Friday, June 29, 2007

Welcome Literary Superwoman Deatri King Bey Who Has Stepped Out Of Her Comfort Zone With Style

Trapped in the Comfort Zone

By Deatri King-Bey

Recently, we moved our family from Chicago, IL to Phoenix, AZ. No big deal. People move across country every day of the week. The part that had many of our family and friends scratching their heads was one day my husband came home and said, “How do you feel about moving to Arizona?” He loved his job in Chicago, we had a nice house, my youngest was finishing up her sophomore year in high school, all looked good and fine in the King-Bey household.

Seven weeks later we now live in Phoenix Arizona. Even my nephew, oldest daughter (along with my grandson) moved down with us. Why did we make this move and shake up the Universe (smile)? Because we had become too comfortable, thus complacent. Don’t get me wrong. We had a great life, BUT we’d been wanting to live in the Southwest since we moved away from Dallas thirteen years ago to attend college (on scholarships) in Chicago. Then we obtained great jobs in Chicago and stuck! Tooooo comfortable. We entered the comfort zone and became leery of stepping out. You know what I mean, why give up what you have for the unknown?

This was a major example of being “Trapped In the Comfort Zone,” but we all do this to ourselves every day of the week whether it be foods we eat (or won’t try), clothing we wear, places we’ll go, shows we watch, books we read, what paths we take in our career…

Even authors, such as myself, become trapped in the comfort zone. I write mainstream fiction and romance. When I was asked to write an erotic romance, I said, “No way. I can’t write that stuff.” My best friend badgered me into it. Even as I began writing the novel, I was not comfortable, but you know what? Being uncomfortable is sometimes a good thing.

I’d said no to an opportunity without giving it real consideration. Not because I had something morally against writing or reading erotic romance (I do enjoy reading erotic tales, SMILE.). I’d become trapped in the comfort zone—the easy life—and almost missed a chance to grow as an author.

That’s the danger of being trapped in the comfort zone. Have you missed out on growth opportunities because you’ve been trapped in the comfort zone? Are you stuck in a rut?

Well, I wrote the erotic romance. I’m elated I was poked and prodded out of the comfort zone. Whisper Something Sweet hit the bookshelves in June, and I’ve received more Kudos for that novel than all of my other novels combined. One of my friends said I’m hearing more from people about this novel because it is erotic, but that’s not so. Even though the readers are mentioning how much they love the sensuality within the novel, they are really complementing the plot and characterization. I don’t want to make this post about my novel. Kim wrote a fantastic review for it for BBWReviewers.com. Check out all of the reviews at Amazon.com.

I’ve said all of this to warn you to watch out for the comfort zone, don’t become trapped!

Much Joy Peace and Love

Deatri King-Bey

http://www.deewrites.com

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I am so very proud to introduce Lynn Emery she writes for the big houses

Interview

Kim: Give us a little background on your writing career.

Lynn: I’ve been writing all my life it seems, since I was eleven years old for sure. As a kid I started out writing a murder mystery because I wanted to show a girl solving the case for once, instead of being rescued by a guy and screaming her head off when things got scary! I never finished that book, but I kept writing. In 1993 I attended my very first writers conference. There I pitched my first book to Monica Harris of Kensington Publishing. To make a long story short I was offered a contract and went on to write seven novels in the Arabesque line of romances. I have also written six novels for HarperCollins, and one novella published by Penguin/Putnam. Harlequin released a collectors edition containing three of my early Arabesque titles in June 2006. My last single title novel Soulful Strut came out in December 2006. Currently I have retuned to my early roots of writing church essays. In March 2007 I published Be Encouraged: Words of Sunlight For The Soul, a small non-fiction collection of inspirational essays and poetry.

Kim: What would you say was one of the most exciting things to happen since you started writing?

Lynn: BET selected my second novel AFTER ALL as one of the books that was made into a movie. Holly Robinson Peete played the heroine Michelle Toussaint. Chills went through me to see this woman on screen playing a character I created! Another awesome moment was winning three Emma awards in 2004. What an honor.

Kim: What advice would you give to new writers?

Lynn: I would say that writers should do their homework when it comes to the craft of writing. Study how dialogue is written and formatted. Hone your skills at creating characters that make readers think could actually step right off the pages. Work on plotting such that the readers can’t help but turn the pages. Work on all aspects of creating great novels. Then learn all you can about the business of writing.

Kim: What is the best way to get published?

Lynn: Write the best book you can, then make it even better. Attend conferences where editors and agents will be speaking. That way you can hear what they want and have a chance to maybe even ask questions. If you can, schedule an appointment to pitch your book. Practice that short pitch before you go to the conference!

Kim: Any projects on the way?

Lynn: I’m currently working on a murder mystery. This is a new direction for me and I’m planning on doing something I haven’t done before – finish a book before I try to sell it! I sold my first book on proposal and it wasn’t finished. Since 1994 I’ve always sold that way. It will be a nice change to have a finished manuscript first.

Kim: Any last words?

Everyone is welcome to stop by my home on the web Lynn Emery If you like my monthly newsletter BookMark then subscribe to be notified when BookMark is updated. Visit what I call my “Inspiration Destination” at Be Encouraged

Thank you, Kim, for asking me to be a guest on your blog. Continued abundant blessings!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Say Hello To A Writers Best Friend Heather Froeschl

Heather Froeschl [heather@quilldipper.com

I work from home. Really? Yes, really. I’m a Book Editor. Most everyday people I meet respond with, “I’ve never met anyone who does that!” Well I do. Then they want to know if I’ve worked with Stephen King. Uh, no. I wish, but no. I work with a couple of publishers but mostly I am a freelance book editor. I work directly with authors. Technically, and this is a quote from my Service Agreement, Quilldipper’s content edit service consists of: carefully screening the work for typos, misspellings, grammar usage, character and overall story development, or in the case of non-fiction, clear purpose and message conveyance. Suggestions for changes will be made directly on the manuscript, which will then be returned to the author. I am Quilldipper (www.Quilldipper.com ); it’s my business’ name and has been for ten years. In reality, I like to think that I do so much more than that though.

I’m an author too, so I feel I can say this freely, writers are dreamers. We love to weave words into images and tales that won’t be forgotten; we dream of becoming the next bestselling author. Our manuscripts are our precious babies; our hopes and sometimes our life goals. As an editor, I help to make those hopes realized. I work with authors to help them fulfill their dreams of being published. No, I’m not an agent. See above…I catch those typos, make sure you’ve used those clich├ęs correctly if you are going to use them, I ask if you really want to slam that mother-in-law character so hard, I suggest that maybe the killer should be leaving some clues that the detectives can pick up on, and I leave red ink on your pages. I love what I do.

I suppose I’ve become pretty good at it too. I have return clients who are selling their second or third books. I get new clients who have heard from so-and-so that I am perfect for their project. I won First Place in the Preditors & Editors Book Editor contest for 2006 and placed in the top ten last year for the 2005 results. (They do the contest at the beginning of the current year, to reflect upon the past year. I know it’s a little confusing. Yes, that’s how they spell Preditors.) http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/

I absolutely love being able to polish up a manuscript. Sometimes this means suggesting the removal of a subplot that has no real contribution to the story, sometimes it means adding one. I like working with authors on development too. I enjoy hearing about their research and how the planning is going. This usually only happens with local authors or someone I’ve already worked with though. I need to get know someone a little and be able to understand their vision for this type of thing. I also do book reviews and have been doing so for as long as I’ve had my business. (See www.BookReviewJournal.blogspot.com for a good sampling – over 300) I know this helps me to evaluate manuscripts all the more. I am able to tell when a book is complete or if it needs just a little something. Reviewing offers me an abundance of reading materials in all genres. My office is literally a library, though I imagine a librarian would cringe at the piles and stacks of books that surround my desk in no order whatsoever, except the to-be-read pile.

I’m still an author too. I have a book coming out with Zumaya next year. http://www.quilldipper.com/pages/spiritual.htm I have a YA novel plotted and the characters are calling to me, but they have to wait until any given current client is satisfied. My clients come before my characters!

I work from home. I’m a Book Editor.

Guest Blog by Heather Froeschl

www.Quilldipper.com

www.BookReviewJournal.blogspot.com

www.LittleHouseontheMountain.blogspot.com

www.SpiritualVisitations.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Join me in welcoming Vicki M. Taylor

Vickie Taylor on my blog Vicki how did you began writing?

I've always written something, even from when I was a child. I like writing in journals and I still do that today. As a career, I wrote technical computer user manuals for fifteen years. But, writing fiction full time didn't start until around 1999. I love to write. I enjoy the written word. It's one of my favorite forms of communication. I've had stories in me for a long time. I just let them come out when they're ready.

When did you decide to make it as a published author?

In 1999, through a set of unforeseen circumstances, I was given the opportunity to write fiction full time. That's when I knew I would publish my work. How was another story!

2. What is your writing schedule like?

Not really concrete, but I try to write something every day. I write mostly in the afternoons, I feel more energized during that time.

Included in my writing time, I edit, critique, promote, and market. Lots to do when you're publishing books.

3.

Are any off your books faction journaling your own life?

My first book, "Forever Until We Meet" is a compilation of a lot of different women's stories about meeting men on the computer and what can happen afterwards. Sometimes good. Sometimes not so good. A part of me is in that book.

4. What are the hardships of the writing industry for you?

Marketing and Promotion. Two big toughies for me. I know I have to do something every day, but I still can't seem to fit it into my schedule _every day_. I'm not a real "social" person, and I'm more comfortable behind my computer screen in my office writing than I am visiting bookstores, pushing my books, or standing at a table at the front of a store hoping people will come over and buy my book. I don't mind speaking to groups. I enjoy that kind of social connection. There, I'm just talking. I'm not saying "buy my book."

What are your most successful marketing campaigns?

When I was on the Fictionwise's bestseller list for "Trust in the Wind"

I blasted the news all over the Internet. Press Releases. Group announcements. Forum discussions. It worked. I got a lot of sales out of a week of pushing hard. Have a presence. Be visible. Be memorable.

Where do you see your literary career in five years?

Hopefully, I'll still be writing. I see myself as a well-known women's fiction author with a solid sell through on my way to writing the next bestselling book. I also see myself continuing to help other writers in some format or other.

Kim, it was great visiting your site today. Thanks for the questions they were thought provoking.

Vicki M. Taylor

Real Women. Real Life.

http://www.vickimtaylor.com

http://www.vickimtaylor.com/blogs/

http://www.vickimtaylor.com/forums/index.php?

http://www.myspace.com/vickimtaylor



Thank you so much for stopping in Vicki

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Author of one of the best downlow books I have ever read

The Seduction of Mr. Bradley

A Novel by Minnie E Miller

Copyright © 2005

ISBN 13: 978-0-9722013-2-2

ISBN 10: 0-9722013-2-7

The book is set in Chicago and New York, between 2002 to 2004. Most of the businesses mentioned were ongoing when I wrote the novel. Using places I'm familiar with grounds me, and helps to "show" the reader the atmosphere surrounding my characters.

Jina Cook is a novelist who needs a public relations representative and she finds him in Bill Bradley who is handsome, well spoken and smart. The two feel an instant attraction towards each other but both try to pretend it is not happening. Finally, Jina makes the first move and Bill knows he can’t live without this woman. Unfortunately, Bill has a big secret; he is bisexual and finds himself torn between Jina and Ted, his male lover. Ted is not only his lover but his father figure and the man who rescued Bill when he felt the desperate need for love. He was there for him when he graduated from college, too, to mentor him. Bill’s father disappeared when he was quite young and he has always longed for a father and Ted fills that position. Ted also backs his budding PR business and helps him with the business. Bill’s decision is tough. Will he drop Ted, despite all the guilt he feels at doing so? Or will he drop Jina? Deep inside he knows he wants a regular life with a wife and children but guilt makes him think twice.


Short Bio

Minnie E. Miller is a native of Hyde Park, Chicago, though she has lived in many cities over the past thirty years. She has been an activist as well as a writer since the age of eighteen. You may wonder why she moved from the paranormal to commercial/romance fiction. All of Miller's stories touch on political issues in metaphor; even her vampire characters in Catharsis are activists. Her latest novel, The Seduction of Mr. Bradley, is a contemporary, political statement on humankind.

Her books are available through minnie247@sbcglobal.net; on her website at www.millerscribs.com; on justbookz.com/; on amazon.com; and barnesandnoble.com.

Minnie E Miller
Author of The Seduction of Mr. Bradley and Catharsis.
Visit me at www.millerscribs.com
and www.myspace.com/minnie_e

My novel can be purchased through PayPal at
www.millerscribs.com. Also on
www.justbookz.com
www.amazon.com
www.barnesandnoble.com

If you would like to be taken off my e-mail list,
please contact me at minnie247@sbcglobal.net


Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
~ ~ Maya Angelou

Monday, June 11, 2007

Acting Stupid

From my many human watching experiences and research, I have become sort of the master analysis in my own mind.

I have found that in a lot of cases - not all - women "act stupid” in order to "keep a man."

The first time I observed this was the case of my father and his ex-girlfriend.

She played this "I'm going to play like I'm incapable of doing anything for myself," but whenever we were away from my father she would get on me real hard about using my head before a man found other uses for it.

She was not a stupid woman for long and eventually decided to smarten up especially when my father took just too much pleasure in her "so called stupidity" and decided to dip somewhere else.

She didn't like that and quickly showed her brains.

He didn't like that at all.

The next cases were several. As I went to school, there were older women around and most times when I met them I found them to be highly educated women, but as soon as their husbands came around, I swear you'd think they were Marilyn Monroe's with less than half of the brains that she pretended to have.

But their husbands would worship the ground they walked on and give them anything they desired.

One woman told me after I questioned her that it was nothing wrong with making her husband feel like he’s a superhero and that he loves to save someone everyday. She felt why not let it be here. Every once in a while they (the women would reveal that they had some sense, but they never revealed the entire truth about themselves.

My third occasion I saw was my cousin and her bumbling husband. Now when you first look at him you would think that he looked like a well-educated man and she was a very educated female. But actually he was about the goofiest thing since Goofy and I do believe he fell from the same tree as the animated character.

My cousin was this bright woman but she was one of the best actresses I've ever seen. If there was anything heavier than a pencil my cousin always pretended she couldn’t do it. I would have awarded her an Oscar when she use to come over and my father ordered her to put up the groceries and she almost passed out trying to put the milk on the top- shelf of the refrigerator.

So when they married I was a stander by wondering how was a smart faker like her going to keep a bumbling dork like him. But they are celebrating their fifteenth anniversary and they haven't changed one bit; yet as I watched them I see that her "stupidity" actually benefits him and then in turn he benefits her. She makes him feel like he's important to her and she has always loved getting out of not doing any work.

She’s that type of person, but I know I’m not. I know that if I cant be myself at all times then I can't be around a person for long.

I want to find a man that stimulates me mentally and actually doesn't need a mother because my permit only is good for three children and I’m not trying to expand on that.

So does a woman have to pretend to be stupid in order to keep a man? And should I be upset at these women who have carried out this facade and allowed men to think that we're stupid creatures. OR maybe these men have actually found out that these women are carrying on this facade and decided to just let them do this just because it does make them feel good.

I don't want to cave in but this looks like on of the keys to getting a man. But I guess I’m too stubborn or maybe I'm not desperate enough to want a man in my life by hiding my intelligence.

I don't dislike the women who do this especially the ones that give me that I know I'm acting stupid wink when their man is not looking.

But I also know I’m high intelligent. My best friend since high school tells some I’m too intelligent for my own good and its hard to pretend I don’t know how to do things or I don't know how to get what I want on my own without a big strong man around.

Gawd, I’m gagging.

I think there should be other ways to make a man feel like a king instead of looking helpless all the durn time or looking like I don’t have one bit of sense.

I don't want to. I want to be myself and I don't want to hid my IQ in order to have a good man on my arm.

Just another rant on how to love a black woman.

http://sylviahubbard.com

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sylviahubbard

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sylviahubbard

Friday, June 8, 2007

Michael T. Owens, My book is now my movie

Forget the Hype: Some Harsh Realities of Self-publishing

Michael T. Owens

We’ve heard the success stories of self-publishers who sell thousands of books and later land traditional publishing contracts. I’m fortunate enough to be both traditionally and self-published. Even though self-publishing requires more work, I enjoy the freedom. However, I suggest before anyone jumps feet first into the world of self-publishing, be aware of these not so nice realities:

1. Major media outlets won’t review your book. Avoid wasting your time, money, and energy blindly sending marketing materials to major publications like the New York Times. If you’re not a celebrity, a well known figure, or well-connected, don’t expect your book to be reviewed—period. One of the few exceptions would be having an amazing personal story behind your book (i.e. You escaped dying in a tropical jungle by drinking rain water and eating tree bark). If you don't fit any of these categories, and most of us don't, focus on smaller media outlets starting with your local area first. They’re more open to reviewing independently published books.

2. Your book will be judged by the cover—and the inside. Many self-publishers try to design their own covers, typeset their own books, etc. to save money.

However, when it comes to your book’s design, don’t cut corners! If your budget is small, wait until you have the capital to hire professionals. First impressions are extremely important.

3. Most of your sales won’t come from bookstores. Stop worrying about getting your books into bookstores. If they decide to carry your book, great! Focus more on attending events, conventions, festivals, and conferences. Don’t wait for readers to find your book, find them first!

4. When selling face-to-face, people are buying you, not your book! Some people purchase your book just because you seem “nice” or “funny” not because your book sounds like the next great American novel. Being appropriately dressed, cheerful, engaging, and confident, goes a long way.

5. Strangers will purchase books quicker than friends.

Your family and friends will often ask for freebies.

Resist! Make them pay! You are running a business and they shouldn’t mind supporting your efforts.

6. You won’t have a crowd at every book signing. Poor store promotion and bad weather, among other things can affect turnouts. Think of a signing as a live infomercial for your work. Regardless of the turnout, if everyone has a great time they will tell others.

They will buy your book and tell more people and so on. There is no such thing as a bad event! Learn something from them all.

7. You won’t get filthy rich! If you’re

self-publishing strictly to get rich, you might have better luck going to Las Vegas or Atlantic City!

8. Your review copies will be sold! Some book clubs, reviewers, publishers, and editors, will sell the review copies you give them! It sounds immoral and underhanded, but it happens all the time. Look at it this way: as long as your book is being seen or read by someone, it’s a good thing.

9. Success won’t happen overnight. Overnight success stories are rare in the publishing business. However if you stay persistent, informed, and connected, the sky is the limit!

10. Giving away your book is standard practice. In addition to giving away review copies, giving books to opinion shapers is sometimes better than a costly advertising campaign. Imagine the exposure your book would gain if a well-liked athlete or entertainer endorsed it.

Research the self-publishing industry before you get started. With careful planning and a positive attitude, producing your own book can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

Michael T. Owens is an author and a filmmaker living in Florida. Visit him at http://www.getmynovel.com or

http://www.myspace.com/movie411

Monday, June 4, 2007

P. G. Forte

P. G. Forte is in the house, blogging on my site. This is one talented lady, I smell success

Stop by and find out what she does to people she has a grudge against.

Q. Tell us a little about your latest release

A. Waiting for the Big One (which despite the title is really a very small book—somewhat shocking for me, since I’m better known for writing somewhat lengthy tomes) is my new release from Liquid Silver Books (http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com). This is the first book in the 'LA Love Lessons' series and it tells the story of Gabby Brown, dog walker and aspiring actress. Gabby’s a Pisces—you’ll find that out right away—and she’s also somewhat Astrologically obsessed, so she relates everything to the stars.

But, the story is set in LA, after all, where stars of all types are just part of the mise en scene.

Gabby's quest to find true love and ultimate pleasure with the soul mate of her dreams is complicated when she has to choose between two gorgeous men—rock guitarist Zach Harris and Derek Novello, the martial arts instructor with whom she's co-writing a screenplay.

Even though Derek and Gabby have been friends for some time, up until now, she’s refused to even consider him for the role of soul mate because she fears sex will ruin their friendship. Not surprisingly, Derek has his own about the subject, and they don’t include sharing Gabby with anybody.


Q. Where did the idea for WAITING FOR THE BIG ONE come from?

A. Actually, I wrote it on a dare. Several of my critique partners were already writing erotic romance and they nudged and prodded until I came up with something. But the initial idea was something that had been rattling around in my mind ever since I first moved to California—a lotta years ago!

Q. How was your experience writing it different from some of your other books?

A. Well, This is a novella, so it’s very short. It’s also written in first person point of view. On top of that, it’s very light and somewhat farcical and it’s erotic romance. So all of those things were new and different. I have to say it was one of the quickest books I ever wrote and probably the most fun. I wrote it right after I finished writing Dream Under the Hill (book eight in the Oberon series) which is the longest and darkest book I’ve written to date. So, I really needed a break—this was perfect in that respect.

Q. Do you base your characters on real people?

A. You mean because Gabby’s a Pisces and so am I and Derek’s a Scorpio and so is my husband? Nope. Not at all. Lol!

Actually, I almost never model any of my characters on real people—either alive or dead. The only exception to that rule is that I have been known to ‘murder’ people I’ve had a grudge against. But not really the same thing at all, since the resemblance is strictly in my own head and no one knows who these people really are.

Q. How do you come up with your titles?

A. I love using lines from poems or song lyrics for my titles. Most of my titles to date have come from one of those sources. Other than my newest Love, From A to Z (LA Love Lessons, book two, also from Liquid Silver Books). Waiting for the Big One is no exception. Besides being the title of a Peter Gabriel song, it’s also a line from one of my own poems. It’s an interesting title. It seems people either love it or hate it.

Q. Do you have any other books in the works?

A. Yes. I’m actually in the process of finishing Let me Count the Ways which will be the third book in the 'LA Love Lesson's series. After that...well, I have a lot of projects planned. But you can check out my website for more about that: http://www.pgforte.co m


Thank you so much for coming P.G.


Sunday, June 3, 2007

I need all my friends to tour with me

I am going to be hosted by some really wonderful authors, reviewers, publishers, please stop by these tours. Every day I will post where I am and hope you will go to the site and check out the host and read my blog, I tried to do a little something different on each one.

'People all over the world, join hands, on the blog train, blog train. The next stop we make will be

June 4 - Vicki M. Taylor
June 5 - The Writer's Life
June 6 - Karen Magill
June 7 - Mary Pritchard
June 8 - Boomer Chick
June 11 - Sylvia Hubbard's How to Love a Black Woman
June 12 - Plug Your Book!
June 13 - Women on Writing
June 14 - Be My Guest!
June 15 - Wanza Leftwich's The Gospel Writer
June 18 - The Book Pedler
June 19 - Be Encouraged
June 20 - Gwynne's Sanctum
June 21 - Marilyn Meredith
June 25 - What I Know So Far
June 26 - The Wolf Never Sleeps
June 27 - Storycrafters
June 28 - Pump Up Your Book Promotion

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THE ROUX IN THE GUMBO VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ' 07 is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours!

If you are an author and you would like us to set up a virtual book tour, click here for more information!

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