Motown Book Club

Featured Vendor @ #MotownWriters Women’s Literary Brunch: Casheena Parker @IndianAngelLuv

Event Details:

Motown Literary Women Event 2016

March 19, 2016 11am

Location: Skillman Detroit Public Library, 121 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, Michigan 48226

RSVP FOR FREE TICKETS OR GET LIMITED VIP TICKETS – CLICK HERE

MotownLitWomen

Author Bio:
Born and raised in Michigan I have been writing since I was a child. Having the honor of being Published with the Westland Library Writers Collection three years in a row. I have taken the opportunity to self publish Ruthless my first novel in the Ruthless Series. I look forward to continuing to share my talent with the world.
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Ruthless Synopsis:
Eva Rodriguez is a fifteen year old girl who was sold into the escort business by her mother Anna. Though she prides herself on hard work and great moral ethics and would prefer to be known for her brain than her body her mother had other plans forcing her to adapt to her situation.
casheenaParker
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Featured Vendor @ #MotownWriters Women’s Literary Brunch: Tenita Johnson

Event Details:

Motown Literary Women Event 2016

March 19, 2016 11am

Location: Skillman Detroit Public Library, 121 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, Michigan 48226

RSVP FOR FREE TICKETS OR GET LIMITED VIP TICKETS – CLICK HERE

MotownLitWomen

Bio:

Tenita JohnsonIf she’s driving down the street at 70 miles per hour, a spelling error on a highway billboard is sure catch her eye. Although she may not pull the car over, she may contact the advertiser as a courtesy to let them know, in case they want to fix it of course.

What may not matter to most has become an obsession and passion for Tenita Johnson, editor extraordinaire and writer.

Through So It Is Written, she is committed to helping authors nationwide perfect their manuscripts and successfully complete the publishing process. She helps authors bury their boring bios and shines the brightest light on even the beginning author. Her press releases have drawn attention from various forms of media, creating distinct brand images for authors long before their books hit the shelves.

Together with her education and literary industry experience, she seeks to form relationships, not build a database of clientele. Once you’ve experienced her work, you won’t settle for anything less.

For more information, please visit soitiswritten.net.

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Don’t forget to check out #MotownWriters Books of the Month for November #MichLit | #GiftGiving

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

Check out #MotownWriters Books of the Month for November #MichLit

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#MotownWriters Books of the Month for November #MichLit

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MWN Author Spotlight with K. B. Carr @kbcarrauthor

 

 

K.B. CarrThis week the Motown Writers Network has got the spotlight on author K. B.  Carr!

K.B. Carr is someone who is lucky enough to be able to do what she loves best-
learn more stuff!

Her mother wanted to know why she asked so many questions all the time. K.B. told her that she asked because she wanted to know stuff. “Curiosity killed the cat.”, her mother said.
“But, satisfaction brought her back!”, K.B. replied.

K.B. is the mother of two children, Ryan and Kelsey, and she tries really hard to answer all their questions if she can.

She lives in West Michigan with her dog, Captain Jack. Jack is a girl dog with a boy’s name.

K.B. says that Ryan, Kelsey and Jack are her favorite Weird & Wacky Creatures.
And, they always will be.

Where are you from?

I grew up in Muskegon and graduated from Mona Shores High School, but I’ve lived in Texas, Florida, and California. I came back home to Michigan in 2005 to be close to my family.

Tell us your latest news?

Right now, I’m working on the next book in the series, as always, but I’m also working on a Kids’ Adventure line of products to go along with the books. And, as always, there are videos and outings planned for the future.

When and why did you begin writing? 

I think I’ve always written little things here and there, starting in middle school, but I’d toyed with the idea of the Weird & Wacky series since my daughter was in first grade. She’s 26 now, so that was some time ago! She was classified as a “reluctant reader” and it was a challenge to find subjects that she had enough interest in to get her to sit down and read about. She was always interested in animals, especially the strange ones, and she enjoyed weird animal facts. She loves animals so much, that for a long time, she wanted to become a veterinarian when she grew up. I thought writing my own books would be something to do when I retired, or something for my grandchildren. I finally started writing this year, when I realized that I needed to transition out of my career as an orthopedic therapist, because of a health issue. I thought, “why not start my writing career now, and see if anything comes of it?”

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’m not sure that I consider myself as an actual writer. To me, a writer paints pictures with words, and that is a serious talent. I think of myself as an “edutainer”, someone who educates, hopefully, in an entertaining fashion. I write children’s non-fiction and facts can be very dry and boring, so I try to make it funny and fun where possible. I think of myself as Carrot Cake or Zucchini Bread: it’s good, so you keep eating it, but you’re getting your veggies, and you don’t even taste them. Sneaky, very sneaky😉

What inspired you to write your first book?

Truthfully, the idea that I could learn to publish it myself, instead of having to find an agent, submit manuscripts, deal with rejections, and write what and when I’m told, was very appealing to me. There’s no real pressure and I can go as fast or as slow as my schedule allows, fitting things in when I can. I think there’s no better time for a writer to jump in than right now, when self-publishing has become so popular.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to write for kids as if I’m actually speaking to them, so I’m going to call it “conversational writing”. Is that a real thing? Should be!

How did you come up with the title?

Oh, that was the easy part. Everything I read about publishing a book says to make your title as close to the subject as possible. “Weird & Wacky Creatures” seemed like a perfect fit for Book 1, then “Weird & Wacky Endangered Creatures”, etc., with the whole series named “Weird & Wacky Planet” was a no-brainer!

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

Oh, absolutely. Throughout the first and all the way to the last, the theme is conservation: of animals, of plants, of nature in general. Kids are the future custodians of Earth. They need to know what that entails, and do a better job of it than my generation has. To that end, a portion of the sales of my books goes to the World Wildlife Federation to help with animal conservation. Your readers can find out more about the WWF by visiting their website at WWF.org.

How much of the book is realistic?

Since the book is Non-Fiction, all of it is! I had input from two elementary school teachers, as well as their 2nd and 3rd grade classes. I learned about common core education, what a Biome is, and all the elements needed for a child to write a full report on a subject. There is a Glossary of terms in the back and all the terms in it are in bold throughout the book. All the facts needed in a report are in the book, as well as references on the internet where a child can get more information, as well as attribution to the photographer for the photo I used. Education is the BIGGEST goal.

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

As I was scrambling to find books that my daughter would be interested in, I found most of the books to be only factual in delivery, and rather dry. I tried to make the books more fun by adding silly comments designed to make her laugh and think about the animal in a different way. That’s the way I write all my books. Learning SHOULD be fun!

What books have influenced your life most?

As a child, I loved Misty of Chincoteagh, and all those types of books. My Aunt was a voracious reader and gave me all her books, so I read Cherry Ames, Vicky Barr, and Nancy Drew.

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

I would love to have a mentor! Unfortunately, I’ve had to rely on my own experiences, and what I’ve read about writing a book, but I do consider the elementary school teachers to be mentors, of sorts. I know their input has been invaluable.

What book are you reading now?

I’m actually re-reading all of Diana Gabledon’s Outlander series. They’ve made a TV series out of it, and I wanted to familiarize myself with it all over again. I love those kinds of sweeping, epic historicals!

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? 

I honestly haven’t had the time to explore new authors much lately, but I’d like to read Girl On A Train. I hear it’s awesome!

What are your current projects?

Just getting more of the series published, get the physical books published, and get the product line launched. No biggie, right?

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

FaceBook! I’ve been able to connect with other authors, ask questions, and feel generally connected to a wonderful group of talented people. Writing is a solitary pursuit and can be isolating. Find a supportive group!

Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely. It is my genuine goal to be able to support myself one day (hopefully, sooooon) doing the work I love. That way, I can do more of it. Indisputable logic, really:)

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

I still change, add, and subtract things in my books. That’s one of the really great things about self-publishing-you can change stuff. I learn and change accordingly, so my books are always the best work I’m capable of at the time.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

A teacher in High School told me that I had a wonderful, creative talent and that my essays always made her laugh. Teachers have such an impact on their students. When you get one that believes in you and tells you so, it can open up whole worlds of possibilities. Thank you, Mrs. Bruce!

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

Right now, I’m writing about a Warrior Princess, a Knight in Shining Dragon Armor, a Pocket Dracula, and they’re all animals. Can you guess what they are?

 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Keeping the books to a certain size, for sure. There’s so much weird stuff out there, that weeding through what makes it into a book and what doesn’t, is sometimes hard! But, I do make those extra things into downloadable bonus chapters, so nothing is ever completely left out:)

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

My favorite author is usually whoever I’m reading at the time, so that’s Diana Gabledon, right now. But, I think a favorite author is someone whose work you would read over and over again, so that’s her for sure. She paints with words and brings me totally into her world. It’s endlessly fascinating.

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

I haven’t travelled yet, but I certainly plan to. There are endless possibilities when animal conservation is the subject, and I look forward to having the time to do so. Videos are in the works, and I plan to have my son, Ryan do the shooting and editing. He’s a true computer whiz!

Who designed the covers?

My daughter, Kelsey, who wanted to grow up to be a veterinarian, grew up to be a graphic artist, instead! She designs all the covers and the logos, thank goodness. That’s definitely a skill I don’t have.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Truthfully, the hardest part is the technical end of things. It took me five days to format the first one for Kindle. Five days! And, I’ve just learned to change the resolution of the pictures myself. I like to joke that when the kids moved out, I was transferred back to the technological stone age. But, as my son says, you can learn anything if you google it. And, that’s true, but I don’t learn it quickly or easily😦

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

I learn all kinds of stuff all the time! And, not all of it’s tech stuff. Just doing the research on each animal is a wealth of information, and really, it’s my favorite part of the whole process. Good thing, huh?

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just do it. Sit down and start writing. Write about what you’re going to write about, how you’re going to write about it, who’s going to read it, how you feel about what you’ll write about. You’d be surprised at how helpful streaming thought is. I have notebooks full of thoughts that I go back and pick gems out of.

The other thing I find invaluable (besides Google) is to have a outline of the book before I start. That way, I always know where I am in the process and I’m never at a loss as to what I should be doing next. It’s quite a time saver.

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

Yes. Reading is important. I could pull out all kinds of statistics about the whys of that, but I think we all know it’s true. If your child (or you) doesn’t really care to read, find subjects that are interesting to the individual and start there. You never know where that will take you.

I would also like to point out that we haven’t done such a great job of encouraging our girls to go into the sciences as a career choice. Do we really want them to be more interested in the Kardashians? This is a serious detriment to us all. Girls have so much to bring to the table, INCLUDING nurturing hearts and compassionate spirits-something that is badly needed. Which leads me to this:

I’d like kids to know how important conservation is and that one day, they’ll be in charge of this planet. How many species of plants and animals will be permanently gone by then? And, how many more will be gone in their lifetime? In their children’s lifetime? It’s a heavy responsibility that we leave them, and we haven’t been such good custodians, ourselves. My REAL goal here is to leave the next generation better educated and prepared to take on the task.

weird

Author: K.B.Carr

Book: Weird & Wacky Creatures

Series: Weird & Wacky Planet Series

Genre: Children’s Non-Fiction

Website: www.kbcarr.com

Amazon link: http://amzn.to/1DCBwnG

FB: facebook.com/kbcarradventuress

Twitter: @kbcarrauthor

Periscope: @kbcarrauthor

 

 

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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

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#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

Article: The Power of Your Story @EntrepreneurEXG #Resilience #michlit #motownbookclub

Resilience1

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.

Destiny2

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

 

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MWN Author Spotlight ~ Jennifer Fisch-Ferguson @JFF0628

JenniferThis week’s MWN author spotlight is on Jennifer Fisch-Ferguson!

Jennifer Fisch- Ferguson has been writing and publishing fantasy stories since 2003. Publishing credits include short fiction, writing contests and novels.
She attended the Eastern Michigan University and graduated with a B.A in African American History and promptly went to work with AmeriCorps on a literary initiative.

She went to the University of Michigan and got her Master’s degree in Public Administration in 2008 and while she finished writing her thesis, also got a Masters in English – Composition and Rhetoric in 2009. She recently is working on her PhD at Michigan State University in the field of Writing and Rhetoric. She has been teaching collegiate and community writing classes since 2003 and loves the variety and inspiration her students bring.

She currently is finishing her trilogy and dutiful writes on her blog space about her journey.

She lives in the Midwest with two amazing sons, one coffee supplying mate and acts as staff-in-residence to one cranky cat.

Where are you from?

Born in Detroit, but currently just south of Flint, MI
Tell us your latest news?

Book 3 will launch in November of 2015 and complete the story.
When and why did you begin writing?

I have always loved writing.  In fact I used to sell short stories in high school to my friends- with them starring in romantic escapades.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I always been a writer- an author… the moment I hit publish in 2013.
What inspired you to write your first book?

I love werewolves but I think they have been misrepresented- so I strove to tell my view.
Do you have a specific writing style?

I think it depends on the project- my urban fantasy tends to be much more packed and cerebral. My paranormal romances tend to be lighter.
How did you come up with the title?

laboriously – I hate coming up with titles. However it is an urban fantasy about werewolves- so I figured something with moon would be good.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There is no such thing as normal… life is what you make of it.
How much of the book is realistic?

The locations are very accurate and some of the situations have been formed from experiences.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not really and I certainly do not sing opera
What books have most influenced your life most?

Octavia Butler for sure.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Nisi Shawl- I had the fortune of speaking to her and interviewing her and she is just amazing.
What book are you reading now?

The Psychology of Batman😀
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I am a part of an indie group online, so I have read many of them.
What are your current projects?

Book 3 in the series and my new paranormal romance series – oh yea finishing this dissertation too.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My editor Artie is amazing! Despite the middle of the night texts when we are working on a project questioning why I do such things to my characters – he is more supportive than I could have hoped for.
Do you see writing as a career?

Yes! Between teaching and writing and book coaching- writing is my life.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No, but in the first book I had a two week time frame right in the beginning that I would shorten.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I always had stories to tell. They just all happened to be fantasy in nature.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

In Follow the Moon (book 3) Kama has some choices to make.  She learns new truths about herself and the people she knows.  And as she finally feels secure with herself- an old encounter comes back to haunt her.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Finding the time to get it all down. I have so many stories in my head that I want to tell.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Octavia Butler, not only did she buck convention and wrote in a genre that didn’t really want her. Her stories sucked me in at age 8 and even still I find new and great things when I reread them.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I try to do book signings and shows when possible. I would love to do more, but what I have now is good.
Who designed the covers?

I did the layout. Bryan Syme did the art.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Not so much in the writing- I brainstorm all my works with my husband exhaustively.  The hard part is introducing people to urban fantasy that have no idea what is it.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Get on a schedule! I write every day for good or bad, but knowing that I have to write each day gets the work done.
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t worry about word count- get into the habit of writing daily for a specific amount of time. Also- treat it like a job not a hobby. And invest in a good editor- a good developmental editor.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Authors love feedback and interaction.  I am active with my blog and facebook/twitter and yes- I do answer.

Howl at the MoonEnter The Moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MWN Author Spotlight ~ Linda Anger @TWCinMI

This week’s MWN Spotlight is on Linda C. Anger!

Linda C. Anger has lived and worked in metro Detroit, Michigan all her life. Her poetry and fiction has been published nationally in venues such as “Mused: The Bella Online Journal,” “Still Crazy Literary Magazine,” and “Almost Touching: A reader for women and men.”

Linda is the president and owner of The Write Concept, Inc., a marketing communications company founded in 2000. Her corporate clients have included DaimlerChrysler Corporation, HAVEN, The Royal Park Hotel, The Community Foundation of Greater Rochester, and Demp Coaching. Business articles have been published in Black Engineer Magazine, Profiles in Diversity Journal, and MultiCultural Law Journal. Visit http://www.thewriteconcept.com

Learn more about her creative work and publications at www.fullcrumbcafe.com

Where are you from?

I was born at Mt. Carmel Mercy Hospital in Detroit, grew up in Orchard Lake, and have lived in the Rochester area most of my adult life.

 

Tell us your latest news?

My book “Sweeping the Floors in the Full Crumb Cafe,” which is a collection of poems, stories, and essays, has a modest following. I am working on a self-help book based on a blog I kept over the course of a year of chemotherapy. I am just completing two years as president of Detroit Working Writers, and will step into the presidency of Toastmasters Walsh College Troy in July.

 

When and why did you begin writing?

I was nine years old, was taunted by the other kids because of a physical issue, withdrew, and turned to books and notebooks as an escape.

 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I was nine, I realized how much I loved to read and tell stories. That’s when I decided to be a writer, and once I made that decision, I was one.

 

What inspired you to write your first book?

Poetry was my initial genre, and was my focus until about five years ago, when I began to write short fiction pieces. Poetry came from daily existence. Stories came when I was mature enough to understand different aspects of life.

 

Do you have a specific writing style?

People tell me I have a strong voice. I only know that I speak / write my mind.

 

How did you come up with the title?

“Sweeping the Floors in the Full Crumb Cafe” – in what became the introduction to this volume, I wrote about the “teeter-totter” of life, and fulcrum on which it totters or rests. This brain of mine turned it into a metaphorical place, which became the Full Crumb Cafe.  “Sweeping the Floors” is the first in what I intend to be a series of Full Crumb Cafe books.

 

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

Every poem or story I write has a message.

 

How much of the book is realistic?

The poems are based on my life or my realizations about life. The stories sometimes are based on a real person or experience.

 

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

See question above.

 

What books have most influenced your life most?

Too many to list here!  Anything by Anaȉs Nin, Hermann Hesse, Napoleon Hill

 

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

Hermann Hesse and Anaȉs Nin

 

What book are you reading now?

“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern – for the 4th time

“White House Ghosts” – about the relationships between the US Presidents and their speech writers

“Mrs. Poe” – a novel based on the story of Edgar Allen Poe & his mistress

 

What are your current projects?

The self-help book is my focus as I wish it to be completed and published by spring 2016, but I continue to write poetry and personal essays.

 

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

Detroit Working Writers

 

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. I have made a living as a copy writer for over 15 years.

 

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?

See question #3

 

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

I can, yes.

 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Time is always an issue. Because I spend my workdays writing for other people, it is sometimes difficult to switch off my business brain and give my creative brain free rein.

 

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

I have many favorites, as noted in the earlier question. What I love about Nin is the sensuality of her work. The woman can describe a leaf in such a way that it becomes erotic.  Hesse’s work is heavily spiritual, and Hill’s work is serious and practical. Morgenstern (The Night Circus) has an ebb and flow that is remarkable – this is the book I wish I had written!
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No

 

Who designed the covers?

I did. My business is marketing communications; I am trained as a book compositor (layout and typography), and graphic design.

 

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

See the question above about challenges

 

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

In addition to producing my own book, I have ghostwritten or edited quite a few others. I learn something about content development, layout, and production from each project.

 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t give up, and don’t ever think your first draft is your finished draft. Write each scene from at least three different perspectives and find the one that drives the story forward.

 

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

One of my writing champions, Margo Lagatutta, used to say, “How can I know what I think until I see what I say?”  I write, partially, to understand what goes on at the depths of me. If the things I learn or struggle with have meaning to you, I am honored.

Full Crumb Cake

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PODCAST: Mary Eatmon, Author of Nine Houses on #MichLIt w/ @Andi2747 #MotownLit #MotownWriters

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Click here to listen to the featured author episode: http://ow.ly/Nw4b7 

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MWN Spotlight ~ Nancy Barr

Nancy BarrWhere are you from?

I was born in Illinois, lived in Southern California for several years as a child, and have lived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since 1981.
Tell us your latest news?

I switched careers from journalism to higher education about seven years ago and since then have earned a master’s degree in rhetoric and technical communication and started teaching communication to engineering students at Michigan Technological University.  I’m now working on a PhD, but I’ve started a new fiction project as well.  I have no idea when it will be ready for publication, but it’s great to be writing fiction again.
When and why did you begin writing?

I discovered I loved writing when I was still in elementary school.  I started keeping a journal of sorts to help me deal with life.  I never thought of being a professional writer until college and then an internship led me to a job at the local newspaper.  I began my first novel in 2000 because I felt I had a story to tell.  The characters had been developing for a few years and it just seemed time to put them on paper.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I first felt like a “real” writer when my second book, “Page One: Vanished,” was released, even though I had been a “professional” for many years by then.  The first book felt like a fluke, a dream, but the second book made me feel like a legitimate author.
What inspired you to write your first book?

There was no single thing that inspired me.  The “Page One” trilogy’s protagonist, Robin Hamilton, was VERY loosely based on my experience as a small-town newspaper reporter.  She’s just prettier, smarter, and scrappier.  None of the other characters have any association with anything real and neither does the plot, except the opening scene in Ludington Park, where the first murder takes place.  I used to walk through the park quite regularly and that’s what started the creative process for that book.
Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes, my journalism experience taught me the value of concise writing.  I love words, I just use them strategically.
How did you come up with the title?

The publisher, Susan Bays of Arbutus Press, wanted to develop a brand for the books, thus the “Page One” tag, indicating a news story worthy of page one.  Then each book has a teaser about the plot.  The first one revolves around a hit and a run death, the second book deals with the disappearance of several young women, and the third one deals with the drug trade (the U.P.’s notorious winter is also a character).
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Resilience.  Life deals my characters a lot of heartbreak but they come through it stronger.

 

 

How much of the book is realistic?

These situations certainly could happen, but they are pure fiction.  Unfortunately, “Page One: Whiteout” is the most true-to-life as U.P. communities struggle to deal with the influx of drugs like heroin and home-grown crystal meth.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Robin’s mother died when she was 10, while mine died when I was 9.  I wanted to explore a strong father-daughter relationship, like the one I had with my own father.
What books have most influenced your life most?

Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books and Judy Blume’s books about adolescence got me hooked on reading as a child.  By the time I was 10, I was reading everything mystery or paranormal-related in the school library.  When I read my first Stephen King book, though, I remember thinking, “I could do this, I could see myself writing someday.”  Of course, it was another 15 years before my first book was published, but that’s where it started.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Stephen King.  I must have read his book “On Writing” at least a half dozen times now.  I use his advice about eliminating clutter from your writing when I teach my engineering students.  It’s true regardless of genre.
What book are you reading now?

I’m never reading just one book at a time.  I’m reading a history of the Vikings, a scholarly work by Nancy Hartsock called “Money, Sex, and Power”, and the fifth book in the Harry Potter series (I never had time to read them when they were released!). Next will be “In the Sanctuary of Outcasts:  A Memoir” by Neil White.  It’s Michigan Tech’s Summer Reading Program for our incoming first-year students.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I’m sure there are lots of great ones out there, but I’ve been so focused on my graduate work that I don’t get much time to explore new fiction authors.
What are your current projects?

I’m working on something very different from my first three books.  It’s a mystery of sorts that takes place in the Copper Country in the early 1970s (a period which has really captured my imagination), just after the last copper mine shut down.  It will be darker, edgier, and more along the lines of an early Stephen King work than the “Page One” trilogy.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Teachers!  I was lucky to have some great teachers along the way who pushed me to do my best and challenge myself, never allowing me to settle for “good enough.”
Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely! I write novels for entertainment, academic articles for my day job, and I teach writing.  It’s the only thing I know how to do to pay the bills!

 

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

Not at all.  What finally made it into print is the third complete rewrite.  My writing has matured over the years so I’m not as enamored with the first one, but many reviewers thought it was a good first effort so I don’t beat myself up about it too much.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My mother was an avid reader and I caught the bug from her.  From there, it was just a natural progression to writing.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

It has a strong female protagonist (naturally), a newcomer to the Keweenaw who is a product of the Sixties, unafraid to challenge the status quo.  I haven’t quite figured out the trajectory of the plot because it’s early in the creative process, but I’ve sketched out some unique characters.  I’m very big on strong characters in my novels!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Plotting is always the toughest for me.  There’s a balance between simplicity and complexity.  I want the story arc to be simple enough to connect with readers, but to have enough complexity to keep them engaged to the last word.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Other than Stephen King, I have favorite books of certain authors.  I’ve read Daphne Du Maurier’s “Rebecca” countless times (Mrs. Danvers is one of my favorite characters ever!). I love Anne Rice’s first two books in her vampire series.  William Kent Krueger’s mystery series set in and around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is beautifully written. And I could go on and on.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Not so much now since it’s been a while since I’ve released a new book, but I still periodically give library talks, which I love!
Who designed the covers?

The publisher, Susan Bays, designed each cover.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Again, it’s always the plotting.  I have the most fun with characterizations.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

With each books I become a better writer and I have learned to appreciate a great editor!
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Focus on developing your craft any way you can.  Write blogs, be a columnist for the local newspaper.  Put together a family history.  Enter short story contests.   Just keep writing and putting your work out there.  Develop a thick skin.  No matter how great your writing, someone will always find fault with it so develop and nurture your own writing style.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I appreciate your loyalty.  I know many people would like to see another “Page One” book, but it’s time we all moved on. I like to think Robin is enjoying her new life.  I look forward to

meeting more of you when the next book is released!

  • Name of Author– Nancy Barr
  • Name of Book(s)– “Page One: Hit and Run” “Page One: Vanished” “Page One: Whiteout”

Excerpt: Page One Vanished excerpt

Page One VanishedPage One WhiteOutPage One Hit & Run

 

Categories: Author Insights, Feature, Motown Book Club, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sign up for the 3:1 #BlogTour: #HisSubstituteWife…my sister Hosted by @FabulosityReads

Sylvia's Literary BlogSpot Sign up for the 3:1 Blog Tour: #HisSubstituteWife...my sister Hosted by @FabulosityReads

Click here for… Sylvia’s Literary BlogSpot Sign up for the 3:1 Blog Tour: #HisSubstituteWife…my sister Hosted by @FabulosityReads.

via Sylvia’s Literary BlogSpot Sign up for the 3:1 Blog Tour: #HisSubstituteWife…my sister Hosted by @FabulosityReads.

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#MichLit: Get Yr Copy of #FastLife frm @CallMeMissCarta before the sequel #motownlit #motownwriters #amreading

fast_life

Synopsis:

 

Caught up in a world of easy money, designer labels and drug-dealing boyfriends, sixteen-year-old Kyra Jones is living life on the fast track. Butwhen her single mom is offered a job that takes Kyra away from her old Chicago neighborhood, and the drugs and gang violence that go along with it, she finally realizes that there’s more to life than Gucci, Prada and ghetto-fabulous bling. Starting over in a new place, with a new boyfriend, Justin, gives Kyra hope that life can be different. But sometimes the fast life catches up to you. And for Kyra, her only hope is to stay one step ahead of trouble.

Links of where to buy:

“Fast Life” is available in paperback and e-book.

http://amzn.to/LBU0dn – Amazon | http://bit.ly/1khtFR3 – BN.com |  http://bit.ly/1b5EOS3 – Google Play

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