Friday, January 27, 2012
FEATURED AUTHOR: Rose Jackson-Beavers
Rose Jackson-Beavers, Chief Executive Officer of Prioritybooks Publications grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois and received her Bachelor and Master degrees from Illinois State and Southern Illinois Universities. Rose is a motivational speaker who is frequently asked to talk to youths and young adults about life issues. She has worked with many youths throughout her community and has received many awards and recognition for her work in publishing. She has worked as a freelance writer for A-Magazine, a St. Louis Publication, The Spanish Lake Word Newspaper and as an Opinion Shaper for the North County Journal Newspaper. Married for twenty-seven years to Cedric, they have one daughter, Adeesha. She is the author of seven books. Her books can be published directly from her website at http://www.prioritybooks.com/ or from http://www.amazon.com/ or http://www.barnesandnoble.com/. She can be reached at email@example.com, or at 314-306-2972.
How did you start out your writing career?
I knew I wanted to write since I was ten years old. I used to write letters to prisoners as a pen pal and by age twelve I was reading all of my mom’s True Love magazines. As I grew older, I developed a love for writing poems and speeches. I did a lot of speaking to teens and adults about making changes in their lives. After each session I would recite a quick poem that I thought of while talking to them. Students said I should publish them, but it took another friend to push me. My friend and co-author of my book, Quilt Designs and Poetry Rhythms, Edna Patterson-Petty is a nationally known fabric artist who is often sought out to do workshops, speaking engagements, designs, etc. She asked me to write a few speeches for her, so I did. She was impressed with them and asked me had I written anything else. I showed some articles to her and she mailed them to an up-and-coming magazine. They offered me a column and that’s where it started.
What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned that there’s a thin line between sharing a viewpoint, and seeming like you’re recruiting people. Truthfully, I wanted to write a book with a Christian theme. But as I wrote I realized that I had to be true to my religion. I couldn’t write a story about worshipping on a Sunday because I hadn’t done that since I was thirteen years old. I had to be absolutely true to my religion’s doctrines without coming off preachy. People always asked me about being a Seventh Day Adventist and I tried to explain it to the reader without seeming like I was recruiting. I kept asking my editors if it sounded preachy or appear like I was trying to sell my religion. If you read most of my books, my religion is included because those are the principles that guide my life. I want my characters to have faults, but I also want them to have some religious beliefs to help them become better.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
To encourage the masses to pay closer attention to senior citizens. One character, Sarah, was very lonely and needed help with overcoming alcohol abuse. Children should pay attention to their parents and spend time with them to assure that they are happy and are not withering away. Also, true love usually comes when you least expect it to.
What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why?
The characters. When I lay down at night, I found myself dreaming of this non-existent pastor who was handsome, sensitive and everyone’s dream. He was single and very wealthy. I had read enough books with pastors having sex with their members and stealing from the church.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
It amazes me how much drama sells. Readers seem to crave drama in books.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
I love the fact that writing is freeing. In the creative world of fiction, characters are able to go wherever they choose and can be all they desire to be with no limitations.
What I hate most is how hard it is to introduce your work to readers. Like me, readers have their favorites and it takes a lot of work to get them to read a new unknown author. That’s why I try to support so many up-and-coming authors. I know how it feels. I also realize there are so many good writers who’ve written great books and I don’t want to miss out because an author is new on the scene. Likewise, I don’t want readers to miss out on my work either.
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
First, I didn’t know that it wouldn’t get easier. As a publisher, I have twenty-four authors under our label and the majority are self-published. I wanted a company that treated all authors with respect, support and care. I encourage our authors to work, advertise and market together and to pool their resources. We meet regularly and even invite marketing representatives, web designers, book club members and readers to our meetings. Whatever we can do to motivate and inspire, Prioritybooks does. But being a publisher and an author is hard. I spend most of my time encouraging our authors and little time nurturing my writing. It can be conflicting sometimes because writing releases stress and if I cannot write, I feel overwhelmed.
Secondly, too many authors seek quick money and only the opportunity to become published. Once they sell that first two-hundred books they are happily done. They don’t market or promote because they didn’t plan to work hard, even though they said they would bust their butts, trying to sell their books.
Third, it’s hard to network. When you are so busy doing a bunch of other things, it’s hard to find the time to network.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Do research and learn everything about this industry from publishing to editing. If someone tells you he or she is an editor, request the names of the books they edited and the authors’ contact information.
Don’t assume that once your book is published that all you have to do is sit back and wait for the money to fall into your lap. There’s a lot of hard work in selling books and getting the acclaim that you desire.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
It takes time to build loyal audiences, be patient. Also the majority of writers are not rich.
Tell us something few know about you?
I love doing workshops and presentations, especially to the youth. In addition to a small publishing company, I also own a federally approved 501-C (3) non-profit company.
Our mission is to enhance the lives of families through health, social and cultural experiences by providing information, training, referrals and education. I am looking into a way to combine both companies.
When you’re not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I watch movies with my husband. I also take my parents to lunch or spend time with them twice a week. I work with teens. This month I presented a Dress for Success workshop. All attendees received a free book. I also give out a scholarship every two years to a student who may only have a 2.0 grade point average. Everyone helps our children who are smart, have every advantage at their disposal, but for the student who has to work hard to just get a C average and lack family support they get looked over. With support, mentoring and help, the average student can become the excellent student. The scholarship is given from my scholarship foundation, the McKinley and Sylvester Jackson Scholarship. I created this scholarship because my brothers loved education and helped as much as they could to make sure we could be educated. McKinley died of cancer at forty years old and Sylvester at forty-three.
What do you do to interact with your readers?
I have two free workshops a year on self-publishing. I also have donated other free workshops throughout the year like Dress for Success and Understanding Depression for Teens. I interact on Facebook and on my blog “Lessons Learned.” In two years I’ve had almost 70,000 visitors who read my blog.
This month we have two themes, our first is Family Literacy. Do you do anything to promote family literacy?
I donate a lot of books to churches and schools. Last year we donated five cases of various teen books to churches and afterschool programs. We wanted the kids to have a variety of novels to choose from that were more relatable to them. I also donated fifteen books to the teens I spoke to this month.
Our second theme is Local Authors, what are you doing locally to promote your books?
I use the newspapers here and send out press releases, eblasts, friends, and other types of publicity. I also have some planned book signings.
Oprah always asks, what do you know for sure?
I love writing and would do it without pay. I love the opportunity to tell a story and share information through pages that could help someone with a problem they may be having. I also know that when I put God first and then family, the sky is the limit.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Rosbeav03@yahoo.com, http://www.rosejacksonbeavers.com/ http://www.prioritybooks.blogspot.com/
A SINNER'S CRY
Denise Reese’s life seems as if it is on a sure course to perfection, until a single phone call crushes her reality and leaves her heartbroken and vulnerable. As she attempts to rebuild her shattered life, Denise seeks solace in the confines of the church that she'd walked out of years ago and swore to never return. As she struggles to gain redemption, the ringing of her phone continues to haunt her and impede her progress. In the midst of her struggles she receives support from the newly appointed pastor, the handsome James Davis. While the two attempt to walk the right path, they must combat the lies and deception that those closest to them are spreading. Once Denise learns to decipher between lust and love, she realizes, even from a struggling sinner, God hears sincere cries.
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