Feature

#MotorCityBookExperience Author: Dana Littlejohn @liljohndana

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Where are you from? I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but I live in Indianapolis, IN now.

Tell us your latest news? 2016 is my tour year. I am hitting as many cities as I can and I’ve started a newsletter to keep my readers up with where I am and what I’m doing.

When and why did you begin writing? I wrote my first short story when I was in the six grade.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? I’ve always considered myself a writer.

What inspired you to write your first book? I had a dream about the story. I wrote down what I remembered and then expanded on it.

Do you have a specific writing style? I don’t know. LOL No one has ever mentioned if or what my style is so I have nothing to compare it to.

How did you come up with the title? Tri-Romance is a play on words. There are three main characters and they were set against trying romance but when they did it changed their lives for the better. 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Not intentionally.

How much of the book is realistic? A lot. I’m hoping the readers will be able to connect with the characters because they see some of themselves in them.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? No. I try very hard to keep me and my life out of my books.

What books have most influenced your life most? Piers Anthony’s Xanth series. They were the first fantasy books I read. They showed me that in the fantasy world anything goes.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Bertice Small. Her books were the first that I read that didn’t have a ‘damsel in distress’. Her Sky O’Malley was strong, beautiful, wise and powerful in her own right in a time when that wasn’t heard of. I wanted my main characters to be that way too.

What book are you reading now? Elf Quest LOL I love graphic novels.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? I haven’t read any new authors lately.

What are your current projects? I have a few, in fact. Completed and in rotation waiting for me to do edits I have a Greek goddess novel, urban fantasy, Aphrodite’s Day Off,  an African goddess novel, fantasy, Daughters of the Sky and a vampire novel, urban fantasy, The Dioni Clan. I just finished last edits on book 1 of my married couple series, Happily Ever After: By Any Means Necessary; Seven Year Switch will be released June 17, 2016.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. Can I plead the fifth on this one? 🙂

Do you see writing as a career? Absolutely! I’m trying to make it MY career.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Nope. I love it as is.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? No. I remember writing short stories in elementary school.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? I think just coming up with different characters is difficult. The more books you write the ore people you have to build and they all have to be different.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? I really like Jackie Collins. I love her characters and how even the really rich ones have real world problems.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? Not specifically for my books, but I do travel a lot so I  take advantage of that by incorporating the places into my books.

Who designed the covers? DusktilDawn Designs did the Tri-Romance cover.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Adding the people who have died into my books. I use their names as characters to keep them alive and with me forever.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? This was my first full length novel. I learned what ‘the devil is in the details’ really means during the editing process.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Yes. Always strive to improve your craft. You want to be a writer, learn to write. No matter how good your book is, if people have to trip over mistakes on every page no one will read it.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Yes. My monthly newsletter has fun facts about me, info on my books, free reads and you can also win prizes by sending in questions for me to answer.

More from author:  www.danalittlejohn.net 

Connect with author:

 www.facebook.com/liljohndana 

www.twitter.com/liljohndana 

Purchase Tri-Romance: http://www.amazon.com/Tri-Romance-Dana-Littlejohn/dp/153012963X/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1464048556&sr=8-3&keywords=dana+littlejohn

 

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What is Your Michigan Amazon Author Page? Help #MotownWriters build a database #MichLit

We love authors and we want you to share your amazon author page in the comments

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So click this link and add your page to the comments.

Criteria:

  1. Must be a Michigan Author!
  2. Must be to an Amazon Author page and NOT your book page.

Thank you!

CLICK HERE NOW TO ADD YOUR PAGE

http://motownwriters.com/amazonauthorpage

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#MotorCity Book Experience: Dewane Parker @DewaneParker

Dewane Parker

Dewane Parker

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Washington, DC
Tell us your latest news?
I’m an actor and author and I have been filming a secretive Marvel Comics project the last three weeks.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing two years ago and I wanted to be an inspiration to kids that have come from dysfunctional homes or being neglected by parents/guardians.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
This is my first book so once it came out in January of 2016 and I went online to Amazon to view it that’s when I knew that I was a writer.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I was inspired because I was a former agent and I wanted to tell a different side of what it’s like to see an agent in reality as opposed to the TV/Movie version that we watch.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I have no specific writing style, I’m still feeling that out
How did you come up with the title?
I wanted the title to stand out and reflect the entire book and the main character “Stacy Mays” tracks his life back as far as birth when his dysfunction began.
Is there a message in your novel that you want your readers to grasp?
The message that I want the readers to grasp is that agents and operatives give up their entire personal life and back in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s the novel depicts what they have to endure to keep world safe and shows how their emotions effects them just like civilians.
How much of the book is realistic? 
Much of the book is realistic
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Yes there are some experiences that are based on my own life
What books have most influenced your life most?
Catcher in the Rye and Native Son
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Stephen King
What book are you reading now?
Son of Hamas
Are there any new authors at have grasp your interests?
No new authors and there are so many out there and I am a fiction type of person.
What are your current projects?
Well I am currently an actor on Law and Order SVU, Blacklist, Blue Bloods, Power, Orange is the New Black and I was recently in movies Creed and Money Monster and I am   filming   a secret Marvel Comics project now.  Also I am attending numerous book signings all over the US and I am also attending screenwriting class and I also conduct sexting/cyberbullying symposiums for students and parents throughout the US.
 Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members?
God was the only one that supported me throughout my career as an agent even when I was not saved or spiritual back then and I should have been dead and buried.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes I do see writing as one of my careers, I have always had to re-invent myself and be open to change and writing is exciting when you bring your story to readers around the world.
If you had to do it all over again would you change anything in your latest book?
Of course there are things that you see in your book that you may want to change but since I’m writing Born Dead 2 I think the first book is pretty good as it is.
Do you recall how your interest n writing originated?
No I don’t recall my writing interest, It just came to me to write a book and to make it as real to the readers as possible.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Agent/ Operative Stacy Mays is constructed by the government to inflict massive punishment with no fear of death. Yes, his life is not his own. After all, why should it be? He was Born Dead.
Is there anything that you find particularly challenging in your writing? 
What’s challenging is getting the readers to visualize with the main character and proceed along with him throughout the book with his experiences and keep them on a roller coaster ride.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that strikes you about there work?
Again I would say Stephen King, because he kept you on the ride up and down with surprises in between.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book?
Yes I travel and I didn’t expect the book to do so well so soon but it has.
Who designed the cover? 
I designed the cover, I wanted something to stand out and for the readers to notice it once they see it.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Trying to understand how to write and get the reader to follow it, I never wrote a novel before so it was difficult in the beginning but it got easier as I went along.
Did you learn anything writing your book and what was it?
What I learned from writing the novel was that you have to pursue your dreams and don’t settle for nothing less, that’s when then and only then that you find your peace and I writing for me is bringing peace to my soul.
Do you any advice for other writers?
You must believe in your writing and don’t listen to people, friends and family tell you that you can’t write. Express it so everyone can understand and visualize the plot.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I welcome your feed back in regards to the book and I continue to work on giving you incredible stories that allow you picture yourself in that living room.
More about the author at:
Connect with the author at:
Purchase Born Dead The Life and Times of Agent/Operative Stacy Mays at: http://www.amazon.com/Born-Dead-Times-Agent-Operative
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Categories: Feature, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

MotownWriters Author Feature : Mary Anne McMahon #Michlit

Mary Anne McMahon

MaryAnn

Where are you from?

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. My recently published book took me to new level.

What inspired you to write your first book? 

My book evolved from the acquisition of my ancestral history and 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 write 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 like Malcolm Gladwell and 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.

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?                                       MaryAnn- Copy

I have obtained additional Detroit family history. I learned that an ancestor wrote for the Detroit Free Press
for many years. I wish that information had been known to me during the writing of my book.

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? 

I have been both baffled and fascinated with people’s resistance to change. I have begun writing about this issue.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

When I wrote my book there were times when thoughts flowed for hours. Sometimes 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 challenging times in my life.

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

While I struggled with revealing my mistakes, I learned afterward that I am not alone. We all make mistakes. 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 to yourself and possible 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.

Connect with Mary Anne at: www.marymcmahonauthor.com 
Facebook with Mary Annewww.facebook.com/#!/pages/Motor-City-and-Me-Our-Story/66841004317038

Purchase Book: www.amazon.com/Motor-City-Me-Our-Story/dp/148005318X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396840215&sr=1-1&keywords=The+motor+city+and+mennQuestions:nWhere

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#MotorCity Book Experience: Terrie L. Branch @BossladyTerri

Terrie L. Branch

Terrie L. Branch

 Terrie L. Branch

Where are you from?    I’m a Hampton, Virginia Native.

Tell us your latest news? I’m currently working on a project with Author Justin Q. Young. We are collaborating on a sexy novel that I’m super excited to do. I also have some projects that I’m collaborating with my label mates Nikay Rountree, Anitra Hill, and publisher Shaunta Kenerly. Im so excited about these projects. I have a new release coming in May 2016, “Choose Your Poison (Confessions of a Stripper”, I also have  2 books being released by the end of the year, “Mr.CEO (Sex Games), Prison Bluez (Numbers Game).

When and why did you begin writing?   I started writing in 2013. I’m a hairstylist by trade and have a lot of faithful clients and friends. I’m told that I inspire people and with that being said, I was in my salon one day having girl talk with a few ladies. They seemed to think that the advice I was giving was really great and told me I should write a book. I immediately laughed it off and said “I’m a hairstylist, not an author.” Only for God to reveal yet another talent that I didn’t know I possessed. So i decided to write my first novel being guided by a minister/ author that was a client. After publishing the novel, i received a lot of positive feedback. That was mind blowing to me. It was a self help novel with a twist. I added an erotic fiction portion to the beginning and the readers loved the intimate scenes. So afterwards I decided to try it again and me being a perfectionist, I knew there was room for improvement. When I began writing again , I reached out to Kiki Swinson after seeing a post on her Facebook page. She told me to send in my manuscript to be reviewed. I received an email back that said they loved it and she signed me to a three book deal. That blew my mind and lit the fire under my feet. I has since then signed under Shaunta Kenerly Presents Publications and it has been nothing less than great with my new publisher!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?   Every since I typed the title to my very first manuscript, in 2013, I’ve considered myself a writer. I truly believe when God puts something on my heart its meant for me.

What inspired you to write your first book?  I was inspired by clients and friends. One of my clients is an author as well and suggested that i do so after I rendered advice to the ladies about dating in my salon.

Do you have a specific writing style? No I don’t think I have a specific style. I just kinda flow. I love being descriptive when it comes to love making scenes.

How did you come up with the title? The Game From A woman’s Perspective was my first novels title. I figured since I was talking about dating from a woman’s point of view that the title would be fitting and catchy. I did brain storm for other titles but this one really stuck. I named each chapter using basketball terms to make it interesting. Then I added a twist ,starting the book off with an erotic fiction short story and concluding with the self help portion.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? In my novel “The Game From A Woman’s Perspective” I want the readers to know that loving yourself first is always important before pursuing a relationship. If you are capable of loving yourself first , then you are capable of recognizing and true love. My first chapter is “Key Player” and talks strictly about you.

How much of the book is realistic? I feel like a lot of it is.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Well I come in contact with a lot of people and I hear a lot. So with that being said…yes some i can relate to then there is some that is related to the things that I have heard over the years.

What books have most influenced your life most? I love to read. The Bible is one that I would say has the most influence on my life. I don’t of any other books, that I can think of that have really influenced my life though.

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

What book are you reading now? I love to read but since I have been writing, I haven’t had much time to read like I want to. I always read the bible and my Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyers almost every day.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Danielle Offett, Anitra Hill , Nikay Rountree, Shaunta Kenerly.

What are your current projects? I’m currently working on a project with Author Justin Q. Young. We are collaborating on a sexy novel that I’m super excited to do. I also have some projects that I’m collaborating with my label mates Nikay Rountree, Anitra Hill, and publisher Shaunta Kenerly. Im so excited about these projects. I have a new release coming in May 2016, “Choose Your Poison (Confessions of a Stripper”, I also have  2 books being released by the end of the year, “Mr.CEO (Sex Games), Prison Bluez (Numbers Game).

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. My facebook followers really showed me love. I have a friend Falisha Carman that really stuck with me cheering me on and buying every book that I wrote.

Do you see writing as a career? Yes I Do! I love writing! Its almost like leaving your world and placing yourself in this fictitious world momentarily,. Its so rejuvenating! So once I’m retired from the hair industry , absolutely. I will definitely continue writing and on a full time bases.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? No

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? After receiving so many great reviews on my first novel, I was so fascinated that I started my second.Once I was signed to New York Times Best Selling Author Kiki Swinson, it showed me that someone in the game already recognized my talent. So it motivated me to keep going. It lit the fire under my feet, so to say I feel like there’s always room to grow. So I was able to see the growth from one book to another. Im looking forward to future growth and more books. I just love it!!! 

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

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?  From time to time I experience writers block. Sometimes its a challenge trying to decide the genre in which a title should fit under, but other than that I haven’t ran into many challenges.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Mary Monroe & Danielle Steele. I love a book that keeps my interest.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? I was a part of the Sistahs on Lit event in DC/Maryland. I will also be at Atlanta KickBack Bookfest October 8th.

Who designed the covers? Our publisher uses a variety of graphic designers. Aja Monique of Amb Branding designed Mr CEO, and Choose Your Poison.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? The hardest thing was keeping up with all the different characters. After writing so much, it all seems to run into another. So I created a Note Page with key points and character names on it for each book.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? There is always room for improvement.  Take my time and be descriptive. 

Do you have any advice for other writers? Stick to your style of writing.Stay true to yourself.  You have to stand out in your own way! Be original.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Thank you so much for supporting me. I love you guys! Make sure that you check me out on social media and my website.

Visit the author:  www.AuthorTerrieLBranch.weebly.com

Connect with the author:

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTerrieBranch/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BossladyTerri

Purchase The Game From A Woman’s Perspectiveamazon.com/author/terriebranch

GBS

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#MotownWriters Author Feature: Pam Rossi #Michlit @pamrossi

Pam Rossi

front-blue-names.jpeg                                                                                                  Where are you from? Canton, MI

Tell us your latest news? Just released, Over Easy Conversations with Pam Rossi, a book of musical guests interviews from the Over Easy radio show on 94.7 WCSX. One of my favorite parts of my radio show that I’ve hosted now for over 16 years, was the live interviews where we talked and the musician played a few songs in between our chat. It was personal, fun and I learned things I didn’t know about each artist. It was like two friends just having a conversation over coffee.

When and why did you begin writing? Any thoughts of being a writer never really happened. I wrote in school because I had to.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? When I got the official proof of Over Easy Conversations the first time. Even though I’ve had poetry published before and journaled regularly, I never thought of myself as a writer until now.

What inspired you to write your first book? Listeners of the popular radio show wanted to revisit the interviews and the book idea was conceived.

Do you have a specific writing style? I haven’t figured that one out yet.

How did you come up with the title? It was easy, the show is called Over Easy and it was more conversation than interview. I wanted the show title to be prominent.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? There are a lot of talented musicians, not just nationally but locally as well, that are a lot of fun and have a lot to offer. I want to showcase them all.

How much of the book is realistic? All

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? These are the actual interviews transcribed with introductions.

What books have most influenced your life most? I tend to gravitate toward the non-fiction, including biographies and self-help.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Even though they aren’t officially published, my two daughters and a few of my sisters are very awe inspiring and talented in the writing department.

What book are you reading now? Musical biographies.

What are your current projects? I’m working on a children’s series titled, Look Who Gets To…with the Polka Dot Pals.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.  Always family, and friends.

Do you see writing as a career? I do have other book concepts that need to be finished and plan to do, however, I see myself more of a speaker.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? No.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I started journaling in my early teens to help me get through some rough years.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? It’s a children’s series helping them deal with physical issues. It started with my granddaughter having to wear an eyepatch at 18 months old.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? With another project I am working on, I am finding it difficult trying to make it fiction even though 99% is real.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? Not yet

Who designed the covers? Annie Capps who is also in the book. She is a musician.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Getting releases from all the artists as well as promoting it.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? Even a roller coaster ride can be fun!! I also did learn how passionate true musicians are about their craft.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Never give up. Even when the plug gets pulled,figure out a way to plug back in and try again.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Thank you and I hope they enjoy the interviews and find some musical gems while learning about these artists and appreciate what they do for their craft.) Over Easy Conversations with Pam Rossi.

Connect with Pam at:

http://www.amazon.com/Pam-Rossi/e/B01CF6BB6S/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1463451712&sr=8-1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Pam-Rossi-Author-250007831997123/

On Twitter: @pamrossi

On Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8jFOfebuaw

Purchase the book:

https://www.amazon.com/Over-Easy-Pam-Rossi-ebook/dp/B01DAO9LFC?ie=UTF8&keywords=Pam%20Rossi&qid=1463451712&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

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#MotorCityBookExperence @Simplee Kish

                                                                  Simplee Kish         

Simplee Kish

Simplee Kish

Where are you from?

I was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and raised in Detroit Michigan.

Tell us your latest news.

I’m doing a book discussion for Don’t Read Me Read A Book Book Club Detroit Chapter May 15 in Dearborn, MI

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing ever since grade school. I would write for myself just for the fun of it.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I considered myself a writer when I had my 1st book published in December of 2015.

What inspired you to write your first book?

It’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do.

Do you have a specific writing style?

No I don’t.

How did you come up with the title?

Coming up with the title of my book was kind of hard. The original title was supposed to be: Brooklynn’s Bridge

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

This book is purely a work of fiction, but if this has happened to you or anyone you know. Please don’t be afraid to speak up and get help.

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

Author Shan Richardson

What book are you reading now?

I try not to read any books while I’m writing. I’m currently writing the finale to part 3 for the Brooklynn series.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I haven’t had the chance to do much reading lately since I’ve been writing.

What are your current projects?

I plan on doing spin off series with the characters from the Brooklynn and Santana series. Once I’m done with that I want to venture off into mystery/suspense, supernatural.

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

Another author that helped open the door for me.

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, I see writing as a career for me.

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

I would make last book a little bit longer.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I have a vivid imagination and I love telling stories.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Finding the time to write and keeping the story going, flowing and interesting.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

If this is something you really want to do you have to put your all into it. Never give up. Success will not happen overnight.

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

I would like to thank all of my readers for all of their support. Without your support I would be doing this for nothing. So thank you for giving me the chance to entertain your minds!

Connect with Simplee Kish:

 

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#MotorCityBookExperience

Danie James

DJWhere are you from? University City. A suburb of Saint Louis, Missouri

Tell us your latest news? I was a feature artist at Wilbert’s Food & Music in Cleveland, Ohio a few weeks ago.
When and why did you begin writing? I began writing at 13 after I saw the movie Poetic Justice
When did you first consider yourself a writer? When I was 16
What inspired you to write your first book? The inspiration behind Broken Flower was from an abusive relationship I was in 6 years ago. I used writing as a way to cope with the break-up.
Do you have a specific writing style? Its mostly bold and in your face. Very unapologetic and honest.
How did you come up with the title? It just came to me in my sleep
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Love yourself
How much of the book is realistic? 80%
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Yes
What books have most influenced your life most? The Complete Poetry Collection of Maya Angelou
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Maya Angelou
What are your current projects? I’m putting together a DVD with my top 10 best spoken word pieces, plus 3 bonus pieces not published yet. I will be headlining in the first Poetry Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio June 5th. I am working on my fourth poetry collections and other short stories. Also taking acting classes once a week at JC Modeling Agency
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. God
Do you see writing as a career? Yes
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? My latest book, “Erotica Avenue: Love & Lust Poems”, I would not change a thing. Its perfectly crafted.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I have written short stories and screen plays since 10. I began doing poetry when I saw Poetic Justice at 16. I was looking to gain a new hobby and it later became a passion.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? Yes.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Sometimes I may go days without writing anything, I may not feel inspired that day. I will have an idea but get writer’s block.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? I really don’t have a favorite author aside from Maya Angelou and maybe Zane.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? Yes. I have traveled to a few places to promote all three of my books.
Who designed the covers? I design all my covers using Amazon cover design for self-published authors.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? The hardest part about writing my first book, “Broken Flower” was the editing process. It took two weeks because I kept having to re-submit it for errors.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? Yes, to value myself more. How much I grown as a woman and writer. To write without limitations. Don’t be afraid to go to those uncomfortable places.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Think outside the box. Be creative in every way possible and stay true to yourself.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? All three of my books are available on Amazon. Go get it!!

Connect with the author: wix.com/djamesentertainment

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aimEbsSYQk&list=PLnS1jjqFRxChDEAMdWfmlGQZDiyGDaxRE

Purchase Books: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Danie+James

 

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51xNI7XmaiL._AC_US160_Danie James

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#MotownWriters Author Feature: Desiree Cooper #Michlit @descooper

Desiree Cooper

Detroit, Michigan, journalist and author, Desiree Cooper, has released her wonderful book of poems and prose with Wayne State Press called Know The Mother. A beautiful literary work of art that will touch the soul.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

While a mother can be defined as a creator, a nurturer, a protector-at the center of each mother is an individual who is attempting to manage her own fears, desires, and responsibilities in different and sometimes unexpected ways. In Know the Mother, author Desiree Cooper explores the complex archetype of the mother in all of her incarnations. In a collage of meditative stories, women-both black and white-find themselves wedged between their own yearnings and their roles as daughters, sisters, grandmothers, and wives.

In this heart-wrenching collection, Cooper reveals that gender and race are often unanticipated interlopers in family life. An anxious mother reflects on her prenatal fantasies of suicide while waiting for her daughter to come home late one night. A lawyer miscarries during a conference call and must proceed as though nothing has happened. On a rare night out with her husband, a new mother tries convincing herself that everything is still the same. A politician’s wife’s thoughts turn to slavery as she contemplates her own escape: “Even Harriet Tubman had realized that freedom wasn’t worth the price of abandoning her family, so she’d come back home. She’d risked it all for love.” With her lyrical and carefully crafted prose, Cooper’s stories provide truths without sermon and invite empathy without sentimentality.

Know the Mother explores the intersection of race and gender in vignettes that pull you in and then are gone in an instant. Readers of short fiction will appreciate this deeply felt collection.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Desiree Cooper

Desiree Cooper

 

A 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, Desiree Cooper is a former attorney, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and Detroit community activist whose fiction dives unflinchingly into the intersection of racism and sexism. Using the compressed medium of flash fiction, she explores intimate spaces to reveal what it means to be human. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Callaloo, Detroit Noir, Best African American Fiction 2010, and Tidal Basin Review, among other online and print publications. Her first collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother, was published by Wayne State University Press in March 2016. Cooper was a founding board member of Cave Canem, a national residency for emerging black poets. She is currently a Kimbilio fellow, a national residency for African American fiction writers.

Connect with this author at:

www.descooper.com

http://www.facebook.com/descooper

http://instagram.com/descooper

https://twitter.com/descooper

Buy your copy now : http://amzn.to/1VKxXTS

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW

New Michigan Literary Network podcast w/guest @DesCooper, author of “Know the Mother” at http://tobtr.com/s/8790883.

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What is Your Michigan Amazon Author Page? Help #MotownWriters build a database #MichLit

We love authors and we want you to share your amazon author page in the comments

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What is Your Michigan Amazon Author Page? Help #MotownWriters build a database #MichLit

We love authors and we want you to share your amazon author page in the comments

amazonauthorpageLogo

So click this link and add your page to the comments.

Criteria:

  1. Must be a Michigan Author!
  2. Must be to an Amazon Author page and NOT your book page.

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#MotownWriters Author Feature: Melissa Grunow #Michlit @melgrunow

Melissa Grunow

Melissa Grunow

Melissa Grunow

Where are you from?
I was born in Saginaw and grew up in Oak Park. I’ve lived in New Mexico and Ohio, but I currently reside in Ferndale.

Tell us your latest news?
My first book, Realizing River City: A Memoir was published in February.

Additionally, I’m a live storyteller, and I have been cast in the 2016 Metro Detroit LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER show on May 1st. Details about the show and ticket information can be found here: http://listentoyourmothershow.com/metrodetroit/

When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing as early as I can remember because I always loved stories. I used to “read” books to my younger brother long before I could actually read. I always knew I wanted to create my own stories someday.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I set the record at my high school for most writing awards won and went on to pursue writing in college and continued to craft short stories throughout graduate school. Throughout all those years, though, I felt like I was aspiring to be a writer, even though I was writing. I finally felt like a true writer when I had my first story accepted for publication in Wilderness House Literary Review in fall 2013.

What inspired you to write your first book?
Writing Realizing River City has a kind of unknown origin. I had the impulse to write about relationships, but it didn’t start out as a memoir. I just kept drafting and drafting and revising and drafting until it finally started to take shape as a book about learning to love one’s self in the aftermath of apparent failure when it comes to loving others.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I was an English major in college and earned an MA in literature from New Mexico State University, so my writing is very literary. I use a lot of figurative language, large-scale metaphors, and symbolic motifs in my work. I want my writing to me more than this happened, then this happened, then this happened. I want it to be something a classroom of students can read, study, and find new meaning in each time they discuss it.

How did you come up with the title?
Rivers serve as an extended metaphor in the book and speak to the overarching theme, so I don’t want to give too much away. There is a scene in the book near the end of the second section that speaks to the notion of what it means to finally realize River City. An hence, the title was born.

Is there a message in your memoir that you want readers to grasp?
Most definitely. This is a book about redemption and survival by learning to love one’s self.

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

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
It’s a memoir, so it’s all a retelling of my experiences for the purpose trying to make sense of them.

What books have most influenced your life most?
I’m a voracious reader, so this list is ever-growing. The most influential works have been The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter, Cherry by Mary Karr, Excavation by Wendy C. Ortiz, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Running With Scissors and Dry by Augusten Burroughs, and Bastard out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
It’s a tie between Mary Karr, Leslie Jamison, and Cheryl Strayed.

What book are you reading now?
Right now I’m reading Lying by Lauren Slater, Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, and The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr. I’m usually reading many books at once.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
She’s not really a new author, but I’m really looking forward to the release of Leigh Stein’s memoir, Land of Enchantment, forthcoming from Plume in August.

What are your current projects?
I’m working on an essay collection right now that is themed around all those moments in our lives when we wonder how differently something would have turned out, a kind of rumination on “what if?”

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My MFA program at National University was a major support system for me.

Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to make a career as a writer, though I would probably also always do something else, too. As long as I can remember, I’ve worked more than one job (sometimes more than three jobs), so it would be hard to “just” be a writer.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I think I would change a lot of things, simply because I’ve had some perspective since its publication that I didn’t have when it was going through years of revision and then multiple rounds of editing with the publisher. In ten years, I would probably want to change more, but it would be damaging to the book to do so. That’s why it’s best to just move forward and write the next book.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I was a highly sensitive kid, and that was exacerbated when I became a teenager. Writing was a good way for me to get a handle on my emotions and give myself a chance to reflect on the things happening around me and to me. Writing was a way for me to express myself in a manner that people would listen. So, it probably originated from me wanting and needing some kind of attention and positive reinforcement.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This piece, “White Spirit,” is planned for inclusion in my essay collection: http://bluelyrareview.com/melissa-grunow/.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I find writing to be a chronic struggle because I’m such an obsessive perfectionist that I fight with myself over every single word. Sometimes I wonder how I get anything done at all.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Augusten Burroughs is my favorite author. He has a knack for writing about awful life experiences in a funny way, which I sincerely admire because I am not a funny writer.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
So far, all of my book events have been in the Detroit area. I would love to travel, though, if it meant I could do a reading or a book signing event.

Who designed the covers?
The publisher, Tumbleweed Books, handled the cover design.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Trying to be factually accurate while producing good, literary writing. Memoir is tough because our lives don’t exist in a narrative arc. We have to find those things when we write, but we also can’t just make stuff up.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
It’s so compelling when retelling events to always make myself out to be the hero because, after all, it’s my story; I should be the hero, shouldn’t I? But it would be dishonest to spit-shine myself for the page. I have to be authentic, and that means fallible, wrong, and human. I can’t be concerned with what people might think of me because the story needs to be told. It’s bigger than me and bigger than other people’s opinions of me.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Be humble. Learn to write well. Don’t get distracted by the potential glitz and glamor of it all because writing is not glamorous. It’s a lot of ugly, dirty hard work, and there is no guarantee that the gamble is going to pay off. You have to want it, really want it, for it to be worth it.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for reading! Please remember to post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. They help authors more than you might realize!

Connect with Melissa: 

www.melissagrunow.com

Facebook with her:  www.facebook.com/MelissaGrunowAuthor

Tweet her: https://twitter.com/melgrunow

Purchase Realizing River City: http://www.amazon.com/Realizing-River-City-Melissa-Grunow/dp/1928094155/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459645484&sr=8-1&keywords=realizing+river+city

 RRC

 

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#MotownWriters Author Feature: Ken Welsch #Michlit @Ken_Welsch

 

Ken Welsch

SONY DSC

Ken Welsch

Where are you from? I currently live in Trenton, Michigan (suburban Detroit). I was born in Wyandotte, my family moved to Grosse Ile when I was 10, and I graduated from Grosse Ile High School.

Tell us your latest news? I published my first novel FOREVER SINCE AN APPLE in early July.

When and why did you begin writing? I’ve been writing stories for much of my life, and began to pursue it professionally when I studied English, creative writing and journalism at Central Michigan University. After college, I worked as a newspaper reporter at the News-Herald (suburban Detroit). Writing primarily as a sports writer, I won numerous Michigan Press Association awards for sports coverage, sports feature writing and sports column writing. More recently, I work as a writer for Team Detroit, Ford Motor Company’s ad agency.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? I don’t recall there being a specific “event” that prompted me to consider myself a writer; I’ve just always enjoyed writing. That said, I suppose getting two of my poems published in a student arts magazine at CMU was an achievement that stands out.

What inspired you to write your first book? More than anything (my apologies if this sounds trite), what inspired me to write FOREVER SINCE AN APPLE was the desire to do it. The process of developing the story and actually writing it spanned nearly 20 years, and finally completing something that was for so long an “on-going project” was incredibly fulfilling.

Do you have a specific writing style? While writing styles change depending on the project, one constant is that my writing style tends to be conversational. It was certainly what I strived for when writing FOREVER SINCE AN APPLE.FSA

How did you come up with the title? The title was actually one of the first phrases I wrote, even before I knew what the story was going to be. It dates back to a poem I wrote when I was at CMU, and I always felt there was a bigger story behind it than what the poem addressed. Once I decided to write a novel, I liked the idea of having a title that required explanation; I think it helps drive the story. In addition, the title serves as a metaphor for the book’s primary theme.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Yes, and I think by the end that message is fairly evident, that lives are shaped by opportunities, some that are obvious as they happen, others that do not become clear until later in life. How each of us reacts to those opportunities, and to what lengths we go to create other opportunities, ultimately dictates the direction our lives take.

How much of the book is realistic? All of it, if I was successful.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? The story is not based on real-life experiences, but certainly real-life experiences greatly influenced various scenes. I hand-picked certain events, and sprinkled them throughout a fictional story in order to tell the story I wanted to tell.

What books have most influenced your life most? I most enjoy reading classics of American lit, and those are the books that have had the greatest influence on me as a writer.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? There have been various editors or colleagues whose writing style I enjoyed, and they’ve all had a certain impact on my writing style as a news reporter. As a writer of fiction, I can’t point to anybody in particular who I consider a mentor.

What book are you reading now? I haven’t read much for the past year due to the emphasis on finishing FOREVER SINCE AN APPLE, but I am currently reading an historical novel by Michigan author Jean Scheffler called THE SUGAR HOUSE.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Again, I haven’t read much of late, but I am looking forward to reading A GIRL ON A TRAIN due to everything I’ve heard about the book.

What are your current projects? My second novel is in the early development stages. It will not be a sequel to FOREVER SINCE AN APPLE, but I am leaning toward a continuation of one of the lead characters in the novel.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. I relied on a small network of friends – some who have a writing background, others who do not – for feedback on an early draft of FOREVER SINCE AN APPLE.

Do you see writing as a career? Yes, as it has been for years, whether as a journalist, marketing writer, novelist,…

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? After years of tinkering and rewriting, it was surprisingly difficult to finally sit back confident that the book was complete. I suspect I’ll always look at different phrases, sentences or scenes and think, “It would have been better if…” That said, I’m happy with the finished story and wouldn’t make any drastic changes to the plot or characters.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? No, I’ve just always done it. I remember writing stories when I was growing up, writing songs with my brother when I was young, and submitting stories of our little league football games to the local newspaper. Writing is just something I’ve always done.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? I can’t give too many details, largely because I’m still sorting through them myself. I can say that the book I am imagining involves one of the lead characters in FOREVER SINCE AN APPLE, not so much a sequel as a new story about a character we’ve already met.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? To me, the most challenging part of writing long-form stories is in keeping thoughts and ideas organized. I struggled with it when writing FOREVER SINCE AN APPLE, probably because the book was such an on-again, off-again project. I’m hopeful that the experience of writing the first book will help me in this regard with future projects.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? I don’t have a favorite author as much as I do favorite books. My favorite books tend to be those that tell realistic stories with a universal message.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? No. For the purposes of FOREVER SINCE AN APPLE, I deliberately set the book in places with which I was already familiar (i.e. – northern Michigan, Chicago). I did make a few trips to ensure that my depiction of a particular region was accurate, but for the most part I was already familiar with the locations. Since publishing the book, I have done some traveling around the state to market the novel at festivals and fairs.

Who designed the covers? I did. I designed about two dozen variations, selected my favorite five or six, and then consulted with a friend who is a professional graphic designer to get his thoughts. Thankfully, the one I had chosen as my favorite was the same one he flagged, saying that he wouldn’t change it at all. He liked it, so I went with it.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?  The most difficult part for me was finding the time to write. I started writing it during the summer of 2003, pressing to complete it before my third child was born that fall. I didn’t make it, and the project got pushed aside. During the next decade or so, I would occasionally work on it, but never consistently enough to make real progress. During the summer of 2014, I decided to give it more attention, and I devoted much of the past year to finishing it.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I learned a lot during the course of writing, most notably the importance of approaching a project of this scope with a plan. I think my lack of a solid plan/outline made it more difficult to finish and prolonged the process. It’s a mistake I’m hopeful to avoid in the future.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Be patient but persistent, because the process of rewriting, rewriting and rewriting is a long one. And do not get hung up on word count; the story will be done when it’s done.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Just that I appreciate them giving some of their precious time, and I hope they reached the final page satisfied that the time was well-spent.

Connect With The Author: 

www.kenwelsch.com

www.twitter.com/Ken_Welsch

www.facebook.com/foreversinceanapple

Purchase Forever Since An Apple @ http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Welsch/e/B0117VRH5G/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1439256557&sr=8-1 

          

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#MotownWriters Author Feature: Rebecca Lombardo #Michlit @bekalombardo

Rebecca Lombardo

Rebecca Lombardo

Where are you from? I live in Farmington Hills. I was born and raised here.

Tell us your latest news? I’ve been invited to participate in a local author’s night on April 12th at Schuler Books in Okemos, Michigan. It starts at 7:00 PM. I’m looking forward to it.

When and why did you begin writing? I actually started writing when I was very young. The first story ever wrote and illustrated myself was in third grade.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? After I got out of high school, I was very good at poetry, and it was about that time I decided I was an actual writer.LASTCOVER

What inspired you to write your first book? Honestly, my life. The book is a true story about me and my battle with bipolar disorder. It started as a blog. I survived a suicide attempt in 2013.

Do you have a specific writing style? I would say my writing style is honest and raw. I don’t hold anything back.

How did you come up with the title? The title is “It’s Not Your Journey” and it just came to me, and was very fitting, because it truly isn’t anyone else’s journey but mine.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Absolutely. I want very much to help people that have been through some of the same things I have with depression. I want them to know that I did survive, but I would never advise making the same decisions I did. Also, people need to know that they aren’t alone.

How much of the book is realistic? All of it. Every last page.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Absolutely. Everything contained in the book, I lived through.

What books have most influenced your life most? Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden and The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. Anne Rice has long been my favorite author. I also enjoy Jane Green and Jennifer Weiner for more of a comedic spin.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? I don’t think I consider any one writer a mentor to me. I take a little away from everything I read.

What book are you reading now? I just finished Troublemaker by Leah Remini. It was fantastic.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Not at this time.

What are your current projects? At this point, I’m still working on my blog. I’m also contributing to any other blogs that have approached me. I spend quite a bit of time promoting my book as well. I’m still deciding whether I will be writing another book.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. I have some extremely supportive friends that I appreciate, but the people that I have encountered in the Mental Health community have been absolutely amazing, and I’m grateful to all of them.

Do you see writing as a career? I absolutely do, but I haven’t made the decision yet. I love writing, but I’m not sure I could keep writing book after book. It’s extremely physically and mentally exhausting. I am hopeful, though!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Actually, I would make it longer, but other than that I feel that I accomplished everything I set out to do with it.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? When I was just a kid in third grade I loved writing and being creative. It developed even more as I went through school. I was on the literary magazine staff in high school.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? As I mentioned, I am bipolar. I was diagnosed at age 19. It’s a constant battle to keep your head above water. I have dealt with a lot of pain in my life, and I’ve come out on the other side a stronger person.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Definitely. I have written about some extremely painful things. Having to go back over them again and again to edit or proof read is very difficult.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? My favorite author has been Anne Rice for many years. I absolutely adore the amount of detail she uses in her stories. You begin to feel like you know the characters. I’ve never read a book of hers and not had a clear picture in my head of the scenery or what the character looked like. I feel like I learn from her as well. There have been times I’ve needed to look a word or two up because she just has this vast knowledge of the English language.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? Not at this time.

Who designed the covers? I would like to be able to say it was a team effort. My publisher threw some ideas at me, and I just couldn’t find anything I liked. So, I came up with an idea and spoke to my husband about it. He loved it, so we went to my publisher and he thought it was great. So, he did the actual design elements, we came up with the concept.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? Talking about the people in my life that are no longer here, and describing the day I nearly died.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I’ve learned quite a bit. One of the most valuable things I learned is how to edit myself. I can read a sentence and if I’m not crazy about it, or it doesn’t sound right, it’s almost automatic now that I can switch it around and add or subtract important elements. In addition, I learned to have confidence in my writing. I am actually good at what I do!

Do you have any advice for other writers? The most difficult thing you will face is rejection. Everyone faces it at one point or another. Try as hard as you can not to take it personally. My book is completely about me, so if I got turned down it felt like I wasn’t good enough. Keep trying and keep fighting to get your name out there. It’s extremely important to keep a log of who you submitted to and when. That’s one thing I desperately wish I had done.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? First of all, thank you. I don’t think anyone has any idea how much of an impact they make on my life when they read my work and accept me. Also, please don’t stop fighting. Whether it’s depression or any other disease, it’s so important to keep telling yourself that you can do it. I hope that my story will show them that.

Learn more about Rebecca at: www.rebeccalombardo.com 

Contact the Author: www.facebook.com/notyourjourney

www.twitter.com/bekalombardo

Blog: http://www.judgmentfreezone2013.blogspot.com/

Purchase: www.amzn.com/0692509739

Meet with the Author: 

Meet the Author!

Meet the Author!

 

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What is Your Michigan Amazon Author Page? Help #MotownWriters build a database #MichLit

We love authors and we want you to share your amazon author page in the comments

amazonauthorpageLogo

So click this link and add your page to the comments.

Criteria:

  1. Must be a Michigan Author!
  2. Must be to an Amazon Author page and NOT your book page.

Thank you!

CLICK HERE NOW TO ADD YOUR PAGE

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