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5 Questions with Angela Kay Austin

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aka-10What role did books play in your early life?

They offered me an escape from my world into another, while introducing me to new fantastical things and people.

Do you have a favorite writing space?

One of my favorite bookstore/restaurants in Memphis. You sit inside and write with a glass of wine and a delicious salad, or outside on the patio with live music and a glass of wine J

Does the writing get easier with each book?

Image result for angela kay austin bealeIt is it weird to say both. I think my stories become more complex the longer I write, and that makes me a stronger storyteller. But, it also gets easier. I’m not afraid to take on a story that is rich with three-dimensional characters and tougher issues.

Do you think writer’s block only exists in an author’s mind?

I think it exists because a writer is trying to make the story they’re telling better. We won’t accept the first thing that pops into our heads.

About the Author

Bio (brief):

 Angela Kay Austin has always loved expressing herself creatively.  An infatuation with music led to years playing several instruments, some better than others.   A love for acting put her in front of a camera or two for her thirty seconds of fame before giving way to a degree and career in communications.  After completing a second degree in marketing, Angela found herself combining her love for all things creative and worked in promotions and events for many years. 

Today, Angela lives in her hometown in Tennessee with her really really really old dog, Midnight.

To learn more about Angela, visit her website: http://www.angelakayaustin.com/.

Website: http://www.AngelaKayAustin.com
Twitter: @AngelaKayAustin
Facebook: /AngelaKayAustin

Telling Stories with Award Winning Author, Laquette

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laquetteDo you have a favorite writing space?

My dining room table.  I don’t know why, but it works wonders for my creativity.

Who was the first person to recognize that you had writing talent?

My mother.  She gave me my first computer on my 18th birthday to further my desire to write.

Do you have those moments when words are difficult to come by?

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Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2cEXegf Loose Id: http://bit.ly/2crSonK All Romance:http://bit.ly/2crSonK iBooks: http://apple.co/2cpgsHH

 

Fortunately, no.  As long as I have music in my ears, the words seem to come.

Does the writing get easier with each book? Or does it get more difficult because you’re also growing as an author with each work?

Every book is different.  Lies You Tell was a very easy project.  The structure, the words, it all just came.  Power Privilege & Pleasure was difficult.  I loved the finished product, but getting to the end was hard.  My characters didn’t want to behave.

How can an aspiring author get better at writing?

Keep writing.  If you feel the need, take writing classes focused on craft.

Do you think writing courses and writer’s workshops are worth the investment for aspiring authors?

I’m of two minds about this.  I don’t believe you need formal education to become a writer.  I have both undergraduate and graduate degrees in writing. I benefited greatly from my education, but the talent was there before I stepped on campus.  I didn’t need school to become a writer.  I needed it to become a better writer. My writing education refined my raw skill.

About the Author

LaQuette is a bestselling Erotic Romance Author is the 2016 Author of the Year Golden Apple Award Winner, 2015 Swirl Awards Bronze Winner in Romantic Suspense, and 2015 Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award Finalist in Erotic Romance. LaQuette—a native of Brooklyn, New York—spends her time catering to her three distinct personalities: Wife, Mother, and Educator.

Writing—her escape from everyday madness—has always been a friend and source of comfort. At the age of sixteen she read her first romance novel and realized the genre was missing something: people that looked and lived like her.  As a result, her characters and settings are always designed to provide positive representations of people of color and various marginalized communities.

She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running around in her head causing so much trouble.  Contact her on Facebook, Twitter, her website, NovelsbyLaQuette.com, Amazon, her Facebook group, LaQuette’s Lounge, and via email at LaQuette@NovelsbyLaQuette.com.

Fans Feeling “Grimm” over Cancellation News

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Grimm Season 6 is ready for the small screen on Jan. 06, 2017, but news over the cancellation of Season 7 skyrocketed through the internet creating an immediate campaign to save the supernatural show. It’s not your Mama’s fairy tale and these creatures are no joke although some episodes have been puntastically terrific. The show has a bit of everything from love scenes to action and of course, mythical creatures. The strong heroic lead, Nick Burkhart a Portland detective and residential eye candy, is a fan favorite. Nick is the guy who goes the extra mile, not only for the people he loves, but for the citizens of Portland, human and Vessen alike. Vessen are the supernatural element in the show which combine humans with animals that almost shape shift in ‘vessen’ mode.

Nick is Grimm.  A Grimm is almost like a modern Knight of the Templar set out to hunt down the Vessen which are considered unnatural and unworthy to live or reproduce. Unlike his ancestors, Nick does not desire to randomly kill every Vessen he meets unless they are a bad kind, who prey upon humans.However, the lines are blurring with him and Adalind.

An exciting scene already leaked shows the length  of Nick’s persistence to save Adalind, the mother of his child, who is back to being a Hexenbeast.  Captain Renard, the father of Adalind’s first child has taken her and Nick wills top at nothing to get her back.  Ahhh love. Rumor has it that he might even be compelled to use his supernatural powers, which can adversely affect him.

However, there is a lot of love between Nick and Adalind.

For those uninitiated, “Grimm” was first launched in 2011, garnering considerably high number of audience, which prompted the network to reach until the sixth season. It is about the supernatural detective, Nick Burkhardt, who is endowed with supernatural powers which allows him to catch creatures with supernatural abilities too.

Other members of “Grimm’s” cast include Russell Homsby as hank Griffin, Silas Weir Mitchell as Monroe, Sasha Roiz as Captain Renard, Reggie Lee as Sergeant Wu and Elizabeth Tulloch as Juliette.

Here is a basic map of the action to catch you up on the fantastic series.

grimm-essentials

Fight Like A Girl #OvarianCancer

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September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. My friend Jordan K. Rose is an ovarian cancer survivor. To help raise awareness she’s donating 100% of the sales in the month of September of A Vampire’s Passion to the Granulosa Cell Tumor Research Foundation.

A Granulosa Cell Tumor is a rare form of ovarian cancer and more information is needed to help fight this disease.

Buy a copy of A Vampire’s Passion and help in the fight against ovarian cancer!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1nvVl7Y
iBooks: http://bit.ly/1vExLr6
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1wdGOhA
Nook: http://bit.ly/1ssa3PK
ARe: http://bit.ly/1QNf9yN

5 Questions with Natalie D. Wilson

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What role did books play in your early life?

ndwheadshotI grew up in a middle class family. We didn’t have everything we wanted but we always had books. My mother enrolled me in a book-of-the-month club at an early age and the monthly delivery was very much a highlight of my young life. Once I entered school and discovered the wide variety of books available to me through the library my reading expanded. This is part of the reason that today I am an elementary library/media specialist. I enjoy trying to find something for all children to read especially for those who don’t think they like books and reading.  To this day I am still an avid reader. If I am not writing, I am reading. My husband has actually asked me if I was really trying to read while brushing my teeth. I was.

Who was the first person to recognize that you had writing talent?

My writing journey officially began about 4 ½ years ago. I had tImage result for natalie d wilson bookshe idea for a fantasy/romance series for many years but had never done anything other than daydream about the concept and a few of the main characters. It was my husband, Will, and a dear friend, Catherine, who encouraged me to sit down and just try to write one chapter.
One chapter turned into three novels within a four-month period and needless to say, I was hooked.  I then gave the stories to a few other dear friends to get their reactions and they also enjoyed the stories and asked for the next one. It was through their reaction and encouragement that I realized that I could do it and that led me to see that I had many stories inside me waiting to be told.

Are you an active participant in the cover design of your books? 

I am very much involved in the design of every book cover. I also write romance novels Image result for natalie d wilson booksunder a pen name have found some very talented graphic artists who help take my ideas and vision and turn that into an image that would help catch the readers’ eye. One of the most difficult parts of cover design for me is giving over my verbal ideas to the artists and trusting them to develop a graphic representation of that vision. I am allowed to make request changes to modify the cover creation along the way to help bring the final cover image as close as possible to my original idea. I had to learn that it was not always possible to have exactly the model look or pose but that I had in mind but that the feel of the cover is the most important aspect. I feel that it’s important to do your homework and seek out an artist who is able to collaborate with you to bring your ideas to life.

You have books published on ebook platforms like Nook. What has your experience been with ebooks?

Image result for natalie d wilson booksI am very fortunate that my husband is technically savvy and he was instrumental in helping me to navigate the ebook publishing process. In my experience, ebooks account for the vast majority of my sales. I do offer print books as well because I know that for some the physical book is preferred and I believe that every reader is important and I want to be sure to have the book available in as many formats as possible. I think everyone that writes loves to see their book in print, but I believe that ebooks are a must.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being an author?

Hands down, the most rewarding thing to me as an author is to have a reader tell me not only that they love a character or scene, but why they loved it. I often find myself in conversations at book events talking about my characters as though they are family members. When a reader loves my characters as much as I do and enjoys discussing them as if they are real to them, I am absolutely tickled pink.


About the Author

Bio (brief):

Natalie D. Wilson is a native of Georgia and lives with her husband, Will and two birds, Bonnie and Allie.

She loves to travel especially to anywhere with a beach. She enjoys bicycling and reading, but hasn’t mastered doing both at the same time.

Website: http://nataliedwilson.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/nataliedwilson
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authornataliedwilson
Other Social Media https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6576878.Natalie_D_Wilson

Donald Glover’s ‘Atlanta’ Is Both Really Good And Really Popular — Real Stories

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FX Unlike HBO’s Vinyl, which was canceled after one season, and The Get Down, a $120 million gamble from Netflix that isn’t paying off, Atlanta is a music-heavy show that’s also a hit. According to FX, Donald Glover’s deadpan comedy about two cousins trying to make it in the rap scene — I still have…

via Donald Glover’s ‘Atlanta’ Is Both Really Good And Really Popular — Real Stories – UPROXX

On Writing… with Novelist Daniel Black

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blackdaniel
Daniel Black, PhD

What role did books play in your early life?

   As a child, I loved books because they spoke of a life outside of the life I knew. There were images of beaches and ancient cathedrals and open plains where animals roamed. I had a hard time getting books in rural Arkansas, but when I did, I devoured them in a day. That presented a dilemma because then I had nothing to read. So I began the tradition of reading books repeatedly. This developed the skill of close reading and made me see that books have far more than most can capture in one perusal. The Good Earth by Pearl Buck was a book I grew to treasure as well as James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son.

Do you have a favorite writing space?

        I’m on my 7th novel, and I’ve discovered that each book has demanded a different writing space. For some, I write outside. One of my novels, Perfect Peace, I wrote almost maxresdefaultentirely in Piedmont Park. Some days I sat in a lawn chair beneath a huge tree literally from sunup to dark. It would only come in that context. Others, like They Tell Me of a Home, I could only write while it rained. It’s the strangest thing. The Coming, my novel about the horrors and triumphs of the Middle Passage, I wrote sitting on the edge of my living room sofa. It morphed into the hull of a slave ship and became my receiving place for this narrative.

Do you have those moments when words are difficult to come by?

        Lord have mercy! Do I!! I have moments when, in the middle of writing, I sense the perfect word but can’t find it anywhere in my mind. What I’ve learned to do is leave a blank space on the page until it comes. This is hard for me—very hard—because I like to be content about my work as I construct it. I like to feel as if it is complete in the birthing, but it’s never true. NEVER. I revise everything I write. Usually two or three times. And usually that perfect word doesn’t come until the revision stage. Sometimes not at all. And sometimes I discover that there IS a perfect word, but I don’t know it, so I work to expand my vocabulary.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about writing for the African-American market?

         I’ve discovered, quite to my delight, that black people love to read AND love a well-written story. I can’t tell you the number of times my people have thanked me for writing they_t72GOOD literature—not sex-driven, error-filled works that have no merit. They hate that stuff, and they hate that publishers push this trash as African American literature.

Does the writing get easier with each book? Or does it get more difficult because you’re also growing as an author with each work?

       This is a great and a complicated question to answer. Yes, it gets easier because with each book completed, I’m more convinced that I can do this craft. However, each book is far harder for me because I grow in between and I try to write better with each attempt. It’s grueling actually, knowing that you’re competing most against yourself, but that’s true for me.

How can an aspiring author get better at writing? 

        You have to read the masters. It’s just that simple. They’ve honed the craft; they’ve figure out the tricks of the trade. So inundating one’s self with their words, their form, their craft seems to me the best way to improve.

Do you think writing courses and writer’s workshops are worth the investment for aspiring authors?

        Absolutely. I cannot encourage this enough. These gatherings are as much about cvlbyi5w4aat3hanetworking as about the craft of writing. And writers NEED other writers. That is one of the most important things I’ve discovered. Other writers read for you and blurb for you and keep you encouraged when self-doubt creeps in. Also, workshops teach aspects of writing that mere reading won’t address. I went to a very well-known writing workshop called Breadloaf a few years ago, and it changed my life.

My fiction writing instructor was the famous Charles_____ and he exposed me to dimensions of writing that have made all the difference in my skill. I’m forever indebted to him and Breadloaf for that knowledge and experience.

From what you have seen, can web marketing and social media be a helpful tool in selling books?

     Yes! Absolutely! The problem here is that most writers, including myself, are far more cerebral that social media demands. We are simply insular artists who need our space and time to create—not to spend on social media sites. BUT this is the contemporary tool if one wishes to establish him/herself in this postmodern literary market. I think the best thing for most writers to do is simply hire a social media specialist. It’ll pay off fast.


About the Author

 

Bio (brief): Dr. Black is a renowned, award-winning novelist. His works include THEY TELL ME OF A HOME, THE SACRED PLACE, PERFECT PEACE, TWELVE GATES TO THE CITY, and now THE COMING and LISTEN TO THE LAMBS. Dr. Black has been nominated for The Townsend Literary Prize three times, The Ernest J. Gaines Award, the Ferro-Grumbley Literary Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Georgia Author of the Year Prize twice. In 2014, he won the Distinguished Writer’s Award from the Mid-Atlantic Writer’s Association. For PERFECT PEACE, the GOG National Book Club Committee named him its “Author of the Year” in 2011. This novel has been reprinted more than 10 times and is being heralded as a major American literary classic.

Presently, Dr. Black is full-professor of African American Studies at Clark Atlanta University. The Coming, one of his most recent releases, is a first-hand account of the trauma and triumph of Africans on a slave ship in the 16th century. Early reviewers have deemed this work “brilliant”, “poetic”, and “a literary homage to the lives of those Africans tossed into the sea.” It is now in circulation and has been nominated for the 2016 Townsend Award in Fiction. In February of 2016, Dr. Black released yet another long-awaited work, titled Listen to the Lambs. This novel explores the lives and agency of homeless people who find each other on the street and create lives of meaning without material substance.

Dr. Black lives in Atlanta and is the founder of the Ndugu-Nzinga rites of passage nation.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author-Daniel-Black-125875067439869/

Leave your positive feedback on this dynamic author.