#WriterWednesday I Know It’s Only Monday

I’m trying to get my life together, as many you of you know the writer’s life will have you all over the place. 

your vote matters phrase handwritten on blackboard with heart symbol instead of O

I’m currently planning my #WriterWednesday posts and I’d like to know what you want to know or have questions about. Of course, I might not have the answer, but I may know someone who does and as The Neophyte Author I know how important it is to receive a healthy blend of inspiration, motivation, and practical information. 

In the comments tell me what writing issues would like to see address for the remainder of August and  the month of September. 

Pathways to Your Passion: Hello August

August sign with road backgroundThe eighth month of the year is here. For teachers that it the dawn of another school year is on the horizon, for parents it means their kids are someone else’s problem, and for us dreamers it’s time for us once again to reassess our goals.

You might be tired of these blog posts about goals, but come December you’ll be thanking me for holding you accountable. So, where are you? I’ll go first.

Here are the writing goals I began the year with: 

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I am nowhere near where I need to be to finish and begin all of these projects, but not because of procrastination. My writing career under went some changes. In the process one of the items on my vision board  came to fruition (I’ve launched my own publishing company).  I did complete Tempted to Touch–it’s with the editor now undergoing inspection. That’s all that I’ve finished. I started working on a new novel and these characters will not go away. All of the projects on my list are important to me, but new projects that popped up have become my main focus. That leaves me with only one option it’s time to re-prioritize my goals. If you need to do so as well then do it. 

They are your goals and flexibility is allowed. The only thing not allowed is giving up.

My revised goals now look something like this: 

  • I’ve begun a new novel, Children of God-set in the Dominican Republic and it will tackle the events that have transpired there this summer with regard to their anti-Haitian legislation. That can’t wait. I must finish that. 
  • Begin Birthright (special collaboration project) 
  • Finish Riches of Grace

Now it’s your turn–have you met your goals? on track to meet them? in the process of revising them?

There are only four months left in the year yes squeeze all the pulp out of 2015. 

Today is the Day: Seasoned with Grace is Here

My second, yes second novel, Seasoned with Grace is now available in stores and online. If you haven’t ordered Seasoned with Grace yet please get in on the fun and order you copy today! 

Synopsis: Sentenced to probation, thirty-year-old supermodel Grace King must put her plans of transitioning into acting on hold. Desperate to keep a close eye on Grace and his job, Grace’s ambitious lawyer, Ethan Summerville has her complete community service in the last place Grace wants to be—his church.

Instead of God, Grace finds a “chocolate drop” of a man, Brother Horace Green. Unfortunately, Horace isn’t looking for a supermodel. He wants his woman saved and sanctified, but Grace has never met a man who has been able to resist her. Will Horace compromise his faith for a taste of fortune, fame, and Grace?

While Grace focuses on the pursuit of passion, Ethan finds one director willing to take a risk and cast Grace in his debut film, but this role fits Grace all too well. Will this film revive Grace’s relationship with God and her career, or bring her closer to destruction?

SEASONED-WITH-GRACE (1)

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

BOOK-A-MILLION

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE Support my second novel by sharing this post, liking this post, reblog this post.

Seasoned with Grace Book Trailer and Excerpt

I just got the book trailer for Seasoned with Grace and I love it. Now, because I also love you, I’m sharing it with y’all!!! Check out the book trailer and a short excerpt of Seasoned with Grace

Excerpt

The sound of Young Thug’s cartoonish intonation and the infectious chorus of his and Rich Homie Quan’s hit song “Lifestyle” snapped Grace King out of her alcohol-induced slumber. She squinted to read the screen of her iPhone. “Ethan Summerville,” she read slowly before tapping the green telephone icon to accept the call from her attorney slash agent slash everything. Throughout the years, Grace had come to rely on Ethan. To Grace, it seemed like no one understood her except for him.

“Hello,” she grumbled into the phone.

 “Grace Terisha King, I know the reason that you are late to this meeting is that you’re still in bed.”

“No, I’m up, Ethan.”SEASONED-WITH-GRACE (1)

“You know what my mother used to tell me when she caught me in a lie? Lying lips are an abomination unto the Lord.”

 Grace mustered up enough strength to sit up in the bed so that she wasn’t completely lying, just telling a little half-truth. Those half-truths had taken her far. The half-truth she’d told the bouncer—that her friend was drunk and needed her help getting out of the club—had enabled her to finagle her way into the VIP section of the 40/40 Club, where she was discovered by Bleeker Kios, the head of Fresh Faces Modeling Agency. Her friend had been drunk and had needed her help, but she’d passed out with her head on the bar. From there, Grace had parlayed that half-truth into a prosperous modeling career.

“You can’t continue to do this,” Ethan said when she was silent.

“Do what?” she asked, slapping her thigh. Sometimes Ethan’s paternal and overbearing nature frustrated her, and it also made her think of all the things she’d left behind, like family, namely, her father, whom she had once considered herself close to.

“You cannot continue to walk out of nightclubs, inebriated, and expect to book legitimate jobs. It’s all about branding, and no one wants you associated with their brand. These proceedings were supposed to begin at eight, and it is now nine o’clock. The judge has been calling here every hour on the hour since six a.m., trying to determine why it was exactly that she didn’t lock you up, and why it is that she shouldn’t lock you up now.”

 “So . . . what?” Grace shrugged her shoulders. “Am I not supposed to enjoy myself ever?”

“Not when you’re trying to break into the world of acting. Tell me which producer wants the drunken girl on page six on their billboard.”

“Page six?”

“I knew you were not out of bed. You’re on page six of the Post, page two of the Daily News. And I’m sure they have a shot of you in every free paper that exists in New York City as well. If you keep this up, your star is going to nova soon.”

Grace ran her fingers through the long blond bang she’d had sewn into her short pixie cut as she digested what Ethan was telling her about her career. Since she’d left home at sixteen, the only thing she had had was her career.

For a longer excerpt visit the Books page

Seasoned with Grace will be released on 7/28 but you can pre-order

Seasoned with Grace now:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Books-a-Million

#WriterWednesday: When Inspiration Strikes or Not

This is a late night edition of #WriterWednesday, but if you’re anything like me this is when you get your best work done. That is if you feel inspired, but what happens when you’re not feeling it?

I’m going to tell you what to do when you’re not feeling it. Treat your writing like your faith–keep walking anyway. As Christians we walk by faith and not by sight. It doesn’t matter what we see or what’s going on around us we’re supposed toGood idea stand. What do you think you’re supposed to do with your gift? Only write when the muse strikes or when you’re wearing your lucky green socks?

No…don’t worship the muse or wait for the muse that is idol worship. Worship the Lord, who is the giver of every good and perfect gift, in spirit and in truth and watch the words flow. Watch how you’re fingers fly if you just sit down and say “It’s not me, but it’s in you, Lord and I want to be used by you no matter the time–day or night and regardless of how I feel.” 

How do I know that this method will work? Because I’m doing it right now. I wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t inspired and I have nothing to say, but I want to be consistent (as a good blogger should be), I want to be encouraging to new authors and share what I am learning (I am The Neophyte Author, right), but I don’t want to sound like a broken record either rehashing all kinds of lessons on writing that are available all over the internet. So, as I tried to think of what to write about this Wednesday I said a prayer and left my computer alone. I went about my day the way I normally do (pick up Boogie from camp, eat dinner, and hit up Bible Study).

Now it’s after ten and I said this night will not end with me offering something. In this moment the Jesusmet me (that’s the Lord I’ve been referencing if you want to get to know him see the What Must I Do to b Saved? page) and gave me these words. Don’t trust your gift, talent, or calling for they come without repentance (God gives you what you need to be who He wants you to be before you’ve even considered serving Him), but trust in the one who gave it to you. Yield yourself to him and do what you have been called to do, share your gift, and cause your talent to be multiplied and bring the bounty all back to him. That means work in spite of feeling inspired work as unto Him and He will take care of the rest.

#WriterWednesday: 3 Lessons Writers Can Learn From Misty Copeland

Unless you were offline yesterday or out of the country then you know what wonderful event occurred yesterday and in case you don’t I’ll give you the skinny. Misty Copeland has become the first African-American woman to be named principal dancer for the American Ballet Theater. Now, you may be wondering what writers can learn from dancers, but any time someone reaches their dreams or some level of success there is something we can all glean from that.

3 Lessons from Misty Copeland

1. You’re never too old to begin. Misty began her dancing career at the age of thirteen which in the world of professional dancing is the equivalent of a stay-at-home mom trying to reenter the workforce after little Joey’s on his way to college. So, dust off that manuscript or exert some extra effort to promote you’re current novel. You’re not too old to do this and be a success.

2. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Ignore every no you get and continue to work on being better. Misty was told she couldn’t do this not just because of her age, but the fact that she didn’t look like a dancer. You may have been told no that won’t work for a variety of reasons. Forget the naysayers, forget the realist who say that’s never been done before or that’s not going to work. It is and it will because you’re going to make it work.

 

 

3. You have to have a goal or destination in mind and always reach higher. Since Misty began dancing all she wanted to do was be a part of ABT and she achieved that. It wasn’t enough to be a dancer or to be a soloist. Misty wanted to be the big cheese and now she is.

So, this week let’s not just focus on craft, but on being inspired to push forward. Who else’s journey inspires you or has taught you how to push forward? Please share their story in the comments.

#WriterWednesday: Organizing a Virtual Book Tour

This week the Neophyte Author is on tour–virtually. So, what better topic to discuss than organizing a virtual book tour.

Let’s break it down a bit for those who don’t about Virtual Book Tours. A virtual book tour is when an author visits blogs, radio shows, writes guest post, etc. to share their latest work with readers during a specific period of time. The length is up to you–one week, two weeks, a month.

Options

Dollarphotoclub_84358845You have two options–hire someone to organize your tour for you or organize it yourself. I decided to organize the tour myself and thanks to God’s favor this week has been a great tour week. 

DYI Tips

  • Organize, organize, organize. If you’re not well connected in the publishing world or know a bunch of bloggers and radio show host then you’re going to have get organized, well in advance. Most bloggers schedule posts in advance and they are not going to break their timeline for you.You need to start arranging the tour six months in advance.Don’t any bloggers or want to step outside of your comfort zone visit Book Blogger Directory to find bloggers in your genre.
  • Also, be prepared to be rejected. Some bloggers will not want you, your content, or book. If you’re going to be spending money on this tour you better be prepared to spend time putting this tour together.
  • Beware of sites in which you have to pay to be featured on their website. Yes, this a promo tour and sometimes you have to pay for promotion, but paying to be featured on a blog is a little sketchy unless that blogger has a huge audience with some guaranteed results.
  • Create graphics for free using Pic Monkey or Ribbet.
  • Select several different excerpts so that your fans, followers, and friends can have a rich experience while following the tour. 
  • Know your purpose. A blog tour is to create awareness and announce your presence. Don’t go crazy if after you’ve organized this phenomenal tour the only person who buys a copy of your book is your grandmother in Toledo. People cannot purchase something that they don’t know about. A Virtual Book Tour is your introduction to them. 

Have you organized your own virtual book tour before? Share your experiences in the comments. If you haven’t tried one yet make sure you come back and let me know how it goes.

If you’re in the New York City area and want to attend a workshop with me join The Neophyte Auauthortalk theresa & nigeria (1)thor on Saturday, June 20, 2015 for a publishing workshop and book signing. Admission is free and copies of Born at Dawn will be available for purchase. 

#LaunchParty: You’re Invited

If you’ve been following The Neophyte Author for awhile now then you know how much I like to party and celebrate each book. Now there was no way I could not throw a party for Seasoned with Grace even though I considered not doing it. However, once my sister convinced me to have a party the Lord allowed everything to come together. Two great things about this party is, one it’s going to be at Grace King’s favorite coffee shop in Seasoned with Grace and there will be a stylist on hand to give some personal styling tips to us all. There will also be plenty of games and gifts.

If you’re in the NYC area and want to celebrate with me you’re invited to attend the Seasoned with Grace Launch Party and Style Session, lead by the Visual Stylist Shanette Valle. We’ll also be collecting donations of gently used women’s office wear for the organization Dress for Success.  To get your tickets click the image:

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For all of supporters who are outside of the city stay tuned for details on the virtual launch party.

#WriterWednesday: What’s Your Writing Super Power?

One of my student’s walked up to me the other day and asked me, “Is it true?” I squinted at him and asked, “Is what true?” “What they say about your writing,” he said waving a photocopy of Publisher’s Weekly Review of Seasoned with Grace. “They say dialogue is your strong point. Is that true?”

I really hadn’t considered that whether or not what Publisher’s Weekly said about me was true. I was just to glad that the Lord had moved on my behalf and caused them to review my book. I thought about it for a moment and I decided I didn’t agree with Publisher’s Weekly (relax, I’m not crazy). I never considered dialogue my strong suit, although I run my mouth more than enough, so I ought be good at writing dialogue.

To me my strength, my writing super power is my voice. I think that early on I was able to subconsciously develop this very

girl power super hero confidence in kids or children

sharp and hard voice that reflected my city life. I didn’t know it until I was working on my Masters in Creative Writing. Every week my peers (mostly white) would praise me for my how well versed I was with the vernacular. For awhile it stung. I didn’t want my poems to be praised for the vernacular I wanted people to praise my poetry for its beauty. I attempted to write a beautiful poem one week for our workshop and they praised me, but they noted that this poem was different from all my other work. I confessed my feelings to them and nearly broke down crying–for once in my life I didn’t want to be this black writer with a voice that echoed the concrete. I wanted daises to be birthed on the wings of my words. I wanted to prove to them and to me that I could write like them. Once class was over and I had successfully won them over I went back to writing lyrics about the feel of asphalt under my feet. I found it took too much thought to write like someone else. It was too difficult to fill my mouth with the words of other and make them pretty.

I reclaimed my voice and went back creating pieces that reflected the beauty and ugly I found in the world using my own tongue. For me that is my Writing Super Power that’s another way I am able to be a trailblazer.

What’s your writing super power? What’s your strength? What sets your writing apart from everyone else in your genre?

If an answer doesn’t come write away maybe read a chapter or two of your most recent work and a chapter or two of someone else in your genre and look for the nuances–are you a master of setting a scene? create strong characters? write good bad guys? teach lessons subtly? Often our focus is on improving our weakness, but what would happened if we embraced and nurtured our strengths?

Don’t forget to post your strengths in the comments section. I might need your help.

SEASONED-WITH-GRACE (1)Don’t forget to order a copy of Seasoned with Grace or to tell a friend or two about it. It’s coming out this summer, July 28th.  Pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Books-a-million. Stay tuned for details on the  Seasoned with Grace Launch Party and Style Session as well as the virtual party.

#MondayMotivation: Six Month Check Up

Happy June! 

We’re in the six month of the year and it’s time to dish on our dreams.

Where are you?

What have you accomplished and where are we headed next? 

I’ll share some of my progress:

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-Tempted to Touch is done (editing is a different story–don’t judge me)

-Riches of Grace is still a work in progress

-Berri and Delilah still a work in progress

-I’ve got some notes for High-Stepping

-Set a date to begin outlining that collabo (feeling super duper excited about that) 

Vision Board Progress

Now this year was the first time I engaged in this process and Lord is really blessing me. IMG_0140

-My Born at Dawn has been reviewed in USA and called a “Must Read”

-The African-American Christian Fiction Book Club read “Born at Dawn”

-My second book, Seasoned with Grace has appeared in Publisher’s Weekly

-I’m making “power moves”. I formed my own publishing company, Inheritance Books and I am preparing to not only publish my books, but the work of other authors and facilitate workshops. 

To be truly successful I’ve found that it’s been most helpful to have someone hold you accountable, so right now the Neophyte Author is checking you, boo. Where are we at in terms of reaching our dreams, where are you at on the pathway to your passion? 

For more information on my new company Inheritance Books visit the website

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