Sunday, December 20

Winter Kisses Available Dec. 21st!


Winter Kisses will be available tomorrow! This is Noble Romance's premiere sweet romance SweetHeart line and I'm thrilled to be a part of it! Don't miss this festive collection of five short stories by authors, Barbara Sheridan, Dena Celeste, G.R. Bretz, Kelly Heckart, and me!


Take a moment to view the book trailer and enjoy an excerpt from A Christmas for Carol below!

He shoved one hand into his coat, and pulled out a small white box. He held it out to her. “This is for you.”
Carol stared at the beautifully wrapped gift with surprise. “Grant . . . .”
“Just open it.” He flipped on the overhead light.

Her heart hammered as she yanked off the red ribbon, and lifted the box top to reveal an exquisite gold chain with a delicate charm. The little coffee cup sparkled with tiny diamonds. “It’s beautiful!” Carol gasped. “I can’t believe you got me a gift. Thank you. I love it!” On impulse she leaned over to give him a quick kiss, but Grant pulled her in closer. He tasted like cinnamon as he deepened the kiss, brushing his lips slowly across hers. Pulling off her hat, he laced his fingers through her hair, holding her in place as he teased and tasted every inch of her mouth.

Carol whimpered, overwhelmed by her need for him. Desire ignited and raged through her body as he caressed her tongue in deliciously deliberate strokes. She raised her hand to touch his beard, loving the way the short hairs tickled her fingers. Her craving for him was undeniable. She wanted to let go and give herself over to the feelings rushing through her as he massaged her scalp.
Maybe it was time to let go. Maybe it was time to let her heart feel something other than pain and guilt.

He pulled away, leaving her lips throbbing and tingling. Neither of them spoke for a few seconds, the hum of the heater the only sound in the truck.
Grant stared out the window at the snow falling more heavily on the windshield. “There’s something between us, Carol. Something I’ve never felt before with any woman and I know you feel it, too.”
Carol loosened her scarf, still frazzled from his kiss and her own chaotic emotions.
“I know we’ve only been on one date—“
“Three.” Carol corrected him, blushing when she saw the triumphant look on his face. “I know. I was just checking to see if you were counting our lunch dates. I feel like I already know so much about you and I still want to spend more time with you.”

Carol shook her head. “This is crazy. We hardly know each other.”
Grant looked at her. “That’s not true. I know you’re a morning person. I know you like cream and sugar in your coffee. I know you like to wear the color yellow. I know you don’t like to wear a lot of make-up. I know you obsess over tiny details at your job. I know you like to laugh. I know holiday music makes you crazy.”

Carol looked at him in shock until she couldn’t see him because of the tears in her eyes again. “Stop. Stop!”

Grant grabbed her hand. “I can’t, because I want to know more. I know you’ve been through something tragic and life changing. I understand that, but I have to know if I even have a chance with you.”


Happy Holidays!

~AN

video

Monday, December 14

Author Ed Williams Stops by Poetry, Prose and Print!


AN: The holidays are upon us! What do you look forward to the most?

EW: Watching the "Beavis and Butthead Christmas Special," sippin' eggnog, seein' my daughter and son-in-law, and burning out my eyeballs on college football bowl games.

AN: Fudge or fruit cake?

EW: Always fudge! I love it, plus most fruit cake at the most might be usable as foundation material for houses. Oh God, those big, gooey chunks of fruit slapped into that less than scrumptious bread, I'd rather french kiss a porcupine's heiny than eat it!

AN: Do you make New Year's resolutions?

EW: Yes - I resolve to ride mega roller coasters, visit Vegas, listen to Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and to enjoy lookin' at good lookin' women. For some strange reason my New Year's resolutions seem to stay pretty static year-to-year...

AN: When did you realize you wanted to become an author?

EW: I never wanted to be an author. Back in 1995 I’d written about 200 pages worth of PG to R-rated stories about my upbringing in Juliette. I just did so as a nostalgic exercise, I never would have thought about a book coming from it, I wouldn’t have had that much nerve to believe in such a thing. What happened was soon after I finished I noticed an ad in our local paper which stated a writer’s group was being formed at my local Barnes and Noble, in fact, its first meeting was just half an hour from when I initially read the article. Seeing that and the fact that they were asking for any aspiring writers who attended to bring some of their writing with them, I went to my computer and printed out a story about my dad and I discovering the local choir leader at our church parked on a dirt road behind our house one evening with one of the ladies in the choir. I guess you could say he was giving her extremely private choiral lessons, just one of these little scandalous-type things that all small towns experience at one point or the other. Anyway, I took this story to the meeting, and out of 70 or so people in attendance I was picked at random to read. I was nervous as all hell, but I began reading, and damned if the people there didn’t seem to like my story. I then went on to meet the director of this writer’s group afterwards, who asked to see my stories. About a year afterwards a small publisher in Dallas, Texas put out my very first book, Sex, Dead Dogs, and Me: The Juliette Journals.

AN: Today, Ed is here to talk about a hot new release entitled ChristmaSin’ written in the mainstream fiction/humor genre! What's this holiday tale about?

EW: It’s my attempt to write a realistic rural Southern Christmas novel. I took real events that happened during the Christmas season in Juliette when I was growing up, combined them with a liberal dose of BS, and ended up with this book. Be forewarned that this is realistic, a bit bawdy language and content-wise, but it does end with a decent Christmas message, if I do say so myself.

AN: What was the inspiration behind the story?

EW: Mostly the fact that the Southern Christmas stories that I was seeing in print were more like June and Ward Cleaver-type Christmases, and I wanted to write something that was more in line with what I thought the reality was.

AN: Is writing in the mainstream fiction/humor genre your favorite?

EW: Depends on what I’m writing at the moment. I never stay in one place very long at anything.

AN: You’ve written 3 books. Can you tell me if there is a personal favorite and why?

EW: That’s easy - my second book, Rough As A Cob: More From the Juliette Journals. It has a chapter in it detailing how me and my two best friends got to meet Bachman-Turner Overdrive, one of our favorite bands from our high school years. We went on this big road trip in order to meet them all at a concert, and couldn’t have had a better, or wilder time. That one story alone will always make that particular book stand out to me.

AN: Any advice you would like to share with aspiring authors?

EW: Write about what you want to write about, and don’t worry much about genres or what’s hot at the moment. Write what you feel something about, because it will translate to your pages well. Create your own genre!

AN: Tell me one thing your readers would be surprised to know about you!

EW: That I have a painting of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket logo on one of my molars, my dentist is a huge Tech fan (as am I) and had an artist friend paint it on there!

AN: Wow! That is a surprise! Ed, thank you so much for stopping by Poetry, Prose and Print and Happy Holidays!

ChristmaSin' is available now with Champagne Books! Get your copy just in time for the holidays here!

Find out more about Ed Williams here:
www.ed-williams.com , www.ChristmasinTheBook.com
and elwiii.gather.com

Enjoy a sneak peek of ChristmaSin' below:

The walk back into the house is a lot longer on account of toting this heavy-ass wood, and by the time we both get inside, we are hassling pretty hard. Ed Jr. turns, looks at us, laughs, and then tells us that he is going to recite an old Christmas poem for us that he’d heard many years ago. We know that it is going to be good, when he tells us to sort of listen out for Mama, and that if she happens to come into the room, mum’s the word. Once we all understand the ground rules, my dad clears his throat and recites this tender rhyme for us:

Santa’s outfit is red and white, it’s all that he has, but it fits just right, his boots are black, his balls are blue, being cold all night does that to you.

He has a doll for Cindy, a dog for Fred, and a New Orleans woman, sittin’ in his sled.

He laughs so jolly, never sad nor whiny, now he’s off in his sleigh, to hone some Louisiana heiny
.”

Wednesday, December 9

Social Networking as a Non-Social Butterfly

I'll admit that I am not by nature a social butterfly. I've always been content observing than garnering attention. In fact the only time I truly feel comfortable center stage is with a mic in my hand seconds before I sing my first note.

As a newbie author and even before I got my first contract, I realized I was going to have to connect with other writers and potential readers. I wasn't sure how to do it or where to begin. So, I started with the basics. I joined Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and a host of other social networks.

I started joining groups of readers and authors interested in writing and romance novels. I began sending out friend requests to authors I admired and authors I didn't know. By connecting with authors already in the biz I discovered publishers, writing resources, promotional links, and writer/reader groups that I wouldn't have known existed.

What I've learned as a newbie author is that you have to put yourself out there. Connecting with like-minded published and unpublished authors inspired and motivated me to keep writing. I've 'met' many wonderful writers willing to offer advice while welcoming me into the strange, often isolated world of writing.

Social networking helped me get my very first contract and there's a good chance it could do the same for you. So, whether you are a social butterfly or a not . . . spread your wings and connect!

Monday, November 30

Not Just Make Believe by Sandra Sookoo


AN: Today, I'm welcoming Sandra Sookoo! First things first . . . why write romance?

SS: I love the happily ever after (or happily for now). I love seeing how characters have to work together in order to achieve that, all the while battling constant interruptions and life’s ills.

AN: When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

SS: When I realized that being a cake decorator was not in my future LOL That’s what I wanted to be as a ten-year-old. A cake decorator or a writer. Since cake’s are beyond me and I have an affinity for telling a story, guess which one I picked?

AN: How long did it take for you to become published and how did you deal with the challenges?

SS: It took about a year of trying, failing and getting up again. I say this often in interviews. Just because you’ve written a book does not mean you’ve written a book. LOL There is much to learn about the craft of writing. I can’t wait to see what else I’ll learn during the course of my career.
Remember that rejections are a part of it. You’ll get them—even after you’ve been published. Give yourself a day to dwell then move on. Keep writing. That’s the key to dealing with it. It may seem like you’ll never reach that publishing goal, but if you keep at it, someone will say yes.

AN: Well, I’m sure readers everywhere are glad you held on to your dream to become an author! Sandra has a cute, uplifting new release entitled Not Just Make Believe, written in the contemporary romance genre! Share a little bit about this holiday treat!

SS: This book is about an assistant manager at a hotel, Andie, who suddenly experiences a change in her job description when she’s told to be a temporary nanny to a strong-willed nine-year-old. The trouble is, the child’s guardian, Max is a stockbroker dealing with the sadness and the fact he survived 9/11. Even though Andie doesn’t know much about rearing children, she knows that Max and Piper need to reconnect and understand each other because they’re family. Somewhere in the mix, Andie falls for Max and well the ending will surprise you…you’ll have to read the book to see why.

AN: Wow! Not Just Make Believe sounds like a fantastic story with a heartwarming message just in time for the holidays! What was the inspiration behind this book?

SS: Actually, my niece Jessica inspired this story. When she was about the age that Piper is in the book, she said “I think you should write a story about a girl who lives in a hotel.” So, I thought about it, put my own spin on it, dumped the whole story into a romance and set it at Christmastime. Awesome, no?


Actually, Not Just Make Believe had two previous titles before this one was selected. It’s been a long road for publication with this story, but I’m beyond thrilled that Desert Breeze picked it up.

AN: You’ve written a lot of books. Can you tell me if there is a personal favorite and why?

SS: Hmm, personal favorite? Not Just Make Believe is a front runner. Two others would be a sci-fi novella that will come out next fall or a pirate novella that will come out in the spring.
Sometimes, there are stories that really stick with me. I’ll read through them and be amazed that I actually wrote those words. The characters are strong or quirky and I really had a great time writing their book. That’s one of the things I love about writing.

AN: Do you have favorite food or ritual that helps you get in the zone to write?

SS: Nope. Sometimes I’ll have the TV on in the background just for noise. Rarely do I listen to music—unless I’m writing a particularly hard love scene. Sometimes, I’ll listen to upbeat love songs to get me pumped to write.


The trick is to just sit your butt down and write. Chocolate helps though…

AN: You’ve found a time machine that would allow you to pick one author from our literary past to have lunch and talk shop. Who would it be and why?

SS: Mark Twain. He pushed the envelope and wrote about real life, not matter that it might have been uncomfortable for his contemporaries. Oh wait, his books are still uncomfortable for people today. LOL

AN: You been invited to lunch to talk shop with your favorite author of today. Who would it be and why?

SS: That one’s a tough call. There are many authors I like, but to pick one? I can’t do that.

AN: What's the one thing you’d like to share with aspiring authors that you wished you had of known at the beginning?

SS: First, don’t give up. Ever. Second, 90 percent of what people tell you is wrong. Don’t listen to the noise. Listen to what your heart tells you. Write what you love and don’t follow trends. They’ll do nothing for you and you’ll always be a dollar short. Third, keep writing, no matter what. It only takes one yes to break through.

AN: Tell me one thing your readers would be surprised to know about you!

SS: Well, there was this one time when I…oh, but wait. I think it’s privileged information and I’m saving that story for Oprah! LOL
All kidding aside, I’m a reader and a writer. I love to bake when I’m stuck in a story. I love Disney and my husband. Everything else, well, you’ll just have to wait and find out!

AN: Sandra, thank you so much for stopping by Poetry, Prose and Print today! I can't wait to read Not Just Make Believe which is available today! Happy release day and I wish you all the best with this book and others to come!


Get your copy here!

Enjoy the sneak peek below!

A thoughtful expression crossed Max's features as the elevator doors opened at the ping on the appropriate floor. "Andrea, I believe I owe you an apology for teasing you yesterday as well as a thank you for your excellent care of Piper."
As my Great Aunt Sadie used to say… "You bet your sweet bippie you do!"
What I said was, "I'm just doing my job. I hope she's back to her devilish self." Before I could get off the elevator, Max hit the Close Door button. "What are you doing? That's my floor." Oh my Lord, he was a stalker! Howie would be surprised when he found out he had been duped by the rich and famous. I could just see the headline now: Up and coming assistant hotel manager stalked and killed by a notable mover and shaker. Charges won't be sought…
"You're going to dinner with me this evening." It was a statement. He punched the illuminated button for the Lobby and we proceeded downward.
"Thanks for the invite, but I couldn't possibly accept. It's against company policy to accept gifts from clients. Not to mention, I just got off work and my clothes smell like the monkey house at the zoo."
Don't ask how I knew this. It's not a flattering story for me or the monkey.
A glance down at my outfit confirmed my description. Rumpled black skirt, white button down shirt with a yellow stain over my left boob--I have no idea what it was-- and black heels. Not exactly the outfit of the dining elite. That is to say if I were actually going to dinner with him, which I was most definitely not.
When the elevator doors slid open at the Lobby, I quickly hit the seventh floor button and the doors swung closed again. Good thing we were the only ones in the car or else I would surely be in trouble. I could just hear the lecture Howie would heap upon my head. He would probably give it in front of all the staff, just to make an impression.
Of course, he would!
The elevator cars are not for your own personal amusement. I snickered as my eyes slid to Max. My idea of personal enjoyment would include a can of whipped cream and a bare-chested Max…With a start, I realized he was talking to me.
"Andrea, listen, I'll clear it with Howard. You can go as a personal favor to me." He smiled cordially to the people waiting on the seventh floor as the doors swung open. "I'm sorry, but there seems to be an issue in this car. Would you mind waiting on the second one?"
I rolled my eyes when the women tittered and nodded and the men grumbled but agreed.
With a look of triumph, Max hit the Lobby button. He was already taking out his cell phone.
What nerve this guy had! Who did he think he was? I felt my blood pressure start to rise. I had already worked a nine-hour day, which had been chock full of complaining customers and a dog that had piddled on one of the sofa cushions in the Lobby. Yeah, the Stansbury had that mythical anti-pet policy but the same fussy woman kept bringing her stupid dog and Howard kept letting her stay.
Now I had to deal with a man who apparently thought that he was God.
Stop the world, I want to get off!
How about if I just grew a backbone and put a stop to all of this right now? After this little pep talk to myself, I hit the seventh floor button again as we arrived at the Lobby. "Absolutely not! I'm going to relax in my room, order room service, and watch mindless television for the rest of the night." I grinned at the surprise on his face. "Oh, did you think you were the only one who lived here? It's part of my benefits package. At least I don't have to pay rent."
"Very efficient."
I glanced up at the humor in his voice and was immediately irritated. To top it all off, he had dimples when he smiled. Once again, I was the head float in my own freak parade.
"I'll take care of it, Andrea." He punched the Lobby button and gave me a commanding glance that clearly said stay put. "I would really like to have dinner with you. That's all."
That was the last straw. "There are other people in the world, you know. We don't all kowtow to your every whim." I hit the lighted seven button.
Up we went.
Max hit the Lobby button, determined to win in the battle of wills.
My fingers curled into fists until my nails bit into my palms. "You're not listening to me." Without thinking, I methodically hit every single button on the panel, until all the little numbered circles were lit up. I gritted my teeth and tried to regulate my breathing, but when my eyes met Max's dark gaze, a tiny flame of desire flared in my gut. This was not a good sign.
Two things happened simultaneously.
First off, the elevator car shuddered to a violent stop somewhere between the tenth and Penthouse floors, throwing me against Max. Second, I guess Max chose that opportunity to completely lose his mind. Before I could do much more than blink at him in surprise, his arms snaked around my waist, and he kissed me. There's no other way to tell the story. Not a swift peck on the cheek, grandma-style. It was one of those old-fashioned curl-your-toes kinds of kisses that you would see on old movies where the heroine pops her foot up behind her. Max's lips covered mine with a warm pressure that was gentle and insistent. Shivers of excitement raced up my spine when his fingers traced circles on my back.
My traitorous body decided he was non-threatening after all and started to press itself up against the solid mass that was Max. Before I could analyze why butterflies stirred in my stomach, the moment was over.
As first kisses go, it was quite delicious. But, my foot did not pop.
In case you were wondering.

Guest Authors Blogging at PPP!

I'm very excited to announce Poetry, Prose, and Print will be interviewing and welcoming many authors to share their own journey to publication and dish about upcoming releases! Look for the first interview tomorrow with Sandra Sookoo!

Sandra may not know it, but she encouraged me before I even had a contract to keep writing and not give up on my dream of being published. I could always count on seeing her 'status' about writing or editing. Her commitment to writing has been an inspiration to me. I'm thankful to have 'met' her through social networking and I'm happy to have her as my first featured author!


(photo courtesy lusi)

Thursday, November 19

Waiting and Writing

Around the beginning of October, I submitted my first completed manuscript. This YA novel will always hold a special place in my heart no matter what happens in NY. This was the baby that made it all clear to me that writing was what I was born to do besides sing. After almost two years in the making, two hundred and seventy-eight pages, countless rewrites and one busted computer later (it fell to the ground right when I could see the ending in sight), I shipped it off. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders as soon as I did, but then a few days later the weight was back and stronger than ever before. I got the email asking for the entire work and I rejoiced, but now I'm back to biting my nails.

What if I missed the mark with my target audience? What if I shipped it off to the wrong editor? And then the big one question … what if my novel is rejected? Literally, a million questions go through your mind. I know writers face rejection and what truly matters in the end is if you keep trying.

Yeah.

I get that, but looking out for every email or envelope in the mail is very, very hard! I haven't shared the details about my YA novel because I almost think it could jinx things. Crazy, I know and I'll admit to being just a little bit crazy. I was up to two in the morning thinking my writing and this book and what I would do if it is or doesn't get picked up. I know for sure I will resubmit and pull all of my hair out (that's a lot of hair)!

Once I was released from Mia's story, all the other characters that have been swirling around in my head began pushing and shoving to make it out next. I love short stories a lot as a reader and definitely as a writer. There is nothing like creating a tale in a week or less and enjoying the sweet success of completing a story. Waiting for word is tough, but becoming published in the meanwhile with my other short stories has helped. I can do nothing but wait and write and try not to wonder every few hours about all the 'what if's'.

I was pleasantly surprised to read the blog post of an editor turned author that finally submitted his own manuscript and discovered what it was like on the other side. His story is worth reading and you can find it here!

Saturday, November 14

I'm live! Introducing www.angelanichelle.com!





Check out my website to find out more information about upcoming releases and what drives me to write the stories that I do.  I am so happy with the site and my talented sister for working with me to create a beautiful, user-friendly website!

Tuesday, November 10

Release Date!

Just in time for the holidays! A Christmas for Carol will be released on December 21st with Noble Romance Publishing! This will be the first sweet romance anthology for NRP and I'm very excited to have my short story selected for this special debut. This will be my first published work under my penname Angela Nichelle. I decided to use my middle name for all of my sweet romance and YA books in the future.


One of my favorite movies of the holiday season is A Christmas Carol, the timeless story about a man that has lost his love and joy for everything in life besides making money. The concept of losing your heart, struggling to trust in love and getting a nudge from the other side sparked the inspiration for A Christmas for Carol.

My story revolves around a beautiful young woman who's not crotchety like Scrooge, but has closed herself off to love just the same. She's experienced the worst kind of loss and believes her fragile heart can never recover. But holiday magic is in the air and so is a second chance at love for my sassy heroine!

I will be sharing a blurb and a sneak peek at the cover soon!

Monday, November 2

Manuscript Received!

Today, I got the postcard from Kimani Tru confirming that they had indeed received my full manuscript as requested. I still can't believe that almost two years ago I got serious about my writing and committed myself to finishing Mia's story. This has been such an amazing year for me in the sense that I finally decided to follow my dream of becoming an author no matter what.

With two young kids and a million distractions as a mother and wife, I finished not just the manuscript that's being reviewed in New York, but three other short stories. I've been offered a contract for two of those stories and I'm waiting to hear about the third. I'm thrilled! I'm humbled and happy.

We all have different dreams and some of them we reach for and others we just daydream about. All of us change through life as we grow older and experience new things and often times our dreams shift with us, but the core of your dream usually remains the same. It's the part of you that's truly you without the programmed fears and self-conscious hang-ups. For me, being creative is what makes me feel alive. Whether it's with my music or writing, I just feel like I'm the most connected with myself and the world when I'm in one of those two worlds.

This year is almost over, but I've learned so much about myself and what I'm capable of doing when I'm fully committed. What's your dream? Are you fully committed to it or is it just a daydream that seems impossible to grasp? Don't listen to those around you or the voices in your head that would have you to believe you can't do whatever your heart desires. You can because whatever your dream is...is a part of who you truly are. Be you...be brilliant!

Wednesday, October 21

Great Resource!

I have to spread the word about a fantastic site that helps take the time and energy out of submitting your work. Ever heard of WordHustler? This genius site has a wealth of information from finding the perfect query letter to in-depth interviews with authors, agents, editors already in the business. If you have work that is ready to submit, WordHustler can make sure it gets delivered to the right person. They will even track how many submissions you have out and let you know how long you've been waiting for a response.

After working so long on my first manuscript, I was nervous about using WordHustler. I read reviews and testimonials and played around with the site before actually submitting my work for them to ship for me. As a novice to the industry, it was wonderful using WordHustler's database to see thousands of markets I hadn't even thought of submitting work to. Prices are responsible and the customer service rocks! Seriously, I had a question and the gentleman helping me was competent and friendly sticking with me via email until I understood exactly what to do.

I am hooked! Using WordHustler, I can easily locate the right fit for my work. I've learned great tips on submitting to the markets and agents I'm interested in. Take a look at their site and I am positive you will want to use this amazing resource!

Monday, October 12

Believing in Your Gifts

I’ve always loved three things in my life: reading, writing and singing. But it’s taken me a long time to realize that writing and singing were my gifts. It’s not that I wasn’t told that they were or that in the back of my mind I didn’t know…the truth was I didn’t believe I was good enough to do either. It didn’t matter how well I sang or how many times someone told me how much they enjoyed my performance because deep down I never really believed them. I wonder sometimes what I would have done differently with my music in school if fear hadn’t held me back.


The same went with my writing that began at an early age. I remember getting my first journal and I believe my love affair with words started then. I moved on to stories, plays and poems that I’d scribble into notebook after notebook for only me to read. I was too scared to share any of it with anyone.


In college, I started sharing some of my poems and I can remember being told that I should pursue writing. I thought, “Who would want to read some of my stuff?” I focused on my music, but writing always popped up in creating songs and crafting poetry to express myself.

Now, almost ten years later, I understand that you have to believe in your gifts to really soar with them. You have to let go of your fear to let your gifts grow.


I’m not saying that I don’t still have off days as a writer, but I finally believe that…I AM A WRITER. That’s huge. I got serious about becoming a published author about a year and half ago and now within the last month I’ve been offered a contract for one of my short stories and asked to send in my full manuscript for my YA novel.


Validation does encourage the spirit, but you still have to know within your being that you are your gift to achieve any amount of success. Success is usually based on status and money, but I truly think it should be measured in realizing your gifts and honing your talent to share and enrich other lives no matter what the calling!

Monday, September 21

Yippee!

Over the weekend I got my first writing contract! It still doesn't seem real. I keep reading the contract in disbelief. This contract is for one of my shorter stories, but now my foot is in the door. I know none of it would have happened this soon without a connection I made on FB.


The validation the contract brings me as a writer is huge. I am more driven to write. I have so many stories to tell and all I need is the time to do it. That's the tricky part as a mom.  I also submitted the first three chapters of my YA novel. I was so nervous shipping it off, but I couldn't hold onto the manuscript forever. At some point after all the revisions and polishing...you've gotta let it go.

Now, I have to wait and see what happens.  After my surprise this weekend I feel optimistic!

Saturday, September 19

One Submission Sent!

Last night I submitted one of my short stories. My husband inspired the idea for the fairytale. I was amazed at how fast this story came together. I dreamed about the plot and saw the characters in my head daily. I love fairytales and anything magical, especially when romance is thrown in the mix.


I sent the submission off into cyberspace, feeling nervous and excited. Finally, something I’ve worked on was ready to ship off. Hopefully, the editors will have as much fun reading the story as I had writing it.


Now, I will return my focus to my YA novel. I am determined to finish polishing the entire manuscript and at least ship off the first three chapters this weekend.  The characters in my head wake me up in the morning and keep me up at night. Oh, how I love writing!

Friday, September 11

Weary Query

After looking at many different query models, I finally worked up my courage to write my own. The synopsis was harder to pen, but I still found myself spending several hours and a couple of days rereading my query, in an effort to capture the right tone and flair.

The query is your first shot at getting your foot in the door. That's a lot of pressure! It's more than a little nerve-racking trying to convey my hopes as a writer, my ambitions as an author and sell what I believe is a great book in just a few short paragraphs.

Somehow you are supposed to entice, impress and encourage the editor to take a look at your manuscript. Did I achieve my goals? Will my query get me through the elusive doors of the publishing house I desire?

Time will tell.

Thursday, August 27

Synopsis Anyone?

Everything that I've read or heard about writing a good synopsis is true. Trying to compress almost three hundred pages of material into a few pages is quite difficult. There's a lot of advice online on how to write a synopsis, but some of the things I've read seem unclear.

Like, how many pages it should be. Should it be single or double spaced? Should I open with a question or a funny hook? The more information I read about creating a stellar synopsis, the more confusing the process seemed. I know what the objective of the synopsis should be, but I still haven't quite gotten it down on the paper the way I want.

This is much harder than writing the actual book, but I'm going to keep at it until something jumps off the page that captures the life and essence of my novel.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 25

Staying Focused

A month ago, I was celebrating the fact that my first manuscript was finished...or so I thought. After rereading it for the third time and hearing feedback from a couple of trusted friends, I realized I wasn't yet done. My work needed more work. My story was lacking enough tension or drama to keep things popping.

I admit the feedback I got was great, but it made me feel a little discouraged. I was done! I wanted to be done, but I also wanted a really great story that the reader would enjoy.

I wanted to write a super positive story for young adults to enjoy, but I forgot that too much feel good reading leaves the reader bored. You need drama for good drama. I knew this, but somehow I still missed my mark. So, I went back through and rewrote several scenes and made the nemesis in my story a real stinker.

With thirty more pages added to the end of my book, I truly think I've created a story that will not only be positive, but has enough drama to keep the reader guessing up until the ending. I'm staring at my manuscript and trying to prepare my brain for rereading this story for the umpteenth time. This I hope will be the final run through.

The next phase is even more arduous...finding an agent or submitting on my own to the publisher. I'm still not sure which way to go. So many questions and it feels like I'm fumbling in the dark, but I have to believe that I will hit that ray of light that will push me through the door.

Sunday, May 24

Our Shattered Love


Shards of you cutting into me
Distorted reflections of us looking back at me

I remember when we used to be
So happy
Just you and me

Long walks together sharing our thoughts
Time spent together never enough
Now look at us falling apart

Shards of us cutting into me
Crimson red rivulets bleeding freely

Wounds that won’t close
Gape open and wide
My weary bandages can no longer hide
Shards of you cutting into me




This poem is dedicated to anyone that has experienced true heartbreak, true disillusionment with the one you love.

I believe in the power of love and the strength that it takes to love someone else in a relationship, but I admire the true strength it takes to love yourself enough to walk away from love that hurts, love that doesn't uplift, love that is destructive.

Slow and Steady Editing

Boy, I have the manuscript done, but I know I still have to go through and reread and edit. In some ways I love this process, because it's liking seeing a beautiful picture that just needs added highlights or a splash of color here or there to bring the piece alive.

That being said, editing is slow and tedious process. Try to hurry and you are just skimming the words, not truly grasping what you are reading or what you really intended your character to say.

No, it has to be done when you mind is clear and your thoughts are focused on what you were really trying to impart in the written words on the page.  Only forty pages in and I am feeling a bit discouraged, because I so want to get to the next step of this process, but I know I can't rush this either.

I am love seeing the characters that I've created come alive with the dialogue or fall flat. This is my chance to rework and rewrite until it shines and I truly want it to sparkle.  So, I will take my time and pray that this process doesn't take half as long as I think and that it brings forth a story worthy of readers.

Thursday, May 14

One step down, two, three, four more to go?

It's finally done. It took almost a year to complete, but tonight I printed out my first completed manuscript. At the halfway point I printed it out and was amazed with my efforts at that stage, but this is something different.

Just seeing the printed reality of so much hard work, late nights, and wondering if I would ever get to this point, makes this a night for celebration.
The weight of the manuscript in my hands made me smile. I can't believe that I actually typed all of those words. I know I want to be an author. I believe I have many wonderful stories to tell and now the first one is sitting next to me waiting for the next step.

60,252 words, 231 pages to be exact. It's a miracle...no it's my hard work. I want to scream at the top of my lungs, "I Finished It! I Finished It!" Yet, it isn't over yet. I still have to go through and edit for a fourth time, maybe a fifth time.

Then the scary part comes in. Giving it to other people that I know and a couple I don't to read and critique. Will they enjoy my story? Will they turn the pages in anticipation of what is coming next? Will they be able to give me constructive criticism that will make my book even better?

But the most important and scariest question remains: What if they hate it? The butterflies in my stomach are fluttering around even now at just the thought of failing to please as a writer.

I want to celebrate phase one, but I know it's just the beginning of this journey. In the beginning when I had less than 5,ooo words, I thought the hard part would be getting to 60,000 words or two hundred pages. Now, I believe the most difficult challenges lay ahead. I will dwell on that tomorrow...right now I celebrate with a glass of wine!

Monday, May 11

Getting Creative...Despite Interruptions

One of the hardest things about being a writer is finding the right time and moment of creativity to put the scenes playing out in your head on paper. The challenge for me is doing that with the distractions that come along with being a SAHM.

Some days I wake up and know exactly what I want to write and I come to the computer rearing to go, my fingers rushing over the keys to get the scenes down, while every two minutes one of my little darlings are calling my name. Talk about frustrating. Interruptions disrupt the flow of creative writing.

Other days I stare at the screen trying to figure out what or where to go next with the dialogue. But what is the most annoying for me is having an idea of what I want to write and waiting for those snatches of minutes to get it down.

Sometimes it happens and other times I find myself looking at the clock after the kids are in bed and I think.."I'm mentally whipped." My last creative thought escaped out of my head three tantrums ago.

That being said there is nothing for me besides singing that is as exciting as finishing a scene and seeing the characters coming alive on screen. Creating is so much fun and keeps me sane in the insane world of toddler speak and preschooler questions.

Back to writing...

Thursday, May 7

Beauty


Sable skin so silky smooth
Luscious lips
Cinnamon hued

Curvy
Thick
Ebony sweet

Fabulously full figured
Beauty head to feet

Regal sashay
Crown of curly coils
Eyes follow me
As if I pose

Embrace me
Adore me
For I am righteously designed

I am Beauty
Simply Divine




This poem flowed one morning after I had finished untwisting my natural hair. I stood back in the mirror and felt 100% beautiful. Like most women, I've struggled with loving the reflection in the mirror and even now the mirror I believe mocks me some days.

Being a black woman I can admit that I have struggled all my life to embrace what is me. My skin, my now natural hair, my thickness, and even my behind. It has been an arduous process. A tearful journey to arrive where I am today.

Loving me, all of me, because that's is how God made me. Yes, I still want to lose the last of the baby fat and yes I still turn around and ask the silent question..."Is my butt to big?" But, I no longer voice it out loud, because I've realized when you do no answer will ever satisfy. It's all up to me to stop asking the questions and know the answer- I am beautiful, because I Am...

Wednesday, May 6

Blogger Beginner

Writing has always been an outlet for me. Since middle school I can remember taking out my journal before going to bed to write down what happened that day good or bad. Having a journal was a way to privately exercise out the demons within on paper, while knowing nobody would read about my inner struggles as I poured out my heart.

I cherish my journals and sometimes open them to read about happier and not so happy times. They serve as a testament of my childhood, teenage angst and emergence into adulthood. I think everyone should take the time to write down the good, the bad, and the funny.

Blogging seems foreign to me even though I love to write. Who is this for? Me or the world?

I guess both and that is a little bit scary and exhilarating. I have decided to blog about my journey to become a published author and share some of my personal prose and poetry that I've already published online.

Blogging is a new journey and I am looking forward to seeing where it leads...