Tag Archives: authors

What’s On Your Bookshelf?

 

 

Author K.C. Mills 

 

 

I’m baccckk!!!!!!!

I have so many wonderful things to blog on and I feel like I’m very behind which I am! But I will be blogging sometimes twice a day if I have to to catch all of you wonderful followers and readers on what’s been going on in my life and outside of my life!

Today’s blog post is very exciting for me because I am back into reading books.  It’s been off and on for this year, but every time I order a new book and get the paperback copy in the mail, I get very excited! Even though I am an author of seven books, I love to read books.  When I was younger, I read a lot of great series such as the Babysitters Club books! How many of you guys remember that? OMG! I loved watching the TV Show series on TV as well!  Another series I enjoyed reading was Sweet Valley High.  I’m getting very excited just thinking about those good old times reading my favorite books by Ann M. Martin.  They also had the Sweet Valley High TV series which came on the weekend as well and I would watch it.  I wished they would bring those shows back on so I can binge watch them; maybe on Netflix since everything is coming to Netflix now.  But anyways I don’t want to get too carried away with my blog post.  So I received three books yesterday by this new author I am reading named K.C. Mills.  I had the wonderful opportunity to interview her for a magazine I write for.  I read some of her material on Amazon as well as the synopsis and I was very impressed by it.  My first real novel I plan to start writing at the beginning of 2020 is going to be a lot of hard work and focus, but I have great plans to push out a lot of great book projects for the new year. 

 

The title of the book I am currently reading is called “That Crazy Dope Hood Kinda Love” which is the first book in the sequel.  I was already hooked when I read the first couple of pages.  This book will get finished today and I will be writing a book review of this and on the author.  This is an Urban Fantasy book which I have just starting reading.  Lately I have been reading Urban Christian Fiction, but because my first real standalone novel will be Urban based, I wanted to read books by authors who have great books as well as being Best-Selling Authors in the industry.  

 

Stay tuned for my book review on K.C. Mills “That Crazy Dope Hood Kinda Love” 

 

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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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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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REST, RENEW & RECHARGE YOURSELF!

Ah! when was the last time you took more than a few moments to rest from the daily pulls of life?  Seriously the demands of life here on earth in the current times we live in can place a strain on even the strongest people we know.  God never intended us to get so busy with the affairs of our lives that we never take the time to rest in the most sincere yet simplest forms of relaxation. When was the last time you took a long-winded walk around your neighborhood or local park just to do so? If your response is two weeks ago or longer – you may not be resting intentionally in order to renew yourself for your best interest and those family members and loved ones who are counting on you to live a long life. I happen to love running, cycling and live a very active lifestyle that also involves caring for my two daughters but even with my active lifestyle and as a vegetarian – I recently heard the Holy Spirit whisper Rest, Renew & Recharge! You see in the beginning when God completed creation in 6 days, he rested on the 7th day (Genesis 2:2). Even the Most High God knows we all need rest for he created rest. 

If I am being totally transparent, as a single mom – the word rest has always sounded a bit foreign to me because I used to believe I needed to complete a majority of my long list of action items before resting. Perhaps you too have an extremely busy lifestyle that involves working full-time, caring for your loved ones and quite possibly your parents.  Listen, Jesus knows all the past, present and future demands you will ever face but in order to Renew – you must first find Rest. Your mind, heart, blood pressure and body will all thank you in the long run! Do not wait until you are faced with a health scare before you take the necessary rest you need. Consider good rest will lead to the re-establishment of your health in Christ Jesus! While this may be easier said than done, if you lead a busy lifestyle – make sure you seek the Lord’s help in showing you how to rest. One simple way I have found rest is by purposely leave my cell phone downstairs during my much needed rest period. Yep – I simply place my device in silent mode and disconnect from the world to avoid unnecessary interruptions. Our bodies are not electronic devices powered by batteries intended to operate in non-stop mode, No! we are limited human beings created by an unlimited God so rest is found first in our Heavenly Father. 

So here’s to your goal of Recharging your body, mind and spirit. To Recharge simply means to regain energy or spirit! To fulfill all the things God has purposed us to do in the earth, we must regain energy expended during the course of our daily demands. What I know for sure is that my daughters are depending on the best version of me to take care of them. I simply cannot give them that best version unless I intentionally press pause on the pressures of this world, renew my mind in Christ Jesus by getting the much needed rest the Father intends for me to have.  Likewise you cannot be superwoman or superman to anyone while you are exhausted from the cares and demands of society.  Remember we are reminded in Matthew 11:28 “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Here are a few simple ways to add relaxation back into your daily routine:

Unplug your phone for an hour; Grab your journal, favorite cup of tea and sit outside for 30 minutes while you write a letter of gratitude for the many blessings you already have

Schedule a 1 hour massage which can help to relieve tense muscles.

 Research shows those who intentionally unplug by resting purposefully are more productive in fewer hours than those who do not. 

May we find comfort in Psalms 23:2 “He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams” (NLT).  I am standing in agreement with you as you Rest, Renew and Recharge for God’s glory!  Remember, you were fearfully and wonderfully made for such a time as this!

~Amadi E. Leaks

 

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Follow Amadi on IG @amadileaks

Visit her website at http://www.amadileaks.com for more encouragement and inspiration!

 

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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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Author Interview: Jessica Lee Ann Releases New Book that Empowers Black Teen Girls

Women Empowerment runs warm in her veins!  Jessica Lee Ann is an author with a message behind every book she has written.  That message is to “To inspire young teen girls to embrace their uniqueness and to dream BIG!”  In her newest release, “Melanie the Melanin Queen” which was released July 27th encourages black teen girls to embrace how they look. 

Congratulations on your newest book, “Melanie the Melanin Queen” What motivated/inspired you to write the book?

Thank you! I was inspired to write this book because I’m tired of seeing negative images and content about black women, so I wanted to write something to empower young black girls to embrace their unique identity.

 

  • What is the theme of it?

 The theme of the book is to encourage black girls to understand why we’re different shades of brown; to not be ashamed if your shade is darker than others, but rather to embrace it.

 

  • Are there any book events lined up in the near future?

 

 Yes! I’ll be hosting teen empowerment summits called You Are Royalty in the Dallas area this fall. Super excited about that!

 

  • What genre do your books cater to?

This book is for girls ages 12-17; but I encourage all black girls, teens, and young women to check it out.

 

  • I see that you are all about writing books to empower teen black girls and I think that is such a great thing you are doing. Are there any speaking engagements you do to talk about your books?

Yes, I love it! I love our baby girls. And yes, I have done a few in the past. I will be focusing on doing more in the future for sure.

 

  • How did you come up with the title for the book?

 Honestly God just dropped it in my spirit! I was scrolling on Instagram and seeing the hashtag melanin and I thought, “it would be cute to write about a young lady who embraces being a melanin queen” and next thing I know I was writing a synopsis.

 

  • Let’s talk about your self-publishing company Chocolate Readings. How long have you had this company?

Yes, I started it back in 2017 and did a re-launch in April of 2018.

 

  • What services does it provide?

We offer editing, publishing, branding, and marketing services for authors, bloggers, and service-based professionals.

  • How did you come up with the name?

 I used to create greeting cards about ten years ago and that was the name of the company.

 

  • Besides writing books, what other projects are you working on?

I’m creating a digital course to go along with the Melanie the Melanin Queen book as well as the empowerment summit. I also coach other authors, so that’s what I’m focused on these days.

  • Are you planning on writing another teen book this year or will you start in the near future?

 

  • Absolutely! I created a fictious high school and all of the books will include it. The next book I’m writing will focus on teen girls dealing with being extra curvy at such a young age. I plan to release it next spring.

 

  • What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

I would day create a writing outline, a daily word count, set a tentative release day and stick to it. Also, don’t be afraid to get a coach or mentor if you need some accountability.

  • How can readers connect with you and learn more about your books and services?

For books they can check out www.jessicaleeann.com and for editing or publishing services they can check out www.chocolatereadings.com.

I love that Monster!: Cookie doesn’t play around!

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Chile get a cup of hot tea or better yet some Mascoto cause you gonna need it for the first episode of the new season! If you didn’t already seen the season finale last, then let me spill the tea and catch you up. 

Luscious Lyon was visiting his son Andre in the hospital because of a mental break down he had due to some medications.  Luscious was already suffering amnesia from a plotted death by his son Andre.  Luckily he survived, but his memory didn’t. The family hires a nurse whose name is Claudia to work with Luscious to gaining his memory back.  But let’s just fast forward to the new season.  He is drugged by Claudia who portrays to be a nurse working at the hospital.  So this psycho patch kidnaps him and takes him back to her place which looks like a place to kill people to be honest. Looks like a scene from a lifetime movie on the real.  Claudia has been known to take “her methods” a little bit too far.  Well heck yea!  What nurse kidnaps their patients and chains them to a piano?! Lawddd! This is too much tea yall!  But keep sipping.  She likes it better when he is Dwight (Luscious’s real name) because Dwight is that kind and sweet-hearted person and not that hard-core thug who kills people. When he lost his memory, Luscious had a hard time coping with his identity so his family tried to help him remember a lot of music he wrote and recorded hoping it will trigger some of his memories.  But nawww! Claudia wasn’t about to have that.  So now she is trying to win his love by kidnapping a man everyone knows and Cookie loves.  

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Claudia wants Dwight who is kind and has a creative soul so to speak.  She tries to brainwash Luscious to thinking he is Dwight. Like really? Luscious will never be no doggone Dwight!  Do you know what he is capable of? Somebody lock this honey boo-boo psycho up for real!  Let’s pause and switch over to how Cookie’s sons are doing.

 

Jamal is dealing with another rough patch in his life, the first one was getting shot at an event for Empire and the second one was shooting and killing someone while protecting someone else.  As you all may or may not know Taye Diggs played on the last couple of episodes last season as this bad-ass politician named Angelo who fell for Cookie hard.  But things got pretty dirty and messy when Angelo’s mother played by Phylicia Rashad sets up the family by giving Andre the wrong medicine making him hallucinate, turning the Lyon brothers against each other, having Bella taken away from Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) It was just too much drama last season.  So Angelo go pays Jamal’s boo-thang a visit and things just gets out of hand and luckily Jamal (Jussie Smollet) comes to the rescue and they end up fighting and Angelo pulls out a gun.  After all the fighting, Jamal pulls the trigger and now Angelo is dead.  That’s something hard to deal with, but he was only protecting someone.  

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Becky who is Empire’s assistant and played by Gabby Sidibe has had a great season on the show since the first season of Empire.  But last season we could see that Becky was dabbling around with a secret boo.  But now she ends up pregnant.  It’s really bothering her because she didn’t see being a mother in her career life.  I mean Becky was always on top of everything for the company, hands down!  She had a whole bag full of pregnancy tests in her purse that read all positive.  Girl you pregnant! You will be alright Ms. Becky!  Now let’s get back to Luscious who is still chained up and has to find a way to get loose from the psycho.  He tricks Claudia to thinking he still needs her therapy and when she gives her a hug, he tries to kill her by choking her.  Too bad she doesn’t die.  They get into a brawl on the floor and she attacks him with a gun (not with bullets) but with one that had a tranquilizer in it.  She has some type of device that puts out a red bright light to give him a migraine and all of his music plays on top of each other.  Now that’s a nut on the low!  Of course when Cookie gets word on where Luscious could possibly be, she goes off to find him and indeed she does.  Of course Claudia let’s her in after Luscious promises her that he won’t do anything stupid after Claudia threatens to kill Cookie. He turns back into Dwight and plays that role pretending that he still needs more therapy so that he can save Cookie.  Smart, but crazy move.  So of course Cookie leaves the house confused and hurt.  A quarter of a mile down the road, she realizes Luscious is lying and that he wasn’t working on any new music when she has flashbacks to the song he was playing at Claudia’s house. 

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When Luscious reveals his love for Cookie to Claudia, she becomes irritated and upset and ol’ girl wasn’t having that!  Cookie returns and Claudia hits her upside the head hard.  Down goes Fraser! When she wakes up, both of her hands are tied up with rope to a table and so is Luscious’s .  Cookie and Luscious has a deep understanding and connection that no one would ever understand not even Claudia who didn’t understand their life from the get go.  Of course she tries to play a therapist again and telling both Luscious and Cookie that their love isn’t real.  Luscious revealed that the game and the streets brought them together, not love.  But trust me, if you have been keeping up with the show, they both show their love in such a crazy way that nobody will every understand.  I believe they don’t understand it themselves.  Claudia is only playing with Luscious mind to help him realize it.  Cookie is claiming Luscious to be a real monster, but she confesses to Claudia that “that monster” is hers and she is willing to fight for what is hers!  Ok now! Claudia you better watch out!  Cookie escapes somehow and Claudia and her both go toe to toe.  Claudia tasers Cookie and Luscious tries to free himself and when he is, he punches Claudia in the face.  That’s what you get psycho!  Cookie wanted her dead, but Luscious or Dwight doesn’t do it just to prove to Claudia that he isn’t a killer.   She ends up going to jail or a nut house I should say.  Now that’s a lot of tea to spill in just one episode!  Tune in every Wednesday at 8 PM EST on Fox for new episodes of Empire.  

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Author Spotlight: Bianca Lynnette

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  • How did your writing journey begin?

I started writing as a pre-teen. I was a quiet child growing up with a lot on my mind, so I resulted to writing poetry.

  • Was writing something you always wanted to accomplish as one of your goals?

Yes, most definitely.

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

My number one message for my readers is for them to know that they have the power to speak lyfe no matter what’s going on around them.  I want them to be empowered and to know they have a voice.  It is very imperative that they know how much their voice matters.

  • How many books have you written?

I’ve written and published one book and co-authored on one book.

  • Do you plan to publish more in the future?

I sure do!

  • Have you had any book signings? If so, how did that go? If not, do you plan to have one to connect with new readers?

Yes I’ve had a few book signings and I’ve also sold my books at my events. I think book signings are an awesome opportunity for your readers and supporters to get to know you as both an Author and a person. They get to hear about your mission and I truly believe people support purpose. I do plan to have future book signings because I love connecting to new people and I also plan to add on to my current book.

  • What marketing strategies do you use for your books?

For my marketing strategies I use social media to promote my book, I host events that are centered or include my tagline to help promote my book and I’ve also added shirts to support my Speak Lyfe movement.

  • Are there any challenges getting people to support you?

Yes, unfortunately. I’m grateful for my stream of supporters, however, it definitely can be a challenge.

  • What is your writing style like? Any special places you like to go and write at?

It really depends on what I’m writing. Sometimes I like to write in an open space or outside. At times I like to write to music, it helps me to stay in my zone. My ideal writing location outside of Starbucks would be near water on a beautiful day.

  • How can readers connect with you and buy your books?

They can reach me on fb as Bianca Lynnette Speak Lyfe, IG: Speaklyfe_bianca, my books are available on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble as well as my website Iambiancalynnette.myshopify.com

  • Tell the readers more about the types of books you write? Are some of them based on real life experiences?

“Speak Lyfe: 31 Days to a New You!” will always be a personal favorite of mine. When I was going through a dark place in my life, I literally had to look myself in the mirror and say these exact affirmations everyday for 30 days. This along with daily prayer helped to save my life. In the “Walking in my Identity” book collab I shared on a very personal point in my life that stemmed from me learning to embrace my voice. Overall I prefer to write both about my life experiences and on empowerment but I won’t limit it to that because you never know what God has planned for you.

 

This interview is brought to you by That Riverz Gurl Media, LLC

 

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When Preparation Meets Opportunity

When life takes a sudden turn; an unexpected loss of a love one, loss of job, divorce/relationship problems, health issues, and the list goes on…. We are quick to ask, why God, and why me? What am I going to do? We panic! We get scared. We suddenly feel alone,  like our world has ended.

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It’s not always easy, nor is it our first thought.  But, I challenge you, when unwanted circumstances arise, pause… and see what God is saying?  Trust me, it’s not easy, I know! When I am faced with adversity, the first thing I always hear is the Holy spirit saying is: “Just trust me!”

You have to remind yourself of His faithfulness. Hebrews 11:1, now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Reactivate your faith and begin to speak the goodness of God into your life, give him glory during the storm. It’s not easy, but you’ve got to fight your way to victory! Put on the full armor of God; the helmet of Salvation, the breastplate of Righteousness, the belt of Truth, walk in the sandals of Peace, and shield yourself with the sword of faith.

Well, how do I do that, you might be asking?

You have to declare His promises daily, speak it, cover yourself in His Word. After you have declared it, begin to see it coming to pass. Ask God to renew your heart and mind daily, well what does that mean? Ask Him to give you a clear mind and heart, to take away all of the negativity, to silence the tongue of the enemy so that you can hear His voice and His voice alone.

Think about all that could come from losing your job, yes it seems as if things are not going to be taken care of, but God is a faithful God. He’s not going to leave you nor forsake you. You have to know, that God did not bring you this far, to only bring you this far…. There’s an opportunity brewing with your name on it, it took losing the job for God to prepare you in this season for what He has that’s greater. It aligns with the desires of your heart and the plans He has for you. Think about it, it’s what you’ve been praying for. (smile)

Had it not been for your marriage/relationship being tested, your strength and faith would not have been challenged and you would not be discovering a new you or growing with your mate and falling in love daily reaching new heights together as one. It brought you closer together, it made you/them see your faults and amid all of that drama, you fell in love again, you discovered that you never knew a love like this. The silence, the distance, the argument was preparing you for what’s yet to come. Strengthening you to build a business together, showing you how to build a home and not just have a house, preparing you for the love of a new addition to your family, teaching you how to handle one another in love and respect. It was part of the plan for the next level in your life, the new beginnings…

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When things suddenly happen, sometimes we just have to accept it and force ourselves to see the good over the bad. When the enemy comes in like a flood, trust that God will raise a standard against it. However, everything is not always the enemy, it may just be part of the plan to grow you, to push you, to make you better, to allow you to see yourself, or to allow you to see God and give Him the opportunity to move.

You have to have faith in the middle of failure TD Jakes

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During adversity, look at it as God preparing you for what’s next. He has you in solitaire so that you can hear His voice and this time, move as He says to move. Allow His word to be a lamp onto your feet and to direct your path. Psalm 119:105

The next time you find your back up against the wall, I encourage you to embrace the bad and know that it is for your good. Take a deep breath and follow the steps below so that you can hear God’s voice, not your own, nor the enemies, as you are being prepared for your next opportunity.

When Preparation meets Opportunity

Five Days of Preparation

(New Job, Promotion, Relationship, Marriage, Kids, Finances, Strength, Health, Friends, etc.…)

  • Day 1: Stop! Breath in, exhale…. What is God saying? Tune everything out, get into your quiet place and listen for His voice. Don’t request anything, don’t complain about anything, just listen…. Don’t move, until you have heard the voice of God! Not your own voice, not the enemies, but the voice of God!

Psalms 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God

  • Day 2: Now apply what the Lord has given you on Day 1. For me, He just kept saying to trust Him, whenever fear or doubt set in, I softly repeated, Lord I trust you! I made it a part of my day to continuously say, as I walked, as I sat at my home desk, as I worked on my plan, driving home, in my room, while praying…. Lord, I trust you!
  • Day 3: What are your desires/vision/dreams? What do you want?? Ask yourself, is it really what you need…Write them out… I specifically wrote out everything in a job that I wanted. I was very detailed and specific, I didn’t just express my desires about the type of work I wanted to do, but also the co-workers, Boss, atmosphere, office space, pay…. EVERYTHING! After my request where made known, I still said now God, not my will, but yours!

Habakkuk 2:2 Then the LORD replied: “Write the vision and make it plain!

  • Day 4: PRAY!  You must believe in His promises! Go over your desires/wants/dreams/vision…find scriptures and pray over what you have written, speak it, believe in your heart, and trust God, knowing that if it’s part of His Will and plan for your life, nothing is impossible, it will come to pass! Consider it done, In Jesus Name! Faith walk…

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

  • Day 5: Claim it, envision it…start seeing yourself doing it, and just begin to thank Him daily! What you speak has power! Speak life into everything that you are preparing for! Eventually, your preparation will meet the opportunity!

Mark 11:23 Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will.

1 Thessalonians 5: 18 that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.

As you patiently wait on God, begin to thank Him! Start preparing for what’s next to come. May your prayers be answered, and the desires of your heart come to pass according to His plan, His Will, His purpose for your life.

Rejoice! The new job is coming, the marriage/relationship will be restored, your children will rise above and find order, your finances will increase, your heart will be healed, your body will be healed, your mind will be healed, you will be the next TESTIMONY!

 

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SMILE…

He’s preparing you for the next opportunity.

 

Be Nspired!

Author Amara L. Russell
 
“Be The Light”

Amara L.Russell is a Motivation/Inspiration contributing blogger for Elevate Ur F.U.S.E.  She is also an author of Nspired and A Rare Diamond.  You can purchase her books on Amazon.  Follow her on Instagram at @arare_diamond1

Author Spotlight: Diane Guntrip

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How did your writing journey begin?

This is a difficult question for me to answer. From a young age I have always been actively involved in some creative pursuit. I trained as a teacher specialising in English and Textiles and taught Textiles for 6 years. Later I became a jewellery designer and also ran a business featuring designer pillows all whilst I continued with my teaching career. There has never been a time when I have not been busy with some form of creativity. So to return to your question, I decided to write short stories, perhaps 15 years ago. There was no idea of publishing. ‘Dear H’ began in a different format to the present diary. The writing was spasmodic and one day, the story had become longer and had transformed into a dairy.

My neighbor’s granddaughters read the manuscript and urged me to publish the book. After submitting it to a few publishers with no offers of a contract, I lost interest. It was not until my circumstances changed, a badly shattered wrist, that led me to re-edit the book and I made the decision to self publish.

Was writing something you always wanted to accomplish as one of your goals?

No, I can’t say it was. I was busy expressing myself creatively in other ways.

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

‘Dear H’ is for young people of aged 10+ although a lot of adults have read and enjoyed the book. It was originally written just as a book to be enjoyed. However, once the book was completed, I saw it in another light. The book is a diary written by 12 year old Amanda who is constantly being bullied. I have been instrumental in presenting workshops in primary schools and the book has proved to be an excellent discussion tool where the students can speak freely on bullying, depression, self-esteem, diary writing and their dreams for the future etc. The book is motivational and inspiring.

‘The Daisy Chain’ is the sequel and is written for girls from 13+ years. Amanda is now a student at a prestigious music academy. She is determined to set up an anti-bullying support group called the Daisy Chain. The book introduces new characters who are experiencing problems of adolescence. Amongst them the reader sympathizes with mental health issues and an unplanned pregnancy. Again, the book is for enjoyment but is full of ‘tips’ and discussion points.

How many books have you written?

So far two, ‘Dear H’ and ‘The Daisy Chain’.

Do you plan to publish more in the future?

I have made a start on ‘Tilly’s Story’. This is the story of how Tilly, in ‘The Daisy Chain’ has to leave the college due to her pregnancy and give up her place at a music conservatorium.

Have you had any book signings? If so, how did that go?

For both of my books I arranged book launches which were held in my local Art Gallery. These were well advertised with guests of honor. Book signings were part of the events. I also sign books when I visit schools to do workshops.

What marketing strategies do you use for your books?

I have a website, www.dianeguntrip.com. Initially for the book launches, I was featured in the local paper and on community radio. I have also been featured in blogs and a recorded radio interview. I use Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. I approach schools and associations to offer to speak.

Are there any challenges getting people to support you?

Yes, especially as the books are self-published. A lot of institutions, some libraries and book fairs do not accept authors who are self-published.

What is your writing style like? Any special places you like to go to write at?

As both books are diaries, I would say they are chatty, easy to read, conversational. I can only write when I am in my study with the door closed!!

How can readers connect with you and buy your books?

I can be contacted via the Contacts Page on www.dianeguntrip.com or directly on dianeguntrip@hotmail.com

For Australian residents the books can be ordered from the website. For elsewhere they are available from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk. Barnes and Noble and the Book Depository.

Tell the readers more about the types of books you write.

My books are fiction and the characters are all from my imagination. However, the issues that are mentioned are all problems that young people can encounter in today’s world. I hope that my books will inspire others to have the strength to follow their dreams.

 

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