My mentors were those old aunties and grandmothers in my family, as well as my dad… all of whom are gone now. They inspired me, because in my generation I had opportunities open to me that they’d only dreamed of–and that’s also why I cannot waste a second of that good fortune. I view it as a responsibility, and I know that I stand on some very strong black shoulders.
EDC: What do you think of the increasingly gratuitous sex in African American literature?
LEB: The increasingly gratuitous sex makes me weary, truth be told. I like a good love scene as much as anybody, and a well crafted on set in context, is a part of life and therefore shouldn’t be ommitted from the story. But when you have people jumping into unnecessary and crazy situations simply for sensationalism without moving the plot forward, it feels forced and trite.

Once you’ve gone there as a writer, to me, you’ve lost the element of the craft. People are grown and I don’t believe in censorship… but I do believe in truth in advertising. If it’s erotica, or dare I say porn, then call it that–but don’t try to sell it to me as a mystery or a thriller or whatever. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a damned duck.

EDC: What three elements complete a formula for Happiness, Success or Freedom?
LEB: The three elements in my mind are as follows: The first thing you need is a strong spiritual base–because life will test and try you, and in order to stand firm and to have gratitude in your attitude, you have got to have a foundation (a rock); secondly, you have to surround yourself with positive, like-minded people that are forward-moving individuals (because drama people and negative influences can wear you down); and lastly, you have to put in the good, old-fashioned hard work. Remember the saying, “Faith without works is dead?” Yeah. That’s pure truth. Wishing and hoping ain’t gonna do it. You have to be willing to constantly learn and grow and do.
EDC: Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…
LEB: My writing offers the following legacy to future readers… that they might be able to break the stereotypical bonds of literature that only show African Americans in a few dimensions of all that we are and are capable of being — from our rich history to our astounding bravery and creativity, until we might even dream of being super heroes and heroines again. My work allows us to step into supernatural realms or to love each other hard and full and deep in my romances, or to solve crimes and get away like James Bond… and always shows “us” as intelligent and sexy and honorable.
EDC: Introduce us to your literary series and a few of the main characters.
LEB: I have several series that I am working on–one is The Vampire Huntress Legends, where a young woman and her family fight evil (Damali is NOT a vampire–smile.); I have a werewolf series, entitled, The Crimson Moon Novels (and Sasha is a supernatural, but not a werewolf and is good.); and I have dozens of romances.

All of it can be seen at: http://www.vampirehuntress.com/  or http://www.crimsonmoonnovels.com/  and http://www.leslieesdailebanks.com/  

I have also just started a young adult series at  http://www.neteruacademy.com/  and on all the sites there are detailed excerpts and book explanations.

 

EDC: Who are your favorites? Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
LEB: Of all my characters, Damali and Carlos are my favs, because they represent the young people I knew and was to some degree, growing up “around the way.” Damali is a blend of my sister, me, and my female cousins and girlfriends… hot-tempered, secure, insecure, passionate, scared, brave, mature, immature–all of it at the same time.
EDC: What role do you give the “mean-spirited” characters? Do you have such characters?
LEB: I give my “mean spirited” characters the role we see of decadent, powerful people who do destructive things because they can and for profit. I take those personalities from the predators we see ripped from the headlines–or people we have seen that destroy communities and families.
EDC: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
LEB: My books, except for the new young adult series that I just started, are for mature readers (NC 17 rated with mature scenes, sex, violence and language)… but my work is multicultural in nature and I have as many male readers as female readers of all ethnic backgrounds.
EDC: How will reading your books shape the reader’s lives?
LEB: I’m not sure how my work will shape a reader’s life, but I always hope that my work touches something within him or her and makes that person think.
EDC: Why are your books so different from others in the same genre?
LEB: My series deal very seriously with matters of spirituality as well as make social commentary within the paranormal genre in a way that you rarely see. Most writers in the paranormal genre tend to leave religion and spirituality out of it. My work also thoroughly embraces multiculturalism in a way others do not.
EDC: Share with us your latest news or upcoming book releases.
LEB: My latest project is that The Vampire Huntress Legends series has now gone to comics–which is a thrill for me as a female author. In addition, I have a new multicultural young adult series coming out in March 2011, entitled, Shadow Walker–which is a paranormal tale about the children of the heroes and sheroes from the 12 book Vampire Huntress Legends.
EDC: Thank you so much for this interview! How can our readers reach you online?
LEB: You are welcome. It’s my pleasure to share my journey with the readers!
Leslie (aka L.A. Banks)!
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
RT Career Choice Award for Paranormal Fiction
Winner of the 2008 Essence Magazine Storyteller of the Year Award
PROUD Member of The Liars Club, http://liarsclubphilly.com/
On Twitter: LA_Banks
On Face Book: Leslie Esdaile Banks
Join the Leslie Esdaile Banks Fan Club on Yahoo!
 
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Posted by on November 15, 2010 in Author Interviews

 

Intimate Conversation with Cachet Wells

Intimate Conversation with author Cachet Wells

Author Cachet Wells was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. She is a freelance writer and published author, her writings focus on inspiration and empowerment while Wells uses her experiences in illness, heartache and adultery to impart encouragement through an intimate relationship with Christ. She is the founder of Women Of Righteous Distinction whose central purpose is to encourage, empower and educate women to live a life that is spiritually rooted in Christ and represents the virtuous woman of God they are created to be.

What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
The things that make me powerful as a person and a writer would be strength and faith. The ability to know that God has empowered me beyond my ability with his strength impact lives. Using the lessons that I’ve learned and the things I’ve encountered through illness, pain, heartache and adultery to help others remain committed to faith in God, stand firm in God and trust in His promises that they may become a better person through wiser choices. Choosing to be lead in all things by my faith in God and choosing to live the life I speak of by the steps that I make. The faith that keeps me fulfilled, sustained and committed to do that which He alone has purposed me to do for His glory. Powered by the inner strength that I’ve gained by choosing to be the victim no more.    

How much of what you write reflects on your outlook on life?
The issues, concerns and reflections that are expressed in my writings are a compilation of my outlook on life, the perceptions viewed through my heart and a direct insight of how they are revealed to me through my faith in Christ. Totally sold on the fact that nothing happens by accident or coincidence, but the strategic move of the Master who has ultimately created us for a specific purpose to be accomplish in a time of His own choosing. Everything that we go through, encounter and are thrusted into is because there is something for us to accomplish in it, so everything I write is a true reflection of how I view it in my life.

Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
I find guidance through my parents and my spiritual mentors that assist and encourage me to be true to the directed leading of God in my writings. Being inspired by my family, friends and ministry to unveil the issues that affect us as Christians are the most important motivators for me.

What three elements complete a formula for Happiness, Success or Freedom?
Love, Peace and Faith are three elements that are essential to living a life complete with happiness, success and freedom. Love allows us to unconditionally look for the good in all. Loving others regardless to what they do or don’t do because Christ did the same tor me when I didn’t feel the need to do so. Peace gives me the assurance to know that in spite of what things look like, feel like or are perceived to be I still have that inner strength of assurance that all is well. Faith that keeps me sustained in all situations and obstacles that may arise in my life. Fulfilled by the promises of God to be what I need, when I need Him to be and that He’s the one that will empower me to overcome and succeed.

 
Finish this sentence:  My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…
My writings offer a legacy of truly being empowered to live solely for Christ. It takes you beyond the myth of religion to relationship. It guides you through everyday situations and teaches you how to live faithful to your beliefs. Not compromising them to fit into the box of religion, but stay connected to the Father because of a real relationship with Him by the choices we choose to make.


Introduce readers to book “
Eyes Of The Heart.”  Take us inside the book. New Book for all Women Of Righteous Distinction Features Meditations, Inspirational Thoughts and Reflections that Will Guide Readers on a Journey of Transformation, Self-Discovery and Healing.

 

Imagine taking a journey and with every mile you travel the anticipation of what’s to come gets greater and greater. That’s how it is on this journey we call life. With every step you take, you’re drawn closer to God and all that He has purposed for you. With each moment of living, we should be seeking to maintain an intimate relationship with the Father.

Eyes Of The Heart  takes you through the process of transformation as you journey to true wholeness in Christ. Understand how to rid the bonds of every yoke of defeat and replace it with the love of the Father through the heart’s view. The meditations, inspirations, and reflections shared in this book were compiled together on Wells’ personal voyage that enabled her to stand firm in God.

Journey with me as the chains of the oppressor are removed, burdens lifted, and the healing begins. Look past your current situations to overcome those circumstances with the help of the Father. With each moment of living, you should be seeking to maintain an intimate relationship with Him. His peace, joy, and love cover a multitude of problems that you may face, allowing you to conquer them.

What are two major events taking place in Eyes Of The Heart ?
Two of the major events taking place in this book from my own personal experience, which is what I want readers to go away with are Forgiveness and Healing. When someone has wronged us forgiving them is not for them, but for us. It is that which ignites the beginning of the healing process. It aids in releasing the pain and hurt of what has happened to us. Healing which is a continual process to restore us back to a place of peace, joy and love so that God get all the glory.

What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
What prompted me to write this book was my personal experience through illness, pain, heartache and adultery. Learning how to now live my life as a wife, mother and stay committed to my faith as a disabled woman taught me how to be strong against the odds of what people thought I could was one motivator. Finding out that after 15 years of marriage my husband had been secretly been unfaithful to me which lead to months of abuse because of it was my greatest motivator. Deciding that I could no longer sit and be the victim, but see myself overcoming it for not just me but for my kids became that which pushed me into purpose by fighting for me.

Who do you want to reach with your book, Eyes Of The Heart  and the message within?
This is book is for all those who have been affected my love, pain, hurt, heartache, illness, infidelity or abused. Those who have been silent about their  burdens and things that have oppressed them so much to feel like they have no voice. Those who have been quiet so long that they can’t imagine seeing themselves overcoming that which has had them silent and bound.

What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
Many of the writings in this book cover issues with family, Christian living, Illness, Marriage, Adultery, Children and Faithfulness to your relationship with Christ.  Recognizing that when we put God first in our lives all the other things that are important to us will line up.

How will reading your book shape the readers lives?
The author entices readers to journey with her as the chains of the oppressor are removed, burdens lifted and the healing begins. She encourages them to look past their current situations to overcome those circumstances with the help of the Father. With each moment of living each one should be seeking to maintain an intimate relationship with Him. His peace, joy and love covers a multitude of problems that people may face which allows them to conquer.

What was the most powerful message in the book?
One of the most powerful messages is “Like Mary” because it is a true testament of how we should be totally surrendered to the Lord. Regardless to where we are, whose around or what the reason for being in a particular place, God is first and we should respect, honor and worship Him for that. When we give ourselves totally to Him, He will forever give himself unto us in whatever capacity we need Him.

 

What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
Openly allowing myself to be truthful of personal experiences that I endured so that others could see that they were not alone in the things they too are dealing with. This book takes you through a journey so with every page I wanted to make an impact on the lives of those who would read it. The messages and design of the book makes it different than any other.


Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?

Share with us your latest news. How can our readers reach you online?
God has favored me to have many doors opened since the release of the book. I will be a featured guest on Destiny Empowerment blog radio. I will also be in the upcoming Stage Play “Side Effects….Hurting people, Hurt people” in Coral Springs, Florida.
 
I can be contacted by email at Wordwomen3@aol.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, MySpace and on my blog: http://www.womenofrighteousdistinction.blogspot.com/.
 
Please check out the book’s website at:  http://www.aheartsview.com/ or www.xlibris.com/bookstore to purchase book and view excerpt pages. .

The ultimate goal that I want readers to gain from “Eyes of the Heart” is to self awareness of themselves. Realizing that they are worthy of living a life full of happiness not just through the eyes of Christ, but their very own.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2010 in Author Interviews

 

Road to Publication with author Katie McCabe

Road to Publication with author Katie McCabe

Author Katie McCabe joins us today to share her journey to publication that led to a major movie deal. She discusses her latest book and shares advice for new authors.

Katie McCabe is a National Magazine Award winner whose Washingtonian article on black surgical legend Vivien Thomas formed the basis for the HBO film Something the Lord Made, one of the highest rated original movies in HBO history and the winner of the 2004 Emmy and 2005 Peabody Awards.

McCabe’s 2009 book Justice Older than the Law, co-authored with pioneering lawyer Dovey Roundtree, won the Association of Black Women Historians’ Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize.

For her work in science and medical journalism, McCabe has been honored with awards for investigative reporting (William Allen White Award, 1991) and public service (National Magazine Award finalist, 1986).

» Book Spotlight: Justice Older than the Law: The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree by Katie McCabe and Dovey Johnson Roundtree.   Chapter One, “Walking Unafraid,” about Dovey Roundtree’s courageous Grandma Rachel, the woman Dovey calls “the greatest warrior I ever knew.”  Listen to a live reading from Katie here:    http://www.audioacrobat.com/sa/WC3S5tj4

BPM: How did you get your start in writing/publishing?
KM: As a former high school English teacher who had always wanted to write, I launched my writing career in 1985 by pitching an article to Washingtonian magazine on the subject I knew best: education. While teaching and tutoring at the Holton Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland, I wrote an article on speculation for Washingtonian on selective college admissions and the SAT prep courses that were new on the horizon. I studied the style and tone of Washingtonian magazine and pitched the piece very carefully to that magazine’s particular audience: upscale, educated, sophisticated, well read, and eager to give their children every possible advantage. I was fortunate to sell that very first piece, whereupon I began writing regularly for the magazine, branching out from education and private school topics to lengthy narrative pieces on medicine, medical research, and medical history.
The article that moved my career to another level was an August 1989 Washingtonian article on black cardiac surgery legend Vivien Thomas, “Like Something the Lord Made,” which won the 1990 National Magazine Award for Feature Writing and was optioned for a television movie. The 2004 HBO film that was based on my article, also named “Something the Lord Made,” starred Mos Def and Alan Rickman, and it won the Emmy for Best Made for TV Movie and the 2005 Peabody.
It was named the best movie of the year by the American Film Institute, which called it “a revelation…a bittersweet story that is an important tool for America as it continues to search for a public vocabulary to discuss issues of race.” The HBO film enabled me to secure representation by a premiere New York literary agent and led to a host of other opportunities, including speaking engagements.
KM: In the 14-year period during which the Vivien Thomas piece was in development as a movie, I continued to write for Washingtonian, and I was approached by Reader’s Digest to write for them on contract. While the Digest experience was not artistically satisfying for me as a writer who places great value on style, writing on contract for the Digest provided income while I worked on other projects and embarked on a book, and it helped me hone my narrative skills.
In the 11 years I wrote for the Digest (1989 to 2000), I did lengthy “Book Section” pieces which required not only extensive research but also a mastery of narrative structure and character development within the strict confines imposed by the Digest form. I found that those storytelling skills stood me in good stead when I embarked on my first book, Justice Older than the Law: the Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree, in February 1995, in collaboration with the book’s subject, pioneering civil rights lawyer, veteran and minister Dovey Roundtree. Nearly 15 years in the making, the book was published in July 2009 by the University Press of Mississippi and won the 2009 Association of Black Women Historians’ Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize for the best publication on an African American woman.
BPM: Did you have any formal journalism training?
KM: I had a journalism minor at the University of Maryland, but essentially I learned the narrative craft by studying fiction and non-fiction, by teaching writing, and then by writing myself in many different markets.
BPM: Katie, what can readers expect when they open a book created by you?
KM: I believe my power as a writer derives from my lifelong love affair with words and literature, my sense of the compelling stories hidden beneath the surface of outward events, and my fascination with unsung heroes. These passions came from my late parents, John and Kathleen Burns. They exemplified for me the kind of nobility and courage I endeavor to portray over and over again in my non-fiction as I seek out heroes and heroines whose lives have profoundly altered our world but whom history has forgotten or marginalized. My goal is to portray these history-makers with the vividness of fiction, and to bring them alive for future generations.
BPM: What are you most proud of as a writer in today’s market?
KM: I have endeavored to pass on to the next generation of readers the stories of men and women who have prevailed over almost insuperable odds to achieve greatness in medicine, in the law, in athletics, and in public service. I believe that my legacy as a writer is that I have brought to life some truly extraordinary examples of the triumph of the human spirit. These examples speak to people of all races and backgrounds about what is possible when one draws strength from mentors and taps into one’s own well of courage, faith and tenacity.
In today’s market, which is dominated by books and movies that glorify violence, brutality and sexuality run rampant, I choose to tell stories that celebrate the eternal values, and I think that sets me apart from the mainstream.
BPM: What advice would you give someone just starting out as a writer?
KM: I would tell young writers two things: first, to choose stories that they consider deeply important, to bring to bear every particle of talent they have to those stories and market them with all the energy they can summon; and second, to operate on the assumption, at least at the beginning, that it will not be possible to make a living by writing. It is possible to succeed in today’s brutal publishing market, but the reality is that one needs a reliable income from a steady job in order to “support the writing habit.”
BPM: What social issues do you address in Justice Older than the Law? How is this book affecting the public?
KM: I have never been a “political writer” in that I have never set out to address any social issues. I am a storyteller, and my goal is to pass along stories that matter, that illuminate lives that exemplify nobility, courage, tenacity, faith and goodness. All truly great stories change the world, and they do so precisely because they come in “under the radar” of our critical sense and move our hearts and minds.
When I set out to write Dovey Roundtree’s story, I did so because I was enthralled with her life experience and with her personal charisma. Having said that, I do believe that Justice Older than the Law speaks importantly to some of the most critical issues of our time.

Contemporary America urgently needs this book. As we contemplate at fifty years’ distance the meaning of Brown v. Board in the light of recent Supreme Court rulings, as we struggle with issues of race at every turn, there is a sense that we’ve lost our bearings.

KM: What is justice? What sort of a society are we aiming toward? How can we capture the values we seem to have lost? How do we arrest what Dovey calls “the demon of violence” that is destroying our cities? To be able to tap into the world view of a 96-year-old living legend who brought her fight into the streets, the jailhouses, the churches, and ultimately, into the hearts of the individuals to whom she ministered, is an extraordinary opportunity, I believe, for people of all races.


Special Note: First Lady Michelle Obama saluted Dovey Johnson Roundtree on the occasion of the book’s Washington, DC launch.

“She [Dovey Johnson Roundtree] has clearly demonstrated that even in the face of enormous challenges, an unblinking belief in equality and justice will spur real change. I am inspired by Ms. Roundtree, and I hope that her story continues to motivate all Americans to fight for our shared values. It is on the shoulders of people like Dovey Johnson Roundtree that we stand today, and it is with her commitment to our core ideals that we will continue moving toward a better tomorrow.”   —  First Lady Michelle Obama, July 2009

BPM: What’s new? Tell us about your latest awards and media mentions.
KM: Dovey and I are proud that the book won the 2009 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Award from the Association of Black Women Historians, which praised Justice Older than the Law for the way it “aided in connecting with the person and the pathos of Dovey” by its use of the novel format. The judges stated, “Your work enhances our understanding of the importance of storytelling as biography.”
We are also deeply gratified by the fact that law firms in Washington, New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Hartford and Charlotte have embraced the book and made it a part of their diversity programming. This represents a whole new wave of Dovey’s activism, which neither she nor I anticipated when we set about to tell her story together 15 years ago.
KM: Dovey and I are also thrilled that 30 or more law firms in Washington, DC featured the book at a “Law Night” on Thursday, July 8 for the rising ninth graders at Thurgood Marshall Academy, a charter school located in Anacostia, where Dovey ministered for 35 years at Allen Chapel AME Church. The Law Night, held at Dovey’s alma mater, Howard University Law School, brought together the Thurgood Marshall Academy students with attorneys and summer associates from the law firms for a program I presented on Dovey and the book.
One of the great crusades of Dovey’s later years in Washington was to find a way to quell the tide of violence among young people, to do what she called “heal the brokenness” in society and especially the black family. This book is part of her healing effort. She believes that her story will point young people to the essential truths that will sustain them amid the chaos of contemporary culture and set them on the path of goodness. At age 96, she is prevented by gravely ill health from participating in these and other book promotion events, but she continues to celebrate with me the ripple effects of the book on which we worked together for so many years.
BPM: How may readers view the photos of Dovey, contact you for more information and to find out more about the book?
KM: Visit us at http://www.justiceolderthanthelaw.com/ ,  the web site address for the book, and there is a link there to email Katie McCabe (at mccabe.kathleen@gmail.com )
Justice Older than the Law by Katie McCabe
Purchase your copy today!
It is the story of pioneering Army veteran, attorney and minister Dovey Johnson Roundtree, co-authored by Katie McCabe. This is a love song to the black family and a celebration of the eternal values that make it possible to transcend our pain and limitations. Dovey Roundtree is an icon, and her story is an inspiration to all families.
Hardcover: 288 pages;  ISBN-10: 160473132X
 

Intimate Conversation with author Renee Wiggins

Intimate Conversation with author Renee Wiggins

Renee Wiggins is the owner of Results By Renee, a wellness company based in Maryland. Her mission is to help people achieve optimum health through nutrition, fitness and supplemented with stress reduction techniques.

Ms. Wiggins designs lifestyle programs for individuals and groups. She is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Massage Therapist.

Listen to various health related coaching sessions by Renee, by clicking here today. 
BPM: Renee, please introduce us to your latest self-help motivational book, Transformations: Give UP The Struggle.
RW: Transformations: Give UP The Struggle is a unique collection of affirmations written to encourage readers to break the chains of negative thoughts and actions, to embrace the positive aspects of change and to take the necessary steps to live a happy, fulfilling life. We all have had our ups and down in our lives, some more than others. But, how we end up in the end, determines how we actually see the storms. The storms help us to change to a better and stronger person.
BPM: How did the title of your book, Transformations: Give UP The Struggle, come about?
RW: I was searching for a word that would express the idea of change, so I came up with four different titles that embodied that concept and I sent them to friends, family members and colleagues I trusted. With their help, I came up with the word” Transformations”, as I thought, that really got to the core to the message I wanted to share. I added the “Give UP The Struggle because I wanted the reader to know in order to transform, one must give up. Thus the title, ” Transformations: Give UP The Struggle’ was born.
BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write Transformations?
RW: As a diabetes educator, nutritionist, and personal trainer, I hear a lot about the struggles my client’s experiences. And as I’ve listen to them over the years, I soon began to realize that many of these men and women were in unpleasant, unhealthy situations because they were unable to break bad habits and unable to realize that making simple changes in their lives could make the difference they desired. So I wrote the affirmations in this book as a way of teaching people that their chain can be broken and that they I wrote Transformations” Give UP The Struggle as a way to let people know that just as a caterpillar grows wings and transforms into a butterfly, they too, must also be open to similar evolutionary process in their lives.
BPM: Are the affirmations a representation of your life?
RW: Yes, some of these affirmations come deep within my soul, while others were birthed from the experiences men and women have shared with me regarding their own personal struggles.  I want to reach men and women from the ages of 18 years to 92 years of age, who are entering a storm or going through a storm. The affirmations presented in this book can be a turning point in the reader’s life.
BPM: What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems
addressed in this book?
RW: The central themes of my book revolve around encouraging and empowering my readers to embrace their struggle as life lessons that they can move from their current situation toward greatness. I ‘m happy to have these themes in the form of affirmations because research has shown that people who recite and /or live by affirmations have a more positive attitude.
BPM: What is your best advice to anyone who wants to be a writer?
RW: I encourage writers to take classes, workshops, travel to seminars, connect with other writers, join groups and most of all, and help other writers without hesitation.
BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
RW: I am currently writing part two of my current book, Transformations: Give UP The Struggle. This book will be a collection of stories of people who successfully danced through some of life’s most turbulent storms. It s my hope that these stories will provide the strength and guidance others may need to change their lives for the better.
BPM: How can readers reach you online?
Readers can find more info on me and purchase the book at:  http://www.resultsbyrenee.com/.  Follow me on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/giveupthestrugg for diet tips, health tips and more.
Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/  
 
 

Intimate Conversation with Cheryl Robinson

Intimate Conversation with author Cheryl Robinson

Cheryl Robinson is the author of five novels. Most recently, When I Get Where I’m Going, In Love with a Younger Man and Sweet Georgia Brown. She is a native Detroiter and graduate of Wayne State University. Robinson now resides in Central Florida where she is writing her next novel.

BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
As a person I feel power in my faith. It allows me to press on through the rough times and to remain positive. I try not to let the daily stresses of life get to me. And I try not to judge others. The more I stop myself when I feel my mind going in that direction, the easier it becomes. I get tired of seeing people get built up by the media to later get knocked down. The less I judge others the better I not only feel, but also when I write and develop characters it’s much easier for me to remove myself from the situation. I realize it’s impossible for everyone to love my books, but I always keep that as one of my primary writing goals. And, I try to keep a healthy balance between being my own worst critic and one of my biggest fans.

BPM: Where do you find your inspiration? All of the inspiration I could ever need I can find from everyday life–the joys and the pitfalls. I can open one email from someone telling me how upset they are at the way I ended my last book and then turn around and open another email from someone telling me how much they thoroughly enjoyed it. That’s an example of how life is in general. One minute you can be down, but in a second it can all turn around. You have to take the good with the bad and learn from them both. But honestly, sometimes I just want it to all be good.

BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
Some years ago, when I was about nineteen or twenty, I answered the phone at my parents’ home and there was a woman on the other end who insisted that we were related. She was trying to tell me that she was my half sister and that we had the same father. I remember my heart sinking. In order for that to be true, based on her timeframe, that would mean my father, who I thought had been happily married to my mother for years, had cheated. But as the conversation continued we both realized that while the two men shared the same name they weren’t the same person.

Still, for those few minutes, I had to ask myself what if that was actually the case. The thought never completely escaped my mind, and in some ways it was that event that prompted me to eventually get around to exploring the scenario. And now, in the age of social networking, it’s much easier to find your missing relatives. And in the case of these three sisters, it’s also true, and they do share the same father.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with When I Get Where I’m Going and the message within?
I am a Women’s Fiction author. That does not mean I only write for women. Nor does the fact that I’m black mean I only write for black people. I don’t write to exclude any one, but to enlighten and entertain us all. I write about women and women’s issues, and of course, men are in my novels too. As an author I have an opportunity to go beyond stereotypes. I’ve learned over the eight years that I’ve been writing professionally that there is a way to entertain without offending.

If I, as a black woman, do not feel good about how we are represented in the media. If I don’t feel empowered about what is being written about us on the internet and elsewhere and if I have to continuously hear from the media that black women are “the least desirable of all the races” or not a preference by some men even within our own race, as an artist, I have an opportunity to present a different message that isn’t a negative one, but can still be realistic. It’s like music. Some songs only have a good beat while others also have wonderful lyrics. I want to write books that make people feel good.

My intended message isn’t given to readers, but written in such a way that the reader gets out of it what they came to the story with and how they view the story and the characters will be interpreted by how they view the world. But maybe, if I do my job as I intend to, they will have a different opinion after it’s all said and done.

BPM: Introduce us to your latest book, When I Get Where I’m Going.
What would you do if you discovered that you had a sibling you never knew existed? Would you be like Heaven, so excited to connect to that person that you quickly took to Facebook and started searching? Would you be like Hope, too caught up in the trials and tribulations of your own life to even care? Or would you be like Alicia, skeptical at first, but willing to open up to the idea?

Alicia, Hope, and Heaven are three estranged sisters embarking on one special reunion. And it will take an earth-shattering discovery, a lucky lottery ticket, and a near-fatal encounter to finally bring three sisters together and have them realize that nothing can save a person like family.

BPM: Introduce us to your main characters in When I Get Where I’m Going. Heaven Jetter, Hope Teasdale, and Alicia Day are three special sisters! Heaven is twenty-one and the youngest sister. She’s on probation, caught up in an abusive relationship, and trying desperately to get her life back on track. Hope is a young widow and single mother searching for the truth behind her husband’s death, but once she finds out, can she handle it? Alicia is a struggling actress trying to catch a break in Hollywood after thirteen years of trying, but a devastating one-two punch forces her back to Detroit.

BPM: What are two major events taking place? The novel is written in third person and begins with a prologue that occurs five months prior to the start of the story. And then the rest of the novel is divided into three parts and most of the chapters alternate between the point of view of each sister. Without giving away any spoilers, I will say that each sister has a major turning point that makes each of them reevaluate their life.

BPM: What are a couple of the specific issues or problems addressed in this book? One issue in the story is domestic abuse. Heaven is involved in an unhealthy relationship, but like so many other women involved in something like that, she finds it nearly impossible to leave. Her story isn’t from the viewpoint of a woman who is both a wife and mother and being abused, but from a young woman who has gotten caught-up with the wrong man and finds herself so confused that she doesn’t know what to do and feels that her life in general is spiraling out of control.

Alicia Day’s character was written for anyone who has been holding on to a dream for a very long time and wondering if it will ever come true. Aspiring actors, singers, and writers should be able to especially relate to her story. Black actresses, in particular, should also be able to as much has been discussed about the struggles that black women experience while trying to succeed in Hollywood.

Discussion Topics: When I Get Where I’m Going
Domestic violence, sisterhood, estranged family, the entertainment industry, and specifically the lack of roles for black women in Hollywood.

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.When I Get Where I’m Going is featured in the September issue of Essence Magazine. And I recently completed my next novel, Remember Me, that will be released in September 2011.

BPM: How can our readers reach you online? Readers can connect with me through my website at: http://www.cherylrobinson.com and also join me on my recently created Facebook page. There is a link on my web site.

Cheryl Robinson–When I Get Where I’m Going
Purchase your copy today at Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/When-Get-Where-Im-Going/dp/0451229479

Please check out the featured book and return feedback below. Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the BP magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2010 in Author Interviews

 

Intimate Conversation with Pamela Leigh Starr

Intimate Conversation with author Pamela Leigh Starr

This week we celebrate the survivors Hurricane Katrina, on its five-year anniversary, and remember those who were lost. On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, LA.  At least 1,836 people lost their lives in the actual hurricane and in the subsequent floods, making it one of the deadliest U.S. hurricanes.  Katrina’s storm surge caused 53 different levee breaches in greater New Orleans submerging eighty percent of the city. Author Pamela Leigh Starr wants to honor those who survived and continue to thrive by sharing her romance novel, STORM, with readers around the globe.

CATCH the Spirit of Survival
and Renewal!

Discussion: STORM by Pamela Leigh Starr and 5th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Chat Date: Tuesday Night, September 14, 2010 at 8-10 pm EST
BAN Radio: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/black-author-network

Invite all of your friends and fellow readers to join the conversation at 646.200.0402

Purchase your copy of STORM by Pamela Leigh Starr and let’s discuss the book on BAN Radio Show, Tuesday Night, September 14, 2010 at 8pm EST. 
Pick up your copy today, by clicking here

Call into the radio show at: 646-200-0402. Three callers will win other books by author Pamela Leigh Starr. 

STORM is a story of hope and the renewal of the spirit that can only come from surviving the devastation of one’s history and the loss of everything we hold dear.”
— 4 Stars, Romance in Color Magazine

CATCH A STARR!

Author Pamela Leigh Starr traces her love for writing back to her first creation, The Terrifying Night, a comedic thriller illustrated by a classmate. Long after, Mrs. Starr developed romantic stories, falling in love with the never-ending cycle of two people meeting, opening their hearts and finding their way to love.

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
PLS: I was born and raised in New Orleans where I still live, surrounded by its unique culture of jazz, the best food in the country and people who know how to let the good times roll! Les bon temps roulez!

Ella: Pamela, please introduce us the book STORM and the characters within?
PLS: POST-KATRINA NEW ORLEANS: In STORM experience the aftermath of the worst natural disaster to hit the Gulf Coast through the eyes of the Lewis’s as Sabrina Adams and Josh Lewis find and preserve love in the midst of devastation.

John has always been a fixture in her life and Sabrina knew she could count on him to do any and everything… Except admit that he loved her. Despite the fact that she threw herself at him, Despite the closer, deeper relationship that had grown because of the hurricane and its aftermath, John was determined to stay within the eye of the storm brewing between them.

Sabrina was going to make sure that they quickly passed through that false calmness; for it they could survive the horrible winds and rain of the hurricane and deal with the horrific aftermath and destruction of their city after it had passed, she would make him understand that they deserved each other.

Ella: What would you like your readers to take away from your book, Storm?
PLS: I would like readers to gain a deeper understanding of the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Though television allowed the world to witness the aftermath of the storm, the slow rescue and complete devastation of the city I love, I wanted to share a more personal insight of the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

Through STORM, I was able to show the Post-Katrina effects on a family my readers have come to know and love. In my 4-book LOVE FOUND series, the Lewis clan gives a Pre-Katrina view of a black, southern family in New Orleans. STORM shows how this strong family came together to overcome the challenges Hurricane Katrina created in their lives as well as the discovery of a love despite them.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
PLS: The most surprising thing I’ve learned in the creation of my stories is that I should always listen to my characters. They “speak” to me as I write, guiding the story in directions I had not intended to go. When I begin a story I have an outline and set format. As my character develop they sometime tell me, “Whoa, Pam, that’s not what I would do!” or “Are you crazy? I need to…”. What can I do but give in to their demands?

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
PLS: A pre-Katrina and post-Katrina view of family, love, resiliency and determination makes this series of books stand out. Readers have the opportunity to get to know and love a New Orleans family before Hurricane Katrina and then experience the changes in their livers after the hurricane. I began my LOVE FOUND series long before Hurricane Katrina blew into my life and the lives of the Lewis’.

In my 4-book LOVE FOUND series, the Lewis clan shows a Pre-Katrina view of a strong, New Orleans family . Through STORM, I was able to relay the Post-Katina effect on a family readers have come to know and love. STORM shows how this strong family came together to overcome the challenges Hurricane Katrina created in their lives as well as the discovery of a love despite them.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
PLS: I would like readers to gain a deeper understanding of the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Though television allowed the world to witness the aftermath of the storm, the slow rescue and complete devastation of the city I love, I wanted to share a more personal insight of the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

Check out the Love Found book series by author Pamela Leigh Starr

FATE
· ISBN-10: 1585712582

CHANCES
· ISBN-10: 1585712965

MISCONCEPTIONS
· ISBN-10: 1585711179

IRONIC
· ISBN-10: 1585714046

STORM
· ISBN-10: 1585713236

 
 

Intimate Conversation with Charles H. Fuller, Jr.

Acclaimed Screenwriter and Playwright Charles H. Fuller, Authors First Children’s Book



SNATCH: The Adventures of David and Me in Old New York

Mr. Fuller’s rich, multi-layered children’s adventure novel provides a glimpse into the little known history of life for free blacks in antebellum New York during the 1830s. Both historically authentic and entertaining, “Snatch” is a must read for book lovers of all ages. Snatch is an adventure story about two brothers, David and Charles, ‘free’ black kids, living in the ‘Five Points’ neighborhood of antebellum New York City in 1838.’

While fishing in the Hudson River on a day in September, they meet a fugitive slave named Freddie Johnson who they manage to help elude a gang of slave catchers led by a mysterious man, called ‘Snatch.’ The gang is intent on returning escaped slaves or shanghaied ‘free blacks’ to the South and slavery for a bounty. Over thirty-six hours, the two brothers engineer a wild chase and escape, through the streets and tunnels of Old New York helped by the ‘Brewery Witches’ a trio of girls from the neighborhood. During this adventure they manage to involve ‘Five Points,’ their parents, and the ‘Vigilance Committee,’ as well as coming close to exposing the identity of ‘Snatch.

Intimate Conversation with Charles H. Fuller, Jr.

Charles H. Fuller, Jr.  is the author of A Soldier’s Play and the 1982 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Best American Play, New York Critics Circle Award, Edgar Allen Poe Award for Mystery Writing and the 1985 Academy Award Nominee for Best Screenplay for the motion picture ‘A Soldier’s Story.’ Mr. Fuller began writing plays in the mid-sixties and soon went on to co-found the Afro-American Arts Theatre in his native Philadelphia. He is a member of the Writers Guild of America and Board Member of the Dramatists Guild Fund. He continues to urge his audience to reject old images and stereotypes in order to accept more realistic Black characters.

After a long history in Theatre and Film, Snatch: The Adventures of David and Me in Old New York, is Mr. Fuller’s first venture into the world of children’s books. Snatch: The Adventures of David & Me in Old New York is Volume 1 of a three volume series of young adult novels. Charles H. Fuller, Jr. is presently working on AMERICAN STORY a new play commissioned by Cherry Lane Theatre in New York as part of their 2010-2011 season. Read Charles’ full biography here. http://www.davidandmeinnyc.com/fullerbio.html

BPM: Why did you decide to self-publish SNATCH: The Adventures of David and Me in Old New York?
CHF: I wanted to get the book in the hands of children through the school systems and libraries. We felt that we could do a better job at that than a publishing house.

BPM: How did you come up with the title, SNATCH?
CHF: The title was always ‘The Adventures of David and Me in Old New York’ but after the story was written my wife and I felt that since a character called Snatch, who kidnapped freemen and caught runaway slaves for money, was at the heart of the story we decided to title the story ‘SNATCH: The Adventures of David and Me in Old New York’

BPM: What did you hope to accomplish with it, besides just writing a novel for children?
CHF: Firstly, to create a story that young people and people of all ages would enjoy even though it took place in the past. Secondly, exploit the history of the period and describe how black Americans lived, struggled, survived, helped one another and fought against slavery in the north during the era when slavery existed throughout much of the United States.

BPM: What was your inspiration, as an author, for writing SNATCH? What compelled you to put the story down in tangible form?
CHF: My two sons were my inspiration. I also had the idea that black kids needed to have adventure stories in which they could see themselves as the heroes who have the power to change the world in which they live, if they choose to do so. At the time and since, many of the stories for our children have centered around great men and women whose lives they are asked to emulate. I decided I’d give my sons something that would be fun, inspirational and exciting – something to rival the best adventures in American storytelling.

BPM: What is it that makes SNATCH unique? How is it different from the other children’s books on the market?
CHF: Snatch has perils, thrills and uncertainty. It is still a story in which the history, as well as the tale itself is important. It has footnotes to give the reader information about the period in which it takes place. There is a Teacher’s Guide that accompanies the book because we felt very strongly that Teachers would use the story to teach history, language arts, math and social studies in the school system.

BPM: If kids could take away one thing from reading SNATCH, what would you hope that would be?
CHF: That it was an enjoyable story that they would encourage all their friends to read and then sit down and talk about, because they had learned something about our history in America they never knew before they read Snatch.

BPM: How did you get your start in the arts? What motivated you to pursue a career in the theater?
CHF: I decided to become a writer because myself and my best friend Larry Neal found that in the high school we attended, there were no books written by African-Americans in our library. Of course this was a long time ago, but the impetus was to correct what we felt was a major deficiency in the education we were getting in those days. My connection to theatre grew out of a job I had as a Housing Inspector. I worked in a mixed neighborhood — blacks, Hispanics and whites — largely poor people and I wrote sketches (short plays) that called on locals to lock their doors, watch their kids — simple things that I felt could improve the neighborhood — a woman came into the area and asked me to try to write a play that could be entered with a group of plays that McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey was considering for its 1968 season. I wrote ‘The Village, A Party’ they liked it, and that began my connection to the theatre.

BPM: What do you like most about your profession?
CHF: I like the immediacy of a play in the theatre. It goes up, you know right away if it is working or not — if it isn’t you know immediately — the audience tells you. If it does, that same audience applauds – what can be faster than that?

BPM: What is your biggest challenge in business? How did you overcome it?
CHF: My biggest challenge was one felt collectively by the playwrights I grew up with in the theatre — Ed Bullins, Richard Wesley, Aisha Rahman, Samm Art Williams, Amiri Baraka, Alice Childress, Ron Milner, Leslie Lee, Joe Walker, Lonnie Elder — we all were trying to break through the racial barriers of the times and force our voices and ‘who-we-are’ onto the canvas that was America at the time. We overcame the challenge that a deaf and largely blind country presented by persevering — pushing until the nation stopped, saw and listened.

BPM: You co-founded the Afro-American Arts Theater in Philadelphia in the 1960s. Do you feel that with musicals such as FELA! and Broadway plays such as Fences, RACE, The Color Purple, and the revival of Raisin in the Sun is indicative of a movement on Broadway to tell more stories related to the black experience?
CHF: FELA! and RACE are new, but Fences, Raisin In The Sun, and The Color Purple have been with us for awhile, and I believe harkens back to another time. Lynn Nottage’s ‘Ruined’ is what’s new. Katori Hall’s ‘Voodoo Love’ is new. Susan Lori Parks, ‘Book of Grace’ is new. Tarell Alvin McCraney’s ‘The Brother/Sister Plays’ is new. Branden Jacobs Jenkins, ‘Neighbors’ is new. And I believe their emergence and staying power should be supported. I don’t believe there is any new desire on the part of theatre to showcase more blacks — this moment can disappear as quickly as it arrived. WE need to support our playwrights with the same enthusiasm WE support our hip-hop artists — or develop a desire among OUR young people to tell our stories on stage.

BPM: You recently decided to publish your first young adult historical novel, SNATCH: The Adventures of David and Me in Old New York. This is a departure from the stage. What brought about this decision and how have you found the book publishing world to differ from the theater?
CHF: I promised my two sons Charles, III and David Ira Fuller when they were 11 and 8, and I was living between New York and Philadelphia, that I would write a history story in which they would be the heroes. In the process, I wanted to describe the life of African-Americans in the North before the end of slavery. I did the research, wrote the outline and — (cut) — my life as a playwright began, and I didn’t get to it for more than forty years. But I had made a promise and I intended to keep it — so, I did just that and they got their story at ages 45 and 42. Their response was, ‘It’s about time!’ The book publishing business is very hard and requires a lot of hard work. I can honestly say, the reason I am doing it myself is that everyone I spoke to before doing it, said it couldn’t be done. And there is a chance that they may be right — but ‘fail’ is not an English word I ever understood.

BPM: You are the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for your play, A Soldier’s Story, which is obviously a major accomplishment and honor. What advice would you give someone just starting out as a playwright or author?
CHF: Read a lot, write a lot and persevere. Human life is built around stories we tell each other about ourselves — we never tire of it, so there is always something to write about and there will always be an audience for whatever it is as long as it’s about us. We are nothing if not narcissistic.

BPM: What message do you hope readers will take away from SNATCH?
CHF: I hope whoever reads it enjoys the adventure and delights in the way it’s told. Also I hope that people will begin to understand that the world of ‘freemen and women’ in the North before the end of slavery was no bed of roses. Despite our difficulties, we always cherished one another, helped one another and whenever there was a chance we could disrupt those who were out to harm us, we did everything in our power to do so — from child to adult. Finally, I hope young people will learn that they have the power to act on behalf of us all — to save a life — to save a community with just the power of their determination.

BPM: What are three things all leaders possess?
CHF: I can’t imagine three things all leaders possess — one thing I think they possess is the power to convince us that following them will lead us to a state — real or imagined — that is better than the one in which we exist when they arrive. They can’t suggest that we can get to that better place on our own — the term leader always implies followers.

BPM: How do you feel that your work has impacted people?
CHF: I’m not sure how it’s impacted my audiences. I’ve always tried to make sure we defined ourselves and not be lazy enough to believe that someone else can do it for us — or to do it better than we can, or that whatever the stereotype is, it’s not even close to who we really are. Our humanity is largely overlooked whenever we’re examined by others. I hope my work has helped to change some of that.

Visit the official website of SNATCH to learn more about Charles H. Fuller, Jr.: http://www.davidandmeinnyc.com/home.html

For interviews with Charles H. Fuller, Jr. or to request a review copy of SNATCH: The Adventures of David and Me in Old New York, please contact Dawn Roberts at 215.704.2615  or Dawn@KDComm.com.

 
Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/

 
 

Finding the Way Home by Fabiola Sully

Finding the Way Home by Fabiola Sully
This book is for any one who experience roadblacks, challenges, and obstacles in life. I am opening my soul and experiences to the world; so that readers will know that they are not alone.

I have written and published my book of poetry, “Finding the Way Home” in 2009.  It is a group of poems written from my early college years through the year 2008. The poems pertain to my life experiences, roads I have taken and obstacles I have faced growing up. I’ve dealt with my emotions and issues more effectively by writing them down. Whenever I felt low and going through situations, I wrote them down. My poems are about growth and finding your true self.  You can’t find yourself or see what you are capable of, without dealing with the harsh roadblocks and walls in your life.  I have written this book for young girls and adult women who are dealing with a life of fear and doubts.

Book Video: Finding The Way Home

WHO I AM by Fabiola Sully

I’m the one you tease
Because I’m different.
I’m the one you bother
Because I’m merely there
I’m the mat you step on
I’m the rock you kick around

And you think you can control me
Like I’m the clay and you’re the sculptor
Like I’m the robot and you press my buttons
But you can’t control me

I may be nothing as you say
But your words don’t mean jack to me
I am SOMEBODY
Sooner or later you’ll see me on the street
With my head held high,
While you’re eating my dust
And I’ll be wondering
Who’s laughing now!

About Fabiola Sully
I am from Long Island, NY but born in Brooklyn. I have been writing since I was seventeen. I became interested in poetry after taking a writing course in high school, this continued on into my college years. Currently, I work full-time and write part-time. I started taking part in poetry slams and blogs to show off some of my work. I would like to do poetry readings and perform in more shows.

You can view samples of my work and blog on my Myspace page: www.myspace.com/fabiolaakamysticpoet   or on Facebook under Fabiola Sully. Other than poetry, I am into movies, reading, acting, wrestling and basketball, the arts & theater, music and world travel. If you have any questions or comments, you can email me at mysticpoet729@gmail.com  For more information, visit http://outskirtspress.com/findingthewayhome

ISBN-10: 1432716220 | ISBN-13: 978-1432716226

Finding the Way Home by Fabiola Sully
ISBN-13: 978-1432716226
Category: POETRY / General
Distributed via: Ingram, Baker & Taylor
Available at:   www.outskirtspress.com/findingthewayhome
Receive up to 40% off at: www.outskirtspress.com/bookstore

Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/

 
 

Intimate Conversation with author Cheryl Robinson

Cheryl Robinson is the author of five novels. Most recently, In Love with a Younger Man and Sweet Georgia Brown. She is a native Detroiter and graduate of Wayne State University. Robinson now resides in Central Florida where she is writing her next novel.

BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
As a person I feel power in my faith. It allows me to press on through the rough times and to remain positive. I try not to let the daily stresses of life get to me. And I try not to judge others. The more I stop myself when I feel my mind going in that direction, the easier it becomes. I get tired of seeing people get built up by the media to later get knocked down. The less I judge others the better I not only feel, but also when I write and develop characters it’s much easier for me to remove myself from the situation. I realize it’s impossible for everyone to love my books, but I always keep that as one of my primary writing goals. And, I try to keep a healthy balance between being my own worst critic and one of my biggest fans.

BPM: Where do you find your inspiration?
All of the inspiration I could ever need I can find from everyday life–the joys and the pitfalls. I can open one email from someone telling me how upset they are at the way I ended my last book and then turn around and open another email from someone telling me how much they thoroughly enjoyed it. That’s an example of how life is in general. One minute you can be down, but in a second it can all turn around. You have to take the good with the bad and learn from them both. But honestly, sometimes I just want it to all be good.

BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
Some years ago, when I was about nineteen or twenty, I answered the phone at my parents’ home and there was a woman on the other end who insisted that we were related. She was trying to tell me that she was my half sister and that we had the same father. I remember my heart sinking. In order for that to be true, based on her timeframe, that would mean my father, who I thought had been happily married to my mother for years, had cheated. But as the conversation continued we both realized that while the two men shared the same name they weren’t the same person.

Still, for those few minutes, I had to ask myself what if that was actually the case. The thought never completely escaped my mind, and in some ways it was that event that prompted me to eventually get around to exploring the scenario. And now, in the age of social networking, it’s much easier to find your missing relatives. And in the case of these three sisters, it’s also true, and they do share the same father.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with When I Get Where I’m Going and the message within?
I am a Women’s Fiction author. That does not mean I only write for women. Nor does the fact that I’m black mean I only write for black people. I don’t write to exclude any one, but to enlighten and entertain us all. I write about women and women’s issues, and of course, men are in my novels too. As an author I have an opportunity to go beyond stereotypes. I’ve learned over the eight years that I’ve been writing professionally that there is a way to entertain without offending.

If I, as a black woman, do not feel good about how we are represented in the media. If I don’t feel empowered about what is being written about us on the internet and elsewhere and if I have to continuously hear from the media that black women are “the least desirable of all the races” or not a preference by some men even within our own race, as an artist, I have an opportunity to present a different message that isn’t a negative one, but can still be realistic. It’s like music. Some songs only have a good beat while others also have wonderful lyrics. I want to write books that make people feel good.

My intended message isn’t given to readers, but written in such a way that the reader gets out of it what they came to the story with and how they view the story and the characters will be interpreted by how they view the world. But maybe, if I do my job as I intend to, they will have a different opinion after it’s all said and done.

BPM: Introduce us to your latest book, When I Get Where I’m Going.
What would you do if you discovered that you had a sibling you never knew existed? Would you be like Heaven, so excited to connect to that person that you quickly took to Facebook and started searching? Would you be like Hope, too caught up in the trials and tribulations of your own life to even care? Or would you be like Alicia, skeptical at first, but willing to open up to the idea?

Alicia, Hope, and Heaven are three estranged sisters embarking on one special reunion. And it will take an earth-shattering discovery, a lucky lottery ticket, and a near-fatal encounter to finally bring three sisters together and have them realize that nothing can save a person like family.

BPM: Introduce us to your main characters in When I Get Where I’m Going.
Heaven Jetter, Hope Teasdale, and Alicia Day are three special sisters! Heaven is twenty-one and the youngest sister. She’s on probation, caught up in an abusive relationship, and trying desperately to get her life back on track. Hope is a young widow and single mother searching for the truth behind her husband’s death, but once she finds out, can she handle it? Alicia is a struggling actress trying to catch a break in Hollywood after thirteen years of trying, but a devastating one-two punch forces her back to Detroit.

BPM: What are two major events taking place?
The novel is written in third person and begins with a prologue that occurs five months prior to the start of the story. And then the rest of the novel is divided into three parts and most of the chapters alternate between the point of view of each sister. Without giving away any spoilers, I will say that each sister has a major turning point that makes each of them reevaluate their life.

BPM: What are a couple of the specific issues or problems addressed in this book?
One issue in the story is domestic abuse. Heaven is involved in an unhealthy relationship, but like so many other women involved in something like that, she finds it nearly impossible to leave. Her story isn’t from the viewpoint of a woman who is both a wife and mother and being abused, but from a young woman who has gotten caught-up with the wrong man and finds herself so confused that she doesn’t know what to do and feels that her life in general is spiraling out of control.

Alicia Day’s character was written for anyone who has been holding on to a dream for a very long time and wondering if it will ever come true. Aspiring actors, singers, and writers should be able to especially relate to her story. Black actresses, in particular, should also be able to as much has been discussed about the struggles that black women experience while trying to succeed in Hollywood.

Discussion Topics inside When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson
Domestic violence, sisterhood, estranged family, the entertainment industry, specifically the lack of roles for black women in Hollywood.

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
When I Get Where I’m Going is featured in the September issue of Essence Magazine. And I recently completed my next novel, Remember Me, that will be released in September 2011.
BPM: How can our readers reach you online?
Readers can connect with me through my website at http://www.cherylrobinson.com/  and also join me on my recently created Facebook page. There is a link on my web site.


Purchase your copy today at Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/When-Get-Where-Im-Going/dp/0451229479

Cheryl Robinson
http://www.cherylrobinson.com/
www.myspace.com/cherylrobinson
When I Get Where I’m Going available September 2010

 
Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/

 

Intimate Conversation with Vernon Samuel

Meet Author & Motivational Speaker Vernon Samuel

Virgo – She Did It Her Way is a book/diary that is written to have people understand that in life you will go through so many things. And as long as we continue to fall into those same mindsets of trying to please others and loneliness we will keep doing the things that don’t get us anywhere. This book touches on how easy it is to put others first and how hard it will be to begin to put yourself first and give examples of how to do it. Purchase: Virgo – She Did It Her Way

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. What drives you?
I write because I want it to be a way to get my thoughts out to the public and promote awareness of real life issues. I am driven by the need to be a positive person for others so they know that they have someone they can feel comfortable talking to.

BPM: How did you start your writing journey?
I began my journey by understanding the importance of telling my story to get people to understand that they don’t go through situations by themselves and I believe that this is something that I wanted to do. Since it was write my own book, I studied how to do it and began to do it.

BPM: Why was this book so important to create?
It was important because I wanted the people to understand where I come from and what I have been through in order for them to understand that others have faced similar situations in their life and to spread my message.

BPM: How will your book impact community relationships?
My book will impact community relationships by having everyone understand the importance of Loving Yourself Unconditionally and living their life their way.

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
Ultimately the reader will gain an understanding of the importance of recognizing that the issues in life are real and as long as you take the steps to overcome them it is possible to live their life their way.

BPM: What is the most surprising thing you have learned from the community?
The most surprising thing I learned from the community is that there is a severe lack of self love and self respect. I also learned that people don’t know that they do have the ability to change what is going on in their life.

BPM: What would you say has been your most significant achievement with this book?
My most significant achievement with this book is becoming an example and advocate for what I preach in self growth and self love.

BPM: How has this book changed or shaped your life?
The book has changed me because it has given me the ability to recognize what I have been struggling with in my life and understand that I have to put my past behind me in order to move forward into my future and also be an example for others.

BPM: Name three things that it takes to make a successful leader or parent, in your opinion?
To me a leader and a parent are one in the same.Three things that it takes to be successful at both are:

1. You must have understanding in both in order to be an example and deal with the character traits people possess. 2. You must be able to teach and encourage others to know that they are capable of doing anything they put their minds to and be able to see when they need your help. 3. You must also have patience which will allow you to be effective when you are leading or parenting.

BPM: What can we expect from you in the future?
In the future I will be active in being an advocate for the importance of Enjoying Yourself First and my Take Your Life Back Campaign which will consist of seminars, workshops, counseling sessions, speaking engagements and three books.

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
Virgo – She Did It Her Way has been released on August 23, 2009. I also plan on releasing my next book “Real Male or Real Man” on Mother’s Day of  2010. To learn more about Author and Motivational Speaker Vernon Samuel please visit his website at http://www.vernonsamuel.com/

Read inside of Virgo, She Did It Her Way:
http://www.bookrix.com/_title-en-vernon-samuel-virgo-she-did-it-her-way

Available for purchase at: http://www.Amazon.com and
http://www.vernonsamuel.com/buybook.html

Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/

 
 

Intimate Conversation with Klarque Garrison

Intimate Conversation with Klarque Garrison

BPM:  Tell us a little about the real Klarque Garrison.
I was born in Los Angeles, CA and raised by a single mom with little to no education. However, what she lacked in education she made up in unconditional love. I came to writing much like most authors, it chose me! Writing became a tangible voice that could be heard and always spoke true. This book “How to survive the next 365” takes the reader on a journey of understanding that you truly hold the answers for a better life. My life has thus far been a true testimony of this revelation. I’ve owned and operated, even partnered several very successful businesses. 13 years of experience in real estate investing and negotiating terms with hundreds of lenders around the country have compelled me to master “The Art of believing in the power within me”. It is my hope that this book can do the same for you!

BPM: What inspired you to write this story? I was inspired to write this story because this was the story that led me back to respectability and self-worth. I was on top of the world at one point in my life yet there was always something missing. I felt empty and never felt satisfied with any accomplishment I attained. So, like many people out there I lost everything. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. After crashing, I came to the conclusion no one is going to get me out of this mess but me (the question was how?). One thing was for sure, if I continued to do the same things… I would get the same results (“I knew I knew nothing”). I built my way back to respectability on the basis of a few fundamental principles. These principles were not new, they were just being ignored. How many more of my fellow mankind were ignoring these truths? I decided it was my destiny to be that reminder and in some cases….the sage!

BPM: Introduce us to your new book, How to Survive the Next 365.
“How to Survive the Next 365” can be your guide to developing a proper mind-set to get you to “your” next level! I also helps you re-define what the next “level” for you will be. Survive 365 was developed from my failures that ultimately became my road map to a better ME! I lost over $1 Million in assets and cash between 2007 & 2008. My world and my self-confidence were trashed. I went from the big house in an upscale neighborhood to renting in the “hood”. After feeling sorry for myself, I realized the results I received were due to the person I’d become. So, I began speaking to successful people from all walks of life.

Then, I began interviewing them to better compare their mind-sets. What I found is no matter the age, race, religion, look or gender these success minded people shared common links and ideologies! I quickly studied these traits and made them a part of who I am. It is these traits that “Survive 365” speaks to. It is these 12 principles that helped me become a more well rounded person and build my greatness to heights never seen! I decided to share these axioms with the world. “365” has become a movement of awareness of who we are and who we are to become. A 365er is anyone who believes in developing their self into the best person they can be despite the struggles of life. This commitment is built by uniting liked-minded people to a common idea….Greatness!

There are 12 chapters with 12 concepts or ideologies that I’ve found make up the spirit of successful people. The 12 chapters symbolize the 12 months in a year..thus we have 365 (days). Life is not supposed to be easy. We do not learn from our successes we learn from our failures. That is why I titled this book “How to Survive the Next 365”. Through surviving we develop a basic knowledge of life and through knowledge we gain wisdom. Once a person grasps wisdom he/she can control the thing that is most difficult to control…oneself! If a man/woman can learn to control their self there is nothing they can not do.

There are chapters in this book that you may not have difficulty with so read it as it speaks to you. Then apply the lessons by working the exercises at the end of each chapter. Lastly, share your success with the world. Your journey for your “Next 365” days does not start with the purchase of this book. Nor does it begin once you have read this book. You will discover your journey only begins once you decide your self worth is directly linked with “The Creator” and that makes you God-like. Everyone has greatness to share with the world. I hope you can see what I already see in you…

BPM: What issues in today’s society have you addressed in How to Survive the Next 365?
Each chapter address a different issue. Things like having “gratitude” for what you do have in life, being a slave to service and giving back to society or controlling what you see, hear and say are issues we urgently need help with. Learning how to master the one thing most people refuse to master…yourself! The hardest thing, yet the most important thing to control in our lifetime is ourselves. However, most people dedicate far too much time in controlling things they have no control of! Reading this book does not mean your problems will be solved. However, reading this book will force you to take an honest look at what your issues are and how you can develop a mind-set to solving each issue you acknowledge.

BPM: What is your most valuable lesson about the publishing industry?
The publishing industry is a business and like any business its focus in on making money. People think its about the “art” and that being a writer is about being published. I was once told “a writer..writes”. Do not wait for the publishing world to recognize you as a writer. In most cases they catch on last!

BPM: What writers inspire you and why?
I’ve always been an insatiable reader dating back to my teens. I was told by my mother that through reading you will obtain the wisdom and eyes of the world. However, the 2 most important authors who lead me to writing are Natalie Goldberg and Anne Lamont. When I knew I wanted to become a serious writer I knew I had to find a voice that spoke to me. These were the 2 voices that found me! Both Natalie and Anne wrote books on developing traits to become a great writer. Their words taught me that there is a writer locked inside each one of us. We need only cultivate and motivate that voice.

BPM: What did you hope to accomplish by writing this particular story?
In the beginning writing this book was just about putting my thoughts on paper to free myself from myself. It wasn’t until later that I began to believe there was a more worthwhile goal ahead. I felt this book would lead to a journey I’d have to take through sharing these ideologies with as many people I could find. The journey would soon become a movement that would take on a life of its own. I want to inspire, motivate & cultivate self-awareness and growth in myself and in others through my books, lectures, seminars, retreats and workshops. I hope to see each one of you soon!

“How to Survive the Next 365…Your lifeline to a better life”
Klarque@survivethenext365.com
http://www.amazon.com/
http://www.survivethenext365.com/
http://www.anobamaworld.blogspot.com/
also available on “Kindle”

Klarque Garrison, Best Selling Author
Do you know anyone who needs to learn “The Art of Trusting Yourself”?
“How to Survive The Next 365” is a masterful look into a new way of thinking!
Join our family by subscribing to our National Online Newsletter “The Evolution”

Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/

 
 

Intimate Conversation with Andrea Clinton

Intimate Conversation with Andrea Clinton

Andrea Clinton is a novelist, poet and essayist, and aspiring screenwriter/filmmaker. As a Montclair State University graduate, she posses’ a degree in English, Film and Journalism. She’s the founder and CEO of the non-profit organization, People Helping People; worked as Editor in Chief of AMISTAD newspaper, New Jersey; and is presently working on a biography and screenplay featuring the life of her uncle George Clinton of Parliament/Funkadelic and the Clinton family.

BPM:  Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you? What impact do you want your book to make on the readers?
What drives me is my passion for story telling and entertaining the readers or listeners (I’ve been summoned to randomly make up and tell stories). I write to enlighten or to pull the readers coattail to an issue or subject matter. I pray the impact that my books have on readers is that: The upper class begin to learn and are introduced to the other classes and what they live and experience, why they make the decisions they make, etc.;  I give the middle class a chance to learn not to look down their noses at the poor or lower class, but have a respect for their struggle and to recognize that they are being played in the game as well.

I also give the less fortunate a chance to not revere the upper class so much, as their problems are as great as their money.  My writing offers the lower class a way to reach for the stars by obtaining KNOW-HOW.  I teach them how to work hard to maintain that sense of “down-to-earthness” we posses, that the other classes wish they had and seek, but can’t find because of the airs they put on and their ongoing evil to maintain what they have. I want to show the poor or lowered class that we really aren’t missing as much as we believe, and we’re much happier than we think.

BPM:  Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…
Realness with an understanding that: Our upbringing/what and how we’re taught, our environment, innate qualities that we get thru genetics or are God given, instincts and drives such as Self-preservation and Desires all play a role in how we turn out, how we think and the decisions we make. We have to look at all of these things and decide who we will be, hopefully enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong.

BPM: Introduce us to your new book, Life Knows No Bounds: One Who Loves You More.The book is about Alisa, a money grubbing gold digger who’s following in the foot steps of the older girls who came before her. She’s got several men thinking she’s their woman, and when one drops her off at home, another picks her up.

She has gold, diamonds, money and more, but when her family gets on her case about the trouble it’s causing, Alisa decides to get her one man with riches to take care of her, thus Omar. Omar has his own issues trying to stop hustling drugs and going back to being the Muslim he grew up as without the street troubles, but when he and Alisa come together, it’s like clash of the titans and he loses his focus. Then, Hell erupts in, “Life Knows No Bounds: One Who Loves You More.”

BPM:   Introduce us to your main characters in One Who Loves You More.
Alisa is the main character and she is a hand full. She’s not too long out of high school and acting a fool. She thinks she’s grown but has much the behavior of a young minded girl in a woman’s body. She shares her mind set with you but this doesn’t make her inviting. She is who she is, young and dumb. But, you couldn’t tell her that because she is head strong in what she feels, but is always contradicting herself with her behavior and her tongue lashes that cut like a knife. She doesn’t want to face that she loves Omar because in her mind, she’s still a gold digger; no strings attached and still tries to wear this title like a tiara.

BPM: Who were your favorites? Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
Omar was probably my favorite, he and Man-Man; I loved their friendship and dedication to having a true and real friend. I made them alike so that they would appreciate that about themselves. Omar is like most of us, succumbing to his environment but knowing he can do better and wants to do better, but stuck in the game because it’s all he knew for over 10 years or so. Man-Man seems so “street” you think he just doesn’t care, but, he wants peace, just doesn’t know how to get it, feels trapped and never shows what he’s really thinking or feeling. But they both accept where they are and have each others back while there.

Man-Man is much like my brother Salaam, he’s dead – was murdered. You could never know when he was up to something or not because like Billy the Kid, he always had this little laugh or smirk. When Omar is mad, he bites down on his jaw bone and you see the veins in his head pop out, but when Man-Man is mad, he does this little giggle, like, “hmmp – hmm hmm!”

Omar, I created from a character I felt I could see my friend Sean Blakemore play. Sean is an actor who played in “Motives I & II” with Vivica Fox and “Restraining Order” with Robins Givens. I always wanted to make this book into a play and maybe even an HBO or SHOWTIME (or some other cable channel) series. So, I tried to envision Sean as Omar, especially since he inspired me to add more male characters and said he was down to play the role.

BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer? Who are your mentors?
I would say as a person, Islam humbles me and any power I feel should probably be interpreted as blessed. As a writer, my professors back at college who helped me to think of the type of writer I wanted to be and if I wanted to be put in a little box or write creatively in many genres, they are my mentors. A good professor shows you paths and gives you one to grow on; they should mentor. My mentors are my professors I listed in my book and people I barely met like Whoopi Goldberg who graduated from Montclair State University with her masters when I graduation with my BFA. The words she spoke reminded me of the obstacles to come and helped me to set my mind straight to continue full steam ahead and not listen to naysayers, and as she emphasized, “Know that they are coming.”

BPM:  What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
There were too many young girls out there using men for money. Like the main character, they use men so much it’s almost a form of prostitution, but they don’t see it that way as they may never have sex with these men, just use them for what they can get from them.

BPM: Take us inside the book. What are two major events taking place?
I would like to say, when Alisa and Omar decide there is definitely something there, and speak to each other with their eyes just after he gave her his leather trench; and a cross between when he addresses her about another guy and/or when they have it out at her house.  I say that part because it reminds me of so many relationships where we allow our emotions to make us stubborn and hide how we really feel, and we end up not giving in to our mate and are left sad and alone.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
All the girls out there using men for money like it’s a profession. They need to know the dangers of such Ways of life. I could tell you some despicable situations women have gotten themselves into messing with men in such fashions.

BPM:  How will reading your book shape the readers lives?
It will give young girls something to think about. The book challenges girls to consider getting an education; get your own money instead of using men for their money and suffering what there is to suffer, because, there is a price to pay.

BPM:  What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
I guess using men for money is a quick resolve to being poor or getting the things they want. With sex so free – for – all these days, some of them look at it like a quick harmless gain if they do partake in sex for money. But majority in this new game they play are not having sex with these men they make their mark. They instead make the man think they’re his woman, and then get that money, jewelry, credit cards, etc. And it’s dangerous because these men REALLY think these girls are their woman, their mate.

To top it all off, the girls have rules also. Three, four or six months tops. Then, they find some ill excuse to drop them and get a new sucker. Because there was no sex involved, meaning he waited on her, a lot of the men take it personal and feel played and some have been known to be dangerous.

BPM: What was the most powerful chapter in the book?
“Bang Bang” because it’s got: Love, Loss, is Live with action and like the streets it comes to a head, letting you know early how these people in the book are living.

BPM:  Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
Enlightenment; enlightenment on the dangers of playing around with people’s emotions, etc. When you put the book down, walk away feeling like, “What? Wow! That’s an aspect I haven’t heard of, thought about, seen in a while, etc.”

I want them to feel like they gained something that can help them or help them, help someone else. Really, I want them to sit as many young girls/women down and like they used to say in the ’70’s, “Tell ’em like it is!” Let them know feelings are precious and not to be taken lightly. Get your own! Get a degree; get a trade.

BPM:  What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
I don’t know; I think I might, might help the reader experience the characters instead of just reading about them and saying, “Oh, that Omar is something else” or “Alisa is a trip.”  Because Alisa has a lot of crap with her; she’s no walk in the park. But the readers will experience her and what she’s going through even when they don’t agree with her or understand fully what the heck she’s doing or her motives. Omar, you can’t help but love him, and I did that on purpose. He’s much like my brother, he and Man-Man in the sense that they are lovable people, but out there doing wrong, and you hope they get it together before it’s too late. For my brother, it was too late; let’s see how it goes with Omar or Man-Man.

But you don’t just read this; you feel this in your chest at times. I’ve had some tell me as they read the chapters, they went through so many emotions from chapter to chapter and sometimes from page to page. That’s the Realism genre. Real stuff making you feel mad, glad, happy or sad for the characters. Naturalism stems from Realism and Naturalism, which is the basis of the book, shows the character’s self-preservation/greed drive, hustling and their desires via their attraction to one another throughout.

And, the reader feels it, gets goose bumps or chills, and is excited to move on in the book hoping Alisa get’s hers, hoping Omar get’s a grip. But it’s all thru the emotional aspects of the novel, not just the words on the page. I believe it’s heart felt and how I arrived there, or so I’ve been told, was, I wrote it with the flow of a soap opera in my head. I took myself through all of that drama just to appease my readers.

BPM:  Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
We’re about to launch our newspaper again, this will help us to contribute to supporting the hard working authors, artist, actors, and so on, as well as keep our community up on the news around the world. I think the reward right now is to be exposed to so many opportunities. I think I’ll be even more rewarded when I began speaking engagements, speaking to the youth and young girls and women about this new trend.

Upcoming releases: There’s the second book in the “Life Knows No Bounds” chronicle titled, “A Blessing and A Curse,” then there is a non fiction book on Writing. So many students in high school and college are having a hard time writing properly; scoring low on SAT’s and essays and research papers in school. So, I want to shed light on that. I have a writing component I used with my students and they still email me today saying Thank You because it helped them with their college writing. Those books will be forthcoming in the Spring season 2011. By fall I pray to have a book done on Critical and Analytical Thinking for tests, decision making and life. I don’t know, maybe I’ll make it three different books since a book on life would take on a life of its own.

BPM:  How can our readers reach you online?
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/teaclinton
Blog:  http://around-the-way.blogspot.com/  
Website: http://www.aroundthewaypublishing.com/
FB: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/AroundTheWayPublishing

 
 
 
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