Posts Tagged With: Author Feature

Motown Writers Network Author Feature~Victor ‘Billione’ Walker

Billione This week’s featured author is no stranger to the limelight, so shining a light on him is something he’s used to! A singer, poet and author, Billione (pronounced bil-LEE-yon) is one of Detroit’s most up and coming people to keep an eye on. He is the author of several books, including his most recent poetic play the Birth of Mars, and No Tea. No Shade, a novel set in Detroit. His thought provoking work touches on various subjects related to being a Detroit native, LGBT experiences and examining masculinity.

Come and experience the gifted one, Billione, as we talk to him about his work!

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Detroit. Most of my writing is pulled from my experiences as a Detroiter.
Tell us your latest news?

I recently released my first work of fiction entitled No Tea. No Shade. Set in Detroit, it is a story about the dapper, charismatic Chauncey King, a successful Editor-in-chief of the Detroit Daily News. Chauncey goes from reporting the news to being the center of his own scandal after coming face-to-face with his turbulent past. His life seems to unravel until he meets Malcolm Dandridge at a local bathhouse and realizes that in order to be happy he must first face his biggest fear.
When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing song lyrics as a child. My mother kept a journal and I would read the words she wrote and sing them. What she wrote sounded like love songs, full of joy and pain.
Other forms of my writing emerged out of my love for reading. As I child, I read books about a number of things but struggled to find characters that were similar to me. After writing song lyrics, I eventually wrote poetry and eventually fiction.

 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I first considered myself a writer when I began writing news in the Mumford High School newspaper. I didn’t particularly like writing news; my Journalism teacher convinced me that I was good at it. So, I stuck with it. When I went home, though, I secretly wrote song lyrics and poems.
What inspired you to write your first book?

After meeting one of my favorite authors, the late E. Lynn Harris, I mentioned to him how his characters resonated with me, and his writing inspired me to write my own novel. He told me to be sure to send it to him when I did. After getting news of his passing in 2009, I remembered how I never started working on my novel. Remembering that meeting, I began taking notes on ‘No Tea. No Shade,” and dedicated it to Lynn.
Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know if I have a defined writing style, but I simply write about what I know: Detroit, being Black and gay. It is important to me to stay in my lane and offer my readers an authentic experience.
How did you come up with the title?

The title No Tea. No Shade. is a common phrase in the gay community said when you want to tell someone the truth without offending them. I heard RuPaul say it frequently on RuPaul’s Drag Race and knew it reflected the circumstances of the book.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Our lives are best spent coming to terms with who we are, building authentic relationships and getting our own truths. Life is too short to be spent trying to please others. When we face our darkest fears, it will be then that we can truly deserve to live in the light.
How much of the book is realistic?

Every character in No Tea. No Shade. has elements pulled directly from my life. Of course, there are some elements that are made more dramatic to enhance the reader’s experience, but it’s all realistic and quite autobiographical.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I pulled from everything I know: Personal experiences, things I’ve heard about and things I never read about but wanted to. No Tea. No Shade. is the type of book I would read.
What books have most influenced your life most?

Books like Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and Their Eyes Were Watching Godare among my favorite books and have helped shape my personal philosophy.  I have also been influenced by authors like George Orwell, Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange, and Toni Morrison.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I consider Sylvia Hubbard a mentor. She has helped me go from a poet with a desire to self-publish to an author with multiple titles under my belt. I learned almost everything I know about independent publishing from her and the Motown Writers Network. I am sincerely grateful for the guidance and support I’ve received.
What book are you reading now?

I am currently reading an anthology of coming out stories entitled Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, edited by Derrick Tennial out of Atlanta. I contributed a story entitled Thirty-Eight, about my coming out as gay and how the messages I received through television as a child of the 80’s shaped my identity as a man.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I am inspired by a number of new authors, especially those writing poetry. Poets like Joel Fluent Greene of Detroit’s Café Mahogany days is releasing his first book of poetry this month. I am excited to celebrate him and read his new work. Also, Detroit poet T. Miller released a book called Coming Out Of Nowhere that took conversations that happened on social media to a different level.
What are your current projects?

I am currently preparing to bring my poetic play entitled The Birth of Mars to the stage. It was inspired by For Colored Girls by Ntozake Shange and the Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. Mars took 6 years to write and examines masculinity in America.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Being a poet and having the opportunity to perform in Detroit has connected me to so many people. The artist community has been so supportive and encouraging. People like Dimonique Boyd, Crystal Campbell, jessica Care moore, Legacy Leonard, LaShaun Phoenix Moore, Omari King Wise, Kalimah Johnson and so many more have supported me as a poet and fiction writer.
Do you see writing as a career?

From the response No Tea. No Shade. has gotten, I could definitely see that happening. I love writing and enjoy the process of bringing characters to life. It isn’t easy crafting a story that makes sense, but when it’s all over, I feel accomplished and successful.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not one thing! I love my characters and the story. Well, maybe one thing… I would make it longer. The story is short, but gripping.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My interest for writing grew out of reading. My grandmother was an avid reader and it rubbed off on me.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I am currently finishing up my sixth book of poetry entitled Grand Boulevard. It is mainly about my experiences as a Detroiter. I dedicated it to the late, great Detroit poet Blair.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I am the king of the comma! For some reason, commas end up randomly in my writing, in places I am not so sure they belong. That’s what good editors are for!
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

E. Lynn Harris and Alice Walker are among my favorite authors. Their books resonate with me because they require me to face my fears related to being Black, gay and an artist. They also have the best characters!
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I travel frequently for my books, whether to perform poetry or to discuss some of the themes in them. Sometimes other people make connections in my writing that never even occurred to me.
Who designed the covers?

I designed all of the covers for my books. I am interested in having someone else design the covers for my future publications.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The most difficult part of writing books has been keeping track of the storylines and making sure they don’t conflict with each other.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned that the process of writing novels takes time and cannot be rushed. Creativity in any form should not be rushed.
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Observe people in their environments. Find out how people move, speak and interact. I did a lot of people watching in public places for No Tea. No Shade. The descriptions in the book are real. If you go to where my characters are and do the things they do, you will see exactly what they see.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Yes. Thank you for joining me on this journey and for supporting all of the stories and words that emerge from my mind.

No Tea No Shade

Billione

No Tea. No Shade.

getBillione.com

amazon.com/author/billione

amazon.com/No-Tea-Shade-Billione-ebook/dp/B00E332LZW

facebook.com/getBillione

twitter.com/Billione

Centric

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Author Feature~M.R. Bartlett

two foxes

Notes Form A Vehicle, Glitter Untamed, This Too Shall Pass, and The Journey Continues are all titles from this week’s featured author. Read below to learn more about M.R. Bartlett and her books.

Where are you from?

Detroit

Tell us your latest news?

Just finished and published my fourth book.

When and why did you begin writing?

In the fourth grade
When did you first consider yourself a writer?

In High School

What inspired you to write your first book?

The journey of my life over the last 8 years.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes, poetry through life reflections

How did you come up with the title?

I am always in my vehicle embarking on my next journey.

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

No matter where you come from or what you have endured you are somebody.

How much of the book is realistic?

All of them are parts of me.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Based off of me, through good and bad.

What books have most influenced your life most?

The Bible

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Jack Kerouac

What book are you reading now?

On the Road, by Jack Kerouac

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Yes, Kimberly Brooks

What are your current projects?

Teacher at my church with the M.O.T.S program, Coffee Brand Owner, Volunteer, Donator, became an ordained Minister on November 30, 2013

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My church

Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely I am a former journalist.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No, it’s apart of my journey.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

From the show Clarissa Explains it all when I was a child.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

“it’s often we the counselor who need consoling,”~ M.R. Bartlett

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

No.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Anne Rice, she gets it right every time.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Yes my writing comes what I see through everyday travel and life.

Who designed the covers?

Me

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Editing

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

That even after 7 years of writer’s block I can still write.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just be you

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Never Give Up

Glitter Untamed

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Motown Writers Network Author Feature~Christopher Broom


Christopher Broom
Author – Christopher R. Broom

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Southern California and currently make my home in Midland Michigan.

 

Tell us your latest news:

I’m currently working on my first science fiction dystopic novel entitled Pulse.  It centers around a young woman who is coming to grips with frightening new powers in a world who enslaves her kind.  Together with two companions she sets out to obtain her freedom and the freedom of those afflicted with the Pulse.

 

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing at a very early age…around seven or so.  I actually started out writing very horrible fan fiction in the Dragonlance universe.  I was just enraptured with the fantastical stories set in the Dragonlance world and I wanted to be a part of that.  As I got older I began creating my own worlds of fantastical design and I’ve never looked back.

 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

That’s a really good question. I suppose I don’t really consider myself a writer, at least not in the traditional sense.  I am however a person who enjoys writing.  But if I had to nail down a time frame I would say my first year of college when I impressed my Creative Writing Professor was the first time I really considered myself a writer.

 

What inspired you to write your first book?

During college I began to gravitate towards short fiction and after trying my hand at it I found a great connection with the genre and the style.  While it may not be a “book” my first piece of published writing is “Deeper Down the Hole”, a short story focusing on a man named Lyle who is forced to come to terms with being responsible for putting his teenage daughter into a coma.

 

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t believe so.  I think each story demands a different style and once I begin I just go along for the ride.

 

How did you come up with the title?

When I first began drafting what would become Pulse I had no idea what to call it.  One night while lying in bed with my wife we were talking about different titles and finally she told me to just be simple and call the book what it is.  After that the light bulb switched on in my head and I knew what the title had to be.

 

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

If there’s a moral or a message in Pulse I think it would be a rallying cry against discrimination.  The tone might not be prevalent or obvious but I think it’s there especially when you consider the consequences of severe discrimination.

 

How much of your book is realistic?

Maybe a little of it is realistic.  I think the general tone of the book can be read in a way that it can mirror real world problems but it’s done in an otherworldly sort of way.

 

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

No not really although some of the characters in Pulse mirror some very close people in my life.

 

 What books have most influenced your life most?

I’m greatly influenced by the works of R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weiss and Tracey Hickman, Jean Rabe, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Aldous Huxley, Kurt Vonnegut and Ralph Ellison to name a few.  While it’s extremely difficult to name certain books that have influenced me I feel these authors and their collected works have had an enormous impact on me.

 

 If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I would choose R.A. Salvatore.  The way he writes about his characters is amazing and I would love to know how he does it.

 

What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading “The Companions” by R.A. Salvatore as well as “Looking for Calvin and Hobbes – A Biography of Bill Watterson.”

 

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

It’s been fairly hard to keep up with new authors as there are so many but I’m always looking for new works by Jeff Vande Zande.

 

What are your current projects?

A lot of my time is spent working on Pulse and shaping the world it’s set in.  I’m also working on a collection of short stories entitled “The Deepest Part of Me.”

 

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Outside of family I haven’t really had a lot of support.  My wife of course has always supported me but if there was one person I could count on for any kind of support it would be fellow Michigan author Robin Devereaux-Nelson.

 

Do you see writing as a career?

Isn’t that what we all want?  I would love to be a career writer but I don’t ever see it happening for me.  For now I’m just happy to write and publish what I can.  If a handful of people are the only ones enjoying what I’ve created than that’s good enough for me.

 

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

The one thing that I learned is that research is important!  I think I went through fifteen to twenty drafts of Pulse before I even had a clear vision of what the setting was.  So if I could go back and change anything it would be to do some research first and have a solid setting in place before anything else.

 

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I used writing as an escape.  In reality I lived in a one bedroom apartment in the middle of the Mojave desert with my mother and her then live-in boyfriend.  When I couldn’t get away from it all I would sit in front of a stack of paper and I would write my way to a better life.

 

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Absolutely,

“We’re almost to the top boy, ya ready?”

Cale nodded and tapped the two bottles of water that hung on his hip.

Dalen huffed and spread his thin lips into a smile.

He was handsome once Cale noted.  He had strong cheekbones and a square jaw.  His body was muscular but not overly large, his arms and chest filled out his vest.  His face was that of a hardened survivor however.  His eyes sat deep into his skull and any life they once held was long gone.  His face was rough and marred with so many scars Cale couldn’t count them all.  It was his hands however that always caught Cale’s gaze growing up.  His fingers which should have been straight were gnarled and twisted.  The skin which should have been rough only from aging had been torn apart and stitched back together so often Cale often wondered if it was actually human skin that covered his father’s hands or something else entirely.

The rumbling of the tracks began to smooth out, a sure sign they were nearing the top as the Primary’s always took better care of the tracks the closer the tracks were to the surface.

            Dalen stood and braced himself between the wall of the boxcar and the stack of crates and Cale did the same.  The routine never changed it seemed.  One….two….three….large bumps as the train passed over the tracks leading from the Bowels to the surface always threw everything that wasn’t securely fastened down around and on more than one occasion Cale suffered for not heeding his father’s warning.  When everything settled back into place Dalen and his son resumed their seats as Dalen pulled out a small piece of cloth that had been rolled and tied neatly.  A gift from their friends he had told Cale before they left their home earlier in the day.  Cale had never been fond of his father’s ‘friends’ but he did have to admit they knew exactly where to hit.

 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Having to create an entire world is very taxing.  While I could take the lazy-mans route and just throw together a bunch of stuff and call it a world I prefer to create a world that seems plausible.  So from religions to the economy to jobs to social issues and everything in between I want the world of Pulse to feel alive and that takes a lot of work.

 

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

My favorite author is R.A. Salvatore without a doubt.  What I love about his work is how he handles his characters especially his sole creation of Drizzt Do’Urden.  That character is so multifaceted that I can read book after book about him and always discover a new side to him that I hadn’t known before.  It’s inspiring.

 

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Not yet but maybe someday.

 

Who designed the covers?

There is currently no artwork for Pulse but I’m always looking for artists who can bring Pulse to life in a visual way.

 

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I think one of the challenges of writing Pulse is getting the tone down.  It’s  very easy to take a book into an entirely new direction without even realizing it.

 

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I gained a whole new respect for new and established authors who have already finished their novels.  It always seems that I’ll never finish but when I see others doing it I know I just have to keep my nose to the grindstone and get it done.

 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

To just keep writing and never stop; if you run into a block just write your way out of it even if it comes off as clumsy, you can always change it during rewrites and editing.

 

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you for your support, it means everything to me especially on those long nights when I’ve only got the light of my computer screen and a warm cup of coffee to keep me company.

 

Deeper

Dominant Recessive
Facebook Authors Page – Christopher Broom
Click here to read an excerpt from Pulse on Goodreads!
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This Week’s MWN Feature~Laura Lee

 

Metro Detroit native Laura Lee divides her time equally between writing and producing ballet educational tours with her partner, the artistic director of the Russian National Ballet Foundation.  She is the author of more than a dozen non-fiction books with such publishers as Harper Collins, Reader’s Digest, Running Press, Broadway Books, Lyons Press and Black Dog and Leventhal.  Her Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation has sold more than 85,000 copies.  She has also written one collection of poetry (Invited to Sound), and a children’s book (A Child’s Introduction to Ballet).  She brings to her writing a unique background as a radio announcer, improvisational comic and one-time professional mime.

The San Francisco Chronicle has said of her work, “Lee’s dry, humorous tone makes her a charming companion… She has a penchant for wordplay that is irresistible.”

Angel is her first novel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions with Laura:

Where are you from?

I live in Rochester Hills.

Tell us your latest news?

I am promoting my debut novel, Angel. I have a non-fiction book with Reader’s Digest coming out in the near future.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing as a child and published my first article at the age of 12. It was called “My first day of junior high school.” My
father was a writer and insisted I was a “born writer” but it didn’t occur to me until much later that writing was a special skill.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

There was a series of little things. My father pushed me in that direction– he suggested I write about junior high and submit the
article, for example. I wanted to be an actress and majored in theater in college. I never got cast in anything, and in my senior year, when I auditioned my last time and failed to be cast, I took my anger and frustration and turned it into a one act comedy, which a
group of students performed and I got great feedback for it. Realizing acting was not going to be my calling, I went to broadcast
school to become a radio announcer. As the other students struggled to write ads and news copy, I whipped them off and got praise. I
started to get the idea that I could do something maybe everyone else didn’t find easy. I started writing articles for local papers in a
half-hearted way when I worked in radio, encouraged by my father. It wasn’t until I burnt out on radio that I started taking the writing
seriously. I got a job at the Times Union in Albany, NY as a reporter and feature writer beginning as a temp, filling in for someone on
maternity leave. I had no formal training in journalism or writing and was hired on the strength of my clips. It was great training in
writing quickly and not waiting for the muse or to get your artistic thing together. I published my first book while working at the paper,
and I didn’t look back from that point on. Now I’ve written 14 books, both non-fiction and fiction.
What inspired you to write your first book?

I wouldn’t call my first book particularly “inspired.” I mentioned in passing to my father that I thought it would be interesting to
write a book about the real people behind familiar names like Sears, shrapnel, Chef Boyardee and so on. He didn’t let it go until I’d
produced a proposal and some sample chapters and sent them off to everybody using Writer’s Market. I was surprised when I got a call
from a publisher that wanted me to write it.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I am focused on fiction now, and would like that to be my future direction. What works for me in fiction is to start with some sort of archetypal image and to relate it to the specifics of a character in a certain setting and situation. I have a recognizable voice, I think,
in my humorous non-fiction. Now I’ve only published one novel, but I have two more that I’ve written that I’d like to put out and I hope
that I can develop a fiction voice that people recognize and appreciate.

How did you come up with the title?

My novel is the story of a minister who sees a young man and initially confuses him for an angel, although society would view him
as anything but. His relationship with the young man changes everything in his life. So Angel seemed like the best title.

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

I hope that it presents more questions than answers. I would like people to read it, think about the story, and let it speak to them in
a personal way. The message will depend a great deal on the reader, as it should be.

How much of the book is realistic?

It is all realistic. It’s a story about two men and their relationship. It is set in a church community. No aliens or vampires
anywhere.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I drew on my experience working in a church to make the setting realistic, but it is not autobiographical in any way.

What books have most influenced your life most?

When I was in high school I had to read everything by Douglas Adams. In my early twenties I had to read everything by Milan Kundera. Now
I’m reading a lot of poetry and theology.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I didn’t have to choose. It was my father.

What book are you reading now?
The Big Red Book by Rumi.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I have been reading a lot of really old stuff. If I haven’t read it yet, it’s new to me.

What are your current projects?

I’m seeking a new fiction agent for a novel which I actually wrote before Angel and which I recently updated and revised. I’ve finished
a sequel to Angel, but that book really has to sell a bit more to make it worth publishing. I’m waiting for the non-fiction book I finished
this summer with Reader’s Digest to come out and there are a couple of follow up projects that might spring from that. I am also working on
a more theological project. So there are a lot of directions. I have a lot of literary egg baskets.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Not surprising for a writer, but I am a solitary character by nature. One time I did have a strong community in which I was highly active
was when I lived in New York and volunteered for the Guthrie Center. (Folksinger Arlo Guthrie’s non-profit.) Since I came back to Michigan
in 2004, I’ve become much more focused on writing, and much more of a loner.

Do you see writing as a career?

It is a calling, which is a bit different from a career, but it can be a career. Don’t get me wrong, I use “calling” in a matter-of-fact
way. I don’t think there is anything special about having one. Every career has a certain aspect of that. When someone gets laid off from
any job, he has a bit of an existential crisis. There are some fields of endeavor which are skewed much more that way. A person would do
them whether he got paid or not because not doing it would be unimaginable. If you would not feel that you were you if you didn’t
write, that’s what I mean by calling. This is an area where Angel has a touch of autobiography because one aspect of the story is this issue
of having one’s calling threatened. Writers face that all the time. Is it a career if I’m not being paid? If I can’t make a living doing
what I love am I a failure? Am I not who I think I am? Paul, the protagonist of Angel, talks about the downside of having a calling.
If you believe you know what you are supposed to do, you question your ability to do it well enough. He wonders whether people are so
imperfect that they are doomed to fail God either by failing to know what their calling is or by thinking they know and not doing it as
well as they would like. So that is what I mean by calling. My sense of self and my career are tied to each other in a way that might be
unhealthy, but what can I do? If it is unhealthy, I hope I do not get well, because I like who I am. Doing writing as my career was always
important to me. Some people are happy to make their money another way. That’s probably smart. It’s a choice.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No. I wrote it over the course of a decade and revised and revised and revised. I am happy with the final version. If it had not been
published, I would probably still be fiddling with it, but there is a point when you’re done and you have to stop re-thinking it.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

blurb:

Since the loss of his lively, charming wife to cancer six years ago, minister Paul Tobit has been operating on autopilot, performing his
religious duties by rote. Everything changes the day he enters the church lobby and encounters a radiant, luminous being lit from behind,
breathtakingly beautiful and glowing with life. An angel. For a moment Paul is so moved by his vision that he is tempted to fall on his knees
and pray.

Even after he regains his focus and realizes he simply met a flesh-and-blood young man, Paul cannot shake his sense of awe and
wonder. He feels an instant and overwhelming attraction for the young man, which puzzles him even as it fills his thoughts and fires his
feelings. Paul has no doubt that God has spoken to him through this vision, and Paul must determine what God is calling him to do.

Thus begins a journey that will inspire Paul’s ministry but put him at odds with his church as he is forced to examine his deeply held
beliefs and assumptions about himself, his community, and the nature of love.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

One of the challenges is to resist the urge to make characters more articulate than they would be in life. As a writer you can find just
the right words to express an emotion, but your characters are not professional writers. So sometimes you have to “ugly up” the perfect
expression of something because it just wouldn’t be realistic for, say, a 24- year old recovering alcoholic to speak in poetry.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I am an eclectic reader. There is not one writer that I am focused on at the moment.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No, but I am on tour five months out of the year with my ballet project.

Who designed the covers?

The cover artist of Angel was Anne Cain based on a concept I proposed.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The novel evolved out of a trip I took in 2000 to Mount Rainier in Seattle. I took a bus tour and the driver was entertaining and kept
talking about burning out on his old job. Toward the end of the tour, someone asked what his old job had been and he said “a minister.”
There were a number of things that stayed with me about that, which I thought would make a great novel. The fact that Mount Rainier was
beautiful and a dormant volcano, and the idea of someone who burned out on the ministry to become a mountain guide. I was reading a lot
of Eastern thought at the time, and it seemed to me that there could be a great story about someone having some kind of life change, maybe
a crisis of faith, or a new direction, that put him on a course that would separate him from his congregation. It would “breathe” the
beauty of the mountain, show how he was called to both. I didn’t know what the “thing” would be though, that separated the minister from the
church and brought him to the mountain. I had a feel for what itwould be, but no specifics. I spent the better part of a decade
meditating on it and trying different things. When the “thing” came to me– that he would fall in love with a man– everything fell into
place and I wrote it quickly as if a tap had been turned on. I just had to catch the water.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I became quite interested in the Bible as a result of imagining the inner life of a Christian minister.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

The main thing is not to rush it. When I first decided I wanted to be a writer, I felt pressed to write a novel and I rushed to get one
on paper and it was terrible. You have to do a lot of bad writing, and you need the patience to let an idea lay fallow for a while, maybe
for years. A professional photographer once told me that the key to taking memorable photos was just to take tons of pictures and most of
them won’t be good and a few will be brilliant. I write like mad. I don’t throw anything away. Eventually some of the stuff that I thought was trash turns out to have gems in it. The longer I work at it, the more automatic the process becomes and the better the
gem-to-trash ratio gets. So the advice is that everything takes much longer than you wold like it to. You need the patience of Job.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Angel gets slapped with a lot of genre labels, and some of them scare off certain readers. Don’t be put off by the idea of a “gay Christian
romance.” It is something other than that, and I hope you will give the book a try and decide what animal it is for yourself.

Name of Author: Laura Lee
Name of Book: Angel
Author Website: angelthenovel.com
Amazon Link
http://www.amazon.com/Angel-Laura-Lee/dp/161372103X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1353081837&sr=8-2&keywords=angel+laura+lee
Twitter Link: @LauraLeeAuthor

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Wednesday Book Candy Feature~C.D. Jamerson

C.D. Jamerson is a 2012 Michigan Chronicle Woman of Excellence honoree. In addition to her traditional educational experience, she is a graduate with honors of the Harvard University Executive Education Program and is certified in both Leadership and Management. Read as she talks about her second- edition book A Princess Cut Diamond- How to overcome your past and reign as a Princess in your God-given Kingdom.

 

Where are you from? Detroit, currently living in Southfield MI.

Tell us your latest news? Release of my Book second edition “A Princess Cut Diamond: How to overcome your past and reign as a Princess in your God-given kingdom

When and why did you begin writing? I began writing seriously in high school as a member (and later editor) of the Pershing Times

When did you first consider yourself a writer? When I held my book in my hand for the first time back in 2005.

What inspired you to write your first book? A class that I took in church called purity with purpose. It further reinerated that I has a story to tell an dthat my testimony was important to help liberate others

Do you have a specific writing style? Its usually conversational…like I’m talking to my best girlfriend..but very direct and pointed. I am not one to beat around the bush or sugar coat realities. I serve it straight.

How did you come up with the title? Princess Cut diamonds are my favorite stones..my wedding ring has 41 Princess cut diamonds in it! But aside from that a woman at my church shared a vision with me that also confirmed that “diamonds” would be a part of this project (Its in the book). Also, I am a international pageant Queen holding several titles so the concept of royalty and monarchy is something that is also very much a part of my character.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? YES, that regardless of the past…regardless of the hurt and current stresses…you have a PURPOSE. There is a reason for your existence and for your pain…because of who you are your are destined for greatness and chosen to reign over your “kingdom”. This book looks at the fight that you are in, applies God’s wisdom and principles, gives you PRACTICAL, APPLICABLE information that you can use to start making changes. This is a book that requires WORK. If you are SERIOUS about operating like royalty from here on out, and leaving the life of the defeated behind you then start here. A Princess Cut Diamond will make you laugh, cry, think but most importantly it will cause you to CHANGE. Invest in you and take the time to train to be and live like the royalty you are called to be.

How much of the book is realistic? All of it.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Events in my own life.

What books have most influenced your life most? Books by Andy Andrews, John Maxwell, Richard Wright, Anne Lamont, Stephen Covey, Toni Morrison, Terry McMillian

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? I’m a cross between Andy Andrews and Terry McMillian…weird but true.

What book are you reading now? The Spying in high heels series

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? I am not sure that she is “new” …but new to me.. I am enjoying inspirational romance type books from Grace Greene

What are your current projects? I am currently working on my book series called “A More Excellent Way” . Its a series that takes everyday tasks such as revamping a wardrobe or remodeling a room and details new, creative and precise ideas to get it done effectively.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. Stephania Love…a GREAT friend, balanced sounding board.

Do you see writing as a career? Would LOVE to be a “career writer”…currently working in addition to writing but its the goal to be able to write and speak for a living.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Actually…this is the second edition of my first book…so that exactly what I did…everything I wanted to change…I changed.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? It was the one subject in school that I was good at and didn’t have to really work hard at it..it came naturally.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Yes..working on stretching out into different genre’s..so the “voice” of my writing has to change to adapt to the new audience.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Andy Andrews…his “parables” are thought provoking and entertaining BUT they also teach and guide the reader to understand next level principles and truths. Terry McMillan’s conversational tone and direct approach on controversial topics is admirable and the lasting effects on her audience are evident in her fan base.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? I have just been given the opportunity to travel with this book. Its VERY exciting to meet new women and be asked to do keynotes, and workshops regarding principles in the book. I could do that ALL day.

Who designed the covers? I did. I was very specific in what I wanted this time, so I determined to do it myself.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Editing…deciding what stays and what needs to go..

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I have learned to respect when people are transparent in their books or in the public eye…it is NOT as easy as people think it is.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Writers do two things that are imperative to their craft. Writers, write and Writers read…all the time. If you are not regularly writing (even in a journal) START. If you don’t always have a book that you are reading…START. Its imperative in order for you to hone your craft to do those two things consistently and diligently.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? To my Princess Cut Diamond readers.. Just know that I am so overwhelmed at #TeamPrincess! The women that are sharing the revelation they are receiving from the book have encouraged ME more than they will ever know. To all my readers and growing fan base…be on the watch for books about everyday that will help you live a next level life!

 

 

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