Saturday, November 02, 2013

Day 2 - Meet The Mainstream Author

On The Panel Today - Ask them questions

1. Shelly Ellis

2. Cheryl Lacey Donovan

3. Makenzi

4. Nevea Lane

5. Rita Karnopp  

6. Marissa Monteilh

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20 comments: said...

Hi all Cheryl Lacey Donovan here. So excited about being a part of this years conference.

Jusr a little about myself. I'm an author, educator, speaker, revivalist, Bible teacher, mentor and coach.I write in Christisn inspirational genre I've been writing for over 10 years now. I've helped others launch their writing careers as well. So, feel free to ask questions. said...

My current book Killing Religion will be out in December. It deals with the current state of the "church" and "religion" Primary topics include religion or relationship, Christ or Christianity, membership or discipleship.

Other books I have written include The Ministry of Motherhood, Women What the Hell are You Thinking Now, and Do You Still Do What happens Happily Ever After.

Barbara Joe Speaks said...

Good morning, how did you find a publisher? Are your books fiction or nonfiction?57 tgoritya

LaShaunda said...

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

Makenzi said...

Hello everyone. I'm Makenzi it is a pleasure to be here and meet everyone.

Just to tell you something about me
I've been writing since 2006 and I love it. I have several books I've written including my newest novel, Wicked Attraction, Dangerously, That's How I Like It!, Unexpected Truth. I was previously with a publishing company but in 2013 I ventured off into the self publishing world and self published Wicked Attraction. I look forward to networking with you all.

Makenzi said...

Not sure who the questions are directed to but to answer Barbara's question I found my publisher through my editor. My editor knew that my publisher was looking for new authors and she asked me could she submit my manuscript to the publisher and it was on from then.

Makenzi said...

The most interesting change in my life as a result of being a published author I would say is having my words make a difference in someone's life.

Unknown said...

Hello Ladies,
As a published author myself, I'm concerned about the recent change in needing a certain number of reviews in order to promote on certain sites, especially when there seems to be an influx of "drive-by snark reviews" that hurt our ratings. What do you see as a solution to this problem and how do you handle reviews that leave you wondering why you write...or maybe you've never had one. Thank you. said...

I actually self published initially and then I responded to a call for authors in an anthologu with peace in the storm publishing the story I wrote for the anthology turned into a book and the rest is history~ Cheryl Lacey Donovan

Makenzi said...

Ginger I remember when I received my first not so pleasant review. I called one of my author friends and I wanted to cry. She told me I had to grow thicker skin and that I couldn't allow one person's opinion change my entire writing career. So my new approach with reviews (positive or negative) is that I use them to help move me to the next level in my writing. said...

Well with regard to reviews I'm reminded of a saying my grandmother had "eat the meat and throw away the bone" Everyone is entitled to their opinion and we as authors as well as other readers pretty much no when a review has merit. If the criticisms are constructive use them to hone yoyr craft otherwise just ignore them and keep writing. ~ Cheryl Lacey Donovan

Marissa Monteilh said...

Good afternoon - I'm Marissa Monteilh! I self-pubbed my 1st title, May December Souls, in 2000, and was offered a book deal the next year. I am a big proponent of self-publishing as it launched my career. Since then I have written 12 women's fiction novels under my name, and eight novels under a pen name. Please feel free to ask any questions you'd like!

Marissa Monteilh said...

Hello Barbara Joe - I found my 1st publisher after I signed with an agent. He shopped my titles and secured a 2 book deal w/HarperCollins. That was back in 2001, and things have changed. Not sure if you have an agent or not, but nowadays, you don't necessarily need an agent. Visit the various publisher sites and find those that accept unsolicited manuscripts. Also, make sure your title fits within their guidelines.

Marissa Monteilh said...

LaShaunda, great question! The most interesting change in my life has been that I'm able to live my passion. Writing a book is tough, but releasing it and hearing readers talk about the characters like they're real people, is priceless!

L. M. Gonzalez said...

Thanks for your comments, ladies. I'm really enjoying the conference.

Marissa Monteilh said...

Ginger - my editor told me something interesting - she said, "Reviews are word of mouth!" I think reviews are very important - they do make a difference. Prospective readers read them in detail, just like I do who I'm on Amazon looking to buy a product - I want to see if others were pleased with it or not. I received my 1st one-star review back in 2003. It did bother me. But I truly believe that as long as the # of stars = the worded rating, I'm fine. I don't like to see a 5-star and the wording indicates it was a bad read, or a 1-star and the readers says it was the best book ever. I feel that reviews, good or bad, are part of this biz, and some are constructive, some are mean, and some are hilarious!

Rita Karnopp said...

Hi, everyone ... computer struggles here . . . will do my best. It's exciting to be here ... I'm a published author, recently Books We Love published my 15th book with them. I write suspense and Indian Historicals. LaShaundra - love the question, because we are hearing about this all over the place. It's not easy to get reviews, and many times those reading our books can't get their review to show up. And like you mentioned - all it takes is a bad review to bring you down. Then there are those who revel in giving scathing, upsetting reviews for the pleasure of being critical. Reviews are part of the business, but one thing we all need to keep in mind - bad reviews hurt and sometimes you're smart to follow the rule, "if you can't say something nice ..."

Rita Karnopp said...

The most interesting thing that has happened to me as a published author are the reactions people show when they find out I'm a 'real' published author. I've had people ask if I'll let them take their picture with me... that's humbling. Overall ... people are impressed with writers.

Shelly Ellis said...

Hello everyone!

Thanks for the question Barbara. I found my publisher by just searching store book shelves and seeing what imprints were popular among African American authors: the three most popular seemed to be the Dafina imprint by Kensington Publishing, Kimani imprint by Harlequin, and Indigo imprint by Genesis Press. Thankfully, all three accepted unsolicited submissions (meaning you don't have to have an agent and they don't have to request a submission from you in order to send your manuscript.) I submitted to all three and secured a contract with Genesis Press first. I published two books with them. After that, I submitted a second round of manuscripts when I decided to move on from Genesis Press. Kimani, unfortunately, said no. But Kensington said yes! I'm on the Dafina imprint now.

Thanks for the question, LaShaunda. I would say the most interesting change is the networking I've been doing with other authors since being published. I never really thought of myself as a "writer" before so felt odd reaching out to others. Now that I've been published, part of promotion is connecting with people. I've found other writers to be incredibly supportive and encouraging.

Thank you for your question, Ginger. I haven't faced the issue so far with having to have a certain number of reviews to get on certain sites. (I'm out of the loop with that one.) But I have gotten my share of negative reviews. You learn to take it in stride. I just take the approach that not every book is for everyone and my book just wasn't right for that individual. It can hurt, but as long as they don't say anything personally offensive, I just shrug it off and live by the mantra "Ignore the trolls."

Marissa Monteilh said...

Thanks for the opportunity - nite all!!

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