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Welcome To SORMAG's Blog

Friday, October 17, 2008

FEATURED AUTHOR: Barbara Keaton


Barbara Keaton, a native of Chicago, who thinks its the best city in the world, also enjoys writing. Her first diary is dated December 1975! And since then, Barbara has written articles for Today's Black Woman Magazine, Chicago Reader, Chicago Crusader and most recently, True Confessions. In addition, Barbara is an accomplished romance author, having nine titles to her name. Barbara credits her late grandfather, Thomas Hill, and the Oblate Sisters of Providence for instilling in her a love and passion for the written word. Visit her on the Web at www.bkeaton.com.

One In A Million

When high-powered attorney Deena Walls walked into the police station searching for her client the last thing she expected was to feel the immediate heat brought on by Detective Charles Henry Harris. As they both work on a case that would not only test Deena's will and mettle, but how deep her attraction is to the handsome detective, they would have never guessed that theirs would be a relationship of searing passion and emotional healing.

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

As with most of my romances, it is about lying down the sword of fear and embracing the possible! That love is possible. And even I have to remind myself of that.

What did you learn while writing this book?

That I really like writing romance with a twist of suspense. I'm now toying with trying my hand at a romantic suspense. Also, I really write better under some pressure.

What is the hardest part about the writing business?

Sustaining momentum! I have a job with some odd hours and there are nights I get off and I am just tired, even though I have a deadline looming. Also, I find it really hard when new authors come into the business and are so excited, then for a myriad of reasoning's they loose the enthusiasm, the love and passion for this business. I learned, the hard way (aren't these always the ones we remember?!), that the operative word is: BUSINESS. And its about the business of money - all else is a byproduct.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

It ain't as easy as you think it is. While I have a real passion for this business - for the written word - trying to come up with a believable story, something new and fresh is difficult for me. I want to create depth, while giving those who read my work what they expect: a good story with somewhat of a twist and my nutty brand of humor.

Our theme this month is THE BUSINESS OF WRITING. Most new writers don't know about the business side of writing, what advice can you offer on this important part of writing?

If I had to offer one it is: HIRE AN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTIES ATTORNEY! I cannot stress this enough! While your cousin may be an attorney or your good friend is an attorney doesn't make them experts of Intellectual Properties and the contracts governing your work. An IP attorney, while he/she may be a little higher in cost per hour, it is so worth the money! I have two attorney's. One handles my general stuff (real estate, wills, etc.) while the other handles all of my literary contracts. I often joke that if I go to jail call my attorney, Carl Boyd! But for my contracts? Call none other than John Tellis, III! How's that for a shameless plug? But in all seriousness, an IP attorney will make sure that your interests and your intellectual property, are well represented.

What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?

1) This is a business - never forget it!
2) How much I really like writing romance.
3) Major Commitment is required.

Was there ever a time in your writing career you thought of quitting?

Oh, my, God - YES!! But the thing that kept me going was my love for this whole business. There are aspects I don't like, but they don't overshadow the passion I have. And once I reconciled the negatives with the positives, which outweighed all of the bad, I haven't thought about quitting since. That was when I was writing Cupid, my fifth book.

Do you have any advice for the aspiring writer?

I'm a firm believer in having mentors and networking. I have been blessed to be among some of the best writers, the Godmothers of Black Romance if you will. My friend and mentor is Rochelle Alers; and then I'm also blessed to be able to reach out to other authors like Francis Ray, Donna Hill, Beverly Jenkins, Gwen Forester and my partners in crime: Dyanne Davis and Earl Sewell - they all root me on and never turn me away when I have questions, issues or just want to vent. So, when new writers approach me, I stop and give them as much of my time as I can spare; like new author Mia Moore - I've adopted her and she is such a sweetheart! To whom much is given, much is expected.

What is the best lesson you have learnt from another writer?

While this could be perceived as negative, I've learned to be more humble - I've watched some amazing things come from authors - out of their mouths. On the positive: never give up! Never let someone else define you and your work - its an extension of you.

Five questions about books:

One book you've read more than once:

None! I find it quite difficult to reread a book once I've read it.

One book you couldn't put down until you finished.



I'm a voracious reader - so that's not a fair question for me, but one book stands out: Devil's Gonna Get Him by Valerie Wilson Wesley! I love her Tamara Hale mysteries and just about anything by J. California Cooper.

One book that made you laugh.

From page one, Terry McMillan's "A Day Late & Dollar Short" - I was laughing throughout.

One book that made you cry.

Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye" - All that baby wanted in that book was to be loved like she'd seen her momma love the kids she cared for as a domestic. It's a really deep book.

One book you wish you'd written.

I've been reading a long time and have read thousands of books; but, if I have to choose one, I'll pick the classic: The Tale Tell Heart by Edgar Allen Poe - loved the story.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

My snail mail is P.O. Box 438707, Chicago, IL, 60643. My email is BNewell572@aol.com and my website is http://bkeaton.com/. I love mail, so folks feel free to send me some!

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