Indie Shine – Dr. KE Garland

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In this edition of Indie Shine, a place for rebirthoflisa to “Shine” the spotlight on indie artists, we welcome award winning author Dr. Katherin Garland.

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©Dr. Katherin Garland used with permission

Bio:

Dr. Katherin Garland is an award winning writer, whose work has been featured in the South Florida Times, Talking Soup, and For Harriet.

Q & A

What do you do and Why do you do it? 
I write creative nonfiction in order to inspire social change.
Tell us about your most recent work. 
TUWcover2My most recent book is titled, The Unhappy Wife. It is a collection of short stories based on real women’s marriages. Though the stories are inspired by real events, I’ve fictionalized parts of the women’s stories in order to protect their anonymity.
Who inspires you? 
I’m very self-motivated. I’m not inspired by a person, but more so an idea, a concept. I believe that we are all connected and can do whatever we set our minds to. Therefore, my inspiration comes from listening to my inner voice and believing that what I need to actualize those dreams is always within reach.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time?
A story that I wrote about my father called, “The Transition” is my masterpiece. It is a short story that describes the softening of my heart for a father who, in a sense had abandoned me. I won first place at the Royal Palms Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction for this piece, so at this point, it validates my writing ability.
What is your motto in life?
Anything is possible.
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true. 
I honestly don’t have a wild dream that I cannot imagine achieving 🙂 I believe everything I can think of is possible.
What is your favorite quote? 

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When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for?
My hope is that people will remember me for being inspirational, whether it is because of how I lived my life or because of something I wrote.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public? 
My next project is called Daddy. It is an edited collection of women writers who’ve opened their hearts to talk about their father-daughter relationships. It will be available June 2018.
Where can fans purchase your work?
Fans can buy my work from my website: www.kegarland.com and also Barnes & Noble online.

Social Media

Twitter: kegarland

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©Dr. Katherin Garland used with permission

Instagram: kegarland

Facebook: kegarlandwriter

Author Website: kegarland.com

Couch Convos Featuring Author Ronyea Thompson

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Welcome to April’s edition of Couch Convos! Today we welcome Ronyea Thompson, author of the popular novel “The Circle”. Let’s get started.

Part I

 LWT: Welcome to Couch Convos. Tell us, how did you get the idea to write “The Circle”?

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©Ronyea Thompson used with permission

RT: I have a circle of friends in real life (who are way more conservative than the characters LOL) and since I love to write and play around with characters, I thought it would be cool to draw inspiration from my friends.

LWT: Well, in this book you do have a unique group of friends. Can you take us through the process you went through to develop each character?

RT: Yes…as stated above, the characters were inspired by my circle of friends. And when I say inspired, I mean VERY LOOSELY inspired LOL. All of it is fiction, none of it is real…for example Chantal is inspired by a dear friend of mine. The ONLY similarities they share are that they both live in California and both are dancers. However, my friend in real life is a praise dance and worship leader at her church, and spends days teaching young girls the art of dance via Ballet and Jazz at the Chon Renee Dance Academy in the Bay Area. She has never stripped nor done drugs…but it was fun to play with her character, because there are women who strip, and I wanted to change the stigma a bit.

LWT: When I read the book, I felt as if each one of the main characters struggled with their moral compass. Why was this such an important element in the story line?

RT: Its important to me as a woman to express the struggles we may have in our everyday lives. No one is perfect and we often battle with right and wrong intentions and decisions. I wanted to reference issues like drug use as well as abortions, because those are touchy topics and many people tend to be on one side of the fence when it comes to that. However, no one situation is the same. Just because in real life my “inspired friends” don’t deal with these situations, doesn’t mean others aren’t out there dealing with it, I know a few.

Also, my book is a bit different from a lot of “Urban” novels in the since, I wanted to tell a story with a spiritual undertone. God can use you right where you are. I hope readers walk away with that as well. Being relatable was also very important to me…who can’t deal with feeling stuck in a “job” like Keisha, but really wanting more. Dealing with debt and marital issues are common…also who hasn’t been affected by cancer, be it themselves or a close friend or family member?

 

LWT: When I write, I have a picture in my head of who I want my characters to look like. Who were the muses for the girls?

RT: My real friends…I took some of their physical similarities, and incorporated them into the characters.

 

LWT: What about the men? I know the readers are just salivating to find out who inspired each love interest.

RT: Honestly, the men were just made up, if you can believe that. Again, with the characters of Harvey and LD being not as good, I wanted to show good men too like John, Derrick, and even Big Cody who is a good father.

 

LWT: I have to know, do you identify with one character, more than the others in the book?

RT: Yes, Robin is loosely based on me, with her love of books and being married. However, I’ve never been with a woman.

 

LWT: How did you do your research for the characters, especially CC?

RT: For CC, believe it or not, I asked some of my men friends what happens in strip clubs, and just used my imagination from there.

 

LWT: The book focuses on a group of women who, in my opinion ride hard for each other. They may have a tiff or two, but in the end they know they can depend on each other. Why do you feel it is important, especially for black women to read about these types of relationships?

RT: The ultimate goal for this book is to show a strong, sincere bond of female friends. I believe in today’s world, so much attention is focused on women, especially black women, fighting one another. If you look at reality TV there is a strong presence of black women tearing each other down. We’re not always sleeping with each others man, or jealous, or gossiping about one another. Call me blessed, but I have some awesome friends in my life, that I have had for a very long time. Our friendships are healthy, positive, and supportive, and I feel there are a lot more out there…its just not often told.

 

LWT: Who are some of your favorite writers and why?

RT: It took me a few years (6 to be exact) to write and finalize The Circle. During that time I stopped reading other authors, just so my story would be true to me. I am excited to read some new authors, but I have also enjoyed Terry McMillan, Terri Woods, Mary Monroe, and Rashonda Tate Billingsley to name a few.

Part II

LWT: How do you choose your book covers and who does them?

The CircleRT: I knew I wanted sketch drawings. I searched for awhile, before I found @Nataliamadej on Instagram. I reached out to her to do the drawing, and the rest is history. I absolutely love my cover!

 

LWT: So do I. Speaking of Instagram,do you use social media for marketing and does it help with sales?

RT: Yes, I have Facebook and Instagram and I believe it has helped tremendously to get my name and the cover “out there”.

 

LWT: Tell us about your writing process. Do you need complete silence, or do you listen to music? Do you have a drink or write sober? Etc. Inquiring minds want to know.

RT: LOL…no I don’t drink when writing. Sometimes I write with the TV or radio going, and sometimes quiet. Usually, in the evenings though is when I find my groove.

 

LWT: What challenges have you faced as an indie writer?

RT: Oh… where to start? LOL No, ummmm…I haven’t had any MAJOR challenges, other than trying to get the word out that I’m a new author, and receive reviews (hopefully positive ones).

 

LWT: Have you or do you plan to attend any book fairs, conventions or signings? If so, which ones?

RT: Yes, this is all very new for me. But I definitely plan to attend some fairs and conventions in the fall of 2017. I had my first book signing in Oklahoma City in January 2017 and it was a success.

 

LWT: Please give other indie writers 3 tips you’ve learned, that help you to be successful?

  1. Stay focused on what you’re doing. What took 6 years for me should have taken 1 (if that) but I wasn’t focused.
  2. Be true to yourself. I don’t curse, so I didn’t want profanity in my book. Some people have said they wanted it or missed it when reading, but I had to be true for me. Not everyone will like your work and that okay.
  3. All you have to do is start, and the rest will work itself out. Its ok if you don’t know EVERYTHING you need to know about publishing a book. You will learn as you go. I am still learning.

 

LWT: Share one unique thing you’ve done to market your book?

RT: I have done giveaways and book signings. But that’s not so unique…I’ll take ideas if you have any LOL

 

LWT: Keep reading our Couch Convos interviews. I’m sure you’ll learn some great tricks. Tell the readers the one resource you can’t live without as a writer?

RT: My phone! I NEED it, because I can jot down a quick thought, or take a picture of something that might inspire me. I can also Google something real quick if needed.

 

LWT: Smart phones can be great sources of information. What does success look like for you?

RT: For me, success would be having more people reading and liking (and even taking something away) my writings, and one day being able to write as a full-time job.

 

LWT: What’s up next for you? A sequel perhaps?

RT: I have been toying with the idea of a sequel, but I am currently working on a book about 2 sisters. Its been really fun playing with it too.

We look forward to reading it too. Well, that’s it another Couch Convos in the can. ‘The Circle’ is available on Amazon  and Kindle. Click here to purchase. You’ll be glad you did.

Ronyea Thompson currently lives in Southaven, Mississippi with her husband and two

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©Ronyea Thompson used with permission

children. Originally from Oklahoma City, she attended Langston University. While there she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Education. She has always had a love for reading and storytelling, and shortly after graduation she drew inspiration from her own circle of friends who loosely inspired The Circle, her debut novel.

To connect with her please click the links below to her Social Media sites.

Instagram: @itsme_ronyea or @thecirclenovel

Facebook: http://facebook.com/thecirclenovel

Indie Shine – James Gordon(Greatest Poet Alive)

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In this edition of Indie Shine, a place for rebirthoflisa to ‘Shine’ the spotlight on indie artists, we welcome International award winning author and poet James Gordon, aka, The Greatest Poet Alive!

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©James Gordon used with permission

Bio:

James Gordon is an international award winning author and poet from Chicago’s south side, as well as a champion storyteller and reigning Moth Grand Slam Storytelling Champion. He has written books across the genres consisting of Poetry, Children’s Young Adult, Mystery and Suspense, and Erotica. James can be seen on episodes of Chicago Fire,Empire, Chicago Justice, Chicago PD, The Patriot, Chicago Med, and Shameless. He can also be found on Twitter at gr8estpoetalive and on his website at www.iblowyourmind.net

Q & A:

What do you do and Why do you do it? 
I love writing, reciting poetry, telling stories, and being an actor. These are gifts from God. I would be foolish and insulting if I didn’t utilize them to the fullest.
Tell us about your most recent work.
james gordon artAngelica’s Box The Evolving is the continuing and raising of a previous bar set by its predecessor, Angelica’s Box. It is not only an ode to women, a narrative of the authors’ interactions with them, but also a commentary on the times. It has the length and feel of a novella but written in some rhyming verse and colorful depictions.
Who inspires you?
My family, winners, and legends such as Langston Hughes, John Cena, 50 Cent, Kanye West, Miles Livingston, Batman, and plenty of others
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time?
That’s a great question. Angelica’s Box(The first one) is the book I would consider my masterpiece. It was brilliantly written
What is your motto in life? 
Go get it!!!
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true. 
I want to be a villain in a superhero movie. That would be the ultimate!!!
What is your favorite quote? 
WOOO!!!! It’s the phrase Ric Flair once used.
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for?
I’d like to be remembered as someone who gave it everything he had in everything he did.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public?
A Cruel Summer is the follow up to my first novel “The Warmest Winter”. It will arrive some time in June 2017.
Where can fans purchase your work?
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, an at my website www.iblowyourmind.net

Social Media:

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©James Gordon used with permission

Facebook: ThePoeticUnsub
Facebook: HimynameisBobo
Reverb Nation: gpagreatestpoetalive

Wise Words Wednesday – April Sinclair

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This week’s wise words come from author April Sinclair. I fell in love with her books in my youth and think she is one of the most unsung authors of our time. #www

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If you are in the market for some more wise words, check out her series below. These books really spoke to me as a young woman and even more as an adult.

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Indie Shine – Eliza David

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In this month’s edition of Indie Shine, a place for rebirthoflisa to ‘Shine’ the spotlight on indie artists, we welcome author, womanist and creator of the popular Cougarette series Eliza David!

Bio:

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©Eliza David used with permission

Eliza David is the author of the five-star-rated, six-book Cougarette series. She was born and raised on the noisy South Side of Chicago, but now lives in super quiet Iowa. When she’s not writing, working full-time, or raising two children with her loving husband, Eliza enjoys reading throwback Jackie Collins and indulging in the occasional order of cheese fries. Eliza is a blogger as well, having served as a contributing writer for Real Moms of Eastern Iowa, Good Men Project, and Thirty on Tap. She was a featured panelist at both the Iowa Soul Festival and Iowa City Book Festival in 2016. Eliza’s latest novel, Savage, dropped in September. She’s currently working on the sequel to Savage – Still Savage – for release in 2017. For additional information, including witty clapbacks from this author, visit www.elizadavidwrites.com

Q & A

 

What do you do and Why do you do it?
When I’m not working my day job or freelancing on lifestyle blogs like ‘Thirty On Tap’, I write modern romance novels about not-so-modern women. My characters are what I like to call ‘flawed but fabulous’. They are mothers, daughters, and sisters. They work hard at their careers and at love. And yes, they like to have sex quite a bit! I write because my hope is to broaden the spectrum of women characters in fiction. Women aren’t binary and there are levels to us that aren’t explored. I hope to unlock some of those traits.
Tell us about your most recent work.
 
Still Savage is a sequel to my last novel, Savage. Savage tells the story of fundraising guru LaneySavage1.1 Townes, a divorced lesbian whose personal and professional lives intersect into sexy circumstances. In the sequel, Laney reunites with her ex, A-list R&B pop singer Eva Reynolds, for business. Of course, things happen that find them entangled with each other…which is awkward for Eva, who is still dating her male songwriting partner. Yes honey – drama!
Who inspires you? 
First and foremost, my mother – who always wanted me to be a writer but I just had to find my lane (and I have!). My writing heroes include Erica Jong, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Jennifer Weiner.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time?
The Cougarette series, hands down. It’s based on Laney’s BFF, CeeCee Banks. Forty-something CeeCee is only divorced for hours when she meets Jay – a man a little over half her age. The series is a collection of six books (first one’s free on Amazon!) and takes you on a sexy ride with CeeCee.
What is your motto in life? 
I remind myself often that tomorrow is another day. I tend to hold on to memories of human error way longer than I should and it never does me any favors.
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true. 
FourBookProfilePic - Amanda Walker DesignI would love to see The Cougarette become a TV dramedy and (bonus!) I’d want a hand in creating the series – not just selling the rights off. That would make my life.
What is your favorite quote?
I am drawn to Alice Walker quotes and, if I had to select one as a motto for life, it would be…‘I have fallen in love with the imagination. And if you fall in love with the imagination, you understand that it is a free spirit. It will go anywhere, and it can do anything.’
 
I keep this ideal of the imagination being a free spirit when I write. I’m still a planner, but I use my plot outline as a road map. There are many ways to get to a destination – on the page and in real life!
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for?
Life is so hectic so if I’m remembered for anything, I’d want it to be giving my readers a sexy escape.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public?
I have three projects planned for 2017. In addition to ‘Still Savage’ hitting Amazon in the spring, I have two more novels I’d like to drop. First up is another Cougarette novel, tentatively titled ‘The Westons’. It will kick off a fresh book series, so I’m excited to step back into my fave character’s black stilettos. My third novel is a standalone tentatively titled ‘For The Fandom’, which I hope to drop around the holidays.
Where can fans purchase your work?
Amazon is the one-stop shop for all things me: http://amazon.com/author/elizadavid

Social Media Contact Information:

52feministsEliza

 

Facebook:  elizadwrites

Instagram: writegirlproblems

Blog: www.elizadavidwrites.com

You can also catch her on Twitter stirring up all types of trouble @elizadwrites.