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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). Thanks for visiting with me today!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Interview with Brother Dash, author of Sweet Mojo: One Man’s Descent Through Danger & Delight

Author’s Bio: Brother Dash is an Amazon Bestselling author. He has been featured on BBC World Television, BBC Radio, Ebru TV, Pacifica Radio and a variety of other media outlets in the U.S., Canada, England, Africa, and The Middle East.

He is the author of the novel, The Donor: When Conception Meets Deception, Sweet Mojo: One Man’s Descent Through Danger & Delight and the stage play “Black Mirrors.” He is also an accomplished performance poet with three spoken word albums and has performed for over 100,000 people throughout the US, the UK and Canada. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in English and Sociology and resides in New Jersey.

DL: What’s the inspiration for writing your book?
BD: I was interested in creating a Marvel Cinematic type universe with a touch of supernatural mystery, grounded in the everyday and featuring characters of color. I knew I wanted to create a series that readers could follow through several books.

DL: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
BD: I was inspired by Shakespeare as far as command of language and cleverness. But there was no particular author or book that influenced me much until Walter Mosley’s Devil in a Blue Dress.

DL: How long did it take to write your book?
BD: My first novel, The Donor, took 2 1/2 years and my second, Sweet Mojo, took about half that time.

DL: Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
BD: My first novel was organic which is why it took so long. For my second novel I used an outline and that allowed me to be more efficient and stay on task.

DL: Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
BD: I don’t usually listen to music when I write. I tend to prefer nature…or the natural sounds of the environment I am in—even a city. I don’t write well in coffee shops although I can edit what I’ve already written in those places. It’s funny you mention “Is there a theme song for the book?” because each chapter in Sweet Mojo is actually the title of a song.

DL: What are the keys to success in marketing your book(s)?
BD: I’m still figuring that out! But the most important key to success is to write the damn book. So many people talk about book clubs and fairs and Internet marketing and TV, radio for their books and haven’t even written it yet. So that’s number one. After that I’d say book clubs, social media posts (if you have a decent sized network which I do) and Amazon ads. I think it also helps that I was able to capitalize on my brand as a spoken word poet. That helped with initial sales.

DL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
BD: #1 Write! #2 Write some more! #3 Be your own biggest cheerleader. #4 Believe in yourself. #5 Develop a thick skin. Not everyone is going to like your work, rightly or wrongly. Some people are just flat out miserable and mean but others actually have constructive criticism. Ignore the meanies but take criticism. One of the worst things you can do is to not be open to feedback. That’s how I improved my first novel so much. After I made some revisions based on constructive criticism—including an overhaul of the cover—my novel hit the Amazon bestsellers list in Contemporary Urban Fiction.

DL: How about sharing an excerpt from The Donor?
BD: Here you go.

Shauntelle? What are you doing here? Where’s your sister?” he says.

Shauntelle freezes on the top step of the stoop and screws her eyebrows down at him. She hoists a hefty bag on her shoulder and elbows past him toward an idling minivan.

“Shauntelle. Shauntelle, I’m talking to you. Where’s your sister?”

“I don’t got shit to say to you and neither does my sister.”

Her chocolate arms dump the heavy plastic bag in the backseat. A pair of her sister’s jeans flop out. His eyes pop. As he turns to bolt up the steps, a teary-eyed woman appears in the doorway.

“Babe, babe what are you doing?” he says.

The woman ignores him and clanks an overstuffed suitcase out of the Brooklyn brownstone.

“Babe, stop. I asked you a question.”

He grabs her arm. She glares back. Her hazel brown eyes are pink and puffy. She blinks with a sniffle and a trickle.

“Get your paws off of me,” she says.

“Babe, listen. I know you’re upset. Let me ex—,”

“Negro, please,” Shauntelle says. “Get out of my sister’s way.”

The woman snatches her arm from his grip. She rolls the suitcase to the curb. He fires a stiff finger at Shauntelle.

“Mind your damn business, Shauntelle. This is between us.”

Shauntelle looks him up and down. Then she gets up in his face.

“I always knew you was hiding something. Ain’t no man that damn perfect.”

Her sister stomps back toward the steps. He blocks her.

“Baby, please. What you heard isn’t the whole truth.”

“You’re in my way,” she says.

“Baby, at least let me try to—”

“Move,” she says.

The nosy neighbor from across the street bends her ear to the action. She continues to sweep her porch. It’s immaculate.

“Sweetheart, don’t act this way. That’s not how we do,” he says.

His lady shoots her arms to the sky.

“How we do? What we are you talking about? I don’t know you anymore. I never did. You were nothing but a lie. You played me for a fool. I wasted four years of my life on your lying ass. Four years.”

“Mmmhmm that’s right sis, you tell him. He ain’t shit [she turns to him]. You know you  ain’t shit right?”

DL: What’s next for you?
BD: I’m working on Mocha Mojo which is the sequel to Sweet Mojo and I’m also putting together something that takes advantage of my live storytelling skills.

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

·         Website: www.brotherdash.com

·         Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Brother-Dash/e/B01CB5JD1I

·         Facebook: facebook.com/brotherdash

·         Twitter: @brotherdash

·         Blog: www.brotherdash.com

·         Book Buy Links: www.getbook.at/thedonor www.getbook.at/sweetmojo

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



Monday, November 5, 2018

Interview with LaTasha Kibler, author of Coming Through The Storm

Author’s Bio: Latasha Kibler (Peacefulrose) is a freelance writer. She is aspiring to assist in the empowerment and uprising of women all over the country. She is originally from the Washington DC/Maryland area. She currently resides in Columbia, SC.

DL: What’s the inspiration for writing your book?
LTK: Watching my daughter and seeing many other young ladies going through some of the same situations.  I want to bring unity to women to help bring us up and see our worth and I hope by sharing my truth it will encourage others to know they are not alone in this. 

DL: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
LTK: Growing up in Washington DC and attending Malcolm X elementary they encouraged us to read poetry by Maya Angelou. She encouraged a child like me that needed a constant reminder “I am somebody.”

DL: How long did it take to write your book?
LTK: It took about 2 years because it didn’t originally start off as a book. I was just journaling about my life.

DL: Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
LTK: I let it flow organically.

DL: Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
LTK: No, I like to have silence, it helps me think clearly.

DL: What are the keys to success in marketing your book(s)?
LTK: Establishing a social media presence is what I know to do for now. I am new to this so I am still striving to figure this out.

DL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
LTK: Follow your dreams.

DL: How about sharing an excerpt from Coming Through the Storm?
LTK: Here you go.

I believe a part of me left when he passed away. My mom had always said he died trying to defend his brother Rodney, who was trying to leave a restaurant without paying. The owner started hitting my uncle Rod with a bat or something, and my father pulled out a knife to scare off the owner. The police arrived around the same time, and the female officer yelled, “Drop your weapon!” My father did not drop it, so she shot him three times in the stomach. My father died at the hospital.

DL: What’s next for you?  
LTK: I am in the process of starting my brand “Peacefulrose” meaning “A women at peace with one’s self” and writing my next book.

DL: Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
LTK: They can find me at these sites.
·       Website: www.authorpeacefulrose.com
·       Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PeacefulRoses/
·       Twitter: https://twitter.com/peacefulrose
·       Book Buy Links:
o   https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/coming-through-the-storm-latasha-kibler/1129360324?ean=9781721277049

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, November 4, 2018

A Review of the Play, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at Baltimore Center Stage


Back in September, Baltimore Center Stage opened its new season (2018/19) with a bang with the premiere of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. This Pulitzer Prize winning play by Tennessee Williams still sizzled even after 63 years. This time it was directed by Judith Ivey and the set was designed by Adam Koch who captured the setting of a Southern (Mississippi) plantation with precision and charm.
Once I settled into my seat, I was entertained by a superb cast who transported me to the Pollitt’s house on a hot Southern night where family members clashed in greed and desire. I thoroughly enjoyed the play – superbly acted and great dialogue. 
The main leading parts were played by real life husband and wife team: Andrew Pastides (Brick - an alcoholic ex-football player) and Stephanie Gibson (Maggie - his wife). Their chemistry on stage was hot despite Brick’s dismissal of his wife’s attempt at getting his attention. My other favorites were David Schramm who played the larger than life character – Big Daddy (who was dying from cancer) and Charlotte Booker who played his wife, Big Mama (who was kept in the dark about her husband's diagnosis).
What I really loved was that it tackled family issues of greed especially when family members learn that someone is dying and circle around like vultures to get their hands on the money. In the midst of it all was the exploration of a father and son relationship and the women who loved them. Great stuff!
Clap. Clap. Clap. Standing ovation. A must see if ever it comes through Baltimore again or if you are in a city where its playing. 
Side note - This makes me want to watch the 1958 namesake movie with Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor. 
Excellent! Two thumbs up! 
For those not familiar with this play, here’s the synopsis from Baltimore Center Stage's website:

In this enduring American classic, family ties and layers of lies collide over the course of one simmering Southern summer night. Themes of morality, greed, and desire play across the stage in this explosive drama about what can happen when illusions begin to unravel. Brick, racked with guilt over his best friend’s death, numbs his pain with drink. Maggie, his wife, is determined to win even fleeting attention from her neglectful husband. But when three generations come together to celebrate a birthday—and discuss a will—all of the players start to crack under the pressure and the heat. How long can tensions build in a house boiling over with uncertainty, secrets, and maybe even love?

Here are some photos:



Enjoy this trailer from YouTube:







players start to crack under the pressure and the heat. How long can tensions build in a house boiling over with uncertainty, secrets, and maybe even love?

Content Advisory: Themes of morality, greed, and desire make this steamy classic more suitable for high-school-aged audiences and up.