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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.

 

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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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Author Spotlight: Philandis Stovall

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 How long have you been writing?

I started writing at a very young. I would say, it was around the age of 5. I used to write in a daily journal about anything. I would create short stories, poems and writings about expressing my thoughts and experiences.

What motivated you to become an author?

My personal journey as while as the people around me motivated me to want to get my story out there. In that case, I would become an author. I would go through obstacles and, of course, some of them I didn’t understand until I kept maturing with each level of my spirituality. And I remember stating on several occasions I wanted to write a book . I was going to write a book. My goal has always been, “Lord, if I touch just one, I have done my job. If I touch more than one, the calling & purpose has just begun.

When will your book be published? Is this your first book?

Yes, this is my debut novel. Currently, it is set to be released on March 5, 2018.

Do you plan to write anymore books in the near future?

Yes, I do plan to write more books. I don’t want to go too much into details of what kind yet. I will give more insight when it’s time.

Are you planning to have a book signing for your book release?

I do plan on having a book signing among other amazing events. I am currently having meetings to work out all of the details at this moment. I will be sure to update you all when we have finalized date(s) set in stone. Be sure to follow my author’s page for upcoming events & other information.

Even through the storm is a great title! Can you elaborate on what the book is about? Is there a main message you want your readers to take from this?

Thank you. 🙏🏽

Even Through the Storm is memoir about my family’s cancer journey. My son who was born a completely healthy baby boy received a cancer diagnosis at the age of 4. And we faced obstacles along the way. But, God never left our side!

No matter what you go through in life hold onto your faith & trust God’s unchanging hands.

Know that storms run out of rain…

Know the sun comes out from behind the clouds…

Know that there will be clearer skies…

Know that the grass will grow again…

You have to go through to get to.

How do you plan to promote/market your book? 

Yes, I do plan to promote/ market my book and I personally have been doing so. To name a few ways: Networking, branding myself, posting on social media outlets, making phone calls and shooting emails & more. Also, I have media kits & a press release.

It takes a lot of your own leg work+.

Do you have a particular place you like to write at?

No. I don’t necessarily have a particular place I like to write at. I write wherever the inspiration hits me. But, I do like to write while relaxing in a bubble bath tub.

What are some of your writing strategies?

A few of my writing strategies are:

Create an idea and/or getting inspiration for an idea & write it down

Decide in what direction is best to go in with the idea when putting the whole idea in perspective

Make a outline of significant points you want to discuss/target

Knowing your audience

Be authentic

Be creative

Use invention strategies (freestyle write)

How can readers connect with you on social media?

My readers can connect with me on my author’s page:

https://www.facebook.com/Even-Through-The-Storm-Philandis-Stovall-1578259265591406/

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Writing Tips for the Soul

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I started writing at the age of nine.  Not quite sure how I started though, but God had a plan and He surely blessed me with the gift at a very early age.  I started out writing short stories that embraced my imagination.  Honesty I can’t even remember what I was writing about, but all I knew, I had a real gift that everyone couldn’t have.  Some years later, I became an author publishing my first book in 2012 called A Collection of God’s Word and Motivation (collection of inspiration poetry)  Since then, I’ve published a total of six books.  

I wanted to do something different on my blog geared towards writers (new or old), authors and blogging and of course journalers (I just made that word up lol)  So I decided to do writing tips.  God knows I can still use the help on writing, because every writer isn’t perfect!  Always embrace learning more about writing.  So here we go!

 

Writing Tips to the Golden Soul

  1. Write Consistently– One way to get better at writing is if you are writing at least once a day.  All you need is your notebook, pen or pencil, some music and maybe a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and get to writing.  It doesn’t all have to be in complete sentences, but jotting down your thoughts helps to calm your mind.  Do you normally have various of topics to write on? That helps as well.pexels-photo-302440.jpeg
  2. Keep a Journal– Oh how I love a journal!  I would always journal in high school writing about my day.  I’m not sure why I stopped, but I definitely need to get back into the swing of journaling again.  If you don’t have one, now is the time to invest in a nice journal (preferably from Wal-mart or any bookstore) and write about your day. pexels-photo-261735.jpeg
  3. Read a good book– I think this is the most important thing for writers!  To gather great ideas for a short story or even a novel, reading helps a lot.  I started a good book earlier last month called “Lady Elect 4” which I haven’t finished yet, but is good for my writing skills.  Ask your friends or family for reading suggestions to add to your library and take notes.  pexels-photo-864938.png
  4. Research topics- I love the beauty of the internet because you can search anything if you have a question.  Sometimes if I want more insight and information on the topic I’m blogging on, I go to http://www.google.com and type in the topic.  Use the internet to the best of your ability especially when it comes to writing. pexels-photo-218717.jpeg
  5. Stay focused- Once we get into our very own writing pattern, the rest is history!  Try to at least spend 30 minutes writing about anything.  Never lose focus of your gift.  If you enjoy writing as much as I do, it will come very natural to you. coffee-cup-stack-break.jpg

 

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Author Spotlight: Beatrice de Cecil

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  • How did your writing journey begin?                                                                                Since I can remember I’ve wanted to write.  In fact, I’d tried to write at various stages in my life but the words or story would never come.  Any job I held in my adult life left me feeling incomplete, like I was missing something and just settling.  I realized I never truly belonged in any of them.  So in 2012 I made major lifestyle changes including walking away from traditional employment.  Depression found me with my head buried in lots of books after which I concluded it was time to give my dream of writing another go.  One wintry day in October 2016 I opened my laptop and started typing.  To my delight I discovered the words and story which had evaded me for so long had found me, they now flowed freely and  Whispers of the Realm was born.    Was writing something you always wanted to accomplish as one of your goals?
  • Yes, it’s been a lifetime dream since childhood.

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

  • Satisfaction, pleasure, enjoyment.  Perhaps the desire to read another.

 

  • How many books have you written? 
  • One
  • Do you plan to publish more in the future?

Yes.  I’m halfway through writing the second book and already in the planning stage for a book three.

  • 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?

No book signings yet but yes I aim to do them when my debut novel is released.

  • What marketing strategies do you use for your books?

I have the usual social media channels including a Facebook page and up-to-date website; both are actively promoted.  I also belong to several Facebook writers groups where I network regularly.  I designed some awesome business cards which are handed out at every opportunity.  Word of mouth.  I’m open to suggestions and always looking at new ways to market!

  • Are there any challenges getting people to support you?

No.  I’ve found people to be very supportive and enthusiastic.  When people find out I’m an Author it actually seems to ignite their interest, they want to learn everything about me.

  • What is your writing style like?

Any special places you like to go and write at? It’s important I’m connected to what I write, the best way to achieve that is to write from the heart.  If I can feel it, I can express it and it will work.  I’m a perfectionist which means I’m constantly editing.  It can take me a long while to produce something I’m happy with, I won’t start the next component unless the last is right!  A special place doesn’t have to be physical as long as I have peace or gentle Celtic music I can pretty much write anywhere although I avoid crowds preferring the company of my dogs and to be in nature.  

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

Readers can connect with me at my website www.beatricedececil.com  Facebook:  https://facebook.com/beatricedececil  E-mail:  beatricedececil@gmail.com   Links will be available on my website to purchase my books and also available through the publisher (details will be available at a later date on the website and Facebook).

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

I write fantasy and paranormal.  Yes, I like to blend real life and knowledge in my novels.  Before I started writing seriously, I kept a dream journal for several years.  Many of my dreams have been adapted and used in my first book.  I also found my personal experience as an Aura reader insightful and helpful when writing Whispers.

  • I was reading your bio on your website and I noticed it said you read eight books in a week! Wow! How do you do it?

Lol  Reading has always been a good therapy for me.  Since childhood I’ve been an introvert and as a teenager the neurological disorder epilepsy appeared in my life.  I became even more reclusive, losing myself in books and listening to music.  Although I came to terms with my condition, my love of reading continued.  A few years ago something cropped up which led to depression followed by PTSD with spells of insomnia so I turned to reading.  Devouring 8 books in a week was quite commonplace at the time.  Nowadays, it’s more like 2-3 a week.  

  • Whispers of the Realm sound interesting. When is that set to release?

I’m not sure!  I recently signed Whispers of the Realm, my debut novel, with a notable U.S. publisher.  There’s a lot of prep work involved before it’s ready for the market.  I’m thrilled to be working with them and anticipate it will be later this year.

 

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

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Author Spotlight: Jasmine Jones

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Meet Jasmine Jones!

Jasmine Jones is an engineer at a Fortune 500 company in Washington, D.C., the chief executive visionary of J Squared Productions, and the author of “The Single Ladies’ Commandments: Songs for Love, Healing, Freedom, and Purpose”. Jasmine is originally from Detroit, Michigan. She earned dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Industrial Operations Engineering and Mechanical Engineering with honors from Lawrence Technological University. Jasmine received her Master’s in Engineering Management from the Pennsylvania State University. Jasmine formerly competed in Miss America Scholarship pageants. She is the recipient of the Miss Michigan Scholarship Pageant National Academic Scholarship Award and held the title of Miss Lawrence Tech in 2011. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). She enjoys STEMulating and mentoring young people in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

 

When did your writing career begin?

I like to think my writing career began far before I set out to write “The Single Ladies’ Commandments”. Over the years, I’ve maintained journals with tons of personal stories including thoughts, reflections, and meditations. A couple years ago, a good friend and new author asked me to contribute my stories in her book of memoirs. Initially, I was hesitant to share my personal stories alongside other writers. My hesitation subsided when I thought about how my stories could help inspire other people.  A couple years later, I ventured out on my own endeavor. I began writing “The Single Ladies’ Commandments” to encourage women facing challenges in life and dating, and seeking to overcome those challenges.

How did J Squared Productions begin?

Growing up, I had a front row seat to entrepreneurship. Most of my childhood, my mother maintained a full-time job and a personal business endeavor from a children’s daycare to a cleaning agency to a clothing store to a rental property management company.

What was your motivation behind your business?

Needless to say, the entrepreneurship “bug” bit me too. J Squared Productions was birthed as a face to build my brand for “The Commandments Series”.  My vision is to expand J Squared Productions outside the realm of books and branch into other forms of media. In the future, I foresee J Squared Productions helping new writers through the book self-publishing process.

How did the whole “The Commandments” series begin?

Well women will just have to read the book to find out of course! But seriously, it began as a vision. I’ve always been good at recollecting songs both old and new and various genres and equating those songs to the years they were released. I guess it’s just more like a personal trivia game for me.  It wasn’t until my teenage years that I regularly attended church with my family. By that time, I was already heavily introduced to what many “church folk” would describe as secular music. At this time in my life, I was told I could no longer watch television channels like BET or listen to secular music. I tried for a time, but then it just didn’t sit right with me. I loved music, all  kinds and all genres and I couldn’t understand why I could no longer listen to every music genre I enjoyed whether it was gospel, hip-hop, pop, or otherwise.  Fast forward to adulthood, I was traveling on an early morning flight back home from Las Vegas and I felt as if God was leading me to write a devotional book that incorporated “secular music”. I was hesitant at first. One, I’m flying back home from Las Vegas aka Sin City. I wasn’t absolutely sure if God was leading me, but I began writing down the vision. When I returned home, I pretty much wrote non-stop daily devotionals and aligned the entries with 90 contemporary songs to encourage Single Ladies.

Let’s talk about the Single Ladies Commandments.  When is that set to release?  How long did it take for you to write the book?

“The Single Ladies’ Commandments” will be released January 7, 2017. Anyone who subscribes to my website has a chance to win a copy of the book before the official release date.  From the day I first began writing on my flight back from Las Vegas to the time I finalized the manuscript less than a year and a half had passed. Time really flies!

What is your message for all the single women who desire love and a relationship?

Seek God first. I feel like it’s cliché, but it certainly worked for me. For years, I failed one relationship after another; was left broken-hearted time and time again, and swore off all genuine “chances” of love.  I would like Single Ladies to realize as “The Single Ladies’ Commandments” ministers to them, recognize the process of writing it ministered to me. As I wrote each devotion, I traveled the spiritual journey to healing. Healing from every painful relationship, situationship, and any other thang I once claimed.  This process brought me to the moment where I can accept a healthy relationship. I am confident this 90-day process will prove successful for many other Single Ladies as well.

I just love your energy you bring to the table! What are your future plans for your business and book series?

As you know, “The Single Ladies’ Commandments” is the first installment in “The Commandments Series”. When I began writing the first installment, I realized I didn’t just want to help Single Ladies. In the upcoming books, you can expect to see daily devotionals dedicated for women in all walks and journeys of life.  In the future, I aspire to reach women not just through “The Commandments Series”, but various avenues including music and the arts. I feel as if the sky is not even the limit. Perhaps heaven is the true limit.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

I really enjoy self-help books, which is likely one of the reasons I gravitated toward writing my own self-help book series. Some of my more recent inspirational reads include books by Valorie Burton and Gary Chapman.

Where does your motivation and inspiration come from?

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—

    where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord. . .”

Psalm 121: 1 -2

My motivation, my inspiration, my help. . . it all comes from God. My vision to write “The Single Ladies’ Commandments”, the first and only devotional book to engage women via their interest and love for contemporary music, could have only come from God.

How can your readers connect with you?

Single Ladies, can connect with me via email: info@jsquaredproductionsonline.com, or by visiting my website: www.jsquaredproductionsonline.com. There, you can find direct links to all my social media handles and subscribe to my website.

If you would like to connect with me directly via social media, where I share inspirational content, you can follow me via:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jsquaredprods

Instagram: @jsquaredproductions

Twitter: @jsquaredprods

 

Bee Yourself!

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I saw this cute little necklace where I work at and I’m not a fan of bees, but the phrase underneath was touching.  I had to have this necklace in remembrance that we need to “bee” ourselves!

What is the point of trying to become someone else?  God created each and every one of us in His own image.  Have you ever tried to fulfill someone else’s dreams or tried to be someone else because of the better progress they are making in life? Well the most important thing is to never copy someone else’s dream or their image.  Learn to live for us because we were all made equal.

You are an authentic person who has their own dreams and goals to be filled.  I remembered when I wanted to fit in with the crowd so bad that I would join different groups on social media to feel that security.  Every since high school I would always try to fit in with the crowd.  I wasn’t popular and wanted that attention so bad.  Even though I hung out with a different crowd each week, I still didn’t felt like I belonged.  I never really had real friends growing up and I wanted to fit in with others to make me feel good about myself.

But I wasn’t listening to God’s voice when He told me that I was born to stand out.  I’m finally getting it, so now I just stay in my own lane and do my own thing.  I’m “beeing ” myself without trying to be like other women.  So stand up and stand OUT!  Bee Yourself because everyone else is already taken!  Create your own identify so others can see the real you!  I remember one of my Instagram followers post stating that the best brand is yourself.  That is very true!  I created my personal brand called “IAMPATRICERIVERS” From Pain to Blessings.  It’s about me and the struggles I’ve been through throughout the years.  I want to encourage and empower other women that they don’t have to look at their past struggles or hurt when they can start their life brand new and be the person God has called them to truly be.

A FUSE Movement

http://www.patricerivers.wix.com/iampatricerivers

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