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.

 

 

Couch Convos featuring Author A. Renee Hunt

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Welcome to another episode of Couch Convos! Today we welcome A. Renee Hunt, author of ‘Puddle’ to the blog. Let’s get started.

Part I

LWT: How did you get into writing?

A. Renee Hunt

©A. Renee Hunt used with permission

ARH: I began writing back in elementary school. I was a military brat, so I was alone a lot. My thing was to hide in bathrooms and write stories. I’ve had a lifelong obsession with journals, so I used to buy them with my allowance. I would then calculate a story, with illustrations, and write so the tale fit perfectly inside. I would either keep them for myself or give them to my friends. Everyone loved them so I asked for a typewriter and the end result: me today!

LWT: In this book you take a silly childhood pastime and turn it into something sinister. How did you come up with this concept?

ARH: That’s a fun story I share; I’m a home school mom who believes in morning walks. When my son was in sixth grade, we took a walk on a rainy day. Normally we stomp puddles, but this storm snuck up on us unprepared. On the way home, I was struck with the idea of stomping a puddle, but instead of making a huge mess of a splash, we fell in. I could see the opening above me, while beneath the rainwater and everything! So we got home and I grabbed my umbrella and camera and snapped a bunch of photos. That day, I wrote the tale in about four hours. The current version has been revamped, but still the original story.

LWT: I read the 2nd Anniversary Edition of ‘Puddle’. Were there any significant changes to this edition?

ARH: Yes I’ve made some changes, that I felt were significant, but only to lend the urban legend more substance. At the time, I was living in DeSoto, MO, which carries a lot of history, both black and white. I wanted to add more into Puddle, without taking from the original myth. Some of the events mentioned are from true, but as far as which ones… I won’t say. “wink wink”

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 Quinn and Maxine?

ARH: When it came to Quinn, I saw my middle school self, because I was always new. Many times, I was the only black kid or one of a few, as well, so it just worked. I saw a friend of mine named Nicole as Maxine. She and I became besties, years after she’d beat me up for being new.  Another crazy story I may share in a novelette.

LWT: Did you allow your son to read this story or was it too scary for him?

ARH: Whenever I decide to write a short story on children, I always want it safe for my son to read. Reading is a huge deal for me, passed on by my engineer of a father, so if I’m writing on kids at a certain age, I want my son to be able to read it too.  Thankfully, this one wasn’t bad for him, but he’s not really in to horror… yet.

LWT: I see you have written a couple of Halloween tales. Do you only write short stories for children?

ARH: Those Halloween tales were actually written for my son. He was the inspiration- he’s even on the cover of the In The Walls short stories. I’ve had a lot of friends enjoy them but no, children are not my usual focus. I usually write with New Adults in mind. I guess because that’s how I still see myself.  And I’m not!

Part II

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

ARH: Ever since my first experience with traditional publishing and moved Indie, I’ve always done things backwards. When I get a story idea, I create my book cover. Either I will make it all from scratch myself, or I will reach out to a really fabulous artist I’d originally found on Fiverr.com. Now we’re friends and he’s my Go To man for artwork. I draw it, but he creates what I want to see, like a true visionary.

LWT:  Do you use social media and does it help with sales?

ARH: I love social media, but as far as it helping me, I can say about half. By no means do I feel I’m a big selling author, because that’s no why I write. I just love the idea of getting a story out of me and sharing. When I use social media, it helps but I mostly use it to help others.  Crazy I guess.

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. Spill the tea.

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©A. Renee Hunt used with permission

ARH: LOL Spill the tea; I like that! My process is as such: I gain an idea and purchase a new journal. I then create my characters in such a way’ they practically come to life. When I can see them clearly, I have them drawn by my concept artist. I then add their pics to my journal and as I write, they’re either on my computer, beside my document, or open in my book so I can see them. To me, they’re real- conversations, quirks, jobs- I need to see them. I can write any place at any time, on my Mac, iPhone or iPads. I also take lots of notes and add them to the journal. By the time I’m done with the story, that journal is a wreck!

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

ARH: My worst challenge as an indie author was when I took my traditionally published, first novel back from the publisher. It was crazy, I was foolish and I didn’t have the control I was promised. Now, I can do what I wish when I want, and when it flops, I have myself to blame on my choices- not someone else’s.

LWT: How does your editing process work?

ARH: Oh my goodness, my editing process is very redundant. I run through it a few times, making changes. Then I read it again with changes. Then again, before passing it to someone to read. I make appropriate adjustments and read it again. Then I find a team of at least 6, then make adjustments and read again, before sending it to an editor. I then read it again. By the time it’s published, I’m sick of it!

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

ARH: My three tips are: (1) Don’t ever pay to be published! (2) Make yourself sick of your story by reading it so many times, you can find nothing wrong. Then hand it to others for editing. My final tip, (3) Always keep a thesaurus on hand. It should become your best friend.

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

ARH: I believe the most unique method of marketing I’ve ever had the pleasure was marketing inside a comic book. A friend of mine was releasing his first graphic novel, and he gave me a half page, FREE! Best move I ever agreed to.

LWT: Tell the readers the one resource you can’t live without as a writer?

ARH: I’m not even going to lie- my best resource are other authors! I read more than 200 books a year (physical, ebook & audio), and because of their styles, I developed my own. As an author, the best thing you can do is glean successes and mistakes made by other authors.

LWT: We met on Instagram, where you are very active. How important is a site like Instagram for indie writers?

Author A. Renee Hunt

©A. Renee Hunt used with permission

ARH: I am just now easing up on how much I’m on media, but I LOVE Instagram more than any other site. People share and interact more there, than any other for me. Plus, there’s no drama.

LWT: What does success look like for you?

ARH: Oh that’s an easy one! Success is when my mom called me last week stating, my aunt had mentioned to some friends that her niece was an author and stated my name. They said they knew my name and title- even the story’s theme. They’re in Philly! Needless to say, I was elated. To me, that’s the best form of success; someone knew my name and my story. The sales can come later.

LWT: What’s up next for you?

ARH: I am currently writing my first serious novel, as an Indie Author. The Malignant Soul is my toughest project yet, because I have to go deeper than I’ve ever gone emotionally. With a novel of this capacity, I need more description, more personality and more of a plot. It’s a complex story, but I believe my research and imagery will push this novel to great heights.

A. Renee Hunt, Alyssa by those who know her, is a home school mother, London Lover, Book & Funko Pop Hoarder, Tea Drinker, Reader & Reviewer. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and son.To connect with A. Renee please click the links to her Social Media sites below. To purchase her e-book, Puddle, click here to go to Amazon

Author Website: http://www.areneehunt.com

Instagram: @bookzbookzbookz

Twitter: @AReneeHunt

Tumblr: areneehunt

Pinterest: @AReneeHunt

Google+: AReneeHunt

Linkedin: areneehunt

Facebook: AlyssaHunt40

Goodreads: Books_Books_Books_

Bookstr: BookzBookzBookz

Indie Shine – LaDonna Marie

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In our premier edition of Indie Shine, a place for rebirthoflisa to ‘Shine’ the spotlight on indie artists, we welcome International Award winning poet, LaDonna Marie!

Bio:

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© LaDonna Marie – Used with Permission

Hailed by American and European literary review experts as one the greatest up and coming act provoking writers, is LaDonna Marie. The literary artist is an award-winning, international and best-selling author. She also is a motivational speaker and founder of Planting Positive Seeds. Having earned some of the industry’s most glowing reviews, the critically acclaimed writer will be the first to tell you that she traveled a long way to the remarkable destination she now enjoys. LaDonna published her first poem in an anthology, “Whispers with The League of American Poets,” in 2007, and went on to self-publish her freshman book, “Expressions of the Mind, Body & Soul,” three years later. Without any effort on her part, she was recognized and received a Certificate of Congratulations from Congressman Bennie Thompson, 2nd district of Mississippi. There’s nothing minimalist about her accomplishments which include wide-ranging collaborations and associations ranging from a U. S. Representative, to Australia, London, South Africa, and Italy hosts. In addition to her extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the literary industry, she’s also a vibrant keynote and motivational speaker for several youth groups. LaDonna has a penchant for inspiring entrepreneurs, children, artists, writers and politicians, alike. The world-renowned writer can be inspirational and melancholy. At one moment she’s vulnerable; the next, she’s conveying a display of empowerment. Her astonishing talent and proverbial delivery paints portraits in vivid detail for secular and spiritual audiences alike. LaDonna Marie says that “Becoming a writer and my love for words are my passions and greatest gifts from God. They franhelp me maintain a humble spirit.” She loves creating an atmosphere for learning and growth. She’s often quoted by a variety of publications such as The Glory Journal, ASU Alumni Magazine, and Sibella Poetry Magazine. Her book titles such as, “Until Tomorrow Comes,” “Lessons: Shattered Pieces Being Restored 2014,” and “Quiet Moments with God,” and have all yielded world-wide attention. She is the recipient of more than a dozen awards including a 2012, Humanitarian Award, and the 2014 DJ Gatsby Book Club Literary Award in Poetry. LaDonna Marie received her B. A., in Social Work from Alcorn State University in 2005. She earned a M. S., in Counseling Studies from Capella University; and a M. A., from South University in Professional Counseling, respectively. In addition to consulting, Marie delivers keynotes, trainings, writer insights, networking and strategy sessions. Her book titles are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. “Until Tomorrow Comes” received a Five Star Literary Book Review from Readers’ Favorite, and a Four Star Professional Literary Book award from Red City Review. Originally from Mississippi, she now makes her home in Georgia with her two wonderful children Landon and Lathan Cook. For additional information including features on the author, visit www.ladonnamarie.org

Q & A

What do you do and Why do you do it?
I am an Award winning Inspirational Author, Writer and Poet. I have been writing all my life to help to empower and uplift others along the path. My books help to meet individuals where they are and encourage them to keep moving forward. When God gave me the gift, his charge to me was to help to heal others as he healed me. From that day forward that has been my purpose, mission and writing my passion.
Tell us about your most recent work
My most recent poetry book is Lessons II: Mirror Conversations. A poetic tale of the life ofwww-ladonnamarie-org Abby, as she discusses her love, life, and her journey in front of the mirror. The book entails a closer look at how Abby faces the giants in her life and overcomes through awareness and restoration.
Who inspires you?
God and also the late Dr. Maya Angelou. God has helped me to find inspiration in all of my life experiences. These life lessons have turned into writings that heal the heart and nurture the soul.
What do you consider your
“Masterpiece” at this time? 
I consider all of my poetry books and devotionals a Masterpiece. I believe each book serves a purpose and were set out to come out at the right time. Each work provides healing, awareness, growth , resiliency , and restoration needed to be able to continue the journey in life.
What is your motto in life?
Think positive, and positive things will happen.
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true.
My wildest dream is to win a Pulitzer prize and the Nobel Prize in literature.
What is your favorite quote?
“Determination, Dedication, and hard-work will feed life into your dreams”
~ LaDonna M. Cook
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for?
When it is all said and done, I would like to be known as the person who contributed to  society by Empowering others to be the best version of themselves through my writings.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public?
My next project will be a children’s book ‘Larry the Alligator Make Friends’. The book should be available before the end of January. (fingers crossed)
Where can fans purchase your work?
My work is available on Amazon.com. (Click Here to purchase.)
They can also stop by my website www.ladonnamarie.org for autographed books.
There you have it Lovies. I hope you will not only purchase LaDonna’s inspirational poetry, but also follow her on social media.

Your Help Needed!

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Hi Guys,

This marketing thing is a strange undertaking for me. At the wonderful suggestion of Colleen from Silver Threading I started a campaign with an organization called Thunderclap.

Simply put, Thunderclap is an organization similar to crowd funding, except there is no money involved for the basic package.

Supporters need to:meme12

  • Click a button to support my campaign.
  • Choose a Social Media Forum to help spread the word
  • Share news about my campaign on your social media

That’s it! No fuss, no money exchanged, simple and easy.

The point of it all:meme 7

  • If I secure 100 people to share my campaign
  • Thunderclap will share my book throughout their members and reach thousands of people I could never reach
  • Hopefully these members will purchase my book or tell a friend who will

What I need:meme17

  • CLICK HERE and support my campaign! It takes less than a minute and can be invaluable for me as an Indie Author.
  • Re-Blog this message to tell your friends!

meme18I am currently at 39 of 100 clicks and only need 61 more people to help. I have over 900 followers on this blog alone so it is doable. There’s not much time left. The campaign expires on May 5th so please act now!

To those who have already helped and those who are going tomeme13 click, Thank you so much!