Friday, November 28, 2008

Writer George Taylor

Writer and Poet George Taylor

Let’s start getting your shine on. Who are you?

University of Detroit High ’66. Irish American third generation native Detroiter. Had one job my whole adult life: poet laureate of nowhere. Michigan Wolverine ’70;

When did you realize you had a passion for writing?

When I walked into my principal’s office in high school and told him that I needed to take the classics curriculum. Something embedded in languages and ancient stories had a hold of me and wouldn’t let go.

All writers adore words. Describe your love affair with writing.

I write every day. To do so, I give up paid employment, concerts, trips to museums and art galleries, seeing my family and friends, and travel. I don’t regret a moment of the huge swatches of unpaid time I spend to do the thing I most love.

Name two authors with whom you share similar writing styles.

Walt Whitman, Jack Kerouac.

What makes them similar?

A free uninhibited search for a language and rhythm that is truly American, which hints at the depths of love and suffering inherent in the American soul.

Name and thank one author that has been instrumental in inspiring you to write.

I thank Pablo Neruda for his artistic genius and his enormous dedication to the people of Chile. He was an artist who cared for more than himself and his publishing track record.

What does your audience look like?

Proposed Market for book:
(Magnitude of Audience Gets bigger as we go down the list.)

1. Detroiters who are fascinated by stories of their own era and of the historical changes they have seen.

2. Midwestern Rust Belt Residents who want a fresh look at the history of Detroit and other manufacturing centers.
3.‘Green’, ecology loving readers who want to redeem their own vision of American industry and see a new breath of creativity and hope
4 Anyone looking for a new inspiring vision of America

5. Poetry lovers in the US and other countries.

What genre does your story fall under?

Poetic Memoir

What distinguishes you from others seeking to be published authors?

I know how the business of publishing works, and I am methodically pursing a marketing program for my manuscript. Also, Detroiters and other Americans need to read my story.

New authors usually lack the business knowledge of writing. What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned about things beyond the page?

(I think your question is about the business side of writing.) Having self-published two books and started an on-line bookstore, I know that the main thing I have learned is ‘don’t undercapitalize.’

You need a lot of money to make a business work here in America. Whatever you think you need to publish a book, ou need to double or triple that figure. particularly for marketing costs.

What are your thoughts on rejection letters?

I wallpaper my office with them, to remind me of what bad taste most people have.

And I keep a list of people I intend to write to after I get published.

If you approached an author with questions about writing, how would you expect them to respond?

I’d expect them to be too busy writing to bother with me. Or to generously remind me of the one thing that writers need to hear: Strap yourself to your desk and keep writing.

Are you ready to really shine? In 100 words or less, tell the Wednesdays & Fridays Blog readers why your manuscript should be published.

Detroiters hunger for an updated new vision of our hometown, as the seedbed of the new America: community based, appreciate of art, and supportive and protective of its citizens. My manuscript inspires confidence that the American vision, when it is compassionate and inclusive, is still great. It carries the message that Art is the healer for a confused, hurting culture. Plus my stories are funny, heartbreaking, scary, and above all, the ‘troof’.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Thanksgiving Every Day

The table is brimming with good things to eat;
We're surrounded by family and friends; what a treat.
The feelings that fill us today can’t be beat;
It’s Thanksgiving Day, and it all feels complete.

But other days, sometimes things don’t seem so fine;
Those days are not polished and don’t seem to shine.
It's then in our minds, we forget all the good,
And think of the things we would get, if we could.

On days when our thinking causes us dread,
If we could remember, it’s all in our head,
And not let our minds take our gratitude away,
Then we'd make every day like Thanksgiving Day.

By Karl Fuchs

How to observe Thanksgiving

Count your blessings instead of your crosses; Count your gains instead of your losses.

Count your joys instead of your woes; Count your friends instead of your foes.

Count your smiles instead of your tears; Count your courage instead of your fears.

Count your full years instead of your lean; Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.

Count your health instead of your wealth; Count on God instead of yourself.

~~Author Unknown~~

Thursday, November 20, 2008



Leah Mullen resides in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn with her husband and their two children. Her publishing experience dates back to the mid nineties when she worked in both editorial and marketing capacities for John Wiley and Sons. In 2005, Leah was named the Life Coaching Editor for, a position she still holds today.

A prolific journalist, Leah has penned hundreds of essays, articles, reviews, and profiles which have appeared in over twenty publications and websites including: African American Literature Book,,,, The Black World, A Good Black, Bahiyah, Black, The Doe,, Mosaic, African Voices, Black Issues Book Review, The Daily Challenge, The New American, Sisters in Motion, The Black Track, Our Times Press, The New York World, Awareness Magazine (AMAG), The Lyrical Times, Black Star News and Broward Times.

As an educational grant writer, Leah has worked on grants for several New York based organizations including the Youth Service Coalition, Flatbush Action Community Daycare Center , Educators for Children Youth and Families and Sunshine Daycare Center . She's currently a database volunteer with the international nonprofit,

To expand her knowledge of children and early childhood programs, Leah recently completed two certificate level programs in Child Day Care and Teacher’s Aid from Ashworth University and Professional Career Development Institute respectively. She contributes to Today’s Child Magazine as a free-lance writer and editor.

Adding to a diverse career Leah is now exploring another love—romantic fiction. Since 2004, several of her short stories have appeared in Dorchester Media publications. Leah’s debut novel, Again and Again, a coming of age love story was released in 2005 through iUniverse.

Leah has a BA in Print Journalism from the Pennsylvania State University with a minor in Black Studies. She has taken writing classes at the Frederick Douglas Creative Art Center and online with Shades of Romance magazine and Brownstone University .

Tell us a little bit about you outside of being an author. What makes

Writing is almost everything to me. Even if I only get to spend 10 minutes a day writing, it is still my anchor, my core. I’m a mother and wife and a woman who is on the journey to be the best person I can be. And how do I express all of this? Via my writing! I write lots of self-help and parenting articles. Recently I assisted in editing an entire parenting magazine. I also write grants and do administrative assistant work from time to time. I’ve worked in just about every industry you can imagine. I even changed diapers at a day care center! I especially like to work with databases. I do allow other paying jobs to take precedence over my writing in terms of time, but never in my heart.

What is your earliest writing memory?

I wrote a poem when I was in the 3rd grade and my teacher Mrs. Bishop told me it was the best poem that she’d ever read by a child of my age. I was very hungry for compliments when I was a little girl. I always wonder what would have happened if a teacher told me I was good at math or science. lol.

What feelings do you experience once you are satisfied with a completed manuscript or article?

While I always look forward to completing a project, my sense of satisfaction is usually short lived. I’m one of those writers who always has to be writing, every single day. That’s what I enjoy most about writing, not really the finished project, but rather the act of filling pages and pages with words.

As a self-published author, how do your feelings differ now compared to before? How are they the same?

I thought I would feel differently once I self-published my first book Again and Again. I’d already written for tons of magazines, newspapers and websites, but looked forward to being an author of a book. As it turned out I feel practically the same. I’m still doing the same menu of things. Thinking up story ideas, doing research, writing and trying to sell my work. What is different is that I can articulate what I write about. I write about self-actualization and love. Also I have more to say about writing as my knowledge of the craft has grown exponentially since I self-published.

Tell us a little bit about your work in progress and/or your upcoming release.

My current book is Again and Again. It’s a coming of age love story. One of the main characters is Sarah a woman who is raising her daughter while she’s trying to heal from the trauma of her own upbringing. When I started to write the book I was 29 and a new mother. I just wanted to tell a story with all of it’s arms and legs. You know interesting plot, believable characters, etc. Only later did I appreciate the story’s relevance. There are so many parents today who didn’t get the nurturing they needed as children and are struggling to raise themselves and their children at the same time. This is a monumental task to break negative patterns and legacies that were handed down to us. I’d actually like to do a lot more research on this very topic.

I’m a big believer that word of mouth creates more sales than advertisements. If we were in the grocery store, how would you get me to read your work?

I’d tell you that I’ve gotten lots of positive feedback from various demographics, which surprised me since I’d intended it to be women’s fiction. It’s an inspiring, uplifting family drama and a love story, very PG 13. And it’s been endorsed by best-selling author Donna Hill.

I consider myself a tough critic when reviewing books. What do or would you do when if receive a mediocre or less than average rating from a reviewer or reader?

I’ve been part of a writing group for many years and have lots of experience with critiques. First what I do is to listen very closely to the critique, then I decide if it’s something I want to change or can change about my writing. If the critique has to do with my voice or the subjects I write about then there is nothing I care to do about that, I write what I write. But if I’ve done something wrong technically, I definitely try to fix it. Sometimes writers get so close to a project, we can’t see the plot holes, inconsistencies and other errors. Ultimately I don’t take criticism personally. It’s my job to put out the best article/book I can. Reader feedback is crucial in terms of my improving as a writer.

What authors influence your writing dreams, goals and aspirations?

I’m very inspired by authors who describe a character’s inner journey. I enjoy first person observations, which is also the form of writing I do best. I’m a fan of Ralph Ellison, asha bandele, John Van Druten, Charles Bukowski, W. Somerset Maugham, Don DeLillo, Anais Nin, Erica Jong and many others. And then I have my self-help gurus like Elaine St. James who writes the Simplify Your Life series.

What books would you recommend on writing?

Hands down that would be Ansel Dibell’s book, Plot. There’s a great quote in the book where Dibell says you don’t have to be the best, you just have to be the best you can be right now. I actually apply this piece of advice not only to my writing but to my life! Just do your best every day and eventually you get better.

If you could change one thing you did during your road to publication, what would it be and what would you have done different?

I think I might have waited a few more years before publishing, but the story was burning a hole in my metaphorical pocket. I had the finished manuscript, I knew so many other self-published writers so I said, why not? I have no regrets really, not one.

What advice would you give an aspiring author?

Learn how to write well by writing every day—and I mean every day even if it’s only for ten minutes. Do write for yourself but also keep in mind that you’d like to have an audience at some point so you must learn the craft. Read the books on writing, take classes and workshops. Frequently submit your work. Once you finish one project, start another and read, read, read.

Readers can contact me at or visit

Tuesday, November 18, 2008



TL James, born and raised in Houston, Texas, studied English at the University of Houston and Texas Southern University and graduated with an MBA from LeTourneau University. There is where she cultivated an interest in biblical studies which is woven throughout the trilogy.

As she developed the storyline for this labor of love, she worked tirelessly with her son constantly tucked around her waist. She often found her inspiration in the sound of her son's small steady breaths while he slept. After eight months of sleepless nights, The MPire trilogy was completed.

*click cover to order

Tell us a little bit about you outside of being an author.

I'm a native Houstonian and reside in Houston with my son. I possess a MBA and currently work as Commercial Analyst at for an energy company.

What is your earliest writing memory?

My earliest memories of writing were in Middle School. I remember keeping a journal and writing in it every day about stories about my family and the combating the peer pressures in school.

What feelings do you experience once you are satisfied with your completed manuscript(s)?

Euphoric. It was better than childbirth… NO STRETCH MARKS AND NO HOSPITAL BILL! LOL!

In your upcoming release or newly released book, how did you come up with the idea of your main character(s)?

When Mallory was created, I was describing the perfect man for me. I wanted him to be smart, captivating, well-versed, well-rounded in art, science, sports and intellect. I wanted him to speak several different languages, dance, sing, and travel. Once I created the description of this perfect man, I sat back and discovered that he and I would never work. Our worlds would never collide for us to meet. So, instead of trashing the description, I created the “Perfect World” for us, thus he became the main character in my trilogy.

Tell us a little bit about your work in progress and/or your upcoming release.

My work started out as a trilogy. But as time and questions progressed, I created the MPire Chronicles.

I’m a big believer that word of mouth creates more sales than advertisements. Let’s say I’ve never read any of your books before, how would you pitch the idea of your latest release to me?

In Search of the Lost is an enchanted journey into the erotic and sensual picture perfect world of a rich and handsome “Texas Englishman”, Mallory Towneson Haulm. His world collides with reality when he is summoned to return to the family that cast him away when he was seven. The journey takes you family drama, corporate greed and scandals and epics wars older that Revelations.

I consider myself a tough critic when reviewing books. What do or would you do when you receive a mediocre or less than average rating from a reviewer or reader?

I don’t know how I would react getting a mediocre rating. My ratings have been from one extreme to the other. I got a zero for a Christian Fiction Reviewer who picked up the book and detailed every reason why I need to go to the nearest church and pray (but she is waiting for next book.) That was fascinating. I have received many high ratings from book clubs and reviewers who often don’t give out high ratings. That was awesome. But to get a mediocre rating… I don’t know. I will have to research the reviewers to see how they rate stories. Make sure that it was the storyline that they rated, because if it is a style issue or errors in the book, that is important to know. Thinking back, I did get one low rating because of errors in the first publication and the fact that the reviewer didn’t realize that it was a Trilogy.

What authors influence your writing dreams, goals and aspirations?

I grew up reading the classics, Chaucer, Shakespeare and Mythology. They way they describe scenes and sights and character through dialogue fascinated me. I remembered one time in school that I wanted to be Zora Neale Hurston. I don’t know if it was because if her writing style or her controversial political and social stance. Either way, she was powerful. It didn’t hit me that I could be a writer unless I “FOUND” E. Lynn Harris’s novels. He is a wonderful story teller, however it was him biography that captured my attention. The fact that he was working full-time and writing gave me the fuel to have writing a goal for me.

What books would you recommend on writing?

So many books, so little time! LOL! It depends on what you want to accomplish. I would definitely pick books outside your genre to expand your wealth of knowledge in regarding to writing styles. I would recommend the classics, just because I LOVE the classics. I would also pick a book from a genre that you don’t like. Pinpoint in detail “Why” you don’t like the genre. Is it emotional factor or writing style issue? All of these exercises will broaden your horizons.

If you could change one thing you did during your road to publication, what would it be and what would you have done different?

I would have had more self-confidence about my work. I think I would have made different choices.

What advice would you give an aspiring author?

First, write out what your goal is in the publishing industry. Research! Ask lots of questions! And if it sounds too good to be true, STOP! Keep your integrity in tact, even if there are others who have let their integrity and/or honesty slip by the wayside. Know what your breaking points are and remember publishing is a business. You can make beautiful connections, awesome friends but be sure that you take care of business FIRST!

Where can readers learn more about you and your books?

Readers can go on my website,, and check out events, reviewers, excerpts and book trailers. They can purchase an autographed book from my website and receive a free gift. I’m also on Amazon and in Borders, Barnes and Nobles. If it’s not in a bookstore near you, ORDER IT!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Author Alex Beecroft


I've written most of my life. I can't not write, or I get very cranky and bad tempered, as my family can attest. But it was only this year that I finally decided to try my hand at submitting something for publication. I've always enjoyed m/m romance and written it for my own pleasure, I just had no idea before March of this year that there was a market out there and other people like me, who would like to see it too. It's been a good year!

As for the rest, as Linden Bay put it:

Alex Beecroft currently lives in Great Britain with her husband and two daughters. Raised in Cheshire, Alex studied English and Philosophy before accepting employment with the Crown Court where she worked for a number of years. Alex will tell you that she's thrilled to be doing what she always wanted to do, living her dream of being a writer, and a soon to be published romance author.

Tell us a little bit about you outside of being an author.

I'm a mother of two girls, age 11 and 14. We live just outside Cambridge in a tiny village with not much to do, so at weekends we tend to be off at one national trust place or another doing historical re-enactment. We are members of two reenactment societies, Regia Anglorum, which reenacts the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans, and The Mannered Mob, which reenacts civilian 18th Century life.
What is your earliest writing memory?

My friends and I used to pretend to be characters out of The Lord of the Rings, and I was the only one who used to make up new dialog and new things that happened. I don't remember what the first thing I actually wrote down was, but it may have been a story about the rock band Emerson, Lake and Palmer turning into deep space mercenaries and saving the universe with the power of music. LOL! What can I say, I was young :)

What feelings do you experience once you are satisfied with your completed manuscript(s)?

Relief and joy. It's a little bit like having a baby. It's been a long, tiring process getting there, and then you suddenly have this new, perfect thing. Of course, immediately afterwards you start worrying about whether it's good enough, whether anyone will like it, whether you could have done it better... But there is that blissful moment first.

In your upcoming release or newly released book, how did you come up with the idea of your main character(s)?

Peter and Joshua from 'Captain's Surrender' were inspired by the Naval characters in Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. Instead of falling in love with Jack Sparrow as I think everyone else did, I fell for the clean cut men of the navy. I wondered if there was any truth to the way the film portrayed them - so confident, so fearless, so clean ;) So I went away and started to read up about the 18th Century Navy, and Peter and Joshua were inspired by people like Nelson and Collingwood.

Tell us a little bit about your work in progress and/or your upcoming release.

My upcoming release is called 'False Colors'. It's due out in April 2009 from Running Press, but it's available on Amazon for pre-order already. I'm very excited about this one. It's a good meaty 240 pages long and packed with sea-faring adventure. Like Captain's Surrender, it's a gay historical romance set in the 18th Century Age of Sail, but this is more epic and more complex. This is the blurb:

For his first command, John Cavendish is given the elderly bomb
HMS /Meteor/, and a crew as ugly as the ship. He’s determined to make a success of their first mission, and hopes the well-liked
lieutenant Alfie Donwell can pull the crew together before he has to
lead them into battle: stopping the slave trade off the coast of

Alfie knows that with a single ship, however well manned, their
mission is futile, and their superiors back in England are
hoping to use their demise as an excuse for war with the Ottoman
. But the darker secret he keeps is his growing attraction for
his commanding officer---a secret punishable by death.

With the arrival of his former captain---and lover---on the scene, Alfie
is torn between the security of his past and the uncertain promise of a future with the straight-laced John.

Against a backdrop of war, intrigue, piracy and personal betrayal, the high
seas will carry these men through dangerous waters from England to
Africa, from the Arctic to the West Indies, in search of a safe harbor.


I’m a big believer that word of mouth creates more sales than advertisements. Let’s say I’ve never read any of your books before, how would you pitch the idea of your latest release to me?

I'd say 'think Master and Commander meets Brokeback Mountain.' It's forbidden love on the high seas; adventure, peril, pirates and romance.

I consider myself a tough critic when reviewing books. What do or would you do when you receive a mediocre or less than average rating from a reviewer or reader?

I would thank them for taking the time to review my book and make sure that I understood why the book didn't work for them. Then I would think about whether I ought to do whatever it was differently next time.

What authors influence your writing dreams, goals and aspirations?

Patrick O'Brian is my historical fiction writing god. I love the effortless way he combines his immense knowledge about the past with brilliant characters, gripping stories, and sometimes some frankly hilarious moments. But for writing style and original ideas I also idolize Ursula LeGuin, and Tolkien is my yardstick for authenticity in language and fabulous world-building.

What books would you recommend on writing?

'Steering the Craft' by Ursula LeGuin. See above, she really knows what she's talking about!

If you could change one thing you did during your road to publication, what would it be and what would you have done different?

I wouldn't have allowed myself to get discouraged so easily. When my first book, The Witch's Boy, got its fifteenth rejection, I decided to give up trying to be published and just write for fun. I did that for the next ten years. Then one day I thought 'well, let's just *try* to get Captain's Surrender accepted. What harm can it do?' and it was jumped on by the first publisher I sent it to. I wish now that I had carried on trying earlier, and not had that ten year gap.

What advice would you give an aspiring author?

Once you start a story, carry on until you reach the end. Don't start editing and rewriting before you've got a complete first draft, otherwise you'll end up with five perfect chapters and lose interest.

Always accept criticism and advice as a positive chance to learn to get better. Your deathless prose *can* be improved on.

Don't get discouraged. Sometimes it is too much like work, but then, if you want to be a professional writer, it *is* work. Keep plugging away at it and you will get there eventually.

Where can readers learn more about you and your books?

I have a website here:

I hang out mainly on my livejournal here:

and my Amazon profile is at this ridiculously long URL here:

Thank you ever so much for the chance to talk about me and my books!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Author K. L. Bevin


I was born, and continue to reside, in South Jamaica, New York. At 40-years-old I am a father of four, teacher for the New York City Department of Education for over eleven years, a born again Christian and I am recently married. My lovely supportive wife is my strength, best friend, and editor of most of my work. Together we started and run our own publishing company called Bravin Publishing LLC. In the future we hope to be able to give authors a home, to get their work read without the worry of being taken advantage of. All while showing a united front in marriage and business. The writing and creation of a publishing company is also my way of presenting me as a role model for today’s youth and the African American community.

I obtained my A.S. in business from Kingsborough Community College; City University of New York, a B.S. in Education from York College; City University of New York and I hold a Master’s Degree in Education, specializing in Curriculum Writing, Assessments and Teaching from Walden University. I anticipate beginning my Ph.D. studies in early 2009.

I am a writer of poetry and fictional and non-fictional stories. “A Man in Transition” is my first completed work and will be the first book published by Bravin Publishing. Over the years I changed my focus from erotic based content to romance, spiritual inspirations and social promotion due to religious choices. I hope to offer the world-focused insight of a man who has completely changed his life to helping and supporting others. I believe my writing expresses my growth as a man who, now, attempts to offer counsel, entertainment and guidance to all he meets.

Traveling around the world, spending quality time with my children, coaching basketball, bowling, and cooking are a few of my other passions. I love to meet new people and use my internet blogs to write stories on my observations of the world.

I have faith that the Lord will use my writing to reach people to let them know they have someone in their corner. I am that someone who through his work will tell their story or touch their hearts. I have found we all go through similar situations and I want to be the person that writes for the masses.

Tell us a little bit about you outside of being a poet/author.

Outside of being a poet and author I am an educator, father and husband... I teach for the New York City Dept of Education, which I have done for the past 12 years. It is my first love. Trying to get children to fulfill their potential is a passion. I have taught various subjects, however Health Education is one of my favorite subjects to teach. It’s the freedom of the subject that I enjoy. I have four children who are the reason I work hard to make a difference in this world. My best friend is my wife. We are celebrating our first year of marriage. The first was fantastic and I can’t wait for our future. She knows about my negative past and we have worked our way past it to become a tighter unified couple. All of these areas are the fuel behind my writing.

What is your earliest writing memory?

I wrote in middle school back in the 1970’s but nothing serious. Over the years I have come to terms that I have a tremendous imagination but I didn’t take writing serious until about 1999. Much of my writing history began there with erotic stories and poems. It was the writing I was doing on the internet in various clubs and social groups of the time. Most of the writing was of an erotic nature because that is what dominated my thoughts and life in those days. Now after changing my life and allowing the Lord to lead my steps my writing focus is spiritual, romance, thought provoking in nature and of course educational centered.

Describe your writing style.

My writing style I consider to be “simplistically thought provoking”. I feel I am a better speaker than writer so I don’t try to overwhelm the reader with words. What I try to do when I am writing is get you to think in a deeper manner by simply placing my thoughts or imagination in front of you. The “less is more” idea is the secret behind my style of writing. I believe that people who read come to the table with a level of intelligence that doesn’t require you to play with their thoughts more so they want to take the trip with you. It’s my belief if you make the story interesting but no so over the top you don’t lose the reader but draw them in deeper.

Tell us a little bit about your work in progress and/or your upcoming release.

I am in the process of beginning my non-fiction story based on my life from male whore to man of God. The title is called From Gigolo to Jesus. My life as a sexual predator. With this book I am going to put the business of men playing games on women out in the street for the world to see. I made a living treating woman like objects in my run as a misogynist. I now want to help as many women and men who want to change their lives as I can. I believe there are brothers out there who want to stop living the way they are but simply don’t know how or where to turn to change. I know there are women who can benefit from insider information on the games men play and what emotions we are dealing with when trapped in that mode. I will also show what can happen when a man connects his life to something morally deeper than one’s self. It will be a fun, informative, passionate read.

Poetry can evoke deep emotions for the reader, as the poet, what emotions do you feel when you are creating a piece?

My feelings depend on the pieces itself. My current poetry book is laced with emotional contributions. I don’t know how to write a particular piece without the feelings of the theme flowing through it. I have cried, pouted, smiled and laughed at things I have written. When others have read my work I have seen the same emotional reaction in them it truly fuels my motivation.

Give me one to four lines of a poem you wrote that will make us go hmmm.

OK where are a few lines from one of my favorite poems called. Perfect Woman (If only in my mind.) which is a dedication to my wife.

There is something about the way she understands my needs.

Are there other women who would love another’s children like her own?

Would another woman be strong enough to trust God and take you back when you have tasted someone else’s fruits?

Her soul is pure enough to douse the evil that once filled my own.

From “A Perfect Woman”, A Man in Transition by K. L. 2008

I’m a big believer that word of mouth creates more sales than advertisements. Let’s say we’re standing at a bus stop and I’ve never read any of your poetry before, how would approach me and persuade me to purchase your book?

Hmmm the sales pitch huh, OK; since I am a big guy I have to be very careful how I approach folks. I don’t want to be intimidating. I would turn with a big smile and ask “How are you today?” with a positive response from you I would say “I am an educator trying to get my poetry book off the ground. If you don’t mind can I share something with you?” Now this is the tricky part but most of the time I get a positive response. Now it’s a matter of choosing the right poem to share. If it’s a female its “Perfect Woman”, male its “I am not Superman but I am Dad”. Each of those poems strike at feelings which normally are deep rooted in both genders. At this point I hand you my book and ask do you think you can support an educator trying to make a difference with urban children?

I consider myself a tough critic when reviewing books. What would you do if you received a mediocre or less than average rating from a reviewer or reader?

I would thank the person for offering their opinion. I would take time to think about what was said and if there is merit to it then I consider acting on it. One thing I wouldn’t do is react negatively to a person who doesn’t find my work to their liking. I would be uneasy if no one found anything wrong with my work. Nothing is perfect, perfection is an unrealistic perception. I am such a harsh critic of my own work that I don’t think anyone can be tougher on me. I really do welcome the negatives because I enjoy the comments it means the person took the time to read my work.

What poets/poems inspire you most?

The poem that inspires me the most is a very common piece, it’s Our Greatest Fear —Marianne Williamson. The piece speaks to what has held me back from being the best I could have been for years. I have stood in the way of being my own success for some time. It’s a tremendous read. Many get the author confused they believe it was Nelson Mandela who wrote it but it was Marianne Williamson. When I heard it recited in the movie Coach Carter it was so on point for the scene that it brought tears to my eyes. Yes I am a big softy too. Don’t tell anyone.

If you could change one thing you did during your road to publication, what would it be and what would you have done different?

That is something I have discussed often with others and to self. If I could go back to earlier this year, I would have waited another 6 months to a year on releasing my current poetry book. I would have taken that time to learn more about the business of writing, promotions and marketing. I wouldn’t have placed so much faith in others for financial support. I learned a painful lesson by not having the capital in place when placing my book on the market. I took a financial loss with the release of my book and didn’t have the market in place to recover the way I should have. Now I take in all I have learned and apply it to getting myself better prepared for the release of the next book. I will not make the same mistakes as before.

What advice would you give an aspiring poet regarding publishing?

I would say read the last answer and I would tell them to read, learn, read and learn some more about publishing in every aspect. I would tell a new poet to make sure they have a strong idea of who they are going to market their work too. Make sure they know what they want their book to look like when its time for printing and distribution. They need to consider how they are going to create a buzz for their work. Finally please have a plan for all your publishing needs before laying your poetry into someone else’s hands.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book(s)?

I have a website that I update as often as I can. is my online home where you can find out what’s going on with me. I also use MySpace to give everyone a chance to hear or read about me. is the location. I am creating a website for my publishing company it will be up and running very soon. My publishing company is named after my wife and me. Her last name and my own created Bravin Publishing LLC.

Pick up your copy of

"A Man In Transition"

by K. L.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Author Allison Knight

Author Allison Knight

Allison, like many authors, read a book she didn’t like. Despite occasional digs from her children, she wrote a romance. “Heartsong” released in August of 2008, is her thirteenth book.

A retired teacher, she’s taught fiction writing and spoken at conferences throughout the country.

She and her husband moved south to the land of hurricanes and sunshine. When she isn’t watching the weather, she writes, creating heroes and heroines, then

finding ways to make their lives miserable.

Her fourteenth book, a romance set in the Yukon, will be available in March of 2009. Currently she is working on a Sequel to her August release, another set in Philadelphia in the 1870's, and a traditional Gothic Romance.


Tell us a little bit about you outside of being an author.

I'm a retired high school teacher. I giggle when I tell people I used to teach Home Ec. Now I write romance. Seems to go together somehow. I'm also married to my own hero of almost 50 years and we have four children. I love to play penny slots because that way you don't lose much. I read a lot because I love books, all kinds of books.

What is your earliest writing memory?

In the seventh grade, I wrote poetry, and some it was not too bad, for a kid. Then in the eighth grade I won an essay contest - for money. That truly began my writing experience.

What feelings do you experience once you are satisfied with your completed manuscript(s)?

This is a terrible way to answer, but I have to say, I'm never completely satisfied. I’m relieved that I’m writing "The End", but even after a dozen rewrites, I can always go back and find something I should have changed. My best feelings are a sense of relief when the publishers say they want it.

In your upcoming release or newly released book, how did you come up with the idea of your main character(s)?

I grew up listening to classical music. My father wanted to be an opera singer. The two main characters in Heartsong, my latest release, appeared while I was listening to the last act of "Faust". I literally saw the heroine and the hero in what turned out to be the black moment of the novel. I knew immediately I had to tell their story.

Tell us a little bit about your work in progress and/or your upcoming release.

A Treasure for Sara will be released in March 2009. This tale probably has my most favorite hero. The story takes place in the Yukon, before the gold rush. Bear is the quintessential mountain man, a real loner. Sara is a vivacious young woman from Philadelphia. Bear has very little to say, and Sara talks all the time. Boy, did I have fun with them. This was probably the book with which I had the most fun. I just never knew what would pop out of Sara's mouth, or how Bear would react to it. But, eventually, she learns to keep her mouth shut and he learns to talk. Great fun.

I’m a big believer that word of mouth creates more sales than advertisements. Let’s say I’ve never read any of your books before, how would you pitch the idea of your latest release to me?

If you like history, and a tale of intrigue, kings, princesses and what happened before the age of enlightenment, you'll enjoy this tale of an English Baron who hates the Welsh, and a Welsh princess who becomes his captive. Together they encounter the problems of the time - raids, wars, persecutions and sibling rivalry but love does conquer all.

I consider myself a tough critic when reviewing books. What do or would you do when you receive a mediocre or less than average rating from a reviewer or reader?

I cry a lot. No, not really. The first gothic I wrote received a mediocre review, and even my own granddaughter wasn’t particularly fond of it because it was written in first person, but then you can’t please everyone. If the book pleases me and my husband likes it, then I’m satisfied. And yes, he does read everything I write. He’s my first editor and if he doesn’t like it, I find out why. He offers suggestions, I rewrite until he gives his okay. So far, he’ll always been right.

What authors influence your writing dreams, goals and aspirations?

I think every writer of romance has a warm spot for Kathleen Woodiwess. She and Rosemary Rogers got me hooked on romance. Their books inspired me to try my hand at story telling.

What books would you recommend on writing?

One of my favorite books and I still refer to it is “Writing Fiction, Nonfiction, and How to Publish” by Pat Kubis and Bob Howland. I also think I have all of Writer’s Digest’s “The Elements of Writing Fiction.” I do have a whole library of how to books, but the ones I’ve mentioned I still refer to often.

If you could change one thing you did during your road to publication, what would

it be and what would you have done different?

I think the one thing I would have changed was to stay with my first agent. I’ve had several agents and they were never as successful as my first. I also would start writing Gothics much sooner than I did.

What advice would you give an aspiring author?

Perhaps the best thing is to never give up. Like many authors, I hit a dry spell. For nearly eight years I couldn’t publish a thing. In the last eight years, I’ve had ten books released. Don’t give up. And don’t believe because you publish one, two even three books, you’re “In like Flynn”. The publishing business doesn’t work that way.

Where can readers learn more about you and your books?

I have a web page, I blog and I feature my characters on the blog with many other authors. My web page, blog and character blog are listed.


JC Martin is an aspiring author, a mother, and a wife. She has been reading books as far back as her memory will allow her to remember. She has always used books as an escape from her everyday life. Her passion for words became evident to her English teacher in the eighth grade. Since then Jennifer has been writing non-stop, but it was not until 2006 when she finally realized her passion. She reviews books because she truly loves reading, and wants to spread the word to more than just the people she knows.
DJ Frazier is an Ohio-born, spoken-word poet who has composed poetry since she was able to hold a laddie pencil. As reviewer for A Place Of Our Own (APOOO) and aspiring novelist, she dabbles in the literary scene from all perspectives. She has been published on, interviewed on, and is currently submitting fiction manuscripts to publishers while juggling daughterhood, sisterhood, wifedom, parenthood, and of course, writing. Outside of family and all things literary, Darnetta overindulges in Hip-Hop, dabbles in computer graphic design, and creates handcrafted cards, candles, and jewelry.