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.

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

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 and my author website is My email addresses are as well I’m also on facebook, youtube and Myspace., and

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.

Interview with Author Deondriea Cantrice, February 2010 Featured Author

Joins us as we chat with Deondriea Cantrice author of Rhythm Can’t Keep Time, Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough 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 Deondriea's book. Contest ends March 6, 2010.

1.Tell us about yourself? Deondriea Cantrice, is a fun-loving, ambitious, individual that enjoys meeting people and learning about their lives. As an author, I use a fiction platform to address relationship issues as a result of ineffective communication. My down to earth writing style is designed to entertain, educate, and inspire readers with tales of true life. I greet everyone with a smile and aspire to have a positive impact on everyone I encounter, through effective communication, veracity, and affirmative interaction. My motto is, “with direction and discipline, accomplishment is attainable.”

2.How long have you been writing? What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? I began writing as a child. I used to spend hours writing to improve my penmanship. In high school, I developed my writing skills by competing in debate, writing contests, and oratorical competitions for DECA, The Veteran’s of Foreign Wars, and the National Speakers Association. As an adult, I sharpened my literary ability by writing poetry, short stories, newsletters, program curriculum and press releases.

3.This month we are giving away a copy of your book Rhythm Can't Keep Time. Please tell us a little about your books. Why should readers get a copy of your book today? Rhythm Can’t Keep Time is an exploration of a relationship through an erotic lens. The sex scenes are steamy, with nuggets of wisdom carefully wrapped into the storyline. I suggest readers pick up their copy today not just because the story is entertaining, but it addresses the consequences of haphazardly loving in an undefined relationship. Rhythm Can’t Keep Time is not a sappy love story or male bashing narrative so I am positive both men and women will find it as a great read.

4.Is there another book in the works. If so tell us about it. Do you have a release date for your next book? When Emotions Lie is my next book that is scheduled for release before the end of February. This work of fiction will address the pitfalls of acting out of emotion, rather than responding with reason. I also explore how bad counsel from friends fuel negative emotions resulting in bad decisions.

5.Outside of your literary career your a student, your a personal consultant, and a teacher/program facilitator. Please tell us a little about your work as both a consultant and a facilitator. What exactly do you do when you are wearing these hats. How can those interested in your skill get in contact with you for more information? If you would have asked me 10 years ago was I interested in being a trainer or facilitator, the answer would have been NO. Those were hats given to me while I wasn’t looking. I have always had a knack for public speaking, so I was often asked to lead a workshop, give a speech, or train new hires. Before I knew it, I was developing program curriculum at work and facilitating at church. I am passionate about learning and enjoy teaching others.

I have always been a consultant in one aspect or another. Co-workers, family, friends, and strangers has always sought my opinion with their look, relationship, or marketing strategy. What I soon discovered was people valued my input because I gave feedback not an opinion. As a consultant, I ask questions to narrow the scope of a marketing plan. I believe the target market will determine the implantation of the plan including but not limited to personal persona, promotional material, and advertising objectives. Whether it’s a personal image or corporate branding, the way we look and present ourselves is a vital part of success. If anyone is interest in my services I can be reached at

6.You are a active professional woman wearing many hats as many of us do? How do you juggle your many roles and manage to have some type of a personal life? Where do you find time for self? I’m very active in my community and at church. I hold a board position; I’m a single mother, and a business professional. Juggling all the hats at times is difficult. However, time management, multi-tasking and prioritization are the secrets of my success. I set daily goals and I start each day with purpose and structure. For example, I return calls and emails first thing in the morning, schedule as many meetings as I can in one day, leaving evenings and weekends reserved for family and friends. I usually write at night or before dawn. I begin and end my day with “me” time. My me time ranges from a hot bath to a shopping trip alone. Someone once told me, “People make time for the things they feel are important.” I believe those words are true, so I adjust my schedule as needed.

7.What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer? The biggest challenge that I have faced as a writer is maintaining my balance as a writer and in promoting my book. A lot of my time and effort is spent determining which events, shows, and opportunities are advantageous for me. Which means, sometimes I loose focus on my works in progress and have to refocus my energy.

8.Where do you see yourself a year from now? A year from now I will have found my niche in the literary world and have fully established my business as a consultant.

9.What are you reading now? Who are your favorite authors? I have taken a brief hiatus from reading because of my schedule this month. However, Every Women Needs a Wife is my next scheduled read. My favorite non-fiction author is Debbie Ford, I own every one of her books. My fiction library is very diverse which makes it difficult to choose a fiction author as my favorite.

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? My next major appearance will be at the Allstar Author Showcase on February 13th in Dallas , TX with other appearances being added to my schedule regularly. For my most current news, information, and events, I encourage readers to visit my website. And, emails are always welcomed.

11.How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website? Readers can connect with me on Facebook, Myspace, and most major social networks with screen name Deondriea. My websites are and

12.What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? One thing that I would like readers to know about me is that I’m very personable, I never take things personally and I find a reason to laugh everyday.