Posts Tagged With: author

Motown Writers Network Featured Author ~ Jean Scheffler

MeThis week’s featured author, Jean Scheffler grew up “South of Detroit”  and as a child she would sit on her Grandfathers lap at his summer cottage and intently listen to stories of his childhood adventures in early industrial Detroit. As he rocked her in front of the roaring fire, her love for Detroit’s history and its exciting past took root.

The Sugar House, Jean’s literary debut is a step back in time. Join us as we get to know more about Jean and her new historical fiction.

 

Where are you from?

I am from Trenton, MI ( Just 20 Miles south of Detroit)

 

Tell us your latest news?

I published my first novel “The Sugar House” in February.

 

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing three years ago following months (actually years) of research of the history of Detroit.

 

What inspired you to write your first book?

I was going through a transition in my life and I looked around and noticed my children were getting older and knew there were many things that I wanted to accomplish that I had not begun. The first was to write a novel. I had had the idea for “The Sugar House” for a year or so and had been developing it in my thoughts. I decided that it was the time to set aside other things and pursue my dream as an author.

I always wanted to become a writer but life had always seemed to get in the way. Or perhaps I did not make it enough of a priority. Or perhaps I did not have the confidence. Perhaps I just needed the right story.  I had tried once before but the story fell apart as I tried to put it down.  When I decided to really sit down and write “The Sugar House’ I knew I had a great story and an important one. Actually, sometimes I say the story wrote itself. I loved the story so much I was truly worried that I was not worthy enough of writing it. In that I mean that I was a first time writer and I wanted to give value and grace to such an important part of history.

 

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m not quite sure of the categories of writing styles. I write from research and stories and imagination. I like to piece together articles, pieces of stories, historical facts and things that I have experienced or watched my children experience to make a relatable story.

 

How did you come up with the title?

The name “The Sugar House” initially came from the gangster portion of the story. The Purple Gang was originally called the Oakland Sugar House gang. But as the novel developed I saw that it represented many other aspects of the character, Joe’s life.

 

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

The main message I want the reader to grasp from my novel is that a person can be stay true to themselves and their faith even faced with great adversity.  While no person is perfect and my break the rules or laws at times they can find their way to a happy, content life in the end if they remember what is important.

 

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

The book is historical fiction. That is a broad title that encompasses many types of work. “The Sugar House” is a historical fiction in the strictest sense of the word.  Dates and events that are historically documented are almost all true down to the day.  Many names of the Purple Gang leaders are their actual names.  Many events that involved the Purple Gang are documented as factual.  The story in fact is based on things my grandfather told me occurred in his life. Not all the events that occur in The Sugar House are factual but many are. I tried to create a story that the reader would be able to learn from and at the same time enjoy as a fictional novel.

 

What books have most influenced your life most?

The Little House on the Prairie books were the first influential books of my childhood. I read them over and over again- fascinated by the hardships the Ingalls family dealt with but how their adventurous spirit helped drive them ahead.   Gone with the Wind was my go to book as a teen. Also Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Looking back I guess I have always had a love for great characters who live in a different time and face different adversities but reach within themselves to find a higher ground.

 

What book are you reading now?

I am currently reading several novels by new authors. I am trying my hand in reviewing books to further my abilities as a writer and give back to the writing community.

 

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

My current novel is based on my maternal grandfather who was a railroad conductor before the Depression.

 

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

I have several very good girlfriends who supported my throughout the project. They were always encouraging and are very much the cheerleaders that every first time author should have. I am blessed to have them in my life.

 

Do you see writing as a career?

I would love to make writing a career. I want to be able to tell stories that people will enjoy and learn from at the same time. Perhaps change their perspectives or lives a little.

 

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

If I had to do it all over again I would not change anything about my novel (Except my not procrastinate as long as I did)

 

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

As “The Sugar House” is based in Detroit I only had to travel to the city for my research. (I did go to Windsor once for a Prohibition Whisky Tour) My next novel takes place from Michigan to Kansas so I anticipate more travel with that one.

 

Who designed the covers?

I hired a wonderful woman named Karrie Ross from California to design the cover and do the interior design of the novel. The photograph is actually a close up of the suit my grandfather is wearing in the picture on the back cover.

 

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I think the hardest part of writing is two fold. One- finding the inspiration and the time at the same time can be very difficult in a hectic life with children.  Two- once the story is written- having others read your inner thoughts and ideas and judge them.

 

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

I learned a lot from writing my book. I learned so much Detroit history. I learned a lot about the people who made this city Great. I learned a lot about myself, about where I come from and who I am. I know it sounds a little deep but after taking years to research my ancestors, the country they came from, their daily habits, their rituals etc., I think I would only be remiss if I had not learned a whole lot about what it means to be me.

 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I can not give advice to established writers and this is my first novel however I think that may qualify my to give advice to new and want to be writers.  Once you find the story you want to tell- be confident and tell it.  Don’t worry about what others will say. The ones who judge harshly are the ones who will never leave their mark as you will.

 

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

I hope my readers enjoy “The Sugar House” and learn something about the great city of Detroit. I hope it motivates them to look into the past and see what their own ancestors did to make it in America. And I hope it  inspires them to save the historical parts of Detroit for themselves and to continue to improve Detroit for future generations.

 

The Sugar House

Jean Scheffler

“The Sugar House”

http://www.jeanscheffler.com

Amazon link: http://goo.gl/9GNYvy

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/TheSugarHouseDetroit

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanScheff

 

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Motown Writers Network~ Featured Author Cassandra Carter

Cassandra Pic

 

Inspired by a dream at fourteen years old, this week’s featured author Cassandra Carter is best known for her young adult novels. Becoming an author at the age of eighteen, she has since written three books; Fast Life, 16 Isn’t Always Sweet, and her latest novel Love, Lies, & Consequences. Join us as we get better acquainted with Motown’s very own Cassandra Carter.

 

Where are you from?

I was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, on February 21, 1989. I moved to Ann Arbor when I was 9 and I’ve been in Michigan ever since.

 
Tell us your latest news?

Just last month, I released my third novel, called Love, Lies & Consequences! The sequel to my first book, Fast Life (2007), this marks my transition from young adult to new adult fiction. Not to mention, this is my first independent project, so I am super, super excited that I am finally able to share it with the world!


When and why did you begin writing?

Looking back on it, I’ve been writing ever since I knew how. I started off small by writing stories for my Mom. Then I was mostly writing essays for school. I even dabbled in poetry for awhile. I always knew I wanted to write for a living, and even though I received a lot of praise for my work over the years, I thought being an author was “impractical” so I was more focused on becoming a journalist. Even after I signed my Harlequin contract, it took awhile for it to sink in. To this day it is still kind of surreal to refer to myself as an author, but deep down, I know this is what I am meant to do, which is why I decided to take more control of my career moving forward.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I was inspired by a dream. I was only 14 at the time, and the thought of writing of book hadn’t even crossed my mind, but when I woke up, a voice told me, “Cassandra, you should write a book about that.” I don’t know what came over me, but I got up and started putting together an outline, along with character names and descriptions right away. I spent my entire summer vacation working on it. It just kind of snowballed from there.

Once my family got wind of what I was doing, they started passing the book around behind my back. They were the ones who encouraged me to publish it. Meanwhile, I was terrified. I never thought to write a book, let alone be published – especially not so young. Fast Life is the first book I ever wrote so I was scared to put it out there for everyone to read and judge.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I would say my greatest strength as a writer is my movie-like descriptive ability. I think my age also gives readers a unique perspective. As an author, I feel like it’s my job to evoke emotion. I try to make sure that each book contains fresh dialogue, and unpredictable storylines that make for a quick, entertaining read.

How did you come up with the title?

After the first book came out, I got a few comments/reviews from people who felt like I was glamorizing the street life instead of focusing on the consequences so that definitely influenced me going into the second. Anyone who has read the book(s) knows that love and lies have always been present in Kyra and Justin’s relationship. After considering all of those factors, it only seemed appropriate I name the sequel, Love, Lies & Consequences.
How much of the book is realistic?

My goal is to keep it as realistic as possible while still preserving a certain element of escape. To me, that’s what makes a good love story. If it weren’t part fantasy, it wouldn’t be interesting.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Yes and no. I’ve always been very observant so I can’t help but draw inspiration from those around me. There are times where I might touch on things I’ve seen, heard or been through, but nothing is ever exact. I always have to put my own twist on it. That’s what makes it so fun.


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

Other than my family, my readers have been the best support system I could ask for. They have been so positive and encouraging. They have the power to turn my whole day around, and it’s always for the better. I love interacting with them. It reminds me that what I am doing is bigger than me. They motivate me to keep writing, even when I feel discouraged.
Do you see writing as a career?

I am still working on making that transition to full-time author/entrepreneur, and in that time, I plan to pursue other interests in addition to writing books. I still hope to contribute to different magazines and publications as a guest writer, in addition to starting my own brand, which would include hosting and modeling. I got a lot of feedback in regards to turning my books into movies so I’m not ruling that out either. I don’t want to limit myself like I did in the past.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

A lot of people don’t know I actually re-wrote the Fast Life sequel after being rejected by the publisher. And while I think every author could pick their work apart over and over again if you let them, I am really proud of what I came up with. I really feel like Love, Lies & Consequences captures the essence of the original – and plants just enough clues for part 3.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I have samples of my rough draft on my blog at www.16dreams.wordpress.com, although I would suggest reading the more updated version on Wattpad.com/CallMeMissCarta. All my books have the “look inside” feature on Amazon as well.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I have a lot more responsibility now that I am older so it’s harder to find time. I have gotten more disciplined when it comes to schedule, but some days it can still be a challenge.

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

I have done mostly local events at schools and libraries around Ann Arbor and Detroit, but I have had the opportunity to travel to New York and Chicago for speaking engagements as well. Now that the new book is out, I hope I get the opportunity to travel more. I look forward to getting my name out there by networking with other industry professionals, one-on-one. Hopefully, I get to meet a lot more of my fans in-person.
Who designed the covers?

Harlequin/Kimani Tru was responsible for designing the cover for Fast Life. I didn’t have any say in that process. They also picked the title for both books I wrote for them. I played with a couple different concepts for Love, Lies & Consequences before I hired Leah Kaye, who did a phenomenal job!

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I felt like there was a lot of pressure to live up to the first book. I got a lot of good reviews so I was scared the sequel wouldn’t measure up. I often wondered if I was wasting my time considering it had been years since I released anything. I worried I had been forgotten or that the story would be deemed irrelevant. But then I realized that even with all the time that has passed, I still had readers asking about a Fast Life sequel. There are still a lot of people out there who don’t know who I am.


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

I’ve learned a lot. I was just a teenager when I got my start in the business, so my goal now is to show my growth not only as a woman, but as a writer. Since Love, Lies & Consequences was an independent project, I got to be involved in the creative process from start to finish. Not only did I write the book, I came up with the title, synopsis, author bio, etc. I took the time to learn how to properly format the book and paid for editing services. Overall, I would say it’s been an on-going learning experience. There’s a lot more that goes into being an author than just writing the book.


Do you have any advice for other writers?

Stay true to your voice and your ideas. If your goal is to publish, be prepared to hustle, deal or no deal.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I appreciate all of your tweets, emails, and reviews, and I am grateful for your support! XOXO

 

Love Lies & Consequence

Author Info:

 

 

16 Isnt always sweet

fast life

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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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#LitService Feature: So It Is Written Copy/Editing Service frm @TenitaJEditor

soitiswrittenClick here for more information on writing services for you:

http://www.SoItIsWritten.net

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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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Bewitching Book Tour

echoescoverEchoes of Paradise
Deanna Kahler
Genre: Fiction/Paranormal
Publisher: Rose Petal Publications
Date of Publication: January 11, 2014
ISBN: 978-0615863399
ASIN: TBD
Number of pages: 228
Word Count: 54,000
Cover Artist: Cover photo by Paul Kahler
Book Description:
Does Love Survive Death? When Celeste’s one true love Connor dies, she’s left with many questions and regrets. Caught in a web of painful memories from her troubled past – and a complicated marriage to a materialistic executive – she ventures into an unknown world.
What she experiences makes her more determined than ever to find out what really happens after death and what became of her lost love. Her journey takes her to places she never thought possible. But just around the corner, danger still lurks. Will she find the answers she seeks and ultimately discover the truth?
deannakahlerAbout the Author:
Deanna Kahler is an accomplished writer and proud mom. Her work has been published in numerous corporate newsletters and magazines across the country. She began writing as a young child and enjoys the opportunity to reach others and make a difference in their lives.
Echoes of Paradise is Deanna’s second book. Her first book,From Pain to ParenthoodA Journey Through Miscarriage to Adoption, details her difficult journey to motherhood and provides tips and resources for those facing similar circumstances.
Deanna holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where she graduated with departmental honors. She lives with her husband and daughter in a Metro Detroit suburb, where she enjoys writing, dancing, walking, and visiting parks in her spare time.
For more information about the author, please visitwww.deannakahler.com
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Author Feature~Tracie ‘T Elise’ Christian

Tracie B Cyde shotThis week the Motown Writers Network shines the spotlight on Tracie Christian a.k.a T’Elise as this week’s featured author. Come with us as we get to know more about T’Elise and her latest novel.

 

Where are you from?

I from the Northeast side of DETROIT MI.

Tell us your latest news?

I recently released the 3rd and final installment of my urban reflective fiction trilogy book series, The Black College Sabbatical – SPRING QUARTER under my company B CYDE MULTI MEDIA, I am Station Manager/Program Director/On-Air Personality on 7mileradio.com, I Executive Produce, Back on the B Cyde radio show airing SATURDAYS 11am on http://www.7mileradio.com/radio

When and why did you begin writing?

I have always enjoyed writing. I have a lot to say and writing is one way to get it all out without being interrupted. I have been writing stories ever since I was about 8 years old.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Answer: When I received the first physical proof of my 1st novel, The Black College Sabbatical – FALL QUARTER in my hands. That’s when it got real for me. It was no longer a dream, it was a reality.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I had been so positively affected by my experiences attending a historically black college that I wanted to write a fiction story that would speak to how that experience can shape young people beyond the classroom.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to write in the first person so it feels like the character is talking to the reader. I also write what I like to call Reflective Fiction. My stories are always told in a way to pass along a lesson I learned personally, via realistic fictional stories.

How did you come up with the title?

Since a Sabbatical is a defined as (a period of paid leave granted to a college teacher for study or travel) I figured I’d tie that concept in with the black college experience, thus creating The Black College Sabbatical

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

I want them to understand many of the deep rooted traditions and practices that exist at historically black institutions. I also want readers to discover how long lasting friendships are created and that the education many receive extends far beyond the classroom, thus illustrating the overall vitality of these institutions.

How much of the book is realistic?

ALL OF IT IS REALISTIC.

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

Absolutely. If you attended Central State University in Wilberforce OHIO, between 1990 and 1997 you will recognize several dynamics of how orientation and Fall Quarter especially were run at that time in my book. It’s reminiscent of what my orientation was like.

What books have most influenced your life most?

Mama by Terry McMIllian, Eldorado Red by Donald Goines, The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley, and of course my own.

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

Donald Goines, Carl Weber, Terry McMillan, Dwayne Joseph and Zane

What book are you reading now?

Currently, I am reading my own first 2 novels to update the content for re-release of 2nd editions under my company like SPRING QUARTER. When that’s done, I have 3 Carl Weber books I need to get.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Janaya Black, Writer L. Bush, Monique Mensah and Shaka Senghor are my local favorites. These brothers and sisters are killing it with the pen. I Love them.

What are your current projects?

The re-release of my book series under B Cyde Multi Media, finishing my next novel, Toast to the Fool, and planning the next B Cyde Radio Luncheon-Book Launch in April 2014

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

Motown Writers Literary Network

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. I am never at a lack for ideas and writing gives me guts to do radio and try other things. It will always be a part of my life.

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

Not necessarily with this book, but I would have been more patient in releasing my first book. At that time (2007), I was so hell bent on proving all my doubters wrong and putting the book out, that I hastily approved a proof of my book that clearly needed more editing. I should have slowed down long enough to do it right the first time. That is why I am taking the time to release a 2nd edition, to correct that costly mistake.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I started writing poetry and after reading a few books, I said to myself, “I want to do that.” And eventually I sat down and just started writing. Now I’m here.

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

My current novel, Toast to the Fool is a story of 5 friends all at pivotal crossroads in their individual lives. Each one makes horrible choices with drastic results and now need to sift through their own collateral damage to find the lessons. Premise being: If you LOVE who You are in the present, then don’t be overly critical of the mistakes you made in your past. Give a Toast to the Fool in you of then, because that Fool took you to the Here and Now!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Editing, now that I realize the importance of proper editing I take it more seriously. So much so that I have to learn to let the work go after several detailed editing sessions.  I’m getting better with it every book though.

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

Carl Weber is my favorite author because he has a knack for conversational, situational storytelling. I love it and wanted to be a writer like that.

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

Not as of yet, however as I gain exposure I’m optimistic that will change

Who designed the covers?

I designed the covers for my book series, but I have made connections to some very talented graphic artists that I intended to pass the torch to in regard to covers for my future books.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Getting started. Once I got started, it’s been on ever since.

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

I learned the importance of knowing and respecting my writer’s voice. Although there are several writers that I admire, finding my voice was definitely the most rewarding part of writing my books. I want readers to remember me as an individual artist, and not the literary clone of someone more popular. I think that’s very important.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Be diligent, yet patient. Do your best the first time around no matter how long it takes. Being a writer is largely dependent upon being self motivated, knowing the only way the bus stops or goes is through you, The Driver, The Author, The Alpha and Omega of your project. Embrace this and you’ll be fine.

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

I just want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to EVERYONE who has supported my writing up to this point. Success cannot be spelled without “U”!

 

Learn more about Tracie E. Christian aka “T Elice”

Name of Book: The Black College Sabbatical – SPRING QUARTER

Author Website: www.b-cydemultimedia.com

Amazon Link:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Black-College-Sabbatical-QUARTER/dp/1493560646/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389628485&sr=8-1&keywords=the+black+college+sabbatical+spring+quarter

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/t.e.bsidedj

Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/TEliceBCydeDJ

YouTube Video Book Trailer link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xC4EgsB2byY

 

Check out this Excerpt from:

The Black College Sabbatical – SPRING QUARTER by Tracie E. Christian

The Black College Sabbatical

 

** Cierra Folsom

                “Yes Gerald I made sure to lock all the windows once I left your house.”  I whine into my cell phone as I open the door to my dorm room.

“Well did you lock the back door and the fence?”  He continues to pester me.

“Yes I locked the windows and the security fence. Damn!”

“Okay baby my goodness.  You don’t have to get so touchy.  I mean I am still gonna be gone for almost two weeks.  I just don’t want to get back and find the house ram-sacked.”  He replies defensively.  Realizing that I must have hurt his feelings, I calm down a bit.

“I’m sorry sweetheart, but you act like you’ve never left to go out of town on a recruiting trip before.  How did you make sure everything was locked up safe and sound before we got together?”  I tease him in a much more pleasant voice.

“Hell, I don’t remember much of how anything worked for me before we got together Cee-Cee.”

“Oh, that’s so sweet. But you’re talking awfully free not to be alone.  Where’s Derek?”

“He’s in the bathroom. You know, it would be sweet to me if you made sure to take care of that business we talked about before I get back.  Really you should do it as soon as possible.”

“I said I would take the damn pregnancy test Gerald and I will!  Even though it’s a complete waste of time and money because I keep telling you that I ain’t pregnant!”  I insist; getting mad all over again.

“Wishing doesn’t make it so baby.  I’ll tell you what.  If you’re so sure that you’re not pregnant; take the damn test already!  I promise you will get my full attention to say, I told you so, if you’re right.  But if I’m right, then we’ve got some heavy decisions and plans to make.  Okay?” He teases me happily.

“Yeah whatever,” I reply emotionless.

“Okay yeah whatever. Since I can tell that you’re not feeling me right now, I’m gonna go.  My flight is boarding.  Look Cierra, I just wanna tell you that I love you and whatever happens, that fact won’t change, alright?”

“Alright.”

“I’ll call you once we land.”

“Okay, I love you Gerald and please be safe.”  I remind him. Like he has a choice once he’s up in the air.

“You too baby. Bye.”  He replies before hanging up.  Once I put the phone down on the table, I start to unload the grocery bags that I brought in from the store.

As I put the milk, bread and lunchmeat in my little economy size refrigerator, I pull out that damn pregnancy test and my mind starts racing again.  What the hell am I gonna do if I am pregnant?  I ask myself.  I am not ready to be nobody’s momma.  And while Gerald’s all happy about this, he’s not even thinking about his career and reputation.  Hell, I guess people could say neither one of us has been thinking much about that.  Well Cierra, I guess you betta get your dumb ass to the bathroom and pee on the stick before Hayley gets here.  I gotta make sure I keep this on the hush.  No one can know that I even think I’m pregnant.  And once I’m sure that I’m not, I gotta get my shit together and be more protective of the man I say I love…and myself.  Leaving all the rest of the stuff on the floor, I head to the bathroom down the hall.  I’m glad not too many people have started arriving back yet.  I can get in and out the bathroom without being noticed and once I get that negative result, this will all be over.  I try to silently convince myself. I swear at times like this, I really miss Ananda’s way of showing the silver lining in a dark cloud cause Lord knows right now, I really need to see one.

 

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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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#LitService Feature: So It Is Written Copy/Editing Service frm @TenitaJEditor

soitiswrittenClick here for more information on writing services for you:

http://www.SoItIsWritten.net

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Toni Morrison Interview: Books

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Ian McEwan on His Writing Process

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#MotownLit Readers/Writers Invited: Holiday Literary Gathering; Bring a Gift-Take a Gift Dec14 B&N #Detroit

 

(Please forward this to a friend and bring several friends with you.)

 

PLEASE BE AWARE OF DATE CHANGE. SORRY!

As always we bring in the holiday season together as we talk about our annual success and challenges, plus set our goal for the New Year.

This year as always we ask you to bring a gift for a writer and take a gift brought for you. New this year, we’ll have the Motown Literary Goal Board where you can write your name, your new year challenge and your committment challenge to Motown Writers Network!

You must come to find out more about this wonderful way to stay encourage while helping your literary network!!

We’re here for you to help you get to your literary goal and connect more readers to Michigan Authors!

PS Readers are invited and if you’d like to bring any donations please do!!
See you Saturday!
Also bring your annual literary challenges, new books to announce and achievements. Networking is key to our survival as writers and authors! This is your chance to learn, network and connect!

 

Motown Writers | Michigan Literary Network

 

Subscribe for Michigan Literary News 2join 4free! | CLICK HERE

TwitterCounter for @motownwriters

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MotownWriters Author Interview-Eddie Connor Jr

EDDIE CONNOR is an author and international speaker from Detroit, Michigan. He empowers purpose, by sharing his testimony as a survivor of stage 4 cancer. Connor is the founder of Boys 2 Books, which provides mentorship to young males via literacy, leadership, and life skill enrichment. Eddie Connor and the was nationally featured in the BET Documentary, “It Takes A Village to Raise Detroit.” He speaks extensively on the subjects of leadership, overcoming obstacles, and maximizing your purpose. Much of his work extends throughout Jamaica and South Africa. His other books include: Purposefully Prepared to Persevere, Collections of Reflections, Volumes 1-3: Symphonies of Strength, and E.CON the ICON: from Pop Culture to President Barack Obama. 

Boys2Books1

eddieconnorbook

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An Interview with Monica Marie Jones

 

Author Monica Marie Jones

On August 19th I had the pleasure of interviewing Monica Marie Jones. Monica has authored books such as Floss, Swag, Taste of My Soul, The Ups & Downs of Being round, and Sweet Soliloquy. I invite you to come with me on a journey as we enter the life of one of Detroit’s most gifted Authors.

Kai: “Sweet Soliloquy” that’s your latest right? What’s the difference between Sweet Soliloquy and Taste of my Soul?

Monica: Taste of my Soul is like all over the place but I somehow squeezed it all into the concept of a full course meal. You have your grace, your appetizer, and your main course. I placed poems to fit into each of those areas. For example, the main course is the meatier poems; the appetizer is the more spiritual poems, and so on and so forth. Sweet Soliloquy, they all revolve around the theme in my mind of passion; whether that’s passion about your career, passion about your relationships, or passion about your family. They all kind of include that theme, so that’s the difference between the two; all over the place “Taste of my Soul” and more zeroed in on one theme “Sweet Soliloquy”.

Kai: I loved Sweet Soliloquy.  My favorite three, now I loved them all but my favorite three were “One Breath”,  “Ms. Jones got a love Jones” both laughing at that one, and “The Mask”.  Tell us how you became Monica Marie Jones the Author.

Monica:  Well I have always been extra. So I’ll say so emotional and creative. What I’ve found even since I was a little girl, the best way to capture all of my emotions or capture all of the madness that is myself is through writing. So when I was younger I had a journal. Like I had a journal in elementary school and as I got older I wanted to be a writer but I felt intimidated by the thought of writing a book. So I found that I could capture an entire story in a poem, on one page. So that’s when I started writing poetry in my 20’s. When I graduated College I said “If I can write a 30 page paper, I could write a book. So that’s what kind of gave me the confidence to say okay, let me push it farther or let me take all of my poems and put them together to create one book. So that was kind of my journey to being a writer. It’s always been in me but, you know, having the confidence, and taking all the raw materials that were created by emotions and making it into something that other people could relate
to as well.

Kai: So let’s say from the start up until now, what have been the challenges that you more or less face now that you didn’t face when you first started writing?

Monica: The biggest challenge. I’m so glad that you asked me that.  I had an “Aha” moment yesterday. It’s like the more visibility that you get the more you want to build your brand.  Sometimes we fall into a space of censoring ourselves and conforming to what we think people
want to hear, trying to live up to this image that we think people want to see.  And in that you lose that raw creativity. You lose that authenticity, that realness about yourself.  So now I’m struggling to make sure that I am writing just from my heart not censoring myself not worrying about what people will think.  I feel like when people are that open and that real that’s what people are accepting to not some cook cutter, I’m not going to say bad words, I’m not going to try to ruffle feathers.  That’s how people know that’s fake so I’m trying to get back to my real when I was writing when I didn’t worry about what everybody thought.

Kai: So in all the aspects of writing how important is networking?

Monica: Networking is so important; just this morning I had a meeting with someone. It’s very important because you share resources, you get new energy, and you get new ideas, you kind of shake up the patterns that are in your life.  Alot of times people sometimes feel like “Oh, I need to hide my ideas, I shouldn’t share” but it’s by giving that we get. And so it’s you know the whole point of networking with like minded people or even people that are different from you because a lot of times that is what give you the inspiration to write and the ideas to promote that work and fulfill that work as you go.

Kai: So tell me three things that you want your readers to know about you.

Monica: The first one I guess is that most of my writings come from my experiences, that’s not to say that everything is a true story that happened for me but it comes from some emotion or experience and a lot of times it comes from the past. So hopefully, people can know that this stuff while it may be fiction, it’s real and if you’re going through it you’re not alone.  So, I don’t know if that answers your question, that’s one thing about me is that a lot of my stuff comes from real experiences.  The second thing that I really want people to know is that I am very down to earth, silly.  Somebody who’s been a friend now for awhile said that initially when they saw my image they thought that I might be stuffy or stuck up or whatever. As they got to know me they’re like “Oh gosh, you’re really down to earth.” so I want people to know that while I try to create this brand and this image and that goes back to what we talked about earlier; I am very much a human that likes to have fun, that makes mistakes,
that goes through moments.  Even though I try to always keep it positively going that I’m very down to earth. The third thing that I want people to know about me is that I am all about relationships so send me an email; talk to me. I love to help people, that’s what kind of feeds me, I feel like that’s my mission.  Very emotional, I remember being so intimidated by famous Authors because I love to read, I could never send them an email. If I send it to them, they’ll never respond. I might take awhile but always send me a tweet, an email, or whatever the case may be.

Kai: Cool! So for up and coming writers, such as myself; you know Aspiring Authors what would you tell us? What nugget would you give someone like me?

Monica: Never stop. That’s something I told myself whether I’m trying to lose weight or trying to go to school.  I had to apply that to my writing because there will be things along the way that will discourage you.  You might get a bad review or just when you’re doing wonderful somebody has something to say but it’s like remember your passion, remember your purpose, and never stop. Keep going and do what you know is true to your heart. It’s not always about people liking you but about you being true to what your purpose is. If it’s that one life that you change or that one person that can get what you wrote then you are doing your job.

Kai: I’ll take that!

My time is up with Monica but if you’d like to get in contact with her, you can contact her at www.monicamariejones.comor at (The Literary Loft) www.literaryloft.com

Interview by: Kai Mann

http://kai-mann.com

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Author Spotlight~ Jossie Marie Solheim

This week’s spotlight is on author Jossie Marie Solheim. Join us as we talk with her about her first novel Insane Reno and more.

Where are you from?
Well, originally I am from Kent; but I have lived most of my life in
Cornwall. I love Cornwall and have been so lucky to grow up here and,
although Kent is lovely, too and I enjoyed my time living there in my
teens, Cornwall will always be the place I love best.

Tell us your latest news?

Ha-ha! Well, that would be my first novel, Insane Reno, being
published. It is truly some of the best news I have ever had and a
dream come true.

When and why did you begin writing?

Oh, I started writing when I was around nine years old. My childhood
wasn’t the best, you see, and it was my way of escaping reality. I
would write myself into happy stories with happy endings and pray that
they would come true. Well, they didn’t, when I was young, but the
last few years, more and more of them are coming true; perhaps, not
quite how I imagined them, but I am enjoying the discovery process, so
I don’t mind, too much.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Well, I have called myself a writer for a long time; but honestly, it
wasn’t until I got my publishing deal for my novel that I really felt
I had made it as a writer. For me the short stories and articles I had
published just weren’t enough, it had to be a novel.

What inspired you to write your first book?

So many things. Bodmin moor was one of my biggest inspirations. It
just held a fascination for me that just had to be explored and
understood. I read everything I could get my hands on, regarding the
moors and its myths and grew, ever more fascinated. If you spend a lot
of time there, you’ll understand what I mean. I guess they just spoke
to me, because they felt isolated, lost, and alone; things I had felt
a lot in my own life.
People also were a big inspiration. I had observed different types of
people for so long and examined human nature and I just longed to play
around with that, especially secrets and lies. I guess I experienced a
lot of secrets and lies growing up and longed for the truth to come
out. Well, I never achieved that with my own mysteries, so I wanted
Tizzy to succeed, where I had failed. That goes back to my childhood
days of writing a better outcome, I suppose; however, Tizzy is nothing
like me, she’s a far tougher cookie than I am.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t think so. I tend to adapt and change and like to try different
approaches. For me, writing is an exploration. I want to play around
and dabble with different styles, because I feel that, what works for
one book, may not work so well for another.

How did you come up with the title?

Well, I think the title, more likely, came up with me; just, one day,
I got Insane Reno in my head and it would not go away and I just knew
I had to write a book with that title. I had no idea what or how it
would work at the time, but it all came together, in the end. I think
it was made to be. Perhaps, it was God giving me a helping hand and
setting the wheels in motion. Whatever the case, it’s a title I have
loved from the start and I’m sure I’ll always love.

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

Yes, kids are smarter than you give them credit for. No matter what
you try to hide from them, they see things; notice subtle signs that
something is wrong. All you do, when you hide the bad news is make
them search for it. Honesty is always the best policy, because bad
news, broken gently, in a well thought out way, is better than bad
news discovered alone or from an uncaring source.

How much of the book is realistic?

Well, the settings are real. Bodmin moor and Bude are both real life
places and Charlotte Dymond was a girl who really was murdered on the
moors and yes, people really do visit her memorial on the anniversary
of her death, in hopes of seeing her ghost. My husband and I try to
go, most years. It’s great fun and a little bit spooky, too.
Smuggling, too was common in the area. The Jamaica Inn, on the moors,
itself, is testament to that. So, I guess you could say it’s fiction
surrounded by a few snippets of reality.

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

Well, there are a lot of my own feelings and experiences fictionalised
in the book, but I think that is true of most books; however, the
story itself comes from my vivid imagination and my characters
occasional shoves, when I am being a bit blind.

What books have most influenced your life?

I guess books that were filled with tragedy, heartache, fear,
struggle, and hope; because that was something I related to and, in
the case of hope, longed for.
Flowers in the Attic, by Virginia Andrews really spoke to me; because,
like those children, I felt abandoned, lost, and alone, and Junk, by
Melvin Burgess, too, for similar reasons. I also devoured anything
about animals, because I longed to work with animals, at that time.

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

Virginia Andrews and Daphne De Maurier, because their characters are
so vivid, they’re not afraid to be blunt, and they deal with topics
that some people would have shyed away from. I think it’s important to
deal with difficult subjects; to let other people know that they are
not alone, to give them a sense that there are other people facing
similar situations or feeling the same way as they are. That’s what
books did for me, when I was younger, and they also gave me hope that
things could get better.

What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading a couple of good books; the first is The day I
died, by Polly Courtney, which is a really intriguing read that isn’t
what you’d expect, and the second is Patrick Patterson, by James
Fryer, which is very interesting and is keeping me very absorbed. It
also happens to be published by Raven Crest Books, the very publisher,
who has made my own dream come true by publishing Insane Reno.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Absolutely, I love discovering new authors; that’s part of why I love
my Kindle, so much. Someone who has really got me hooked is Karen
Amanda Hooper. Her book, Tangled tides, made me feel like a child
again, taking me into a magical world that I longed to be a part of
and leaving me giddy for more.

What are your current projects?

My writing very much depends on what is speaking to me at the time. I
would like to say Annie, which is the prequel to Insane Reno is my
sole focus, right now; but, I actually have three books that I am
working on and with regards to which is published first, well, it
really depends on which one calls to me the most.
Annie is on its way, though and looks at Tizzy’s mum’s story; giving
us even more insight into the farm’s past and helping us to see that
life and its many twist and turns have played a huge part on how Annie
has become. I hope that it will give people a little more
understanding of Annie’s actions and also help them to understand that
we are all human and as such, capable of making mistakes.

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

My editor, Chuck Jolly; he pushed me, guided me, and encouraged me to
keep going, every step of the way and also helped me to have more
faith in myself. I can’t thank him enough for all of his help.

Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely, it might not make me millions and it may be very hard;
but, it is the only career for me. I couldn’t live without it.

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

There are always things I would change. Even if I did a thousand
re-edits, there would be something I would change. I’m a worrier and
so I would always worry it wasn’t good enough and, thus, always make
changes; it’s just my nature. It took a lot for me to pluck up the
courage to let it head out into the big wide world, but I am glad I
did.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

As I said before, it grew out of personal need. It was an escape from
an, at times, less than pleasant reality. I read books and I just
thought; maybe, if I write my own, I can, at least, imagine a better
life. It helped me get through things I probably couldn’t have,
without it.

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

Of course. I’m gonna choose something with both Jem and Tizzy in it,
as Jem is such a loveable rogue and is proving very popular with the
ladies:

I could sense Jem’s eyes on me, as I laid the table, so I added a
little extra swing to my hips and bent over a little further than was
necessary, as I set each dish in place.
“Your thong’s showing,” My dad said, making me jump out of my skin, as
he strolled into the kitchen, sniffing the air.
“Something smells good,” he added, dropping into his seat at the far
end of the table and gazing at me, with a wry smile.
“Did I interrupt something?” He asked.
“I dunno, did he?”  Jem said, directing his question at me, as he
beamed like a Cheshire cat.
“No!”  I snapped, mortified.
“Guess not then,” he replied, “must have just been my imagination,
playing tricks on me.”  He added.
“What are you on about?”  I growled.
“Oh nothing, it’s just I could have sworn you were doing your best
model swagger and making and extra point of flashing me you’re…” he
paused, mid-sentence, and looked to my father.
“Thong?”  My father replied, with a laugh.
“Well, I was gonna say cute little butt, but thong works.” He added,
and joined in with my father’s laughter.
“Oh, very funny,” I snarled.  “Anyway, what gave you the right to look?”
“If you wiggle it at me, I’m gonna look.”
“I didn’t frigging wiggle it.” I hissed.
“No, but you wanted to and that counts.”  He replied, the smug smile,
still firmly in place.
“Dad,” I cried, “are you gonna let him get away with that?”  I said,
knowing instantly what his reply would be.
“Hey, you were flashing him your thong, so you can fight your own battles.”
“So, if I flashed my thong at a stranger and he grabbed my butt,
you’d be ok with that?”  I asked.
“I dunno,” he replied, then leaning back to look at Jem he added.
“Hey Jem, why don’t you try it and see.”
“Dad!”  I cried, quickly dropping onto one of the bench seats as Jem
turned, eyes full of mischief.
“Don’t worry, I’ll get ya later.” He said, rubbing his hand together,
then turned back to the cooker, switched the hob off and scuttled
towards the table, frying pan in hand.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Staying focused. I always have so many ideas, that I often jump from
one novel to the next and back again, trying to accommodate all the
characters and ideas that are screaming for release.

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

Oh, I couldn’t possibly choose just one. There are just so many great
authors out there; however, the one I am really watching at the moment
is Karen Amanda Hooper.

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

Not at present. I tend to stick with my local area for settings, that
or other places I have lived; although, there is a book planned for
the future that might require a bit of a road trip, something to
look forward to.

Who designed the covers?

Well, with Insane Reno, it was actually me; I just had such a vivid
idea of what I wanted that it just seemed easier that way, but that
might not always be the case.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Knowing when to let go. As I said before, I’m a worrier and letting
Insane Reno go out into the world was like waving my son off, for his
first day at school, a very emotional and nerve racking experience.

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

I think every book is a learning experience and, as an author, you are
always learning new things; but a big lesson I learned from writing
Insane Reno is to try not to over think things, as it just leads to
unnecessary worry and stress.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just enjoy what you do and don’t worry, if someone doesn’t like what
you write, because everyone is different. What some people love,
others will hate.

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

Thank you for taking the time to read my book. Taking the step to
publish is such a scary one and knowing that people are reading and
enjoying it is a great blessing; so, thank you from the bottom of my
heart for taking a chance on Insane Reno. It truly means a lot.

By author Jossie Marie Solheim

Author Website http://jossiesolheim.ravencrestbooks.com/
Amazon Link http://amzn.to/T1kfsB
Facebook Link https://www.facebook.com/jossie.marie
Twitter Link @Jossiemarie84

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