Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Interview with Author Linda R. Herman

Joins us as we chat with Linda R. Herman author of COST OF OUR AFFAIRS and one of Sexy Ebony Book Club's January 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 Linda's book. Contest ends February 7, 2010

1. Tell us about yourself? My name is Linda R. Herman and I’m a native of South Georgia where I still reside with my husband and our three kids. I work full-time as an emergency 911 dispatcher and have held that job for the past 15 years. My true passion is reading and writing.

2. How long have you been writing? I don’t remember a time I wasn’t writing. As far back as elementary school I’ve been making up stories and penning them. After submitting chapter 1 of my novel, Cost of Our Affairs into the Black Expressions Annual Fiction Writing Contest and winning first place honors, I decided to pursue writing professionally. My first book, Consequences When Love Is Blind was published in 2008 by Xpress Yourself Publishing. That publication came after 3 of my short stories were accepted for publication. Zane accepted my short story “Almost Identica” for publication in Succulent: Chocolate Flava II; Jessica Tilles accepted my short story, “My Dream Come True” for publication in Erogenous Zone: A Sexual Voyage, and Elissa Gabrielle accepted my short story, “One Woman’s Journey” for publication in The Triumph of My Soul. I was truly honored and blessed to have the approval of three extremely talented authors. I also had a novella published as an ebook. A Time for Love was published by Lavender Isis Press in July 2007 by the extraordinary Melissa Wathington and Rae Lindley.

3. What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? It was my love of writing combined with my passion for raising awareness. Even in my works of fiction there are underlying messages that address social issues we face in our lives. In my novel Consequences and my short story, “The Darker Side of Love”, the issue is HIV/AIDS. That’s one we definitely need to focus on.

4. How did you get your first publishing deal? I was fortunate enough to meet my publisher, Jessica Tilles (Xpress Yourself Publishing) in the Writers RX, an online yahoo writing group. I answered the submission call for the anthology, Erogenous Zone and soon after was signed to a book deal for my novella, Consequences When Love Is Blind.

5. This Month we will be giving away a copy of Cost of Our Affairs. Tell us a little about this book. How can readers get a copy of your book? Drama, drama, drama…that’s Cost of Our Affairs, lol. However, it is believable drama that occurs in the lives of so many. The story is centered around a married couple and the problems they’re enduring in their marriage. It’s no easy task parenting and when you add being a step-parent to the mix, there’s sure to be drama.

In the case of India & Antoine Joiner, they’re dealing with a meddling birth mother and two-wicked sisters who are hell-bent on turning an innocent 8 year-old girl against her stepmom and eventually destroying the Joiner union.

Tired of fighting with hubby, India turns to the arms of another man, foolishly opening the door to more drama because Mario Thomas comes with his own set of problems. He slowly unravels and India realizes she’s sleeping with the enemy. Now, it’s up to Antoine to save his wife, the woman who betrayed him, from her deranged lover!

This book is a roller coaster ride from page one and its available online at, Barnes & Noble, Xpress Yourself Publishing, and my website, It can be requested in any bookstore.

6. Please give us a brief listing of your other titles and where readers can purchase copies of these titles. I’m also the author of Consequences, co-author of Somebody Prayed for Me, and the novella Consequences When Love Is Blind. All these titles are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders, as well as Xpress Yourself Publishing, and my personal website,

7. What is in works for Linda Herman in 2010? Fans of Cost Our Affairs are in for a real treat. The sequel, Our Truths Be Told releases in 2010 from Xpress Yourself Publishing. Be sure to subscribe to my website for updates.

8. What are you reading now? What types of books (genres) do you read in general? Who are your favorite authors? I’m reading Wikked by LMBlakely, Too Good To Be True by Ndea B., and Bruised Love by Nanette Buchanan. I read all types of books. I recently read a Science Fiction book (Red Moon by Chris Berman) that blew my socks off! It was packed with action and an underlying romance. I enjoy Christian fiction, Contemporary, Thriller/Mystery/Suspense, Erotica, etc. As long as the story is strong and the plot is believable, I’ll read it.

Kimberla Lawson Roby remains my favorite author but I have certainly developed a love for the intense writing styles of Jessica Tilles, Wanda B. Campbell, Caramel Vixen, Hazel Mills, Elissa Gabrielle, Tamara Angela Grant, SD Denny, Tinisha Nicole Johnson, and the list goes on. Before I was published, I thought the only AA authors in existence were those in the Black Expressions catalog. I’m glad I was wrong. There are so many unknown authors out there, many of whom are very talented.

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. The best way to stay abreast of my events is through my website, As of right now, I’m making two final appearances at Waldenbooks in Valdosta, GA. Sadly, that store closes in January 2010. I will appear there December 12 and December 20, 11am-4pm EST.

In 2010, I’m working on scheduling speaking engagements at colleges throughout Georgia and surrounding states. I want to talk to our youth about HIV awareness.

10. How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website? Yes, my website is I’m also on Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and several social networking sites. My email is

11. What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? I am passionate about my work and the causes I support. You don’t have to be HIV-positive to be affected by AIDS. AIDS affects all of us in one way or another. That’s why I’m determined to raise awareness and eradicate the spread of HIV. Please join me.

ABOUT LINDA R. HERMAN: A native of South Georgia, Linda R. Herman is an author who writes to raise awareness of social issues that we incur in our day-to-day lives. The author introduces characters who are as real as the people next door and storylines that pull readers into a familiar and very realistic world.

Interview with Dr. William Martin

Joins us as we chat with Dr. William Martin author of SPEAK POWER, SPEAK WEALTH, and SPEAK FREEDOM: PARADIGM PROCESSING - TEARING DOWN THE WALLS and one of Sexy Ebony Book Club's January 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 Dr. Martin's book. Contest ends February 7, 2010

1)Tell us about yourself? I earned my Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees from Chicago State University (CSU) and my Doctorate for Northern Illinois University (NIU). At CSU, my educational concentrations were in Geography and Economics. My Master’s Degree is in Geography with a concentration in Economic Development and Geographical Information Systems. I completed my formal education at NIU, earning my Doctorate of Education, concentrating in Adult, Counseling, and Higher Education. I have owned businesses, investment stocks, and investment property. All of the things, I have done and accomplished, started with one thing and one thing only and that was a mental vision, followed by faith, and then the willingness to take risks.

2)Tell us a little about your book Speak Power, Speak Wealth, and Speak Freedom: Paradigm Processing - Tearing Down the Walls. What lessons do you want the readers to take with them as they read this book? The goal of this book is to teach its readers how they can use their mental senses to create a paradigm where needed to better their lives and the lives of those around them. The philosophy is that many human beings do not use their spirit, faith, sense of worth, emotions, and feelings to control their circumstances. They do not take the time to map their future from their visions of who they should and want to be over-time.

3)What made you decide to self-publish? If I did not self-publish, it would be contradictory to my philosophy of paradigm processing with true faith. When you read the book, you will find a model that I developed to help people realize their dreams. The model is the 4r Model - Reflection, Reciprocal Learning, Research, and Responsibility to the community. My wife and I reflected on all of our accomplishments to draw out our faith, talked to others about publishing (reciprocal learning), researched how to publish ourselves to cut out the intermediary and useless costs, and then added to the body of knowledge by producing multiple forms of literature.

4)Is there another motivational book in the works for those who have read Speak Freedom: Paradigm Processing - Tearing Down the Wall and were put on the road to achieving a life of joy and victory? Yes, there is another book in the works. My book Serving People with Synergy in Mind: Paradigm Processing an Attitude of Philanthropy is a book that looks at how people can build relationships by giving and adding value to another person’s life. Paradigm Processing an attitude of philanthropy or giving to achieve personal greatness and acknowledge thankfulness.

5) You mentioned in your bio that you are the founder of Srewolf & Nitram Hearts Foundation, helping Ex-offenders and Addicts Return To Society. Please tell us a little about this organization and the work they are doing with and for ex-offenders and addicts. The first thing I tell ex-offenders is that in many respects they are freer than most people because now they have to think differently about their resources and chances of becoming wealthy. Most people work dead-end jobs with low pay, they earned those jobs because they did not do time in prison or committed a felony; therefore, they do not have to take risk in faith to start their own businesses. The point is that I teach ex-offenders and ex-addicts how to restore relationships, open their own businesses, to become self-employed and self-sufficient. My goal is to show them that they can recover those relationships that were lost when they were involved in a sub-culture of crime, drugs, and alcohol addiction. I teach ex-offenders and addicts how to build and maintain positive relationships. I teach them philanthropy as a means of adding value to another person’s life. In other words, I want them to know that giving back to others in times of need is an acknowledgement of thankfulness and gratitude for the relationship, and that they are a valuable asset in their life. I teach them that they add value to another person’s life by giving freely of their time and money, and by doing this, wealth, health, and success will surely follow.

5)What are you reading now? I am not reading any books right now. I am writing. What types of books (genres) do you read in general? I like to read spiritual and motivational books, and books written by successful people. I read the type of books that teaches new strategies and methods of writing and teaching.

6)Who are your favorite authors? I enjoy reading my wife’s books. Also, I read anything by Robert Allen, the author of Creating Wealth, T.D. Jakes, Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, Joel Osteen author of Your Best Life Now.

7)How can readers get in contact with you? Readers can contact me via my email addresses, and or through Facebook. Do you have a website? Yes, my website is

8)What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you?
I want readers to know that I have a vision of helping people, whether that means writing, speaking, and giving to change the life of everyone that I know that wants and believes he or she could change.

Interview with Author Stefanie Newell

Joins us as we chat with Stefanie Newell author of The Buzz and one of Sexy Ebony Book Club's January 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 The Buzz. Contest ends February 7, 2010

1) Tell us about yourself? I'm a fiction writer. I also freelance write for an online entertainment magazine as well as my own blog The Music Hot Spot. I enjoy anything creative. I love shopping for shoes and boots. I'm a business owner and a mom.

2) How long have you been writing? My mom recently gifted me with two books I wrote in grammar school. The first book I had to have been about eight. It was completely illustrated, cover and all, and it was called The Two Inch Boy. It's the story of a little boy who was only two inches tall and the struggles he faced. LOL. I wrote another book about a year later called The Idea. The Babysitter's Club series was really popular at that time and my book was a spin on it. So I've been writing quite a long time.

3)What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? I realized at a very early age that I enjoyed writing. I remember being very excited when I learned to read. I have always had a very vivid imagination so I enjoyed reading. When I was a child there were book clubs you could join and they'd send a shipment of books in the mail. I would read the whole shipment in one night.

I encourage parents to purchase books for their kids and encourage them to read. Aside from being stimulating, it allows them to use their imagination. As a result of my mom encouraging me to read; I've written poems, short stories, songs, articles and now my novel The Buzz. It planted a seed.

4) This month we will be giving away a copy of your novel, The Buzz, When Celebrity Gossip Goes Wrong... Please tell us a little about your novel?

The Buzz is really a fun story and very apropos.

It's the story of Ebony Jenkins an Internet addict and celebrity gossiper. She's opinionated and very in your face. From the outside it appears she has it all; a successful thriving hair salon, a daughter, and a devoted boyfriend but she's become so immersed in celebrity culture, she'll do anything to maintain her faux celebrity lifestyle.

She despises the celebrities she tries to emulate and when her life crosses path with an up and coming R&B singer, she sets out to ruin her career by any means necessary. The Buzz is a page turner full of drama, scandal and revenge and little bit of gossip thrown in.

5) How much was this book influenced by your work with your Entertainment Blog The Music Hot Spot and as an entertainment writer for Unrated Magazine? Most of it is directly related to my work in the entertainment industry. When I first started writing for my website and for Unrated Magazine I decided I wanted my first novel to be about the entertainment industry. But, I didn't want it to be the typical entertainment story. I wanted to tell the story in a new voice.

I would visit message boards and gossip blogs to gather story ideas and I would encounter some of the most hilarious people commenting on gossip. I then came up with the idea to tell The Buzz from the perspective of a celebrity gossiper. Someone who actually sends the gossip to the blogger. Why would they do that? What are their motives?

When the book opens, you're on the Internet and Ebony's chatting on a message board. You get a good feel for her as soon as the book opens.

6) Is there another novel in the works? Can you tell us a little about this book? I'm writing a novel called Rules of the Game. There's currently no release date but the story is written from the perspective of a young woman who has written her own rules for relationships.

7) You are a woman juggling lots of different roles and making it work for you. What is a typical day for you like when you are on a writing deadline? How do you manage the different hats you wear and still have time for self? Being balanced is very important to me. So I pamper myself often and sometimes that's as simple as being able to write a chapter in my upcoming novel.

In the latter part of 2008, I established my publishing company Write One Publications, Inc.

I released both my novel The Buzz and author Bernice Harris' book Pull Your Pants Up and be man! through my company. A typical day? I'm usually juggling many different projects. But I start my morning at about 7 am. After taking my son to school, I head to the gym and when I return from the gym I make sure I have breakfast. My day goes so much better with breakfast.

I check emails, return phone calls, and do social marketing (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) in the morning. And the rest of my day is spent working on accounting, scheduling speaking engagements, blogging, writing, preparing proposals, coordinating with my author for signings and interviews, etc. It really is a balancing act. But the blessing is that it doesn't feel like work. I also just started doing workshops with the youth which I'm excited about.

In the evening, it's family time. I cook dinner and we watch DVR recordings and just hang out.

8)What has been the greatest challenge you have faced as a writer? As a new writer, you face the challenge of readers not recognizing your name. You have to start at ground level to create a fan base of readers. But the positive I've found is the Internet has been so helpful. It puts new writers such as myself in contact with the readers who enjoy our books. Readers that enjoy staying up all night because they have to know what's going to happen next. That's why I'm so thankful for sites such as yours and the support I've received. It's a challenge but it can be overcome.

9) What are you reading now? What types of books (genres) do you read in general? Right now I'm reading a lot of business books. I'm currently reading Guerilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson. I really enjoy business and books on marketing and finance. I enjoy reading autobiographies. And of course I love fiction.

10) Who are your favorite authors? So many...Sophie Kinsella is a really good writer. I love her Shopaholic series. I enjoy her because she makes me laugh. It's not often you can read a book and literally laugh out loud. I've been in public reading her books and caught myself laughing hysterically.

I enjoy Sister Souljah and Kimberly Lawson Roby. I really like Carl Weber, I love the fact that his characters are women and he writes in their voice effortlessly. I could go on and on.

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? Do you have a website? In addition to being a writer, I'm also a public speaker. In the coming months I will be visiting different schools speaking with the youth about setting goals, finding their passion, and achieving their dreams. Readers can visit for additional information on the workshops.

12) What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? I'm very passionate about writing. I'm doing what I absolutely love!

ABOUT STEFANIE NEWELL: Stefanie Newell was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in Finance. While finance has been her day job, she has been a writer for many years in different facets. Stefanie first co-wrote a song for Latin recording artist, Yohany and later began freelance writing for Unrated Magazine and her entertainment blog The Music Hot Spot. After observing the entertainment industry and lurking on various message boards and blogs over the years, Stefanie came up with the idea for her debut novel The Buzz. Published by Write One Publications, Inc., The Buzz has created an incredible buzz amongst book readers and fans of celebrity gossip. Stefanie is currently working on her second novel Rules of the Game.