Posts Tagged With: detroit

How can the National Writers Union Help You? #Detroit Chapter #Writers #mwn #nwu

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

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How can the National Writers Union Help You? #Detroit Chapter #Writers #mwn #nwu

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How can the National Writers Union Help You? #Detroit Chapter #Writers #mwn #nwu

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Support @Boys2Books, Metro #Detroit Afterschool Literacy Initiative #michlit #mwn #MotownLit

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The program focuses on improving the lives of young males through literacy, leadership, and life skills. The program has been receiving local and national attention via BET, PBS, and other media sources.  Boys2Books1

For more info. about Boys 2 Books visit: http://www.eddieconnor.com/boys2books or call 313.469.1947

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How can the National Writers Union Help You? #Detroit Chapter #Writers #mwn #nwu

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

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MWN Author Spotlight ~ Mary Anne McMahon

 

Mary Anne McMahon

 

This week’s Motown Writers Network spotlight is being shined on Mary Anne McMahon. Mary Anne no longer lives in Detroit; but she regards the Motor City as the place she will ever call home. She is the author of The Motor City and Me: Our Story, a story that tells the remarkable history of Detroit and offers inspiration to the once great American metropolis during its most trying time. Let’s listen in on Mary Anne’s interview so we get to know her better and learn more about her book.

 

Where were you born?

I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. I now live in Houston, Texas.

Tell us your latest news?

I have published a book, The Motor City and Me: Our Story, which highlights the rich history of Detroit and how the Motor City has left a lasting impact on my family and me.

When and why did you begin writing?

I have been writing most of my life and have taught writing skills to students for 28 years. After my retirement from education I wrote puppet skits for my puppet performing business, Sassy Celebrations. I then decided to write a book about my beloved hometown.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I have always considered myself a writer.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My book evolved from the acquisition of my ancestral history, my happy Detroit childhood and continual connection to my hometown.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I do not have one specific writing style. In my book I utilize both the expository style and the persuasive style.

How did you come up with the title?

The Motor City and Me: Our Story parallels the rise and fall of Detroit with ups and down in my own life. The title reflects our connection.

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

I overcame major obstacles in my life. I want to inspire Detroiters to overcome the obstacles facing their city today.

How much of the book is realistic?

My book is non-fiction. The events are real.

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

The experiences are based on my own life.

What books have most influenced your life most?

Mans Search for Meaning by Victor Frankel had a powerful impact on my life. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela inspired me as well.

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

I would choose John Grogan. His heartwarming book, The Longest Trip Home, about an Irish boy from Detroit resonated with me.  His story inspired me to publish my Detroit memoir.

What book are you reading now?

I am reading I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I enjoy Malcolm Gladwell’s writing and especially liked his book, David and Goliath.  The insightful novel, The Invention of Wings, drew me to Sue Monk Kidd.

What are your current projects?

I have begun a second book.

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

Both professional and non-professional reviewers have given me significant support and encouragement.

Do you see writing as a career?

I want to continue as a writer.

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

I made many changes as I wrote the book. So, I am quite satisfied now.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My mother influenced me with her love of literature and writing.

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

Paralleling the rise and fall of Detroit with the ups and downs of my own life, I show readers how Detroit values strengthened and reassured her throughout the difficult times. From the rise and fall of the automotive industry to the city’s recent financial woes, The Motor City and Me strives to take readers on a personal journey through an extraordinary American city. Tracing my family’s Detroit lineage through four generations, my memoirs aims to give readers a thorough look at the city’s history and the indelible mark it has left on me.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

When I wrote my book there were times when thoughts flowed for hours. Other times I had difficulty putting two words together. There was a certain amount of frustration that I had to leave my computer at the “two word” moments.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about his/her work?

I like Ross King. He writes fascinating detailed accounts of engineering marvels and the history that goes with those marvels. I loved his books, Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling and Brunelleschi’s  Dome. 

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

I did considerable traveling while writing my book. I traveled to my European roots and ancestral homelands.

Who designed the covers?

My publisher designed my cover. I provided the photo.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The most difficult part was writing about the challenging times in my life.

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

While I struggled with revealing challenges, I learned afterward that I am not alone. Everyone has challenges.  My book has inspired others to come forward and share the dark moments in their lives.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Writing is a gift that you give yourself and hopefully to others including future generations.

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

The conviction, that we can overcome adversity and that failure is not an option, may be a good beginning for renewal.

MaryAnne Motor City and Me

For more information about the author and her book go to:  http://marymcmahonauthor.com/

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How can the National Writers Union Help You? #Detroit Chapter #Writers #mwn #nwu

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NationalWritersUnion

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Support @Boys2Books, Metro #Detroit Afterschool Literacy Initiative #michlit #mwn #MotownLit

boystobooks

The program focuses on improving the lives of young males through literacy, leadership, and life skills. The program has been receiving local and national attention via BET, PBS, and other media sources.  Boys2Books1

For more info. about Boys 2 Books visit: http://www.eddieconnor.com/boys2books or call 313.469.1947

 

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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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How can the National Writers Union Help You? #Detroit Chapter #Writers #mwn #nwu

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NationalWritersUnion

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#SaveTheDate:The Secret Society Of Twisted Storytellers Presents “SOCIAL JUSTICE” Friday, March 21, 2014 @CHWMAAH #Detroit

www.secretstorytellers.com

 www.secretstorytellers.com

Detroit- Friday, March 21, 2014, The Award Winning Secret Society Of Twisted Storytellers, presents “SOCIAL JUSTICE”, a curated, live storytelling event at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Ave. Detroit, MI 48201, 8:00-10:30 PM. Doors open @7:30 pm. Real People. True Stories. Told Live. Featuring Twisted Storytellers Commander Dale Brown, Pastor Bill Wylie-Kellermann, Shorty, Aldonna Smith and more…! with Twisted Musical Guests Francine Dent and Twisted Dance Guests Tyra Johnson & Ronald Moore of Marygrove College! Hosted by Moth Mainstage Storyteller & Host, Satori Shakoor. CASH BAR! To join mailing list please text “Stories” to 42828. For info, tickets and to watch videos of past performances, visit : www.secretstorytellers.com

 

Also, if you or any member of your organization would like to share a story at one of our upcoming events or if you would please recommend someone to share a story we would greatly appreciate the generosity.

 

If you would haven’t attended one of our events and would like to please contact me via email or phone313-744-6037. I would be happy to make arrangements.

 

Gratitude!

Satori Shakoor

Producer & Curator

 www.secretstorytellers.com

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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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