Category Archives: Newz

Sunnyvale Crash Suspect Targeted a Group of Pedestrians

It seems like a lot of people is playing the race card especially for 34-year old Isaiah Peoples who intentionally tried to run a group of 8  pedestrians over in Sunnyvale, California based on the faith he “thought” they were Muslim. All eight victims are hospitalized; youngest victim is 13.

According to  https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/26/us/california-sunnyvale-crash-suspect/index.html   

Peoples has been charged with eight counts of attempted murder trying to kill the pedestrians by driving up to them.  If he is convicted of these charges and is pronounced guilty, he could be serving a life sentence in prison.  Peoples is due back in court on May 16th.

UPDATE

 

There has been an update on one of the victims according to https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Teenager-in-coma-after-brutal-Sunnyvale-crash-13797941.php

The youngest victim who is a seventh grader, 13 at Sunnyvale Middle school is in a coma fighting for her life.  Her conditions are life-threatening.  Part of her skull was removed to stop the pressure and bleeding on the side of her brain.  One of the witnesses, a 72-year old lady saw the car Peoples was driving that drove high speed towards the people with one of the victims, a lady fly up in the air and landed right in front of her car.

Sources (The Chronicle Reports) stated that Peoples was on his way to bible study at the time of the accident.

 

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Congratulations to Regina King and Mahershala Ali on their Global Win

The 76th Golden Globes Awards was filled with laughter, tears and a lot of great wins! But the two wins that stood out the most from the African American Film Industry are two familiar faces that we all have seen on the big screen before.  ‘Moonlight’ star Mahershala Ali and ‘If Beale Street Could Talk‘ star Regina King has set their mark in their careers taking home the win of ‘Best Supporting Actor/Actress of a Motion Picture’ category.  This is both their first win for any Golden Globes Award, but for Regina, she won an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the film ‘Seven Seconds’  

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The speech King made was very heart-warming and encouraging women.  (Rolling Stone) “Regina King Speech

 

Video courtesy by You Tube

 

 

 

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Recap of MBK4L Annual Bday Bash Tour

By Tyra Grayson, Graphic Designer, Photographer and Musician

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MBK4L Ralo’s Annual Bday Bash “Bag Season Tour” took place at the Legacy Arena at the BJCC In Birmingham, Alabama with MBK’s artists “Lil Bam, YBN DayDay, Rudy Ru, Whitt, along with special celeb guests Pap Chanel, Hoodrich Pablo Juan, Key Glock, and Lil Baby. This concert was a different vibe for the city. This was also one of the biggest shows I’ve ever shot, lineup wise.

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It was great to get these artists under my portfolio. I also connected with other fellow photographers and press members there. It’s always good to network because you never know who you’ll run into and who could be your lifetime business partners or potential clients. Shout out to DJ Dirty Vegas, DJ New Era, 3000Ent, and MBK4L for putting on such a calm, collective, and good event. 

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Freelance Writer, Tyra Grayson can be reached on IG @tyraisme 

 

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R N B Singer and Florida Native Denequia opens up for Lil’ Duval

 Florida get ready for a night that you can’t forget! R n B singer originally for Florida Denequia will be opening up LIVE for Lil’ Duval on November 30th at Shaun’s Celebrity Birthday Bash.  If you are in the area, please show up and show your support for this Queen who is new in the music game.  You don’t want to miss this birthday bash!

Denequia has recorded two albums and is working on the Heartbreak Visual which will be coming soon. Make sure you download her latest album “Therapy 365” which is on all music platforms. 

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the art of a woman

May 2017 Release

therapy 365

Release Date July 6, 2018

 

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International Author Promotes Sickle Cell Disease through her Children Books

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Jenica Leah is an award winning children’s author and publisher and referred to as one of the UK’s leading ambassadors for sickle cell.  Living with sickle cell anaemia herself, she has battled with the many complications that come with the disorder including having a stroke at 14 and a hip replacement at 25; but she has never let this stop her from being who she is. From being a full-time model to organising and managing catwalks with an international events specialist, Jenica Leah refuses to let her condition hold her back.  After undergoing total hip replacement surgery in 2014, which changed her whole outlook on life and her perception of her illness, Jenica Leah vowed to help others living with the sickle cell condition by being more open about her health and her journey, and by doing more to create awareness and get people talking about it. With her confidence and determination, she doesn’t see life as challenging; instead she sees the world as her oyster with endless possibilities.

 

TRGB Media: Tell us about yourself a little more

Jenica Leah: My name is Jenica Leah and I am a 29-year-old from the UK living with sickle cell SS. Referred to as one of the UK’s leading ambassadors for sickle cell, I share my journey via my blogs Me Myself & sickle cell on my blogsite and on YouTube.. I am also a publisher and the award-winning author of the first children’s book series about sickle cell entitled My Friend Jen which was released in 2016.

TRGB: When did you first learned that you were diagnosed with Sickle Cell?

Jenica Leah: I was diagnosed from birth. My parents both knew they had the trait and knew there was a chance I would have sickle cell. They got the positive results 6 weeks after I was tested at birth.

TRGB: How is your whole experience living with the disease? What symptoms do you suffer the most from?

Jenica Leah: My experience living with sickle cell now is manageable, however it has taken me years of complications and learning to understand my body to get to this point. I would say the symptoms I have suffered from the most aside from bad pain crisis is all the unknown complications that can come with sickle cell as I feel like I have had almost all of them. I always used to have pneumonia as baby and toddler and spent a lot of time in hospital; my first crisis I was around 9 months old. I had a stroke at 14, acute chest syndrome at 16 which very nearly took my life, gall stones throughout my teenage years which lead to me eventually having my gall bladder removed at 24. I was diagnosed with Avascular necrosis in both hips and I had a total hip replacement in my left hip when I was 25 as a result. I have also had multiple blood clots, and liver cholestasis. All complications caused as a result of my sickle cell and the way it has affected my body.

TRGB: Was becoming an author something, you always wanted to do? What was the journey like?

Jenica Leah: I have always loved writing as it is my outlet for certain things. I always find writing about good days allow me to remember how I was feeling and enjoy the moment longer, and writing about bad days or tough times allows me to get it out of my system so I can let it go and not harbor negative emotions. Becoming an author was not something I had planned to do at all but the moment I decided to turn what I had written into a book I was motivated to get it done; nothing and no one was going to stop me. The journey was fun although I encountered a lot of bumps in the road which I had to find a way over in terms of getting my book published.

TRGB: What was the inspiration behind your book “My Friend Jen?”

Jenica Leah: The inspiration behind my book was to be able to give something to children who are growing up living with sickle cell today that would provide them with peace of mind about their condition and also let them know that having sickle cell should not stop them from achieving their dreams — no matter what they are.  Growing up I despised the fact that I had sickle cell and always used to ignore it or try and hide it; mainly because I didn’t understand what it was so it was difficult to explain that to others. With the first My Friend Jen Book it’s a simple way to explain what sickle cell is and the basics of how someone living with it can stay well.

TRGB: I see on your IG page that you have a lot of supporters with your book and movement. How is the marketing going for your book?

Jenica Leah: When I initially published and released my book I honestly didn’t have a marketing plan. I just released it and went with the flow but the feedback and amount of support I had was unbelievable and that’s when I realized that I had created something so beautiful and so beneficial, especially for children who had sickle cell and children with parents who have sickle cell. By that point my book was more less marketing itself, I believe because it is the only one of its kind at the moment.

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TRGB: Since the book release, what type of events has the book participated in?

Jenica Leah: Since the books release It has been nominated for and won awards, been highlighted by news outlets, book stores and in particular has had a major impact in health conferences and pharmaceutical research. I also launched something called My Friend Jen Projects to be able to host my own events for the book which would help those in other communities around the world who may not be able to have access to the book otherwise. The book donation projects have been a huge success so far with regular sponsors and encouragement for it to continue.

TRGB: When does the sequel to the first book come out? Is it the same concept from the first book?

Jenica Leah: The sequel will be released within the next several weeks and is now available to pre-order at a reduced price. My Friend Jen was always intended to be a series of books that follows Jen on her journey growing up with sickle cell so the concept is somewhat the same and readers can learn more about sickle cell and the things Jen goes through.

TRGB: Are you currently working on any new projects?

Jenica Leah: The next major project we have will be the Jamaica book donation project which will take place between January and March 2019. So far, we have done book donation projects in Gambia and Nigeria so we are really looking forward to Jamaica being the 3rd book donation project.

TRGB: How has becoming an author made you a better person?

Jenica Leah: Becoming an author has made me appreciate writers a lot more as I know the depths one has to go through to be able to produce a book that makes a difference. More than anything though, I would say that becoming an author has made me humble and motivated to continue to advocate for sickle cell as I can see how my children’s book and even my blog, has helped people to become more confident in sharing their journeys with sickle cell also.

TRGB: How can readers connect with you?

Jenica Leah: Readers can connect with me via @myfriendjenbooks on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They can also keep up to date with everything I have going on including new My Friend Jen releases and updates, projects and events by subscribing to the Me Myself & Sickle Cell blog site:  http://www.jenicaleah.wordpress.com

TRGB: As an advocate of SCD, what types of projects or events do you participate in to bring more awareness in the communities?

Jenica Leah: I try and get involved in as much events in the community as I can whether it’s fundraising events, motivational events or even fun days for children; there is always space to highlight sickle cell. I have also arranged blood donation days to encourage more blood donors and been involved in youth and school projects too.

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Wal-Mart Picks up Possible Cosmetics for Online Selling

Possible Cosmetics is growing each and every day! CEO and Owner Renata Roundtree is making major moves within her company and plans to expand larger into retail stores all over the globe.  Move over MAC and Clinique, Possible Cosmetics will soon be taking over!

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TRGB Media: It’s been a few months since TRGB has interviewed you about your success and beauty line Possible Cosmetics. Since then, what have you been up to?

Renata Roundtree: Oh Honey lol SO much! I think the BIGGEST thing that We’ve been up to is FINALLY getting into Major Retail! Im too excited of course we’ll discuss this more 🙂

TRGB Media: Congratulations on Possible Cosmetics being apart of Wal-Mart online. What was your reaction?

Renata Roundtree: Honestly, lol I still can’t process it, I’ve been secretly going back and forth with Walmart for a long time. I didn’t tell anyone because I really wasn’t sure the outcome! In fact, they denied me first but I literally called, emailed (and Walmart is actually impossible to reach) I did not take NO for an answer! There’s still LOTS of work to do but we’re in there!

TRGB Media: How has sales and marketing been going? Do you have a team that helps you push sales or are you the only one?

Renata Roundtree: Let’s just say I’m not a Millionaire yet lol… I do have a virtual assistant that helps when need be. However, the bulk of the marketing and sales are driven by me or by other channels that I use. Social media has been a big help but I absolutely plan to have a team to help me plan and execute better. Marketing to be honest is my weakness I actually hate it lol

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TRGB Media: Let’s talk about current and future projects. Are you working on anything exciting?

Renata Roundtree: Yes. We are gearing up to hit a MAJOR retailer in Atlanta!!! Everyone knows that ATL is my second home. I can’t announce it just yet, but 1st Quarter 2019 Possible Cosmetics will be in stores in Atlanta GA!!!

TRGB Media: Also, I see that you are the guest speaker for Dreams to Founder Workshop and one of the panel spotlights for Glambitious. Tell us more about that.

Renata Roundtree: Yes, Im EXTREMELY excited to be apart of these events! One thing about me is I enjoy the empowerment portion of business. I like it more then selling Cosmetics lol I was born for it I have a radiant personality I can capture almost any audience I’m in front of and I have a story to tell. I’m serious when I say empowerment is so much more fulfilling to me, I’d much rather be doing these sorts of events more often!

TRGB Media: Are you still teaching young professionals how to start their own make up line? How has that been going?

Renata Roundtree: Yes, I actually just launched our digital course “ How to start a cosmetic line 101” on our website! That’s another thing that I enjoy.  Its selling pretty good and I take pride in helping someone establish a business! I’m a believer that you are able to share the information you have, especially within your community!

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TRGB MEDIA: Does Possible Cosmetics have any new products in store?

Renata Roundtree: We actually just launched our pressed shimmer powders!! The customers are responding to those very well and I’m getting amazing feedback!

TRGB Media: How many years have you been in business?

Renata Roundtree: Well, I started this business journey in 2010 with designing custom shoes! I must admit at that time I had NO idea what I was doing. Lol I just knew I was gifted to create sells, Instagram ads; all those other things didn’t click to me yet until I started Possible Cosmetics in 2016! I’m a much better business owner now.

TRGB Media: What are some unique things that Possible Cosmetics offers that no other make up line offers?

Renata Roundtree: I don’t really see other makeup lines sharing their “secrets” here at Possible Cosmetics. We not only sell you a product, but we sell you information as well.  We also educate you to start your own business. So I’ll say the empowerment part is what is different about us!

TRGB Media: What is next in store for you and your business?

Renata Roundtree: RETAIL, RETAIL AND MORE RETAIL.  We WILL BE in every major retailer in America; I don’t care if it take me forever! We are planning a Possible Cosmetics TAKEOVER. We will be mentioned with the household names like MAC, Loreal, Este Lauder, Cover Girl etc…

TRGB Media: How can readers connect with you and purchase products?

Renata Roundtree: They can purchase our wonderful products along with our Courses at www.Possiblecosmetics.com also on walmart.com put *Possible Cosmetics* in the search bar 🙂

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CEO of Possible Cosmetics Renata Roundtree

 

 

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Savon Luxe Brings the Heat and Quality to New-Style Virgin Hair

Savon Luxe launched in 2014 and is based in Detroit, MI. What makes the Savon Luxe unique is the high end quality, longevity, and customer experience delivery.  Clients can purchase hair from www.SavonLuxe.co

 

TRGB Media: What made you want to go into a business that deals with virgin hair?

Savon Luxe: I’ve been wearing sew-ins since I was about 16 years old. Back in the day girls would rock the pack hair that would only last as long as the install. I was really tired of dealing with beauty supply hair so I started buying virgin hair. In college I was a YouTube beauty blogger in college growing out my natural hair wearing sew-ins, spending THOUSANDS of dollars on hair extensions. I decided I wanted my own line. I didn’t think to seriously of it at first, then I started deep diving into the beauty business and fell in love. Four years later we’re still here!

TRGB: How did you come up with the name Savon Luxe?

SL: Whew, I went back & forth with the business name for about 3 months. At first the brand name was going to be “Luxe Life”, but I wanted something a bit more personal. The “Savon” derived from my first and middle name and the “Luxe” while cliché is part of me really enjoying luxury things. I knew when I attached my name to it I would take it seriously as it would be a direct reflection of myself.

TRGB: Because the hair industry and various of sellers are in the same business, competitors can be tough. What keeps Savon Luxe different than most other companies that sell virgin hair?

SL: So true! The biggest part I’ve learned in owning a business is staying my lane, and only mind the business that pays me. Even with a multitude of virgin hair companies, I know how to cater to niche. As I’ve grown to be more business savvy, I’ve learned everything is not for everyone. So I (my brand) can’t be either. And that’s okay. Everyone is so focused on high sales, but I focus on the relationship with my customers and business longevity. I’m not interested in being a “fad” business. I’m here for the long run, so what separates me is trust.

“At first the brand name was going to be “Luxe Life”, but I wanted something a bit more personal. The “Savon” derived from my first and middle name and the “Luxe” while cliché is part of me really enjoying luxury things.”

TRGB: For a potential client, how would you sell your products?

SL: The primary thing I do is ask them what THEY are looking for and how can I best service THEM. I’m never a “pushy” sales person. I’m a listening ear before anything, then I guide them to my products that best fit their need and I give them time to decide for themselves. This is vital.

TRGB: When creating a company for women of all colors, what did you have in mind?

SL: Being one helps lol. But seriously, empathy helps when catering to WOC. We aren’t catered to on a national level, so when they shop with me, I don’t want them to have to feel like their “fighting” or “forcing” a product to work for them because I selected my textures and products already with them being the priority.

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TRGB: What are some suggestions when it comes to hair care?

SL: One of my best suggestions when it comes to hair care is research hair type. Hair care is not a one size fits all. Everyone has different likes, dislikes, routines. Knowing what YOU like best is a trial and error process. If an individual is not comfortable caring for their hair themselves, seek a stylist you are comfortable with. But the basis are cleanse and hydrate, that goes for extensions and naturals.

TRGB: Who does your brand market to?

SL: I’m actually in the process of re-developing my demographics. Initially it was a younger adults, because I was in college. As I’ve matured, I’ve learned what I really want which is more young professionals who still are into chic & glam. I can’t wait for my re-development so stay tuned!

TRGB: How fast does your product sell?

SL: Our products sell out pretty fast, especially our Straight Bliss extensions. I’m actually testing out some new patterns now to potentially add that I think my customers will love.

TRGB: Does your brand participate or has participated in hair shows?

SL: I haven’t participated in any to date. There are a few I’d definitely consider going to. I’m still a one woman show for the most part, so once I develop a “team” a trade show will get on our books for sure.

TRGB: How can readers connect with you?

SL: Easily! They can experience Savon Luxe and submit inquiries on www.SavonLuxe.co and see our extensions in action at www.instagram.com/SavonLuxeHair

 

 

 

 

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Author, Singer, Songwriter Talks about Upcoming New Book ‘Guide Me Home’

 

Ana Gibson is a Professional singer, songwriter and the 2018 Award- Winning Fiction Author.  She has published already two books and is about to release her third book “Guide Me Home,” that will be published in October.  

 

“As I learn myself more, I’m also being intentional about bringing others along with me to begin to understand what it means to recognize ourselves—flaws and all—and to grasp a hold of the version we desire to be.”

 

Tell us about your journey as an author

AG: I started writing fiction at the age of 14. I didn’t get serious about self-publishing until I turned twenty-five. That’s when I released both books, My Brother’s Secret 1 & 2. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me since I could remember. I believe one of the first books I’ve ever read was “The Skin I’m In,” by Sharon Flake. And from there, I was fascinated with story-telling. Over time, I challenged myself to learn how to write and write better—the formatting, plots, character arcs, scenery, deep point of views, etc, which gives me all the confidence today to put out Guide Me Home. This is my BEST work to date, and it’s completely different from any other story I’ve written. It’s an Inspirational Romance—borderline, Christian Fiction (Got too much cursing in it to be officially qualified as that LOL) Looking back on all of the stories I’ve done, reminds me of how much I’ve grown as a writer and the evolution shows, even from my previous two books that I have out.

My journey is still writing itself, but I can say that right now, where I am, I couldn’t be happier. I’m definitely not where I used to be and I’m certainly looking forward to where I’m going.

 

So, you have written other books in the past. What genre are they?

AG: The other two novels are considered Urban Dramas.

The title is really catchy. How did you come up with the title?

AG: Guide Me Home came about when I was watching Tyler Perry’s, “Temptation: Confession of a Marriage Counselor.” The end credits were scrolling by and for once, I was actually paying attention to them. One of the songs listed was called “Guide Me Home” and that’s when it hit me. I was like, ‘that’s the name of the book.’ It makes all the sense in the world.

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When writing this book, what were your inspirations behind it?

AG: The book started off with me just wanting to write something similar to what Tyler Perry did when he released Good Deeds. So, it was originally going to be talking about homelessness and helping those in need, but after three years of revisiting the manuscript and the need to feel connected to it, it shifted into something more than just homelessness. Its theme is on the topic of Childhood Emotional Trauma and its effects of it into adulthood. I think many of us, on some level, will and can find ourselves in the storyline. When I did my research on what Childhood Emotional Trauma was, it blew my mind away. The things I found, had me nodding in agreement because I could see myself or someone else. This helped me to also write my character’s, Devin and Faith, better because they suffered greatly behind this particular issue. It’s a subject that’s rarely discussed and if you were to ask someone if they knew what it was, 9 times out of 10, they would not know unless you went down the list of symptoms.

 

It’s a great mental health piece, especially advocating for emotional health in African-American men. So that’s where the biggest inspiration came from—just learning about what that looks like amongst many other things and being able to put it into story form.

 

As a published author, what challenges do you find? (If any)

AG: In the beginning, when I first considered publishing my stories, I didn’t understand how much work I needed to put behind it, like focusing on your target market, making necessary edits, saving money to be able to take care of the small stuff, marketing and promotion etc. So, the first two novels didn’t work out so well, but with Guide Me Home, I’m revisiting those lessons and applying them to this particular project which seems to be helping. A lot of preparation has gone into making this book a potential bestseller. With God, all things are possible. I’m claiming it.

 

Let’s talk about your Book Launch event for next month. How long did it take for you to plan the event?

AG: I started planning for the book launch sometime in December of 2017. Everything I do has to make sense and be done with quality and with order. So far, it has been a solid nine months of planning for the big day. I have quite a few things happening that I don’t think has really ever been done for a book launch party. I’m excited about it.

 

What makes this event stand out than any other book launch events?

AG: I think the biggest thing that stands out for this event is the fact that I’m including a one act play; where I have a few people acting out a scene from a chapter from the book to give people a visual of what they’re about to read. I have not heard or seen that done before. Also, most authors are not singers. I am. I have written a song for the book, (soundtrack single) which I will be performing on that day as well. It’s called ‘Thankful.’ It’ll be available when the pre-order drops.

 

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I find it amazing that you are having the event on your birthday! How amazing!

AG: Yes! My birthday is actually the 26th of October but it falls on a Friday, so I chose the 27th because you know most people are available on weekends. LOL But I’m including my birthday because this is a major thing for me. I’ll be turning 31. When I turned 30, I told myself that I have to make this decade count, and doing this book and launch is a part of that declaration. So yes, I get a two for one deal.

 

What do you want readers to take away when reading your book?

AG: This is kind of a loaded question. Hmm. I want people to take away that no matter the adversities, the situations or circumstances standing against you, that there is a power within that is ready and willing to help you overcome. I want people to know that in life, it’s important to have the right people around you, especially when facing difficult and dark times and to understand how important Faith, Grace, and Forgiveness is to one’s healing.

 

I was looking on your website and I see that you have a book launch team for your new book. Tell us more about that.

AG: My Launch team is pretty cool. It’s about fifteen of us total. I decided to create a launch team for this book because I understand that I cannot do all of this by myself. It can get pretty stressful. It takes a village to really make something successful. Ooo that rhymed. But anyway, I can post and shout to the mountains all day long about the book, however, people get tired of hearing it from just one person, right? So why not include others who equally believe in what I’m doing to help push the product to the masses? And that’s what the team is all about. They’re helping me to succeed because they believe in the story just as much as I do.

Do you have any goals for the book? Media appearances? Interviews? Book tours?

AG: Yes. I definitely have plans to market and promote to local news stations, do podcasts interviews, blog interviews and hopefully reach two national TV shows like The Real and Sister Circle. Book tour is definitely in the works all along the east coast. And if things go right, maybe a stage a play or movie deal.

 

Being an author can have its ups and downs. What do you believe is the best way to remain humble as an author when things can be challenging?

AG: Best way to stay humble is to always know you have more growing and learning to do. You’re never done evolving or expanding in your writing. Something or someone new always comes along and can easily take your spot. In the words of Kendrick Lamar “Sit down, be Humble.” Reality is, things can go either way.

 

Where do you see yourself five years from now? Ten years from now?

AG: Five years from now, I see myself growing and being able to build an empire from this book alone. Ten years, maybe be on the same caliber of Oprah or somebody.

 

Who are some of your favorite authors?

AG: I don’t have many, but I would say Eric Jerome Dickey and Devon Franklin. That could change later, though.

 

How can readers connect with you? How can they pre-order your new book?

AG: Readers can connect with me by visiting my website at www.officialanagibson.com. All of my social media buttons are available on there. Guide Me Home pre-orders will be available September 12, 2018 wherever books are sold. Official release date is October 22, 2018.

 

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The ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has Passed Away at the age of 76

Photo Credits by Billboard.com and Page Six

 

The Queen of Soul who has touched many hearts and lives has passed away earlier this morning at the age of 76.  Aretha Franklin was a very private person so a lot of people didn’t know she was battling with cancer for awhile.  During the last stages of life which media said she was “gravely ill” was on hospice home care surrounded by family and loved ones.

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How can you forget a sweet soul and history when it came to her music and lyrics!  Some of fans favorites are “Respect,” “Freedom,” “Chain of Fools,” A Natural Woman,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” and more!  Aretha Franklin will definitely be missed but never forgotten in our hearts!

 

Video Credit by frOzenintimeee via YouTube 

 

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Children’s Book Author, Lenny Williams Inspires Children in the Black Community; New Book Releases August 18th

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  • It’s amazing to see a male author that writes children’s books because it’s very motivational! How did your journey as a children’s book author came about?

Well anyone who knows me personally knows that I absolutely love children. I may not want any of my own since I’m already the oldest of eight, but I still love the energy and joy children bring to the world.

Now when it comes to my journey as a children’s book author it was a very difficult one. In 2013 when I decided to write a bedtime story called ‘Dreaming Their Way Out’ I had no idea how I was going to publish it. I had also looked everywhere in the state of Delaware (which is where I live) for an illustrator for nearly two years, but the artists I contacted were inconsistent with communication, or sometimes didn’t want to take on the challenge of illustrating a book—even if I was paying them well.

So by 2015, I found an illustrator named, Ohana Tozato, on Instagram. The crazy part is that she lives all the way in Germany, but she was the only one who responded to my message, and from there on we created Dreaming Their Way Out. After a year and a half of working on the finalization of the book, and finally finding an independent publisher; my road to being a successful author had begun.

  • Tell us more about your books

 

When it comes to my books you will always find a common theme.

 

MAGIC!

 

I love creating unique and magic books! I have this undeniable urge to pull my readers right into my stories and into my world. I’ve found that once people read my stories they never want them to end or better yet they want sequels added to them. That makes me proud because it reminds me that I’ve just created a classic.

 

As an author I’m striving to be the best of all-time, and I also strive to be pioneer in the writing world. I don’t want any of my stories to be similar to someone else’s; it has to be on a level of its own. Don’t get me wrong I love supporting my fellow authors, but at the same time I love a friendly competition, and if you aren’t striving to be the absolute best in your field, then you’re wasting your time in my opinion.

 

Alright so about my books:

 

Dreaming Their Way Out is a magical bedtime story about seven orphans who are desperately yearning for a family. One night while dreaming about escaping the orphanage something indescribable happens; and they discover something amazing about themselves. They do not realize that this discovery will change their lives forever.

 

The Holiday Dream is a sequel to Dreaming Their Way Out. In this story the children take a trip to the North Pole to find the perfect gifts for their guardians. Throughout this journey they meet a peaceful nun, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, elves, and Rudolph.

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Asha the Princess of Matana is about a young black American man who meets an African Princess, outside the gates of her enormous kingdom; and the deeper you get into the story you learn that they ultimately fall in love with each other

 

Asha is filled with magic, romance, and adventure.

 

Snippet: After winning a trip to Matana, Africa, Jamal and his friend Tamir stumble upon a kingdom full of mystery and wonder. During the process of their journey they meet a princess named Asha. Jamal eventually helps the princess discover a power within her that she never knew was there. This story is dedicated to our ancestors and most of all to black women.

 

Education Is Power: A Snippet of the Life of W.E.B Du Bois This story is about African-American civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois and it teaches children about the need for education. Young W.E.B. Du Bois will be talking about how education gave him the POWER to become a great learner and a great teacher. This power, found through education, led him to become a leader, an author, a humanitarian, an activist, and an overall great person that made an impact in the world. Du Bois encourages children that they can do whatever they put their mind too through the power of education.

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She’s Divine Literally separated by two dimensions, the universe somehow finds a way to bring Noah King, and Diana Divine together, and ultimately teaches them that there’s beauty within life and the afterlife.

 

Hardworking college student Noah King earns an internship as a therapist at a care center for the elderly. He’s determined to complete it and finish his psychology degree early. But things take an unusual turn one night when one of his patient’s dead granddaughters, Diana Divine, appears in his room. Throughout their journey to figure out how and why they met and what their purpose is, their chemistry grows into an unbreakable bond.

 

This novel is romantic, magical, heart-wrenching, and wondrous all at the same time.

 

  • Everyone has to start from somewhere when it comes to writing and finding what they are truly good at. I read the story in your bio that you started writing your junior year of college in which your professor inspired you to do so.  What was going through your mind at that time?

 

At that time during my junior year of college I was going to school to earn my Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice to become an FBI Agent or detective one day. I was also interning with a law firm and the police department at the same time. I was so focused and concerned with being in law enforcement that it never truly occurred to me that it wasn’t a passion of mine. I believe I was more concerned about having a financially stable career over anything.

 

Now before I get to the actual story, I have to tell you that my 10th grade English teacher, Mrs. Szczuka, and my 12th grade English teacher, Mrs. Sylvia, told me that I should become a writer one day. Every time the class had creative writing assignments, my teachers were blown away. They loved my imagination and where I would go with my stories. At the time I appreciated their comments, but I never thought that writing would be something that could impact my life financially, so I didn’t take it into consideration.

 

By my junior year of college after completing a creative writing assignment, my professor pulled me to the side and told me that I should seriously consider being an author. The funny thing is that I can’t even remember what I wrote about that day to make him even want to say that to me. But at that point I knew I had to give it a try.

 

Once I applied myself and truly devoted my time to writing a story that year, I noticed that not only was I a gifted fiction writer, but that this writing thing was also a passion of mine. In my mind, I told myself that once I graduated early that I would take a year off from applying at any police departments or law enforcement jobs to write stories.

 

That’s exactly what I did and from there on my life changed.

 

  • The fact that you have a very great imagination, your topics of choice are wonderful when you wrote your books. Where did the inspiration come from?

 

Thank you so much for saying that. Hearing compliments like that make my day.

Growing up I was inspired by Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Space Jam, and every Disney movie you could think of; but for the most part I believe most of my inspiration comes from nature, especially the night sky. Once I star-gaze my imagination goes wild.

 

It sounds crazy but it’s something I can’t control. I think I’m just the source or the messenger God is using to bring new creative stories to the world.

 

  • How long does it typically take you to write your books?

 

It usually takes me a month to write a bedtime story or a very detailed children’s book.

 

Education Is Power was the quickest story I’ve ever written. That only took me a day to write because it was biography and it was an educational book for pre-k – 1st graders, so couldn’t write a super long story like I’m used to doing.

 

When it comes to my novels it takes about three months to write them, but about six months to a year to finish up the editing and re-drafting.

 

  • What type of message do you want people and kids to take away from your books?

 

After reading my stories I want people to spread love, magic, and positivity throughout the world because we truly need it.

 

  • I really like the character Asha you created. It reminds me of an animated movie she could definitely be in!  Have you thought about submitting the story as well as the character to the Disney network for possible movie or TV suggestions?

 

Thank you! People really love Asha. That story is going to be a hard one to top. While writing Asha I truly knew in my heart that I could convert it into an animation film one day.

 

I’ve actually submitted my early work to Disney before while I was in college but they told me they couldn’t accept it because it was against their policy too; and they also said they weren’t hiring writers either.

 

 So when Asha was published last year, I didn’t even attempt to send it to Disney because I didn’t want them stealing my work. But I did reach out to black owned film companies and animation studios about working with them, or to at least give me some advice, but they never answered me. I even tried reaching out to famous black directors, producers, and writers, just for advice, but I still haven’t received a response. So I know this is all going to have to be done on a grassroots level.

 

The sad thing is that once Asha continues to grow and it ends up in Hollywood, the people that I emailed and messaged before for help, will probably try to reach out to me then.

 

That’s just how it works I guess.

 

 

  • I see that you have a new book coming out called “She’s Divine” which is scheduled to be released August 18th. How long did it take you to write the romantic story? The story that’s on your website that led up to this story is very powerful.

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Yes my handful of fans are really excited about this upcoming novel She’s Divine ha-ha. It took me three months to write this story, or probably even two months.

 

And thank you! God truly intervened during that tragic moment in my life. When my cousin died last year it was hard for me to function through daily life. That’s why glad God caused a divine intervention throughout those difficult months because I truly needed it. Even though it’s hard to talk about I’m glad I wrote about the situation on my website. So if anyone is confused by what you and I are talking about right now, they can check out my website lennysimagination.com to find out how She’s Divine came about.

 

  • Since your books has been released, has there been any fun events you been to promoting your books?

 

That’s a tough one; I guess it’s a tie between every black book festival I go to.

 

  • Where do you see yourself five years from now?

 

Five years from now I see myself working in Los Angeles writing movie scripts and probably directing films.

 

  • When it comes to writing, what keeps you motivated and inspired?

 

I believe God, nature, my family, and good people continue to inspire me and motivate me to write. For me, writing is like a flame that will never burn out.

 

I would also say that having a great working relationship with my illustrator keeps me motivated. If you follow my page you can probably already tell that Kaitlin June is my favorite artist.

 

She’s the one who illustrated Asha and she’s going to illustrate the covers for my upcoming novels. I think Kaitlin is the only illustrator I’ve worked with who lives in the U.S. But besides that Kaitlin understands me and my themes, she does a fantastic job bringing my vision to life.

 

On top of that she’s very patient with me. Trust me I know because I can be very tedious and a hard-ass sometimes when it comes to having books looking and sounding immaculate.  But she continues to help and I honestly hope that her art travels all over the world, and that she becomes one of the most famous artist of our generation.

 

  • Are their any special writing techniques you use when writing?

 

Yes, first I write down notes and I mean as many notes as possible!

 

Secondly, I come up with a cover concept and contact one of my illustrators while I develop an outline of the story.

 

Once the outline is developed I begin to work on the 1st rough draft. This is the most important part when it comes to the writing process because you want to bring out all the imagination you can. The more information and detail—the better. 

 

I usually create about 50 rough drafts.

 

After my last rough draft is finished, I start on my first final draft and polish up what I’ve written.

 

After working on multiple final drafts, and I usually come to a realization that there is nothing else left for me to do, so I submit the work to my editor.

 

Once my editor is finished I submit everything (cover, back cover, edited draft) to my publisher.

 

Then the book is published once I find a perfect date.

 

  • What is next for Lenny Williams?

 

Well I have 4 novels left to write, and three more children’s books left to write.

 

Spoiler for the novels: They both have a sequel, which adds up to four novels.

 

I guess I can also spill the beans on the titles at least but I can tell you what they’re going to be about yet because that’s a surprise:

 

 

Roxanne’s World

Jackie’s World

Zena: Andre’s Last Hope part 1

Zena: Andre’s Last Hope part 2

 

 

After that I’m going to use my imagination to make a change in the filming world by consistently working on movie scripts.

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  • How can readers connect with you?

 

They can contact me at sugarraylenny@gmail.com or itsonus247@gmail.com

Or on Instagram at sugarraylenny or lennys_imagination. I basically message everyone back besides the pages that ask if I want 1,000 more followers, or if I want to make $2,000 in 25 minutes.

 

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