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Welcome To SORMAG's Blog

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

GUEST BLOGGER: 7 Ways To Attract an Audience to Your Facebook Page by Tyora Moody

With over 800 million users, Facebook is the largest social network. Creating a page on Facebook is a MUST on the to-do list for business owners. To get started, you will need a personal Facebook profile which is required to create a business page. If you already have one, you can created a business page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/.

1. Create a vanity URL. You can create a username for your page. Usernames help you promote your page with a shorter URL. For example for my business, Tywebbin Creations, I used tywebbin as my username which allows me to use http://www.facebook.com/tywebbin for my URL.

2. Completely Fill-Out The Information - The Facebook Page form is really simple compared to other business directories, so be sure fill out information for About, Description and Website. Also, don’t forget to add contact information.People will look for it.

3. Promote Your Page - If you have built a pretty solid friends list via your personal profile you can invite them to “like” your page. The second option would be to tell your existing contacts (via yahoo.com, gmail.com, etc) you’ve created a page. Another way to get more people to your page is to add a “Like” box to your website.

4. Post Regularly. Try to post on a regular schedule. A status update really shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to write, so plan a set time during the day to post to your timeline.

5. Keep the Conversation Going. Don’t use your page as ONLY an outlet of information and promotions. Instead, use your page to start conversations and allow fans to post comments and feedback. Be sure to respond quickly and regularly. Fans will enjoy visiting your page more when you are engaged.

6. Change up Your Posts. People will see your content through their news feeds. To capture their attention, don’t always use text. Use a variety of media like images and videos.

7. Make it Fun.Facebook pages recently changed over to the timeline interface allowing for a cover photo. Be creative with your avatar and cover photo. Let your fans get to know your personality. Don’t be afraid to make a joke or express your opinion, as long as you do it tactfully. Remember this is a public platform. Every once in a while, host a contest or giveaway that’s exclusive to your Facebook fans. Reward them for “liking” your Facebook page.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tyora Moody is an author and entrepreneur. She owns and operates TywebbinCreations.com, a design and marketing company. For over twelve years, she has worked with authors, small business owners and non-profit organizations to develop their online presence. For free tips, how-to guides and ecourses, visit DIYwithTy.com.

Tyora is the author of the novels When Rain Falls and When Memories Fade (March 2013).




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Friday, March 16, 2012

Resources On The Net – Writing Help

Here are few of my favorite resources:

Jane Friedman – Offers advice about writing and the industry.
http://janefriedman.com/

Seerkerville – Offers advice on writing for the Christian Market
http://seekerville.blogspot.com/

Writing Tips – Sends links about writing
http://groups.google.com/group/WritingTips

My Book Therapy – Writing Group for the Christian Market
http://www.mybooktherapy.com/

Advance Fiction Writing – Advice on writing fiction
http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/




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Thursday, March 15, 2012

FEATURED AUTHOR: Tamika Newhouse


Kisses Don’t Lie 

Theres Dean her first love and then theres Keith Mr. Right Now. Kyla struggles with her desires and her past when she makes a rare trip back home to Fort Worth. After leaving ten years ago Kyla comes to terms with the one who got away; Dean and their short lived romance comes into full swing. That is until it goes terribly wrong and she is left with wondering if she should work it out with Keith instead. A simple kiss led to many secrets being revealed; and it makes Kyla wish she could take it all back. Michael is ready to commit to Brittany and for once he feels he has the right woman by his side. That is until a passionate night turns into an unwanted child. Fighting to keep her heart from being broken; Brittany vows to never be just another notch in a mans belt. Although Michael promises to be there and seals it with a kiss, Brittany still struggles with if she should carry their child. When love isnt enough will each one of them make the right decision? Can they finally trust the one they want the most? After all its better to be slapped by the truth then kissed with a lie. They say kisses dont lie, right?



Tamika Newhouse is a self-published bestselling author who founded Delphine Publications, at the age of 21; Tamika appeared on various bestseller lists and won Self Published Author of the Year at the 2009 African American Literary Awards only 9 months after her debut novel. In 2010 she was inducted into Who's who in Black San Antonio and she landed a major publishing deal without an agent and still continues to write independent projects. In 2011 her company Delphine Publications won an African American Literary Award for Best Anthology as well as Tamika won for the second time Self Published Author of the Year. She was also nominated by the National Women in Business Association for the 2011 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.

Along with Delphine Publications, Tamika is the founder and President of African Americans on the Move Book Club (AAMBC) - an online book club and radio show catering to avid readers across the nation. She is also CEO of Obsessive Soul Media. With future projects in the works from short films, stage plays and much more, Tamika is a young woman on a mission.

Tamika presently tours the country speaking about overcoming her teen pregnancy to fulfill her dream, as well as teaching aspiring writers the publishing ropes. A former radio host, she hosted her own internet radio show (AAMBC) for over three years and continues to expand her brand. She is currently living in San Antonio with her son and daughter and is currently working on her fifth novel He's My Favorite Mistake.

For Bookings: Nikki@NikkiWalkerPR.net


How did you start out your writing career?

At the age of 21 I launched my own publishing company, Delphine Publications by publishing my own book The Ultimate NO NO. I went on from that book and landed a major book deal without an agent all the while publishing other authors and continuing to write independently.


What did you learn while writing this book?

When writing my current book, Kisses Don’t Lie, I discovered the balance between my craft and the business. I learned to maintain both and write daily to ensure I can have a project out on time.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

I hope to have a cross over audience and build a brand that’s outside of the book world. I want to gain readers who wouldn’t normally pick up a romance novel. I want to open up many doors for other writers to come up behind me and be even more successful.


What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why?

The plot came first. I knew that I wanted my characters to develop from a young age to only fall apart as time passed by. We all have that first love but we grow up and then we forget about that love as if it never happened.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?

That I would have a love/hate for this book world. It can be tiresome but I don’t see myself doing anything else. I see that there are clicks, and bully’s and gossipers and try to overlook the negativity. But when I get a message from a reader stating they loved my work it makes all the heartache worth it.

What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?

I love writing drama and I love writing about being in love. Although love isn’t perfect so when I write about the heartaches my characters go through it’s all coming from a real place. No love is perfect so I will never have a perfect love story.


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

Where to travel, who to socialize with, and how to develop a book/media tour

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

Do not get involved in clicks with authors who promote and socialize to each other, expand your brand and your reach. Lastly to be consistent in this industry, if you quit you will never make it.

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

At events I am often approached by readers or supporters that they wish to write a book, but one thing about writing is that this is a God given talent. Not just any one can write and develop a story.

Tell us something few know about you?

I am anti-social by nature. I love to be at home and be alone. But since coming into this industry I had to develop a personality and become personable.

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

I like to just watch tv and lay around the house. Nothing major the downtime I get is worth every minute.

What do you do to interact with your readers?


I am active on my social networks on twitter @TamikaNewhouse and Facebook at facebook.com/tamikanewhouse I am also available by email at aambookclub@gmail.com


Our theme for this issue is Resources On The Net. What resources on the net have been helpful in your writing?

I follow a lot in the entertainment world and ENT. Publicist. Following them helps me develop new ways on exposing myself to a broader audience.

Who was the first author you ever met?

That is a tuffy I believe it was several independent writers at an event I was also attending. But my biggest and most proud moment was meeting Eric Jerome Dickey, his books I fell in love with growing up.


Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

I know that I am obsessive and that I want to succeed. I know that I would die trying before I give up.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?


I take you into the lives of Kyla and Brittany Howard as they struggle with an old flame and a new found love. Each sister is faced with hard decisions that can either break their hearts or finally give them happiness. One deals with letting go of her first love and the other deals with an unwanted child. Some of their hardest decisions are made on a whelm. Drama and more will cover the pages of Kisses Don’t Lie.

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

I am active on my social networks on twitter @TamikaNewhouse and Facebook at facebook.com/tamikanewhouse I am also available by email at aambookclub@gmail.com


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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fear, Faith and Patience Blog Tour With Felecia S. Killings


We often wonder what it is like to be a teacher in today’s time. With so much happening in the public schools, it seems any wonder how it is able to function given all the atrocities that go on in the system. But this is the story about a young, beautiful teacher named Felecia Killings. As a child, she dreamt of the opportunity to be what many call one of the most admirable professions in society: an educator. And when her father witnessed this aspiration in her, he did everything in his power to protect it and to ensure that she fulfilled her mission. Yet, like so many countless individuals who enter the public school system, Ms. Killings was met with tragedies and struggles. But through it all, she allowed her faith to keep her strong, even in the midst of hell.

This book is one to be commended, for it takes what we think we know about the public school system and brings to light another side that is never talked about. Through this text, you will learn about the power of unconditional love and personal sacrifice. For every teacher who chooses to stand up for what’s right, even when everyone is against you, this book will minister to you in ways that even you could not imagine. You WILL be inspired.

Purchase book at: Amazon.com http://tinyurl.com/7dbrtcv
Author website: http://fearfaithpatience.weebly.com


Felecia S. Killings is a quintessential educator and promoter of change, transformation, and innovation within the educational field. Her years of dedicated service to education, and ascribing to the motto that “Learning is a Lifestyle,” has resulted in extensive years of training and preparation in the educational spectrum. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Davis in 2005 with double majors in English and African and African American Studies. She also obtained her Master’s Degree from UC Davis’s School of Education in 2007. She has received preliminary Doctoral of Education course work at Argosy University from 2008-2010; and will complete her Doctorate of Philosophy in Education with emphasis in Organizational Leadership at Northcentral University in Arizona. Felecia has provided her community with five years of service as a public-school English instructor. She has also created educational programs that help minority youth reach their full potential through excellence in education, job training, and college and career preparations. Felecia is also an author and publisher, and founder and CEO of Power, Faith, and Love Ministries, which oversees seven organizations. Commitment, dedication to service, and a desire to help others become successful and prosperous are her driving force. Furthermore, her unconditional love for the things of God, and expanding His Kingdom in the earth serve as the foundation for the ministry that God has placed in her spirit.

Visit Felecia at: http://fearfaithpatience.weebly.com

Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/7595ry6

What inspired you to write your first book?

My desire is to ignite a fire within God’s people to become active in earthly affairs inspired me to write this book. I’m not the type of person who can idly sit back and let injustices go on without speaking up, because I realize that my silence, and that of others, gives license to ungodly, destructive behavior. I have learned over the last few years that my words, when enveloped in God’s anointing, have the power to bring forth the change that is necessary in public schools. Thus, publishing a book that accomplishes this very task is my driving force.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The message that I want readers to grasp is that we all have an obligation to get active in earthly affairs for the sake of the next generation. If we remain silent about issues that plague our schools—issues such as racism, sexism, discrimination, and sexual abuse (especially from students to teachers)—then we cannot expect any change for our youths.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

My advice for other writers is to simply share whatever God places on your heart, and trust that the words He gives you is exactly what the people need to hear in order to bring them out of a terrible situation.

What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?

As a novice publisher, I knew that in order to get my book out there, I would need the help and expertise of one who has gone before me. My mother, Paulette Harper-Johnson, was just the person because she had already established herself as a prominent Christian author. After discussing with her my vision of this book ministry, she gracefully accepted the role as my publicist and marketing supervisor. I cannot emphasize enough how much of a help and support she has been to me; and I would highly recommend her services to anyone, especially new authors.

Why should we buy your book?

Purchasing this book is especially important for parents and families that have an investment in the public school system. Anyone who sends their children to these schools needs to understand what is going on in it, and to learn that they have rights that entitle them and their children to receive better and equal education. This book is also important for educators who feel trapped in a system that commits serious offenses against them. It is an eye-opening text, one that many will find difficult to believe because it is so atrocious. In spite of what goes on there, the book (and the subsequent books to follow) provides hope and encouragement for all those who are facing tough challenges.

Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?

For me, I love writing in the comfort of my home.

What projects are you currently working on?

This book is one of a three-part series; so I am currently finishing the other two books that will provide a conclusion to the stories presented in the first book. In addition to working on my book ministry, I am in the process of licensing my first non-profit organization that works with adolescent females who are caught up in prostitution within the Bay Area, including Fairfield, CA.

Readers wishing to purchase this book can find it on Amazon.com and other online book stores. They can also visit my website at http://fearfaithpatience.weebly.com to receive a copy.

Purchase book at Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/7dbrtcv



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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

GUEST BLOGGER: Building Relationships With Book Clubs by TaNisha Webb


One of the many questions I receive from authors is how to work with book clubs. Can you offer us a few tips for writers trying to build relationships with book clubs?

I always tell authors that they have to stop trying to sell their books to book clubs and instead build a relationship that will last throughout their careers. In order to do this authors should go where book clubs will be present.

Authors should start in they own backyard first. Local book clubs like supporting local authors and its a great way to get the word out about your book locally by word of mouth.

Engaging book clubs in a face to face conversation at literary events can not only help you to get noticed but if they are impressed book clubs will purchase your book as well. This is a great opportunity to inquire about discussing your book at an upcoming book club meeting in person, during a conference call or Skype.

If a book club loves to run their mouths about great books, then that book club can be a great and FREE marketing tool for you as well because they will tell others and also begin pre-ordering your books as well.

If you're unable to attend many events, social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads are great to interact with book clubs on a daily basis. Do a search for book clubs and friend or follow them.

Also, look for any opportunities to place your book information in souvenir or advertisement programs at various literary events as this will help you to expose your books without you actually being there.

What I would advice authors NOT to do is send several eblasts out close together. Probably after the 2nd one, the emails will be ignored or the book club will unsubscribe to your newsletter.

Tell us about your book club.

The KC Girlfriends Book Club was established in 2002 by a group of girlfriends. I joined the group in 2003 after I moved to the Kansas City area. We eventually ended up with only 2 members and decided to change the book club where we would meet up in restaurants and placed it back on a local social events calendar to solicit members. We ended up with a total of 41 members within 1.5 years after that. We're currently at a comfortable number of 12 members at this time. We are a National Book Club Conference two time Community Service award recipient as well.

Can you tell us about your two conferences coming up?


The 3rd Annual Fall Into Books Literary Conference will be held in St. Louis, MO, September 14-16, 2012 on the beautiful campus of Saint Louis University right outside of downtown St. Louis. Our featured authors this year is Mary Monroe, Marissa Monteilh, Vanessa Miller, Frances Ray, Moses Miller, E. Lemont Goode Jr., Naleighna Kai, Dr. A'ndrea Wilson, T.L. James, Jo Lena Johnson and Steven Charles Martin. We will also have 10 attending authors.

During Fall Into Books we will have a poetry night at Legacy Books and Cafe, book club and author workshops, panel discussions and author breakout sessions. Participants can also participate in an optional tour on Sunday to the Gateway Arch, Old Courthouse and lunch in the downtown area. Regular registration is $115 and will include full access to the events taking place on the campus of Saint Louis University. Each participant will receive 2 books by our featured authors, an 3rd Annual Fall Into Books tshirt and book bag, and a Bookmark It! Handcrafted Bookmark. Visit http://www.fallintobooks.com/ to register and for more information.

The 2nd Annual Book Club University Online Conference is a 5 hour long online conference for book clubs and book club minded individuals was held on Saturday March 3, 2012 12-5pm CST. The conference was free. Our five presenters this year are book club presidents: Daphney Young, Jacque McNeil, Annette Breedlove, Sonya Ward and myself. We presented a specific book club topic and and answered questions from our participants. We also took questions via Facebook and Twitter throughout the day as well. The conference is done in a webinar setting so the participant can see the PowerPoint presentation or they can just listen in by phone if they are on the go. We also have interviews with authors Victoria Christopher Murray, ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Eric Jerome Dickey this year. You can visit http://www.bookclubuniversity101.net/ for more information.

TaNisha Webb is a well known book club consultant and author of the highly anticipated book club guide The Ultimate Book Club Experience: How to Create & Maintain a Successful Book Club. She is the Publisher and Editor in Chief for Book Club 101 Magazine and the founder of Book Club 101 University, The Black Book Club Experience, and The Ultimate Book Club Experience. TaNisha is also a literary events consultant. She is the founder and coordinator of Fall Into Books Literary Conference and Book Club University Online Conference. She is the owner of Literary-ly Speaking Events & Services and Bookmark It! Handcrafted Bookmarks.

TaNisha Webb is the president of the award-winning KC Girlfriends Book Club and moderator for the “Maximizing Your Book Club Experience” panel discussion for the National Book Club Conference in Atlanta, GA. In 2002, TaNisha earned an Associates of Health Science in Respiratory Care at Newman University in Wichita, KS. TaNisha lives in Kansas City, MO and works as an Environmental Health Coordinator for a children’s hospital. Please visit TaNisha Webb online at: http://www.tanishawebbonline.com/, http://www.bookclub101mag.com/ or http://www.bookclubuniversity101.net/

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Monday, March 12, 2012

FEATURED AUTHOR: Gina Conroy


Cherry Blossom Capers Collection

Four townhouse neighbors encounter romance and mystery near our nation’s capital. In State Secrets, White House assistant chef Tara Whitley and FBI agent Jack Courtland stop a plot to sabotage a State dinner—and find love still hidden in their hearts. In Dying for Love, attorneys and opponents Ciara Turner and Daniel Evans uncover love while searching for justice. In Buried Deception, archaeologist Samantha Steele and security guard Nick Porter dig up love while uncovering a forged artifact. In Coffee, Tea and Danger, amateur sleuths Susan Holland and Vince Martinelli find love while investigating a string of mysterious accidents.

Gina's Novella: Buried Deception

Mount Vernon archaeology intern and widow Samantha Steele wants to provide for her children without assistance from anyone. Security guard and ex-cop Nick Porter is haunted by his past and keeps his heart guarded. But when they discover an artifact at Mount Vernon is a fake, Nick and Samantha need to work together, set aside their stubbornness, and rely on each other or the results could be deadly. Will Samantha relinquish her control to a man she hardly knows? Can Nick learn to trust again? And will they both allow God to excavate their hearts so they can find new love?


Gina Conroy used to think she knew where her life was headed; now she's leaning on the Lord to show her the way. She is the founder of Writer...Interrupted where she mentors busy writers and tries to keep things in perspective, knowing God's timing is perfect, even if she doesn't agree with it! ;) She is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, and her first novella, Buried Deception, in the Cherry Blossom Capers Collection, releases from Barbour Publishing in January 2012. On her blog Defying Gravity and twitter she chronicles her triumphs and trials as she pursues her dreams while encouraging her family and others to chase after their own passions. Gina loves to connect with readers, and when she isn’t writing, teaching, or driving kids around, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

How did you start out your writing career?

I remember discovering the power of words and the freedom and peace of jotting down my private thoughts in a diary when I was about nine. And I’ve kept a journal every since, though nowadays I call it blogging, and it’s not so private.

Then in 1992, right after I got married, I started my first novel, then had a baby two years later and stopped writing. I didn’t know I could write and raise a family until I found ACFW in 2005. It was then I also discovered there were rules to writing and my first novel didn’t follow any of them! I started learning the craft and struggled with balancing writing with raising a family and homeschooling. I started http://writerinterrupted.com/ to figure it all out, got to know Chip MacGregor who would later become my agent, and finally after seven years and much sweat and tears, I got the call for my first contract.
The short story of my writing break is after I couldn’t sell my first novel, I was invited into a romance anthology group by friends who believed in my writing and wanted to see me published. But the project got rejected, then about two years later, the line was open to what we had originally proposed, so we sent it in and a week later got accepted to Barbour’s Romancing America line.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned how to edit down a 56,000 word to manuscript to 21,000 and survive! After the first draft novella didn’t sell, I added to the story and pitched it to publishers, but it didn’t sell. Then a few years later, it sold as a novella and I had the daunting task of cutting down this romantic mystery (with all clues in tact) to meet the word count. It was painful, but I did learn enough to share some of my editing insights with others which I do on my blog and in my talks.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

Besides being a fun and engaging mystery, I hope readers realize that the theme of my novella is “surrender.” The hero and heroine in the story have different reasons for fighting to stay in control of their lives, but when they try and do things on their own, it just gets worse. If they don’t surrender to God who has their best interest in mind, their lives will never be complete. Surrender is something God has been teaching me over the last several years. I know from experience it’s not easy, but it’s necessary for growth.

What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why?

The plot idea came first. Back in 2005, I was homeschooling and our family took an east coast tour, hitting all the historical spots. Mount Vernon was one of them and as I was walking through the mansion, especially George Washington’s office, I kept thinking about the antiques and if they were real or replicas. Later, when I wanted to write a mystery I kept coming back to Mount Vernon. We were also studying Egypt and archaeology at the time, so I thought it would be fun to explore the “What if someone discovered that an artifact at the Mount Vernon Mansion was a fake?” The characters, story, and plot just grew from there.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?

I didn’t have many expectations of being a published author and knew it would be a lot of work, and it was. But I think the biggest surprise is when people get excited to see me, a published author, and the confidence I have playing the role when in reality I’d much rather be an introvert.

What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?

I love the romance stage of writing where I’m getting to know my characters and learning their story. I love characterization, finding each character’s unique voice, and I especially love when characters surprises me by their actions, or I learn something I never knew about them. My least favorite aspect of writing is writing the proposal! It’s tedious and grueling, but must be done in order to sell my story.

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

1) Fighting for what is not yours is much harder than surrendering to what is. And surrendering brings a lot more peace.

2) Be content in all things! Enjoy the moment or the season of life you are in. This is something I’m still learning, but I’ve come a long way. I often look to the future instead of enjoying the present. But in the last six years or so, God has been teaching me to slow down and enjoy where I am.

3) Believe God has your best interest in mind even when you think you know better! As someone who likes to be in control, I’m still trying to swallow this one!

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

Give yourself permission to write a lousy first draft and don’t let writing become your life! I’m still working on these two, but have already found some freedom from years of obsessive editing and a writing schedule that took on a life of its own.

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

Writing is not just what I do, it’s who I am. Many friends and family members think my writing is a hobby like playing golf or scrapbooking. It’s not! It’s a calling and hard work, and frankly, sometimes I wish it was a hobby so I could just take a break from it. But I can’t. I write because God created me to write and without it, I’d be lost.

Tell us something few know about you?

I spent a summer on a mission’s trip to Nigeria, Africa in 1987 during my Junior year of college, then traveled alone through the Lagos, Nigeria airport the following year and stayed for 8 months on a Missions/Journalism internship. It was an amazing and humbling experience preaching to village churches with an interpreter and working on a Benson Idahosa’s ministry magazine. It was also not all I thought it would be, and through the pain and trials God met me in an intimate and sweet way.

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

I try, sometimes unsuccessfully despite popular belief, to manage a household consisting of a husband, two teens and two preteens who all have various goals and dreams. It’s hard balancing everyone’s schedule with my own, but I try to make time for my own recreation which most recently has been ballroom dancing. I especially love swing dancing and the Latin dances like Cha Cha. It’s become my guiltless obsession. Dancing feeds my mind, body, and soul. You have to be mentally alert and physically fit, and when I connect with a dance and the music, there’s a feeling of accomplishment and pride.

What do you do to interact with your readers?

I crave interaction with readers, not just a monologue where I do all the talking. I’m easy to find. If you can’t find me on the internet, it’s because you haven’t looked. For a more personal account of my life and triumphs and trials as I pursue my dreams alongside my kids' dream, you can find me blogging at Defying Gravity. There I share my writing insecurities and celebrations, but also share fun stuff about my family like when my kids got a Disney audition call back! After all, my blog is all about helping people follow their dreams, and I have to include my own children!

For posts related to all types of writing, I blog ever Friday at Writer...Interrupted, the site I founded when I was trying to figure out how to balance raising my family with pursuing my writing career. The rest of the week writers, agents and editors guest post and the archives is full of great information for the busy writer!
You can also LIKE me on my Facebook Author Page and FOLLOW me on Twitter. I also have a Facebook Page just for Writer...Interrupted. And did I mention I LOVE to hear from readers!!

Our theme for this issue is Resources On The Net. What resources on the net have been helpful in your writing?

ACFW is a great community of multi-published and pre-published writers. Other invaluable sites include:

My Book Therapy and Your Writer’s Group are great membership sites that give you one on one feedback and teaching Writer Unboxed Writer…Interrupted, of course, which I designed to be “Your One Stop for the Busy Writer” and where I seek out blog content I want to reference later!
And dozens of other author blogs devoted to helping writers succeed.

Who was the first author you ever met?

When I was ready to pitch my first story, I attended a small writer’s conference and met author Rene Gutteridge. She was very kind and encouraging, and we’re friends to this day.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

I know that I am loved by God who created me for a purpose only I can fill. I know that He may not always show me where I am going, but He will always lead me in His time.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

I have two projects I’m working on that need a home.

Digging Up Death has the same feel as my novella Buried Deception and is about an archaeologist and single mom interferes in the FBI investigation of a missing Egyptian artifact to prove her ex-husband’s innocence, but instead digs up a murderer.

I’m also working on a women’s fiction historical based loosely on my grandmother’s story as a Rosie the Riveter raising three children after she kicks her no-good abusive husband out of the home in 1943.

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

Email me: gina@ginacoroy.com and don’t forget to stop by and connect at http://writerinterrupted.com/

You can also find me almost daily at:
Facebook Author Page
Writer…Interrupted (on Facebook)
Twitter @GinaConroy and @Writerinterrupt

Thanks so much for having me here, it’s been a pleasure!


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Friday, March 09, 2012

FEATURED AUTHOR: Rhonda Bowen

One Way or Another
Atlanta reporter Toni Shields will do whatever it takes to get a good story. So when she’s arrested for sneaking around the mayor’s house, she’s prepared. What she’s not prepared for is getting demoted—or her run-in with stubborn Adam Bayne, director of the local young men’s rehab center.

The first time Adam saw Toni, she was wrangling with the cops. Now she’s looking for a scoop at Jacob House. Adam has no intention of letting her near his boys—yet as usual, her pushiness wins. And when she genuinely helps a teen in trouble, Adam sees a side of her that cares about more than just a headline. Soon, they become close—their attraction growing. But there’s more to both their lives than meets the eye. Toni has a haunting family secret, one that is taking a great toll on her. And when she uncovers that Adam has a devastating past of his own, not only their relationship, but their futures, and their faith, lie in the balance.


Rhonda Bowen knew she would be a writer as early as eighth grade when she wrote her first novel with a classmate in a dollar notebook. While waiting for the day to come, she spent a lively childhood growing up in Kingston, Jamaica and later attaining her Bachelor of Arts at the University of the West Indies. Not long after, her family moved to Toronto, Canada where she spent a few years working in public relations and event planning. Throughout this time however, her desire to write stayed alive. She eventually completed her first novel, Man Enough for Me, which was released under Kensington Books’ Dafina imprint in February 2011.

In October 2010, urged by the call of God, Rhonda packed up her life again and moved to Thailand to teach English. Though most of her time was spent entertaining her students in the name of education, she still found time to scribble away at new stories. She returned to Toronto, where she now resides, just in time for the February 2012 release of her second novel One Way or Another. She is excited about the future and the path that God has for her life.


How did you start out your writing career?

In Grade 8 in a notebook with my friend Simone. We were both voracious readers and we used to write stories together, taking turns writing a chapter until we got bored with the story and decided to start a new one. After we got separated by college and life, I stopped writing for a while, but then got back into it as a means of dealing with difficult situations in my life. Writing became like therapy to me. When I was introduced to Christian fiction, I realized there was an audience for the stories I wanted to write, and that’s when I started Man Enough For Me, my first published novel. Since then it has moved from being a hobby to a career, and the rollercoaster hasn’t stopped.

What did you learn while writing this book?

That an extra pair of eyes does wonders. I always cringe when someone reads my work for the first time. But having that outside perspective really helped me make One Way or Another so much better than it initially was.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

I hoped that my readers would come to see that their past does not have to determine their future. Some of us make mistakes or are the victims of other people’s mistakes, but we don’t have to let them define who we are. With Christ, we all can have amazing futures.

What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why?

The characters came first, specifically Adam, because he was inspired by a young man I met a couple years ago. This young man had such an amazing story that it immediately inspired the story for me. The whole plot kind of formed around that.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?

How much non-writing work is involved! It’s not just about doing the thing you love. There is so much work to do promoting your book and yourself. That part of it can take up as much time as the writing part.

What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?

I hate the part of the project where I am not sure about the story; where I don’t know if the story I am writing is the one I want to write; where I don’t know whether to trash it and start over or keep going. Conversely I love the part of writing where the story takes over. I know I am there when I find myself scribbling scenes from the story on restaurant napkins, or on the back of receipts so I don’t forget them by the time I get home.

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

One: That there is so much pressure when you are writing a second book. And it’s not even pressure from the readers or my editor. It’s my own expectations for myself, and my own desire to make sure that every book I write is better than the one before.

Two: That people who don’t write won’t necessarily understand when you say you can’t go out on Saturday night because you have to write.

Three: That I should keep everything I write. There are so many half stories I wrote over the years that I can’t find now. I wish I still had them because they can sometimes inspire my current project.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

You’ve probably heard this a million times but it still rings true. Do write as often as you can. The more you write, the easier it becomes to write. Don’t write with the sole purpose of being published. Write because you enjoy telling stories, and because you enjoy the craft of writing.

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

That at the start of a project or even mid way it is hard to know exactly what the book is about. I know for me personally that the focus changes all the time. So when you ask me now, what is your next book about, I can’t really tell you, because even though I am currently writing it, it’s still too early to be certain.

Tell us something few know about you?

I am a pescaterian, which basically means I am a vegetarian who eats fish. It’s my stepping stone to being a full vegetarian, which I hope to accomplish within the next year or so.

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

What spare time? (ha ha) I go to school and work right now so there’s not much of that. But I love to read and when it’s not cold outside I play sports. Oh! And I love trying out new recipes.

What do you do to interact with your readers?

I am online all the time. I ‘meet’ most of my readers over facebook or via email and I always try and stay in touch because I am always floored that a reader would take the time to contact me.

Our theme for this issue is Resources On The Net. What resources on the net have been helpful in your writing?

I wrote One Way or Another while I was in Thailand, and as you can imagine there weren’t many English resources available to me, so pretty much all my resources came from the net. I have kindle for PC and used the ebook versions of a lot of great books like The Plot Thickens by Noah Lukeman and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Dave King and Renni Browne. Those two are my writing encyclopaedias. I also followed the news online. That provides a lot of inspiration and factual information for me.

Who was the first author you ever met?

Pamela Yaye. I met her at a writer’s workshop she did at the Malvern Public Library in Toronto. She is great romance writer and an amazing person. She was so down to earth and gave us great ideas on how to plan your characters. I still have the dictionary I won at her workshop!

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

That Jesus is my help.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

I’ll try! I am working on another project that is due out sometime next year. For now let’s just say it’s about a young woman, her man, her siblings, and a plan for revenge that goes too far.

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

I am a facebook junkie, so you can always connect with me there at facebook.com/MsRhondie. You can also email me at rhonda.bowen@yahoo.com or visit my website rhondabowen.com.



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Thursday, March 08, 2012

FEATURED AUTHOR: Wilhelmina Michelle Leonard


Jesus Saves Lexi

The State of Michigan attempts to kill a retired adult entertainer, as the President and U.S. Federal Government condones it to cover up two politicians involvement in double murders and a 20-year former NFL player sexual pleasure with a minor..

The high-profiled professional entertainer wanted completely out of the adult entertainment business. She turned her life over to the Lord; saved by the Lord Jesus Christ only to find getting out of the business was going to be a BIG problem! It later concludes that she was denied her U.S Constitutional Civil Rights, Freedom of Speech and Religion, where honorable humans in the state try to kill her.


Excerpt: In many circumstances, some people cannot believe truth, but God’s Word is the only truth in this world. This book is a non-fiction recollection of when the State of Michigan attempted to kill me, declared I never existed and hallucinated, for me wanting completely out of the adult entertainment business. This all arose from me getting baptized in Jesus’ name and filled with the Holy Ghost, God changing my life and the change of my mindset.

I am about to reveal many of the secrets in the exotic adult world, which the normal society does not know about, which conclusively will lead up to clues to the murder of adult entertainer Tamara Greene. These corruption schemes include governmental civil disobedience, drugs, sex, and money, along with mysteries and pursuits of death to cover up deaths. It has celebrity names and high-profiled politicians, international governments, high-profiled law firms, courts, hospitals, and licensed state physicians who committed perjury to prove there is no one more powerful than God.

I am blessed and proud to write that God loved me when I was an ungodly person. The Word of God has been taught to me by the honorary pastor (Nellie Bryant) who has been with the Word of God and walking with the Lord Jesus Christ for over 60 years, living in His perfect Will. I pray in faith and hope to better someone else’s life. It is possible for a person to do right in this world, having help from the Lord Jesus Christ.




Wilhelmina Michelle Leonard was born in Detroit, Michigan. She was the second highest paid adult entertainer in the State of Michigan. She has professionally entertained for 11½ years and walked away from two contracts in Canada, one for $5,000 and another for $3,500 a week.

Wilhelmina has attended Oakland Community College, Wayne State University and Marygrove College. Her activities are to study the Holy Bible (KJV), pray, read, attend church, swim, scuba dive, jog, roller blade, travel, and fine dining. Watching the History Channel and Court TV is her preference. Enduring many life escapades, she wants to continue to travel all over the world and receive as many passport stamps as possible. She loves children, but does not have any. Wilhelmina is usually relaxed being by herself in peace and to carefully think?

In the near future, she plans to learn how to snowboard and maybe publish more books. Her goals are to complete her Bachelors in Forensic Science with a minor in history and to obtain a Ph.D in Apostolic Theology. She also wants to help many people overcome obstacles that seem to be impossible. Wilhelmina loves to witness to people about the Lord Jesus Christ. She loves God with all her heart, mind and soul, and will not take it back! The Lord has been so good to Wilhelmina Michelle Leonard!


How did you start out your writing career?

I would not state writing is my career. God impelled me to begin these writing tasks, guiding me into my faith walk with Christ! The first book is titled “Jesus Saves Lexi: If He Can Save Me, He Can Save You!”


What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

I hope continue being saved under the Blood of Jesus Christ, and accomplish God’s deliverance to justice, freedom, ect.; enduring the long suffering in patience. Hopefully the book will to be a spiritual path for others to embrace hope as well.

What kind of support did you have while you were writing the novel? For example, writing groups, the Internet, etc.?

The support mechanism I used was a developed general outline of a chronological order of crisis that occurred, and of what Jesus had saved me from!

I used the Internet, written journals, photographs and other value materials to document the written book to have the evidence. This part and formulation process, being to my preference would be axed! Not doing any of the extra work always makes a person feel great!


What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?

Wow! I am surprised of the marketing, publicity, and more money that needs to be done in order for any self-published author to get their books heard!

What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?

The first aspect I love about writing is the spiritual information God revealed to me, and how I can fuse it into my writings. I do not verbally speak in such as how I write. This makes my standpoint to an audience visible who digs reading in deep details.

Punctuation, English skills and grammar, I abhor writing when it comes to these finger(s) punching the computer keys! But as always keeping a positive smiling motive and spirit, as I continue to get the job done!

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

There are too many matters that have occurred reaching today; being surpassed any pinnacle. It is repulsive for me to enumerate and comment.



Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

Do: Aspiring writers should always believe in themselves! Aspiring writers can become successfully published and have prosperous books being prominent liked other authors.

Don’t: Aspiring writers should not listen to anyone who is evil, wicked, cunning, malicious, unsupportive, un-positive, who is trying to prevent them from being a marveled published writer, which millions of people have accomplished.

Does Helen Adams Keller ring a bell?


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

I pray and wish non-writers would understand the essence of writing.


Tell us something few know about you?

Few people know about me, I still have one fear in this world. This fear is beyond the universe and God knows!


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

I like to be by myself in peace in my spare time when I am not writing.


What do you do to interact with your readers?

To interact with my readers, I try to update on my Jesus Saves Lexi Blogspot or post on the Jesus Saves Lexi Facebook page.


Our theme for this issue is Resources On The Net. What resources on the net have been helpful in your writing?

The resources on the net, which was helpful in my writing, were Wikipedia, Free Online Dictionary, BibleGateway, and all the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing ect.


Who was the first author you ever met?

The first author I recall meeting and having a formal discussion with is named Dr. Donald Rizzo. I’m aware he has written a few college Biology textbooks. He was a very smart, brilliant professor who has taught me well.


Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

Well, Oprah! I know for sure I have eternal life, which money cannot ever buy!


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

Email is the way to go for contacting in forever-future days! My email address is acts238acts24@jesussaveslexi.com.

All information is also available at www.JesusSaveslexi.com 


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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Tyora Moody Virtual Book Tour For When Rain Falls


LaShaunda, before we jump into this interview I would like to thank you for the awesome job you do each month supporting authors. People may not know, but I met you online in 1999 and I have enjoyed watching you grow SORMAG. We have got to meet in person one of these days. Until we meet in person, thank you for hosting me today on SORMAG. It’s an honor!

EDITOR's Note:  Tyora it is my honor to be able to introduce you to my readers.  I'm so excited to be able to help promote your new book.  You too help support many authors with your graphics and now your book tours.  My dream is to one day have you host my first blog tour.  


Today I want my readers to see that their writing dreams can come true. You are living proof with hard work they too can see their names on a book.  


To our readers:  It is my pleasure to introduce to you, Debut author - Tyora Moody.


Tyora, tell us about When Rain Falls.

Sure, you can check out the book trailer and synopsis below.



OR click here to view the trailer http://youtu.be/j3OV19T9Cx8


About the Book

"Why does God keep taking away the people I love?" This is the lamentation of widow CANDACE JOHNSON when her best friend is brutally murdered. Ensnared by a deep-rooted bitterness, seeping her faith day by day, Candace is determined to seek justice.

Detective Darnell Jackson is in need of clues fast. The police captain is coming down hard on him and his partner to find out who murdered Pamela Coleman, the daughter of a high profile judge. Darnell confers with Candace to get the inside track on events leading up to the murder. As the investigation heats up, his growing attraction for Candace plays havoc on Darnell’s judgment.

Little does she know, Candace’s quest to find the truth has led her straight to the killer. She’s already lost loved ones. Now Candace must choose to completely trust God with her own life.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

Writing fiction has been a bit of a surprise over the past few years because for the longest I’ve mainly written nonfiction. When these characters popped into my head, it came at a time in my life when I was seeking new direction. Once I received a small glimpse into the character’s background, I wanted to know more.

Writers have different styles of writing. After writing one novel, one novella and one short story in the past few years, I’ve discovered no matter the word count, I like to outline with some flexibility. As I’m thinking along a timeline or time frame the events start to unfold for me for each scene.

Who are your main character(s)?

When Rain Falls introduces two main characters, Candace Johnson and Detective Darnell Jackson. Both of these individuals have suffered and deal with loss which is a common part of life. Candace has suffered extensive loss of loved ones via violent crimes. The first question that comes to mind is why? Candace struggles with her faith as she questions why she has lost loved ones she has been particularly close to. Darnell is a homicide detective who deals with the consequences of violent crimes on a daily basis. He’s also been struggling with the loss of a relationship. Divorce is often equated to death since individuals lose a significant other and portion of their life. My hope is the book will motivate others to know there is hope beyond the pain they may be currently experiencing.

Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?

LOL! I have asked this question to a number of authors of the years. I can see why it would be hard to choose a favorite. I will say the character I enjoyed writing the most was Detective Jackson. Kind of weird since he’s my male protagonist. It took me awhile to get a feel for Candace. Even though she’s a character, I felt this hesitancy that we all have to hide or mask the pain. She slowly revealed herself to me over a period of time. On the other hand, Darnell’s personality came out swinging from the first time I started to write his scenes.

Did you have to do quite a bit of research for this novel?

Yes, for some of the scenes with Detective Jackson. The novel is set in Charlotte, NC, so I spent a lot of time on the Charlotte Police Department’s website. Each police department is set-up differently, so I wanted to be sure to nail down details. I needed to read up a bit to make sure the forensic process of gathering evidence was accurate. I remember at one point my content editor and I went back and forth about the type of gloves used to gather the evidence. I’m a detail person, so my hope is that the facts support the story.

What do you hope readers will learn/discover from reading When Rain Falls?

In my debut novel, When Rain Falls, I’m introducing readers to the first of three main female characters. When Rain Fall is the first book in the Victory Gospel Series. The series introduces women whose pasts insist on walking beside them like a maddening visitor, unwilling to depart. Through a series of twists and life-altering experiences, these women learn victory over pain truly only comes in developing a deep trust in God. I pray that for any readers who are currently experiencing the same struggle.

Okay, a not-so-fun question. How important are reviews to you as a writer?

This is my debut novel, so I’m looking forward to reviews. I consider them to be important to my growth as a writer. From some of the feedback I have received so far, I’ve been really pleased by the response to Candace and Darnell. I wasn’t planning to bring them back too much in the second book, but that has changed a bit.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on the second book in the Victory Gospel Series. The next book in the series, When Memories Fade, will bring back a few of the characters from When Rain Falls. It’s been nice to be reunited with these characters and get to know new ones. My hope is for this novel to be released in 2013.


Where else can readers find you online?

Visitors can find me online at:

http://www.tyoramoody.com

http://facebook.com/AuthorTyoraMoody

http://www.twitter.com/tyoramoody

About the Author


Tyora "Ty" Moody is an author and entrepreneur. Her debut novel, When Rain Falls, will be released March 2012 (Urban Christian/Kensington). This is the first book in the Victory Gospel series. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and American Christian Fiction Writers. She owns and operates TywebbinCreations.com, a design and marketing company. Her company’s niche is assisting authors with branding and developing an online presence.


When Rain Falls Books Galore Giveaway

Virtual Book Tour - March 5 - 30, 2012

It's raining books!

From March 5-30, 2012, a winner will be chosen each week to receive a gift pack from Tyora Moody. There will be four (4) chances to win an autographed copy of When Rain Falls by Tyora Moody. The winner will also be eligible to win the following books during the week they are offered. The winner may choose the paperback or ebook version (except in the last week which is all ebooks).

Week 1 - March 5-9, 2012

What Kind of Fool by Rhonda McKnight
One Way or Another by Rhonda Bowen


Week 2 - March 12-16, 2012

A Good Excuse to Be Bad by Miranda Parker
Broken by Patricia Haley

Week 3 - March 19-23, 2012

Coming Home by Stacy Hawkins Adams
Stepping Into the Good Life by Tia McCollors

Week 4 - March 26-30, 2012

Kayla's Redemption by Wanda B.Campbell (ebook only)
The Playboy's Redemption by Vanessa Miller (ebook only)
True Beauty by Shelia Lipsey (ebook only)

What do you need to do to win?

Simply answer the following question in the comments area of this blog post and REMEMBER to include your email address.

Have you ever asked a similar question to what Candace has asked. "Why does God keep taking away the people I love?" What was your why and what were your reasons for asking?

If not, how can you encourage someone who has experienced loss without sounding cliche? Remember loss can come in various forms (death, divorce, broken relationship, unemployment, etc.)

To qualify, please respond with a thoughtful answer.

DISCLAIMER: Drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer at

http://tywebbinvirtualevents.com/contest-rules/


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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

GUEST BLOGGER: What Road to Publication Should You Choose?



What Road to Publication Should You Choose?
by Stacy-Deanne

This is a question many writers struggle over. There are more options for publishing a book than ever before. The trick is to pinpoint what fits your goals and your idea of success. Some writers work better with a publisher and others without. Below I’ve outlined different modes of publication so you can choose what would be the best for you.

1. Commercial Publishing

Commercial publishing falls into three different categories. You can publish with a big house, small press or an e-publisher. Let’s break down the differences between each of those so you’ll get a better idea.

a) Big Houses

If you intend to seek publication with one of the big six publishers or their imprints then you first need an agent. Some accept unagented submissions but overall you should seek out an agent to better your chances at big house publication.

b) Small/Independent Presses

A small or medium-size house can be a writer’s best friend. Being with a small press is like self- publishing with a team. You get the best of both worlds. You get the control over your work you wouldn’t get with a big house but also the expertise of a publisher. Small presses do everything a big house does. They design the book, edit it, market it, promote it, get reviews, etc. Not all small presses are the same though. Some don’t have the budgets to do what a lot of writers expect so you must weigh the pros and cons before signing on. A small press is a wonderful opportunity for most writers and most do not require an agent.

c) Epublishers

Yep, there are reputable, respected publishers out there that only publish ebooks. Most of them specialize in novels and mainly romance and erotica. There are a few that have opened up lines for other genres and some that publish all genres. Epublishers are a great way for a writer to get their work out there and build an audience. They are also good for writers of short works such as short stories and novellas. Epublishers do everything a print house would. They design the book, edit and promote it. They also have a faster turnaround than a print publisher. If you write in a genre you don’t believe fits print publishers than epublishers are definitely something to consider.

Be aware that your book will not be in print. Some epublishers offer print editions of books that sell a certain amount but usually your work will only be available as an ebook. If your heart is set on having your work in print and on physical shelves then epublishing is not for you.

2. Vanity Publishing

A lot of people are confused by vanity presses. Vanity publishing and self-publishing are two very different things. With vanity publishing you are paying a company for a service. They do almost what a commercial house does but for a fee. Vanity presses work well for releasing timely pieces that need to get on the market fast, books that appeal to a small or local audience, pamphlets or recipe books.

Vanity publishing isn’t cheap. Companies’ prices range from a few thousand and up.

The saying is that money flows to the author but remember, vanity publishing is fine if the author knows upfront they will have to pay and agree to the terms. If a vanity house is passing itself off as a commercial press yet charging, that’s a scam and you should avoid these predators. Commercial publishers never, ever charge authors for anything.

There are a lot of scammers in the vanity publishing arena. Some companies will charge for fees they never intend doing so if you choose this method make sure you research companies carefully.

3. Self-Publishing

This is when you do everything yourself. You are the writer, book designer, distributor, accountant, overseer, marketer, everything. You will be all alone. Some writers don’t mind doing it all but what about those who don’t want all that responsibility but still wanna self-publish? Well there are reputable self-publishing companies that will aid you in publishing your book for a fee. They are usually much cheaper than a vanity press. Self-publishing companies will do everything for you accept write the book, edit it or promote it. They will design a cover for you and distribute it for you as well as have it available for online retailers or for order for brick and mortar stores. Other than that you are on your own.

If you do decide to self-publish you should invest in a decent editor for your books. It’s your responsibility to make sure your work is at its best.

It’s 2012 and the road to publication is endless but you must be smart. Make sure the mode of publication you’ve chosen will fit your goals. At the end of the day it’s all about you and the best thing for your book.

Stacy-Deanne (Dee-Anne) is a novelist of crime fiction, mysteries, and suspense. She’s been writing professionally since 19-years-old, and her work includes “Everlasting,” “Melody” and “Giving up the Ghost.” Stacy is profiled along with notable authors in the NAACP-nominated 2006 book, “Literary Divas: The Top 100+ African-American Women in Writing.” Her current release “Giving up the Ghost” is a 2011 African-American Literary Award nominated novel and a 2012 Top 20 Black Expressions Bestseller.

The Season of Sin by Stacy-Deanne coming February 2012

http://www.stacy-deanne.net
Facebook: http://tiny.cc/aqx43
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stacydeanne


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Monday, March 05, 2012

FEATURED AUTHOR: Jacqueline Luckett


Nicole-Marie Handy has loved all things French since she was a child. After the death of her best friend, determined to get out of her rut, she goes to Paris, leaving behind a marriage proposal. While there Nicole chances upon an old photo inscribed with familiar handwriting. What starts as a vacation quickly becomes an unexpected adventure.

Moving back and forth in time between the sparkling Paris of today and the jazz-fueled city filled with expatriates in the 1950s, PASSING LOVE is the story of two women dealing with lost love, secrets, and betrayal…and how the City of Light may hold all the answers.



Book Trailer Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ0oXo1PXyU&feature=email

Hear the author talk about Passing Love in her own words:
http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/jacquelineluckett.html


After leaving the corporate world, Jacqueline Luckett took a creative writing class on a dare—from herself—and began writing short stories and poetry, and never looked back. The Bay Area native lives in Oakland, but travels to nurture her passion for photography and cooking exotic foods.

Passing Love, Jacqueline’s recent novel, is a story of secrets and betrayal in Paris. People Magazine called the novel, “Beautifully written and filled with vibrant scenes of Paris in its Jazz Age and today . . . a treat.” Jacqueline’s debut novel, Searching for Tina Turner, was an Essence Magazine Book Club selection. Her essay, “Traveling with Ghosts,” is included in Best Women’s Travel Writing 2011.

How did you start out your writing career?

For as far back as I can remember, my parents, uncles, aunts and cousins gathered together on Friday nights. As the oldest of the cousins, once I became a teenager, I was designated chief babysitter. We made tents an had talent shows, but as the night went on I kept my cousins from misbehaving by telling stories. I also wrote stories and poems for the children’s page in a local newspaper.

The love of writing has always been a part of me, but I never pursued it in high school or college. To this day, I unsure why, but coming from a family where I was the first to attend college, writing didn't seem to be a career option. Instead, I became an avid reader. Many years later, the desire to write and tell stories resurfaced. I’d written business letters and proposals during my corporate career, but I was looking for the chance to use my imagination and my love of language. I enrolled in a creative writing class at a local university and the challenge I gave myself opened up a whole new world for me.


What did you learn while writing this book?

PASSING LOVE explores what it means to live an ordinary life. As humans, it’s often our habit to look at the lives of the famous, or those we admire, and think that their lives are so much more exciting and interesting than our own. While that may be true on some level, what is really true is this: “ordinary” exists in everyone’s life. It’s what we do in our lives that makes us and our chosen paths extraordinary. We must appreciate our lives, value our experiences, and live in gratitude.


What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

Often we defer our dreams. Sometimes the reasons are legitimate—money, work schedules, and personal obligations don’t always allow us to explore or experience new places. Sometimes we don’t move forward because we’re afraid.

The two main characters in PASSING LOVE have different approaches to life. Nicole deferred her dream of going to Paris out of fear. While, on the other hand, Ruby doesn’t hesitate to do what it takes to get her where she wants to be.

I wrote these characters in the hope that readers would understand that fictional situations can inspire real life. It’s not as important how long it takes to get to the dream as it is to fulfill the dream. I’m hoping that both Nicole and Ruby inspire my readers to act.

What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why?

I was interested in writing a conventional love story around the idea of passing—and all its iterations. I brainstormed ideas about the way people love and all the opportunities for love that pass us in our lives. Ruby came first. I liked the idea of a gutsy young woman who went after what she wanted. I needed to balance Ruby’s almost unbridled nature with someone more conservative—and so, Nicole arrived.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?

Whenever I’m asked to pose for pictures with my readers, I’m really surprised. I'm a bit camera-shy. Also, I will never cease to be surprised, and I love it, at the sight of my novels on bookstore shelves.


What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?

Hate isn't exactly the right word, hardest might work better for me. Some writers have an entire story written in their heads before they ever type a word. For me, the first draft is the hardest because I only have an idea of how the story begins. What the characters are planning to do is still unclear. It’s hard to release control of the story and let it flow its own way. In the first draft, I’m flushing out the story, trying to get to know my characters, their personalities and quirks.

I don’t mind revising. Actually, I love it. It seems to be more of an action oriented task. During revision I know who the characters are and they begin to take over the story.

As for love? I love the whole process of writing from creation through revision to sending off the finally edited manuscript. I love printing out an entire manuscript, thumbing through it, and knowing that every word, every sentence, every period and comma came out of my head.



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

1) That, for the most part, book tours for new authors are virtually non-existent. You’ve got to do a lot on your own even before your book is published.
2) That people would take advantage of my inexperience. Enough said.
3) The importance of networking.


Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

Do learn as much as you can about the publishing industry. Try to develop relationships and form networks with experienced authors.


Don’t worry about how much money you think you’ll make or how well your book will do. Just write.



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

At a reading about a year ago, J. California Cooper talked about how much thinking she does; sometimes whole days “just thinking.”

Thinking about story, character, plot twists and turns is part of the writing process—so don’t laugh when I say that’s what I’m doing and don’t imply that I’m doing nothing or wasting my time.


Tell us something few know about you?

I’m a ham at heart, and a smart aleck to boot.


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

I love to read. I take classes, unrelated to writing, that stretch my creativity in other directions. Last year, I took an improvisation class at a local theater. This year I’m taking calligraphy and modern dance.


What do you do to interact with your readers?

I’m not the best at keeping up with social media. I post on Facebook and Twitter when I feel like I have something interesting to share. If there’s time after a reading, I enjoy chatting with the audience-the one-on-is great. I answer my fan mail.


Our theme for this issue is Resources On The Net. What resources on the net have been helpful in your writing?

Wikipedia is the only resource I use consistently. I use it to fact check details, images, names and event dates, among other things. In PASSING LOVE, Ruby’s boyfriend played the saxophone and Ruby had it in her head that she could sing. I used Wikipedia to research songs, lyrics, and expressions popular during the early 1950s.

Who was the first author you ever met?

The first writing workshop I attended was Voice of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA). http://voicesatvona.org/Home.html VONA offers workshops for writers-of-color. The classes are taught by published, prominent authors including Danzy Senna, Junot Diaz, and poet Ruth Forman.

My first workshop was with author Cristina Garcia (The Lady Matador’s Hotel). I don’t remember much of what we did in that class. I was in awe of being in the presence of people who called themselves writers and someone whose work I’d read. She was down to earth, helpful and encouraging.


Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

That it’s never too late to start over or to follow your dream.


Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

Wish I could, but, right now I'm still framing the story idea. I’ve been accepted to two writing residency programs this year. My goal is to spend that time putting together a first draft. I’ll continue to write novels that focus on reinvention, starting over, and women in the middle of their life. I want my readers to know that life doesn’t end at 50 and I want mature women to relate to the adventures and struggles of characters who are just like them.

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

Follow my blog on my website and join my email list for updates on appearances.

www.jacquelineluckett.com
www.facebook.com/Author.JacquelineLuckett
twitter.com/jackieluckett
www.finishparty.com



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Friday, March 02, 2012

FEATURED AUTHOR: Pat Tucker


Party Girl

Innocence in Question…

29 year old Hope Donovan never pulled the trigger… But a simple choice landed her behind bars, and on Texas’ Death Row. Hope accepted a ride from two neighborhood thugs. She was stunned when they were pulled over and all arrested for a deadly convenience store robbery.

Her case was quickly catapulted to an international platform and become a symbol in the heated debate over capital punishment. Everyone weighed in, but when mistakes from her past were dug up, the world was suddenly riveted and confused by two conflicting images of the young mother.

How long would you wait?

Brendon Donovan stood by his wife after her arrest. He took out a second mortgage on their house and wiped out the family’s savings. But as Hope’s case dragged on, he was forced to consider other options.

How far would you go?

Chastity and Hope have shared a tumultuous past. But their rivalry took a backseat when it came time to care for Hope’s children. Years later, as Hope’s chances of survival began to look grim, Chastity is torn. The feelings she’s developed for Hope’s husband Brendon has thrown her loyalty and motives into question.



Pat Tucker is a radio news director in Houston, Texas who moonlights as a writer. The former television news reporter enjoys drawing from her profession to craft page turning stories that readers will love. Most of Pat’s stories have a ripped from the headlines flare. The award-winning broadcast journalist who has worked as a reporter for ABC, NBC, and Fox affiliate TV stations and radio stations in California and Texas, is also a much sought-after ghostwriter. She is the author of 11 novels including Daddy by Default, and Party Girl. Pat has participated in three anthologies, including New York Times Bestselling Author Zane’s Caramel Flava.

A graduate of San Jose State University, Pat is a member of the National and Houston Association of Black Journalists and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Pat’s next novel is Sidelines Scandals.

Visit the author at www.authorpattucker.com ; Facebook-Pat Tucker; Fan Page-Author Pat Tucker Readers; Facebook-Sylkkep PL Wilson; Myspace-Author PL Wilson; Myspace-Author Pat Tucker; Twitter-authorpattucker; www.fromcovertocovershow.com

How did you start out your writing career?

I’ve always had a passion for reading and writing, so it was only natural that my passion turned into a career. I’m a radio news director in Houston, Texas who moonlights as a writer. I’m a former television news reporter, and I enjoy drawing from my profession to craft page turning stories that readers will love. I’m an award-winning broadcast journalist who has worked as a reporter for ABC, NBC and Fox affiliate TV stations and radio stations in California and Texas.

What did you learn while writing this book?

While writing Part Girl, I learned far more about the Death Penalty than I thought I knew, and I know quite a bit. I also learned that this topic is only important to people when it hits close to home.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

With Party Girl, I hope to help raise awareness about the Death Penalty and how much it impacts those of us in the Black and Brown communities. I also hope to entertain readers with a topic that’s very important.

What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why?

With Part Girl, the plot came first because I wanted to write a story about the death penalty that my reading audience would be able to relate to. Once I decided to do that, the characters began talking to me and their story was born.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?

What has surprised me most about being a published author is the amount of hard work I must do when the book is finished! The work is never ending, but because it’s a labor of love, I enjoy what I’m doing and wouldn’t want to do anything else!

What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?

The aspect of writing I enjoy the most is the creative part. I love making up people, with issues, problems and concerns then solving those problems. I hate when the story is over. Sometimes I can go on and on, especially when the story involves characters I enjoy.

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

I wish I had known in the beginning just how much hard work this requires. It would not have deterred me, but I think it would’ve taught me to be more strategic from day one!

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

I always tell aspiring writers to simply write! It sounds easy, but you’d be surprised by the amount of obstacles some people allow to get in their way. I also tell them DON’T copy anyone’s voice. The more you write, the more you’ll discover your own!

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

I wish non-writers understood how much hard work we put into writing and how crucial their support is to what we do.

Tell us something few know about you?

Few people know that I won’t eat breakfast after noon! EVER! And my food can absolutely not touch on the plate!

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

In my spare time I enjoy reading, or listening to music.

What do you do to interact with your readers?

I try to interact with my readers on social networking sites. I also try to reach out to book clubs and find out what they like or don’t like. Readers are vital to what we do, so I make sure I answer all emails and try to be engaging when I’m on the social networking sites.


Our theme for this issue is Resources On The Net. What resources on the net have been helpful in your writing?


I Google everything and everybody! Also I use Grammerly.com

Who was the first author you ever met?

Terry McMillan was the first author I ever met.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?


I know that I am a child of God and that I strive each day to use the talent he has given me to entertain, and educate others.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

My next book Sideline Scandals is about a social climbing football widow who will stop at nothing to get what she wants out of life: a filthy rich NFL husband and her own Reality TV show!



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