Indie Shine – Yecheilyah Ysrayl



In this edition of Indie Shine, a place for rebirthoflisa to “Shine” the spotlight on indie artists, we welcome author Yecheilyah Ysrayl.

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©Yecheilyah Ysrayl used with permission


Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the author of Young Adult, Black American Literature, and Poetry. The author of eight books (most notably, The Stella Trilogy), Yecheilyah is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story”. Renaissance: The Nora White Story Book One is due for release July 15, 2017. Revelation: The Nora White Story Book Two is due for release December of this year. Yecheilyah is also a Blogger and Book Reviewer. Originally from Chicago, IL, she now resides in Shreveport, LA with her husband where she writes full time.

Q & A

What do you do and Why do you do it?
Thank you, Lisa, for having me. I am an Independent Author of Black American Literature, a Poet, Book Reviewer and Blogger. I do what I do because I believe my voice is important to the restoration of truth into the world. I do not write for me alone, but for the lost souls who cannot write. In other words, I speak for the lost sheep. I hope to shine a light on the so-called African American experience, his struggles not just in America but in the world in general and to shed light on why those struggles exist and how to overcome them. I write simply because it’s necessary. I write to restore love back into the hearts of mankind. I write to be unapologetically truthful and fair.
Tell us about your most recent work. 
WanderlustMy most recent work is Book Three in The Stella Trilogy, “The Road to Freedom – Joseph’s Story”. It’s sort of a prequel to Book Two and surrounds the son of Stella from Book Two (granddaughter of Stella from Book One) who passed for white and changed her name to Sidney McNair and raised her children as white. For this, Joseph McNair is unaware of his African American lineage and seeks to discover more about why blacks are treated the way they are in America. After a fight with his brother Edward in his mother’s living room in Book Two, Joseph leaves home. Book Three explores his adventures when he left. With a group of friends, Joseph attempts to travel to Atlanta for an SNCC conference but encounter many trials on the way. They think they are on the road to becoming part of the movement but they are discovering more about themselves. This self-awareness, unknown to them, is their freedom.
Who inspires you? 
I’m not much of an R. Kelly fan, but he is a great writer, lyricists if you will. He has a song, “The World’s Greatest”. In that song is a lyric: “I’m that little bit of hope with my back against the ropes.” I’m not the greatest, but I am inspired by the opportunity to instill hope into the lives of others. It motivates me to motivate others and to have some kind of influence over their lives, however small.
People ask me how I came to be so “put together”. They ask me because after hearing about my life and the things I’ve been through, it’s hard to believe I am the person I am today. I would say it’s not that I am put together, just that I know what it’s like to be broken and to want to cease from existing. I know pain. I also know love, and I believe my ability to still love and to open myself up to be loved has kept me sane. Love inspires me.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time?
I would consider “Beyond the Colored Line”, Book Two in The Stella Trilogy to be my masterpiece, because it challenged people’s concept of race and forced them to think about the role it’s played in our society. It lifted America’s skirt and showed us that her panties hadn’t changed much. She is still the same image of bigotry that she’s always been. But more so than this, it started conversations that surpass Jim Crow and digs deeper into the nationality and culture of a people.
What is your motto in life? 
My motto in life is to “Paint poetic justice against the backdrop of heavy keystrokes”. To paint poetic justice means to use my writing as an underground railroad to freedom. If people can’t be liberated in their own lives, I hope that my books can provide a road-map. Of course, this isn’t easy to do considering the heavy misinformation, deception, and religious ideologies that have enslaved us for so long. These are the heavy keystrokes.
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true.
My wildest dream is to travel the world. I mean the whole world lol. I’d like to start in Egypt and then go on from there. I cannot imagine covering all land but I would love for this to come true.
What is your favorite quote? 
My favorite quote is by George Bernard Shaw, “Progress is impossible without changeGeorgeBernard Shaw 1 and those that cannot change their minds cannot change anything”. The mind is the most powerful organ in the human body. Over time it has the ability to correct and re-correct itself. Many people seek change around them, external. They seek to change their living conditions, seek to raise awareness about discrimination and racism. People seek to change all the time and in different forms. These attempts will always fail if a person does not first seek to correct his mind. It’s not always about race and politics. It’s about the way that people think. It reminds me of an African proverb that says “When there’s no enemy within, the enemy outside cannot hurt you.” It’s our perspective. Change the way that you think first and then everything around you changes.
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for? 
I want to be remembered as a servant of the Almighty YAH who loved fiercely, and spoke truthfully for the purpose of changing lives and establishing hope for mankind.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public?
Book and E-Reader- Nora W.My next project is a two-part series (a duology), Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One) and Revelation: The Nora White Story (Book Two). I intended for this to be one novel but I do not like my books to be extremely long so I broke it down into two books. The story is about a young woman who, like many of her time, is not interested in her family’s land and despite graduating High School is not interested in College either. Nora decides she wants to go to New York to be a writer and against her parents’ wishes, she does. She becomes part of The Harlem Renaissance Movement and learns the North is not all it’s cracked up to be. Nora must decide for herself about who she is and what she wants.
Where can fans purchase your work? 
Fans can purchase my work in paperback on my author website or in eBook through my Amazon author page.

Social Media

Cropped YC

©Yecheilyah Ysrayl used with permission



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Twitter: @ahouseofpoetry

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Couch Convos – Gisele Walko


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Welcome Back! It has been a long minute since I did an edition of Couch Convos.

Your girl was having some time management issue between working on the blog, and writing novels, but I have worked that all out and decided to bring back this feature. Today we have the talented Gisele Walko, an indie author who writes Paranormal Romance(PNR) stories. Her latest book Craving and Triggers is phenomenal. Let’s get to it:

Part I


LWT: Welcome to Couch Convos! Let’s get started. How did you get into writing PNR?

GW: PNR is the first thing I ever wrote. The story just came to me out of the blue, after my husband suggested that I try writing.

LWT: Sometimes we get our best inspiration out of the blue. Now, in this book your ‘hero’, Sani is a Skinwalker. How did you discover this entity and what compelled you to write about it?

 GW: Hmm. I’m pretty sure I read some Navajo short stories about Skinwalkers, and a couple of years ago when I wrote Wolf Girl finds Necromance, I thought he would fit in quite well with the werewolves and vampires.

LWT: Speaking of previous books, I hear this isn’t Sani’s first appearance in your writing. How did his character start out and what inspired you to give him his own book?

GW: Sani was the villain in my first book, but through some growth and soul-searching he was able to grow as a person, and made a great hero in Cravings and Triggers.  I wrote him a book because I love my spinoffs, but it hadn’t occurred to me to give him his own story until my friends Heather Crews and Donnya both told me within a few days of each other that he should have his own story.  I gave them namesakes in the book.

LWT: I love it when readers get involved in your books! When I write, I have a picture in my head of who I want my characters to look like. Who were the muses for Sani and Zeph?

GW: For Zeph, I pictured Meagan Good, but a little darker and curvier.  For Sani, I just had myself a good time looking up hot Native American men with long hair.  No one in particular stands out.

LWT: I can attest, it is fun finding inspiration for the characters, especially the men! In this story Zeph has a teenage daughter who is transgender and identifies as a boy. What inspired you to write Z as a transgender youth?

GW: Well, I love diversity in books, is probably the main reason.  Secondly, my mother used to be a foster parent and she had one male to female transgender child, and two female to male transgender children.  One of the female to male children was such a sweet person, but had issues and challenges relating to all kinds of things.  He eventually moved on to another foster home, where the foster parents were very religious and forced him to identify as a female.  It made me sad.  I still think about him and hope he’s okay.

LWT: I have to know, in Cravings and Triggers, why did you decide to include a vampire element?

GW: I just think vampires are fun. The book already had some supernatural stuff going on.  One of the reviews I got said the supernatural stuff wasn’t necessary, which may be true, but I write for enjoyment, and it was fun.


©Gisele Walko Used with permission.

LWT: Having fun and enjoying the writing is what it is all about. Explain why Sani felt so comfortable revealing that he was a Skinwalker to Zeph and Z on the day they first met. He seemed to know that they would not be disturbed by this?

GW: I think Sani wasn’t really expecting to see Zeph much or get attached to her and he was just having a little fun. He would have been entertained even if they were terrified.  In Wolf Girl finds Necromance, he actually was trying to scare Brennan when he revealed himself to her, but then she turned into a huge wolf and pinned him to the floor, so maybe it was like a nod to his past too.

LWT: Speaking of wolves and shifters, how do you feel that some people think PNR promotes bestiality and can you defend against it?

GW: I wasn’t aware that people felt that way.  I don’t share that opinion.  I don’t know how to defend against it, other than to say I don’t condone any form of animal abuse.

LWT: In the book does Zeph have the supernatural power to read minds or is it only Sani’s mind that she seems to read?

GW: Just Sani’s dark and twisted mind.

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

GW: Hmm.  I like Theodora Taylor’s wolf books; all of her books really.  Heather Crews has an interracial vampire romance called ‘Prince of Misery’ that I like.  G.L. Tomas has a couple that I like, but surprisingly I haven’t read too much PNR.

Part II

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

GW: My husband and I do them on Adobe Photoshop to the best of our ability.  I try to do everything for cheap or free.

 LWT: Isn’t that the indie author’s way? Do you use social media and does it help with sales?

GW: I send out a few tweets, but I’m not great at social media. I wish I was better at it.  Goodreads is my social media.

 LWT: That totally counts! Tell us about your writing process. Do you need complete


©Gisele Walko Used with permission.

silence or do you listen to music? Do you have a drink or write sober? Etc. Spill the tea.

GW: I usually start with a few scenes or bits of dialogue and try to build around that.  I think when I sit down to write again, I may try using note cards.  I don’t write out an outline or anything like that. Then I just try to string the scenes and conversations together.  I usually have on the TV when I write, but just for background noise.  If I find myself writing at night, I may have a glass of wine or two, but sometimes when I go back to reread those scenes, they’re not as funny as I thought they were when I was tipsy.

LWT: That’s why they say write drunk and edit sober. LOL. What challenges have you faced as an indie writer?

GW: I am an approval seeker by nature, so I hope most people like my books.  In the beginning, bad reviews would hurt my feelings.  Some people don’t like my stuff of course, and that’s okay. I try to take any constructive feedback I get and incorporate it and improve. Probably, some of the reviews that have helped me grow most were two star reviews.  If I only got fours and fives, I would just think that everything I did was perfect, or damn near perfect, and never learn.  Also finding readers is a challenge of course.

LWT: That is a huge challenge for us all. Earlier you mentioned how helpful your husband has been. I hear he also assists you with editing. How does that process work? Does it spark arguments or does it bring you closer?

GW: My husband reads and rereads for spelling and grammar mostly, but if he doesn’t get a joke, or thinks something sounds awkward, or thinks I need to look at a scene and tweak it, he’s vocal about it.  Usually I agree, when I finish being defensive.  I originally killed Sani, and he was like, “No! Absolutely not!”  I un-killed Sani.  We don’t really argue about it.  He’s a sounding board and he’s pretty good at catching editing issues.

LWT: Well, he made the right call on Sani. I would have been devastated if he died. Please give other indie writers 3 tips that you learned that help you to be successful?

GW: I don’t know that I’m successful.

  • I try to deliver a product pretty clear of most spelling and editing issues, because I know how they can distract from a story, and it’s important to be professional.
  • Secondly, write for yourself. Writing a book is a tedious process, so write the kind of thing that you would like to read and just have fun with all the imaginary friends in your head. Chances are other people will like it too.
  • Thirdly, I would recommend that you spend $5 on fiverr and promote with bknights. For Ethan and Michelle, I did really well with his gig.  For my other books, not as well, but you’ll at least recoup your initial investment.

LWT: Oh, I love Fiverr. I will have to check him out. Share one unique thing you’ve done to market your book?

 GW: At the risk of sounding crazy…I had business cards made up for my first book. On occasion, I still leave them places; the pharmacy, the grocery store, the doctor’s office.  As far as I know, this has resulted in zero sales, but it’s a good time.

LWT: That doesn’t sound crazy at all. Tell the readers the one resource you can’t live without as a writer?

GW: The thesaurus and Google for research, or funny stories.

LWT: We met on Goodreads, where you are very active. How important is a site like Goodreads that brings writers and readers together in the same place?

GW: Goodreads is my favorite. Writers are readers, and I have found lots of fantastic authors (yourself included) who I have had the joy of discovering. I also love having a platform where I can interact with my readers.

LWT: It’s great isn’t it? What does success look like for you?

GW: I would eventually like to make some money at writing, so I can quit my day job and write more. I had a dream that my seventh book really took off, and I’m at number five so…we’ll just see.

LWT: You better speak that into existence! Speaking of your seventh book, what’s up next for Gisele?

GW: I was thinking earlier, that maybe I would start on Donnya and Ezra’s story from Cravings and Triggers, and keep the supernatural elements out of it.  I don’t think it would be that hard since the vampire part was only the last 25% of Cravings and Triggers, and the new book would be mostly the meeting and falling in love part of the Donnya and Ezra story.  I already love Donnya because she doesn’t cuss.  She says things like, “What the cuss do you think you’re hecking doing?!” Ezra, I have to figure out more.

LWT: That sounds intriguing! I look forward to reading it.

 There you have it ladies and gentlemen, another edition of Couch Convos in the books. You can purchase her books on Amazon by clicking the picture below:


Gisele Walko is a wife, mother, and elementary school assistant librarian.  She has a degree in Social Sciences, which she doesn’t use, from the University of Oklahoma.  She loves writing, reading, and hanging out and watching movies with her family.  She resides in the Oklahoma City suburbs with her hubby, two teenagers, and three spoiled rotten dogs.To connect with Gisele please click the links to her Social Media sites below.



Amazon Author Page

#LoveandBasketball Extravaganza – The Interview


Before you get too excited, no I was not able to secure an interview with anyone associated with the cast and crew of Love and Basketball. I would love for that to be true, but in reality I must wait till it is my turn for such things. For now, I would like for you to read the following interview from the Huffington Post’s Lucy McCalmont titled:

“Double or Nothing: An Oral History of Love and Basketball”

(Click the title of the story to read.) 

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Couch Convos with Lisa W. Tetting, featuring Author Cat Meyers


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Welcome to another edition of Couch Convos with your girl, Lisa W. Tetting. Today we’re chillin’ with new author Cat Meyers about her compelling novel “Boy Toy”.  Cat is a very busy lady who writes and teaches; and as if that wasn’t enough, she’s also a lawyer. Let’s find out more about this fascinating young lady and her book.

Part I

© Cat Meyers used with permission

© Cat Meyers used with permission

LWT: Welcome to Couch Convos, Cat! Let’s get started. You make a living as an Assistant Professor at Temple University and you are also an Attorney. How did you find your way into the world of writing?

CM: Actually, writing found its way to me before I started practicing law or teaching.  I had been in school for nearly the first 30 years of my life (including undergrad, grad school and law school); so I’ve written a ton of academic papers.  And I hated it.  My professors would complement my writing skills, but for me writing was just a means to an end.  I got no joy from it.  It wasn’t until my final year of law school that I wrote my first work of fiction.  I had this story idea and I was so intrigued by it that I had to write it down.  I noticed that whenever I felt bored or restless I started writing.  I found such joy in creating new worlds and developing characters, that I was hooked. 

LWT: Wow, you have spent a major portion of your life as a student, so tell us how long have you been teaching?

CM: I had been teaching on a part-time basis for about seven years, while working full-time in the private sector for a law firm in Philadelphia.  I really loved teaching, so last year, I was blessed with the opportunity to teach full-time and I jumped at the chance.

LWT: That is a blessing. What type of courses do you teach at the university?

CM: I was hired to teach a writing intensive course called Planned Change & Criminal Justice.  The university wanted to put more of an emphasis on improving students’ writing skills.  I also teach Intro to Criminal Law, Courts & Criminal Justice, and Psychology & Criminal Justice.  This fall, I’ll be teaching a new course for me called, Criminal Behavior.

LWT: As a professor in Criminal Justice, do you plan to write a crime thriller in the future?

I have some adult romance, YA, even a sci-fi in my treasure chest of future books.  And I actually do have a crime thriller in the works, which I have written the notes for.  I’m just waiting for when the time is right to sit down and write it.

LWT: If they are as good as “Boy Toy”, I can’t wait. On your website, you share an interesting story about finding some books in a box. Can you please share that story with the readers?

CM: It was during the summer before my final year of law school.  I had never been a big fan of writing, but I had this story idea that I was intrigued by, so I wrote it down.  I enjoyed the process so much, I kept revisiting that story.  When the summer ended and school resumed, I put the writing aside and really didn’t think much about it after that.  However, when winter break began, I found myself with the same urge to write.  I found it so strange because more writing was definitely not how I planned to spend my break from school.  Finally, one night when I was saying my prayers, I said:  “Lord, every time I’m feeling restless I get the urge to write.  What’s up with that?”  He didn’t answer me at the time and I went on to sleep.  The next day, when I came home, I saw this box in the lobby of my apartment building.  Whenever people moved out of the building they often left unwanted items by the elevator for someone else to take.  I like free stuff, so I usually stop to take a look to see if there’s anything I can use.  This time was no different.  I saw this shoe box that had some books in it.  Upon closer inspection, I saw that the box had a message written on it:  “To someone who will give these a good home.”  Inside was a box of writing books:  How to Write Mysteries, How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, How to Write Romance; How to Write Christian Fiction and How to Write Action and Adventure.  I thought:  Surely God left these here for me.  I scooped up that box and never looked back!

LWT: I am a believer in signs and that sounds like a major one. Your book “Boy Toy” focuses on an abused teenage girl who is placed in the foster system. How did you use your experience as a former social worker to write your book?

CM: I drew upon my experience as a social worker to discuss the procedural stuff, i.e. the mechanical inner-workings of the foster care system in Pennsylvania.  I also called upon my experience to talk about the dynamics of the relationships between the foster parent, foster child and natural parent.  Foster parents often express frustration that all they want to do is provide a good home for the child, and sometimes find themselves in the role of the bad guy in the eyes of the foster child.  “I’m not the one who abused her or abandoned her, why does she take it all out on me?” was a common concern they would raise.  Natural parents sometimes feel hostility toward the foster parent because they feel like the foster parent is trying to take their place; and guilt because the foster parent has been able to do what that natural parent has not been able to do, so far—take care of their child.  Finally, even if the natural parent has abused or neglected the foster child, that child often feels a loyalty toward their natural parent.  Many long to live with their natural family even if they know it is not a safe environment for them.  They also experience guilt if they come to love their foster family because they feel like they are betraying their natural family.  So there is a lot of tension and conflict in these relationships, some of which I’ve tried to portray in the book.

LWT: I believe you did just that. When your protagonist is in turmoil, she learns to turn to God for help. What prompted you to make this her path instead of turning to drugs or something worse?

CM: As a survivor myself, I could only write about what I know has helped me.  I’ve been in that place of such emotional pain and thought:  “Man, I could see why people get hooked on drugs.”  It would be so easy to take something, a pill or inject something and just be able to escape.  Leave that pain behind me.  But I also knew that when the drug wore off the problem would still be there—as well as some new ones on top of that, due to the drugs.  I just figured it’s better to face it head on and deal with it.  The amazing thing about God is, once I surrendered that pain to Him, He was able to replace it with His peace.  The Bible calls it “Peace that surpasses all understanding.”  Having peace, when by all rights, you should be on the verge of losing your mind. 

LWT: That’s very deep. Please explain what you mean when you say “Boy Toy” is your love letter to girls and women who got off to a rough start in life?

CM: I think for those of us who’ve experience rape or other forms of abuse, or were abandoned by one or both parents, or experienced some other setbacks early in life, it is not uncommon to come to the conclusion “I am not loved, not valued.  That there must be something wrong with me, otherwise my father wouldn’t have left; or God wouldn’t have let me be abused…”  Even if we don’t think it consciously, it may be a belief that operates on our subconscious.  Whether it is a conscious or subconscious belief, it can have a tremendous impact on our lives, influencing our choices, our sense of self-worth, relationship decisions, career choices, even the choice to engage in high-risk behaviors, and other things that can have lasting consequences.  I found many of the girls I’ve known through my social work days or personally, struggle with the concept that they are loved, valued and therefore, entitled to the best that life has to offer.  I feel like God put this story in my heart to remind me, and others like me, that we are loved.  We are not damaged goods.  In fact, He has loaded us with all kinds of gifts and abilities, as well as a tremendous capacity to love and be loved.  We are not forgotten or invisible.  In fact God has great plans for each of us.  All we have to do is believe it

LWT: Being a survivor of sexual abuse, why is it so important for survivors to not be labeled as having a ruined life?

CM: Imagine if I were to come to your house for a dinner party, and brought along a beautiful chocolate cake.  Except, just before I handed it to you I said, “I should warn you, it’s been ruined,” what would you do?  How likely are you to set it on the table, and serve it to your guests?  Would you be more likely to tuck it away in the kitchen to keep it away from your guest,s and then throw it in the trash after everyone goes home?  Perhaps you would be adventurous, and take a chance on the cake.  You taste it, and discover that it’s not ruined after all.  It was actually very good, and you were so glad that you gave it a chance.  It was the label “ruined” that told you everything you needed to know about that cake; and therefore, how you would treat that cake.  The same happens when we deal with people.  When you hear the words “her life is ruined” or “she’s damaged goods” how do we respond?  What are our expectations for that person?  Even worse, what are that person’s expectations for herself?  If she thinks her life is ruined is she going to set her standards high?  Is she going to dream big?  Is she going to believe she deserves to be loved, and in loving relationships?  It all comes down to our perception.  Keep in mind the content of that cake did not change.  It was what it was when I gave it to you.  The label said “ruined” so either it was perceived as ruined, and set aside to be thrown away later or someone said, “I don’t care what the label says, I want to give it a chance anyway”; only to find it was the best cake ever.  Sadly, when it comes to people most of us are not that adventurous, and could be missing out on something really special.

LWT: That is the best analogy I have ever heard for this situation. Now, in “Boy Toy”, Toya goes through several different stages of emotions. Explain why it was necessary for you to show this range of emotions?

CM: I really wanted to take the reader on a journey.  Toya was a complex person with complex issues.  As a child in foster care, due to sexual abuse, she was not just dealing with the trauma of sexual abuse.  She was also dealing with abandonment, separation from her family, the stress of moving from foster home to foster home, on top of all of the normal pressures, and changes that come with adolescence—the transition from girl to womanhood (school, sexuality, relationships, career decisions, etc.).  As women, we’ve all had to go through this transitional phase—and most of us had our own additional stressors on top of it (even if it wasn’t abuse).  I think it’s something we can all relate to in some way.  That’s why, I believe, many of the adult women who have read this book have also been able to connect with it.

LWT: There was a definite connection for me. Tell us, what does the butterfly leaving a cocoon symbolize for Toya?

CM: Toward the end of the story, Toya says that she would never get a tattoo, but if she did get one, it would be the image of a butterfly leaving a cocoon.  That is how she saw herself.  For so long in her in young life, she felt shrouded by the weight of her past, which masked who she really was—it even masked who she really was from herself.  Now, with the help of her new family and friends, with God’s help, she was finally starting to emerge from all of that darkness from her past—her cocoon.  Like a butterfly, she was finally starting to blossom into her full beauty.  The beauty of her personality, her gifts and talents, and the bright future ahead of her.  It was undeniable.  Everyone could see it, even Toya.


LWT: Your Pinterest page is very inspiring. What prompted you to make it like a scrapbook for “Boy Toy”?

CM: I was in the process of setting up my website and went online searching for ideas for things to include in my website.  I came across this article:  “Yes, Fiction Writer Can Develop Awesome Online Platforms, Too” by Lorena Knapp on the website, The Write Life.  The article includes a ton of creative ways fiction writers are growing their readership.  As an example, it pointed to fantasy author Justine Musk, who makes use of Pinterest as a “planning tool for her next novel.”  Since I am a Pinterest junkie, I took a look at it and loved it.  For a future book it can be helpful to generate images of things that you want to write about, which helps develop your idea and gives further inspiration.  Then after the novel is finished, readers can look at those images on Pinterest and see what the writer envisioned or was inspired by.  For example, Boy Toy, there’s a scene where Toya had bought a very sentimental gift for her mother, completely forgetting that her mother didn’t have a sentimental bone in her body.  So she had to scramble to find a gift that really spoke to her mother in her native language:  MONEY.  Toya took her savings and gave the money to her best friend Dwayne to find the perfect gift.  He came back with an expensive pair of thigh-high, stiletto, black, leather boots.  Toya called them “hooker boots,” but her mother adored them.  In searching for the boots on Pinterest, I was blown away by the variety of thigh-high leather boots out there:  from the conservative to the out-of-control.  In re-reading that portion of the book, it added a whole new level of imagery to my mind as I read about those boots and I hope it does the same for readers too.

LWT: Well your page definitely inspired me to update my Pinterest Page, and I have found it helpful when developing my stories, as well. Why did you name your blog “My Front Porch”?

CM: I had never blogged before, and I was struggling to think of what I would blog about.  I thought about the things I enjoy writing about in general, and realized I enjoy writing about being a woman.  No offense to men, but I love being a woman!  And I think there is so much we can learn from each other.  I think some of the best times for me, as a woman, is sitting down on the porch with a hot cup of tea on a cool, fall afternoon; or cool glass of lemonade on a hot summer’s evening, and just talking.  Talking about everything from hair care to heartache, and everything in between.  It’s where we let our guards down and connect with each other on the common ground of womanhood.  I hope that people of all ages will come and share their own wisdom on my blog.

LWT: That is a nice way of looking at life and I think we need to do more sitting on the porch and talking to each other. In your bio you mention your goal is to visit as many beaches as you can. How many have you visited so far? Which ones?

© Cat Meyers used with permission

© Cat Meyers used with permission

Sadly, I’ve only been to 11 so far.  I grew up in South Jersey so I spend a lot of time on the beach in Wildwood.  I’ve also been to Stone Harbor, Long Branch and Ocean City.  I had an amazing time in Myrtle Beach.  In California, I lived right down the street from Venice beach, which I visited as often as I could.  But also spent many wonderful days on the beach in Santa Monica, Long Beach and Malibu (breathtaking).  Outside of the country, I’ve basked in the sun on the beaches of the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic and never wanted to leave either one.  So as you can see, I still have my work cut out for me.

Part II

LWT: Indeed, but that’s the fun of it all. Let’s switch gears a little and focus on the business side of writing. Not only do you write books, you write plays. How does the writing process differ?

CM: For me, the play-writing process is a little easier, though it does have its challenges.  For play-writing, I don’t have to be nearly as descriptive.  In fact, I really only provide enough detail to serve as a road map for the actors and production team (me) to follow.  I don’t want to provide too much detail because I want to leave room for the actors to interject their own creativity into the characters.  For fiction writing, you have to be much more descriptive.  The reader won’t have a stage to look at as the story unfolds.  The pages of the book become the stage, so I have to paint the scenery, design the costumes, and portray the characters expressions with my words.  The challenge then comes in not just describing but bringing the words to life.

 LWT: There is a bigger difference than I realized. Besides novels and plays, do you have plans to write any other genres? If so, which ones?

CM: I’ve written screenplays.  In fact, I moved to LA to sell my screenplay, and learn about how things work in “Hollywood.”.  I LOVE movies; and I love writing screenplays too.  I didn’t sell that screenplay—yet.  But I did write a couple of short films (which were produced by some very good friends who are actors).  I am confident that one day those screenplays will make it to the big screen.  I believe God gave me those stories for a reason.  And I’ll always treasure my years spent in LA.

LWT: That is very exciting. It is also a dream of mine to write a screenplay, sell it and see it come to life on the silver screen. Tell us, as an indie author, what has the publishing side of writing looked like for you?

CM: The publishing side of writing has been exciting.  As a creative person, all I really want to do is write.  I really don’t want to be dealing with marketing, copyrights and royalties.  Just let me write.  But the lawyer in me recognizes that this is a necessary part of the process.  I also like having some degree of control in the decision making that comes with being an Indie writer.  Having control over how my book will be marketed, priced, even the cover art, has been very empowering.  Thankfully, there are so many other Indie writers out there that are willing to share their resources and lessons learned, which has made this process much more doable.

LWT: I have also found some great authors willing to help. What challenges have you faced along the way?

The biggest challenge I faced as a writer has been perseverance.  When you write fiction, you put so much of your heart, soul and time into that book.  You spend hours crafting the perfect query letter and researching publishers and agents, and then just put it all out there.  Only to be rejected.  In many cases, you get the sense that the person didn’t even read your next great novel.  I say this not as a critique against agents and publishers:  their time is limited and there are a lot of manuscripts out there for them to review.  I say this to indicate that sending little bits of yourself out there and getting rejected can take its toll.  If writing were dating, there would be a whole lot of lonely, single writers out there.  Who could put up with all that rejection?  There was a time when I stopped trying.  I loved writing, so I was content to write and it didn’t matter to me if anyone ever read anything that I had written, just as long as I got the chance to create new worlds through my words.  Then I realized that I was just playing it safe and my God is too big for me to be playing it safe.  He wants us to be fearless, to trust Him and see what He can do with even just a little bit of our faith.  So I’m back to putting myself out there.  If I’m discouraged, I remind myself that it only takes one “yes” to change my whole world.  Just ask JK Rowlings or Theodor Seuss Geisel (author of the Dr. Seuss books) and other great writers on, to see how many famous authors went through the rejection phase before finally breaking through. 

LWT: I am glad you stuck with it. What was your editing process like?

After I finish writing, I put the book aside for a while:  a few days or weeks, depending on what else is going on in my life, then come back to it, and edit with a fresh set of eyes.  I didn’t have the budget to hire someone to do the editing, but I have been fortunate to have teachers, secretaries and other lawyers in my life, people that have good writing skills and attention to detail, who have volunteered to do some editing for me as well.  It doesn’t matter how many eyes have reviewed a piece, multiple times, mistakes do slip through the cracks.  It’s just a trick of the human brain that tries to help us out by fixing our mistakes for us in our minds instead of pointing them out to us.

LWT: Please give other indie writers 3 tips that you learned and used during this process?

CM: 1.  Let as much time a possible pass between each reread, so that the piece is as fresh and new to you as it possibly can be, and the mistakes will stand out.


  1. Read it in as many different mediums as possible. Not just on the computer screen, but also print out a hard copy for review.  Amazon also allows you to preview your book on an e-reader so you can see what it would look like on Kindle.  Just something so simple can give you new perspective and, again make errors stand out.


  1. If possible, invest the money in a professional editor. I know you can also find them on a site like Craigslist too, but be sure to check out their references and reviews. It can be a pricey, but very worthwhile expense, and if you don’t pick someone of who really knows what they’re doing, you might as well have saved your money and done it yourself.  So choose wisely.

LWT: I believe professional editing is worth the money and there are some reasonable ones out there. Share one unique thing you’ve done to market your book?

CM: I can’t say that I’ve done anything unique to market my book.  However, I’m constantly on the lookout for ideas of things I can try.  Like I said before, thankfully there are many writers out there who are willing to share their ideas, which has been a big help.

LWT: That is exactly why I started doing these interviews. I want indies to learn from each other. Tell the readers the one resource you can’t live without as a writer?

CM:  Since we deal in words, it is a writer’s best friend.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stuck for the perfect word to express an idea, just sitting there staring at the screen hoping the word will leap off the screen.  I go to and Eureka!  It’s there, the piece to the puzzle I had been looking for and I can get back into the flow.

LWT: That is a great tool. Name 3 writers who have influenced your writing style?

It’s hard to say what writers have influenced my writing style.  I can’t say that I consciously try to emulate anyone’s style in my writing.  I can say that I have read a lot of books and I have very eclectic taste in books:  I love YA, sci-fi, mysteries, fantasies, legal thrillers, historical fiction, Christian fiction, etc.  After reading this question, I went back to my Goodreads account to look back at some of my favorite authors who really stood out to me for their writing style.  For example, I love Dean Koontz, because of his pacing.  He is a very patient writer; and willing to take his time to allow the story to simmer and then come to a rolling boil.  I admire Mark Zusak (the Book Thief), because of his excellent use of language.  I find his writing to be imaginative and his ability to turn a phrase is very clever. Finally, I love Gillian Flynn and Karin Slaughter for the same reason.  They both have the unique ability to create protagonists that are so flawed that you’re not quite sure you can always root for them, but you are also so intrigued by them that you can’t put the book down.  In both authors’ books, I often find myself saying:  “Aw man!  I can’t believe she/he just did that!” and in the same breath I’ll say: “But hey that’s real.  That’s what people do.”  I love it!

LWT: That’s what makes a book a good read. What does success look like for you?

CM: Success for me, is sitting on the deck of my dream beach house with my true love, writing another book, inspired by the ocean, the sunset and the first stars appearing on the horizon.

LWT: That sounds like heaven, not success. Lol. What’s up next for Cat?

© Cat Meyers used with permission

© Cat Meyers used with permission


CM: I am currently process of re-writing my book, “Run Away Love”, which is the first book I ever wrote.  It is so deeply personal to me, that I never really thought about publishing it. Yet, I revisit it from time to time and it always speaks to me.  I’ve just recently come to the conclusion that if it speaks to me, maybe it will speak to someone else just as much. So I’ve decided to just put it out there.  I also have the crime thriller I mentioned earlier that I want to get started on. Finally, I have two plays to produce. I usually produce a play during the summer months, but I took off this summer to focus on my novel.  I’m looking forward to getting back into the theater next summer.

There you have it. Another episode of Couch Convos in the books. To find out more about Cat Meyers, please visit her author website and reach out to her on social media at the links below. To purchase her book, Boy Toy click the book cover below:Cat Meyers 5

Author Website –

Twitter – catresameyers

Pinterest – Catresa007

Zora Takes Over Silver Threading!


Hi Everyone,

Colleen of Silver Threading Blog has graciously allowed the protagonist of my debut novel, “The Mistreatment of Zora Langston” to takeover her blog for one post only this coming Saturday! I am happy to report you are invited to this EXCLUSIVE event! I will be interviewing Zora and if you like you can chime in too. Zora has consented to answer all questions and respond to your comments all day long! Join us this Saturday, May 9th.

Zora Langston Takeover!