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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Authors On The Rise Interviews Liane Spicer





Authors On The Rise is happy to bring you an interview with Liane Spicer, author of, Cafe au Lait. If you have not read the book, please visit the links provided below to buy a copy.

AOTR: Please tell us about yourself and your book.

Liane: I taught English for many years, then left to follow my dreams. Was I in for a ride! Apart from completing and publishing Café au Lait I've worked as a newspaper editor, human resource manager and company administrator, each in a different country. There's a certain exhilaration in not knowing exactly what lies ahead; I thrive on that.


Café au Lait is the story of two good people who find each other and fall in love but are unable to trust what they feel. Michael has a legacy of a cheating ex-wife; Shari is haunted by an ill-fated love affair and the plane crash that killed her best friend. After his scandalous divorce Michael loses himself in his work and tries to keep his hands off of Shari, but their desire for each other is too strong. To complicate matters, they're beset by one enigma after another. Why the flashes of déjà vu when they are together? What is the true connection between Michael and the sultry Zoë who does not even try to mask her hatred for Shari? And was the death of Michael's parents really an accident? Dogged by shadows and secrets, their paths crisscross on the island as they try to untangle the threads that draw them together and keep them apart.


AOTR: How did you come up with the idea to write Cafe au Lait?

Liane: Back when I was teaching my colleagues and I often bemoaned the fact that we never saw romances that featured people of color. When Kensington Publishing started the Arabesque line of AA romances I said to myself: You've always had this dream of being a writer. What better way to begin than with a multicultural romance? Once I made that decision the story began to take shape in my head. As for the setting - it had to be my homeland! Café au Lait celebrates the triumph of love, but it also celebrates the beauty of the Caribbean islands I call home.


AOTR: How long did it take to write Cafe au Lait?


Liane: The first draft took about three months, but then I put the project aside for years while other priorities took over my life. When I got back to Café au Lait I added four chapters and deepened the story so it did not end at the wedding-and-happily-ever-after point. It was at this stage that the mystery and suspense really emerged, and this provided the twists and turns that made the novel evolve from a simple boy-meets-girl romance into a more complex portrayal of a contemporary relationship.


AOTR: Did the story just come to you or did you have to write out a plot and follow it?

Liane: I began with the setting (Caribbean) and the characters. Once I knew who the hero and heroine were, the story revealed itself to me and I wrote a rough outline. The story soon grew beyond the outline and took on a life of its own.


AOTR: How did you go about publishing your book? Was the publishing process tough or smooth for you?

Liane: It's always tough. Most writers start out knowing nothing about the business of publishing, which is a very different animal from the craft of writing. I had a lot to learn and set about researching with a vengeance. I acquired an agent within months of beginning the query process and she sold the novel to Dorchester Publishing within a year.

AOTR: Explain to us how you felt when you saw your finished book for the first time.

Liane: It's almost indescribable, that feeling of achievement, that this story you conjured out of thin air now has a corporeal life in books on shelves all over the world, and a spiritual life in the minds of its readers. Transitioning from 'writer' to 'author' is a dream come true and an honor I don't take lightly.


AOTR: What is the best advice you would give to aspiring authors?

Liane: Learn your craft. Read widely. Do your research before ever sending out a query so you learn the protocols of the publishing industry.


AOTR: What authors inspired you as a writer?

Liane: Maya Angelou, Erica Jong, Arundhati Roy, Georgette Heyer, Zora Neale Hurston, Rosa Guy, Baroness Orczy, Shakespeare! Many, many more.


AOTR: Can you tell us what you are currently working on?

Liane: I've completed my second contemporary romance, Give Me the Night. I've also finished the first draft of a memoir on raising my son and I'm quarter way into my first mainstream novel.

AOTR: When it's all said and done what do you want your legacy to be?

Liane: I'd like my legacy to be a body of work that reflects the things I hold dear. The romance and romantic suspense novels come from the part of me that flies in the face of my own cynicism: that's the part that believes transformational, incandescent, committed love between a man and a woman can and does exist. Then there's the memoir that preserves treasured parts of my life such as the years I spent raising my son. I love being a mom! Finally, the mainstream book(s) in which I grapple with stories about women and their conflicts and challenges in the context of their family history and society.

AOTR: How can readers find out more about you and your books?

Liane: My website/blog: www.lianespicer.blogspot.com. I've linked reviews, interviews, writing sites, books for writers and more on the site. I'm also on Facebook.

AOTR: Thank you for taking time to chat with us! We wish you much success!

Liane's 10 favorite things:



Cartoon as a child: The Pink Panther!

Social network: Facebook, but it's a love-hate relationship.

Pastime: Reading, hands down. I also enjoy blogging, hiking and growing roses.

Friend or family member. Why? I won't name my favorite family members because that might start fights and name-calling, so... Favorite friends are D and M: D because she has no artifice, no guile, no facade, no agenda. I'm glad there's one of her in this world. M on the other hand was my muse for Michael, the hero in Café au Lait. He's the sexiest man I know, a good listener and a kindred spirit.

Junk food: My Hooters staple! Clam chowder, chicken strips and celery stalks with blue cheese dip.

Word: All words, all language. I get excited over the Greek roots of words, the origins of expressions. I flirt with strange words, have secret affairs with them, seduce them into my writing, and get intimate with them. My father recently taught me a new one and it's my current favorite: callipygian, which means having shapely buttocks. :)

Song: Probably A Lovely Day by Bill Withers, closely followed by Sting's Shape of My Heart, Memory from Cats and Michael Bolton's version of Georgia on My Mind.

Quote: "Not all who wander are lost." - Tolkien

Year: I can't single out one. Two that come to mind are the year I gave birth to my son and the year Café au Lait was released. The year I got my agent was pretty cool too. I try to make each year count, to live and grow and learn and achieve no matter what the circumstances.

Time of day: The night! I'm definitely nocturnal.

--
Liane Spicer
Author of CAFÉ AU LAIT (Dorchester Publishing)
Co-coordinator of the Novel Spaces author group
www.lianespicer.com
www.lianespicer.blogspot.com
www.novelspaces.blogspot.com

Monday, December 6, 2010

Book Pick For December

Authors On The Rise Book Pick For December Is: "Pious" by Kenn Bivins




Five out of five stars for "Pious", a novel by Kenn Bivins.


THE REVIEW:

Mechi Lane is a family oriented neighborhood that anyone would be proud to reside in.
The people in this close knit community look out for one another and are hardworking and sociable. However, behind the facades and closed doors, the citizens are not who they portray themselves to be.

Carpious Mightson is the cornerstone in this loving community. To his neighbors, he is a man of integrity. He is a role model and father figure to his girlfriend Sydney’s eight-year old son, Solomon. He’s even known to extend a helping hand with his neighbor’s daughter Haleigh. But when his cunning ex wife Alethea returns, and a registered sex-offender move onto Mechi lane, Carpious well hidden past is in jeopardy of being exposed; and he will do whatever he must do in order to stop it.

Debut author, Kenn Bivins, has penned a solid, engaging novel. This book had me enthralled by the suspenseful cliffhangers. Just when I would be about to put the book down (Due to everyday life issues) something would occur that would keep me glued to the pages. I wanted to see how Mr. Bivins would tie everything up. At first, I did not understand why Carpious behaved in the manner that he did, but then the author gave us a glimpse into his turbulent past that was a real tear jerker. It made me understand why Carpious did what he did, no matter how heartless it seemed.

The secondary cast of characters was exciting to read about too. Alethea made me laugh with her realistic dialogue. I enjoyed the story with Lela too. I rooted for her and applauded her at the end of the novel for making the decisions she did. I do hope the author will bring Lela and Alethea back in another book so I can see what became of them.

I highly recommend Pious. It is an outstanding novel that will make you meditate on who you are, or are pretending to be long after the last word.

Reviewed by AOTR book reviewer: Christi Baker

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Carpious Mightson is not who he appears to be, wearing the guise of a handsome leader of virtue. He seems friendly, loving, hard working, and God-fearing. Little do his neighbors, co-workers, and girlfriend know that almost two decades ago, he was serving a twenty-year sentence for murder.

When Ian Kaplan, a registered sex-offender, moves into the family-friendly community of Mechi Lane, the home owner’s association “volunteers” Carpious to compel Ian to put his house back on the market and leave.

While Carpious is struggling to maintain his secret, Alethea Mightson, Carpious’ addict ex-wife, resurfaces in an attempt to get money from him. In her desperation, she threatens to expose his past to everyone if he doesn’t comply.

A new murder occurs as Carpious’ composure begins to spiral out of his control, and all that he has built threatens to topple. Will the consequences of new sins expose the old ones? (less)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kenn Bivins is an Art Director at one of the largest advertising agencies in the world. He has worked as an illustrator and designer in many mediums that include comics, magazines, animation, and interactive media. Even though his background is layered in the arts, Kenn has always been a writer.

He states, “Even if I’m simply illustrating a cat, there is a story in my head about that cat – how he moves, why his tail is so bushy, whether he sleeps on a windowsill or under a bed, and so on. Words aren’t the only means to tell a story.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

Authors On The Rise Interviews Lakisha Spletzer




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Authors On The Rise is delighted to bring you an Interview with Lakisha Spletzer. Please show your support by picking up one of her books for your next read.

AOTR: Briefly tell us about yourself and your book.

Lakisha: My name is Lakisha and I'm a single parent who has a college degree but who currently does tax preparation for H & R Block. I haven't really used my degree for much and that's okay with me. I'm a cross-genre writer, meaning I like to mix and match genres in my novels.

I have two books out: "Jewels" which was my debut novel and "Werelove Dusk Conspiracy". "Jewels" is a space opera (sci-fi) with romantic and paranormal elements. "Werelove Dusk Conspiracy" is a paranormal romance with sci-fi elements.

AOTR: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Lakisha: I've been writing since the age of 8. I didn't want to become a Published writer, until 2004 after joining a writer's workshop group.

AOTR: Where did you come up with the idea for your book?

Lakisha: "Jewels" came from a novella anthology call from Samhain Publishing for space opera-themed novellas. I took a blog post that was written in the first-person by a female voice, changed the name and went to work. I realized after I submitted it that a novella didn't do the story justice and I was happy to see it get rejected. I took it and wrote another 150 pages and was happy with the result. "Werelove" came from my desire to write a Young Adult novel that dealt with issues I had growing up like bullying, loneliness, first love, and family ties.


AOTR: What was the writing process like for your book? Did it just come to you or did you have to outline or do any other different processes?

Lakisha: The writing process for me is different with each book. One novel might come from an idea that pops into my head, while another might be inspired by a writing prompt. As to the actual writing of my novels, I can be a panster and/or a plotter, and sometimes both. "Jewels" was a panster novel whereas "Werelove Dusk Conspiracy" was a combination of the two styles.


AOTR: Did you write about any important social issues in this book? If so, please share them with us and tell us why you chose these issues.

Lakisha: "Werelove" probably has a little more social issues than "Jewels". "Jewels" does deal with discrimination in various forms. "Werelove" deals with bullying, dysfunctional families, single-parent families, obsessive/stalker type love, racism (Weres [shapeshifters] and Humans], teenage love & relationships, as well as the duality of a person's nature that drives them to behave in a certain fashion.


AOTR: What aspects of your own life are woven into your book? Or do you just write what is in your head?

Lakisha: The axiom is "Write what you know," so a lot of the themes/subjects that I write about in my stories come from my own personal experiences, experiences of others, or is a reaction to something I've seen or heard on the news.

AOTR: What do you hope readers will take away after reading your book?

Lakisha: I hope that if they are dealing with any of those types of subjects I touch on (bullying, loneliness, etc.) that they take courage and realize they are not alone. That others have been there and we're here today to tell you that you can make it.

AOTR: What sets your book apart? What makes it new; different?

Lakisha: I think that what sets my books apart is that I'm all about the characters. In reviews, especially for "Werelove", my work has been described as character-driven. When I write, I try to make my characters, whether they are alien, shapeshifters, or human, easy to relate to. I want the readers to look past the exterior and see what is inside, which is what counts at the end of the day. I think what makes "Werelove" different is that I'm not focusing on just one type of were-creature. Also the fact that the protagonist is half werewolf and half werecat is definitely different.

AOTR: How did you go about getting published? Was the process difficult?

Lakisha: I tried the traditional method of sending out to agents and publishers and didn't get anywhere. That's when I decided to take a leap of faith and go indie. I haven't looked back yet. Being an indie author can be difficult because you have to do/find everything that a publisher would do for you. You have to find an editor, a cover artist/illustrator, you have to format your novel for publication and then you have to market yourself. It can be very daunting and you have to be motivated in order to go the indie route.

AOTR: Anything about the book Industry that shocked you after you released your book?

Lakisha: Not really. The book industry is like any other industry: the bottom line. They only want things that sell, will back the things that bring in the money and if you're not a significant part of that process, then you will be weeded out.

AOTR: When you are not writing, what else do you enjoy doing?

Lakisha: When I'm not writing, I'm busy with my children which takes a lot of time since I'm a single parent. I've always been an avid reader so whenever I can snag time to read, I do that too. I also like to dance.

AOTR: When it's all said and done, what do you want your legacy to be?

Lakisha: I hope that people enjoy what I've written and that they pass that joy along to others.


AOTR: Please tell interested readers how they can contact you and find out more information on you and your book?

Lakisha: You can find me at my website "Kishaz World" (http://www.kishazworld). I also have a blog, "Inner Muse" (http://www.kishazworld.com/innermuse).

If you're into social media, you can find me at these spots:

Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lakisha-Spletzer/204606745387

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/kishazworld

Email: author@kishazworld.com

AOTR: Thank you for chatting with us. AOTR wish you much success!

Lakisha's ten favorites:

Color: I actually have three: purple, blue, and green

Soda: Dr. Pepper and then Sprite if the first isn't available

Season: Summer. I hate the cold.

Actor: Hmm, I actually don't have one.

Inspirational quote: "Do or do not. There is no try." -- Master Yoda, Star Wars

Author: I have several on my shortlist: Elissa Malcohn, Piers Anthony, Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey

Restaurant: Any that has good food *winks*

Piece of clothing: Loose-fitting or baggy. I'm a comfort freak.

Television show: Shortlist: Fringe, Stargate Universe, Sanctuary, Smallville

City: None. I'm a true country girl

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Authors On The Rise Interviews K.L. Brady






Authors On The Rise is happy to bring you an interview with K.L Brady. Enjoy! Please show support by grabbing a copy of K.L's book.

AOTR: Tell us about you and your book.

K.L: My debut novel, THE BUM MAGNET, is about a woman, Charisse Tyson, who is approaching a major life milestone--her fortieth birthday. She has just broken up with boyfriend number too many and reads an article that makes her realize it's time to take stock of her life and assess why she keeps selecting the same kind of men (players) over and over again. No sooner than she decides to give up men until she works through her issues, they start coming out of the woodwork, especially a sexy irresistible businessman named Dwayne Gibson. She goes against her better instinct and puts herself in a position where she has to navigate a minefield of men while trying to work on herself at the same time--with often hilarious results.

AOTR: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

K.L: I've been writing since I was very young. I've always kept diaries and journals throughout my life, so I always knew I wanted to be a writer. Unfortunately, I didn't decide to become a published author until I turned forty. Turning forty will certainly make you look back at your life and wonder whether you've fulfilled your life's purpose or whether you've got work to do. I had lots of work to do.

AOTR: What inspired you to write your first book?

K.L: I had an Oprah "Aha" moment one day during the summer of 2008. I was coming up on my fortieth birthday, feeling like I'd reached some level of success in my life but my work didn't fulfill me. I was watching an episode of Oprah when she had Eckhart Tolle on discussing his book AWAKENING YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE when it hit me that I wasn't living my best life or fulfilling my life's purpose. What good was putting everything in my heart in journals and diaries where no one could see them? I also got hung up on the fact that I didn't have a degree in English so I couldn't be a writer, right? Wrong. I got over myself, pushed the negative thoughts aside, and just wrote from my heart. The result is a book that has really resonated with women of all races, ethnicities, and social backgrounds. The character is very relatable.

AOTR: Was it difficult to write or easy?

K.L: Writing is pretty easy for me. It's the editing that's a killer. I don't want to edit. I hate editing. But I have to edit and revise. There's no shortcut around that if you want to publish quality products.

AOTR: How did you go about creating your characters?

K.L: My characters are based on me or people I've known throughout my life. Each one is kind of a mish mash of several people so no one can sue me for slander.

AOTR: Did you struggle with any of your characters or did they just speak to you?

K.L: My characters speak to me, usually around three o'clock in the morning. It's unreal. I often feel like I'm just taking dictation. I like writing this way because I believe that's why people say the characters in my book seem so authentic. They are coming from a very real place.

AOTR: What was your writing process like? Did you outline or just write naturally?

K.L: I have tried to be a good author and outline and I can't do it. I tend to just let the words flow how and whenever they decide to come to me. I've tried to plot and I find that it actually stifles my creativity. I also find that when I let my characters drive the story, the story is usually way more interesting than anything I could come up with myself.

AOTR: What important lessons did you convey in your book?

K.L: I don't think I really write to convey lessons. I try to entertain first and if a message comes from that...great. We get a two for one. With that said, I do think a few key themes stick out. First and foremost is that when we find ourselves repeating the same bad behaviors over and over and over again, at some point we have to stop playing the blame game and take a look in the mirror at who we are and how we're contributing to the problem. Another theme is that when traumatic events happen in your life, childhood or otherwise, you can't just sweep those incidents under the rug to make them go away. If you don't deal with them in a real way, they will only manifest themselves in your behaviors and your relationships.

AOTR: With so many books on the market, what sets your book apart?

K.L: I think I read some place that there are no more original stories to be told. They've all been done. The originality is in HOW you tell the story. I think what sets my novel apart is that the characters' voices are very authentic, real, and often downright hilarious...and every woman knows at least one Charisse so you can relate to her plight, her lows, and her triumphs.

AOTR: In a few words tell an interested reader why they should read your book next.

K.L: If you want a laugh out loud funny book with relatable flawed characters, this is the right one for you. This is a book my readers buy multiple copies of so they can give them to their girlfriends.

AOTR: What are you working on now?

K.L: I've just finished writing the sequel to THE BUM MAGNET, which I've tentatively titled GOT A RIGHT TO BE WRONG. That may change. I left a few loose ends dangling at the end of first book so I tie them up nicely in the second.

I wrote my first young adult novel romantic comedy "MIZZ UNDERSTANDINGZ" which is a YA-Urban variation on Pride and Prejudice, the English literary classic. It puts a twist on the story in a way that I personally haven't seen before...and I'm a huge Jane Austen fan. She is, to me, the original chick lit author.

I'm currently working on my second YA novel, a little more dramatic, called SOUL OF THE BAND. It's about a music-loving inner city teen is sent to Smalltown, Ohio, to live with her aunt until her mother recovers from a mental breakdown that leaves them homeless. There, she becomes the only African American member of an all white marching band as she struggles to maintain her identity and build a new life--with her checkered past and racial tensions simmering just beneath a tenuous social scene.


AOTR: What do you hope to accomplish in the literary world?

K.L: I started out as a self published author, so getting picked up by Simon & Schuster this year was a major accomplishment, one of those blessings I wasn't even looking for.

Aside from that, I want to write books that make people laugh out loud, cry, and everything in between. Getting emails and notes from readers saying how much they loved the characters has been one of the biggest highlights of my life and I hope to keep them coming. However, if I also happen to write books that Hollywood producers feel are well-suited to movies...I'm good with that too. :)

AOTR: When you are not crafting novels what do you like to do?

K.L: I spend time with my ten-year-old son most of the time. I also love to read, dance, listen to music, watch football, and hang out with my friends when we're not all flying by the seats of our pants.

AOTR: How can readers contact you?

K.L: My website is: www.authorklbrady.com
My email is: karla@klbradywrites.com
Facebook Fan Page: K.L. Brady

You can pre-order the Simon & Schuster version of The Bum Magnet for the low low price of $7.99 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Bum-Magnet-K-L-Brady/dp/1451613709/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top (Mass Market Paperback)
http://www.amazon.com/Bum-Magnet-The-ebook/dp/B0043RSJT0/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2 (Kindle Version)
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Bum-Magnet/K-L-Brady/e/9781451613704/?itm=1
www.borders.com

OR

You can still get autographed copies of the original self-published version (limited quantities available) at:

http://www.amazon.com/Bum-Magnet-K-L-Brady/dp/0615307043/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1288802483&sr=8-2

AOTR: Thank you for chatting with us! We wish you much success!

K.L's ten favorite things:

Chips - Utz

Season - Summer

Holiday - Thanksgiving

Television show - Tie between Run's House and The T.O. Show

Song - Right now - "Why Would You Stay" by Kem

Past time - NFL Football

Social networking site - Facebook hands down

Author - Jane Austen and Terry McMillan are definitely among my all-time favorites.

City - Tie between NYC and Chicago

Time of day - After five on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Authors On The Rise Interviews Esther Bradley- DeTally




Authors On the Rise Is happy to bring you an interview with Esther Bradley- DeTally, author of: You Carry The Heavy Stuff. Please grab a copy of her book and post your reviews.

AOTR: Please tell us about you the person and the author.

Esther: Glad that’s worded that way, because above all we are all persons first. In 1990 I started publishing personal and reflective essays in various journals. A writer friend from Israel had recommended me and many other yet to be published writers to write for a particular publication in Australia/New Zealand. This journal was globally distributed. When my friend suggested I submit some of my stuff, I thought, “Is that stuff under the bed collecting dust balls?” But in 1992 I was married to my wonderful husband Bill and we were living in Ukraine, in the City of Dnepropetrovsk, and this magazine published an essay about our lives in Ukraine.

I’m from Boston, born in Boston, and I remember blackout curtains from World War II on our windows and peeing in the dark. I remember the 50s and being a Catholic girl and going to a public high school. I had no writing inclination, but read voraciously from six years on. A huge influence was my mom who became a major alcoholic, but was a lover of books and also taught Latvian women to speak and read English when they came to our little brown rented house on Wren Street, and they spoke of the Iron Curtain, and their husbands lost behind this curtain. I remember thinking in images of a giant iron shower curtain spread across a vast land.

I grew up in a stratified society, where people drew lines about religious affiliations, class position, race, difference. I was a child in the 40s, a young girl in the 50s and was Catholic. In my twenties, I drove to California after the Cuban crisis, drove out by myself. My mother had died; my father remarried; my twin was somewhere; the family was dysfunctional and scattered. My older brother and sister weren’t around. I was a legal secretary and outwardly gutsy but inwardly a wimp.

I discovered the Baha’i Faith at 27, and felt as if I stepped out of a black and white photograph into the land of color. I stopped drinking, even though I hadn’t yet connected the dots of alcoholism sitting in my family’s history box for generations. I immediately became aware of the oneness of humanity, and my old stereotypical views fell off me like corrugated cardboard. Still, until I die, I must be aware of prejudice and how it is inhaled by a baby when born. My life is incredibly full –I teach writing to homeless women and others. I give a lot of free workshops. I guess you could say my husband and I are activists as we totally believe in service to the community at large. I used to be fearful but didn’t show it, and I faced life and have crawled over railroad tracks in Donetsk and been in Ukraine during the Russian coup and written a book about it. I’ve been to Siberia, and I have a son Nicholas who is married and a granddaughter. One last thing: I jump out of airplanes to say hello to Pug Dogs even if they are only dark little dots on the ground. That’s sounds very year-booky.


Mostly I totally believe in the splendor of the human condition, and am horrified by the meanness of our age, but have tremendous hopes for the future. I believe one becomes mystical by embracing the grit of one’s time and that we should be anxiously concerned about the needs of our age. I am the last of my siblings, my twin having died a few years ago. I’ve survived heart surgeries, blah, blah, blah, and walk an hour a day; sound like a gadabout and light up like a pinball machine when celebrating, reading, writing, a good book, justice, being a solace to someone else, being a source of light and laughter.

AOTR: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

Esther: In 1980, when I got a chance to go back to college, I wanted to learn writing.

AOTR: Did you take any classes or go to school to learn to write, or did it just come naturally?

Esther: No. Writing letters came naturally, but I had no idea whether studying writing would ruin my fledgling writing or not. I went to UC Irvine and enrolled as a junior at 42 as a single mom, fresh from what felt like 100 years of work as a legal secretary. I majored in English as I read voraciously and thought that the most practical. I had no dreams of becoming an attorney. I took a summer class and wrote a story about a blue dye eviscerating the earth from a jeans factory and a dog named Lance I think. I didn’t have the knowhow or the courage to have dialogue. There was lance, the blue die, the inhabitants of earth leaving the planet, and the owner of lance, a woman who died.
My first writing teacher said, “Take every writing course this school has to offer.”

I took expository writing in the second quarter and the TA said “Take every writing course this school has to offer,” because I wrote a piece about who I was after reading an excerpt of May Sarton’s Journal of a Solitude. Reader her talk about depression, writing and planting flowers caused me to think, I can do this. I remember feeling electrified, not hugely, but nevertheless animated.

I then took Beginning Fiction with Oakley Hall, and I was nervous. He has written a book on the novel; was co-head of the UCI Writing Program, and is well respected. He went to Iowa I think. I was nervous until I looked under the large square table where we all assembled, and I saw faded purple Rit died socks, and then looked up into his broad face, and kind eyes, and his hair looked like yarn. He taught how to show, how to be the camera eye, how to use strong verbs, and I flourished.

I then went on to take an advanced writing class with the other co-head who didn’t like older women, but thought I was a very good writer. He tried to discourage me, and I think he did so, because he didn’t make it in the way he expected. It was rough, but I hung in.

Then I took journalism with a very good Journalist who had been nationally known, and he said, “You are a good writer, but what the hell are you trying to say.” I also took courses after graduating as part of teacher training in teaching secondary writing, and Writing the Natural Way. I use those methods when I teach workshops.

I also took from the Pied Piper of Workshop Leaders, Jack Grapes in Los Angeles who is a method writing teacher, and I took his beginning workshop. Then I waited 10 years, took his advanced courses, and around 2003 I was bursting through sound barriers. . I have written 2 books: Without A Net: A Sojourn in Russia and You carry the Heavy Stuff, the most recent.

I took a UCLA class too and we were not allowed to praise or criticize anyone’s writings, no comments, but the instructor told me I was very good. So yes, I took classes and really learned method, and craft of showing, use strong verbs, and still read voraciously.

AOTR: Please tell us about your book and how you came up with the idea for it.

Esther: As I mentioned I had a previous book, and the 2nd edition has pictures. Without A Net: A Sojourn in Russia, about our 3 year period before, during and after the breakup of the Soviet Union. It is a personal view, a behind the scenes sideways type of thing - personal, funny, sad, hard, and spiritual.

I joined CHPercolator Coffeehouse for writers because my friend Steve kept encouraging me. We all give prompts to write about at periodic intervals and thus, writers from around the globe write or not write every day.

After 2 years, I looked at my previous writing and the CHPerc bundle, and thought “It’s time to do another book.” It’s called You Carry the Heavy Stuff and has a street sign that says, “It’s all grist for the Mill, been there, done that, what’s next,” with a pug’s back to the reader and a tall thin red-haired lady with an old leather type valise, inky papers sticking out of it, and she’s wearing red high top sneakers. That’s my persona. I have used “It’s all grist for the mill” so much; people will soon begin to scream.

I had a mother in law who was the size of a small tree trunk and didn’t take noth'in from no one and we lived with her after we came back from Russia because we didn’t think it was wise for her to live alone. When I first met her, Bill and I were packing up our bags to drive away, and she and I were loading stuff at an open trunk, when this low growly voice (hers) said to me, “You carry the heavy stuff for him.” So I wrote a piece about her.

Anna was her name, and Italian momma was her game. I both laughed inwardly and groaned. I wasn’t insulted. Had I been 20, I’d have run away. This book is a series of poetry and prose about who I was, am; life in an office cubicle; life in middle school and a world view taking shape, life after 9/11; essays on prejudice, which makes my African-American friends cry, and essays on spirituality and eating falafel at the Mercatz (shopping area top of Haifa hills) in Israel. I also talk lightly and deeply about social conditions, Baghdad, being a twin, having a twin die, and packing for the future. All of my pieces reflect varied writing styles.

A fellow writer wrote “You Carry the Heavy Stuff reveals an author who engages life with grit, honesty and good humor. Bradley-DeTally rests thoughtfully at a quiet stream to make serene observations, and then she’s up and away again to fight her good fight with a Tally HO! A refreshing read that combines a depth dimension with the tragicomedy that is life.”

I was going to call the book Writing on the Fly, and I had everything in it: fiction, surrealism, poetry, short stories, and then I trimmed it down and a friend said, “Writing on the Fly is overused.” So I had a brief contest where I promised a few select friends a Starbucks coffee card if they voted on a selection of about 5 titles. You Carry the Heavy Stuff carried the day.

I don’t outline. Let me repeat that I don’t outline. I free write and then I tweak, tweak, tweak. I am pretty spontaneous and word crazy some friends might add.

AOTR: Which of your characters were your favorite and why?

Esther: My favorite characters are pugs and the people in Children of the Stolen Ones, a poem I hope which gives honor to my brothers and sisters of African heritage.

AOTR: What traits and characteristics did you give some of your characters to make them memorable?

Esther: Courage, nobility and the human condition is a sideways view.

AOTR: Does your book have any important themes or lessons you wanted to convey?

Esther: Well, it’s memoir-ish so the traits would be pissy, funny, ballsy, outspoken, socially concerned, deeply spiritual, thrown in with the theme of global citizenship and the inhumanity of man and the humanity of man (generic man of course).

My themes speak of the wonders and need for oneness; the need to throw prejudice off the planet, the nobility of the anonymous and the suffering among us, the struggle and beauty of the dying cancer patients, the humanity of others, and the downright wonders of slinging around language like hash.

AOTR: What was the road to publication like? Was it turbulent or fairly easy?

Esther: I am too old to look for an agent, and have a small following – think larger than a beer truck but smaller than the Coliseum in LA so my friend Steve said “Publish through Lulu.” He has done so with several witty books. Reader it was hell, pure unadulterated hell. Very Kafkaesque and tortuous until I finally gave in and bought a Lulu package, and then it was a miracle. Price wise it’s the best so far, but I’m not an enchanted devotee. One gets lost in Lulu like getting lost in the Hotel California, “It’s a lovely place….but you can’t get out …. Lost in the Hotel California. The biggest thing about a book is not thinking about writing one, not thinking about publishing, but marketing after it’s done. My advice is take it step my step and “follow the force” so to speak.


AOTR: Please tell a reader what they should know about your book before the purchase them.

Esther: It’s creative non-fiction, spunky, funny, shows a variety of writing styles, almost a book of prompts plus points of view as an extra added package! It’s 14.96 (the extra penny is the hell part.) Also there’s a download – e book type of thing. (You Carry The Heavy Stuff) http://stores.lulu.com/sorrygnat and http://www.amazon.com/Carry-Heavy-Stuff
Esther-Bradley-DeTally. I recommend the Lulu site because you can read some of the pages. I also have some I can mail.

AOTR: Words of wisdom for aspiring writers.

Esther: Read, read, read, read, write, journal, write, never give up; take courses, watch, listen learn, imitate, and trust the process.

estherbill@gmail.com http://sorrygnat. Word press. com blog

AOTR: What current projects are you working on?

Esther: I am writing a book about someone with deleted memory; in interview process and at the beginning right now. I also teach the writing process, currently with homeless women, and their volunteers, and under the literacy umbrella of local libraries, plus give individual sessions and have writing groups.

AOTR: What do you want your legacy to be?

Esther: To have left the world showing worlds of unity, love and laughter, and to be a point of light in the dark dark nights of the soul, and to laugh and yuk about recipes, ham sandwiches and to promote the oneness of mankind, but to write, and know the power of words, the love of them, their ordinariness and majesty and not to worry about publishing, but think of the journey itself.

I wish for a world where everyone is a trust of the whole.


AOTR: Thank you for chatting with AOTR! We wish you much success!

Esther’s ten favorites.

Favorite time of day: First cup of coffee brought to me in bed by wonderful husband of 25 years.

Dessert: vanilla ice cream and dark, thick and creamy hot fudge sauce.

Teacher – Miss Halloran, in book; changed my world view from neighborhood to vast history and dimensions and the dangers of war within a 5 minute read of giant poster on her wall.

Social networking site; Facebook

Favorite city: Pasadena

Music: Rodrigo’s Concerto de Aranjuez

Color: the rainbow

Pastime: drinking coffee, and talking about real stuff with friends

Book: Oh my the over 600 on Goodreads, but if you don’t have time, Gleanings by Baha’u’llah, and An Interrupted Life, Etty Hillesum, and, and

‘Nothing save that which profiteth them shall ever befall my loved ones.’-Baha’u’llah




You Carry the Heavy Stuff

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Authors On The Rise Interviews Yvonne Pierre.



Authors On The Rise Is proud to bring you an interview with author Yvonne Pierre. Read this powerful Interview and be inspired. Enjoy!

AOTR: Briefly tell us about yourself and your book.

Yvonne: Sure, my name is Yvonne Pierre, proud mom of two boys ages 17 and 8. Over the past few years, I have been focused on advocating positive special needs awareness through various online projects. My passion for the disabled community stems from my own experience of having a child with special needs. My youngest son was diagnosed with Down syndrome after birth. I am also passionate about using my voice to inspire those who have went through some of the struggles I have. Just recently, I launched a memoir called, “The Day My Soul Cried.” The book is about the process I went through to overcome many trials from child abuse, financial struggles to personal battles such as reading, ups and downs with weight and self-esteem. To sum it up, I’m a mom, advocate, entrepreneur, first time author and soon to be filmmaker.

AOTR: Why did you decide to write, The Day My Soul Cried?

Yvonne: Initially, I started off writing another book. I wanted to write an inspirational book, but I was struggling to write it. I couldn’t find my voice. During this time, I started to question why it was so hard for me to write it. I think I rewrote that book several times before I realized why I was running away from writing it and completing other projects. I was standing in my own way and I didn’t feel I was worthy of success. I had a breakdown period. It was placed on my spirit that this internal struggle was “The Day My Soul Cried.” The book pretty much found me and wrote itself. That is what the book is about: the internal struggles I faced that were preventing me from moving forward in life, until the day my soul cried.

AOTR: What do you hope readers will take away after they have finished your book?

Yvonne: I think everyone will walk away with something different. I have been through a lot in a small amount of time and I believe that one of the reasons God pulled me through was to be a testimony of hope. Dee, my hope is that readers who are struggling with self-acceptance and self-worth are able to read my story and walk away with a sense of empowerment and inspiration in their journey to never give up on themselves. I hope that they are able to face their circumstances with a new perspective about facing and overcoming adversity.

AOTR: Being that your book is a memoir, was it painful writing it? If so how did you overcome it?

Yvonne: I don’t think I’ve ever shared this publically - during the time I was writing the book, we were financially struggling badly. I kept praying to God and asking Him what He needed me to do and His response was to finish the book. I fought it. But the process of writing this book helped me get through. It reminded me of what all God has already brought me through. To answer the question, no, it wasn’t painful. Yes, I cried and had to walk away several times, not because it was painful, it was tears of joy.

AOTR: Tell us about your journey to publication and the obstacles you faced?
How did you move past them?

Yvonne: Years ago, with my first “attempt” to write a book, I took time to study the publishing industry knowing that I wanted to start my own publishing company. So, as far as publishing that went fine, but the biggest obstacle I had to face with publishing was getting over my fear to do it. I’m sure you could attest to this Dee, but fear is natural; to overcome it is to just go through it despite the fear. Thinking of myself as an author or publishing a book was too much pressure for me. I’m not sure how to explain it, but right now I’m in school working on my MBA and I’m cranking out 3 to 4 reports a week and not finishing is not an option. I had to look at completing this book the same way. I had to look at it as a task or assignment that had to be done.

AOTR: Describe how it felt the first time you saw your book in print.

Yvonne: It felt good, but I guess because I also run the publishing company too and working on all aspects of the business, being an “author” haven’t hit me yet.

AOTR: Please tell us about Have Ya Heard.

Yvonne: As I mentioned, I have two sons and my youngest son, Zyon was diagnosed with Down syndrome after birth. Prior to him reaching school age, I wasn’t involved with any kind of support group. When Zyon was diagnosed we were told mostly what he cannot and will not be able to do. The doctor told us that he will not be a contribution to society and offer us to join a support group. My perception of a support group was a bunch of parents having a pity party and I didn’t want to be a part of that because I did not feel that way about my son. Since then, my perception changed but to make a long story short, when Zyon turned three, I started to seek out support groups to find out what other parents experiences were with public special education. I joined several Yahoo online groups and after reading many of the comments from parents who saw their own children in a negative light, I was heartbroken.
After reading too many heartbreaking stories, I cried for a couple of weeks. I could not believe that parents felt this way about their own children. I went online to research inspirational stories of individuals with Down syndrome and I came across so many powerful stories. I questioned, “Why aren’t these stories being told?” So, in November of 2004 that was the birth of “Have Ya Heard the Abilities of Downs.” I had no idea what I wanted to do but I knew parents needed to hear about these success stories - people with Ds who were college grads, self-advocates, artists, musicians and so on. Since then, I dropped the name to simply “Have Ya Heard” to include all disabilities. HYH online is a community for parents, caregivers and loved ones and it’s an online magazine.

AOTR: What inspires and motivates you to continue to do all that you do?

Yvonne: Dee, as you know, there are so many hurting people. At one point, I had to stop watching the news, answering my phone because it was so overwhelming to the point it kept me up at night. I will continue to produce products such as book, online works and soon film to empower others. Although it is not easy, giving up is not an option because it’s absolutely not about me. I feel the things that God places on my spirit to do, must be done.

AOTR: Do you have a motto? Please share it with us.

Yvonne: My motto is that whether the adversity I face is a test from God or the enemy trying to break me, either way I have to learn, grow and be strengthened by it. I refuse to be defeated.

AOTR: What is the best advice someone gave you?

Yvonne: The best advice I’ve received was to use my fears to my advantage.

AOTR: What words of encouragement would you give to someone who may be going through someE- of the same issues you wrote about in your memoir?

Yvonne: Because of what we go through, sometime we end up hurting ourselves more. I would say to someone who’s been through or going through any form of adversity that you owe it to yourself to forgive, heal and let go. No one or nothing is worth your sanity and peace. In order to move forward you have to let go and reach for yourself. Don’t allow the enemy to win. When we hold on to the pain and hurt, we’re not hurting the other person; we end up standing in our own way.

AOTR: When you are not writing what other things do you enjoy doing?

Yvonne: Aside from school and working on other projects, which I love too… I love spending time with my significant other and my children. And I’m pretty simple, as long as there is either a good movie, laughing, a good conversation, music, dancing, and food, I’m good.

AOTR: What do you want your legacy to be?

Yvonne: Wow, my legacy, hmmm. I will be launching a film production company next year and I would love for my legacy to be that I produce some ground breaking documentaries, film, books and other projects that made a difference.

AOTR: How can readers find out more information on you and your books?

Yvonne: You’ve asked some great questions that I had to ponder on and I would like to thank you Dee for the opportunity. I truly appreciate it. But to answer the question, the best place for readers to find out more information is through my website www.ypierre.com. Thanks Dee!

AOTR: Thank you Yvonne for this powerful interview, and for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with Authors On The Rise. We wish you much success in all your future endeavors!

AOTR: We wish you continued success!

YVONNE'S 10 FAVORITES

Day of the week: Saturday

City: Los Angeles (nice place to visit, but I’ll never live there)

CD: “The Fight of My Life” by Kirk Franklin

Book: “In the Meantime” by Iyanla Vanzant

Ice cream: Butter Pecan (sugar free)

Social networking site: Facebook

Vacation spot: A nice quite hotel room, anywhere

Friend: Steffan, my fiancé, we’ve been through a lot over the past 12 years we’ve been together but through it all our friendship grew and we have both proven that we have each others best interest at heart.

Food: It’s hard to pick one; I would say it’s a tie between Soul and Mexican food.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Authors On The Rise Interviews Nahisha Mccoy



Authors On The Rise is delighted to bring you an interview with author Nahisha Mccoy. Please pick up a copy of her book and support this talented author.

AOTRen did you know you wanted to be an author?

Nahisha: A couple of years ago, however I used to write short stories and plays when I was in public school.

AOTR:Please share with us about your journey to publication. Was it a hard road? What struggles, if any, did you face?

Nahisha: My journey was a nice one actually. I was an avid reader and I read “No Exit” by Al Saadiq Banks. I was so upset the way that he ended the book, so I wrote him about it. We kept in contact for a while. I told him about the book that I was writing and he offered to read it. He helped me out with fine-tuning it and during the time that he was pushing his books he gave me a shout in one of his interviews. We continued to keep in contact and four years later he told me about a woman that he knew who started her own publishing company. Her name is Crystal “Lace” Winslow. At the time I was reading her book, “Love, Lies, and Loneliness”. He told me that he would make a call to her about me and the rest is History.

AOTR: Why did you write your book, and where did the ideal for this story come from?

Nahisha: I wrote this book because I was going through some rough times in my personal life. I just got out of an eight-year abusive relationship that left me emotionally and financially bankrupt. I had no where to turn, and I couldn’t really talk to anybody about what I was feeling without them giving me their input on how I should feel or what they would do if they were in my shoes. So I started writing, and writing until all of my pain was on paper.

AOTR: Share your writing process. Are you a plotter, or do you write what enters your mind? What aspect of writing do you love? What aspect do you loathe?

Nahisha: I am not a plotter. I am the type of writer that write what I feel will make people say, “Damn, I’ve been there or I am there now.” I love the fact that when I write, there is nothing else there but me, a pen, and my notebook or laptop. I love knowing that when I write, I don’t have to be politically correct. I can be whomever, or whatever I chose to be. I loathe, not being able to write faster.

AOTR: Tell us about the characters in your book and what type of issues they faced.

Nahisha: Naheema, the story’s protagonist, is ready, willing, and able to be at the beck and call for the charismatic Mike but she soon awakens from her love high. Unknowingly playing the game of Russian Roulette, she realizes that her dark knight has become a nightmare. In a series of rapid events, Naheema is forced into situations that are so reprehensible that she doesn’t think she has the strength to emerge with her sanity still intact. The abuse, affairs, lies, and betrayal are enough to push any woman to the brink of losing it all. There are other characters but I’d be giving away the story line if I went any further.

AOTR: Did you struggle to write any of the characters? If so, why? Which character was the easiest to write? Which was the hardest? Did you have a favorite character? Tell us why?

Nahisha: Yes, I struggled with all of them. However, Mike was the hardest because I had to get in the mind of a man who is so charming, evasive, debonair, and cruel. I had to reach into his mind and be him in order to write his character. Seriously, for a whole month, I was walking around my apartment pretending to be this character. Shadina was the easiest to write because she was basically the support. The friend that’s always there when you need them, I wrote her character based off of the type of woman I am. Naheema was another hard character to write. She was me and I was her in another life. I say “was” because Naheema is a woman like many of us women today that have the whole, “I can do bad all by myself” motto, until she meets that one man who makes her say, “to hell with doing bad by myself.” Writing Naheema, means I had to take apart my life and ask myself the hardest question that most abused women can’t answer “Why?” I had to dig deep inside of me to find out why did I stay so long, why did I accept so much knowing that I would lose so much in the end. Why? Which is one of the hardest questions you can ask any woman whose been in a relationship that was horrendous.

My favorite character is Chyna because she’s everything that I’m afraid of. She’s every woman worse nightmare. She’s the one that will have your man giving away all of his assets. She’s the one that will have you calling her in the middle of the night to ask if your man can come home to be with his family. She’s the one that every body loves to hate.

AOTR: Which characters do you think your readers will relate to the most. Why?

Nahisha: I think that my readers will be able to relate to one or all of the characters in some way or another. The females, I believe will relate to Naheema because she is apart of all of us. Naheema is a form of all women that’s ever been in a physically damaging relationship. But the men will relate to Mike or Randy because in some way both of these men are in all men.

AOTR: Were there any important lessons you were trying to convey through your story? If so, please tell us about them.

Nahisha: Yes there are. One lesson that I’ve learned just from living the experience as well as writing about it is, we as women need to really learn to love ourselves before we try to love a man. I say this because I’ve heard women say, “Please, I love myself,” but do they really. To love oneself is more than just wearing the expensive outfits, jewelry, fast cars, and best make-up products. Loving yourself is about accepting the flaws that we have, looking in the mirror without the make-up mask, loving the blotches, the extra love handles, and loving the confidence that you exude. Once you can do all of that, and do it with humility then and only then can you truly love yourself, and give love to another.

AOTR: With so many book on the market, what sets your book apart?

Nahisha: The fact that it’s not glorifying the streets or the street life but it’s showing you that this is life from the woman’s perspective. The woman who has a degree, that has a job, has her own place, but got involved with the wrong man. My book is about every woman at any age that has dealt with this type of relationship.

AOTR: What next? Are you working on another book or any other upcoming projects?

Nahisha: I am working on another book that deals with Domestic Violence but in a fictional sense. We all know and hear about Domestic Violence, but I’m bringing it to your doorstep, to your house, apartment, Condo’s and jobs. I’m bringing it to you in a way that every time you step out your door or hear the neighbors screaming you’re going to know what’s going on. I’m going to hit your homes with a force so hard, you’ll see DV everywhere.

AOTR: Where do you desire to be ten years from now in your writing career?

Nahisha: Ten years from now I want to have at least five best-sellers, as well as open my own Theater house. I want to see my plays up on Broadway.

AOTR: How can readers find out more information about you and your book?

Nahisha: They can go to www.melodramapublishing.com, or www.amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles, Borders, wherever books are sold. You can also hit my inbox on Face book, Twitter.com, myspace.com, Ning.com.


AOTR: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us. We wish you much success!

Nahisha's ten favorites:

Piece of clothing- I don’t have a favorite, because I wear what I can afford and what looks nice on me.

Beauty product- Lip glass by Mac

Superhero- Wonder-woman, She-Ra,

Dessert- Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, and Godiva Chocolate

Color- Brown, Tan, Blue, Black, Green

Actor- Bill’s Cosby, Denzel Washington, Nia Long

Restaurant- Shark Bar

Teacher.- Mrs. Washington my fifth and sixth grade teacher. Why? She was very instrumental in my writing. Because of her, I enjoyed writing and reading it to my classmates. Every Friday morning during study time, Mrs. Washington made it her business to have me write, and read a new story that I wrote to my classmates and then we would have discussions about the story. Because of her, I my spelling increased, and I was entered into our spelling bee contest that the school used to have.

Season- Fall

Quote: Don’t determine my worth by what you see on the outside. Determine it by understanding the wisdom and knowledge that was blessed, to me, by the man above, on the inside. I am Nahisha, an author, a poet, and a mother. I am Me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Authors On The Rise Interviews Beverly Taylor






Authors On The Rise Is proud to bring you an interview from the talented author, Beverly Taylor. Enjoy!

AOTR: Please tell us about yourself and your books.

Beverly: Hello, Dee Dee and thank you for the invitation.
I was brought up in a Christian-family environment and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the age of sixteen. I didn’t know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior until my early thirties. I have two wonderful children and two adorable grandbambinas. I live in metro Atlanta. I am a licensed counselor/therapist and the founder of Chastity House, a residential facility for disadvantaged teen girls. Our goal is that they are positioned and equipped to one day have a successful career, spiritual enrichment, healthy marriage and family relationships.
I’ve authored 7 books: My first novel is entitled Waiting to Exit Hell (a metamorphosis of sort); Woman Take Your Position (a nonfiction); Lust of the Flesh (church fiction); Foolish Virgin (Christian teen novel); It’s Me I See (children’s book); God In Me (children’s Book); Desires of the Heart (Christian/Romance Fiction). I also write under the pseudonym Beverly Rolyat (Taylor spelled backwards). Rolyat novels are “mirror” books written for the carnal minded individuals, as a way for them to see themselves through the characters and as a result, make a change in their lives. Beverly Taylor books are written to encourage the spiritual minded.

AOTR: Did you always want to be a writer?

Beverly: Not really. However, I’ve always been an avid reader from the time I learned to read. My favorite child author was Beverly Cleary.

AOTR: What age did you first begin writing?

Beverly: I was the editor of my high school newspaper.

AOTR: Where did the ideal for your first book come from? What inspired you to complete it?

Beverly: My first book was a mixture of fiction and nonfiction combined, inspired by some personal events. My current release, Desires of the Heart, was inspired by the actions of women at a conference I attended a while back. I spoke at a church’s women’s function which the theme was “Improving Your Image.” The ethnic composition consisted of substantially white female, a few black women and a handful of Latino women. Nearly one-third of the attendees had some sort of cosmetic surgery, whether breast or buttocks enlargements, nose reduction, facelift, Botox, collagen injections, liposuction, gastro bypass, tummy tuck, chin lift, permanent eyebrow stencils, permanent eye-liner stencils, bleached skin, etc. You name it, they had it done. These were Christian women, some were even Evangelists, Ministers, Pastors and Deaconnesses. Some gave their testimonies that they had their appearance enhanced to appease their husbands, some did it for themselves to improve their self-esteem, and some teased and stated they did it to get a man (preferably a young one).


AOTR: Please share your Journey on how you became a published author.


Beverly: I kept a mental journal on events in my life and some I wrote into a diary. As years progressed, I shared some of my stories with family and friends and they thought it would make for a good story. I pumped out a manuscript and was in search for a publisher. I received one acceptance letter and the rest were rejections. I decided to self-publish. As a self-publisher, you become the entire publishing house—the manager of every department—wearing many hats.


AOTR: After you wrote your first book, did you have a hard time moving on to write the next one? Was there pressure to write a better book than the first? If so, how did you handle it?


Beverly: Absolutely. Pressure was there for me to write a sequel to Lust of the Flesh. I didn’t realize that so many people read the book and enjoyed it. I sold several units and I wanted to self-publish the sequel, Lust of the Eyes, but financially and physically, it wasn’t possible. With little effort, I shopped both books around for a publishing house but came out empty. As a result, I shelved Lust of the Eyes until I can find a house or agent for it.


AOTR: Have you ever suffered from writers block? If so, how did you get over it? How do you keep creative juices flowing?


Beverly: I have a love for the written word. As a counselor, writing nonfiction is therapeutic. I’ve never had writer’s block, per se. However, I have been in a position where I struggled with composing a comprehensive chapter.


AOTR: Do you plot out your stories or are they character driven?


Beverly: I write in the Christian fiction genre and my stories are character driven. However, my favorite genre is mystery and suspense. I’d love to sit one day and write a plot for a Christian mystery/suspense novel.

AOTR: Do your books deal with any important social issues?


Beverly: I think so. In my novel, Lust of the Flesh, it dabbled in racial equality and transgender issues. Desires of the Heart deals with self-esteem/personal appearances.

AOTR: Do the stories you write come from your imagination, or do you mix in some of your life with it?


Beverly: Only in my first novel attempt did I combine the effort of fiction and some reality.


AOTR: Name some of your favorite characters from your books and tell us why?


Beverly: In Lust of the Flesh, I enjoyed Paula. She is quite the peacemaker and the glue that holds the family together, along with her dedication to loving God.
In Desires of the Heart, my favorite and probably everyone else is Natalie Harper. Natalie is the wife of a prominent medical doctor. As such, one would think a wife of this statue would possess a meek, quiet and reserve spirit. Not Natalie. She’s one to tell it like it is (with tact and diplomacy, of course). Then there’s Detective Freeman. A man any women would love to love. He’s warm, kind and considerate.
In Foolish Virgin, I enjoyed Kirsten’s character. She is fresh, feisty and fearless.


AOTR: In a few words, tell a reader why they should pick your book next.


Beverly: Carson is suffering with depression; Katharine has insecurity issues. However, the ballet plays an important role in her life — as a means of expression, as a way to console, as a way to mark significant moments; Cindy is dealing with mental illness (which is the root of her promiscuity); and Deanna’s loneliness and craving for a father causes her to commit criminal activities. It is my desire to enlighten, inspire, entertain and educate readers that changing who you are on the outside does not remove who you are on the inside; in addition, to demonstrate how making selfish decisions can personally affect each member of the household in a detrimental way. The questions in the Readers’ Discussion Guide at the end of the story will stimulate discussion for reading groups and provide a deeper understanding of Desires of the Heart for every reader.

AOTR: If one of your books was made into a movie, what actors would you like to play the characters?


Beverly: In my most recent release, Desires of the Heart, I’d love for Angela Bassett to play Katharine; Idris Elba to play Carson; Jenifer Lewis to play Natalie, Lamman Rucker (he is so handsome) to play Detective Freeman, and Gabrielle Union to play Cindy.


AOTR: What upcoming projects are you working on?


Beverly: I’m working on a three-in-one novel entitled “The Sweetest Day Ever.” This novel will consist of three Christian romance stories about that infamous Midwestern holiday, Sweetest Day. It is a holiday primarily celebrated in the states of Ohio, Illinois and Michigan, and to these Midwesterners, it is more sacred than Saint Valentine’s Day itself. This romantic holiday is celebrated on the third Saturday in the month of October. I believe it will be a popular read for all romance genres as it will introduce this special holiday to Southern, Northern, East and West Coast readers who are unfamiliar with the Midwestern October occasion.


AOTR: What is one thing readers would be surprised to find out about you?

Beverly: I’m an NBA fan and an NBA playoffs fanatic. I love the game!


AOTR: If you were not a writer, what would you be?


Beverly: A kindergarten teacher.

AOTR: Where do you hope to be in your writing career five years from now?


Beverly: Screenwriting and hopefully working on my 12th or 13th book, provided I can write one book per year.

AOTR: How can readers find out more information about you and your books?


Beverly: Please visit my website at: www.beverlytaylorbooks.com

AOTR: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with Authors On The Rise! We wish you much success!
Beverly: Thank you Dee Dee for the interview and much blessings and success in your endeavors.


Beverly's 10 favorites:

Book genre: Mystery/Suspense

Snack: Pistachio Nuts

Pastime: Watching basketball games—on any level

Fruit: Sweet green grapes

Drink: Pepsi and Crystal Light Peach Tea

Author: Novelist, Sandra Brown

Holiday: Thanksgiving and the Fall season

Quote: “Is there anything too hard for God?”
Childhood memory: Roller skating at the neighborhood rink

Television show: I Love Lucy; The Golden Girls.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Authors On The Rise Interviews Tracy L. Darity






Authors On The Rise is happy to bring you an interview from author Tracy L. Darity. Please take the time out to visit her website and order her books. Enjoy!

AOTR: Please give us a brief bio on you the person, and tell us about your book.

Darity: My name is Tracy L. Darity and I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, where I currently reside. The mother of three, I spent the better part of my adult life raising them up in the way they should go, so I am a late bloomer in terms of fulfilling my dreams. My debut novel He Loves Me He Loves Me Not! was received with great accolades and won me the Living In Color 2009 Best New Author award.

Today I want to present my second work, Love…Like Snow In Florida On A Hot Summer Day, which is a complex novel that gives a raw look into infidelity and how this selfish act destroys, not only marriages but the lives of those involved.

AOTR: How did you come up with the ideal for your book, and how long did it take to complete?

Darity: Infidelity is a hot topic right now and one that is virtually impossible to escape. It is everywhere we turn, co-workers, church members, celebrities, and politicians, are all getting caught in it, so the material was there, I just needed a unique approach to tell the story. From first word to publication it took me a little over a year to write.

AOTR: What are some of the issues your characters faced in your book, and why did you choose for them to face those issues?

Darity: I didn’t want to write a book where the husband wonders, the wife forgives, and the mistress goes off into the abyss, because that is not the reality. Today people are actually leaving their spouses for the other woman or man. I chose to write the story in first person from the perspective of the husband, wife, and mistress, to give the reader insight into what each character is feeling.

AOTR: Looking back, is there anything you would change or add to your story? Why or why not?

Darity: Although the majority of readers have expressed that they loved the book, a few have stated that they were unable to connect with the characters. I feel it would be foolish of me to ignore those readers, so if I changed anything it would be to go back and look at the characters to see what I could do further develop them.

AOTR: Is writing an emotional way for you to write out your feelings or do you just write what you visualize?

Darity: I write what I visualize. I do try to place myself in each characters mind to better express what they are thinking and why they are doing what they are at that particular moment.

AOTR: Which of your characters was the easiest to write? Why? Which of your characters did you struggle to write? Why?

Darity: I think the easiest character to write was LaDamien, the husband. Reason being, wanting what we can’t or shouldn’t have is something many of us can relate to. My struggle came with Kim, the wife, because I had to bring out her insecurities, her desperation, her anguish, and her fears, while showing her as successful business woman, a nurturing mother, a loving wife, yet still in control despite the hell she was going through.

AOTR: What do you enjoy doing besides writing?

Darity: I love watching my daughter pursue their interest, tennis, art, etc. I also am an avid reader.

AOTR: Have you ever suffered from writers block? How did you overcome it?

Darity: Writer’s block is quite common for me. When it gets really bad I write down where I want the story to go and how I plan to get to the next place. This often helps me to write even if it doesn’t get me in full gear story wise.

AOTR: Do you have a motto?

Darity: Life is a journey; not a destination.

AOTR: If you could write a book with any author, who would it be and why?

Darity: Hhmmmm. I don’t think I could put anyone through that because I dance to my own beat, and live by my own clock.

AOTR: What is one thing about you people would be surprised to find out?

Darity: I’m really not as extroverted as they think.

AOTR: Where do you hope to be in your writing career ten years from now?

Darity: Still writing enjoyable books

AOTR: We wish you much success!

Tracy's ten favorite things

Day of the week - The one with blue skies, bright sun, and comfortable temperatures

Restaurant – The Salt Rock Grille – Indian Rocks Bch, FL

Book – Holy Bible

Movie – Imitation of Life

Cereal – Sugar Pops

Song – A Song For You – Donny Hathaway

Season - Spring

Hot drink – Hot Chocolate

Vacation spot - Jamaica

City – New Orleans

Social networking site – www. TracyLDarity.ning.com

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Authors On The Rise Interviews Rhonda McKnight



Authors On The Rise is delighted to bring you an interview with Rhonda McKnight. Please check out her books and Enjoy!

AOTR: Please tell us about yourself and your books.

McKnight: My name is Rhonda McKnight. I’m the author of two women’s fiction novels, An Inconvenient Friend (Aug 2010) and Secrets and Lies (Dec 2009) and a story in an anthology titled A Woman’s Revenge (June 2010). I own a free-lance writer’s service, Legacy Editing, and I’m also a partner in an independent publishing company, 3 Sisters Books. I have two sons and a goldfish that won’t die no matter how much we neglect him. I’m originally from a small coastal town in New Jersey, but I’ve been living in the Atlanta area for twelve years.

My latest release is An Inconvenient Friend. It’s the story of Samaria Jacobs. Samaria is a man-stealer whose plot to steal her man involves befriending his wife. She works at getting inside information so she can break up their marriage. What she doesn’t expect is to like the wife!

AOTR: Why did you write your book and where did the inspiration come from?

McKnight: This story just fell into my head literally, but once I started plotting I realized I wanted to write a story that showed how very wrong it was for the chicks on the side to insert themselves into marriages and the consequences of their choices for all involved.

AOTR: What do you hope people will take away after finishing your book?

McKnight: The message that God loves us all and we’re always welcome into HIS grace no matter what we’ve done.

AOTR: What important lessons or teaching were you trying to convey?

McKnight: Women need to get back to practicing sisterhood. We are doing some crazy things in the name of getting and/or keeping a man.

AOTR: Does your book deal with any important social issues?

McKnight: My first novel addresses several social issues, but this one doesn’t. However, it does include some issues that I think are very important inside the community of family. It highlights major concerns that have the ability to either make or break a marriage – communication, marital issues of infidelity and fertility. It also has subplots that involve relationships amongst women in the church, drug abuse, as well as familial financial dependency and emotional abuse. It’s chocked full of conflict.

AOTR: In one sentence tell a reader why they should read your book for their next selection.

McKnight: An Inconvenient Friend is a clever story that takes an old plot “cheating husband - messy mistress” and makes it fresh.

AOTR: If you had a chance to have dinner with any author dead or alive, who would it be and what is one question you would ask him or her?

McKnight: The late BeBe Moore Campbell. I’d ask her all about her writing process. How she plotted her stories and developed her characters. What stories did she want to write that she never will?

AOTR: What is the best advice someone gave you, and what advice would you give to someone right now who is going through hardships?

McKnight: The best advice I’ve ever received was from my mother and it was about graduate school. Years ago, I shared with her that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to graduate school, because I would probably be almost forty before I finished. She told me that if I lived long enough I would eventually be forty anyway, so I might as well be forty with the degree than without. It was great advice because it meant “It’s never too late to accomplish a goal.” BTW – I was forty when I finished the degree.
I tell people that God wants to see them live out their destiny and purpose. If they make a plan, work their program and don’t give up, they’ll realize their dreams.

AOTR: If you were not an author what career field would you be in?

McKnight: Ha, ha, ha! If I weren’t a training and policy specialist for a federal food assistance program I’d be a full-time author. Now, if I could do anything else other than write – I think I’d be marriage and family therapist.

AOTR: What do you pray your legacy will be?

McKnight: That I wrote great books that touched the heart of women.

AOTR: We wish you much success!

Rhonda's 10 favorite things

Day of the week: Friday and Thank God for it!

Holiday: Christmas for sure. Love bearing and sharing gifts with my family.

Food: Carrot Cake.

CD: Alone In His Presence by Cee Cee Winans

Town or city: Destin, Florida

Friend Why: Janice I. She always tells me the truth.

Quote: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle

Book: Passing By Samaria by Sharon Ewell Foster

Teacher Why: Donna Mitchell – 10th Grade Honors English. She taught me to think about literature, to synthesize story and to explore the motivation behind character actions. Those lessons help me in my writing today.

Hobby: Does being on Facebook count? I’d say playing with my newly natural hair.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Authors On The Rise Interviews Jaree Francis



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Authors On The Rise is happy to bring you an interview from Jaree Francis. He is the author of Metra City: Destiny’s Kiss. Enjoy!

AOTR:Please tell us about yourself and your debut novel?

Jaree: I am Jaree Francis and my debut novel is Metra City: Destiny's Kiss. It may sound somewhat romantic...It's actually the tale of four young men who are drifting in different directions as they embark on their individual destinies. There's love dipped in acid, hidden truths revealed, pain & pleasure playing nice together, and a grand set-up for much more to come.

AOTR: Where did the ideal for this book come from?

Jaree: Long ago, it was already written for me to write such a story. I read Donald Goines work and I was fascinated. If I ever meet him on another level, I'll tell him that he made it easier for me to fulfill a dream by writing my own novel. The idea was birthed from a desire to tell a story that showed the light and the darkness; black and white photos are some of the best photos you can have. And this is what I present to you, the reader.

AOTR: What was the writing process like? Did you have to outline or did the characters just come to you?

Jaree: The writing process was trying...Initially. Even though it was in my DNA to put it together it became a matter of how. Do I kill the reader softly or is the book a firestorm from the introduction? The outline can be a guide and I realized that so I turned off the GPS. I let the story flow; an unrehearsed speech on life, death, love, prosperity, and poverty. As far as the characters, they always come to me...Always waiting for further instruction.

AOTR: What makes your book different?

Jaree: Running along the same vein as a lot of other urban novels, the characters drive the story. The discerning factor is the uniqueness of the characters I have presented. Nimrod is an atheist, no shame about it at all. I present a femme fatale by the name of Tara who's quite a piece of work; the female characters stand out. The male leads are interesting folks as well and there's quite a bit of unconventional minds at work so the story plays along with extreme unpredictability. My novel has terms never heard before until now. I keep it rather fresh so you can inhale the literature at your own pleasure.

AOTR: Does your book deal with any important social issues?

Jaree:: You can bet that; gang life is widely discussed within the novel, drug abuse, sexual abuse, and homosexuality. Domestic violence is briefly mentioned as well. Part of the problem with the world is that so many things are considered taboo to mention. The uninformed mind can be a rather dangerous thing.

AOTR: Why should a reader pick your book next?

Jaree: My book is an excellent introduction to me as a writer. The average person may figure that they don't need to get familiar with me. Who is Jaree Francis? He doesn't ring any bells and I'm busy with my books anyway. Regardless of how anyone feels, the fact is that I'm putting something together. I'm constructing a world of fresh characters, fluid dialogue, unique scenarios, and it all starts with Metra City: Destiny's Kiss. This is only the beginning. I always say it's more comfortable riding shotgun than on the bandwagon.

AOTR: What aspects of your own life are woven into your book?

Jaree: My passion for lyrics & poetry is expressed. Other than that, I really took a seat in the director's chair with the novel. I digress from interweaving myself into stories because it gives rise to bias.

AOTR: Besides writing, what else do you like to do?

Jaree: I could get in trouble answering that ;)

AOTR: If you were not an author, what would be your dream career?

Jaree: Good question. I'm looking towards a career in the film industry. I will provide more details as they become available.

AOTR: What do you hope to accomplish in the literary world?

Jaree: As I evolve as a writer, my answer will most likely evolve as well. At the moment, I want people to realize that urban fiction isn't a garbage genre. There will always be sub-par stories being told in any form of literature, that doesn't mean all of them are. Although this should be common knowledge, it seems that it needs to be reinforced. With any genre, you have to be selective in what you read. Sampling it, determining by the synopsis if you want to carry on. I am a part of a movement to redefine urban fiction/street lit.

AOTR: How can readers contact you?

Jaree:mcexclusive3@yahoo.com + mcx2011.blogspot.com

AOTR: We wish you much success!

Jaree’s 10 favorite things

Fried food: Okra looks good on the menu

Soda: A & W Root Bear. Throw some ice cream in it if you got any.

Sports: Basketball/Football/occasionally baseball....And good ol' UFC

Quote: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” How enchanting is that?

Teacher: Abdul Shakur is a light bearer

Shoe: Nike has an exceptional selection

Color: Black

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Authors On The Rise Interviews Ja'Nese Dixon




Authors On The Rise Is pleased to bring you an interview by talented author Ja’Nese Dixon. She is the author of Black Diamond. Enjoy!

AOTR: Please tell us about yourself and your books.

Dixon: “I am a mother and wife. I started writing poetry in elementary school and it morphed into writing short stories. Later in life, I used my newly found love of Flash Fiction to reignite my love for writing. Now, a couple of years later, I’m the proud author of my first novel, “Black Diamond”.
“Black Diamond” is about Camille Blackwell, an undercover FBI agent, planted in a distribution company suspected of trafficking conflict diamonds.

AOTR: Why did you write your book and what was the inspiration that made you complete it?

Dixon: I wrote the book as a participant in NANOWRIMO. My kids and I decided to compete and after 30 days I had the first draft of “Black Diamond”.
The story inspired me to work and re-work my manuscript. The first draft was hard, but dedicating the time to finish my story took a lot of time.

AOTR: Are there any important social issues your characters faced or discussed in your book?

Dixon: Yes, my story shares some of the woes of conflict diamond trafficking.

AOTR: Who was your favorite character in your book and why?

Dixon: That’s like asking if I have a favorite child. (smile) However, if I had to select one it would be Talib Kamwi. He’s my villain, but his internal struggles and rough edge made him easy to write. I enjoyed it.

AOTR: What do you hope a reader will take away after closing your book?

Dixon: My hope is that readers will close the book knowing more about the plight of people affected by conflict diamonds and how our personal choices can adversely involve people around us.

AOTR: With so many books in the market, what sets your book apart?

Dixon: The lessons hidden between the covers. I did extensive research over international rebel groups, conflict diamonds, the diamond industry in South Africa and international legislation. But in the end, my book is about the characters and their attempts to live with their choices.

AOTR: What projects are you working on now?

Dixon: I am working on “Intoxicated”. It’s a sexy tale about love in the limelight--love bore out of being flawed.
The plot is lighter than “Black Diamond” because nothing is sexier than R&B music. (smile) It introduces readers to Marques, a R&B singer and the first story in my Star Status series.

Aaron “Marques” Carter, known to his adoring fans as Marques, is an acclaimed R&B singer and songwriter determined to reach icon status in the music industry without the interference of love.

Brione Alexander, a beautiful headstrong law student, is a pro at keeping men at a distance. “Once bitten, twice shy” should be her motto. Time has shown her that men cannot be trusted!

A chance meeting between the R&B sensation and the relationship phobic sets in motion an electrifying union that can rescue both Aaron and Brione from themselves.

AOTR: What keeps you typing and creating books? Is there a person, place, or thing that inspires you to do what you do?

Dixon: Characters keep me typing. For instance, “Black Diamond” first came to me in a dream. I’m inspired by reading and books. I can clearly remember key points in my life and reading has always been an instrumental part of my life.

AOTR: Finish this sentence. Twenty years from now I hope to have accomplished.... in my writing career.

Dixon: having my stories as a part of a college curriculum and on the big screen.

AOTR: How can readers contact you?

Dixon: My website: http://www.janesedixon.com/
My email: info (at) janesedixon (dot) com
My book page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorjanesedixon
My Twitter address: www.twitter.com/janesedixon

AOTR: We wish you success!

Ja'Nese's ten favorite things:

Fruit – Gala apples

Season - Fall

Restaurant – Gringos Mexican Restaurant

Actor – I’m loving the Smith family. (I’m sorry for cheating.) Black love and strong, talented children. I love it.

Food – Pizza

Author – Beverly Jenkins

Movie – “Pretty Woman” and “Legally Blond” (I can’t name one…)

Social networking site – Facebook (urgh…addictive)

Accessory – sexy shoes

Time of day – About 2 am…I’m a vampire

Monday, June 28, 2010

Authors On The Rise Interviews Poet Aberjhani




Authors On The Rise is happy to bring you an interview from Author-Poet Aberjhani. Enjoy!

AOTR: Please tell us about yourself and the books you have written.

Aberjhani: I’m a fiction writer, historian, journalist, creative nonfiction writer, and poet, so my eight published books tend to reflect these different genres. I was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, during the last century, birthday July 8, but have lived many places in the United States and outside the continental U.S.

AOTR: Which of your books is your favorite? Why?

Aberjhani: For me to choose a favorite book written by me is about as difficult, or even impossible, as for a parent to choose a favorite offspring. They’ve all provided reasons for celebration and gratitude, but my youngest, as in newest, is “The River of Winged Dreams” and I am amazed by this book for many reasons. It developed out of a need to move beyond a very painful stage in my life and I at first was unsure about sharing it with the public, but then I realized it was gifted to me at least as much for readers around the world as for myself. Much of the material came to me like visitations from angels, and just that aspect of the book’s creation is extraordinary in itself. I do talk about that in the book and on various websites. And my intuition about the work being for others as well was apparently correct because various artists have started to use excerpts to accompany their visual creations.

Where my other titles are concerned, I am deeply honored that according to figures posted on the WorldCat Library network, “Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance” (Facts on File) which I wrote with Sandra L. West, is in more libraries throughout the global village than any other encyclopedia on the Harlem Renaissance. That means it will stand as a lasting contribution and we can feel good about helping students all over the world with their homework [big smile here:] on that particular subject. On the other hand, “ELEMENTAL, The Power of Illuminated Love” is a very different and ambitious kind of book that showcases the award-winning art of Luther E. Vann with essays and poetry by me. That book took 17 years to complete and publish and is a modern rarity of its kind because Vann and I are both living creative artists with bona fide ties to the Harlem Renaissance and publishers rarely invest in books of this quality. “The Wisdom of W.E.B. Du Bois” allows me to share a by-line with the great Du Bois so that kind of speaks for itself. “Christmas When Music Almost Killed the World” was my first novel, so I have to respect that fact, and “I Made MY Boy Out of Poetry” was my first book, period, so it’s the oldest of my literary brood and claims its crown as a modern underground classic.

AOTR: What convinced you to write your first book and where did the inspiration come from?

Aberjhani: That would be “I Made My Boy Out of Poetry” as just noted. It developed out of a very active literary scene in Savannah, Georgia, during the 1990s. I was deeply involved with the Savannah Writers Workshop and the Poetry Society of Georgia, as well as with a very strong spoken word movement, so I was constantly generating both prose and poetry to present at public events. A lot of the work was inspired by personal tragedies and the very real need to find a way to believe in life and love again. At some point, it simply felt natural and like the right time to put my first book out there. Fortunately, I was blessed for that first edition with cover art by Gustave Blache III, who gave me permission to use his painting, “Portrait of a Young Man/Artist Spirit” which recently sold in a New Orleans art auction for a healthy five figures.

AOTR: What do you hope readers will feel or take away after completing one of your books?

Aberjhani: I hope they will feel like they just enjoyed a small feast for their mind, body, and soul, and that this small feast treated them to flavors they had not known before and perhaps both awakened and satisfied hungers they had not known they had.

AOTR: In a few words tell a reader why they should read one of your books next.

Aberjhani: Because it will likely take you into regions of rich emotional experience, intellectual stimulation, and psychospiritual adventures you will find exciting to discover, indulge, and revisit.

AOTR: Are you currently working on any books now?

Aberjhani: Interestingly enough, I’m currently working as part of an editorial team for a series of books on the Civil War and urban slavery in the United States’ Southeast. I’m trying hard to concentrate on nothing but that, but work as an editor has a way of sparking ideas so I am also working on the second edition of “The American Poet Who Went Home Again” and on a play about the tragicomic ups and downs of our contemporary times. But aside from books, I’ve been pretty busy this past year with my African-American Art Examiner column at http://www.examiner.com/x-16968-AfricanA...

AOTR: When you are not writing what do you like to do?

Aberjhani: Watch films, listen to music, go to museums or art galleries, spend more money on books than my budget allows, and visit friends or family.

AOTR: Name three words to describe you.

Aberjhani: Creative, Blessed, Grateful.

AOTR: Do you have a motto?

Aberjhani: That would be this: “When stuck between rocks and hard places, use the pain of the pressure to create diamonds.” But I’ve also actually lived, and have the life scars to prove it, a great deal of my life based on the biblical first book of Corinthians, chapter thirteen.

AOTR: What do you hope to accomplish in the literary world?

Aberjhani: I hope to create worthwhile literary legacies that provide moments of relief, entertainment, or empowerment within a given individual’s life.

AOTR: How can readers find out more about you or order your books?

Aberjhani: By visiting my Authors Guild website at http://www.aberjhani.com or my author page on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Aberjhani/e/B001KH...
They can also check me out at the Red Room Hall of Fame, which includes writers like Maya Angelou, Terry McMillan, Ishmael Reed, and President Barack Obama as well. And of course I can’t leave out Goodreads, Creative Thinkers International, Twitter, AuthorsDen, LibraryThing, Shelfari, MySpace and…

AOTR: Thanks for you time! Continued Success!

Aberjhani's 10 favorite things

Book:“Beloved” by Toni Morrison and “Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Social networking site: Creative Thinkers International.

Dessert:Strawberry shortcake or peach cobbler.

Past time:Falling more deeply in love with life every day.

Poet:Jay Wright, Nikki Giovanni, Rumi.

Sports:Dancing.

Color:Gold and/or blue-violet.

Season:Autumn.

City or town: Anyplace where I can sense that people at least attempt to live love.

Drink: I am such a coffee addict. Became one while stationed with the Air Force in Alaska.