Posts Tagged With: writer

#MichLit Radio w/book industry expert @Porter_Anderson

Click here to hear the interview:

Guest summary: Porter Anderson is a journalist, critic, writer, and speaker in publishing.

Porter Anderson bio:

Porter Ander­son, BA, MA, MFA, is a Fel­low with the National Crit­ics Insti­tute and has done spe­cial read­ings in the psy­chol­ogy of the arts at the Uni­ver­sity of Bath, UK. As a jour­nal­ist, he has worked with three net­works of CNN (CNN USA, CNN Inter­na­tional, and was on the lead devel­op­ment team for Live. He also has worked on The Vil­lage Voice, Dal­las Times Her­ald, D Mag­a­zine, Sara­sota Herald-Tribune and other out­lets. He writes the weekly (Thurs­days) WRITING ON THE ETHER col­umn at and (Mon­days) ETHER FOR AUTHORS col­umn at Ander­son also is a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to and to Dig­i­tal Book World’s ( Expert Pub­lish­ing Blog. He has been posted by the United Nations to Rome (P-5, laissez-passer) for the World Food Pro­gramme, and served as Exec­u­tive Pro­ducer to INDEX: Design to Improve Life in Copen­hagen. He is based in Tampa and his pri­mary medium is Twit­ Fol­low him @Porter_Anderson

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Motown Writers Network Author Feature~Victor ‘Billione’ Walker

Billione This week’s featured author is no stranger to the limelight, so shining a light on him is something he’s used to! A singer, poet and author, Billione (pronounced bil-LEE-yon) is one of Detroit’s most up and coming people to keep an eye on. He is the author of several books, including his most recent poetic play the Birth of Mars, and No Tea. No Shade, a novel set in Detroit. His thought provoking work touches on various subjects related to being a Detroit native, LGBT experiences and examining masculinity.

Come and experience the gifted one, Billione, as we talk to him about his work!

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Detroit. Most of my writing is pulled from my experiences as a Detroiter.
Tell us your latest news?

I recently released my first work of fiction entitled No Tea. No Shade. Set in Detroit, it is a story about the dapper, charismatic Chauncey King, a successful Editor-in-chief of the Detroit Daily News. Chauncey goes from reporting the news to being the center of his own scandal after coming face-to-face with his turbulent past. His life seems to unravel until he meets Malcolm Dandridge at a local bathhouse and realizes that in order to be happy he must first face his biggest fear.
When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing song lyrics as a child. My mother kept a journal and I would read the words she wrote and sing them. What she wrote sounded like love songs, full of joy and pain.
Other forms of my writing emerged out of my love for reading. As I child, I read books about a number of things but struggled to find characters that were similar to me. After writing song lyrics, I eventually wrote poetry and eventually fiction.


When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I first considered myself a writer when I began writing news in the Mumford High School newspaper. I didn’t particularly like writing news; my Journalism teacher convinced me that I was good at it. So, I stuck with it. When I went home, though, I secretly wrote song lyrics and poems.
What inspired you to write your first book?

After meeting one of my favorite authors, the late E. Lynn Harris, I mentioned to him how his characters resonated with me, and his writing inspired me to write my own novel. He told me to be sure to send it to him when I did. After getting news of his passing in 2009, I remembered how I never started working on my novel. Remembering that meeting, I began taking notes on ‘No Tea. No Shade,” and dedicated it to Lynn.
Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know if I have a defined writing style, but I simply write about what I know: Detroit, being Black and gay. It is important to me to stay in my lane and offer my readers an authentic experience.
How did you come up with the title?

The title No Tea. No Shade. is a common phrase in the gay community said when you want to tell someone the truth without offending them. I heard RuPaul say it frequently on RuPaul’s Drag Race and knew it reflected the circumstances of the book.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Our lives are best spent coming to terms with who we are, building authentic relationships and getting our own truths. Life is too short to be spent trying to please others. When we face our darkest fears, it will be then that we can truly deserve to live in the light.
How much of the book is realistic?

Every character in No Tea. No Shade. has elements pulled directly from my life. Of course, there are some elements that are made more dramatic to enhance the reader’s experience, but it’s all realistic and quite autobiographical.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I pulled from everything I know: Personal experiences, things I’ve heard about and things I never read about but wanted to. No Tea. No Shade. is the type of book I would read.
What books have most influenced your life most?

Books like Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and Their Eyes Were Watching Godare among my favorite books and have helped shape my personal philosophy.  I have also been influenced by authors like George Orwell, Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange, and Toni Morrison.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I consider Sylvia Hubbard a mentor. She has helped me go from a poet with a desire to self-publish to an author with multiple titles under my belt. I learned almost everything I know about independent publishing from her and the Motown Writers Network. I am sincerely grateful for the guidance and support I’ve received.
What book are you reading now?

I am currently reading an anthology of coming out stories entitled Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, edited by Derrick Tennial out of Atlanta. I contributed a story entitled Thirty-Eight, about my coming out as gay and how the messages I received through television as a child of the 80’s shaped my identity as a man.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I am inspired by a number of new authors, especially those writing poetry. Poets like Joel Fluent Greene of Detroit’s Café Mahogany days is releasing his first book of poetry this month. I am excited to celebrate him and read his new work. Also, Detroit poet T. Miller released a book called Coming Out Of Nowhere that took conversations that happened on social media to a different level.
What are your current projects?

I am currently preparing to bring my poetic play entitled The Birth of Mars to the stage. It was inspired by For Colored Girls by Ntozake Shange and the Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. Mars took 6 years to write and examines masculinity in America.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Being a poet and having the opportunity to perform in Detroit has connected me to so many people. The artist community has been so supportive and encouraging. People like Dimonique Boyd, Crystal Campbell, jessica Care moore, Legacy Leonard, LaShaun Phoenix Moore, Omari King Wise, Kalimah Johnson and so many more have supported me as a poet and fiction writer.
Do you see writing as a career?

From the response No Tea. No Shade. has gotten, I could definitely see that happening. I love writing and enjoy the process of bringing characters to life. It isn’t easy crafting a story that makes sense, but when it’s all over, I feel accomplished and successful.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not one thing! I love my characters and the story. Well, maybe one thing… I would make it longer. The story is short, but gripping.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My interest for writing grew out of reading. My grandmother was an avid reader and it rubbed off on me.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I am currently finishing up my sixth book of poetry entitled Grand Boulevard. It is mainly about my experiences as a Detroiter. I dedicated it to the late, great Detroit poet Blair.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I am the king of the comma! For some reason, commas end up randomly in my writing, in places I am not so sure they belong. That’s what good editors are for!
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

E. Lynn Harris and Alice Walker are among my favorite authors. Their books resonate with me because they require me to face my fears related to being Black, gay and an artist. They also have the best characters!
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I travel frequently for my books, whether to perform poetry or to discuss some of the themes in them. Sometimes other people make connections in my writing that never even occurred to me.
Who designed the covers?

I designed all of the covers for my books. I am interested in having someone else design the covers for my future publications.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The most difficult part of writing books has been keeping track of the storylines and making sure they don’t conflict with each other.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned that the process of writing novels takes time and cannot be rushed. Creativity in any form should not be rushed.
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Observe people in their environments. Find out how people move, speak and interact. I did a lot of people watching in public places for No Tea. No Shade. The descriptions in the book are real. If you go to where my characters are and do the things they do, you will see exactly what they see.

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

Yes. Thank you for joining me on this journey and for supporting all of the stories and words that emerge from my mind.

No Tea No Shade


No Tea. No Shade.


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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, I Executive Produce, Back on the B Cyde radio show airing SATURDAYS 11am on

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?


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:

Amazon Link:

Facebook Link:

Twitter Link:

YouTube Video Book Trailer link:


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?”


“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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Missed the 2013 Motownlit Conference

If you missed the 2013 Motownlit conference download the resource conference booklet now:




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Author Spotlight~ Jossie Marie Solheim

This week’s spotlight is on author Jossie Marie Solheim. Join us as we talk with her about her first novel Insane Reno and more.

Where are you from?
Well, originally I am from Kent; but I have lived most of my life in
Cornwall. I love Cornwall and have been so lucky to grow up here and,
although Kent is lovely, too and I enjoyed my time living there in my
teens, Cornwall will always be the place I love best.

Tell us your latest news?

Ha-ha! Well, that would be my first novel, Insane Reno, being
published. It is truly some of the best news I have ever had and a
dream come true.

When and why did you begin writing?

Oh, I started writing when I was around nine years old. My childhood
wasn’t the best, you see, and it was my way of escaping reality. I
would write myself into happy stories with happy endings and pray that
they would come true. Well, they didn’t, when I was young, but the
last few years, more and more of them are coming true; perhaps, not
quite how I imagined them, but I am enjoying the discovery process, so
I don’t mind, too much.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Well, I have called myself a writer for a long time; but honestly, it
wasn’t until I got my publishing deal for my novel that I really felt
I had made it as a writer. For me the short stories and articles I had
published just weren’t enough, it had to be a novel.

What inspired you to write your first book?

So many things. Bodmin moor was one of my biggest inspirations. It
just held a fascination for me that just had to be explored and
understood. I read everything I could get my hands on, regarding the
moors and its myths and grew, ever more fascinated. If you spend a lot
of time there, you’ll understand what I mean. I guess they just spoke
to me, because they felt isolated, lost, and alone; things I had felt
a lot in my own life.
People also were a big inspiration. I had observed different types of
people for so long and examined human nature and I just longed to play
around with that, especially secrets and lies. I guess I experienced a
lot of secrets and lies growing up and longed for the truth to come
out. Well, I never achieved that with my own mysteries, so I wanted
Tizzy to succeed, where I had failed. That goes back to my childhood
days of writing a better outcome, I suppose; however, Tizzy is nothing
like me, she’s a far tougher cookie than I am.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t think so. I tend to adapt and change and like to try different
approaches. For me, writing is an exploration. I want to play around
and dabble with different styles, because I feel that, what works for
one book, may not work so well for another.

How did you come up with the title?

Well, I think the title, more likely, came up with me; just, one day,
I got Insane Reno in my head and it would not go away and I just knew
I had to write a book with that title. I had no idea what or how it
would work at the time, but it all came together, in the end. I think
it was made to be. Perhaps, it was God giving me a helping hand and
setting the wheels in motion. Whatever the case, it’s a title I have
loved from the start and I’m sure I’ll always love.

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

Yes, kids are smarter than you give them credit for. No matter what
you try to hide from them, they see things; notice subtle signs that
something is wrong. All you do, when you hide the bad news is make
them search for it. Honesty is always the best policy, because bad
news, broken gently, in a well thought out way, is better than bad
news discovered alone or from an uncaring source.

How much of the book is realistic?

Well, the settings are real. Bodmin moor and Bude are both real life
places and Charlotte Dymond was a girl who really was murdered on the
moors and yes, people really do visit her memorial on the anniversary
of her death, in hopes of seeing her ghost. My husband and I try to
go, most years. It’s great fun and a little bit spooky, too.
Smuggling, too was common in the area. The Jamaica Inn, on the moors,
itself, is testament to that. So, I guess you could say it’s fiction
surrounded by a few snippets of reality.

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

Well, there are a lot of my own feelings and experiences fictionalised
in the book, but I think that is true of most books; however, the
story itself comes from my vivid imagination and my characters
occasional shoves, when I am being a bit blind.

What books have most influenced your life?

I guess books that were filled with tragedy, heartache, fear,
struggle, and hope; because that was something I related to and, in
the case of hope, longed for.
Flowers in the Attic, by Virginia Andrews really spoke to me; because,
like those children, I felt abandoned, lost, and alone, and Junk, by
Melvin Burgess, too, for similar reasons. I also devoured anything
about animals, because I longed to work with animals, at that time.

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

Virginia Andrews and Daphne De Maurier, because their characters are
so vivid, they’re not afraid to be blunt, and they deal with topics
that some people would have shyed away from. I think it’s important to
deal with difficult subjects; to let other people know that they are
not alone, to give them a sense that there are other people facing
similar situations or feeling the same way as they are. That’s what
books did for me, when I was younger, and they also gave me hope that
things could get better.

What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading a couple of good books; the first is The day I
died, by Polly Courtney, which is a really intriguing read that isn’t
what you’d expect, and the second is Patrick Patterson, by James
Fryer, which is very interesting and is keeping me very absorbed. It
also happens to be published by Raven Crest Books, the very publisher,
who has made my own dream come true by publishing Insane Reno.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Absolutely, I love discovering new authors; that’s part of why I love
my Kindle, so much. Someone who has really got me hooked is Karen
Amanda Hooper. Her book, Tangled tides, made me feel like a child
again, taking me into a magical world that I longed to be a part of
and leaving me giddy for more.

What are your current projects?

My writing very much depends on what is speaking to me at the time. I
would like to say Annie, which is the prequel to Insane Reno is my
sole focus, right now; but, I actually have three books that I am
working on and with regards to which is published first, well, it
really depends on which one calls to me the most.
Annie is on its way, though and looks at Tizzy’s mum’s story; giving
us even more insight into the farm’s past and helping us to see that
life and its many twist and turns have played a huge part on how Annie
has become. I hope that it will give people a little more
understanding of Annie’s actions and also help them to understand that
we are all human and as such, capable of making mistakes.

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

My editor, Chuck Jolly; he pushed me, guided me, and encouraged me to
keep going, every step of the way and also helped me to have more
faith in myself. I can’t thank him enough for all of his help.

Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely, it might not make me millions and it may be very hard;
but, it is the only career for me. I couldn’t live without it.

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

There are always things I would change. Even if I did a thousand
re-edits, there would be something I would change. I’m a worrier and
so I would always worry it wasn’t good enough and, thus, always make
changes; it’s just my nature. It took a lot for me to pluck up the
courage to let it head out into the big wide world, but I am glad I

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

As I said before, it grew out of personal need. It was an escape from
an, at times, less than pleasant reality. I read books and I just
thought; maybe, if I write my own, I can, at least, imagine a better
life. It helped me get through things I probably couldn’t have,
without it.

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

Of course. I’m gonna choose something with both Jem and Tizzy in it,
as Jem is such a loveable rogue and is proving very popular with the

I could sense Jem’s eyes on me, as I laid the table, so I added a
little extra swing to my hips and bent over a little further than was
necessary, as I set each dish in place.
“Your thong’s showing,” My dad said, making me jump out of my skin, as
he strolled into the kitchen, sniffing the air.
“Something smells good,” he added, dropping into his seat at the far
end of the table and gazing at me, with a wry smile.
“Did I interrupt something?” He asked.
“I dunno, did he?”  Jem said, directing his question at me, as he
beamed like a Cheshire cat.
“No!”  I snapped, mortified.
“Guess not then,” he replied, “must have just been my imagination,
playing tricks on me.”  He added.
“What are you on about?”  I growled.
“Oh nothing, it’s just I could have sworn you were doing your best
model swagger and making and extra point of flashing me you’re…” he
paused, mid-sentence, and looked to my father.
“Thong?”  My father replied, with a laugh.
“Well, I was gonna say cute little butt, but thong works.” He added,
and joined in with my father’s laughter.
“Oh, very funny,” I snarled.  “Anyway, what gave you the right to look?”
“If you wiggle it at me, I’m gonna look.”
“I didn’t frigging wiggle it.” I hissed.
“No, but you wanted to and that counts.”  He replied, the smug smile,
still firmly in place.
“Dad,” I cried, “are you gonna let him get away with that?”  I said,
knowing instantly what his reply would be.
“Hey, you were flashing him your thong, so you can fight your own battles.”
“So, if I flashed my thong at a stranger and he grabbed my butt,
you’d be ok with that?”  I asked.
“I dunno,” he replied, then leaning back to look at Jem he added.
“Hey Jem, why don’t you try it and see.”
“Dad!”  I cried, quickly dropping onto one of the bench seats as Jem
turned, eyes full of mischief.
“Don’t worry, I’ll get ya later.” He said, rubbing his hand together,
then turned back to the cooker, switched the hob off and scuttled
towards the table, frying pan in hand.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Staying focused. I always have so many ideas, that I often jump from
one novel to the next and back again, trying to accommodate all the
characters and ideas that are screaming for release.

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

Oh, I couldn’t possibly choose just one. There are just so many great
authors out there; however, the one I am really watching at the moment
is Karen Amanda Hooper.

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

Not at present. I tend to stick with my local area for settings, that
or other places I have lived; although, there is a book planned for
the future that might require a bit of a road trip, something to
look forward to.

Who designed the covers?

Well, with Insane Reno, it was actually me; I just had such a vivid
idea of what I wanted that it just seemed easier that way, but that
might not always be the case.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Knowing when to let go. As I said before, I’m a worrier and letting
Insane Reno go out into the world was like waving my son off, for his
first day at school, a very emotional and nerve racking experience.

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

I think every book is a learning experience and, as an author, you are
always learning new things; but a big lesson I learned from writing
Insane Reno is to try not to over think things, as it just leads to
unnecessary worry and stress.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just enjoy what you do and don’t worry, if someone doesn’t like what
you write, because everyone is different. What some people love,
others will hate.

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

Thank you for taking the time to read my book. Taking the step to
publish is such a scary one and knowing that people are reading and
enjoying it is a great blessing; so, thank you from the bottom of my
heart for taking a chance on Insane Reno. It truly means a lot.

By author Jossie Marie Solheim

Author Website
Amazon Link
Facebook Link
Twitter Link @Jossiemarie84


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Shelli Johannes-Welles Discusses Author Branding Part 2

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Michigan Literary Network Blogtalk Radio~September 4, 2013

Guess who’s coming to the Motown Writers Literary Network blogtalk radio show? Pamela Osborn. Listen in today at 5:30 when Pamela talks about her new publishing company, Pavers Publishing and how busy writers and authors can keep a peaceful, clean, and organized home as we move into a new season.

Janaya Black

Up next at 5:45pm is Janaya Black.  Janaya is an author, filmmaker, and Playwright. Listen in today as Sylvia Hubbard talks with Janaya about her upcoming new play “Idol”.  For more information check her out at

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Motown Writers Group Monthly Meetup: Path of The Hero.. writing good characters JULY 13TH


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REGISTER NOW: The Write Stuff Interactive Writers Workshop June 29th Belleville #Michigan #MICHLIT


Enjoy writing but you’re stuck? Need that extra push? Don’t know where to begin?

Then you need to be at the…





Sponsored by Trader Joes

Meet Our Panel of Distinguished Professionals

Tonya Dallas, Tenita Johnson, Sylvia Hubbard, Rose Wilson, & Keith Young and surprise celebrity author

as they discuss….. Continue reading

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Event: The Write Stuff Workshop June 29 Belleville, Michigan #michlit #mwn #motownlit REGISTER NOW


June 7, 2013
Contact: Tonya Dallas


Just Us Girlz Book Social, EyeCU Reading & Social Network,

Tonya “Touchdown “Dallas & Trader Joes…

are hosting the first interactive writer’s workshop of its kind!

This is a state-wide literary effort to raise awareness and quality of the work of current & future authors.


                                                       Belleville, Michigan 

The Write Stuff Writer’s Workshop

Sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know that makes all the difference.  On June 29, 2013, workshop  presenters Tonya “Touchdown” Dallas, Kimberly Hayes Taylor, Sylvia Hubbard, Tenita Johnson, Rose Williams, Keith Young, and a surprise guest author  will energize and educate the Michigan writing community with advice that will get  minds motivated and pens moving. This workshop will also help writers come together and share those hidden secrets to improve writing, editing, producing and marketing the best literary works possible, without making costly mistakes. Continue reading

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Real Men Write~ Torreano Harrison

RMW Torreano Harrison

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Michigan Literary Network Blog talk radio-June 5, 2013

The Mayonnaise MurdersIt’s Wednesday again!  Don’t forget to listen in today at 5:30pm on the Michigan Literary Network blog talk radio show. Sylvia Hubbard will interview Keith Owens author of “The Mayonnaise Murders,”  Check Keith out at and on twitter @kaoblues.





Keith OwensKeith’s Bio:

My nearly 30-year background as a writer includes time spent as a columnist/reporter and/or editor for Detroit’s Metro Times, the Michigan Chronicle, the Detroit Free Press, the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, and other newspapers including the Denver Post and the Los Angeles Times. I was also a nationally syndicated columnist with Universal Press Syndicate for three years beginning in 1993. My two-part, 11,000 word article for Detroit’s Metro Times on the history of the blues in Detroit entitled “Boogie Chillun” earned recognition from the Alternative Newsweekly Awards and also from the Detroit Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists. I am currently a regular contributor to the progressive political blogs PoliticusUSA and Jack and Jill Politics.

But fiction was my first love long before I became involved in journalism.

One of my mother’s most cherished pictures is the one of me at age two or three, standing up on tippy toe in my underwear trying to reach the keys of an old black typewriter perched on the edge of a table. One hand was outstretched upward, as I looked back over my shoulder at the camera, apparently just becoming aware that my picture was being taken.

I have no idea what my fascination was all about at the time, Naturally I’d like to think I had the Great American Novel pent up inside me and I just had to get that story told. Because even at that young age I obviously knew my destiny, and the typewriter was my chariot that would transport me from that small orange brick house on Milwaukee Street in Denver, Colorado to riches and fame.

Then again, maybe the keys were nice and shiny and I was just reaching upward like any curious kid to try and get my hands on the shiny thing just out of my reach. And my mother, like most mothers, had her camera nearby on the ready for any and all cute baby shots, and she realized this one was a keeper. Then she quickly snatched me away before I pulled the bright shiny typewriter down on top of my little baby head.

Like I said, I have no idea what my fascination was all about at the time. But that picture has stayed with me throughout the years as my true fascination with words and stories has evolved into a passion that has all but consumed me. Writing is not what I do, it’s who I am. Whether I’m writing op-ed columns, political blogs, children’s stories, or science fiction murder mysteries ( all of which I have done, by the way), it doesn’t matter so long as it gives me a chance to feed the beast. Doesn’t matter if it’s a brief few grafs, or a lengthier passage requiring research and other deep and time-consuming stuff.

So long as words are involved, and I can tell a story, then the beast will let me rest another day.

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Real Men Write~ Eddie Connor

RMW Eddie Connor

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Real Men Write Feature~Walter O’Bryant


I’m an Advocate for the Disabled, having worked for over 20 years as a consultant to the Social Security Disability Program.  I was also a case manager for developmentally challenged consumers for over 9 years, prior to my work with SSA, for the Michigan Department of Mental health.

When I’m not engaged in my advocacy, I blog about current events at and I am a writer of fiction.  Reading and writing are a fundamental part of my existence.  I wish that were the case for all boys and men!

Walter O’Bryant

Tirelessly existence

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Michigan Literary Network Blogtalk Radio~May 29, 2013

J MichaelToday on the Michigan Literary Network blogtalk radio show Sylvia Hubbard will interview J. Michael Collins.  J. Michael is a writer, photographer, and publisher of SSW Magazine. Along with the Motown Writers Network J. Michael will host the June 8th Real Men Write Meet Up. Follow him on Michael Collins, Twitter@sswmag, and




Later at 5:45pm Sylvia will interview Darold Gholston. Darold is a poet, songwriter and fine arts artist. His poetry book is “The Right Word: All Occasion Romantic Verses”

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