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Author | Blogger | Workshop Facilitator Visit my website at www.authordeelawrence.com to learn more about my romantic suspense novel, Gotta Let It Go, which is set in Baltimore. Connect with me online @authordeelawrence (Facebook) and @thewritepen (Twitter). Thanks for visiting with me today!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Review of the play, SOUL The Stax Musical (Baltimore Center Stage)


The Baltimore Center Stage closed its season with a bang by showcasing its world premiere of SOUL The Stax Musical. The musical was based on a book written by Matthew Benjamin. It was choreographed by Chase Brock and was the final directorial effort by Kwame Kwei-Armah before assuming the position of artistic director of the Young Vic theatre in London.

This musical was inspired by the legendary story of Stax Records (Memphis, Tennessee) and the rise of many musical icons such as Otis Redding, The Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes, Booker T & The MG’s, Rufus & Carla Thomas and so many more gifted singers. All of whom contributed to laying the groundwork for American Soul Music.

When I arrived, the lobby was already in full swing with music, singing and dancing. A crowd formed around the performers and some were dragged to participate in dancing. There were a few takers until the doors opened then we all spilled inside and found our seats. But we were already primed for what was to come from the actors/performers on stage and we were certainly not disappointed.

The actors/performers belted out tunes that had us rocking and singing along. I felt transported into time: the outfits (I couldn’t get enough of Rufus’ flamboyant style), the jive talking, and YES, the singing…WOW! But what I found most interesting was that this was more than a musical because the audience got to see up close and personal the struggles of musicians amidst the Civil Rights Movement. The politics, racism, and the power play between the radio stations and the music industry were all too real. So real that remnants are still threaded throughout society today.

Overall, this was a fantastic performance as the actors/performers did an excellent job in breathing life into this story! Two thumbs up!

Check out the trailer and one of the sets below:







Monday, June 18, 2018

Interview with Yanatha Desouvre, author of Revelations: Roads to Redemption (A Grayson Goodman Novel)

Author’s Bio: Professor Desouvre is an educator and public speaker born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and raised in Brooklyn and Philadelphia. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Management Information Systems and Marketing from Drexel University. He received an MBA, with a focus on Marketing, Mass Communication, and Media Management from Lynn University.

His literary works include Walk Through this Journey Volume One (2006), Volume Two (2008), A Family Affair (2010), Savor the Moments (2014), Proud to Be (2016)and his best-selling children’s book Big Sister, Little Sister (2013) available in French, Spanish and Haitian Creole. He is also the author of An Essential Guide to Windows 10 (2015). He’s a Marketing and Information Technology coach and consultant who has taught at Miami Dade College and Chestnut Hill CollegeAudiobooks for Walk Through this Journey (Volume One) and Savor the Moments are available on iTunes and other platforms. 

DL: What’s the inspiration for writing your book?
YD: My action adventure thriller novel, Revelations: Roads to Redemption (A Grayson Goodman Novel) was inspired by many things, from love for my Haitian culture, where each chapter gives honor to Haitian proverbs, (which are translated into English as well). Dee, the action adventure/thriller genre is one of my favorite genres to read, so I wrote a book that I would enjoy reading. Finally, my latest novel pays homage to one of favorite Hip Hop groups, the Fugees. Each chapter is a title song from a Wyclef, Lauryn Hill and Pras song, (my way of bringing the band back together.) If Wyclef is reading this interview I’d love to get in contact with him because I have a vision that I’d love to share with him and it has to do with the Goodman Chronicles.

DL: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
YD: Dee, yes, the Ian Fleming James Bond books, put me in a world of adventure and espionage and danger which I committed putting in my latest novel. Growing up and still today I read comic books. Stan Lee created Spiderman but what still sticks with me today is the character of Peter Parker, whom despite having these great powers still struggles yet he overcomes a lot of his challenges with his heart and mind not his superpowers.

DL: How long did it take to write your book?
YD: It took me about six months to a year to write this book. I use my birthday as a catalyst for my writing or any project I hope to accomplish. Recently, I celebrated my 40th birthday (an age I never thought I would see) by skydiving with my Brooks Brother bow tie in tow and my book cover taped to my chest here is the link  https://youtu.be/46w9kM-Q3Uk. Talk about taking things to new heights, 10,000 feet to be exact.

DL: Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
YD: I tried to write an outline, however that didn’t work for me. With all my writings from poetry to writing a novel or short story, I start with the end in mind and go backwards. So, it goes organically but backwards. I know the ending is the creative and most fun part of the writing for me is to conjure how did we (the characters, readers) get there. Revelations: Roads to Redemption is the second part of the Goodman Chronicles (no, you don’t have to buy the first book to understand and appreciate the second novel.) I have at least a trilogy in mind and a young adult version of the Goodman Chronicles in the queue in my mind set in the 1990’s right before the age of the internet.

DL: Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
YD: Dee, I sometimes do, Miles Davis, John Coltrane even Kenny G or Maxwell. A great friend of mind thinks that Maxwell’s “The Urban Theme” should be Grayson Goodman’s (one of the main characters in Revelations: Roads to Redemption) theme song. Maxwell, if you are reading this let’s have a conversation.

DL: What are the keys to success in marketing your book(s)?
YD: For me, the keys to success in marketing my books are establishing genuine relationships with individuals in my local media, bloggers, news anchors, etc. I create press releases, book trailers etc. I also use the promo codes the iBooks offers as well as the KDP Kindle Promotions for free giveaways etc. I write articles on LinkedIn. I also have press releases for each event that I have coming up. I join various Facebook and LinkedIn groups where I post those press releases, giveaways, book trailers as well. I even encourage a childhood friend of mine to manufacture and assemble action figures for my characters. I was in awe when I saw them.  Below is the link to one of the book trailers for Revelations: Roads to Redemption https://youtu.be/A3cyKGCTRFo

DL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
YD: The advice I give aspiring writers is to not give up. Everyone has a story to tell. Only you can tell your story be it a fictional or non-fictional one. Hire an editor, the best investment you can make for your writing. I am beyond grateful for my editor Desiree McKim whose marvelous meticulousness was priceless in Savor the Moments: Inspired by True Stories and my college textbook An Essential Guide to Windows 10. I’m also grateful for Michèle-Jessica (M.J.) Fièvre - her guidance, coaching, and editing really help me grow as a writer.

DL: How about sharing an excerpt from Revelations: Roads to Redemption?

Excerpt from Revelations: Roads to Redemption chapter 13 / Fast Cars "Malè pa gen klaksonn." [Misfortune has no horn.]

Dominique cautioned them. “Based on the current speeds of both vehicles, you and the gray car are about to crash into one another. This would completely disable yours.” 

As Zoklo placed the palm of his hand on his head in disbelief, Amara’s voice took on a combative tone. “That is not going to happen!”

Dominique said, “He can’t catch up to us, guys, or we are toast! Do you see the two red buttons on the steering wheel? Those buttons release NOS, which temporarily increases your acceleration.”

Grayson looked at the buttons that read N2O, nitrous oxide. In a daring tone, he said, “Q70L, show me what you can do.”

Dominique said, “Floor it.”

Grayson turned his neck in a counterclockwise motion – crack – as he prepared to push the car to its limits. With a devilish grin, he pressed his right foot on the gas pedal until there wasn’t any space between the sole of his shoes and the floor of the car.

At the same time, Grayson pushed the two NOS buttons. Zoklo held his breath and gripped the car’s “oh, crap” handle to hold on for dear life. As Zoklo looked outside the window at streams of colors, everything was blurry because of how fast they were moving. Then – SWOOSH – the car appeared to be reaching new heights, leaving the city below it.

DL: What’s next for you?
YD: For two years now, I’ve been working on a posthumous project to bring to life the lost, not found recordings of my late godfather/uncle Daniel Coulanges who died at the young age of 28 years. My godfather/uncle was introduced as one of the World’s Finest guitarist. This project is near and dear to me. I am short $1,267 to raise the funds to manufacture, master, produce and pay for the licensing fees to make this “World’s Finest” posthumous album, not only to bring his music to life but to also raise awareness about everyone knowing their HIV status. My godfather/uncle Daniel Coulanges died of HIV/AIDS in 1989 when it was a death sentence. It was only two years later Magic Johnson made his HIV announcement. With this project I want to encourage everyone to live their lives to the fullest and make the most of everyday because you never know.

Here is the Indiegogo link https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/world-s-finest-daniel-coulanges-live-in-ny-xii#/ Reserve your World’s Finest album and much more today.

I’ll continue to raise funds for this project and until we reach our goal Dee. I’ll continue because writing is less expensive than therapy for me and I love it. I’ve been writing since I was seven.

DL: Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?

·         Website: www.yanatha.com

·         Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/yanatha

·         Facebook: @aspire2inspirenow

·         Twitter: @yanatha

·         Book Buy Links: Exclusive 1978 Signature Edition with Free Shipping available via http://www.yanatha.com

·         Paperback via Amazon http://a.co/fTPw9wY

·         Amazon Kindle here: http://a.co/7slNC2p

·         iBooks here: Revelations by Yanatha Desouvre on iBooks

·         Instagram @goodmanchronicles


It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.

            Dee, it was a pleasure and thank you for the opportunity. As I always say, “Success comes with support. We only fail in this life when we fail to uplift one another.” 

#CHM #CAHM.  



Monday, June 11, 2018

Interview with Shannon Griffin, Co-Author of the Anthology: The Smell of Poverty

Author’s Bio: My name is Shannon Griffin and I am the co-founder and CEO of 4Humanitees. I am the co-author of the Anthology: The Smell of Poverty and a cancer survivor. My company designs and creates socially conscious t-shirts that align and build your brand’s message to generate revenue. I speak on survivorship of circumstances that try to take your life and keep you trapped. I help survivors get their life back, walk in their faith to activate their gifts.

DL: What’s the inspiration for writing your book?
SG: In this anthology we will provide you with various "Poverty Stories" from professional, successful individuals that have made great strides to break the poverty circle and change their mindsets.

The goal of this collection of poverty triumphs will be on a greater scale. It will be an informative platform to educate, uplift and change the mindsets about the effects of poverty on families and individuals with life changing webinars, course and conference to help families change the trajectory of their lives.

During our life time, we have either used money as a class separator or as a class establisher. Unfortunately, poverty has showed itself to be a multifaceted concept that will group individuals with similar economic conditions.  In order to break out of this stronghold, some have used money to replace abilities and achievement. Your money or the lack thereof will show your true mindset and talents to meet your basic needs.

DL: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
SG: I was inspired by many authors from my past to present. From Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume to a few other authors who are inspirational like Tony Morrison, TC Cooper, Desiree Lee, and Ebong Eka.

DL: How long did it take to write your book?
SG: The book was co-authored by 15 other authors and it took me 3 days to do my section of the book.

DL: Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
SG: For me, I would write an outline to keep myself on track and I will let it flow for that area, but I primarily let my writing ideas flow.

DL: Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
SG: Yes. I do listen to music when I write and I am inspired by John Legend. This book doesn’t have a theme song directly, but I do get inspiration from John Legend’s song “Give Me The Green Light” because I’m ready to Go Right Now and build my platform and change lives.

DL: What are the keys to success in marketing your book(s)?
SG: The key that I have executed for this book and other book projects is doing what no one else is doing. I bring the book to life for the reader by making them see themselves in the book. Because of my social work background, I understand people and know that subconsciously everyone wants to scream about their troubles and pains that someone has done to them. As a child you feel that everyone is treating you bad and you only wish that you can tell someone that can make it all better.

DL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
SG: I would give an inspiring writer the advice of writing about topics you know like the back of your hand and bring your passion, logic and excitement at the same time.

DL: How about sharing an excerpt from The Smell of Poverty?
SG: Here you go.

Being the youngest of six and one of four girls was how my life started. In 1968, I was born into poverty the child of two adults from different eras but coming together all the same. Being conceived without my permission and placed in this life was the decision of God and only He knew what was planned for me born into poverty. My mother was from the deep south of Arkansas and she met my father on her travels from Arkansas to Seattle then to California.

From the streets of Oakland in a city where poverty was the norm and where civil activism and opportunity ran rampant in the streets. Oakland, California aka “The Town,” where high levels of poverty and police brutality set the scene and the influence of Huey P. Newton was the neighborhood recruiter. Born in the late 60’s, where free breakfast was handed out everywhere and was the lifeline for most folks in the neighborhood. A city filled with poverty, prosperity and oak trees, we grew up in west Oakland aka “Dog Town.” Growing up in west Oakland the local pool hall was your playground and the local park was the daycare center.

DL: What’s next for you?
SG: I am in the process of planning the next book the Smell of Poverty “Poverty from the Eyes of A Child” and The Smell of Poverty “The Embedded Poverty Code” for 2019.

DL: Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?

·         Facebook: Shannon Griffin and 4Humanitees

·         Twitter: @4Humanitees

·         Book Buy Links: bit.ly/thesmellofpoverty

It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.
 


Sunday, June 10, 2018

A Review of The Blackbirds by Eric Jerome Dickey


Whether it’s a thriller or a story about relationships, Eric Jerome Dickey can definitely write an epic tale. In The Blackbirds, Eric introduces readers to four best friends (Kwanzaa, Destiny, Indigo and Ericka) who will ride or die for each other. Each of these women are battling their own demons while trying to work through their romantic and family dramas.
What I really loved about this book was that Eric focused on each of these women as friends and how each of them celebrated their birthdays. I have to say that Eric did an awesome job in showing the frailties of each woman and how embarking on various romantic relationships made them so real, so vulnerable, so human. I found them to be relatable in some aspects – the hypocrisy of family (do as I say not as I do), lies men tell when they are playing games, etc.

Through it all, these women remained loyal to each other as they navigated through their various heartaches. Some found love when they least expected it while others were in between lovers or reigniting a past love.
Fantastic read! Two thumps way up!

My favorite lines:
Of the four women, Indio was the tallest. She was gorgeous, and what enhanced her loveliness were her confidence and an attitude born from two Nigerian parents telling her from her first breath how amazing she was, which coupled with an understanding of her true unsullied beauty. She was given the African-born truth before American society told her she was too dark-skinned to be searched for if she ever went missing.

Straight Outta Windsor Hills, Ericka was a hair shorter than Indio and the oldest in the crew. She was recovering from a divorce, a marriage to a man of the cloth that had been a marriage from hell, and she was in remission from cancer. She had lost her once-wavy hair during chemo. It was growing back, but she kept it cut close on the sides and back, let grow long on the top, had the hair dyed blonde and colored the tips of the top cancer-survivor pink.  

Destiny Jones was Straight Outta View Park, the land of doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and entertainers. She wore a thousand and one wavy sisterlocks, all bleached and cascading down her back. Destiny had been a face that looked the same now as it had when she was fifteen and attending private school in Bel Air and used her bleached dreadlocks to conceal her facial features.

Kwanzaa was two inches over being five feet tall, but she packed seven feet of beauty into those sixty-two inches. Her complexion was smooth; Ghirardelli chocolate personified, with subtle orange undertones, insinuating her Middle Passage ancestry was amalgamated with the Trail of Tears.

Rating: 5 stars


Sunday, May 27, 2018

5 Tips for Successfully Moderating a Panel Discussion

On Saturday, May 12, 2018 I participated as a moderator for the “Meet the Authors” panel discussion as part of the Festival of Literary Arts (FOLA) presented by the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council. This event took place at the MilkBoy ArtHouse, a performing arts space/restaurant in College Park, MD.

In preparing for this event, I kept the following 5 tips in mind for successfully moderating the panel discussion.

1.      Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. This means knowing who your panelists are by visiting their social media sites, websites, blog, etc. This allows you to shape your questions targeted specifically to them.

At FOLA, the “Meet the Authors” panel included Austin S. Camacho (thriller writer), Teri Ellen Cross Davis (poetry), Michelle Junot (poetry) and Jung Yun (fiction writer). After visiting their social media sites, I learned they wrote fiction and non-fiction. In doing so, I was able to craft questions geared toward their various works.

In addition, I sent them an email with the questions and outlined how the time would be allotted as well as making them aware that the discussion would include them reading excerpts from their works. In doing so, the panelists were able to prepare for a lively and informative discussion.  

2.      Engage the Audience. It’s very important to acknowledge and engage the audience early on so they are vested in the panel discussion. From the very beginning, I welcomed the audience and then made them aware of what to expect during the panel discussion and when they could ask questions.   

3.      Be flexible. This means going off script from the prepared questions if there is a particularly interesting or funny response to a question. There were a few moments when I went off script and asked the other panelists to chime in or expand on a comment another panelist made. 

4.      Master Facilitating the Discussion. The audience is there to learn about the authors and their works. So, it’s very important that the moderator take a back sat and solicit responses from the panelists related to their expertise and their experiences. During the panel discussion, I made sure to stay out of the way and not inject my opinions while facilitating a lively discussion.

5.      Get Photos/Video Clips. Remember to take lots of photos and videos and make them available for anyone to see.

I had a great time moderating this panel and enjoyed having conversations with the panelists even after the discussion ended.
Here are some photos from the event. Enjoy!







Monday, May 21, 2018

Interview with June “Joe” Boyd, author of A Spiritual Awakening


Author’s Bio: June “Joe” Boyd is from a small town in Indiana. Her grandfather called her Joe when she was really young and it stuck. Joe is 54 years old and has three children and three grandchildren. She has been writing since the age of 5 or 6 years old. She remembers always having a pen and paper in her hands but didn’t do anything with her writing until 5 years ago when someone told her to get her stuff published.
DL: What’s the inspiration for writing your book?
JB: I don't know what inspired me to start writing. I've been doing it for so long I couldn't tell you. 

DL: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
JB: I read some of Edgar Allen Poe when I was younger. I think that might have inspired me but I'm sure there were other things that inspired me as well.

DL: How long did it take to write your book?
JB: I really don't know how long it took because I took some of my stories from when I was younger in with my recent ones. The Spiritual Awakening book has a series of all the ones written from then and today.

DL: Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
JB: I guess I just let it flow organically. It's really never planned.

DL: Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
JB: No, there is no music theme but I have to watch TV to write my books. I have to have quiet when I write music but I do have a cover theme for all my A Spiritual Awakening books. The covers will have footprints in the sand, footprints in the snow, footprints in the leaves and so on.

DL: What are the keys to success in marketing your book(s)?
JB: I guess the key to success is to never give up no matter what anyone says or does. Keep the faith and it'll happen. Go to book signings. Go to book readings. Get a FB account or LinkedIn account just for writers. 

DL:  What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
JB: Well, I guess I would tell them everything I just said about keeping the faith and never to give up. 

DL: How about sharing an excerpt from A Spiritual Awakening?
JB: One of my favorites is called True Love. 

                       True Love.....

In 1929 I waited .......

I wonder what you’re thinking

Do I ever cross your mind?

I thought you would always be there

True Love is hard to find........

DL: What’s next for you?
JB:  I'm trying real hard to get my music into ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers), BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) or SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers). 

DL: Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
JB: You can Google June "Joe" Boyd and see my book on about every website like Amazon
ebooks. https://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Awakening-Boyd-June-Joe/dp/1630634220/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&sn=email

DL: It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.
JB: Thank you for listening to my story and thank you for having me. 













Monday, May 14, 2018

5 Tips for a Successful Book Reading/Signing


On Thursday, May 10, 2018,I did a reading and book signing of my romantic suspense novel, Gotta Let It Go at the Enoch Pratt Free Library (Waverly Branch) as part of the Meet the Author Writers Live Series. I was super excited and couldn’t wait to introduce my characters to the audience.
In preparing for this event which was secured by my publicist, Cherrie Woods (www.eclecticpr.com), I kept the following 5 tips in mind for a successful book reading/signing.

1.      Advertise the Event. Once the date was secured with the library and flyers were finalized, I started my advertising campaign. I shared the flyer via my social media network on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and via my e-newsletter to my readers.  I even boosted the Facebook post along with the event details. Within two days and even on the day of the event, I continued to advertise the event to garner more interest and thanking those who indicated they would attend.

This is so important because you want your event to be successful. So, it’s great when your friends and others show up to support you.  

2.      Practice. Practice. Practice. After selecting the excerpts (I selected 3 short excerpts but this depends on the time allotted) I was going to read, I started to practice. Yes, practice. Anyone can read the book but as a writer you have to engage your audience by selecting portions of the book that will appeal to your audience.

If you are afraid of public speaking, practice reading aloud in a voice recorder or in front of family and friends. I’m pretty comfortable with public speaking but I still practiced reading in front of a mirror.

3.      Show up. If you are committed to the event you must show up. Even if you have an audience of one or many you must perform and give your best reading. Have fun when you do and be your authentic self. My audience consisted of friends from the Black Writers' Guild (Denise Cuffie, Gilbert Richards,  and Odessa Rose), poets/book lovers (Brenda Bunting and Diane Wilbon Parks), and some new readers including folks from the library. 

4.      Be flexible and prepare for anything. I was packed and allowed myself enough time but things still went a little awry. For starters, it was a raining, traffic was a mess and my GPS decided to go haywire on me. I had to pull over at least twice, reboot my phone, call the PR assistant (who was awesome) to guide me in. When I finally parked and got settled in, the library manager informed me that the location may not be a safe place to park. At that precise moment, I saw a police officer approaching my car and I had to run out and talk myself out of a ticket – whew! That was really close. The bottom line is that you simply have to be flexible and make adjustments because the show must go on. 

5.      Get Photos/Video Clips. Your live book reading should be available for anyone to see. So take lots of photos and videos to share to prove the event did happen.

Overall, I had a great time. I sold some books, made a few new friends and garnered some new 
readers.

Here are some photos and links you can check out from the event. Enjoy!









Monday, May 7, 2018

Interview with Janice N. Adams, author of A Heart’s Journey, A Twisted State of Mind, About My Father’s Business, and About My Father’s Footsteps (Coming Soon - Deep Waters: A Heart’s Journey Part Two)


Author’s Bio: A Virginia native, Janice N. Adams is a published author who uplifts the human spirit through fiction and non-fiction literary works. In 2008, she wrote and published the novel, A Heart’s Journey, and two books of inspiration, About My Father’s Business, and About My Father’s Footsteps. Her novella, A Twisted State of Mind, is published in Another Time Another Place, by New York Times bestselling author, Zane. Janice contributed to editing the Show-Bible for Black Rose that won the Best Drama Actress Award at the 2015 New York Television Festival. She’s a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (aka Virginia Tech) with a B.S. degree in Sociology. She enjoys photography, interior design, sports, music, and movies; and is the proud mother of two sons.

DL: What’s the inspiration for writing your books?
JA: To empower women (and men) as we journey through the complexities and beauty of relationships within our inner most circle of family, friends, lovers, and co-workers. To position people to persevere with strength and passion.

DL: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
JA: After journaling for several years, Terry McMillan’s book, Waiting to Exhale was the turning point for me when I started to believed that “I can do this.” I wanted to see a book with my name on it in the books stores. In 2008, that dream came true with my novella, “A Twisted State of Mind” published in Zane’s Anthology, Another Time Another Place.

DL: How long did it take to write your books?
JA: It took me about 3 – 4 years to write the first four books, collectively. It has taken me 8 years for my current project, Deep Waters. As my mom and grandmothers would say, “God willing and the creek don’t rise,” I plan to complete Deep Waters in 2018.

DL: Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
JA: I start with an outline first to have a sense of the plot, characters, setting, etc. Then the story flows organically, growing and morphing along the way as the characters become alive on paper.

DL:  Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
JA: Yes, I listen to music when initially composing the story. However, I do not listen to music when editing. My attention to detail is a bit different when editing; I focus better without music when I’m editing. As for theme songs, I like the following for my novels:

a.       A Heart’s Journey (Mariah Carey - “I Don’t Want to Cry”)

b.      Deep Waters (Johnny Gill/New Edition - “This One’s for Me and You”, or Mariah Carey’s “Anytime You Need A Friend”)

DL: What are the keys to success in marketing your books?
JA: Visibility and Word of Mouth: Social Media, Website, Book Festivals/Special Events – I like book festivals and special events the most because I enjoy engaging and interacting with people/customers.

DL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
JA: Learn the business as well as your craft. Keep writing and reading, know your genre, discover your style, and know when to stop editing. There will always be something you want to change.

DL: How about sharing an excerpt from “Deep Waters”?
JA: Sure. This scene occurs in Northern Virginia at a Christmas dinner party among the main characters.

Copyright@2018 by Janice N. Adams

Chris approached the townhouse, eyeing his beloved Cierra the entire way. He desperately wanted to embrace her. Cierra and Paul descended the brightly lit steps adorned with Christmas lights. As they passed Chris, Paul observed him trying to touch Cierra’s hand. He tensed, then quickly extended his hand to greet Chris, causing him to cease his obvious intention.

“What’s up? Chris, right? I’m Paul,” he stated in a matter of fact way.

Humph - This clown must be trippin’. What the hell has Cierra told him about me? Chris wondered. He ignored Paul’s gesture and continued to look at Cierra. He walked slowly past her and whispered in her ear, “What are you doing? You know where your heart belongs.”

Cierra pretended not to hear him and held onto Paul’s arm as they kept walking to Paul’s car.

Chris lingered at the front door as Rachel hung up his coat and Damien greeted him.

As Paul drove past the townhouse, Cierra and Chris’ eyes met, seconds before Rachel closed the door. Cierra thought about seeing his bracelet in Rachel’s jewelry drawer.

“Ci, are you OK?” Paul asked, concerned where her thoughts had taken her.

“Yes, I’m just tired.”

“It’s been quite the evening,” Paul admitted.

“Yes, it has,” she agreed.

As Paul drove, Cierra stared at the starry sky and prayed.

Lord, please reveal the truth to me. Something feels weird about all this, and I’m not even sure what ‘this’ is, but something is not quite right. Amen.

DL: What’s next for you?
JA: Create a book trailer, complete and publish Deep Waters.

DL: Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?

·         Website: www.janicenadams.com

·         Amazon Author Page: Janice N. Adams

o   “A Heart’s Journey: To Quench a Thirsty Soul” by Janice N. Adams

o   “About My Father’s Business” by Janice N. Adams

o   About My Father’s Footsteps” by Janice N. Adams

o   “Another Time Another Place” by Zane

·         Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janicenadams.author/

It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.