Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Self Publishing - Meet The Authors

Shelia M. Goss - Fiction Author

Celise Downs - was born, and currently makes her home, in Phoenix, AZ. Her love of writing began in the seventh grade and was further encouraged by a high school English teacher. She's a big fan of James Bond (Sean and Pierce), Betty Boop and adult series romance books. She enjoys going to the movies, reading, listening to music (especially Linkin Park), and watching her favorite T.V. shows: Smallville and Alias. Celise shares her home with her soulmate, Steven, and a talkative cat named Sweetpea. Celise is also a member of the following organizations: Publisher's Marketing Association, Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Arizona Book Publishing Association, National Association for Women's Writers, and the Little Owl Mentoring Program.

Gena L. Garrison attended South Carolina State University where she studied Elementary Education with a minor in voice. She also studied writing briefly at Greenville Technical College.

Baring it All, Gena’s first published novel was released in May 2005 and has received a five star rating from reviewers. Sales and reviews have been described as tremendous for a first time author. She has completed two other novels The Rainbow Z expected to be released in 2006, as well as Prodigal, also slated for release in 2006.

With a strong faith in God and a love for her family, her friends, and her church Gena and her son reside in Greenville, SC the hometown she was born and raised in.

For more information on her or her works please visit her online at

Vanessa Davis Griggs - Award-winning author and speaker Vanessa Davis Griggs is the author of PROMISES BEYOND JORDAN and the sequel entitled WINGS OF GRACE published by BET BOOKS/New Spirit. Visit her at her Web site:

Teressa I. Leath - In December 2004, Baltimore native Teressa I. Leath released her first novel, And Then Some. The book is a fictional love story of two people on a parallel journey to love and purpose. Tiffany Williamson is in search of the peace and sense of purpose lacking since a life-changing car accident. Theodore Johnson has yet to recover emotionally from the circle of events that claimed his wife eight years ago. With both having their faith put to the test, the lessons they learn and the spiritual growth they experience teach them and those around them the meaning of true love.

Mrs. Leath is a graduate of Towson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. She has worked in various financial and accounting positions during the past 12 years. She is a member of Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, DE and is actively involved in the Daughters of Radiance (Women’s) Ministry and the Marriage & Family Ministry.

Since the release of her book, Mrs. Leath has conducted numerous book signings in the Mid-Atlantic area. She was one of the featured authors at the Johns Hopkins University 2005 Book Festival in Baltimore, MD. One of her most memorable book signings was in Atlanta, Ga. at the 2005 T.D. Jakes MegaFest.

In addition to introducing her first novel, Mrs. Leath founded P.H. Village Publishers, LLC in January 2005 to facilitate and promote her work independently. She calls the publishing venture “An Author’s Pathway from Inspiration to Realization.”

Mrs. Leath currently resides in West Chester, PA with her husband Tim.
My professional objective is to teach aspiring writers how to publish their own books in simplified steps, and to promote literacy by inspiring more adults to read.

Dr Bob Rich - is an Australian writer with 13 published books, three of them international award winners. One of his non-fiction books is in its fourth edition, and has sold hundreds of thousands of copies since 1987. He doesn't believe in specialization, but that if someone else can do it, he (and you) can learn it. So, his writing covers several fields of non-fiction (building skills; woodcraft; self-help psychology -- he is a psychologist as well; self-help health) and fiction (science fiction, historical adventure, contemporary, crime, romantic suspense).

Since 1999, Bob has worked as a professional editor. His service is currently used by six independent publishers, and an endless stream of writers, ranging from multiple-published award-winners to first-time tryers.
If you want to know more, go to

Barbara Joe-Williams served four years in the U.S. Navy. She is a graduate of Tallahassee Community College and Florida A&M University Barbara Joe-Williams has worked as a secretary, business education teacher, guidance counselor, and reading instructor. She has a husband and a five-year-old daughter.

Forgive Us This Day, is the first novel in a four-part series. It has received several four-star and five-star reviews. It is available at bookstores nationwide and on-line including
She has traveled to three states (Arkansas, Connecticut, and Tennessee) conducting writing and self-publishing workshops at churches, colleges, and universities.

Barbara Joe-Williams will be the Spotlight Author for next month’s premier issue of, The Power of Words, magazine. She is the sole owner of Amani Publishing in Tallahassee, Florida
Barbara Joe-Williams latest release, One Sister’s Guide to Self-Publishing: A Ten-Step Program to Success, is available now! Her highly anticipated second novel, Dancing with Temptation, will be available by November 30, 2005. Pre-ordering is available on-line now!
Visit her website at: or send e-mail to:

Cheril N. Clarke - Fiction Author


Shelia said...

Here's my bio: Shelia M Goss is the ESSENCE MAGAZINE Bestselling Author of My Invisible Husband. With unique storylines, her goal is to create stories with a twist. Shelia was the recipient of three 2003 Shades of Romance Magazine Reader's Choice Multi-Cultural Awards for her debut novel, ROSES are Thorns, VIOLETS are True. Her articles, poetry, and short stories, have appeared in National Magazines such as Black Romance Magazine, Bronze Thrills, InnerCosmetics, and Tribes Magazine. Visit her website at or check out her writer's blog @

Institute of Africana Cosmology said...

this is directed to all of the panelists.

as a business owner i've learned that the balance between marketing to bring in new business and servicing the business one has can be a delicate balancing act.

i'm wondering-

1. how many of you are full time writers? if you are, how much time do you think you devote to marketing/publicizing your work vs writing new work?

my suspicion is that once you put in the long hours toward publicity and get it going you can start to maintain the relationships you've already built, thus freeing up time for writing. however i'd like to hear from those of you in the field. just a few tips on how to balance it all.


Tempie said...

Good Morning...any member of the panel may comment or

As a new author, I'm excited! In reading each of your bio's that are posted I'm very impressed! Most of you have accomplished so many successes with your works and in a relatively short period of time!

My question is...
What Is It That Drives The Nature Of A Writer? I know it depends on the individual and his/her motivation level, but I see a common denominator in each of you! Success! Whether it is traditional, Self Publishing,etc. Is it a common "thing that drives the hunger in each of you to succeed, no matter what race, gender, location, genre, etc you each possess?
Thanks Tempie
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Anonymous said...

I'm interested in self-publishing. I'm writing a book that is Christian fiction but doesn't fit the Christian market. After I finish the book, what would you suggest is the next thing I should do?

Shelia said...


I'm a full-time writer (not by choice, due to corporate america's re-org), but I'm utilizing the time to write so I won't complain.

I am constantly promoting my books...via monthly newsletters, blogs, contests, my email signature, etc.

Being self-published, however I do spend a lot of time on taking care of "business"...which could mean following up on outstanding invoices, shipping out books, etc.

When I'm in a "zone" some of the business aspects may be pushed to the side for that particular day, but I will get back to it the first thing the following day.

You will constantly be juggling both. How much time you spend on either will depend on you.

Shelia said...

You asked, "What Is It That Drives The Nature Of A Writer?"

For me, it is the thrill of creating--to be able to create scenes and characters and have readers pulled in by my story is a good motivator.

I feel that writing is a God given talent. I'm constantly learning and I hope to utilize the talents God gave me to the best of my abilities.

Shelia said...

Saundra, before you finish your book, I would suggest getting Dan Poytner's book on self publishing...and also if you go to the lecture I wrote, there's some information there to help.

Good luck and add me to your email distribution list so when your book is published, I'll be informed.

Tempie said...


Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule and answering my question. I am very proud of you and all of your accomplishments. Keep up the great work!!! God is Good!!!

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