Posts Tagged With: books

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 :D
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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MWN Author Spotlight ~ Yvonne Stegall @WriterYvonne

Yvonne StegallThis week’s MWN Spotlight is on Yvonne Stegall!

Yvonne Stegall, is a communications addict, freelance writer and published book author. She has been a professional writer for over 14 years. She started out as a music reviewer, then landed a job at that very magazine as the Editor-in-Chief, where she remained for just over 2 years (until the magazine was sold by its original owner).

Following her print work, Yvonne started writing online. She has written for online blogs, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, social media and more. In 2010 she started working full time from home as a freelance writer. She has also done work in copyediting/copywriting, SEO, marketing and digital PR.

In 2008 Yvonne published her first book. Since then she has taken up self-publishing and has been focusing on children’s books.

Yvonne also enjoys photography, painting, drawing, and creating many types of crafts (from jewelry to soaps, and many things in between).

Where are you from?

Originally from the thumb, I currently reside in Fenton
Tell us your latest news?

I just released the first book in my new tourist series ‘Experience Michigan.’ The first book is ‘Experience Michigan Wildlife’ and I am already hard at work on ‘Experience Michigan Tourist Traps.’
When and why did you begin writing?

I have been writing since first grade. I did a poetry book in my first grade class.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I started getting poetry published in the late 90s.

 

What inspired you to write your first book?

Michigan and the nature and outdoors. It was a children’s book about a firefly.

 

Do you have a specific writing style?

No. I just write.
How did you come up with the title?

I love Michigan and I think it’s a great place to experience. There is more about Michigan that just being here.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Just that Michigan is an amazing place with so much to offer.
How much of the book is realistic?

This particular book is completely non-fiction.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I love travelling Michigan and I love the wildlife here in this state. So, it is definitely based on events in my own life.
What books have most influenced your life most? On The Road by Jack Kerouac and Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

My writing mentor would have to relate mainly to the poetry and short stories I used to write… and then it would be a tie between Edgar Allan Poe and HP Lovecraft. I really loved writing dark and macabre stuff in my teens and twenties.
What book are you reading now?

Ghost Hunting Michigan by Helen Pattskyn
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Kelly Gay, although I don’t know how new she is. I enjoy books with otherworld beings in them.
What are your current projects?

The Experience Michigan series, my own memoir and a couple novelettes that fictional, one is paranormal.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Probably my friend Anna Gustafson. She’s always quick to read my stuff and give me honest feedback.
Do you see writing as a career? It is my career. When I am not working on books I am a freelance writer professionally. It’s how I make a living.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Nope.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

It was doing that poetry book in first grade.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I am most focused on the Experience Michigan series. I already have 13 book ideas, which includes the one already published. I have 3 road trips to take in the next 3 weeks in order to get all the photos and info I need for the tourist trap book, which I hope to have published in July.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Just finding the time to do it all.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

My all time favorite author is also a tie, between Kelley Armstrong and Kim Harrison. I love both of their fictional worlds of otherworld creatures living among us humans. I can’t read a book if I can’t “see” what I am reading, and both of these authors really know how to make my mind turn their words into a mental movie.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I hadn’t, but I will be with this new series.
Who designed the covers?

I publish all of my stuff through CreateSpace and I use their cover designer to create my own covers.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?

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

I learned with this Michigan book that I really do have a passion for my home state. I have never felt so good about a book I’ve done and been so excited to share it.
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write what you know. Put your heart into it. And just keep writing.

Experience Michigan Wildlife

 

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Author Feature ~Ericka Stafford

Where are you from?

I was born and raised right here  in Detroit Michigan and still glad to call Detroit my home.
ericka Stafford II
Tell us your latest news?
My latest news would be my second novel which is part of trilogy which just dropped on amazon last week of February it’s available on ebook and the title is Looks Like Love Feels Like Hate.
 
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing about ten years ago but have been published since September of last year. To be truthfully honest I started writing on a whim I mean I have always been in love with the written word even at a very young age so I guess writing was the next natural step one day instead of reading I just decided I  was going to write a book.
 
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
This is still all new to me I am just soaking in the fact that I am a writer but I guess it really hit me when I seen that my book with my name on it and the royalty check helped a lot too. (lol)  
 
 What inspired you to write your first book?
Drama! It seemed like me and everyone I knew was going through it so I just added a little more excitement to it and turned it into a story.
 
Do you have a specific writing style?
I would say my style is raw and uncut I don’t sugarcoat my writing.
 
How did you come up with the title?
Actually I didn’t when I first submitted my story to my publisher I was told that they loved the story and didn’t like the title  my original title for the book was Betty-B who is the main character of the book but they said when they just hear that name they think gangsta which the character was not. We threw a couple of names  around he came up with that one and I loved it.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, the message would be that even though you grow up in bad circumstances you don’t have to become a victim to it unless you want there’s also the message of kids really watch there parents and can sometimes pick up on there bad habits so it’s up to parents to set good examples.
 
How much of the book is realistic?
I would say about 40%
 
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I would say about 40% I really do have a friend whose mother was addicted drugs and she really did have to raise her sibling but in her case it was her brother.
 
What books have most influenced your life most?
Wow that’s a tough one because I read so many different types of books so I would have to say that I walk away with something from every book I read.
 
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
If I had to choose a mentor I would have to say my publisher Raymond Francis who is not only a publisher but also a writer and I say that because during this writing process he has totally taken me under his wind he has taught me a lot about writing he takes time to answer all my questions and he’s not stingy with his knowledge and he’s humble.
 
What book are you reading now?
Right now I’m reading Kwan’s book Road Dawgz.
 
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
LOL ! That sounds so funny because i still consider myself a new author but i would like to give shouts to D.L Collins, Larry Ellison, Kenya Rivers to name a few. Actually D.L Collins and Kenya Rivers are both authors from Detroit.
 
What are your current projects?
Right now I am back and fourth with writing three books but I am focusing more on pt. 3 of Looks Like Love Feels Like Hate which I hope to have done by April.
 
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
At the time i was writing this book the person I was with was a total motivation to he helped me visualize my dreams and step out on faith although we are not together anymore I would still like to thank him for that.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes I could see that.
 
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I don’t think I would I am very satisfied with the outcome.
 
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I would say about ten years ago.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes! writing a three book series is very challenging because you don’t want the story to get stale and with each book the readers expect the book to get better and better and being a writer you have to deliver that every time or risk losing a reader.
 
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I wouldn’t really say I have a favorite writer because I read so many books and all of them are great.
 
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I haven’t yet put I plan too.
 
Who designed the covers?
Brittani Williams who I might say did a awesome job.
 
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
All of it ! No just kidding the hardest was the ending because I had to set it up in a way that would lure my readers into reading pt.2 so the set-up at the end had to be perfect.
 
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that not everyone will like your book which I knew anyway but you can’t let it get to you all you can do is try to go extra harder the next time.
 
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes do your research on these publishing companies the first publisher I was with (I won’t say any names) really did a hack job on me and it was hard to get out of that is why I am so glad that I found an honest family with Pleasure Principle Publications.
 
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
To my readers I just want to thank each and every last one of you for giving this new author a chance keep reading my books and I promise to bring you more in the future. Without you there is know me.
ericka stafford

 

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Book Feature ~ @sonyavisor

 

Love For Who I Am

 

Available on B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, GooglePlay, Lulu

Synopsis 1:

Today, I want to know…

 

Have you ever wanted someone to simply love you for WHO you are? Have you ever made a mistake that the “church folks” trampled you under the pew for? Have you ever loved the wrong person for the right reasons? If so, I invite you to take a short ride in the pages of, Love Me for Who I Am, my new novella.

Synopsis:

Her sins traveled well beyond the sheets. Rainey Thomas wasn’t looking for a soul mate to avoid triggering her “sexual appetite” as she walked before the Lord. She is what one would call a good, hardworking church girl who always did the right thing. Rainey and her two sisters live life drowning in the desires and practices of their strict mother, commonly known as “Mother Thomas”, a recognized walking Bible—even from the grave. That was until she found herself caught up in the web triangle of Malik Johnson, a high ranking, hands-off trafficking drug dealer. He not only pushed Rainey’s sex button, he enraptured her mind and soul. Malik made her come alive where she then was able to see herself for who she really was well beyond the bed. For Rainey, will finding herself cause her to lose her God as she fans another flame?

Always Be Your TruU!

Sonya Visor

Author of Who I’ve Become  

Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble

www.sonyavisor.com

New Release!  Love Me for Who I Am 

Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Social Media Links:
https://www.facebook.com/sonya.visor

https://twitter.com/@sonyavisor/

https://www.pinterest.com/unmask1/

To purchase:

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Me-Who-I-Am-ebook/dp/B00QPGPM0G/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1424102745

 

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A Christmas Evening With Beverly

When/Where

Calling out around the globe, are you ready for a brand new treat? Come join us for an exiciting Christmas evening with famed romance writer, Beverly Jenkins, also known as BJ. This is an invitation to all of her readers, a chance for fans to meet. There’ll be laughing, book signing, reading,  music playing, modeling, dining and characters swaying .  Now, it does matter what you wear, so let us see you there. So come on fans, grab your books and reserve your seat, and meet us at:

The Henry, Autograph Collection Hotel

300 Town Center Drive

 Dearborn, MI 48126

Friday, December 19, 2014

from 8:30 pm to 1:00 am.

A Christmas Evening with Beverly

 About Beverly

Beverly Jenkins is a bestselling Blackboard author.  She has written over thirty books to date. Beverly writes some of the best Historical Romance novels for any savvy reader.

She has received numerous awards, including: five Waldenbooks/Borders Group Best Sellers Awards; two Career Achievement Awards and a Pioneer Award from Romantic Times Magazine; a Golden Pen Award from the Black Writer’s Guild, and in 1999 was named one of the Top Fifty Favorite African-American writers of the 20th Century by AABLC, the nation’s largest on-line African-American book club.

The fourth book in the Blessings series: A Wish and A Prayer was nominated for a 2013 NAACP Image Award.

http://www.beverlyjenkins.net

Parties & Celebrations 

Early Bird Registration – $45.00

Must register by December 10th to receive this special deal

$55.00 after 12/10/14

Registration will close December 15, 2014

Registration Includes: The Reception, a Door Prize, Live Entertainment, and more…

Book your room rate: An Evening With Beverly Jenkins

Click Here

For More Information or Questions:

Call Lady Grenae at 248- 894-3292

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Michigan Male Authors: Help support #MotownWriters literacy efforts #RealMenRead #mwn #amreading #MotownLit #Detroit

realmenReadAre you interested?

Please fill out the form to show your interest…

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Heal Your Heart ~ Dr. Eddie Connor Jr.

Eddie Connor JrEmpowering people to overcome obstacles and walk in their unique purpose is the real life message shared by Dr. Eddie M. Connor, Jr. who is a survivor of stage 4 cancer.

Dr. Connor is a resident of Detroit, Michigan and grew up in Kingston, Jamaica. As a product of a divorced family, Dr. Connor realizes that he was not born with a silver spoon, but discovered strength in the midst of struggle.

Dr. Connor empowers people as an Author, International Speaker, College Professor, Mentor, Political Advisor, Teacher, and Radio/TV Correspondent on CBS/CW 50. He shares his story of overcoming cancer in his 5 books:Purposefully Prepared to Persevere, Collections of Reflections: Symphonies of Strength – Volumes 1-3, E.CON the ICON: from Pop Culture to President Barack Obama, Unwrap The Gift In YOU, and Heal Your Heart.

 

 

Heal Your Heart

Author: Dr. Eddie Connor Jr.

Facebook Page: EddieConnorJr

Twitter: @EddieConnorJr

Amazon: Heal Your Heart

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Motown Writers Network Author Spotlight ~ Rebecka Vigus

 

Rebecka VigusWhere are you from?

West Branch, Michigan
Tell us your latest news?

The third book in the Macy McVannel series, Sanctuary, is being released Aug.22, 2014
When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing at age ten. A teacher told me with my imaginations I would end up in books. I believed him.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?

In high school, some of my poems were in the school paper, but one of my poems was used by a minister in a sermon.
What inspired you to write your first book?

I had always wanted to write a novel. I became involved with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I wrote my first novel in 21 days.
Do you have a specific writing style?

I write easy to read books. Something you can pick up and knock out in about four hours. But, I have no name for my style other than they are mysteries.
How did you come up with the title?

For my first novel, it was set in a small town and in order to arrest the right person, you had to dig through all the secrets in a small town so Secrets was it. For the novel releasing in August, I had to really think about what the book was offering. Sanctuary is ultimately the goal, so hence, the title.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

In the current novel I am dealing with spousal abuse and how to escape it. There is always a way out, you have to be willing to go for it.
How much of the book is realistic?

I write realistic fiction with a twist. So, this book could happen any place, in any town, in any neighborhood.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not it this book.
What books have most influenced your life most?

Mysteries. I love trying to figure out who did it before the author reveals it. Agatha Christie, Patricia Cornwell, Phyllis A. Whitney, Mary Higgins Clark, Lee Child, David Baldacci, there are many who keep me fascinated.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

William Kent Krueger, I had a chance to do a one day intensive writing session with him.
What book are you reading now?

Stolen, by Daniel Palmer
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

C Hope Clark. I have read her book The Shy Writer Reborn and her mystery Palmetto Poison. I just received her first novel, Low Country Bribe to read.
What are your current projects?

I am working on a children’s anthology titled Of Moonbeams and Fairy Dust due out the end of November, 2014. I’m also working on the fourth Macy book, Something Borrowed, Something Blue due out in early 2015.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Blue Harvest Creative are my design team for my books.
Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. It has been my goal for fifty years. I am finding I am growing a fan base.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Absolutely not.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I remember writing non-sense poetry to start, but I have no one defining moment.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Macy McVannel is a police detective who teams up with her college roommate to rescue abused women from their spouses and set them on the path to a new life. This is the third book in the series. The first two were written from Macy’s point-of-view. This one was not written first person, so you get other’s views of Macy.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Making each new book as exciting as or better than the last.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

My current favorite is William Kent Krueger. I love his Corcoran O’Connor character. I love how he submerges you in the landscape of his stories.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Not as much as I’d like to. I prefer to do live signings and book talks. I like getting questions from those who want to write or those who’ve read my books. I want to share my love of writing.
Who designed the covers?

Blue Harvest Creative are my design team. They do internal and external design and set up.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? For me the hardest part is knowing how and where to end it.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned even in law the lines are blurred.
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep writing. Read all you can about writing, attend a writer’s workshop or conference, but keep writing.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Please when you’ve read my books, write a review. Reviews sell books. If you didn’t like it, others want to know. If you did they want to know why.

Sanctuary

Author name: Rebecka Vigus
Book Title: Sanctuary
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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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Best Ways to Promote Your Books and ebooks

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

boystobooks

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

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

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MWN Author Spotlight ~ Mary Anne McMahon

 

Mary Anne McMahon

 

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

 

Where were you born?

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

Tell us your latest news?

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

When and why did you begin writing?

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

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I have always considered myself a writer.

What inspired you to write your first book?

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

Do you have a specific writing style?

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

How did you come up with the title?

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

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

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

How much of the book is realistic?

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

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

The experiences are based on my own life.

What books have most influenced your life most?

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

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

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

What book are you reading now?

I am reading I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

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

What are your current projects?

I have begun a second book.

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

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

Do you see writing as a career?

I want to continue as a writer.

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

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

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

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

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

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

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

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

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

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

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

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

Who designed the covers?

My publisher designed my cover. I provided the photo.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

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

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

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

Do you have any advice for other writers?

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

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

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

MaryAnne Motor City and Me

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

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A-Z Guide: How both my books reached #1 on Amazon @Nicholas_Rossis

Pearseus, Rise of the Prince (book 2 in the series) book cover

Pearseus, Rise of the Prince (book 2 in the series) book coverA-Z Guide: How both my books reached #1 on Amazon.

via A-Z Guide: How both my books reached #1 on Amazon.

 

This was an amazing article I read in my research hour on Nicolas Rossis’ website that I must share with you!

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Motown Writers Network Featured Author ~ Jean Scheffler

MeThis week’s featured author, Jean Scheffler grew up “South of Detroit”  and as a child she would sit on her Grandfathers lap at his summer cottage and intently listen to stories of his childhood adventures in early industrial Detroit. As he rocked her in front of the roaring fire, her love for Detroit’s history and its exciting past took root.

The Sugar House, Jean’s literary debut is a step back in time. Join us as we get to know more about Jean and her new historical fiction.

 

Where are you from?

I am from Trenton, MI ( Just 20 Miles south of Detroit)

 

Tell us your latest news?

I published my first novel “The Sugar House” in February.

 

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing three years ago following months (actually years) of research of the history of Detroit.

 

What inspired you to write your first book?

I was going through a transition in my life and I looked around and noticed my children were getting older and knew there were many things that I wanted to accomplish that I had not begun. The first was to write a novel. I had had the idea for “The Sugar House” for a year or so and had been developing it in my thoughts. I decided that it was the time to set aside other things and pursue my dream as an author.

I always wanted to become a writer but life had always seemed to get in the way. Or perhaps I did not make it enough of a priority. Or perhaps I did not have the confidence. Perhaps I just needed the right story.  I had tried once before but the story fell apart as I tried to put it down.  When I decided to really sit down and write “The Sugar House’ I knew I had a great story and an important one. Actually, sometimes I say the story wrote itself. I loved the story so much I was truly worried that I was not worthy enough of writing it. In that I mean that I was a first time writer and I wanted to give value and grace to such an important part of history.

 

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m not quite sure of the categories of writing styles. I write from research and stories and imagination. I like to piece together articles, pieces of stories, historical facts and things that I have experienced or watched my children experience to make a relatable story.

 

How did you come up with the title?

The name “The Sugar House” initially came from the gangster portion of the story. The Purple Gang was originally called the Oakland Sugar House gang. But as the novel developed I saw that it represented many other aspects of the character, Joe’s life.

 

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

The main message I want the reader to grasp from my novel is that a person can be stay true to themselves and their faith even faced with great adversity.  While no person is perfect and my break the rules or laws at times they can find their way to a happy, content life in the end if they remember what is important.

 

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

The book is historical fiction. That is a broad title that encompasses many types of work. “The Sugar House” is a historical fiction in the strictest sense of the word.  Dates and events that are historically documented are almost all true down to the day.  Many names of the Purple Gang leaders are their actual names.  Many events that involved the Purple Gang are documented as factual.  The story in fact is based on things my grandfather told me occurred in his life. Not all the events that occur in The Sugar House are factual but many are. I tried to create a story that the reader would be able to learn from and at the same time enjoy as a fictional novel.

 

What books have most influenced your life most?

The Little House on the Prairie books were the first influential books of my childhood. I read them over and over again- fascinated by the hardships the Ingalls family dealt with but how their adventurous spirit helped drive them ahead.   Gone with the Wind was my go to book as a teen. Also Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Looking back I guess I have always had a love for great characters who live in a different time and face different adversities but reach within themselves to find a higher ground.

 

What book are you reading now?

I am currently reading several novels by new authors. I am trying my hand in reviewing books to further my abilities as a writer and give back to the writing community.

 

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

My current novel is based on my maternal grandfather who was a railroad conductor before the Depression.

 

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

I have several very good girlfriends who supported my throughout the project. They were always encouraging and are very much the cheerleaders that every first time author should have. I am blessed to have them in my life.

 

Do you see writing as a career?

I would love to make writing a career. I want to be able to tell stories that people will enjoy and learn from at the same time. Perhaps change their perspectives or lives a little.

 

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

If I had to do it all over again I would not change anything about my novel (Except my not procrastinate as long as I did)

 

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

As “The Sugar House” is based in Detroit I only had to travel to the city for my research. (I did go to Windsor once for a Prohibition Whisky Tour) My next novel takes place from Michigan to Kansas so I anticipate more travel with that one.

 

Who designed the covers?

I hired a wonderful woman named Karrie Ross from California to design the cover and do the interior design of the novel. The photograph is actually a close up of the suit my grandfather is wearing in the picture on the back cover.

 

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I think the hardest part of writing is two fold. One- finding the inspiration and the time at the same time can be very difficult in a hectic life with children.  Two- once the story is written- having others read your inner thoughts and ideas and judge them.

 

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

I learned a lot from writing my book. I learned so much Detroit history. I learned a lot about the people who made this city Great. I learned a lot about myself, about where I come from and who I am. I know it sounds a little deep but after taking years to research my ancestors, the country they came from, their daily habits, their rituals etc., I think I would only be remiss if I had not learned a whole lot about what it means to be me.

 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I can not give advice to established writers and this is my first novel however I think that may qualify my to give advice to new and want to be writers.  Once you find the story you want to tell- be confident and tell it.  Don’t worry about what others will say. The ones who judge harshly are the ones who will never leave their mark as you will.

 

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

I hope my readers enjoy “The Sugar House” and learn something about the great city of Detroit. I hope it motivates them to look into the past and see what their own ancestors did to make it in America. And I hope it  inspires them to save the historical parts of Detroit for themselves and to continue to improve Detroit for future generations.

 

The Sugar House

Jean Scheffler

“The Sugar House”

http://www.jeanscheffler.com

Amazon link: http://goo.gl/9GNYvy

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/TheSugarHouseDetroit

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanScheff

 

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