Saturday, October 19, 2019

Featured Author - Deborah Fletcher Mello






Writing since she was old enough to put pen to paper, Deborah Fletcher Mello firmly believes that for her, writing is as necessary as breathing. Her first novel, TAKE ME TO HEART, earned her a 2004 Romance Slam Jam nomination for Best New Author. In 2008, Deborah won the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award for Best Series Romance for her ninth novel, TAME A WILD STALLION.  Her publication, CRAVING TEMPTATION was named one of Publisher's Weekly Best Books for 2014 and was also nominated for a 2015 Emma Award for Book of the Year. As well, her novel PLAYING FOR KEEPS was a Library Journal Best of 2015 and won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Multicultural Romance. In 2016 Deborah was named the Romance Slam Jam Author of the Year. Born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, Deborah maintains base camp in North Carolina but considers home to be wherever the moment moves her.

How can readers get in contact with you? 

I’m all over the internet and readers can find me here, here, here, and there!

Blog: http://bit.ly/MelloBlog
YouTube: http://bit.ly/MelloYoutube
Twitter: http://bit.ly/MelloTwitter
Facebook: http://bit.ly/MelloFB
Instagram: http://bit.ly/MelloIG

What would you like readers to take away from your book? What did you learn while writing this book?

Good question! I hope that readers will first, enjoy a great story. I want them to close the book feeling like they just enjoyed a terrific read. Ultimately, I want them to LIKE my writing! While writing this story I discovered that the initial characters I envisioned had a mind of their own. My heroine, Simone Black, was more vulnerable that I imagined her to be and that vulnerability played out in an interesting way across the pages.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

I wanted to put a spotlight on the pharmaceutical industry and the host of problems associated with medicine in America. Obviously, there’s only so much that I could do in a romantic suspense, but I hope that it will give readers something to think about.

Which character did you have the most fun writing about?

I really love my hero, Dr. Paul Reilly. He’s not my usual Alpha male and I enjoyed fleshing out his sensitivities. He’s not your flashy cop with a badge type. He’s quiet and unassuming, but he loves hard and will fight harder for everything he believes in. He just makes my heart sing!

What do you believe makes your stories stand out?

I want to believe that I build strong characters that readers connect to and fall in love with. I try to make them feel like people you know and definitely people you would like to know! They’re flawed and imperfect and all they want is what we all want. A connection to something or someone that brings them joy. They struggle and fight for what they need like most of us do. They just want to be loved!

What do you do when your book isn’t selling?

In all honesty, I’m too busy writing the next book to worry about what the numbers may or may not be doing. Some stories will connect with readers more than others. You can never predict what readers will want and what they will not want, so I only concern myself with what I can control. My job is to give readers a great story and I’m committed to doing that to the best of my ability. I can control my writing so that is my one and only concern.


What literary event can we find you at this year?

I’m done for the 2019 season. I had some health issues this year and wasn’t able to travel and do as many literary events as I would have liked. I’m hopeful that 2020 will be better and I’ll get around more. I’ll keep you posted as I firm up my schedule.

Who was the first author you ever met?

The first author I ever met was a children’s author when I was a kid. It was a signing at a local bookstore in Connecticut that my grandmother dragged me to. I don’t remember his name. I do remember that I didn’t like his book. I thought the illustrations were ugly. The first published romance author I met was Jacquelin Thomas. She mentored me when my first book was published and has since become a really good friend.

What’s the most interesting change in your life as a result of being a published author?

I really had to think about this one for a minute! I think the most interesting change is that I never seem to have enough time! My to-do list feels ten-times longer and there never seems to be enough hours in a day to write the way I want to write.

What has surprised you most about being a published author?

I was actually surprised by the support I’ve gotten from other authors. Writing is a very solitary endeavor and I’ve been blessed to connect with some incredible women who constantly push me to be a better writer. It’s a sisterhood, and the bonds of friendship that have been established have been pure joy!

What about writing do you wish non writers would understand?

I would hope that non-writers understand that this is a job like any other job. Our time and efforts should be respected. This is hard work and requires us to stay on top of our game, to continue educating ourselves and perfecting our craft. We’re not writing on a whim, and no, not everyone can write a good book, no matter what they may think.

I also want readers to know that despite our desire, we will never be able to churn out the next book as fast as you read the last one!

Can you give us one do and one don't for those aspiring to be an author?

Don’t say you want to write a book but then you never write. The act of actually writing is essential to being an author.

Do remember the authors who paved the way for you to do what you love. Those that opened doors for all of us, who faced challenges that we may never know, have earned their due and should be respected.

When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

When I’m not writing, I try to catch up on my reading! That’s not always easy though. I’m also a craft nerd. I make dolls. I quilt. I paint. I love spending time doing artistic stuff and making things with my hands.

Oprah always asks, what do you know for sure?

If there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that I love doing what I do. Putting pen to paper and crafting a story is the ultimate high for me. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.

Any last words for our readers?

I just want to say thank you to everyone who supports me and my writing. Please know that I greatly appreciate you buying my books, posting your reviews and recommending me to your family and friends. Your support means the world to me! And thank you, LaShaunda, for your patience with this interview and for always being an advocate for authors and readers. Love you to pieces!


A megacorporation starts killing patients…And two exes must reunite to save lives!

When he discovers his patients’ lives are threatened, Dr. Paul Reilly can turn to only one person: Simone Black. She will have his back, even if they don’t agree on much else. But as the former lovers work together to track down the evildoers who are tampering with medications, they rediscover unexpected feelings for one another…even as an enemy wants to silence them permanently.

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Friday, October 18, 2019

SORMAG Digital - October - The Promotion Mindset




This month we are doing a series on the Promotion Mindset.  Your promotion mindset is what you need to get ready to promote your books.

Promotion Mindset Part 1CLICK TO READ

Promotion Mindset Part 2CLICK TO READ

Promotion Mindset Part 3CLICK TO READ

Promotion Mindset Part 4 CLICK TO READ

Promotion Mindset Part 5CLICK TO READ

Preslaysa Williams - CLICK TO READ

Deborah Fletcher Mello - READ October 19th

Promotion Mindset Part 6 - READ October 22nd

Sharon Blount -  READ October 25th

Shelly X. Leonn - READ October 26th


Promotion Mindset Part 7  - READ October 29

Congrats to Toni Bonita our comment winner for September.  She wins a copy of one the books featured.



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COVER AUTHOR - Preslaysa Williams






Preslaysa Williams is an award-winning author of contemporary romance and women's fiction with an Afro-Filipina twist. She loves sharing her culture with her readers.



Her writing awards include the Indiana Romance Writers of America’s (RWA) Golden Opportunity Award and the ACFW Genesis Award. In addition, her stories have been a finalist in the Northwest Houston RWA Lone Star Writing Contest, the Windy City RWA Four Seasons Contest, and the Valley of the Sun RWA Hot Prospects Contest.



She has an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and a MPA from the University of South Carolina. She is also a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar, a Jackie Robinson Foundation Extra Innings Fellow, and a Sol Spiegelman Scholar. Preslaysa is currently earning a MFA in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University.



In addition, she’s a professional actress. She started acting at age eight, joining the Screen Actors Guild as a teenager when she co-starred on the Nickelodeon TV show, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo.



Preslaysa makes her home in Virginia with her husband and two children. You can visit her online at www.preslaysa.com where you can sign up for her newsletter community.




You can visit my website at www.preslaysa.com


You can sign up for my Newsletter at www.subscribepage.com/preslaysa

 


What would you like readers to take away from your book?



That life won’t always give us what we want or what we planned to have. Life won’t always give us what we deserve, whether it be good or bad. Despite life’s vagaries, we can commit to being who we truly are and living our lives on our own terms. 


What did you learn while writing this book?



I finally learned that I prefer planning and outlining my stories before I write them. Healing Hannah’s Heart was my fourth book that I wrote, but it’s the first book that I planned in advance. After I wrote Healing Hannah’s Heart, I changed the way I write. I no longer “wing it”. It has helped me write better first drafts.


What did you hope to accomplish with this book?



I wrote this book to try to find an answer to this question: what do you do when your highest hopes and dreams for your life are destroyed? How do you move on from that sense of failure and loss?




Which character did you have the most fun writing about?



I enjoyed writing Hannah, the female lead, because I loved her quirky voice. I also enjoyed writing about a woman of color who wasn’t fully likeable.



In real life, Black & Brown women are expected to be likeable despite experiencing the most horrific situations, and Hannah endured the horrific. I wanted to write about a woman who was trying to find her way after devastation, and that process won’t always look so pretty to the outside viewer.



So I enjoyed writing about Hannah and how she learned to own her physical and emotional healing process.

 
What do you believe makes your stories stand out?



Hmm. I think I have a unique writing voice, and I have a unique perspective on the world. I’m not afraid to put my characters through the wringer until they learn to grow and chance. 


What do you do when your book isn't selling?



I will always continue to market and promote my stories, and I will try new angles of reaching readers if one method doesn’t work out. For me, the most important thing is to write the next book. That’s key. Always keep writing. Always keep marketing and experimenting with different ways to find my core readership. 




What literary event can we find you this year?



October 24-27, 2019 - Christian Book Lovers Retreat, Charlotte, NC

November 3, 2019 – Baltimore Book Festival, Baltimore, MD

November 15-16, 2019 – Seven Cities Book Fest, Portsmouth, VA

December 7, 2019 – Author Talk at the New Brunswick Free Public Library (New Brunswick, NJ)



Who was the first author you ever met?  

Toni Morrison. I was around 14 years old, and I was working at a CVS Pharmacy in Princeton, NJ. She was a Professor at Princeton University, and she recently received the Nobel Prize for Literature. She came into the CVS Pharmacy to buy something, and I rang up her sale. I was in awe that she stood before me!




What's the most interesting change in your life as a result of being a published author?



One thing that has changed is that I’m getting financially compensated for writing fiction. After writing fiction since 2008 for no pay, seeing people buy my books is a blessing.



What has surprised you most about being a published author?



Nothing much has surprised me about being a published author. That’s probably because I’ve been waiting for this moment for close to a decade, and so I prepared myself and learned along the way.


What about writing do you wish non writers would understand?



Writing is hard work, and it involves a lot of practice and learning. Also, a story improves with each subsequent draft. A writer probably won’t get the story perfect and complete on the first try. Editing is a huge part of the writing process.


Can you give us one do and one don't for those aspiring to be an author?



I would tell aspiring authors to always carve out time to write each week and set small writing goals. The small goals will inspire you to keep moving forward to the next small goal. Eventually, you’ll have a completed work.



I would also advise aspiring authors to not give too much weight to other people’s opinions about their careers. Follow your instincts and your heart.


When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?


I like to read and take walks outside alone. I have a busy life because I homeschool my children. Walking outside and having quiet time to myself is a treasure!



Oprah always asks, what do you know for sure?



I know for sure that being my highest and most authentic self is the key to my success and freedom. I will no longer compromise my truth for anyone or anything.


Any last words for our readers?



My short story, TOUCHED BY FATE, is now available for pre-order. You can pre-order it from your favorite retailer at this link www.books2read.com/touchedbyfate 





Hannah Hart may have been burned by the breakup of her rocky marriage, but the ambitious Afro-Filipina model has big plans for her future. Her stunning looks and flawless skin provide the opening she craves to become a celebrity in the fashion world. Then an arsonist’s match brings Hannah’s world crashing down around her.

Recovering from the burns that destroyed her skin, Hannah is forced to accept help from the last person on earth she wants, her estranged husband, Jake Hart. Jake isn’t ready to give up on their marriage. The return of Jake’s teenage son from a one-night stand had been the catalyst for their breakup. How can he help both the son who resents his abandonment and the woman he still loves? He can do nothing about the scars on her skin, but can he heal Hannah’s heart?

As she struggles to rebuild her life from the ashes of her shattered dreams, does Hannah have the courage to give Jake a second chance? And is the world ready for a differently-abled model who will redefine what it means to be beautiful?




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