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Sylvia Hubbard will Keynote | Register & Get Badged!


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MWN Author Spotlight With Colleen Nye @Collen_Nye

This week, we turn the spotlight on author Colleen Nye!

Colleen Nye started writing at an early age. Between school writing assignments and her love of reading in early elementary school. In high school, she submitted some of her poems and short stories to various mediums including anthologies, newspapers, magazines and contests. Several of which were published and won her awards including a few editor’s choice awards, placements in contests and even The Sarah Endres Award for Young Writers. Colleen also started a poetry club in her high school where she held weekly meetings to share her writings with her fellow classmates and to be able to hear what others were writing. She wanted other young writers to be proud to share their writing.10565025_10205362322363567_7582468024910774528_n

As an adult, she branched out and worked as a freelance writer for corporations and non-profit organizations, writing press releases for newspapers, magazines and online blogs and web sites. She also worked with politicians to create campaign and promotional fliers, bios and web site blurbs. Other works she has done have been research and photography for a few Mid-Michigan sites highlighted in the book Paranormal Lansing by Nicole Bray and Robert DuShane. She’s also worked with several companies, creating their how-to articles and product descriptions.

In 2009, Colleen joined a writer’s group called Writing at the Ledges in her home town of Grand Ledge, MI. In 2010, they published their second anthology of the group’s poems, short stories, memoirs and essays entitled Seasons of Life. Colleen’s short story, “Full Circle” was a part of this book, being one of the longer pieces and receiving several great reviews. In 2012, the group published their third anthology, in which, Colleen had two short stories.

In 2008, Colleen collaborated with her friend, Carrie Peterson, about a dream Carrie had one night. This dream became part of the opening sequence for her novel, When In Maui. Carrie’s dream and her friendship help Colleen shape When In Maui into Colleen’s first full length novel, published in 2012.

In 2013-14, she wrote a tech thriller, Immersion. Signing it with Anchor Group Publishing and released 2015. A story she’s anxious to see reach a wider audience. Anchor Group also picked up When in Maui, an opportunity Colleen is very excited to see develop.

Colleen currently lives in Michigan with her two daughters – a budding chef and an aspiring free spirit that rivals her own inner gypsy. She is teaching writing classes locally. Her next novel? She’s working on a few projects and anxious to share them with you all.

Where are you from?


Tell us your latest news?

#1 The first book in my new anthology series, The Lunch Time Anthologies: Gable Heights, is signed with Anchor Group Publishing. These anthologies are full length novels where I write the over-arching storyline, and a group of authors write pieces that fit into the story to complete it. Book two is under way, and I’m gathering authors for book three currently.

#2 I am signed to be in Nashville, TN, St. Louis, MO and NYC next year, as well as several other expos and conventions, signing at their annual large conventions as well as the first Indie con in London England in 2017… so busy times are coming!

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing when I was a kid. Having the childhood I did, I loved to escape, making my own alternate realities in my mind, imagining what life COULD be like. As I got older, I realized that people liked my stories. So, now I write them to share them as well as help others do the same.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? Always? LOL But probably when my first solo novel was published in 2012. I’d had short stories, poems, content, releases, etc all published, but there’s something different about seeing an entire book that you created on shelves.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first finished, solo novel was inspired by one of my best friend’s dreams that she “forced” me to listen to when I thought my life was falling apart… yes, like a dream she had while sleeping. It’s the opening scene to the book.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t think so?

How did you come up with the title?

Titles are odd for me. I toil on them really hard… then BAM… something comes to me. I’ll keep thinking on it for a bit to be sure, but I always come back to that BAM moment one.

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

In When in Maui? Just that all things are possible. In Immersion? To stop letting corporations feed us things that are bad for us and politics to back them up in doing it. It’s GOOD to take a stand when it’s for the right thing.

How much of the book is realistic?

I think Immersion is actually more realistic than When in Maui, oddly enough.

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


What books have most influenced your life most?

Greg Bear’s Blood Music. It changed my life as a teen and opened my eyes. Hands down.

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

Dean R Koontz. I love his work and how he’s evolved over the decades. But Cassandra Clare for her amazing world she’s created and has been able to write so many books in that world without getting dry or messing up the continuity.

What book are you reading now?

I am finishing up Amy Bartol’s Sea of Stars and starting my ARC of Stacey Rourke’s Steam. Amy’s next book in The Kricket Series is slated to come out in September, and Steam comes out in September as well. I’m due a review and a blog stop for Steam, so i need to make sure I’ve gotten it read… plus, that series is awesome!

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Abigail Gibbs, she’s so young yet so well written. Amy Bartol has a great imagination. Clay Dugger… He wrote a piece for Gable Heights, and he paints characters like I rarely see… such depth that you actually feel like you can meet them.

What are your current projects?

I am working on more books for The Lunch Time Anthologies series as well as co-leading a 5 book anthology release called Debut Collective, slated to be out June 2016. I’m also working on When in Maui 2, tentatively names When in Doubt.

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

Just one? I really can’t. My support has not really come from within my family. The bulk of my support has been from friends of mine that have been there along my journey, and I love them all equally.

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. One day, I will make it my full time career.

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

Not at all.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Escaping reality

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

The 1st chapter of When in Doubt is in the back of When in Maui. You can get your copies on Amazon and other retailers.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Keeping up with all of my ideas. LOL

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

I love so many, but I can repeat about Cassandra Clare… LOVE her world she’s created and the way she keeps the story together!

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

I do, and I have so much more traveling coming up.

Who designed the covers?

Depends on the book.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Keeping up with my mind.

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

I learned so much about how I LOVE to write.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep working on it and do NOT complicate the process.



Three things Seren knew: #1 Her life felt odd being so tame. #2 She lost her parents when she was young and missed then dearly. #3 Her life was never going to be the same after the day Chase came back into it.
In a world, not unlike our own the economy has tanked allowing the inhabitants to seek solace in a world of virtual gaming. Now, money hungry corporations will stop at nothing to make a buck, even if that means releasing a product that will claim millions of lives.


What happens when the game turns to genocide?

hardcoverstack_621x739When in Maui


Alice Tyler’s whirlwind vacation to Maui was supposed to be a great time with friends, an escape from all things stressful. Instead she found herself right in the middle of stress and without her best friend, Vivianne Cook. That stress? It went by the name Ryan Perry. He not only adds to Alice’s high pressure life but terrifies her by falling for her while on the island. Ryan then enlists Vivianne to help him convince her friend that fears can be overcome and happily ever afters can exist. But can Alice clear these emotional hurdles before losing Ryan forever?
And what happens when the tables are turned? Can Vivianne find her own Prince Charming and the fairy tale ending she dreams of?
Through hilarious situations and side-splitting adventures the two women lean on each other in a journey of self-discovery only to find their true selves are not at all who they thought themselves to be.


What if your celebrity crush was attainable?



The Lunch Time Anthologies: Gable Heights


Rachel and Cam met through a tragedy. Their lives were very different from each other’s. But their bond and the events that unfold will set them on a coarse that could lead to good finally prevailing over bad in the upper middle class, suburban town of Gable Heights, Louisiana… or get them killed. Through Rachel’s drive to tell the world how every city has an underbelly, she embarks on an entire list of interesting characters and their stories. But who’s watching and wondering what she’s going to do with all of that information?

Every city has an underbelly.



Author: Colleen Nye





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#MotownWriters Book Spotlight #RestoringTheCharacter @RJDockeryCEO MichLit

This book is for the men out there that want to live up to the standard that we were created with from the beginning of time. For some it may be restoration time for others it is a matter of putting into practice the traits that you already know is laying dormant.

Continue reading

Categories: Essence of Motown, Feature, Motown Book Club, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#RestoringTheCharacter @RJDockeryCEO serves as a guide for women when setting the standard of what you want in a man #MichLit

Available for all your digital devices on September 1, 2015!

Get it for your Kindle, Kindle Fire, iPad, MacBooks, Samsung Tablets and more!

This book is for the men out there that want to live up to the standard that we were created with from the beginning of time. For some it may be restoration time for others it is a matter of putting into practice the traits that you already know is laying dormant.

Restoring the Character of a Gentleman also serves as a guideline for women to use when setting the standard and expectations of what you want out of a man that you may consider dating or marrying.

Finally this is a publication for the parents who are raising a young man, that desire to instill some great values and qualities in him, for him to remember once he is an young adult.

* Men in the last 10 years or so have gotten away from respect and honor.

* Gentleman qualities need to be restored for this generation and beyond.

* It is my desire that each reader takes away at least one life nugget to live by.

Twitter handle: RJDockeryCEO 

Link (URL) on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1O15F3E

Categories: Essence of Motown, Feature, Motown Book Club, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Listen to the #Michlit Radio Show w/host @andi2747 Upcoming & Past Shows #motownwriters


Michigan Lit Radio Show

(Listen Live (646) 915-9177 on Wednesday 530pm or online http://http://blogtalkradio.com/michiganliterarynetwork)

would you like to be interviewed?

Fill out the form below

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REBLOG frm on Detroit: Little Library Capital of the WORLD! @313libraries

New post on Detroit: Little Library Capital of the WORLD!

On the Road! … with Little Library Originals

by Kim

We’re taking the exhibition of Little Library Originals — blank little free libraries transformed by artists — on the road!

Our first stop: the legendary Funky Ferndale Art Festival!


We’re taking the exhibition of Little Library Originals — blank little free libraries transformed by artists — on the road!

Our first stop: the legendary Funky Ferndale Art Festival!

Come see 14 little libraries that have been made into works of art. We’ll be giving away books, Little Free Library swag and more.

We’ll also be inviting fair-go-ers to help paint blank Little Free Libraries that will be planted in the community.

Can you volunteer to help? Sign up here:


Even if you can’t volunteer, swing by and say hello.

Find us on 9 Mile, west of Woodward.

Friday 3-8
Saturday 10-8
Sunday 11-6

See you there!

Read more of this post

Kim | September 18, 2015 at 1:56 am | Categories: quest news | URL: http://wp.me/p52Uch-1t3
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Auburn Hill Writing Meeting Tonight

Hello Writers!

Our group meets tomorrow, September 17th, at 6:30 pm in the the Auburn Hills Library located at 3400 Seyburn in Auburn Hills.

We will enjoy a writing exercise, critique your work, and discuss interesting topics.
Remember to bring six sets (two pages double spaced) of the work you want critiqued.

Awesome blogging by members:

Registration for the October 17 Rochester Writers’ Conference is going on now. The Story Within is this year’s theme. Presentations at the Oakland University conference include lectures, workshops, and panel discussions for fiction and non-fiction writers. Speakers include: Bonnie Jo Campbell, Lev Raphael, Alice Speilburg, Mardi Link, Linda Anger, Hillary Rettig, Dorene O’Brian, Zilka Joseph, Carrie Pearson, Dani Schnakenberg, Cindy Kitchel and More! Presentations include: Keynote Address, Bad Sex Writing, Small Group Agent Reviews, Speaking Skills for Writers, Joyful Productivity Writing, Flash Fiction, Our Story through Memoir, Children’s Book Publishing, and More. $125.00.

If you are on Facebook join our online writers’ group at:


See you Thursday. Bring a writing friend!

Mychelle Martin, Facilitator
Auburn Hills Writers

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Macomb County, Twisted Storytellers Partner to Bring Stories That Tackle Race Friday, September 18 #michlit



September 8, 2015

Macomb County, Twisted Storytellers Partner to Bring Stories That Tackle Race

Friday, September 18

DETROIT, MI ––One Macomb and Welcoming Michigan will partner with The Secret Society Of Twisted StorytellersⓇ to tackle race and cultural diversity through the art and craft of storytelling. TSSOTS is a winner of the Detroit Knight Arts Challenge, which funds projects that engage and enrich Detroit through the arts.

“It is important that Macomb County acknowledges its diverse population by participating in initiatives such as Welcoming America,” said Executive Hackel. “We want all of our residents to know that we appreciate their making Macomb County their home.”

“In order for Macomb County to be competitive in the global market, we need to operate from a multinational and multicultural perspective,” said Assistant County Executive Pam Lavers. “Immigrants not only bring us those perspectives, they also create jobs, pay taxes and buy goods in Macomb County and across the whole region.”

"Rodney King said it best," said TSSOTS Executive Director Satori Shakoor. "Can we all just get along?"

The Secret Society Of Twisted StorytellersⓇ next event “It’s A Trip” will take place at 7:30 p.m., Friday, September 18, 2015 at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History 315 E. Warren Detroit, MI 48202. Featuring storytellers, Amir Bagdadchi, Steve Gold, Oneita Jackson, Theo Parrish and Pastor Alvin Thomas with musical guest Krystal Thomas and Dance Guests Bobby Green and Tamara Patterson. Satori Shakoor will host the evening.

About The Secret Society Of Twisted StorytellersⓇ

The Secret Society of Twisted StorytellersⓇ is monthly storytelling event that features real people who tell true stories live onstage. It is a licensed production of The Society for the Re-Institutionalization of Storytelling, a Michigan 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a global mission to connect humanity, heal and transform community and to provide an uplifting, thought-provoking, soul-cleansing entertainment experience through the art and craft of storytelling.

About OneMacomb

OneMacomb works to promote multiculturalism and inclusion in Macomb County. For more information, visit OneMacomb on Facebook, Twitter or http://diversity.macombgov.org.

Tickets $16-$20, for additional info, interviews and to watch video performances, please visit: www.secretstorytellers.org or call 313-744-6037.

Interviews and Personal Appearances, Contact:

Satori Shakoor at societyforstorytelling


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Deadline for 8th Annual Rochester Writers’ Conf & more news from @talktravel HURRY!!

please share this information with writers and readers you know. Thanks in advance!

Deadline for Conference Registration

Early Bird Registration is NOW $99.00 – After September 15 it increases to $125.00 – Sign-up Soon!

Early Bird Registration is going on NOW for the 8th Annual Rochester Writers’ Conference. The Story Within is the theme this year. Michigan author, Bonnie Jo Campbell, will keynote the October 17 Rochester Writers’ Conference. Current Springfed Arts’ members will enjoy a discount this year. If you’re a member in good standing with Springfed Arts, look for the Special Registration Page on the conference website. Presentations include Lectures, Workshops, and Panel Discussions for Fiction and Non-fiction Writers.

Presenters include: Lev Raphael, Zilka Joseph, Mardi Link, Linda Anger, Dorene O’Brien, Carrie Pearson, Hillary Rettig, Alice Speilburg, Danielle Schnakenberg, Cindy Kitchel, and More!

Presentations include: Bad Sex Writing (how not to), Our Story through Memoir, Finding Funds for Writers, Speaking Skills for Writers, Flash Fiction, Children’s Book Publishing 101, Joyful Writing Productivity, Small Group Agent Sessions, Personal Branding for Writers, I Have a Website – Now What?, Publishing Panel, and More!

The Freelance Marketplace Writers’ Group meets Tuesday, September 15, at the Rochester Hills Barnes & Noble Bookstore at 7:30 p.m. Our meeting location could be anywhere in the store – look for us in the events area, the back end of the used book department, or anywhere in between. We meet the third Tuesday of the month to discuss the business of writing. It’s free and open to new, working, and published writers. Come once, once in a while, or every time.


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#MotownWriters Monthly – Crafting Memorable Characters w/ Dr. Matthews #amwritin

  • Saturday, September 12, 2015

    10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

  • 5201 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI (edit map)

  • STAFF LOUNGE IN BASEMENT. Check WITH security to be sure.
  • This is the Detroit Motown Writers Meetup where special guest speakers talk about their literary journey, we share our challenges and struggles and we help each other.

    Want to announce an event? Want to share your book struggles?

    Want to announce your book’s birth?

    Got a question! Come in! Join us!

    Donations are asked, but donation of your time means a lot as well.

    Please take note of our new location in the Detroit Public Library IN THE STAFF LOUNGE THIS TIME, but if confused just as security on the first floor that will tell you exactly where we will be at… Can’t wait to see you.. And you’ll have to bring your own coffee!


    Crafting Memorable Characters

    Do you want to create complex, believable characters that "feel real"? Join Dr. De’Andrea Matthews on September 12, 2015 as she discusses "Crafting Memorable Characters". This session will take a closer look at the elements that create a three-dimensional character, the action that defines those characters, and how you as a writer can get to know your characters best through the character interview.



    Dr. De’Andrea Matthews, commonly known as Dr. Dee, is an author, educator, and public speaker. Under the pen name D. C. Wiggins, she is the author of Their Darkest Hour and Almost Doesn’t Count. Dr. Dee has been an educator for 18 years, with experience at both public and private institutions. She has taught creative writing courses to middle school and high school students through various outreach programs. She hold a Doctorate in Religious Education, Masters in Theology, and Bachelor of Science in African-American Studies with a minor in Children’s Literature. Dr. Dee is committed to helping you grow spiritually and excel professionally.



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#MichLit Upcoming events from our FB page| Contact us to colaborate or add yrs

Check out literary events happening in the metro Detroit area and if you have an event page, please let me know so I can add it over here!


Share Events


TANNER’S DEVIL EBook Release Day
Thu 12 AM · 4 friends are going
Literary World of Sylvia Hubbard
Detroit, MI
First Annual Detroit Awesome Awards Ceremony
Sat 8 PM · 6 friends are going
Tangent Gallery / Hastings Street Ballroom
Detroit, MI
Books & Authors
Sun 11 AM · Shared to Support Michigan Authors
Leon & Lulu
Clawson, MI


All Things Detroit
Sun 12 PM · 30 friends are going
Eastern Market Corporation
Detroit, MI
For the Love of Books Expo
Sun 1:30 PM · 3 friends are going
Commerce Township Community Library
Commerce, MI


Romance Slam Jam #RSJ2016
Thu 12 AM
Motown Book Club
Detroit, MI
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Article: The Power of Your Story @EntrepreneurEXG #Resilience #michlit #motownbookclub


Honestly, I was afraid to tell my story of dealing with workplace bullying.  Fearful of being ridiculed I remained silent for years. As I sought to transition into a career as an author, I tried to write about my transformation without sharing the full extent of my experience.

My editor helped me to see the importance of being transparent by allowing my readers to learn about my story. I found my voice to speak my truth, which not only strengthened me, but encouraged others.

Writing about my ordeal proved to be therapeutic. I soon realized the serverity of being a target of workplace bullying. Known as the silent epidemic, workplace bullying is defined by the Workplace Bullying Institute as, “repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators.” It is abusive behavior that is intimidating, threatening or humiliating. Other actions include verbal abuse, work sabotage and work interference.

I withstood what 65 million other American workers have either witnessed or endured according to the 2014 Workplace Survey conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute. Based on the survey, fifty-six percent (56%) of workplace bullying perpetrators are bosses, while thirty-three (33%) are co-workers.

Although, only thirty-one (31%) percent of perpetrators are women, sixty-eight (68%) percent of their targets are other women. I realized that speaking out about my experience was one way to impact this trend of bullying in the workplace by women.

I was bullied by supervisors and co-workers throughout my professional career. Work sabotage such as misplaced reports and intimation were a part of the work environment. Co-workers who alienated me because I did not share the same point of view on projects began to take its toll.

However, when I noticed a change in my naturally upbeat disposition, I knew something had to change.  Instead of focusing on the perpetrators, I conducted a personal assessment to identify my strengths and weaknesses.

In addition, I learned to release negative energy by confessing my true feelings to God in prayer.  Forgiveness was my ticket to freedom from the negative energy that entwined me. Once I began to see the transformation, others within my office also took notice.  I positioned myself to become a change agent as opposed to simply a target.

Sharing my process to combat the detrimental impacts of bullying became a priority. Once the opportunity of writing for the Resilience book presented itself, I knew God provided the right platform for me to publish my story.  The 11 other women contributors have beat the odds to overcome insurmountable obstacles in their lives. We all provide practical strategies to deal with negativity and design plans of actions for personal growth. My transform had to be shared with others living in the fear of losing their jobs because of co-workers and supervisors who are perpetrators.

Learning from our life experiences is a major part of personal growth. However, sharing those experiences with others is a powerful way to impart wisdom to the future leaders following in our footsteps.


Order Your Copy | Authors Website

About the Authors:

YE8ZOEi5_400x400Angeline Lawrence
Twitter: @EntrepreneurEXG
Life Strategist, consultant, author & speaker who helps people do the impossible. Resourceful, insightful and all about getting things done.

Metro Detroit, Michigan
Website: angelinelawrence.com/landing


Categories: BlogTour, Motown Book Club | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Book Spotlight: Resilience: Living Life by Design @entrepreneurexg #michlit @fiverr



Order Your Copy | Authors Website

No matter where you are today, you have untapped potential that will take you everywhere you want to go. From the experiences of 12 remarkable women Angela M. Brown, Angeline Lawrence, Denise Hanney, Diane Blake, Fayola Delica, Glenda O. Cook, Gwen Webber-McLeod, Kim Cheatham, Mabel Jones-Hansford, Mellisa Lassiter, Teresita Glasgow and Valeria Robinson-Baker this compilation speaks to talented women leaders and entrepreneurs with the purpose of helping to turn their restlessness into a strategy and showing them how to maintain their spiritual and emotional center during setbacks.

This collaboration is purposed to give voice to suffered anxieties so other women leaders may design well-thought-out actions, rise above negative perspectives, thrive under pressure and maximize career and personal performances.

This book is full of powerful tips, strategies with a proactive resilience exercise in the back and a link to a confidential survey to further measure your character strengths. Regardless of your social status, financial position or relational connections, your true ally is resilience.

After reading Resilience, you will know how to:

Recognize and remove the enemies of resilience the unhelpful thoughts, actions and reactions,or the outside obstacles that automatically show up to influence you.

Override destructive behavior by turning reactions into resilience learning to live with intention by letting go of what you cannot control and living in harmony with what you can.

Build resilience through the power of living life by design so you can realize a sense of purpose and reach higher levels of identity and self-actualization, letting go of victim-consciousness and accepting personal responsibility.

Pursue resilience by developing the attributes of self-awareness, patience, perseverance, inner power and becoming action-oriented to successfully advance after adversity.

Order Your Copy | Authors Website

About One of the Authors:

YE8ZOEi5_400x400Angeline Lawrence
Twitter: @EntrepreneurEXG
Life Strategist, consultant, author & speaker who helps people do the impossible. Resourceful, insightful and all about getting things done.

Metro Detroit, Michigan
Website: angelinelawrence.com/landing

Categories: BlogTour, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#MichLit Blog Tour w/Author, Angeline Lawrence @entrepreneurexg starting 9/8. Join us! Share/RT

Please join us as we take newly published co-author, Angeline Lawrence across our SocialVerse as we introduce her, her book and her message. Check in, like her articles and share her message with others.


Order Book | Author’s Website

blogtourButton#MichLit Blog Tour Schedule

MotownWriters.com | Michigan Literary Network Book
Spotlight 9/8

MotownMomMusings.com ARTICLE: When Bullying Hits
Home 9/10
LoveABlackWoman.Tumblr.com Article: 5 steps to
Overcome Workplace Bullying 9/11

MotownWriters Archive Blog – Book Spotlight 9/12
MotownBookClub.com Article 9/9 Article: The Power
of Your Story

Added Bonus

MotownWriters Archive Blog – Author Feature 9/15

Order Book | Author’s Website

About this author:

YE8ZOEi5_400x400Angeline Lawrence

Life Strategist, consultant, author & speaker who helps people do the impossible. Resourceful, insightful and all about getting things done.

Metro Detroit, Michigan


Michigan Authors, Would you like a book tour or us to share your message in our SocialVerse. Go to http://fiverr.com/motownwriters for more information.

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Upcoming #MichLit Book #BlogTour for Author, Angeline Lawrence @EntrepreneurEXG



Winners never give up. Keep striving for excellence. You will win. #Resilience 9.14.2015.

About One of the Authors:

YE8ZOEi5_400x400Angeline Lawrence

Twitter: @EntrepreneurEXG

Life Strategist, consultant, author & speaker who helps people do

the impossible. Resourceful, insightful and all about getting things done.

If you would like to sign up for a blog tour or would like promotions from Motown Writers check out our deals at http://fiverr.com/motownwriters. Deals as low as $5.

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MWN Author Spotlight with Eric B. Willis @EricBWillis

Today, the Motown Writers Network is putting author Eric B. Willis in the spotlight.

Where are you from?

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

Tell us your latest news?

I’m currently involved with two family history writing book projects and a third one that’s waiting in the wings. My goal is to publish my second book towards the end of the year. Also in July, I will be attending a Willis family reunion in Hampton, Virginia and looking forward to sharing and receiving feedback about my current book.
When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing as a child. However, around 1997, it was reignited shortly after I began researching my family history. It was my desire to leave a legacy–to share the information that I’ve discovered about my family history–about their triumphs and tragedies, and how their survival in America continued to exist despite their tremendous odds as a black race of people with African, European, Indian and Asian ancestry.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

After I began writing about my family history and black history.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I didn’t know much about my Mississippi paternal lineage–my heritage. Also, there was an oral family historical account that was passed down about two brothers from France who traveled to this country, but I wanted to know more.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I used all four writing styles in my book–primarily expository, narrative, descriptive, and persuasive to a smaller extent.
How did you come up with the title?

The first part of the name The Willis Handbook came about over twenty years ago during a non-related discussion at a Willis family function–which was before I became a genealogist and began writing the book. The second part of the name relates to intersecting related memoirs and historical events into a family’s genealogy or a person’s biography in order to assist with reconstructing their lives and to produce more of a connection with my readers. Also, adding photographs, historical records, pedigree charts, and maps helps me to achieve this goal as well.

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

I want to encourage people of all ethnicities to become family historians and writers. Afterward, they would be able to reach out and teach their current and future generations that many of their ancestors and relatives–being aware or unaware of God’s presence and guidance–did experience many successes in the midst of their sacrifices and failures.

How much of the book is realistic?

The non-fiction book not only chronicles 168 years of my family history, but it also includes related and extensive information about African American and American History–covering such events as the American Civil War, early Black communities and educational institutions, medical histories and epidemics, the Civil Rights Movement, etc. Its use is also a genealogical and scholarly reference source. It’s like a treasured heirloom meets an encyclopedia.

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

Yes to both. The work details many experiences in my life, my family and other black family lives, and the lives of those who have had major influences–directly or indirectly–and from a local, state or national perspective.

What books have most influenced your life most?

Besides the Bible which also includes an extensive genealogical record, books that are inspirational and history-related.

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

It would be a challenge to just narrow it down to one writer. So, I would have to choose Alex Haley, John Hope Franklin, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Darlene C. Dickson–my first writer’s group instructor.

What book are you reading now?

Grace of Silence: A Memoir by the National Public Radio (NPR) journalist Michelle Norris. It’s about her family’s complex legacy and understanding those who reared us.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I’m interested in reading Allyson Hobb’s book A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life as a part of my research for my current writing project.
What are your current projects?

I have two active writing projects– a book about my maternal cousin who was involved with racial passing–living his life as a white Jewish man and a family history about my maternal lineage. I’m also assisting a client with writing and publishing his family history.

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

The Detroit Public Library’s Burton Historical Collection staff was very helpful to me early on in my research.
Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, I do–in addition to being a genealogist, an artist, and an occasional actor.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

That’s a good question, but I would not change anything.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

As a child in elementary school, around the forth grade, I was given an assignment to create a hardcover children’s story book with illustrations. It was about a boy’s involvement with various sports. I remembered the covers being made of cardboard and wrapped in a vinyl sheet material with a sport-like pattern.

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

My second non-fiction book begins with my genealogical quest to uncover the truth behind my maternal great grandfather’s birth in the segregated town of Huntsville, Alabama during the late-19th century. His mother is black but his father is white. However, along the way, I discovered a cousin who was involved in racial passing. As a result, my goal is to take the reader on a journey through an array of notable jazz musicians, the religion of Judaism, American union leader Jimmy Hoffa, renowned entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr., and a discussion of race.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I really love the research phase of the writing process, but it can be very time consuming–reviewing documentation and artifacts, reading, interviewing and traveling.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I actually have two favorite authors–John Hope Franklin and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Being a descendant from families with deep southern roots and my interest in history, I enjoy reading the works of these noted American historians, educators, and authors of southern history and racial politics.


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

As a genealogist and writer, I have to travel to various locations to research and obtain non-digitized information that’s not available via the Internet. I enjoy pouring through old photo albums, records at court houses, libraries, etc. If possible, I prefer to travel and conduct face-to-face interviews for gathering information for the book.


Who designed the covers?

I’m an artist as well, so I designed my book’s covers.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?

From a sentimental perspective, having to remove the last chapter because the size of the book had surpassed 900 pages. The chapter consists of information I’ve accumulated over the years during my genealogical research of my Willis family and during the time of the book’s completion, I was not able to establish to my satisfaction the people represented therein were related to my family. However, there is a possibility that there may be some Willis familial connections, but additional evidence is required.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Besides the wealth of information about my family history and my culture’s history, I’ve learned about the existence of so many other family members across the country–what a blessing.


Also, consistently dedicating some time each day towards the project kept me engaged which eventually led to its completion after ten years. Some of the days consisted of one to several hours of researching (which took on various forms), writing or both. A mixture of researching, writing and sharing contributed to my excitement level.


Do you have any advice for other writers?

My advice is to devote at least a half an hour to the writing process even if it’s involving researching for material. Research other successful authors within your genre to determine what contributed to their success while also maintaining your own sense of writing style. Connect (in person or online) with informative writer workshops in your region. In reference to researching and writing your family history, begin with interviewing your older relatives first because once they make that transition–that valuable information may be forever lost.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? I truly appreciate your support. Also, I believe it’s important for us to know and share our family histories–to maintain that connection with our past, present, and future generations–and to learn from the past, live in the present, and build for the future. To know our heritage is like a tree with roots.


  • Name of Author: Eric B. Willis
  • Name of Book: The Willis Handbook: An Intersection of Genealogy, Memoirs and History of a Black American Family – 1835-2003


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