Sunday, August 8, 2010

Interview with National Best-Selling Author Naleighna Kai, August 2010 Featured Author

Join the Sexy Ebony BBW African American Book Club as we chat with Nationally Best-Selling Author and member Naleighna Kai (Lissa Woodson), our August 2010 Featured Author. Please feel free to comment on the interview. And don't forget to visit the Sexy Ebony BBW African American Book Club website for a chance to win the Naleighna Kai Prize Packet which includes a copy of her latest release Pleasure's All Mine. Contest ends September 4, 2010. Go to http://www.sexyebonybbwaabookclub.com/ for more information and contest links. (This interview will also be posted on BBW Reviews Author Interviews. For a second chance to win a copy of Pleasure's All Mine visit the BBW Reviews website and click on BBW Reviews Author Interviews http://www.bbwreviewers.com/

1) How long have you been writing? I started writing in December of 1999, so that makes it 11 years for writing and this year is the 10th Anniversary of my first published novel.

2) What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? I met someone on the internet who challenged me to write after he had sent me poetry, erotic poetry, and erotic short stories. It was a spark when I wrote him back and then my minister (also an author), Sesvalah, encouraged me to continue to write as part of my sexual abuse therapy. My second novel, She Touched My Soul, was all about that healing process. I’ve writing ever since and each book mirrors some aspect of my life or some question about my life that I’m trying to answer.

3) Why did you chose to feature plus size heroines in your novels.
Because I’m a plus-size woman. There’s already enough books that wrote about slender women as heroines and woman my size as mothers, aunties, best friends, etc. I wanted women size 14 and up to take center stage, and feel good about it.

4) We will be giving away copies of Pleasure's Is All Mine on both the BBW Reviews Author Interview blog and The Sexy Ebony BBW AA Book Club site. Tell us a little about Pleasure's Is All Mine and the fierce plus size character in your novel. Why should readers run out and get their copy of your book today.
Because it’s the best book I’ve written to date. The majority of the people who have read all of my books love this one the most. I had fun writing this novel, took my time. My national bestselling novel, Every Woman Needs a Wife, was written in four days--four Fridays in a row from 8p.m.- to 6 a.m. at a little hole in the wall on the South Side of Chicago. I took my time with The Pleasure’s All Mine. Raven is a lot like me in some ways, nothing like me in other. She’s an author, raised by two women who were together for several years, has an author son, owns her own publishing company, has traveled to Hawaii and is looking for love. Hmmmm, but some of the experiences that she has in the book are pure fiction. Pierce, the Castle, the married couple who “conditions” her for that one night as a Maid of the Castle. When a meal is good, sometimes people will say, “guuuurl, you stuck your foot in those greens…” Well, I stuck my a$$ in this book, because it feels good to me, as an avid reader. I wrote something I like to read over and over. And because of this book I understand how and why my brother and sister never felt that I was actually their sister for all these years. I finally forgave them.

5) You self-published Pleasure’s All Mine through Macro Publishing Group. But before we get into Macro Publishing Group and the other side of the fierce woman you are, why did you decide to self-publish The Pleasure’s All Mine?
Because this novel was itching to get out. I’m in between publishing deals right now and it’s been four years since my last release. When an author is out of a reader’s eye too long…well, let’s just say it’s harder to make a comeback. I started off self-published before getting the deal with an imprint of Simon & Schuster. While waiting, I just went back to the familiar and I’m out there hitting the literary chit’lin circuit so “Naleighna Kai” stays out there; meets new people and greets old friends.

6) Tell us a little about Macro Publishing and its various activities both in and outside the literary community. When I wrote my first novel, More Than Enough, I was so excited about the writing process and starting my own company, that I wanted everyone in my life to write. I started my best friend to writing, my minister to writing, my son to writing, my dog to writing (mind you, I didn’t have a dog), but I was elated that I could do something I never imagined doing. I published a few other people before realizing that babysitting other people’s children can be more costly and time-consuming than nurturing your own, and it put the thing that I finally found a connection to on the back burner. I wasn’t writing as much. Through it all, I found out that I love doing something else just as much as writing--marketing and promotion. So I shifted my focus away from publishing others, helped the current wave of authors with Macro to start their own houses and publish their own books, then moved into the realm of publicity and event planning--all literary related. I’m loving it. I’ve connected with major sponsors such as Loreal, Kama Sutra, Harley Davidson and all of the major publishing house who have been crucial to the success of The Cavalcade of Authors and my other signature events.

7) Writing wise what is next for Naleighna Kai. Is there another plus size heroine in your future? My next novels are: Slaves of Heaven and Rich Woman’s Fetish. I think all of my lead characters will have some “weight on them” with a “close to slender side kick.” There are enough authors who write about size 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 already. Not so much on 14 and up. And truthfully, when I find that someone writes that a character is voluptuous or curvy, my mind does not go to 0-12, I picture someone like me.

8) And what is next for Lissa Woodson, the mother, writer, and entrepreneur behind Naleighna Kai?
Right now, I’m working on my next novel, Slaves of Heaven, which is totally different than what I normally write. My son is home from Nashville, so it’s been a bit of a challenge to find the mother-son dynamic now that he’s a “grown ass man.” I’m currently the publicist for L.A. Banks and for Sea Lion Book and it’s forcing me to get a handle on the young adult novel world--which is different than what I’m used to. I’m also still doing publicity work and touring to promote, The Pleasure’s All Mine and the rest of my books, along with my son and my minister, Sesvalah, with whom I co-wrote, Speak it into Existence--an inspirational book.

9) What is a typical day like in Lissa Woodson's world. How do you manage time for self along with everything else? I work a 9 to 5 at an international law firm, I’m the publicist to New York Times bestselling author, L.A. Banks, myself as Naleighna Kai, my son, NAACP Image Award Nominee, and my minister, Rev. Renee Sesvalah Cobb-Dishman.

10)What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer? Settling down and finishing one novel at a time. I have several “nearly finished” projects that haven’t made it to finish status because the next idea comes in so strong and takes over. I finally made a commitment to myself not to start the next book or work on one of the back burner projects until I finish what’s on my plate right this minute. It’s a challenge, but I’m making it work.

11) What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your entire career? Learning the difference between someone who considers you an associate and one who considers you a friend. Learning the difference between giving your time and sacrificing yourself. Learning that saying Yes to yourself might mean saying No to someone else. Compartmentalizing my time so that I’m more effective at my day job, being an author, event planner, publicist, and balancing my dreams and goals and checking them off one by one.

12) Where do you see yourself a year from now? Releasing my next novel, traveling to promote the book and having a whole lot of fun, writing, doing marketing and promotion work for some wonderful people, about 100 pounds lighter (I’ll still be plus size, though!)

13) What are you reading now? As I type, I’m just finishing up, What Becomes of the Brokenhearted by E. Lynn Harris. A wonderful memoir, up there with the memoir of Diane Carroll (The Legs are the Last to Go) and Susan D. Peters’ Sweet Liberia: Lessons from the Coalpot.

14) Who are your favorite authors? Octavia Butler, L.A. Banks, Leslie Esdaile Banks, Iris Johansen, Sandra Brown, Sidney Sheldon, Harrold Robbins, E. Lynn Harris, Beverly Jenkins, Brenda Jackson, Rochelle Alers, there’s so many that I could take a whole page!

15) How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website?
They can reach me at http://www.naleighnakai.com/ or http://www.macrompg.com/

16) What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you?
I’m enjoying the journey. If someone told me that twelve years ago I would be a national best-selling author, I would have choked on my drink. But since I started, I’ve learned a lot about me, what I’m made of, what I’m willing to put up with, and to send folks who don’t mean me any good--packing. I’ve met so many wonderful people, my favorite authors, people who love my books, people who still have an eyebrow raised trying to understand where I’m coming from. I’ve become a better person for the experience, and feel that in some way, I’m living my life’s purpose.

17) If you could tell one thing to every aspiring writer what would it be?
It wouldn’t be just one thing, aspiring writers can visit http://www.naleighnakai.com/ and see everything I have to say to them (I’ve put up resources, told of my journey and give advice under the resources for aspiring writers section).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Interview with Author Avah LaReaux, July 2010 Featured Author, Tribute To Family

Joins us as we chat with Avah LaReaux, author of Bastards, the third installment of her Lost & Found Series and one of our July Featured Authors. Please feel free to comment on the interview. And don't forget to visit the Sexy Ebony BBW African American Book Club website for a chance to win the Avah LaReaux Prize Packet. Contest ends August 7, 2010. Go to http://www.sexyebonybbwaabookclub.com/ for more information and contest links.

1)Tell us about yourself? I am an author, a mother, a wife, and a lover of the arts. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in anything art-related. Whether it was plays, operas, concerts, dance, or singing in the church choir, I loved it and wanted to be there.

2)How long have you been writing? What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? I’ve been writing a very long time. I officially started writing poetry when I was nine years-old. I don’t really know what drove me to writing, but I remember loving it. I remember being pre-school age and dragging out old phone books, pretending to write my own books. That may be common for many children, but my desire never ended. It just got stronger.

3)This month we will be giving away a copy of your novel Bastards. Please tell us a little about the novel. Why should readers buy a copy of your book today? Bastards is the third installation of the Lost & Found saga series. This title ends the prequel portion of the series and sets us up to move forward through the remainder of the saga. In Bastards, we are taken back to our main character’s childhood and come to know not only Marcus Clayton, but the people who were instrumental in shaping his personality. In this book, we learn what makes Marcus the guy we love or hate. For readers who know the series, this novel starts to answer questions they may have developed from reading the first two books. For new readers, this book is a good introduction to the series and characters they will encounter in future books.

4)Bastards is the third release in your Lost and Found saga. Can you tell us a little about the saga as a whole and where exactly do you plan on taking readers in this saga? The Lost & Found saga series is a collection of six novels that introduce three families and describe how each are connected to one another over a span of several years. We follow the characters from these families from elementary school age to middle adulthood. Throughout the series, we watch the characters mature, marry, and establish families of their own as they deny or accept the truths of their lives.

5)What is next for Avah LaReaux? When will your next book be released? I have so much I would love to accomplish, but for now I am actively working on strengthening my craft and finding ways to assist others to do the same. My next novel project is the fourth book in the series and is entitled Smoke and Mirrors (formerly Hell Hath No Fury). That title is scheduled for release in spring 2011.

6)You are currently published under Blue Planet Publishing, an imprint owned by you and your husband. Please tell us a little about Blue Planet. How long have you been publishing? What other authors have you worked with? What releases are in the work for Blue Planet? How can interested writers find more information? Blue Planet Publishing was established in 2006. Our goal is to provide services to new fiction authors who have a passion to share their gifts with the world. Currently, we have six authors on our roster. Three of us have at least one novel on the market while three have novels scheduled to release this year. Blue Planet also does a collaborative project with authors from other imprints. The first project was completed in 2009 and was an erotic anthology that introduced Blue Planet artist S.A. Brown and included myself, Hazel Mills, and Sunshine Royal.

The next releases for our imprint include debut novels by Allyson Olivia Ringgold, S. A. Brown, and Tony Graff. Updated information is posted in the Blue Planet Publishing FaceBook page, on our blog (http://blueplanetpublishing.blogspot.com), and on our website at http://www.bppbooks.com. While we are not currently accepting new projects, interested authors with exceptional work can visit our website for query submission guidelines. We also have a new author contest going on in conjunction with our Art Lovers in Paradise Cruise. Guidelines and instructions can be found on our blog.

7)What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer? My biggest challenge as a writer has actually been conquering my own fears. I have often said that I am my own competition and I believe that is true of all people. Once we overcome the personal fears that prevent us from moving forward, we open our minds to the impossible. I practice that everyday.

8)What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a publisher? As a publisher, the challenges are a bit different. Helping artists to understand that being an author is a job has been interesting. Many authors come into the industry with the belief that writing is merely a hobby. With that mindset, success will never be realized. There is an abundance of learning and relearning that must be done in order to be a successful author. Getting that point across to new authors has been a labor of love.

9)Playing the dual role of writer and publisher can be rough. What is a typical day like for Avah LaReaux? How do you manage time for self and family? Where do you find your balance? For me, the writing life is just that, my life. I am always looking for bigger and better opportunities for myself and my company and am continually inspired by what life brings. Some days begin at three in the morning. Some days begin at one in the afternoon. Balance, for me, is sometimes an issue. As much as I love what I do, I am learning to make a conscious effort to time to play more often. All work and no play doesn’t make a well-rounded Avah.

10)Where do you see yourself a year from now? One year from now, I will have completed Blue Planet’s first signature event, the Art Lovers in Paradise Cruise. I will also be working on the 2012 publishing calendar and preparing to receive my master’s degree in Education.

11)What are you reading now? Who are your favorite authors? Right now, I’m reading The Art of Racing In the Rain by Garth Stein. He’s a new author for me. Normally, I read James Patterson, Eric Jerome Dickey, Donna Hill. The list goes on, but those are a few of my favorites.

12) How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website? Readers can always find me in Avey World, http://www.avahlareaux.com/. I am also available on FaceBook, Twitter, and MySpace. Just search Avah LaReaux

13)What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? I am passionate about literature as a whole, not just my writing. I am student of the art and have been since my youth. I don’t take writing or words lightly because I believe words are alive and represent power and life. I love art, completely.

14)What is the one piece of advice you would want to give every aspiring writer?
Start writing. Your dream will never be realized if you don’t begin.

Interview with Author Rachel Berry, July 2010 Featured Author, A Tribute To Family

Joins us as we chat with Rachel Berry, author of the dynamic epic novel Family Pictures and one of our July Featured Authors. Let Rachel tell you about Family Pictures and her life journey as a whole. Please feel free to comment on the interview. And don't forget to visit the Sexy Ebony BBW African American Book Club website for a chance to win the Rachel Berry Prize Packet. Contest ends August 7, 2010. Go to http://www.sexyebonybbwaabookclub.com for more information and contest links. (This interview is a reprint of Rachel Berry's interview with BBW Reviews Author Interviews. A few of the questions have been deleted or modified.)

1. Tell us about yourself? I consider myself an out-going and goal oriented person. I have a respectful and prayerful relationship with my creator as he continues to show and grow me. My family means everything to me, and after trying to please my creator I do everything I do for them. I do my best to give-back to the universe in any way I am guided and gifted because I am thankful for all that I am gifted with. I’m blessed to be a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, auntie, best friend and so much more. Life can be challenging but it’s good.

2. How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing since the beginning of my teen years. Imagining about things to write long before that.

3. What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? Probably my mother. She is a great storyteller and poet. She put the love of words in my heart and mind through songs, stories and poems she’d recite during dinner time when I was growing up – well, still to this day even. Now, writing is the ink that colors me. I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t write. I write in my head while I sleep and then jot it down when I wake up. Gosh, the movies that play in my dreams.

4. Tell us about your book Family Pictures and the plus size heroines featured in this book. Family Pictures is simply the saga about a family and the challenges and celebrations they all go through. It’s main characters are both full-figured women who in many ways are very different and very similar. The youngest, journeys through the book discovering who she really is because of a secret the eldest protagonist divulges to her early on in the story. Through her family stresses Regal (the youngest) also battles with wondering if she is pleased with her weight, single-parenting, a love triangle and many other personal issues. Emma Jean; Regal’s aunt is also faced with her changing life and the effects of coming from a dysfunctional family and a sister-n-law that has made her life hell. But through unconditional love, forgiveness, therapy, and letting go of past skeletons the two woman learn that they too can put a better face on their promising futures.

5. Why did you chose to feature plus size heroines in your novels? Because plus sized woman have the same hopes and dreams, challenges and celebrations as smaller woman do. Too many books only feature slim women. I wanted to show the beauty, fear and boldness that live in all of us women.

7. When will your next book be released? Tell us a little about your next book? Will it feature a plus size character? For more information on Rachel Berry's new releases please visit her website http://rachelberry.webs.com

8. What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer? Well, writing is the pleasure and easy part of my career. But if you write something and no one knows about it, it’s all a waste. Promoting and marketing and putting myself out there is a challenge. I don’t have an assistant yet. So advertising, answering and sending out e-mails, social-networking, and putting together events and book signings take up a lot of my time. Recently this leaves little time for me to work on other works-n-progress.

9. Tell us a little about your organization Black Pearls United. BPU is an African American sister-circle I founded almost nine years ago. We come together to improve ourselves, communities and families. Women need a place to vent and grow. We learn from each other, grow together and sometimes professionally network. I’ve witnessed some powerful sister-bonding over these years. I’ve always been blessed with having sincere and positive women in my life of all ages, and this avenue affords me the blessing of sharing that gift with others. My sisters are busy women, but are also warm, intelligent women with giving hearts, and we give back to our communities on a yearly basis. We’re a small but mighty group. I am so proud of the Pearls; they’re real jewels.

10. You also have a show on Blog Talk Radio called From The Heart & Soul with Lady Serenity. Please tell us about the show and in general what you discuss during your show. How and when can those interested tune in to hear Lady Serenity speak? My show is an extended mission of Black Pearls United – for women and about women, but open to everyone for discussion. I try to be a horn that blows about the things, situations, triumphs and trials of women. I do a segment called “Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things.” It’s one of my brands. I showcase unsung shero’s. Not taking anything away from our men, but since I am a woman I am interested in “the all” of women. Women do so much, carry so much. So much goes unseen and unsaid about our caregivers and community helpers; though their effects are sometimes bountiful. I seek to bring to light those women making a difference in the lives of others. Telling stories we might never get to hear. Also, as an author I do my best to help promote other authors, so I do an author’s showcase. We need all the help we can get and it brings me pleasure whenever I can help someone else. I play ole school music to ‘put a mellow view to all that we do.’

My show airs on Mondays 4Pm EST unless I’m doing a special show and then that time and show is advertised. You can catch a live show or listen to the archives at: http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com/Lady-Serenity

12. Who are your favorite authors? OMG. Just to name a few, Eric Jerome Dickey, Mary Higgins Clark, Zane, Alice Walker, John Grisham, Pat G’Orge Walker, and the list could go on and on because now there are some new dynamic writers out. Too many to name.

14. How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website?
Yes, my cyber home address is: http://www.rachelberry.webs.com/
My e-mail address is: rachelwrites2@yahoo.com
Drop me a line anytime. Please check out my book trailers at: http://www.youTube.com/wordfairy4u Plus I’m on Facebook, My Space, and Twitter as Wordfairy.

15. What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? That I appreciate them, their time and honest feedback. Please continue to jump aboard my literary rides, because without readers, words say absolutely nothing.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Interview with Author & Publisher Caleb Alexander, June 2010 Featured Author, Tribute to Male Authors

Joins us as we chat with Caleb Alexander, author of Belly Of The Beast and one of Sexy Ebony Book Club's June 2010 Featured Authors. Please feel free to comment on the interview. And don't forget to visit the Sexy Ebony BBW African American Book Club website for a chance to win the Caleb Alexander Prize Packet. Contest ends July 3, 2010. Visit http://www.sexyebonybbwaabookclub.com for more information.

1) Tell us about yourself? I am an author, publisher, screenwriter, and ghostwriter. I’ve written some of the hottest books in Urban Lit, and been the force behind many peoples writing careers. I’ve ghost written several New York Times Best Sellers, I’ve launched publishing companies, and publishing imprints, and publishing lines. I’ve done so many things in this industry that I can‘t even begin to name them all. But besides all of that, first and foremost, I am a proud father of three. I have a 14 year old son, a 5 year old son, and a 3 year old daughter. My wife and I have been together for 18 years. I love motorcycles, I love coaching my kids in sports, and I love to read and write. I am a humble man, who has been extremely blessed.

2) How long have you been writing? What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? I’ve been writing since 1997-98 I want to say. Eastside was my first novel. It was set in the early nineties. I picked up the pen because I had friends involved in screenwriting, and so I decided to try my hand at writing. But I wanted to write a novel, not a script. I wanted to send a message. And Eastside did that. Eastside was like therapy for me. It allowed me to express my anger at what was going on in our communities, and it allowed me to tell the stories of the kids that we lost during that era. An entire generation was hulled out. Half went to prison, the other half to the cemetery. During that time period, I felt like a survivor. And that’s sad. I need to tell that story for those kids, for the parents and the children that they left behind, and for the generations after them.

3) This month we will be giving away a copy of Belly Of The Beast. Please tell us a little about your novel. Why should readers run out and buy a copy today? Readers should run out and buy a copy of Belly of the Beast because it’s unlike any other novel out there. There’s no drug dealing, or bling bling in the book. There are no dope dealer girlfriends looking for a come up. It doesn’t read like a mall registry plugging all the fancy stores, or a Christmas wish book plugging a bunch of fancy clothing and shoes. So, for readers who are tired of the same old hood stories with the ballers and name brand clothes, and the mansions, and the fancy cars, then this is the book for you. This book is real writing, without relying on fashion labels. This book sends a powerful message to our communities, to the brothers and sisters on lock, and it lets the readers know what’s really going on behind the fence, and what’s really going on in our society. It deals with real shit, like the prison industrial complex that’s eating up generations of our Black men. It deals with Black and Latino race relations. It is an extremely powerful book, and it has been receiving rave reviews from all of the people who have read it. Check out your favorite and most trusted reviewers, and see what they had to say about the book.

4) When will your next book be released? Tell us a little about your next book? You mentioned in your bio that your debut novel Eastside was picked to launch the Strebor On The Streetz Publication Line. Is there a story behind Strebor picking Eastside for the launch?

I’m shooting for this year for my next book. There is an excerpt for ‘When Lion’s Dance’ in the back of Belly of the Beast. It is real literary. It will take the readers on an incredible journey through the eyes of an African American woman, as we follow her life. The book opens with her burying her son at Arlington National Cemetery. It is a powerful book, and a moving social commentary on our history.

I am also working on another book, a crime drama, that I think readers will love. And then, I may also pick up a book that I have been working on for years, and complete that book this year. It is straight gangster, in the tradition of the Deadly Reigns series. As far as Strebor picking Eastside for the launching of Strebor on the Streetz, I believe it was a matter of people believing in Eastside. Eastside was a fantastic book, and instant Urban Lit classic. Here it is years later, and I’m still getting emails about Eastside. People are passing that book to sons and daughters, nephews and nieces, and to others they feel are in danger of falling prey to the type of lifestyles portrayed in Eastside. That’s a fantastic thing when people pull your book off of their book shelf as a reference, or to pass it along to a loved one who is in danger. That’s a powerful testimony to that book.

5) And now we move from Strebor On The Streetz to President and CEO of Golden Ink Publishing? Please tell us a little about Golden Ink Publishing and what the reading public can expect from Golden Ink. What will make Golden Ink stand out from the other independent publishers? Golden Ink Publishing was launched to fill a void in the publishing industry. I want to see excellent writing in the street lit genre, and I also want to expand the types of stories that are being told. So many times we see street lit stories being thrown out there, and the stories aren’t developed, the characters aren’t developed, the editing is horrible, and the covers are elementary. And sometimes, it’s that majors that are throwing this crap out there. Which tells me a lot about what they think of us as readers and consumers. We can do better. And not just in the street lit or urban lit genre, but across the board. I want to see better stories. I want to see stories that matter. I want to publish stories that are going to stand the test of time, and still be relevant 50 years from now. Quality, is going to make Golden Ink stand out from all the other publishing houses.

6) How can those interested in finding more information about and/or submitting their work to Golden Ink Publishing go to find more? They can go to the website. www.goldeninkpublishing.com

7) You are a busy man? How do you manage the many hats that you wear both in and out of your literary career? What is a typical day in the life of Caleb Alexander? Oh my God, I am busier than you know. My day starts off with e-mails, then usually phone calls. This is my work day that I’m speaking of. Because my actual day starts off with getting the kids off to school. Once that’s done, then comes the e-mails, and telephone calls. I usually try to get in some writing in the morning, and also a little Mafia Wars. LOL I’m a Mafia Wars addict. I’ve admitted that problem several times. After getting some work done, it’s lunch, and then time with my baby girl. I basically have school time and play time with her. We practice our ABC’s, counting, our colors, and we do some reading. After that, it’s back to work, with the after lunch/ late afternoon meetings and phone calls. It’s making sure books get sent out, it’s pulling in manuscripts and assigning them, it’s so many other things. Then it’s picking up kids. I usually catch some news after that, then it’s off to more meetings in the evening. I belong to several different organizations, one of which is putting on a literary festival in June, so I find myself working on that. If it’s football or basketball or track season, then I’m attending games or meets, or taking kids to practice, squeezing in a meeting, and then picking kids up. After dinner, it’s ghostwriting, and then getting the kids ready for bed. After they are sleep, then it’s wrapping up whatever I didn’t get to wrap up during the day, and then more ghostwriting. I don’t want to ghostwrite anything, anymore, because of the time constraints. My meetings are for ghostwriting, for scriptwriting, for various things concerning publishing, for the different organizations that I belong too, for my other businesses, and even parent teacher meetings. My day begins at 6 a.m. and ends about midnight, if I’m lucky.

8) What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your literary career? The biggest challenge was starting my own publishing company. Stepping out and doing it on my own. And It was really challenging because not only was I putting together a business, and taking care of all that that entails, but putting together a novel, and all that goes with that as well. It was two projects at the same time, in addition to my other business ventures, that was a really challenging time. All in all, it was definitely worth it though. Belly of the Beast turned out really well. And so, that has really given me the momentum to push forward with other projects under Golden Ink.

9) Where do you see yourself a year from now? A year from now, I’ll have perhaps one or two more books out, as well as the books from a few of the authors I’ve been working with at Golden Ink. I see myself managing the day to day operations at Golden Ink less, and being more involved in some other ventures. I definitely do not want to be ghostwriting. I know I’ll be involved in one or two television shows. Other than that, who knows? I’ll be cheering for my oldest son in his endeavors, coaching my youngest son in whatever he‘s doing, and generally, just being happy. I am at a very happy time in my life. I’m doing the things that I want to do. And so a year from now, I hope that I am still doing the things that I want to do.

10) Tell us about the online and offline personal appearances you have planned over the next couple of months. Where can readers connect with you up close and personal? The biggest thing that I have scheduled is the literary festival that my organization, Black Men United For Reading And Writing, is putting on at the George Washington Carver Library on Juneteenth. I’ll be on television, on a show called Great Day SA, plugging the event. I’ll be on several literary panels throughout the state during the summer months. I was planning on setting up a book tour for the summer, but my apologies to the readers who wanted the opportunity to chat with me in person, and get a signed copy of my books. I haven’t scheduled that tour yet, but I will soon. Things have been hectic. I also do a lot of outreach to young people in my community, as a member of several organizations. So, hopefully, summer will bring a respite in my schedule, and I can set things up. I do plan on going on a nice, long vacation this summer. Where, I have no idea yet. But it will be on a beach, I can tell you that. So the book tour will have to come after my vacation. Other than that, readers can reach me on Facebook. I love to hear from readers on Facebook, and I love to chat with reviewers and other authors, and book club members. So I hope that everyone feels free to contact me.

11) How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website? Readers can hit me up on Facebook. I don’t have a personal website, but I do have the Golden Ink Website. My email address is on the Golden Ink website.

12) What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? That I view our relationship as a covenant, and that I won’t turn out any trash. I also want them to know where my writing comes from. It comes from a love of them. I want to write stories that uplift, that warn, and that chronicle our time here. I am going to be true to them, in every sense of the word. I am going to keep it real, and tell real stories. I am going to tell stories that speak truth to power.

13) If you could tell one thing to every aspiring writer what would it be? It’s hard to limit myself to telling an aspiring writer only one thing! I talk way to much for that! But since those are the parameters, I would have to say practice, practice, practice. You can tell the most bullshit of stories, just tell it well. I and others may not agree with what you write, but make us respect how you write it. You can be corrupting minds, you can be the devil’s advocate, you can be whatever, just do it well. This is the craft that you have chosen, so master it. Fifty years from now, when someone picks up your book, they can say, “That dude was a real son of a bitch!” And that’s fine. As long as they follow that sentence with, “But he was the best at it.”

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Interview with Author Corey J Barnes, June 2010 Featured Author, Tribute To Male Authors

Joins us as we chat with Corey J Barnes, author of What Is This Love Thing All About and one of Sexy Ebony Book Club's June 2010 Featured Authors. Please feel free to comment on the interview. And don't forget to visit the Sexy Ebony BBW African American Book Club website for a chance to win the Corey J Barnes Prize Packet. Contest ends July 3, 2010. Visit http://www.sexyebonybbwaabookclub.com for more information.

1)Tell us about yourself? I am just an average enough guy. I am a father, a coach, a friend, an avid sports fan, and I love to read and love good music. I enjoy participating in things helping others, particularly children and believe you should teach people how you want to be treated.

2)How long have you been writing? What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? I have been writing for about 4 years now. I am a life long learned, so I write alot, but as it relates to writing books, it has always been a goal of mine to write a book, maybe two or three. With school and life, it just never seemed to be the right time, but a couple of years ago, I promised myself I would at least write a short story, which turned into a novel.

3)In your bio you tell readers that becoming an author and establishing CJ Publishing has fulfilled a lifelong dream. Now that your book is out there how does it feel? It almost feels surreal, like Christmas in the summertime. I still can't believe it. When people read my book and tell me that they like it, it makes me almost blush and embarrassed. I am so humbled by the entire process.

4)As a self-published author you are pretty much on your own everything from start to finish is in your hands and your responsibility. What have been some of the ups and downs of your self publishing experience? The biggest plus of being a self published author is you control the project from start to finish. You control the release date, the cover, everything. The down is that it is all on you, promotions and such. It is a cutthroat business and people that know are not always willing and wanting to share it with you.

5)This month we will be giving away a copy of your novel, What Is This Love Thing About Anyway. Please tell us a little about your novel. Why should readers buy a copy of your book today? Readers should purchase my novel so that they can get a change of pace from how most novels write about guys. In my novel, it is a mature look at how a man acts when he really likes a woman. It lets you know the chivalry is not dead and the art of the chase is still relevant in today's society. There are still good guys around who know how to handle their business.

6)Is there another book in the works? Do we have a tentative release date? Can we get a preview? Yes, I am working on the sequel as we speak. It is entitled Single For The Night. It is tentatively scheduled for Fall 2010.

7)What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer? The biggest challenge I have faced as a writer is finding time to just write. I am an public school administrator and also in grad school, so my time is stretched very thin. I find it hard to just have time to sit and write, that is my biggest challenge.

8)Where do you see yourself a year from now? In a year's time, I see myself with two novels out. I am hopeful to have broke through the door of this industry. I want to get my novel in the hands of the right people, as I think that once they get it, it will speak for itself.

9)What are you reading now? Who are your favorite authors? I am currently reading Sticks and Stones by Eric Pete. My favorite authors are Eric Jerome Dickey, Eric Pete, Dwayne Joseph, Omar Tyree, and Carl Weber. I also enjoy Mary Morrison. I will read just about anything though if it is interesting.

10) How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website? Yes, I do have a website and an email and would love to hear from you..My website is www.coreyjaye.com and my email address is coachbarnes3@yahoo.com

11)What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? One thing I would like for readers to know about me is that I am avid reader and I enjoy a good story. I am very laid back and down to earth and will respond back to any body who reaches out to me.

12) If you could tell one thing to every aspiring writer what would it be? For any aspiring author, make sure you don't lose sight of the reason why you write. I write for the love of it. I never began to do so looking to be a millionaire. I have a dream to one day sit on Oprah's couch because I have that much confidence in my writing, but if I don't, I am cool with that because that is not why I do this. You have to have love and passion, it will show up in your writing when you do and will be evident when you don't.

Interview with Author Jaree Francis, June 2010 Featured Author, Tribute To Male Authors

Joins us as we chat with Jaree Francis, author of Metra City: Destiny's Kiss and one of Sexy Ebony Book Club's June 2010 Featured Authors. Please feel free to comment on the interview. And don't forget to visit the Sexy Ebony BBW African American Book Club website for a chance to win the Jaree Francis Prize Packet. Contest ends July 3, 2010. Visit http://www.sexyebonybbwaabookclub.com/ for more information.

1. Tell us about yourself? I am Jaree Francis, a father, a son, a writer, as well as a reader.

2. How long have you been writing? What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? I've been writing since grade school. Writing comes rather naturally to me. I used to have scripts in my head for my Transformer and G.I. Joe toys! So when I took to the pen, it was a simple process.

3. In what genre(s) do you typically write? Urban fiction. This is my primary genre. Within this arena, I pull other genres into it. This acts as a preservative at times, keeping my material rather fresh.

4. This month we will be giving away a copy of your novel Metra city: Destiny's Kiss. Please tell us a little about the novel. Why should readers buy a copy of your book today? Metra City: Destiny's Kiss is my first entry into the publishing world. People are saying that my work is fresh, masculine, and rather unpredictable. I introduce readers to an atheist by the name of Nimrod, a culture that outlaws profanity, and much more.

5. What is next for Jaree Francis? When will your next book be released? I released 'Drama, My Favorite Nephew' in May, exclusively through Kindle, for .99 cents. It's a novella which brings forth-- well, just check it out. It's on Amazon. Now what's next is my full length novel, 'There's No Tomorrow.' It's erotic, it's suspenseful, it's just what the doctor ordered. Check http://metracity.wordpress.com/ for info on that particular release.

6. What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer? Surely not writing...It would be promoting. People are very hesitant to pay attention to a new author.

7. What are you reading now? Who are your favorite authors? I'm reading 'Water Flows Under Doors.' A couple of my favorite authors are Paulo Coelho and Donald Goines.

9. What is a typical day for you like when you are on a writing deadline?
What's a deadline? ;)

10. How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website?
mcexclusive3@yahoo.com + http://mcx2011.blogspot.com/

11. What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you?
I appreciate any and all support =)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Interview with Author Maxine Thompson, May 2010 Featured Author

Joins us as we chat with Maxine thompson, author of Hostage of Lies and one of Sexy Ebony Book Club's May 2010 Featured Authors. Please feel free to comment on the interview. And don't forget to visit the Sexy Ebony BBW African American Book Club website for a chance to win a the Maxine Thompson Pamper Yourself Prize Packet. Contest ends June 5, 2010.

1) Tell us about yourself? My name is Dr. Maxine Thompson. I’m a wife and caregiver for my husband. I’m the mother of four adult children, and twelve grandchildren with one new grandbaby due in September 2010. Since my oldest sister’s death two years ago, I’m the oldest living female in my family of origin, which makes me somewhat of the matriarch.

From 1974, I worked as a social worker in Detroit for seven years, then from 1981, I did social work in Los Angeles for sixteen years. I’ve been working on line as a literary entrepreneur since 1999, but I self-published my first novels in 1995 and 1997. It was very difficult to get your books out back then. Being a literary entrepreneur is a second career for me.

2) How long have you been writing? What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? The first time I wrote a story I was eight years old. It was after a movie went off and I wanted the story to go on and on. Later, my friends used to act out my stories as well.
Unfortunately, no one told you back in the 1950s that, as a little black girl, you could make a living telling stories.

Another reason I’m a writer is I’ve always been an avid reader. Unfortunately, I only found one black book in the library as a child. Looking back, I’ve always been an activist. In the twelfth grade, I organized a walk-out which resulted in us getting a Black history teacher. We also wound up with a Black Literature section in our English class, using the anthology, Black Voices and The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

3) This month we will be spotlighting your book Hostage of Lies? Tell us a little about this book. Why should readers go out today and purchase a copy of Hostage of Lies? Actually, Hostage of Lies started out as a self-published book in 1997. It never really got any attention after I stopped promoting in 2001, due to growing my editorial business and Radio shows. Since Hostage of Lies has been re-issued by Urban Books/Kensington, it has been voted a Best Book of 2009 by EDC Creations and picked up by two book clubs, Book Span and Black Expressions.

Hostage of Lies is a tale of family secrets and lies, which extend back to slavery in one fictional family. The story is symbolic of how many African Americans really don’t know a lot about their family history, particularly given our slave past and our abduction from Africa, the Motherland.

4) As one book drops another is always on the horizon. When will your next book be released? Can we get a bit of a preview of the next bestseller by Maxine Thompson? My next book is LA Blues, an urban crime thriller, which I’m excited about. I’ve content edited a number of street fiction titles for Triple Crown, as well as the Dirty Red series for Vickie Stringer, so I admit, I love crime books. I want to write a series that makes you think of The Wire, showing a cross section of society.

LA Blues was due out in August 2010, but I’m not sure now. At any rate, LA Blues is a story about a female private investigator, Zipporah (known as Z) Saldano, who was a former foster child, then an LAPD officer before she got fired due to an alcohol problem. I’m loving her journey as she faces past demons. She falls in love with character, Detective Romero Hernandez.

5)Dr. Maxine Thompson is a very busy women in the literary world. Between providing various literary services including editing, ghost writing, and work as a literary agent. You also have your own internet radio show where you have showcased some of the best the literary world has to offer readers. Please tell us just a little about your various literary endeavors. How can writers interested in your services and/or your show contact you for more information? I’m a content/story development editor. I’ve edited books that have made New York Times bestseller’s list and others or won awards. Editing is a learned skill. In my case, it also comes from living and working with people from so many walks of life when I was a social worker.
I am also a literary agent for sixty book deals. I just brokered a book deal for Rosalyn McMillan with Urban Books so I’m excited. An interested writer can call me at 323-242-9917 or email me at maxtho@aol.com.

6) You are a very busy woman. Between writing and the other services you provide how do you find time for self? How do you manage the various roles you juggle and still find time to just be Maxine Thompson? I’m a person who believes in downtime to sharpen your axe. One day a week, I try to rest and I don’t do anything. I try to take a power nap every day. In fact, I didn’t work at all in March 2010. I just sat still, prayed, meditated. I was burnt out. The cure for me has always been stepping away.

I’m a former working mother, a role which prepared me to multi-task, but I’m also at an age where I know when I’ve had enough. I learned as a mother, you can have it all, but not all at the same time. I tend to focus on one thing at a time. While I built my literary agency and radio show, I only wrote nonfiction articles/books. Now, I’m happy to be back to writing fiction again.

I’ve had the empty nest for eleven years so that’s how I was able to travel to China, go to conferences around the states, go on literary cruises, etc., as I built my business. However, two years ago, after my husband was diagnosed with Huntington ’s chorea and dementia (among other ailments) and I had major thyroid surgery, things changed. I haven’t been able to get out as much. After voice therapy, acupuncture, my continued ten years of massage therapy, walking, etc., I’m much better.:)

Recently, I hired a caregiver, and enrolled my husband in an Adult Day Center, so some of my time is more freed up. I plan to start back traveling. I have a cruise to the Bahamas scheduled for this summer. I also have a housekeeper once every month or so.

Women with small children don’t realize until their children are grown how free they will become. But with people living longer now, more and more, people are either going to become a caregiver or need a caregiver, so such is the life cycle.

7) What is a typical day for you like when you are on a writing deadline? I unplug the phone. I get up and work on my novel, and try to write at least 2 to 3 thousand words a day.

8)What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer? Sadly, I grew up never seeing images of Blacks in books or on TV. As a result, we had a game called, “Playing White,” since it looked like whites had all the privilege.

For this reason, my goal as a literary entrepreneur is to help the upcoming generations of black girls and boys not to have to idealize another race and to be proud of who they are. This happens a lot when they see books with people who look like them in the books.

Also, just trying to break into the industry back in the 90s, which is why I self-published. It has not been easy getting book deals as a literary agent either, but I do believe in the power of persistence.

9) Where do you see yourself a year from now? I’m getting back to an original goal of publishing authors using POD and ebooks. I have my first two books getting ready to launch in about 2 to 3 months. One is: The Woman Behind the Badge by Joanne Neely, which is about one of the first African American Federal Marshals in D.C. The other is: The Miraculous Power of Massage by Van Womack.

As a literary agent, I plan to see some of the writers I represent hit the New York Times Bestseller’s list so that their books can go mainstream. I also would like to see some of my books, as well as some of the authors I represent, go from book to film. I’m pitching books to producers to this end.

I’ve also started back reviewing books, which has brought back the joy of reading for me. When you work in this business, sometimes you lose your original joy and what brought you here in the first place. That’s my goal. To stay joyful while I’m doing what I love.

10) What are you reading now? Who are your favorite authors? I’m currently reading Tom Knox’s novel, The Marks of Cain, Michelle McGriff’s novel, Blood Relations (I’m also her agent for 15 book deals), She Who Finds a Husband by E. N. Joy, and Black Water Rising by Attica Locke. I just finished both Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s Wench and Carleen Brice’s novel (also liked the lifetime movie,) Orange Mint and Honey, which I enjoyed.

I used to always say Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Gloria Naylor were my favorite African American writers, because I only had white writers to read, many of them male.

But now I’m proud to name all these younger writers I love to read. Carl Weber. (Big Girls Do Cry, et. al.). Vickie Stringer (Dirty Red series). Of course, I love the works of the writers I act as a literary agent for: Michelle McGriff (author of 25 books), Shelia Goss (latest Hollywood Deception, et.al.), Charlene Green (And They’ll Come Home, et.al.) Suzetta Perkins, (Nothing Stays the Same, et.al), Roslyn Wyche-Hamilton (Finding Joy in Pain series), D.Y. Phillips, (Love Trumps Game), Leola Charles, (Hussey Place, et. al.), Monica Carter, (Scandalous Truth, et. al.)

11) Tell us about the online and offline personal appearances you have planned over the next couple of months. Where can readers connect with you up close and personal. On 4-24-10 and 4-25-10, I will be at the Los Angeles Times Book Festival at UCLA in Los Angeles, CA. I plan to go to the Urban Book Knowledge stores sometimes in the fall to do an East coast tour.

12) How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website? Readers can email me at maxtho@aol.com. I have two websites, http://www.maxinethompson.com/ and http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com/. They can also reach me on http://www.twitter/safari61751, facebook/Maxine-Thompson, http://myspace.com/maxinethompson.com.

13) What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? I want readers to know that I feel I have a message and I’m on a mission. When I left my job in October 1997, I only intended to write my books. I never planned to become an editor, or a literary agent, or an Internet radio show host. I can only say that when God has a plan for you, He will open up doors, and have you be able to do things with His help, that you cannot do of your own power. Now that time has passed, I realize everything good or bad I went through in life was to prepare me for this moment. As the Bible says, “It was for such a time as this.”

14) If you could tell one thing to every aspiring writer what would it be? We are seeing our first African American literary entrepreneurs starting companies, building an infrastructure, so I am pleased. The literary world has changed a lot, and now there are no reasons to let gatekeepers keep you out the industry. Self-publish your story, but get it professionally edited and formatted.

Interview with Author Wanda D Hudson, May 2010 Featured Author

Joins us as we chat with Wanda D Hudson, author of Wait For Love: A Black Girl's Story and one of Sexy Ebony Book Club's May 2010 Featured Authors. Please feel free to comment on the interview. And don't forget to visit the Sexy Ebony BBW African American Book Club website for a chance to win a the Wanda D Huddon Pamper Yourself Prize Packet. Contest ends June 5, 2010.

1)Tell us about yourself? I’m Wanda D. Hudson – The SEXY One, and I am the author of Wait for Love: A Black Girl’s Story, which is a novel of Women’s Fiction, and the author of LuvMe, a collection of romantic / erotic stories. I also have two short stories published in two different Zane anthologies – Succulent, Chocolate Flava ll, and Purple Panties – An Eroticanoir.com Anthology. I’m the host of Wanda’s Way, a BlogTalkRadio show that airs every Sunday at 12 NOON EST. I’m ASA (also SEXY as) Miss WandaLuv. I’ve performed stand-up comedy in various clubs in New York City as well.

2)How long have you been writing? I decided to write professionally in 2000. What drove you to pick up the pen for the first time? I wrote my first short story when I was 14 after reading a book that had a flat ending. I thought I could write better than that and I let my imagination take over.

3)The road of the self-published author can be a rough one. What made you decide to self-publish? My decision to Self – Publish grew from the desire to control my destiny. I was Subsidy – Published and paid thirteen dollars for my own book. It was very difficult to break even let alone find a reader who would pay more for a book from a new author and a paperback. What are the ups and the downs of being a self-published author? For me the ups are deciding everything from start to finish with my work. I absolutely love it! The downs are that there are so many bad Self – Published books out there that the stigma falls on everyone. Just because you like to write doesn’t necessarily translate to you becoming a writer, let alone author.

4)This month we will be giving away a copy of Wait for Love: A Black Girl’s Story. Tell us a little about Wait for Love: A Black Girl’s Story. Why should readers go out and buy a copy of your book today? Wait for Love: A Black Girl’s Story is every woman’s story. It’s the story of a desperate need and the choices we make to fulfill that need. Desperation, desire and loneliness equal disaster when you don’t respect yourself. Readers should purchase Wait for Love: A Black Girl’s Story because it is very relatable. Women and men for that matter will see themselves and see people they know within the pages. Reading it will make you look at your life, and make you think a few times before you judge the actions of other’s.

5) Is there another novel in the works for the near future? The next novel that will be released from Miss Luv’s Books is titled A Sheltered Life. Can we get a preview? There is an excerpt posted on my website – http://www.wandadhudson.com/ Is there a tentative release date for your next novel? I don’t have a particular date, but it will be the fall of 2010.

6) Tell us a little about Wanda's Way, your Internet radio show. Wanda’s Way is a forum to promote anyone who is bringing their passion to fruition. I interview authors, singers, anyone with something to say, and have various topics. Some of the Wanda’s Way Shows are simply music and me. Why did you decide to take WandaLuv on the air? My love of radio, running my mouth and my prior stand-up comedy life just can’t be contained! I’m currently in school to take it a step further and become a professional radio personality. What are the ups and downs of being an internet radio host? Wow, I can honestly say that everything about internet radio has been positive for me. Sometimes guests don’t call in or there are computer issues, but I love it.

7) What are you reading now? Since I’ve been in school I haven’t had much time to read anything but radio related material. What types of books (genres) do you read in general? I love Women’s Fiction, good Erotica and sometimes Mystery.

8)Who are your favorite authors? Wanda D. Hudson, Tayari Jones, Keshia Dawn.

9)What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer? The writing is the easy part – it’s the promoting that’s difficult. There are so many writers out there that you have to constantly find ways to build your reader base.

10) Where do you see yourself a year from now? In one year I will have three books in circulation; I will be a professional radio personality, and possibly working on another collection of romantic / erotic shorts. I will definitely have my third novel underway; the title just eludes me at the moment.

11) Tell us about the online and offline personal appearances you have planned over the next couple of months. I am in the process of scheduling book signings, but I can found online via facebook – http://www.facebook.com/wandadhudson, Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/wandaluv and http://www.wandadhudson.com/ Where can readers connect with you up close and personal? Most likely I will have signings in NYC, so if you smell hot chocolate…

12)How can readers get in contact with you? I can be reached via email at missluvsbooks@wandadhudson.com Do you have a website? http://www.wandadhudson.com/

13) What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? That I love who I am and what I do. I have an honest heart – I want readers to receive a little bit of my luv through my book pages and grow from it. And that I’m left-handed…

14) If you could tell one thing to every aspiring writer what would it be? Write what you know and cultivate your own personal style. God gave you your you; don’t try to borrow from someone else.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Interview with Author E. N. Joy (formerly Joylynn M. Jossel), March 2010 Featured Author

Joins us as we chat with E. N. Joy, author of She Who Finds A Husband and one of Sexy Ebony Book Club's March 2010 Featured Authors. Please feel free to comment on the interview. And don't forget to visit the Sexy Ebony BBW African American Book Club website for a chance to win a copy of E. N. Joy's book. Contest ends April 3, 2010.

Sexy Ebony Featured Author Presentation

1) Tell us about yourself? I’m a former Essence Magazine bestselling secular writer who wrote under the names Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY. I am now a bonafide Christian Fiction and children’s book author. I’m blessed to be an employee of Urban Books as both an author and the acquisition editor for their Urban Christian imprint.

2) How long have you been writing? What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? I have been writing since the days of elementary school journals and rainy day writings. I started out just writing poems, then short stories. My first self-published book, Please Tell Me If the Grass Is Greener, was a mixture of poetry and short stories. Well, actually it’s poetic short stories; short stories told in a rhythmic flow. Kind of like a Dr. Seuss book for Grown-ups. I love La La Land. Growing up, my escape from reality was the La La Land I invented with the pen and paper. So, I guess that is truly what drove me to pick up the pen for the first time. It was an escape. Some people use drugs, some people use alcohol, some people use sex while other people use guns. I used a pen.

3) What genre(s) do you typically write in? I only write Christian fiction and children’s books. I have a three book young adult series I’m working on titled The Soul Sisters, but no more street lit, chick lit or erotic writings for me. If it’s not something I can hand over to Jesus to read without cringing, then I’m not writing it.

4) How did you get your first publishing deal? Like I mentioned before, I self-published my first book. I also self-published my second book as well, which is a book of poetry titled World On My Shoulders. Eventually I grew out of my fear of thinking I was too short winded to write a full-length novel and I wrote and self-published my first novel, The Root of All Evil. I wrote that manuscript with the intentions of eventually selling it to a major publishing house. So, while it was in manuscript form I sent it off (un-agented) to a major publisher for publication consideration. But in the meantime I sent the manuscript off to a printer. I received a rejection letter from the publisher before the books even came off the printer. But that didn’t stop me. I simply sold copies from my trunk in hopes of creating a buzz. Well, the buzz was created. I got an agent and the agent submitted the manuscript to a major publishing house that did end up giving me a three book deal. Ironically, the same publishing house who sent me my very first rejection letter was the same major publisher who ended up giving my very first book deal. The Root of All Evil was re-released under the contract. But while it was going through the editing process, I wrote a book titled Dollar Bill for Triple Crown Publications.

5)Me, Myself and Him was your debut Christian Fiction novel written under the pen name E.N. Joy. But you previously wrote as Joylynn Jossel. What prompted the change? Has Joylynn retired for good? Are Joylynn Jossel books available to anyone looking for some of your other work? When I dedicated my life to Christ, a great deal of things changed in my life. I couldn’t do some of the things I used to do. I couldn’t say some of the things I used to say and I couldn’t go some of the places I used to go. Well, I soon found that I couldn’t write some of the things I used to write. That’s what prompted the change. Joylynn M. Jossel the author is retired for good. Are the Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY books still available? Yes, they are. They can still be found and ordered in bookstores and are on pretty much every online bookstore.

6)The E.N. Joy Prize Packet will include a copy of She Who Finds A Husband. Please tell us a little about this novel. Why should readers pick up a copy of your book? She Who Finds A Husband is book one of a five book series titled “The New Day Divas.” I like to refer to it as a soap opera in print. It’s character driven, plot driven, emotionally driven. If there were to ever be Christian soap operas, this would be the number one most watched. It touches upon every subject matter imaginable, even those thought to be taboo in the black community. I just can’t imagine a person reading this book and putting it down without being able to find themselves somewhere within the pages. People are going to be talking about this series. Readers don’t want to sleep on book one, She Who Finds A Husband, and get left behind and have to play catch up. If readers want to be able to join in on the conversations at the beauty shop and the water cooler, then they better pick up the book now.

7) Under the pen name N. Joy you wrote the children’s book The Secret Olivia Told Me which, received a Coretta Scott King Honors Award from the American Library Association in 2008. Tell us about The Secret Olivia Told Me. Why did you decide to venture into the world of children's books? Is there another children's book in the works? The book is a little life lesson for both little people and big people. It’s about secrets and what can happen when a secret is told. I wrote The Secret Olivia Told Me over fifteen years ago. My son, who was around seven years old back then, was my sounding board. He enjoyed the writing process just as much as I did. As a treat to him, on his birthday his teachers would allow me to read it to the class before we had birthday cake. The children would always fall in love with the book and have so many questions about it. But back then it was just something personal that I enjoyed doing for my son. I never imagined children all over the world would one day be so blessed by it. Needless to say, my son and I worked on several other books that I hope to one day pull out of the time capsule and have published as well.

8) The Sinners anthology series edited by E.N. Joy includes stories by some of today's top Urban writers. How did you become involved in this project? When will the third book in the series be released? As a former Urban writer, we used to get a lot of slack as far as the art of literature. Because of the type of genre that we chose to pen, we were stigmatized and rumored unable to create literature without glorifying a trigger happy, drug dealing thug, or a burgundy micro braid wearing, gum poppin’, promiscuous gold digger, or a television stealing crack head (in addition to at least two curse words per paragraph). I know that writing (great writing) is a God given talent. I wanted to prove the nay-sayers wrong by providing these authors a platform to do just that. These authors brought out their A game and penned stories that didn’t include explicit language or graphic sex scenes, while at the same time giving honor to the one who gave them their gift in the first place. The third and final book of the series, Even Sinners STILL Have Souls, is slated for November 2010 while both Even Sinners Have Souls and Even Sinners Have Souls TOO are available now.

9) How long do we have to wait for the next E.N. Joy novel to hit bookstores? Can we get a preview? The next E. N. Joy novel is book two of “The New Day Divas” series. It’s titled Been There, Prayed That and will be released June 2010. In book two, Mother Doreen has left New Day Temple of Faith in Malvonia, Ohio and moved to Kentucky to help her diabetic sister. Her sister’s husband, a truck driver, pretty much lives on the road. Mother Doreen feels in her spirit that she’s needed to intervene on her sister’s behalf, especially when the assistant pastor of her sister’s church seems to be there just a little bit too much. Her suspicions really grow when her sister’s belly does too. Is it Mother Doreen’s spirit of discernment warning her that things in her sister’s home and church aren’t what they seem, or is Mother Doreen just a busybody church mother sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong? Back in Malvonia, Tamarra and Maeyl’s relationship is moving along nicely. She even has a feeling that the man she knows God placed in her life is going to propose to her. But suspicions arise when someone from Maeyl’s past shows up at New Day Temple of Faith, unexpected and unwelcome. Will their relationship be able to withstand the strain?

10) What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer? Now, as a Christian Fiction author, my biggest challenge is pleasing both the readers and God. I’m not just doing writing anymore, I’m doing ministry. So whatever I do has to please God while at the same time send His message to His people and, of course, entertain them and keep them engaged. And boy, oh boy, have I learned that the life of Christian folk and church folk is beyond engaging and entertaining.

11) Where do you see yourself a year from now? A year from now, and I’m speaking prophetically, I see myself on the New York Times Bestsellers List. That’s around the time the fourth installment of the series will be released. By the fourth and fifth installment, folks are going to be camping out waiting on their release. I’m thinking, dreaming and believing big. I want to be the best at what I’m doing. If ever anyone does anything without truly wanting to be the best at it, then they should reconsider why they’re doing it in the first place.

12) What are you reading now? Who are your favorite authors? Well, write now I’m reading Silver Lining by Urban Christian author, Wanda B. Campbell. Of course, as editor of the imprint, when I’m not writing my own novels, I’m reading my authors’. I don’t get much time to read outside of my Urban Christian authors’ works. But the last book I did read that was outside of the imprint was titled The Power of A Praying Wife.

13) Tell us about the online and offline personal appearances you have planned over the next couple of months. Where can readers connect with you up close and personal? I plan to attend the Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention April 28-May 2, 2010. I will also be at the National Black Book Festival in Houston, Texas. I’ll be on the Publisher’s Panel at the Literary Breakthrough Conference portion of the event being held on Friday, May 21, 2010. I’ll also be at the Faith and Fiction Retreat being held in Atlanta, GA June 18-21, 2010. In addition to those personal appearance, I have plenty of online and Internet radio interviews with http://www.sormag.com/, http://www.artistfirst.com/, Black Author Network Radio with Ella Curry and much more. So I’d love for readers to Google me to learn more about me and my literary plight.
14) How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website? I would love for readers to visit either my http://www.enjoywrites.com/ or my http://www.joylynnjossel.com/ websites. I can be reached out to via email at enjoywrites@aol.com.

15) What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? That I live breathe, eat and sleep (well, not much sleep) this literary thing. It’s real. It’s not a hobby. It’s not something I do on the side. It’s my life. I take it serious. It’s my craft, my career, my first love and now it’s my ministry. With that being said, readers need to know that when I put something out for them, I’m truly giving them my all. And if I fall short of their expectations, I’ll do everything I can to try to do a better job next time in order to earn and keep their readership.

About E. N. Joy: E.N. Joy is the author of Me, Myself and Him, which was her debut work into the Christian Fiction genre. Formerly an Essence Magazine Bestselling secular author writing under the names Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY, when she decided to fully dedicate her life to Christ, that meant she had to fully dedicate her work as well. She made a conscious decision that whatever she penned from that point on had to glorify God and His kingdom.

E. N. Joy currently resides in Reynoldsburg, Ohio where she is currently working on her New Day Divas series. She’s also working on the final anthology in the “Sinners Series” titled Even Sinners Still Have Souls.

Interview with Author Jacqueline D Moore, March 2010 Featured Author

Joins us as we chat with Jacqueline D Moore, author of Serving Justice and one of Sexy Ebony Book Club's March 2010 Featured Authors. Please feel free to comment on the interview. And don't forget to visit the Sexy Ebony BBW African American Book Club website for a chance to win a copy of Jacqueline's book. Contest ends April 3, 2010.

Sexy Ebony Featured Author Presentation

1) Tell us about yourself? My name is Jackie Moore and I am a 51 year Christian author from Detroit . I'm a single mother of two boys and I have been writing for more than ten years. Christian Fiction and Romance are my first loves. Over the years, I have completed and published other Christian-related articles, stories, and novellas.

2) How long have you been writing? What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? I have been writing for more than ten years. Christian Fiction and Romance are my first loves. Over the years, I have completed and published other Christian-related articles, stories, and novellas. I have always loved the written word. I started journaling as a child and my love for writing just grew from there.

3) This month we are giving away a copy of your book Serving Justice. Tell us a little about the book and why readers should go out get a copy today. What happens when a prominent and successful Chicago Judge falls in love with her driver? Angela Jenkins decided as a child that she would become a lawyer. Fighting injustices perpetrated against those who could not or would not fight for themselves ran like passion through her veins. Growing up, Angela was taught that putting God first in her life, respecting the rights and choices of others, and working hard, were the most important things a person should strive for. While in pursuit of her law degree, Angela meets Rhonda, Theresa, and Darlene who are there reaching for the same goals. Over the next two decades, an unbreakable bond forms and friends become sisters.

Angela finds the more successful she becomes, the more she begins to lose her connection with God and starts conforming more to the world, than to the word of God. When love enters her heart, she must decide if having a relationship is more important than what others, including her friends, have to say. Angela is forced to look at what’s important in her life and has to choose between allowing others to shape who she is or conforming to what God wants her to be.

My book is a love story that just happens to have several Christian messages. People can relate to the characters because I don’t color them holier then thou. I write from the heart and from the emotional frame of mind of the characters and I relate my stories to real live situations.

4) Your literary career is extensive. Out side of your published novels you have contributed to a number on anthologies, magazines and ezines. Please let our readers know where we can find work by Jacqueline Moore. My books are available online at http://www.amazon.com http://barnesandnoble.com http://www.borders.com and at your local Borders, Barnes & Nobles and Waldenbooks.

You can find me online at Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogger.com under my online id, Mamajacq, and on my website http://www.jacquelined.moore.com/ and http://www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com/. I can also be reached via email at jackiemoore@virtuousliving.com and at mamajacq618@yahoo.com.

5) Outside of your literary work your activities are extensive. To name a few your are a Deaconess, you've been a parent Advocate with the Detroit School Board, your very active in the Detroit Literary Community, and an active public speaker. How do you manage the many hats that you wear in your life? When do you find time for self. My activities have varied according to whatever need I have to fulfill at any given time. Everything that I do in an extension of me, be it public speaking, teaching a seminar, or writing. Periodically, I do have to step back and take time off from my activities so that I can rejuvenate myself and get back into things. My needs are simple and I actually find helping and giving to others is what I do. Reading is one of the many useful tools that I use to relax and re-center myself. However, there have been times when I found it necessary to say no or not now to a project to as to prevent burning myself out.

6) What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer? Being able to put into words the things I visual in my mind. In order for any story to be compelling, you have to be able to convey that story in such a way that as the reader reads your words, pictures and scenes come to life in their minds and they are able to see your vision. To the reader it's transparent but for the author, sometimes it can be a challenge.

7) Where do you see yourself a year from now? Personally, I hope to be on Oprah talking about my New York Times best selling books being made into movies. In the interim, I will just keep doing what I am doing and that is writing my books and devotionals and spreading a little inspiration along the way.

In 2010 I want to do more touring and speaking engagements. I want to be an example to all but especially to our young women that they can accomplish anything that they set their minds to. I would love to add a second award to my first with my next novel “Caught in the Middle” which promises to be a real page-turner.

8) What are you reading now? Who are your favorite authors? I just ordered the "Sunday Morning Wife" by Pamela Rice who is another author from Peace in the Storm Publishing and I have "The Wight of Silence" by Heather Gudenkauf sitting on my dresser waiting for me.

Some of my favorites are Kendra Norman-Bellamy, Lorraine Elzia, and Vincent Alexandria. However, I just love books and a good read versus a particular author or genre is what I look for when looking for books.

9) Tell us about the online and offline personal appearances you have planned over the next couple of months. Where can readers connect with you up close and personal. On On Saturday March 13, 2010 at 10am I will be on Blogtalk Radio with Herbie Felton; Thursday March 25, 2010 I will be speaking at the Birch Run Public Library at 6pm; On Saturday March 27, 2010 I will be presenting at the "Year of the Annointed Pen Seminar located at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, MI; on May 1, 2010 I will be participating at the Dayton Ohio Book Expo, in Dayton, OH; On Saturday May 22, 2010 at 8pm I will be on Blogtalk Radio with Adrianna Turner. and in July I will be attending A Soulful Summer Soiree with Peace in the Storm Publishing - An Exclusive All-White Affair, in New Jersey.

10) How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website? You can find me online at Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogger.com and on my website http://www.jacquelined.moore.com and http://www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com. I can also be reached via email at jackiemoore@virtuousliving.com and at mamajacq618@yahoo.com.

11) What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? Writing devotionals will always be my passion. One of my favorite devotionals was titled “Failure is not an Option.” I want to share a portion of it with your readers:



So often we find ourselves on the verge of our breakthroughs and we will actually undermine our own efforts for fear of doing or saying the wrong things. We will talk ourselves out of our blessings out of fear and because we lack the faith to see these things through. As I write these words, I am reminded of just how often God has promised us His blessings if we just believe and have faith. His word tells us that we have not because we ask not. I am also reminded that He has not given us a spirit of fear and that all He asks of us is to have mustard seed faith.

In knowing the word of God, all I can say is; Failure is not an option.

About Jacqueline D. Moore: Jacqueline Moore is a Christian author who offers spiritual words of encouragement daily on her website at http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com . She has contributed to several anthologies and is the 2009 African American Literary Show romance author of the year for her first novel, “Serving Justice” under the Peace in the Storm imprint.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Inteview with Author Debra Clayton, February 2010 Featured Author

Joins us as we chat with Debra Clayton, author of Joy and Paine and one of Sexy Ebony Book Club's February 2010 Featured Authors. Please feel free to comment on the interview. And don't forget to visit the Sexy Ebony BBW African American Book Club website for a chance to win a copy of Debra's book. Contest ends March 6, 2010. http://www.sexyebonybbwaabookclub.com/author.htm

1.Tell us about yourself? I am the mother of five. Three I gave birth to and the other two I inherited during my second marriage. I am a computer programmer by day and an author by night, but I’m constantly writing in my head. I love reality TV even though it’s bad for me. It’s one of my few guilty pleasures. I love working out. Yoga at six in the morning and weightlifting and cardio in the evening after work. Some say I’m a fanatic but I firmly believe in staying strong, healthy and flexible. And as much as I love fitness, I’m just as passionate about writing. I think I have Adult ADD because my mind is always wandering. I find it amazing that I’ve managed to sit down long enough to write one novel, much less four.

2.How long have you been writing? I started writing when I was about 13.

3.What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? I started reading for pleasure when I was about eleven or twelve. Sometimes when I would get to the end of the book, I was like ‘I could have written a better ending than that’. It was then that I decided to start writing my own stories. Of course they were horribly written and very amateurish but I enjoyed weaving stories that ended the way I wanted them to end.


4.This month we will be giving away a copy of your book Joy and Paine. Please tell us a little about the book? Joy and Paine is a modern day romance with a tad of suspense sprinkled throughout. Joy, the female lead, is a hip-hop dancer with a questionable past. Paine, who is ten years her senior, is a straight lace Systems Analyst who is looking for a wife. When Paine meets Joy, he falls for her immediately despite his family’s objections. It isn’t until she goes on tour as a backup dancer for hip-hop recording artist, Avery Huston, that Paine begins to question Joy’s ability to be faithful.

5.What are your other published titles and where can interested readers purchase copies of your books. Rap Star, Triple Platinum, and Ex-Appeal. Rap Star and Triple Platinum were previously released by Urban Books as Rap Superstar and Fallen Star respectively. I wrote Ex-Appeal under the pen name of Jordan Michaels. The books are available on Amazon.com.

6.Tell us a little about your journey through the world of publishing. You have experienced both self-publishing and publishing with one of the major houses what are the ups and downs of both sides of the fence. If you had to do it all again what would you do differently? My journey through the publishing world has been very bumpy to say the least. I initially self-published my first book, Rap Superstar, because traditional publishers didn’t deem it worthy of being published. About six months later, Urban Books picked it up and republished it along with my second title ‘Fallen Star’ with an option for a third title. However, my publisher and I had a few issues and I decided to walk away from the deal. I decided to return to self-publishing. This way, I would get paid for my work. The up side of self-publishing is that you have the control. You know how many books you’ve sold, and how much you should be pulling in. Unlike traditional publishing where you have to trust your publisher to be on the up and up about book sales and royalties and those sorts of things. The down side of self-publishing is that you have to do everything, I mean everything from marketing, distributing, publicity, inventory, invoicing, shipping, etc. With traditional publishers, you write the book and then go to the book signings and so forth, but all of the invoicing, shipping, billing etc, is left to them. Traditional publisher also have better distribution. Another down side with self-publishing is that you have to come up with the money to make all this come together.

7.You self-published your latest book with GenNext Publishing, the company you established in 2006. Tell us a little about GenNext Publishing and any plans you may have to publish books other than your own. GenNext Publishing was created after my deal with Urban Books went south. It’s a very small company and right now, I only publish my own titles. I do however have plans of publishing other authors’ work. But I’m still too green and I’m still trying to figure this whole publishing thing out. Once I establish wider distribution and get a better handle on how all this stuff works, I’ll be willing help other writers see their dreams come to fruition.


8.What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer? I’m an extremely introverted person. It’s difficult for me to get out and meet people and that’s what writers have to do to sell books. I’m not very aggressive so you won’t see me shoving my books into people’s hands like some other authors do. I wish I could but I can’t. I’ve sat at book events and watched other authors hustling, making that sale while I pretty much wait for the reader to approach me and ask about my books. That’s the difference between me selling ten books at an event and another author selling fifty.

9.Where do you see yourself a year from now? Hard to say. I hope to be completing my first piece of non-fiction, which is a health and fitness book for women over forty. I also hope to focus more on distribution as far as getting my titles into more stores and libraries. Marketing and distribution can make or break a publishing company/author.

10.What are you reading now? Who are your favorite authors? Currently I’m working on my fifth novel ‘Pretty Lies’, a romantic suspense, so I’m not reading anyone at the moment. My favorite authors however, are Sandra Brown and Lisa Jackson. I love their writing style and how their prose appeals to my senses. They also have the unique and much coveted ability to breathe life into their characters giving their readers the ability to develop a relationship with both the protagonists and antagonists. I hope to one day master that skill myself.

11.Tell us about the online and offline personal appearances you have planned over the next couple of months. Where can readers connect with you up close and personal? I do not have any appearances planned at this current time because I am working on a novel. Hopefully, after ‘Pretty Lies’ is published in October of this year, I’ll get back out there.


12.How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website? My publishing website is http://www.gennextpublishing.com/ and my author website is http://www.debraclayton.com/ My email addresses are publisher@gennextpublishing.com as well clayton@perfectending.net. I’m also on facebook, youtube and Myspace. www.facebook.com/#/profile.php?ref=profile&id=736680154, www.youtube.com/user/aljencia and www.myspace.com/debra_writes


13.What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? I live with my main characters long before I put them down on paper. I sit back and daydream allowing my characters to come to life. I listen to them, watch them, put them in dangerous or thrilling or sexy situations and watch how they react. I make them chuckle to themselves, laugh out loud, or sob uncontrollably. I break their hearts, terrify them, and fulfill their deepest desires. It is after these characters have come to life in my head that I allow them to come to life on paper.


14.If you could tell one thing to every aspiring writer what would it be? Take the time to stop and enjoy a good book. Writers learn from reading. By reading other people’s work, you learn what you like, don’t like and it helps you fine tune your own literary voice.