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Five Things You Can’t Live Without

There are a lot of things that you can’t live without such as money, water, food, your cellphone of course and others.  Tell me your top five things that you can’t live without below in the comments.  For now, I will just list my top five things that I can’t live without and I hope you feel the same way.

  Sweets– I have a serious sweet tooth that desires a lot of sweets such as Little Debbie cakes and some candies.  Now my favorite sweet is the soft chocolate chip cookies.  To be honest, I can eat a whole tray in a day.  I know that it isn’t good to do that, but sometimes I can’t help it thinking about the sweet chocolate taste.  Sounds good doesn’t it?

   Chips: Yeah I know what you are thinking.  Her whole list will be food. LOL But actually it won’t be.  Lately I have been craving Ruffles or Lays original chips.  Just last week I ate about two bags a day and my stomach wasn’t really all that excited.  But now I am trying to cut back on how many bags I eat a day.  Like right now while I’m typing this post, I have a small bag of Doritos next to me on my desk.  That will be my only bag of chips today.  

 

     Money– I don’t care what anyone else says, you can’t live without money! It’s what you pay your bills with, your car note, buy groceries with and etc.  How can you buy a house or rent an apartment without having money? Even though I’m guilty of spending money on things I don’t need, we all still need it. 

    Family– If you have family, then be grateful because some people don’t have family to rely on and to depend on.  I am grateful for my parents, grandparent and close aunts and uncles.  That is something I definitely can’t live without. 

   Clothes and Shoes– ( I know that’s two items but they go hand in hand LOL) I have so many clothes and shoes that I got to have because it’s part of my style.  I don’t want to be naked or barefooted all the time, so clothing and shoes is a must! Don’t you agree readers?

Please email me at theriverzgurlbrand@outlook.com for your top five list of things you can’t live without.  I would love to hear your responses.  Also I will respost them in the next blog post called “My followers and readers Top Five”

You can also follow my IG @thatriverzgurlbrand to keep updated on new things I have going on. 

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Great Photography Apps for I phone Users

I’ve always been fascinated with taking pictures and editing them; more like me taking ten million selfies and photos of myself! LOL.  A couple of years ago, I saw a frog on the side of my house and back then I had an Android Samsung Galaxy and decided to take a picture of it.  I am very fascinated with taking unique and nature pictures as well as pictures of flowers. 

 

Photo Credit That Riverz Gurl Brand Photography

 

I am always downloading different photo editing apps to change the filter and effect on them for a more artistic look.  Now that I’ve crossed over to the I phone Apple side for the last two years and with a recent new upgrade, I’m always in portrait mode taking precise pictures.  I discovered this amazing article on top photo editing apps that you should use for photos if you enjoy taking different pictures like myself.  Are you ready for some fun and liven up your photos a little bit more? Then let’s get into these amazing apps!

 

  1. Snapseed– It’s a free app and one of the most popular I Phone editing apps.  It has a different selection of filters to create different moods in your photos.
  2. VSCO– There are 130 plus filters available through classic film.  It’s free to download in the app store with a subscription fee of $19.99 a year.  That’s not really bad if you are only paying an annual fee. It is also known as the best photo filter app for i phone users.
  3. Afterlight 2– It is best for all-purpose photo editing with additional creative options.  The app is only $2.99 and has double exposure for blending images and enhancing or changing the mood.
  4. Enlight– This app is best used for selective control over edits and artistic effects.  It is only $3.99 so let’s get creative with your editing!
  5. Touch Retouch– this app is best used for removing unwanted blemishes and objects from your photos . You can duplicate items using the clone tools.  It is only $1.99
  6. Instagram– A great way to edit your pictures as well if you enjoy sharing and posting pictures.  It offers good editing tools for enhancing images before sharing them with your followers.
  7. Adobe Lightroom CC– It is best for precise fine-tuning of color and exposure with advanced editing tools.  It is free to download with a subscription fee for additional features.
  8. Mextures– Best used for applying textures, grains and light creative edits. Only $2.99
  9. Lens Distortions- Best for enhancing photos with sunlight, len flares, rain, snow or fog. This app is free
  10. Superimpose X– It is great for creating digital unique art by blending and combining images.  It is only $4.99

Source: www.http://www.iphonephotographyschool.com

 

Photo Credit by That Riverz Gurl Photography.

 

Follow That Riverz Gurl Brand on IG @thatriverzgurlbrand 

Favorite Phone Apps for I Phone

When I got the upgrade to the I phone X Max, I was ecstatic because not only was I getting a bigger phone, but most importantly I wanted the phone for the camera features.  Using portrait mode in the different lighting settings is amazing!  There are also some wonderful apps that I use on the phone as well.

 

Adobe Photoshop Mix– I downloaded this app a week ago and I’m already in love with it because it allows me to take the creativity of photos to the next level.  I am able to use the Adobe tools such as blending and multiplying and adding layers to give the photo a nice little affect.  I’m not sure who else uses this app, but it’s definitely worth it!

 

Video Show– I actually had this on my other iPhone and I truly love this app to death because whenever I do a video for my You Tube page or my IG page promoting my brand, I use that app to edit, add music and trim the video for a more professional and polished look.  I definitely recommend this app if you create a lot of videos.

 

Square Fit: This is another great app to use especially if you post a lot of visual stuff on your social media pages.  Because I am a writer, blogger and a magazine owner, I am constantly screen shooting pictures on my phone and using square fit to resize the picture for a new polished look.  I also add text on it as well such as my brand name.

 

Photo Grid– If you love taking pictures, then this is a must-have app! I’ve had for years now and it hasn’t let me down yet.  I love creating a grid for my pictures especially for birthdays or selfies of myself (haha) If you don’t have this app, try downloading it in your app store for I phone uses and for Android uses, download it on Google Play.

 

Solange New Album ‘When I Get Home’ Drops Tonight’

Solange has been teasing fans long enough and has even taken over Black Planet and revealing her site according to Vulture Her new album ‘When I Get Home’ drops at midnight releasing  thirteen songs in total that includes fives interludes and one intermission.

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Photo Credit via Solange Knowles Twitter 

Her tracklist/alum cover shows nothing more than a magical creation! We just have to wait and see what the hype is all about when the album drops at midnight! 

 

  1. Things I Imagined

2. 5 McGregor (interlude)

3. Down With The Clique

4. Way To The Show

5. Can I Hold The Mic (interlude)

6. Stay Flo

7. Dreams

8. Nothing Without Intention (interlude)

9. Almeda

10. Time (is)

11. My Skin My Logo

12. We Deal With The Freak’n (intermission)

13. Jerrod

14. Binz

15. Beltway

16. Exit Scott (interlude)

17. Sound Of Rain

18. Not Screwed! (interlude)

19. I’m A Witness

Via Vulture Magazine  Track List

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You Got Served 2 in the Making

Photo Courtesy from Vulture B2K

Your favorite millennium movie is BACK!!! You got served is in the making according to one of B2K’s member L-Boog.  The 2004 hit of ‘You Got Served’ included all of the members of B2K as well as former ‘Immature’ ‘IMX’ member Marques Huston.  But the real question is, Will the sequel include the other original cast members like Steve Harvey and Jennifer Freeman (Liyah) ? I hope so because having the original cast will be better! So there you have it, the buzz on sequels. 

B2K has already announced their Millennium tour! Whose ready?!

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Video Courtesy by L_Boog IG page

 

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Stay TRGB Plugged!

‘Artist on the Rize: 18- year old Chicago Rapper King Von Talks New Music, New Album and Journey’

King Von is a 18 year-old independent music artist from the South Side of Chicago. King Von has been writing music since he was 7 years old and identifies with a wide range of musical genres from rap to pop. Life traumas from his early teen years to present day has influenced Von a great deal; pushing him to make music and use music as an outlet to express himself, as well as, educate others. King Von is most satisfied when audiences resonate with his music and make a deeper connection. His goal is to be as transparent as possible, letting his music be a public diary. In the next few years, King Von wishes to remain independent while having grew into larger sectors of music and the industry. King Von’s singles Open Letter, Notice Me, Changes and Influences, as well as covers to songs like Tory Lanez’s Proud Family, has gained King Von his current following. He hopes to achieve growth in support, fans and recognition as he continues to bless the world with his music. 

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TRGB MEDIA: What motivates you in this profession?
KING VON:  The main thing that motivates me in the industry is the fact that I have an outlet to get my message out and while I’m doing that I’m helping people that’s going through the same stuff. And it’s fun making music makes me happy even when I’m making sad stuff I can take a step back and be like “this is beautiful” and no matter what hardship I was experiencing during the process of writing I can say that I got that anger and depression out of me.
TRGB MEDIAWho are some of your biggest influencers out now?
KING VON: That’s a tough one, seeing as I listen to almost everything. However, my top 5 are Childish Gambino, XXXTentacion, Scarface, Chris Brown, and Big Sean.
TRGB MEDIA: Are you currently working on an EP or an album?
KING VON :Yes, I have a self titled album “King Von” releasing December 22nd.
TRGB MEDIA: How do you remain humble in the game?
KING VON: I keep in my mind that there’s always room for growth and improvement, so remaining humble comes fairly easy. I get praise for my music and my original sound, but I know there’s always a way for me to get better. Whether a cadence or melody it’s always something I can improve on.

“It’s fun making music makes me happy even when I’m making sad stuff I can take a step back and be like “this is beautiful” and no matter what hardship I was experiencing during the process of writing I can say that I got that anger and depression out of me.” 

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Don’t forget to get the album when it drops 12/22/18! Stay tuned for the album review only on TRGB Media!

Check out his singles!

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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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2x Grammy Winner Jerry Bell Continues Shining in the Music Industry

Photo Credit by Xian Yang Lau
Jerry Bell is not only a 2x Grammy Winner, but has met a lot of great people along the way and singing background for popular groups such as The Spinners, The Delfonics and Marvin Gaye.  His passion of music isn’t just in his blood, but as a person of interest who always continue to make new music in a generation that is always changing.
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Artist Jerry Bell performing live with the band 
Photo Credit by Xian Yang Lau
TRGB Media: Tell us more about yourself?
 
Jerry Bell: I was born in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in a military hospital. My father was a career military man and my mother was a regular house wife for the time. My family traveled a lot when I was younger and it was in my formative years while I was undergoing vocal training that my passion for music began to blossom. I began to realize how vast the world was, as I reached adulthood, and my desire to experience different cultures began to take form. Due to this, I’ve traveled all across the world. I’ve lived in Japan for 18 years, on and off, and am fluent in Japanese. I’ve also lived in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia; Jakarta, Indonesia and traveled to places like: Budapest and the south of France. During my travels, I invested a large amount of my time to understanding the culture and adopting the practices of where I was. The culmination of this is my mastery of Shotokan karate, Okinawa Karate, Aikido, Judo, and Japanese archery called Kyudo. I hold many black belts in these martial arts and I have learned much about life from these practices. 
TRGB Media: How did you get started in the entertainment industry?
 
Jerry Bell: My family was a very musical family. We have produced gold and platinum records for nearly two decades. My family started The Sounds of Philadelphia and was once a part of Gamble and Huff; while it was still called “Gamble, Huff, and Bell” It was always expected of me to go into music, with all the influences around me. However, though I’ve always had a passion for music, what really drove me to becoming a musician was seeing James Brown perform. 
TRGB Media: Tell us a little bit about your groups “New Birth.” How was that created?
Jerry Bell: New Birth was originally two groups that came together to form something magical. It started as a band out of Louisville, Kentucky called the Nite-Lighters before merging with the vocalist group Mint Juleps. They were originally a backup band for Bobby Womack, before I was invited into the group in 1975 by the founders of the group: Tony Churchill and James Baker. When I was a part of the group from 1975-1979, it consisted of 13 people that were all amazing. However, it wasn’t until after New Birth that I broke out and became a star on my own.
TRGB Media: What was it like meeting Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5?
 
Jerry Bell: I knew Michael when he was young and when he was  much shyer than who everybody knew him as. In my early thirties, I was dating one of the sisters of the Jackson 5, and we all played on a softball team together called the Jackson’s. This was a lot of fun, because we played against other celebrities such as the Temptations. 
TRGB Media: Music is rapidly changing and so are artists. Since you are an “old school’ artist, how do you think music is different from different generations?
 
Jerry Bell: Well first of all, I’m not an old school artist; I’m an Original artist with original music. What they are portraying today is not music to me, because you cannot take something synthetic and make it natural and original. “Musicians” nowadays download sound clips on their computers and it doesn’t sound the same, it’s not real music. Sounds that were created by a computer are not real music; real music is played with the human body. Playing the piano or the drums; reading musical scores and writing musical notes, that’s what music is. 
TRGB Media: How was your experience at the Armenian Music Awards? 
 
Jerry Bell: Being at the Armenian Music Awards was a very heartwarming experience, especially knowing that their history mirrors my own. The Armenian people were persecuted and targeted for the Armenian Genocide in the early 1900’s that reflect how I feel about the treatment of black people in America. I try to reflect the plight of my people by reflecting the time period and highlighting the struggles that we have all been through.
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Jerry Bell performing center stage
Photo Credit by Xian Yang Lau
TRGB Media: Going through your bio, I noticed that you received lots of awards.  
 
Jerry Bell: In my time, I’ve been honored to receive two Grammy Awards. It was an exhilarating experience receiving the award, not for myself, but for the people who had come before me and had never had the chance to receive this prestige. In 2010, I was also inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame. Again, I was very honored and it felt special because it was something that I acquired through years of hard work. I felt that my years and years of persistence in creating music that would relate to people all over the world were recognized. My children have been the best reward, though, for the life that I have lived. They may not be an award, but they have been the best thing that have happened to me and I am most thankful for them at the end of the day. 
TRGB Media: What genre is your music?
 
Jerry Bell: My musical genre is romance, but most people would describe it as R&B. Romance to me covers a multitude of areas in our lives and is a far reaching power that I want to tap into. It helps people deal with emotions that they may not fully understand. 
TRGB Media: Since performing at different places with important people and in groups, what was your favorite highlight of your career thus far?
 
Jerry Bell: My greatest highlights were being with James Brown and Michael Jackson. One great story that I love to share is when I was accompanying him on tour in Japan. The fans spotted the bus that myself and Michael’s decoy were on and swarmed the bus; rocking it back and forth until it almost tipped over. They eventually made their way onto the bus, only to realize that Michael wasn’t on board, but only his decoy. 
TRGB Media: Are there any current projects you are working on? Any new music?
 
Jerry Bell: I am always working on new projects. Currently, I am working on finalizing a deal to broker financial backing for an entertainment park in China, along with a music academy to try and spread the teachings of music to other areas in the world. We are in the talks to partner with a major organization based in Los Angeles to broker this deal. As far as music, recently I have been inspired by news of the upcoming James Bond movie and am working on a cover of the famous Skyfall song by Adele. 
TRGB Media: What is next for Jerry Bell?
 
Jerry Bell: That is a question that I can’t spill my guts on. I can say that I am working on some musical programs that bring together artists of the past and present to reignite the feel of the “old school” sound. You’ll all just have to wait and see what I come out with!
TRGB Media: How can readers connect with you?
 
Jerry Bell: My website is JerryBellMusic.com, find recaps of my recent events on my Facebook page @OfficialJerryBell. 
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Dancer enjoys her time on stage with Jerry Bell
Photo Credit by Xian Yang Lau
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New Fashion Trend Pyper’s Collection Brings Plenty of Chic and Style

Fashion has always been changing the game with new trends all over the world, nationally and internationally.  But there is one person who is taking her business to the top and that is Pyper Collection! She is a game changer with lots of taste and fashion trends for both men and women.  O taste and see that Pyper’s Collection will have you begging for more!

 

TRGB Media: How did you get into the fashion industry? Was it something that motivated you to branch out and try it?

Pyper Collection: My love for clothes. Reconstruction has always been interesting to me since I was young. After finding out Alabama offer a fashion apparel program I  started my journey. I came to college as a pre-med major but an old friend was a fashion major. She would always have me to do her projects and I enjoyed doing them so I decided to change my major and follow my dream.

TRGB: So, you graduated from the University of Alabama. How did college prepare you for what you wanted to do?  By having a concentration in apparel and textile help your visual skills?

Pyper: The program was great and fairly smaller than the other classes on campus. I enjoyed the intimacy. The variety of courses required put the lifestyle of the fashion industry in perspective for me. When I graduated I felt confident in moving forward in the industry and pursuing a career.

TRGB: Why did you choose this particular industry for your career?

Pyper: My love for beauty and fashion! My family’s brand is also a beauty brand so it was ideal.

TRGB: Tell me about the family business, Salon Lisa Brown. How long have you been working there as a hair stylist?

Pyper: The salon has been open for 7 years now. I worked as a shampoo assistant at the age of 17, went off to school and worked on weekends until I graduated. I then became a junior stylist for a year and was recently promoted to senior stylist and salon supervisor.

TRGB: When starting the fashion retail business, what were your goals and visions for your business?

Pyper: I want to build an empire. My goal was to be affordable but fashion forward. “pypercollection” is a lifestyle brand. I want everyone to be able to shop and be apart of the collection, even the dogs. (We do offer doggy apparel as well)

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Model wearing a chic bathing suit in Pyper’s Collection

TRGB: Did you have a business and marketing plan?

Pyper: My publicist went to school with me and happens to be my best friend. She had plans to expand via social media. We recently flooded social media on my release of the collection which fell on my birthday. The idea came from my sister, Chyna. We created a countdown to create anticipation and now we are 86 days in.

TRGB: How did the creation and birth of “Pyper Collection” came about?

Pyper: My name is Pyper so originally it was going to be “Pyper”. I wanted a retail store and needed something catchy but ever-lasting. “pypercollection” was given to me by my mom. I admit it had to grow on me but now I love it.

TRGB: Tell us more about the Closet Collection. How did you determine which collection gets what?

Pyper: The closet collection is a super great deal, I recommend it to any one looking for fashionable things at an affordable price. The items in the closet belong to one of my family members and either has never been worn or worn one. If you think about it people wear the clothes in your favorite store all the time. Being in the retail industry taught me that. So it is consignment, but high fashion.

TRGB: How was the Chyna and Phillip collection transcribed?

Pyper: They are my two siblings and family is everything to me. Chyna is my manager and my brother has a t-shirt line called “#Details” so when I came up with the business I wanted them to be a part of it.

TRGB: How long have you been in business?

Pyper: 86 days, almost three months.

TRGB: When it comes to choosing the pieces and look for your fashion collection, what was your motivation? How did you create the look? What was the motivation behind it?

Pyper: The first collection was inspired by nature and traveling the world. It is called the “butterflycollection”. I use my mentor/seamstress Sonia and myself to create the items.

TRGB: Have any pieces of the collection been modeled in fashion shows or events?

Pyper: Not yet, but definitely keep an eye open for us on the runway.

TRGB: Any future projects/events coming up?

Pyper: Yes, we have winter community service events. I love giving back. We also will be hosting pop up shops at your favorite stores.

TRGB: What is next for Pyper Collection?

Pyper: More to come. We will expand and begin to add more as we grow. We are going global this fall and expanding to other countries. I vision my brand as being a fortune 500 company. We also are looking forward to being on the runway for NYFW. It’s all in God’s plan.

TRGB: How can readers connect with you and shop?

Pyper: Visit the website www.pypercollection.com and connect via Instagram. @pyper____ and the store Instagram @pypercollection!

 

 

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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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