Couch Convos with Lisa W. Tetting – JJ Murray

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Welcome to Couch Convos with Lisa W. Tetting, where we delve into the world of Author Interviews. Lisa’s convos with all types of authors will feel like you’re sitting on the couch chatting along. Find out about up and coming authors, their books and the business of writing all in one place. So grab some tea and a snack & get ready for a good time. Today we welcome Best- selling, award-winning interracial romance  author JJ Murray!

Part I

JJ Murray2

©JJ Murray used with permission

LL: Welcome to Couch Convos! Let’s get started. The Date is amazing! What inspired you to write it?

The DateJJ: THE DATE is a departure for me because it’s not a typical HEA romance. I believe it is a more realistic view of what passes for romance in the new millennium.

LL: Why do you choose to write about interracial couples?

JJ: I have been writing interracial romance (BWWM) since I began courting my future wife in 1989. She inspired many of the heroines in my 38 novels.

LL: Your main character in The Date, William makes such a transition from push over to standing firm in his convictions. How did you come up with his personality and everything that came with it?

JJ: Like most of my heroes, William is not an alpha male. Though readers seem to prefer alphas in their romance novels, I believe they have a much better chance of meeting and snuggling up to a beta male in real life.

LL: How did you determine the places William would take Brittany to on their date?

JJ: I chose the “events” in their date based on what I thought would create the most fun and romance. Like all dates, some of what they do doesn’t quite work out.

Part II

LL: Who designs your book covers and how did you come up with the concept for them?

JJ: Zaji from Creative Ankh Designs; I provide the idea and the graphics, and she assembles the cover.

LL: Which social media platforms do you find most beneficial in getting the word out for your books?

JJ: Facebook and Instagram seem best for promoting my work.

LL: Tell us about your writing process. Do you need complete silence or do you work with music? Do you have a little drink while writing or is smoking your thing? Give us the skinny.

JJ: I keep a little spiral notebook with me at all times and write whenever and wherever I can—at work, while driving, at home. I transfer much of what I scratch down later to files in my laptop. I drink gallons of hot Irish tea and eat bags of pretzels mainly. (I don’t drink or smoke). Each of my novels has a soundtrack, and I include music (and food!) in every one.

LL: What does your writing nook look like? If you could make it into anything you wanted, what would that look like?

JJ: I write on an 1898 Campaign desk that has slots and shelves and a slide-out board for my laptop. I surround myself with pictures of my sons and have natural oils, watercolors, and lithographs on my walls. My dog, Lovie the Wonder Mutt (a 10-year-old boxer/Labrador), is usually at my feet.

LL: What was your editing process like?

JJMJJ: When I was with Kensington Publishing, my agent, editor, and a copy editor hacked at my work. Now, only I edit my work, but I have a great deal of experience in editing after 33 years teaching college and high school English and editing 100+ novels, mostly from first-time authors.

 

LL: Please give other indie writers 3 tips/tricks that you learned and used during your writing career.

JJ: 1) Get it down on the page, and don’t expect perfection until much later. Spew. Vomit. Fill the page. Only then will you have anything to work with.

2) Make time to write and stick to a schedule.

3) Use pen and paper often. Writing is more visceral and real that way.

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

JJ: I used to make ten dozen chocolate chip cookies for my signings. Folks like to eat and talk literature.

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

JJ: In the old days, it was an old Roget’s thesaurus and a 1950 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Now, it’s the Internet, this generation electronic Library of Alexandria. I enjoy reading Yelp reviews!

LL: Do you use an outline when writing and do you stick to it?

JJ: I outline the entire novel first so I know how my book is going to end. It is general enough that I can deviate at will and go off on tangents.

LL: Will you be participating in any conferences this year? If so, which ones and when?

JJ: I will not be traveling any time soon. I exhausted myself last year with seven different events. 

LL: What are you currently working on?

JJ: SOMEBODY TO LOVE. (I’d give you more information, but it’s a work-in-progress)

Well, that brings us to the close of another episode of Couch Convos. Be sure to check out The Date and the rest of JJ’s catalog. For more information about JJ Murray hit him up on his social media accounts.

JJ

©JJ Murray used with permission

Amazon Author Page: JJ Murray 

Website: JohnJeffreyMurray.com

Facebook: @authorjjmurray

Instagram: @a3jmurray

50 Years of Loving Guest Blog – Aaron Groben

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@Rebirthoflisa Presents

Set Apart

by Aaron Groben

“I miss him. He took care of me.” These simple, profound, and emotional words Mildred Loving left us about her late husband, Richard, have impacted us all. We desire to love and be loved. We desire passion. We desire intimacy. We desire to be known. And with everything that is within me, I desire to take care of a beautiful black Queen.

As we reach the 50 year anniversary of Loving vs Virginia, we see a world changed by their love, and a world that has a long ways to go with the help of ours. I didn’t wake up as a child one morning and decide I needed to change the world (okay, yes, I did, and I still do. Every morning.) There are many things I want to change about the world, but one of the things I desire to change the most is the world of one woman. I’ve been in love with my future wife since before I can remember…and I haven’t even met her. Or at least I don’t know that I have.

© Kevar whilbyMy future wife is black. My future wife is pure. My future wife is full of life and joy. My future wife loves JESUS. And my future wife will love me with the same fervent passion I already love her with. How do I know? I know because love is a verb, it’s an action, not a feeling. Romance is the feeling you get when you love correctly. As I take care of her, as we lead together, as I affirm her daily, serve her, express my love physically in all ways, give her the time she needs, listen to not just her words but also her heart, surprise her with trinkets that speak of who she is, romance will be felt and love will be flowing in excess on both sides. Oh, you wanted to know how I know she’s black….

I know because the LORD gives those of us who follow HIM the desires of our hearts when they align with HIS (Ps 37:4). Wrapped up with my calling in the entertainment industry is a calling as a husband and a father. And let me tell you, the desire is for a beautiful black bride at my side and I at hers, co leading our way thru raising a family and changing the world. My personality, values, and what I view as most beautiful all not only lend themselves to a black woman but point exclusively to her.

I don’t have to tell you that black women are different and set apart. There is a different kind of femininity, a different kind of strength, a different kind of leadership, softness, roughness, passion, and love. There is a different kind of character. And physically, there is hair (oh, is there!), skin of the most beautiful shades, and body types that express there is a Great Designer who loves us immensely.

As I write, dream, and expect at 27 years of age, a virgin who has always beenproverbs 18-22 awaiting my Queen in marriage, my preparations for taking care of her growing, and my love running deeper, I cannot wait to join the ranks of those already loving each other in interracial relationships, creating that specific beauty in our world, and changing the world of that one person whose soul you have the blessing to peer into daily. Never take them for granted. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing.” (Prov. 18:22) And he who obtains the love of a black woman obtains a love that is set apart from all the rest.

AaronGroben2

©Aaron Groben Used with permission

Bio
Aaron Groben makes his living as an Actor/Model living in Los Angeles, CA. He looks forward to being the husband of a beautiful black Queen and father to their future kids. He is most importantly a man of GOD living unashamed for the Gospel.

Insta: aarongroben
IMDb: imdb.me/aarongroben

 

 

 

Thank you Aaron! I can’t wait to see the beautiful wife God has picked out for you. Join us at Noon as we hear from Gabriel Rich.

50 Years of Loving Guest Blog – Lisa W. Tetting

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@Rebirthoflisa Presents

Color Blind?

by Lisa W. Tetting

They say LOVE is color blind. Well, I say it isn’t and it shouldn’t be. Here’s why…

When you meet someone for the first time, what is it you see? The physical characteristics, right? If I meet a man who I think is attractive, there is no way I should simply disregard his skin tone. It is a part of who he is and by pretending not to see his color, I am telling him there is something wrong with it. However, if I embrace his color along with the other things that make him attractive, I am sending the message that I accept all of him, not just what I want to see.

color blindIn the past, I used to think it was better to say love was colorblind and everyone was the same on the inside. With wisdom and maturity, I realized this couldn’t be further from the truth, especially in American culture.

Unfortunately, what we look like plays a huge part of what we walk around harboring in our psyche. How we are perceived has a great impact on how we are treated in society, and therefore how we think about ourselves. So even if you don’t care what color someone is, our society has forced us, from a very young age, to recognize the differences.

Now here’s the kicker. Are you ready? It is alright to be different than your mate! In fact, it is awesome! Being with someone of a different race can really enlighten you and help you to see the world through their eyes. What was it the legendary Atticus Finch said? atticus.png“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” I know he was a fictitious character, but he was on point with this lesson.

If you are in an interracial relationship, you won’t be in their skin exactly, but you will feel what it is like from time to time. When you have to face the bigotry and hatred that is spewed at you when you go out together, at least you will be prepared for it, instead of walking around with rose colored glasses. Don’t misunderstand me. I think rose colored glasses are great, but in today’s society they can do more harm than good, because not everyone is as liberal in their way of thinking. Things could get heated simply because you are with someone who looks different than you.

It is my wish that we could all stop for a minute and unzip ourselves, climb into someone else and walk around for a day.

If that were possible, we would all see that we judge people too quickly and don’t understand their wants and needs. Doing this would help race relations in this country go a long way. Of course, there would be those who would still hate, but at least they would have the knowledge of how others live. They would realize that being proud of who you are is not a threat or in direct competition to other races.

I’ll leave you with this… If a rainbow was all one color, would it be so brilliant? Would you stop what you’re doing to stare up at it and revel in its beauty? Or would it simply be boring and fade into the sky unnoticed? rainbow

Come back at 11 to read what Aaron Groben has to say!