Motown Book Club

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

ninehousesPostcard

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

 

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Sign up for the 3:1 #BlogTour: #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

Continue reading

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FREE Friday Excerpt w/#FastLife by @CallMeMissCarta #amreading #michlit #motownlit share & retweet

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

EXCERPT

The market was busy with chatter that was audible from around the corner and aromas that filled the air. There were stands overflowing with an array of fruits and vegetables that came in every shape and color one could imagine. Other stands displayed woven straw baskets, paintings and carvings, clothes, and jewelry, all of which were handmade. Kyra had never seen anything like it in her life. It was almost fascinating. Almost. Continue reading

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#MotownWriters’ Author February Feature~ @CallMeMissCarta #michlit #motownlit

 

Cassandra

Cassandra Charisse Carter is the 23-year-old authoress of two novels for young adults, Fast Life (July 2007) and 16 Isn’t Always Sweet (March 2008). Born on Tuesday, February 21, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania, Cassandra is the product of a single-parent home.

While her interests range from fashion to music, Cassandra exhibited a passion for writing at a young age. Her unique talent for storytelling was first noticed in short stories written for her mother, but she also received praise from her teachers and her peers. At the tender age of 9, Cassandra and her mother moved to Michigan where Cassandra continued to explore different ways to express herself on paper. While studying various writing styles throughout the years, she has preserved an original voice that today’s generation can relate to.

Cassandra was only 14 years-old when she created the concept for Fast Life. Inspired by a dream, she completed what would be her very first novel the following summer when she was just 15. With the encouragement of her family and help from a literary agent, Cassandra signed a contract with the Harlequin imprint, Kimani Tru, two years later. An honors graduate from Huron High School in Ann Arbor, MI Cassandra received her diploma just one month before welcoming the release of her first published title, Fast Life.

Ms. Carter currently resides in Ypsilanti, Michigan with her Mom, Susan, and the cutest cat ever named Oreon. She is a proud member of the Motown Writer’s Network based in Detroit, MI. Whenever she is not working on her newest book, Cassandra is busy speaking to youth in the community. For more info please visit http://www.facebook.com/AuthoressCassandraCarter!

5 Questions with Cassandra…

You began writing at such a young age; do you remember what your first short story was about?

I don’t remember what my first story was about, but there is one in particular that stands out.  . . I was in 3rd grade when I made up this story about a chocolate volcano that erupted and washed away my hometown (Reading, PA). I incorporated my neighbors into the story and everything. It was so funny. Needless to say, my teacher at the time was so pleased with what I’d done, after raving about it to my Mom at a parent-teacher conference, she took it to her Master’s class to share it with them because she was so impressed.

Where do you believe your passion for writing comes from?

I would say I’m a natural-born writer. It’s hard to explain, but I always knew that’s what I was meant to do. I even wrote an essay about it once. I think it all began when my mom would read to me as a child. I always loved to read, and since reading and writing go hand in hand it came naturally. It didn’t take long before I got to the point where I didn’t want to just sit back and enjoy the story I wanted to find a way to get involved and come up with my own. I started off by taking stories I already knew, like the story of Pocahontas, and re-writing them. Then I progressed to writing original material which was mostly scary stories.  Over time, I’ve nurtured my craft by taking just about every writing class I could: journalism, composition, etc. but I never thought it was practical to think I would ever actually become an authoress so I never thought to write a book until a dream inspired me. When I woke up I heard this voice say “Cassandra, you should write a book about that,” and it was a wrap. Fast Life is the first book I ever wrote. Two years later it was published.

 What have been the most rewarding challenges you’ve faced while being a young author?

With Fast Life, I faced one of the biggest challenges any author can face and that’s editing. The original version of Fast Life was over 120,000 words which came out to over 500 pages so we had the task of cutting the book in half for length and content, all while trying to maintain a solid storyline and have everything still make sense. Any author reading this right now is probably like, “What?!” But in the end I feel like Fast Life came out even better because of the changes and I was extremely happy that my voice was preserved throughout. Another big thing for me has just been trying to adjust to being a part of the industry and learn the business side of things all while making the transition from a teenager to adulthood myself. What a lot of people don’t know is there is a lot more that comes along with being an author than just writing the book. The industry is constantly changing and there is always something new to learn.

What are some of your goals in your writing career?

In hopes of establishing myself as a full time writer, I hope to release new books, and soon.  I would like to branch out into urban fiction in addition to romance and Young adult fiction. Hopefully one of my books will make the New York Time’s Best Seller’s list one day. I would love to turn my books into movies eventually. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about that. I would also like to be a guest writer for different newspapers and magazines. I am still playing around with the idea of blogging, too. I think one of the best things for me personally, is when I have a chance to have one-on-one interaction with my readers so I’m looking forward to more speaking opportunities. Like Drake said, “I just want to be successful.”

 What advice would you give today’s young writer?

Believe in yourself and your talent. Never doubt yourself. I know you’ve heard it a million times to the point where it almost sounds cliché, but it’s true, especially as an artist. It’s something even I have struggled with. It can be scary to think about putting your work out there for everyone to see, but it is important to remain open to criticism without taking it personally. Before Fast Life came out I remember being anxious over the language and content and the fact that now everyone I know, including my teachers and my family, were going to be able to see it. I was worried I might get in trouble since I’d written it when I was 14 – 15 but then my grandmother told me, “This is your writing and no one can take it from you,” and that stayed with me.

This author can be contacted for interviews, speaking engagements and all other inquiries by

Official Facebook Fan Page: AuthoressCassandraCarter

Twitter: @CallMeMissCarta

Instagram: MissCarta2U

Blog: 16dreams.wordpress.com

 

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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Featured February YA #Romance #FastLife frm #MotownWriters Author, @CallMeMissCarta #amreading #michlit #motownlit

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. But Continue reading

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Author Feature~Tracie ‘T Elise’ Christian

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

 

Where are you from?

I from the Northeast side of DETROIT MI.

Tell us your latest news?

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

When and why did you begin writing?

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

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

What inspired you to write your first book?

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

Do you have a specific writing style?

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

How did you come up with the title?

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

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

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

How much of the book is realistic?

ALL OF IT IS REALISTIC.

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

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

What books have most influenced your life most?

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

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

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

What book are you reading now?

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

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

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

What are your current projects?

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

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

Motown Writers Literary Network

Do you see writing as a career?

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

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

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

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

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

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

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

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

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

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

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

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

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

Who designed the covers?

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

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

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

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

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

Do you have any advice for other writers?

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

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

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

 

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

Name of Book: The Black College Sabbatical – SPRING QUARTER

Author Website: www.b-cydemultimedia.com

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

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

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

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

 

Check out this Excerpt from:

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

The Black College Sabbatical

 

** Cierra Folsom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yeah whatever,” I reply emotionless.

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

“Alright.”

“I’ll call you once we land.”

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

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

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

 

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June’s MBC Feature: Jesse Cole ~Walk Like A King @JesseSpeaks #MWN

Jesse Cole
Respected as “a voice for today’s generation”, Jesse has proven that he is a thought leader and a source of substance. He has published several books on personal development and executive produced the Maximize Your Greatness dvd project. Jesse uses his influence to help teenagers live the type of life that is far above what they could ever imagine. His message helps youth to transform their attitude, boost their self-esteem, overcome peer pressure and enhance their leadership ability. For over a decade, Jesse has worked as a youth counselor, basketball coach, and certified deputy instructor. His motto is K.I.N.G: Keep Investing In The Next Generation.

To find out more about Jesse, click HERE!!!

Order your copy of Walk Like A King.

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June’s MBC Feature: Jesse Cole ~Walk Like A King @JesseSpeaks #MWN

Jesse Cole
Respected as “a voice for today’s generation”, Jesse has proven that he is a thought leader and a source of substance. He has published several books on personal development and executive produced the Maximize Your Greatness dvd project. Jesse uses his influence to help teenagers live the type of life that is far above what they could ever imagine. His message helps youth to transform their attitude, boost their self-esteem, overcome peer pressure and enhance their leadership ability. For over a decade, Jesse has worked as a youth counselor, basketball coach, and certified deputy instructor. His motto is K.I.N.G: Keep Investing In The Next Generation.

To find out more about Jesse, click HERE!!!

Order your copy of Walk Like A King.

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

June’s MBC Feature: Jesse Cole ~Walk Like A King @JesseSpeaks #MWN

Jesse Cole
Respected as “a voice for today’s generation”, Jesse has proven that he is a thought leader and a source of substance. He has published several books on personal development and executive produced the Maximize Your Greatness dvd project. Jesse uses his influence to help teenagers live the type of life that is far above what they could ever imagine. His message helps youth to transform their attitude, boost their self-esteem, overcome peer pressure and enhance their leadership ability. For over a decade, Jesse has worked as a youth counselor, basketball coach, and certified deputy instructor. His motto is K.I.N.G: Keep Investing In The Next Generation.

To find out more about Jesse, click HERE!!!

Order your copy of Walk Like A King.

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Happy Poetry Month. April’s MBC feature: Andrea Daniel – Like Gwendolyn #MWN

Like Gwendolyn Book

Andrea Daniel is a lifelong poet, with work in publications and as part of a visual poetry exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts. When she’s not writing poetry, Andrea is a freelance writer for various publications. She also has freelanced for an internationally distributed arts and entertainment magazine. Andrea is co-owner/operator of Dakota Avenue West Publishing and copywriter, editor and voice over artist with her own small business, AND Communications. She is a member of the Motown Writer’s Network, and the Michigan Literary Network and is producer of the Michigan Literary Network’s Internet radio show on blogtalkradio.com. Additionally, she is a registered songwriter with BMI. She lives in Detroit, Michigan with her son and a sweet little Terrier-Poodle-mix named Dot. Andrea Daniel

To learn more about Andrea.
Purchase Like Gwendolyn –> HERE!!!

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