National Poetry Month 2018

So, the month of April is National Poetry Month, and I have been doing my duty of creating new poems to celebrate my chosen creative style of writing. In total, I have composed 32 poems in this month alone. For some reason, I just have been inspired to write new poetry. I even began the revisions for my book of poetry titled “Words of My Heart”, which I plan to re-release this year. I have written poems spanning many different subjects and genres. I’m looking forward to seeing how the revised version of my collection of poetry will turn out. I also have the awesome idea of producing the finished poetry collection as an audio book. Whether I will read the poetry myself, I’m not sure yet, but I would love to hear how my own words sound spoken aloud.

Well, to celebrate the ending of National Poetry Month, I want to share a poem I wrote a few years ago. In this poem, I compare writing to therapy, because for me, that is how I see writing. It is a way for me to express my deepest feelings. When I write, it brings me peace. No matter what I’m going through, once I put my thoughts to paper, everything seems like it will work itself out.

Therapeutic

My pen dashes across the page.
Writing what I can’t say aloud.
My worries.
My troubles.
The tears trickle down my face.
As I continue to write.
Everything I’m feeling.
Scribbled onto these once blank pages.
So much to say.
But I don’t have the voice to say them.
So I write.
I write to ease the pain.
A single tear drops.
And smudges my ink.
But I write on.
Pouring my all into these words.
No time to stop now.
I have to get them out.
My heart races with the speed of my hand.
Making sure not to forget a single word.
It’s like magic.
These words that I write.
Every word expertly placed.
Exactly where they’re supposed to be.
No mistakes.
They’re perfect just the way they are.
My hand begins to cramp.
But I won’t stop.
This is what I need.
So I must go on.
This is the only way.
Nothing else will do.
Music could probably do the trick.
But this is my way.
My special remedy.
To rid myself of my internal pain.
I don’t have to think too hard.
My pen does what it’s good at.
Getting everything down just right.
The way I want it to be.
Pages flip.
And I continue to write.
There is so much I have to say.
And there are plenty of lines to fill.
Hours upon hours.
Day into night.
And I continue to write.
My hearts way of healing.
No psychiatrists.
Or counselors will do.
Just me and my trusty pen.
Will get the job done.
The more I write.
The lighter my heart feels.
This is exactly what I need.
A way to cope with the pain.
Writing is my therapy.
And it suits me just fine.
There is no cost for these sessions.
And my feelings are my own.
I understand what I’m feeling.
And I know the cure.
From my heart to these blank pages.
My pain is no more.

What is thereputic for you? Leave me your thoughts below.

Author Q and A: Maria Vermisoglou

Author Maria Vermisoglou smiling

“Magic is in our minds. Authors make that magic real.” – Maria Vermisoglou

The Cursed Girl Volume 1

Blaque: Welcome back to another edition of author spotlight. Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with author Maria Vermisoglou. Welcome!

Maria: Thanks so much for this opportunity.

Blaque: No problem at all. I’m just doing my part. Authors supporting other authors.

Maria: Yes, that is so nice of you.

Blaque: So Maria lets get started with your interview. I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

Maria: Sure.

Blaque: Where are you from?

Maria: I’m from Greece, and yes, I wrote my book in English. I am the exception to the rule.

Blaque: That is quite fascinating! Your English is very good, if I do say so myself.

Maria: Thank you.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

Maria: My goal as an author is to have my books loved by readers all over the world.

Blaque: So, tell me. What kind of child were you growing up?

Maria: I was shy and could be found always reading a book. Also, my mind was in the clouds, meaning I day-dreamed a lot. LOL.

Blaque: As authors, we all have those moments when story ideas won’t come to mind, or we are stuck on a particular part of a story for which we can’t see where to proceed. How do you deal with writer’s block?

Maria: I stare at the ceiling for ideas. I don’t get writer’s block often, but sometimes I just don’t want to write.

Blaque: What is your fondest childhood memory?

Maria: Christmastimes with the family are my fondest childhood memories. The entire family would gather around the table and there would be enough food to feed an army. We would talk together and have fun. We would also open presents. I guess that is why Christmas is still one of my favorite seasons of the year.

Blaque: Are there any other published authors in your family? (Self-published or traditionally published.)

Maria: No, I am the only published author, but we do have some artists in the family.

Blaque: I’ve never really been into the stars, signs, and moons craze that people speak so highly of, but I have found that most of the characteristics of my zodiac sign fit me perfectly. What is your zodiac sign?

Maria: I am proud to be a Sagittarius.

Blaque: If you were offered an all-expense paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?

Maria: There isn’t one particular place I would visit. I would travel all over the world. I love traveling, and I think that every place has its own unique beauty and magic.

Blaque: Do you prefer writing your first drafts on paper, or on the computer? Why?

Maria: I prefer to write my first drafts on the computer, because I can erase them without leaving smudges. Sometimes though, I do write down my ideas on paper.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

Maria: I don’t really have one in particular, but I do enjoy listening to soundtracks, pop, and rock music.

Blaque: We can find inspiration for a story anywhere. Where do you get most of your story ideas?

Maria: I get most of my story ideas from other books – a book can spark another idea, but also from places or movies.

Blaque: What did you want to be when you grew up? Is that the occupation you’re in now?

Maria: I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I wanted something related to books. I am a librarian, so the goal was achieved.

Blaque: Many of us have other gifts besides our gift of words, do you have any other talents besides writing?

Maria: If making handcrafted items is a talent, then yes, I suppose I do. I make handmade items like bracelets, key chains, and candles.

Blaque: Yes, homemade craft making is definitely a talent.

Maria: Well, then I do have another talent. LOL.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite book?

Maria: The list is very long, but I will only mention two this time. The first is the Harry Potter series, because it taught me to love books – I hated them before. The second is “The Mortal Instruments”, because this was the book that inspired my own series.

Blaque: Have you ever used people you know as characters in your books?

Maria: Yes, some of my characters were inspired by people I know, or their character traits.

Blaque: Feedback from our readers are what makes writing so worthwhile. To know that someone enjoyed something that we produced, keeps the love of writing going. How does it make you feel when a reader tells you that they enjoyed reading your book?

Maria: I am overjoyed when a reader tells me they enjoyed my book, but when they tell me things like “When does the next one come out?” or “It should be a movie”, then I am over the moon.

Blaque: What is your favorite type of dessert?

Maria: Anything involving chocolate is my favorite type of dessert, but not always.

Blaque: We learn a lot in life as we grow and mature. If you could talk to your younger self, what would you tell him or her?

Maria: I would tell her not to worry too much.

Blaque: If you could co-write a book with any author, who would it be, and why?

Maria: I have a lot of favorite authors, but I would like to co-write with an author who is just starting his/her career, because I want to help them develop, and we could learn from each other.

Blaque: What show did you enjoy watching as a child?

Maria: I enjoyed watching Pokemon. I always got up in time to see it. It was one of my favorite shows.

Blaque: When we’re starting our writing careers, we often find ourselves experiencing some difficulties. What has been the hardest hurdle you’ve had to jump over while embarking on your writing journey?

Maria: The most difficult thing for me was killing a character. This was my first book, so I made the mistake of getting too close with my characters. I didn’t want to kill one of the characters, so the book was delayed. One day, I said that I would do it. I couldn’t delay it any longer. I did it, and it was painful. After that, killing other characters was easy. Another difficulty was the whole publishing process, because English isn’t my first language, but I managed.

Blaque: I’m glad to see that you overcame your hurdles, and now you have a published book to show for it.

Maria: I’m glad of that also.

Blaque: Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?

Maria: Eva. She is my main character, and the difficulties she has to face are great, but she does get over them and comes out stronger than ever. I also love her because her mind is set to save everyone, even if that is a stranger. She will walk through hell and fire to save the ones she loves. She is a storm.

Blaque: What are you currently working on?

Maria: I am currently working on the second volume of the cursed girl series.

Blaque: Describe your latest book in just ten words.

Maria: My latest book is my first. I am just starting out, but the words I have for it are: Love, friendship, twists and turns, backstabbing, thrilling, and amazing.

Blaque: Well, we have come to the end of another insightful author interview. I just have one last question for you Maria. What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

Maria: My advice would be to write, write, and write! Write even if you think it’s pointless. You can see a tunnel right now, but in the end, you will see the light bright and shiny. Every successful author before you started small and everyone knows them now. If they can do it, why can’t you?

Blaque: Very good advice. You can do anything you put your mind to. All you have to do is do it. It was so nice speaking with you today Maria. I enjoyed getting to know just a bit more about the person behind the title of author, and I’m sure your readers did as well.

Maria: Thank you. I enjoyed sharing a bit more about myself so that my readers can know me more intimately.

Blaque: So, you know I can’t let you go without you leaving potential readers with your contact information, right?

Maria: Yes, of course not. Shall I go ahead?

Blaque: The floor is yours. Have at it.

Maria: Readers can like and follow my Facebook fan page here.
They can also follow me on Goodreads to keep up with my latest releases. If they would like to check out the book trailer for “The Cursed Girl Volume 1”, they can view it here.

“The Cursed Girl” can be purchased from Amazon by visiting this link.

Blaque: Thank you so much Maria for taking time out to visit with me today. Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

If you are an indie author, and you would like to spotlight on my blog, visit Author Spotlight and follow the instructions to submit your interview. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Words of My Heart Revisited

Book cover of Words of my heart poetry collection

Back in August of 2017, I released my first collection of poetry. The book consisted of forty-eight poems divided into seven categories. They were a combination of different poetry styles that I have learned over the years. I have been writing poetry since I first began to write, which was at the age of eleven, so “Words of My Heart” was compiled of poems spanning fifteen years of writing off and on.

I only published the poetry collection in an EBook format, because I didn’t feel that I had enough poems to successfully fill a hardback copy of the book. With only forty-eight poems, the book would’ve been pretty slim in my opinion, so I settled for just an EBook version. According to my readers though, they wanted a physical copy of the poetry collection. They liked the EBook version, but they wanted to actually flip through the pages of the book and read the poems for themselves. Which I can definitely agree with. There is nothing better than the feel of an actual, physical book in your hands, so I understand where they were coming from.

Well, I went back to the drawing board and started writing some new poems that I could include in an updated version of the book. Instead of the forty-eight poems I started with, I now have seventy-five poems that make up this poetry collection. I even added an extra category! Each section of the new version of “Words of My Heart” have poems specifically dealing with that category. I even have included some poems that I didn’t quite know where to put them, so I listed them as miscellaneous poetry. They are still poems, but they didn’t fit with any of the categories that I have selected to be included in the book.

So, now thanks to feedback from my readers, they will now have a physical copy of my poetry collection. I think this will be a nice little read to sink their teeth into. Seventy-five poems spanning eight different categories is a nice collection if I do say so myself. Who knows? By the time it is released, I might have included even more poems, so right now, it’s seventy-five in counting. LOL. In this poetry collection, I touch on different aspects of life. In my section of poetry titled, “Beat of My Heart”, I share poems dealing with love. Love is a roller-coaster in itself, so the poems in this section shows the ups and downs that love can take us through. Love can be oh so right, but it can also be oh so wrong, and these poems portray that exactly.

This collection of poetry now even includes a section of nature poems, which was not previously included. Nature is beautiful, so I decided to use my gift of words to explore the different beauties of God’s creations. I have always been told that I have a way with words, so I hope that my readers can take a look at life the way I see it. I will publish this new version of “Words of My Heart” as a second edition. I’m not sure if I will do away with the previous version yet, but more than likely I probably will. The old version will feel more like an incomplete version to me, and I don’t want readers to get that impression.

If you have already had the pleasure of reading the first version of “Words of My Heart”, then you are in for a treat with this new version. I put a lot of effort and time into making sure that I only selected the best poems I thought would entertain my readers. I have a little something for everyone in this new and improved version. My hope is that someone can take something away with them when they are done reading this collection. Whether its inspiration and motivation, a new outlook on life, adding some spice to their sex life, or just quenching their thirst for good poetry, I hope I have done my job correctly, and you are just waiting with baited breath to read another collection of poetry from me.

Right now, I don’t have an exact release date for this second edition of “Words of My Heart”, but it is definitely coming soon. Along with the release of this new version, I do plan on giving away free hardback copies to fans of poetry. Who doesn’t like free? LOL. I know I do, and if you’re a fan of poetry, that’s even better! Stay tuned to find out when the new version of “Words of My Heart” will be released. I’m letting my words flow from my heart to yours.

Author Q and A: Kelly Violet

Headshot of author Kelly Violet

Blaque: Welcome back to another spotlight author interview. Here with me on my virtual couch is author Kelly Violet. Welcome Kelly!

Kelly: Thanks so much for having me Blaque Diamond.

Blaque: You are very welcome. Anything I can do to help another up-and-coming author, I will do. Besides, some of the best books are still just waiting to be discovered.

Kelly: You’re right about that.

Blaque: So, what inspires you to write?

Kelly: The everyday inspires me to write. When a story comes to me, it mostly starts as an emotion. Something hits me hard. It could be a line in a movie, or something I witnessed or remembered. Then parts of the story come together in my mind.

Blaque: Where is your favorite place to write?

Kelly: I have a favorite spot in the city I live in. I go there to soak up the environment and dig deep in whatever story I’m working on.

Blaque: It’s always nice to have a special place you can go to let your creative juices flow. It’s sort of like your own little private getaway. What is your favorite food?

Kelly: My favorite food of all-time is home-made macaroni and cheese. It’s the best at holidays and just every day, really.

Blaque: I can’t help but agree with you 100%. I love me some baked macaroni and cheese. Mmm!

Kelly: LOL. My thoughts exactly.

Blaque: So, where do you see yourself in five years?

Kelly: In five years, I’d like to be more advanced in both my careers. In terms of writing, I’d like to have a lot more novels and novellas published in all of the genres I’m interested in.

Blaque: What can bring tears to your eyes?

Kelly: A good, emotional commercial can get the waterworks going. Otherwise, it’s altogether too easy to get me crying. Songs and sad endings of movies do it too.

Blaque: I am totally such a cry baby as well. It doesn’t take much for me to get going. Happy or sad, I’m crying. LOL.

Kelly: Wow! That’s funny.

Blaque: Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing career?

Kelly: My mom, who I lost in 2017 and my younger sister have been my biggest and loudest fans. I have a small group of friends who’ve also been great supporters and from who I constantly ask advice and their opinion.

Blaque: What kind of child were you growing up?

Kelly: As a child, I was very bratty. Not rude all the time (I don’t think), but I definitely had a mouth on me. In school, I was well behaved and studious.

Blaque: Out of the books you have published, which is your favorite, and why?

Kelly: I think Touch Me Softly will always have a special place in my heart (and so will Wyn and Rafe!), but as for my favorite book, I don’t think I’ve written it yet.

Blaque: I can understand that completely. I don’t think I’ve written my favorite book yet either. What is your favorite color?

Kelly: Violet will be my cheeky answer. Honestly, I like shades of purple and gray.

Blaque: LOL. I came to that assumption from your name.

Kelly: Yeah, my name makes it sort of obvious. LOL.

Blaque: Do you prefer writing your first drafts on paper, or on the computer? Why?

Kelly: I do a lot on my computer nowadays. It’s easier for me. I write on my phone from time to time. I have written on paper before, but it’s just not the best way when I have so many devices now.

Blaque: Where do you get most of your story ideas?

Kelly: I get most of my story ideas from movies, television, or conversations I have. Also, I think back to certain experiences I had or things I’ve seen and think “what if?” What if this happened instead? Or what if I said this, what would happen. That’s what starts a lot of my stories. The more suspenseful stuff, I guess it comes from the dark places in my mind. LOL.

Blaque: If you were offered an all-expense paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?

Kelly: It’s so hard to choose only one destination!

Blaque: Well, for this question just one will do. LOL.

Kelly: I’d have to go with any place in Europe (spoiler alert: cheat answer) because I could hop over to any country so easy once I land in Europe.

Blaque: Uh-huh! Clever rascal! LOL. I’ll let you have that one.

Kelly: LOL. Sorry.

Blaque: Have you ever used people you know as characters in your books?

Kelly: Yes and no. I use personality traits or stories mostly and expand or change things.

Blaque: I understand that. I have done the same thing in my own writings. So, if your best friend could describe you in one word, what would it be?

Kelly: Loyal.

Blaque: Great! Loyalty is definitely a great personality trait to have. Do you write full-time, or is writing like a second job?

Kelly: Currently, writing is a second job. Like most folks, I’d like to work at this for more hours in the day, but I love my other career. Ideally, I want a nice balance between the two.

Blaque: Are you a cat, or are you a dog person?

Kelly: I am a dog person. As I get older I don’t mind cats anymore, but I will forever be a dog person.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

Kelly: I’d like to write books that people will read and enjoy, an auto-buy author for readers. Making lists and winning awards would be nice, but that’s not my end goal. If I achieve those things that wouldn’t mean I was done. I want to push myself for greatness, but on my terms.

Blaque: If your parents could see you right now, would they be proud of you?

Kelly: Yes, I hope my mom would be proud of me. She read some pages of one of my WIPs, and she was so excited, wanting more. I got the greatness charge with that feedback from her.

Blaque: no matter how many books we have already published, most authors always have something in the works. What are you currently working on?

Kelly: I’m working on a New Adult standalone novella. I’m really excited about releasing this story in 2018. I was inspired by a line of poetry in a movie. It triggered my brain in some way, and a piece of poetry practically starts this story.

Blaque: What inspired your latest book?

Kelly: As men and women, we all have baggage. Things that we wished we could change. Experiences that haunt us and try to pull us down into the darkness. Wyn and Rafe find each other the exact moment they are supposed to. And I wanted to write about some of the experiences we have and that moment many of us wish for.

Blaque: How would you describe your personality?

Kelly: I’ve been described as bubbly before. I’m loyal, funny, sarcastic, and observant. Quiet at times, I’m usually sizing situations (and people) up but I also am reading the room to figure out where I fit in, or not!

Blaque: What show(s) did you enjoy watching as a child?

Kelly: I loved the TGIF lineup on ABC in the 90s! Can’t really pick one show.

Blaque: When writing, the word count in some cases is important, and in others not so much. What is the word count of your longest publication?

Kelly: Touch Me Softly is approximately 89K.

Blaque: Wow! A nice bit of book to sink your teeth into.

Kelly: Yes, it is.

Blaque: Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?

Kelly: Not yet. I really love Wyn and Rafe because they’ll always be the first characters I fully developed. I still have so many characters inching to get out.

Blaque: Well, this interview is coming to a close. I have enjoyed getting to know more about you and your writing.

Kelly: I have enjoyed letting my readers get to know a bit more about me as well. Author is just one of my many hats I like to wear. LOL.

Blaque: I can definitely relate to that. I have just one last request for you. Describe your latest book in just ten words.

Kelly: Angsty, emotional, flirty, hesitant, hopeful, touching, rocky, swoon-worthy, heartwarming, life-altering

Blaque: What great words to describe your work! So, before we shut down this interview, would you like to leave readers with your contact information so that they can reach out to you?

Kelly: Sure. Readers can find me on social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. They can also visit my website at Kelly Violet’s Website.

cover of touch me softly book

Blaque: Thank you so much for speaking with me today.

Kelly: No, thank you for this great opportunity!

Blaque: Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

If you are an indie author, and you would like to spotlight on my blog, visit Author Spotlight and follow the instructions to submit your interview. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Seasons Come Around

Autumn leaves of different colors

Reds, oranges, yellows, and browns.

Are the colors of the leaves that cover the ground.

They make such a beautiful and colorful sight.

Even though you can’t see their brilliant colors at night.

The wind carries the leaves away like loose bird feathers.

Crisp and cool is the air in this type of weather.

Rake up the leaves for jumping fun.

Is this your favorite season of the year, autumn?

Burr it’s so cold.

The air bites at the tip of your nose.

The world looks like melted marshmallows.

Because everything is draped in fluffy white snow.

Bundle up when you go out there.

You might freeze if you get kissed by that air.

Your breath floats like a speech bubble.

If you like hot chocolate, make it a double!

Beautiful flowers blooming all around.

Pollen drifts slowly to the ground.

Birds busy with activity as bees.

Building new homes among the trees.

Spring gives the sense of new life.

The perfect weather attire is something light.

Everything seems so fresh and clean.

All the trees and lawns are beautiful greens.

The sun is like a big orange ball in the sky.

Family’s summer picnics are invaded by flies.

Pools are full of people trying to stay cool.

As the children play on the playground of closed schools.

The concrete bakes like an apple pie crust.

Trips to the beach are a vacation must.

Cold glasses of lemonade quench the thirst.

And then the sky opens with a summer rain; cloud burst!

Author Q and A: David Harris

Author David Harris wearing glasses and smiling

“Dreams can come true if you put God first, and are willing to work hard to make them so.” – David Harris

Blaque: Welcome back to another edition of author spotlight. My guest for today is author David Harris. Welcome David!

David: Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share my creations with the world.

Blaque: You are very welcome. It’s a personal treat for me to have the opportunity to speak with so many amazing authors all over the world. Let me start this interview off by asking, where are you from?

David: I am from the small town of Grifton, North Carolina.

Blaque: Wow! Another North Carolinian. I’m in the city of Greensboro.

David: It’s nice to meet another author who is also from North Carolina

Blaque: Yes, it is always exciting to meet someone else from your neck-of-the-woods. So, how many books have you published to date?

David: I have published twelve books to date.

Blaque: Impressive! Where is your favorite place to write?

David: The kitchen table is where I prefer to do most of my writing.

Blaque: Out of the books you have published, which is your favorite, and why?

David: “The Bible and Slavery” is my favorite book that I have published, because it reveals what slavery is and it’s true origin.

Blaque: What is your favorite food?

David: Tuna is my favorite food.

Blaque: What kind of child were you growing up?

David: I was a very inquisitive child growing up.

Blaque: As authors, we all want to feel like we have contributed something to the world of literature. What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as an author?

David: Completing all twelve EBooklets in a timely fashion, and receiving thanks from those who benefited from them is my greatest accomplishment as an author to date.

Blaque: What is your favorite color?

David: My favorite color is blue.

Blaque: Where do you get most of your story ideas?

David: I get most of my story ideas from the bible.

Blaque: As an author, I’m sure you are also a reader, so what is your all-time favorite book?

David: The Holy Bible is my all-time favorite book. To be more specific, (KJV 1611) is my preferred version to read.

Blaque: If you had a million dollars to donate to a worthy cause, which would it be, and why?

David: If I had $1,000,000 to donate, I would donate it to the National Jewish Hospital for Children. I’ve been a regular donor for many years, and like giving to kids.

Blaque: That would be a great cause to donate that amount of money to. I’m sure the children would greatly appreciate what those funds could do for them.

David: Yes, I’m sure of that as well.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

David: I really enjoy old southern gospel music and classical music like, Debussy, Bach, Mozart, and Dvorak.

Blaque: Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?

David: Yes, I do. Her name is Sheba from my soon to be released book, “A Song for Zipporah.”

Blaque: What show(s) did you enjoy watching as a child?

David: I had many favorite shows I enjoyed watching while I was growing up, but “Little House on the Prairie” was my favorite of them all.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

David: I’d like to tell my story, share my passion, and make a good living doing it.

Blaque: Cookies, cakes, brownies, and the list goes on. Such deliciously sweet treats. What is your favorite dessert?

David: My favorite dessert is banana pudding.

Blaque: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

David: When I’m not writing, I enjoy painting old houses, and doing minor home repairs.

Blaque: Are you a cat, or are you a dog person?

David: I prefer dogs any day over cats.

Blaque: What makes you uniquely you?

David: What makes me unique is that I have a good memory of dates, birthdays, ages, and account numbers.

Blaque: Well, it seems that we both have that unique talent. LOL.

David: Wow! Interesting.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite movie?

David: “Ben-Hur” is my all-time favorite movie.

Blaque: If your best friend could describe you in one word, what would it be?

David: If my best friend could describe me in one word, it would be daddy.

Blaque: How would you describe your personality?

David: I’m easy to get along with, but not a push over.

Blaque: What is your favorite holiday, and why?

David: Veteran’s Day is my favorite holiday. It recognizes those who served and made sacrifices for everyone.

Blaque: I can certainly understand why that would be your favorite holiday. If it wasn’t for our veterans, we wouldn’t have our freedom.

David: That is correct, so that is why they should be celebrated.

Blaque: Having short-term and long-term goals is very important. Where do you see yourself in five years?

David: In five years, I plan to retire and travel around the US.

Blaque: What are you currently working on?

David: I’m in the final stages of completing my 200 plus page historical fiction story entitled “A Song for Zipporah.” She was the Ethiopian wife of Moses. The book fictionalizes how life was for her prior to encountering him and culminates with a wonderful musical wedding.

Blaque: Finally, describe your latest book in just ten words.

David: Hmm… It is very creative, very inspiring, and mystically thought-provoking.

Blaque: What a way to sum things up! So, do you have a way for readers to check out your published books?

David: Yes, readers can check out my website here, where they will find all of my published books.

Blaque: Well, if you are looking for some interesting reading material, then check out author David Harris’s books full of knowledge, helpful scriptures, and his insightful thoughts.

David: Thanks so much for speaking with me today. I hope someone can find wisdom from my stories.

Blaque: I hope so as well. Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

If you are an indie author, and you would like an opportunity to spotlight on my blog, visit Author Spotlight, and follow the instructions to submit your interview. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Saved N Sexy Radio Interview: Blaque Diamond

Saved N Sexy Radio Flyer advertising Blaque Diamond interview

On March 2, 2018, I had the opportunity to appear as a guest on Saved N Sexy Radio. I always love doing interviews of any kind. The more exposure I can get myself, and my business, the better. It was an interview full of inspiration and insight into how I became the Blaque Diamond I am. The ladies made me feel welcome and comfortable to talk about myself and my books. I have been invited to participate in future interviews and other endeavors that will help to expand my brand and further my career. I am so thankful for the hospitality shown to me, and I hope someone found, or can find inspiration, motivation, and encouragement from my personal story.

Get to know more about me and my life’s story. Check out the video below for the entire interview. Be sure to leave any comments, or questions you may have either on the video itself, or on this post. Thank you so much for tuning in!!!

Author Q and A: Monica Reed

Author Monica Reed smiling

picture of Renew Your Marriage book cover

Blaque: Today’s author spotlight interview features Monica Reed. She writes in the genre of nonfiction/religious fiction. Her books are meant to inspire and empower women and married couples everywhere. Welcome Monica.

Monica: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me.

Blaque: No problem at all. I love women who make it their mission to inspire and empower other women. We all need to look out for each other. It’s great that you are putting your personal stories into a book to help others out there.

Monica: Yes, I share my life’s experiences in this book to let women know that they are not alone, and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I also include key elements relating to marriage, and how to keep things going despite setbacks.

Blaque: So, how many books have you published to date? (Compilations and anthologies included.)

Monica: I have published one book so far, “Renewing Your Marriage”. I was also a contributing author to “Thriving Entrepreneur”. I also have one book set to release in late February of 2018 titled “Renew You”.

Blaque: Great! Name three people who inspire you and explain why.

Monica: Wow! Only three? That’s hard. Oprah Winfrey is one, because she is willing to push through and show up powerfully in front of the world despite what anyone said or thought about her. Mary J Blige is another, because she is the woman that I held onto when I was a young, confused teenage girl, and I admire her strength. Lastly, David and Tamela Mann, because my husband and I met them during a time that our marriage was falling apart, and they displayed true love, the same love my husband and I showed when we first met. They honor their family unity just like we do.

Blaque: If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Monica: What women feel they have to go through mentally and physically to be considered accepted in society is what I would change about the world.

Blaque: We all have different sources of inspiration when it comes to writing, what inspires you to write?

Monica: I am inspired by the women who struggle to have a voice in this world. I know they are just waiting for me to show up to open up the topics they struggle to share.

Blaque: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Monica: I see myself owning my own wedding catering hall for couples to have a place for them to come and renew their marriage vows

Blaque: That is a nice goal and future career choice. Weddings happen every day, so I know you will be up to your neck in wedding preparations. LOL.
So tell me, what can bring tears to your eyes?

Monica: The thing that can bring tears to my eyes is children who don’t have a fair chance at life.

Blaque: I can sympathize with that. There are so many lost children in this world.

Monica: Yes, there are.

Blaque: Are there any other published authors in your family? (Self-published or traditionally published.)

Monica: I just found out that I am the 1st published author in my family. It is an honor to be the 1st published author, because I personally feel that I have set a new goal for generations to come.

Blaque: If you had $1,000,000 to donate to a worthy cause, which would it be, and why?

Monica: I would donate to an organization that would build homes for the homeless and low income families, because everyone needs to have somewhere they can call home.

Blaque: Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing career?

Monica: My husband has been my biggest supporter in my writing career.

Blaque: What makes you uniquely you?

Monica: What makes me unique is no one has had the same combination of experiences in the order that I have experienced them to help the group of women God has sent me to serve

Blaque: If you were granted three wishes, what would they be?

Monica: My first wish would be to leave each of my children their own home fully paid off. Secondly, I would also like to travel the world. My third wish would be to live life in abundance.

Blaque: Sometimes the brain just freezes up, and ideas seem so far out of reach, how do you deal with writer’s block?

Monica: When I have a bout of writer’s block, I stop trying to create scheduled times to write. Instead I make inspired times to write. When I would create scheduled times to write, thoughts and ideas would not come to me. As the day would go on, I would have an inspired thought. I would stop or wake up and write them down immediately, because if I sat on the thought for too long, I would forget it.

Blaque: What is your favorite color?

Monica: Royal Blue and Silver with Glitter are my favorite colors.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

Monica: R&B and gospel music are my favorite genres of music.

Blaque: Do you prefer writing your first drafts on paper, or on the computer? Why?

Monica: I absolutely love writing my outline on paper, but audio recording my stories works best for me, because it captures the voice and tone in which I would tell the story in person.
I allow my walk of life to be part of my writing, because it is easier to write about, especially since I already lived it.

Blaque: Out of the books you have published, which is your favorite, and why?

Monica: My upcoming book scheduled to release in February titled “RENEW YOU” is my favorite because the book really brings out common personal issues and thoughts wives deal with every day.

Blaque: What is your fondest childhood memory?

Monica: My fondest childhood memory is summer break! At the end of the year, my elementary school teachers would clean out their classroom by giving the children the left over “dittos” (copied worksheets) and my sister and I would play school and take turns being a teacher for the day.

Blaque: Wow! That does sound like a memory I would want to cherish forever.

Monica: Yes, it was always so much fun.

Blaque: What is your zodiac sign?

Monica: I’m 100% Scorpio, and proud of it!

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite movie?

Monica: My all-time favorite movie is “Coming to America”.

Blaque: What is your biggest fear?

Monica: Dying young before I have completed my assignment as a mother or a woman here on earth is my biggest fear.

Blaque: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Monica: Spending time with my family and watching a really good movie is what I like to do in my spare time when I’m not writing.

Blaque: Life has so many lessons that we can appreciate. As we continue to grow and develop, the life lessons we have learned can help to impact our way of life. If you could talk to your younger self, what would you tell him or her?

I would tell her, “Baby, everything you are going through is necessary and is because God has something better for you in store. You are loved and protected by God.”

Blaque: What inspired your latest book?

Monica: When I talked about how my husband and I restored our marriage, people would ask “What did you do during the times it felt that only one of you were committed to changing?” That’s when I realized that I completely missed a whole chapter of my walk. I was now inspired to go back and tell the missing link, and “Renew You” was born.

Blaque: Describe your latest book in just ten words.

Monica: Transparent, relatable, transformational, connective, renewing, powerful, blessed, informative, accepting, and encouraging.

Blaque: Before we end this segment, I want you to leave a piece of advice for potential authors. What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

Monica: I would tell them, stop today! Don’t delay! You don’t have to be perfect to write your story.

Blaque: What an outstanding piece of advice. I hope that someone who has the desire to become an author will take heed to your words and pursue their dream.
Would you like to leave readers with your information so that they can follow/befriend you?

Monica: Sure. I manage a Facebook group called Marriage Matter – Couples Connect. If you are a married couple, please feel free to send a request to join the group. We talk all things marriage and ways to keep things on track.
I am also on Facebook if you would like to follow my Renew Your Marriage fan page.

Blaque: Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope some lucky couple out there will garner plenty of inspiration and guidance from your book, and your other activities all relating to marriage.

Monica: Thank you. Marriage is a beautiful union, but it takes a great deal of work to maintain.

Blaque: Well, thanks again for stopping by. I wish you luck on your writing journey. Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

If you are an indie author, and you would like to spotlight on my blog, visit Author Spotlight, and follow the instructions to submit your interview. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Author Q and A: Richelle Resto

Author Richelle Resto

Blaque: Well, it’s a new month, and it’s also time for a new author spotlight. Helping me to bring in the month of March, is Richelle Resto. Welcome Richelle!

Richelle: Thank you so much Blaque Diamond.

Blaque: No problem. Spring is on the horizon, so why not freshen up my blog with a fresh new interview?

Richelle: LOL. I’m glad I’m the person you chose to help you freshen things up a bit.

Blaque: I am as well. So, tell me about your book “The Gift of life Nobody Wanted: Your Tears have Purpose.”

Richelle: Well, I wrote this book to help women understand the rationale of the gifts of pain, devastation, rejection, and the purpose of tears. Throughout this book, I sprinkle little spiritual nuggets and strategies needed to triumph over years of pain.

Blaque: Hmm… Sounds interesting. Coming from someone who knows all about pain, it seems as if this book can perhaps help many women who don’t know how to deal with the obstacles that life may throw in their path. Tears can also have a cleansing effect on the soul. I had to learn that from first-hand experience.

Richelle: You are so right!

Blaque: So, where are you from Richelle?

Richelle: I’m proud to be from Durham, North Carolina.

Blaque: Oh, wow! I’m from Greensboro. I’m not originally from the area, but it has been my home for the past eight years. Durham is only a hop and a skip away from Greensboro.

Richelle: Yep. LOL. Durham is my home.

Blaque: Where is your favorite place to write?

Richelle: I enjoy writing near the water, and listening to the sound of the ocean.

Blaque: What is your biggest pet peeve?

Richelle: People that make excuses for not accomplishing goals is my biggest pet peeve.

Blaque: We all have that favorite something that we just can’t live without, what is your favorite food?

Richelle: My favorite food is Mexican and Seafood.

Blaque: How do you deal with writer’s block?

Richelle: I tend to eat ice cream and chew Super Bubble gum until my next thought generates.

Blaque: Wow! That’s different. I’ve never heard anyone say that before. LOL.

Richelle: Well, it works for me. LOL.

Blaque: What is your favorite color?

Richelle: My favorite color is purple and magenta.

Blaque: So, you’re a purple girl.

Richelle: Yes, ma’am.

Blaque: For most authors, writing is something they do on the side apart from a regular nine-five. Do you write full-time, or is writing like a second job?

Richelle: Writing is my passion, and not a hobby that I love to do every day.

Blaque: What is your favorite type of dessert?

Richelle: My favorite dessert is snicker bar cheesecake

Blaque: Where do you get most of your story ideas?

Richelle: Most of my story ideas originate from college experiences, family, friends, and journal notes.

Blaque: Do you have any other talents besides writing?

Richelle: Yes, my favorite talents include writing poetry and making t-shirt designs.

Blaque: Are you a sports fan? If so, who is your favorite team?

Richelle: My favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys for life.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite movie?

Richelle: My all-time favorite movie is “This Christmas.”

Blaque: I have several works in progress, but what are you currently working on?

Richelle: I’m currently working on two new releases: All Eyes on Me to Achieve My Destiny, and Married to the Church, Wife is a Mistress

Blaque: If your best friend could describe you in one word, what would it be?

Richelle: My best friend would describe me as SHY.

Blaque: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Richelle: My favorite thing to do is explore different types of restaurants, wrap up in my Snuggie and play Candy Crush.

Blaque: What inspired your latest book?

Richelle: These books were inspired by my husband and father-in-love.

Blaque: Are you a cat, or are you a dog person?

Richelle: I love my two pets Sir Julius and Princess Eva.

Blaque: Awww! What cute names for your pets. LOL.

Richelle: Yes, they are my world.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite book?

Richelle: My favorite book is “Woman thou art loose” by: T. D. Jakes.

Blaque: How would you describe your personality?

Richelle: My personality is fun, serious, and loyal.

Blaque: What show(s) did you enjoy watching as a child?

Richelle: My favorite show was Good Times.

Blaque: I agree one-hundred percent. I still watch reruns on DVD to this day. My favorite character of all was JJ, of course. He was dynamite! LOL.

Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?

Richelle: My favorite imaginary character that I’ve created is Lynette.

Blaque: Ok, before we wrap this up, describe your latest book in just ten words.

Richelle: This book offers spiritual nuggets to triumph over years of pain.

Blaque: I see you are a person who believes that there is purpose in your pain. I do as well.

Richelle: Yes, I do.

Blaque: What we go through in life helps us to become who we are supposed to be. You take the joy with the pain and make the best of it.

Richelle: I agree.

Blaque: Well, Mrs. Resto, I am so glad that you stopped by to speak with me today. It has been great getting to know you better.

Richelle: Thanks so much for allowing me this opportunity to speak with you. It has been my pleasure.

Blaque: So, any of you readers out there looking for some spiritual nuggets to get you through tough times? Check out Richelle Resto’s book “The Gift Nobody Wanted: Your Tears have Purpose. I’m sure you’ll find some wisdom and inspiration that will help get you through the murky waters of life.

The gift of life nobody wanted: your tears have purpose book cover

For more about Richelle and her books, check out her website here.

Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

If you are an indie author, and you would like to spotlight on my blog, visit Author Spotlight and follow the instructions to submit your interview. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Prisoner of Love

prison bars with hearts locked behind them

My heart wants exactly what it wants

Beating rapidly is my hearts response

I never want to lose this beautiful feeling

It’s my hopelessly imprisoned love you are stealing

Being shackled to you is something I don’t mind

Another love like this I won’t ever find

Cuffed together as eternal prisoners

This kind of love needs no weekly visitors

Locked behind our invisible bars

Our words of love carved like permanent scars

The bail to escape this love is denied

You wouldn’t be able to break out even if you tried

We’re caged together like two love birds

Our only conversation is the sound of our sweet words

We don’t need food we can survive off love alone

The next time we will see the daylight to us is unknown

The guards know they can’t break this love up

To get through to our hearts can’t be done with back up

The judge can throw the entire book at us

And I promise you that we won’t make a single fuss

We don’t mind that our love is locked down

Because when we are together our love is always around

There’s no need for fancy expensive lawyers

We’re guilty as charged so command your orders

There is no probation or early release date

I don’t want anyone else as my love mate

I’d rather we stay in our love cell together

With a love like this we can make it through whatever

My heart is jailed and yours is too

There is no other I’d do my time with than you

Author Q and A: Joseph D. Hayes

Author Joseph D. Hayes

Guardians of Salem book cover

Blaque: It has been a great month with all the wonderful authors I have had the pleasure of speaking with. For the last author spotlight of February, I am talking with Joseph D. Hayes, author of “Guardians of Salem”. Welcome Joseph.

Joseph: Thanks so much Miss Blaque Diamond.

Blaque: No problem. It’s nice to have you here. So, how many books have you published to date?

Joseph: I just published my first novel, “Guardians of Salem” last year.

Blaque: Ok, nice. You’re a first-time author. How does it feel to know that you have a book that millions of people will read out there?

Joseph: It feels amazing! It is such an indescribable feeling.

Blaque: Trust me, I know the feeling. LOL. What inspired your latest book?

Joseph: The children I look after at my day care center inspired my latest book.

Blaque: What inspires you to write?

Joseph: I’ve always been a story teller. Characters constantly live in my mind on a daily basis. However, my passion derives from inspiring children to read and write.

Blaque: Where is your favorite place to write?

Joseph: I would have to say my bedroom is my favorite place to write. It’s my zone. I can truly bring my thoughts to life.

Blaque: We all have our own ways to help get the creative juices flowing, how do you deal with writer’s block?

Joseph: I put music on to help me in times of writer’s block. The music helps me get in the mindset of the story.

Blaque: Do you prefer writing your first drafts on paper, or on the computer? Why?

Joseph: I prefer writing my first drafts on paper, because I do a lot of marking. It just feels more natural to me.

Blaque: Where do you get most of your story ideas?

Joseph: I am a big fan of superhero stories, anime, action, and Kung-fu movies. I also love to create the why in characters. What I mean by the why, is why does this character behave this way, or what motivates this character? I think character development is fun.

Blaque: Some authors are quite sneaky when they implement parts of their lives in their stories, and I am one of the guilty. LOL. Have you used people you know as characters in your books?

Joseph: Yes, I have. The cool thing about it was that I read the story to them, and they loved it.

Blaque: What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as an author?

Joseph: Publishing my first novel is my biggest accomplishment as an author.

Blaque: Yes, having the courage to push that publish button proves your passion for the art of writing. It can be quite intimidating when you go through the process.

Joseph: You’re right about that.

Blaque: Do you write full-time, or is writing like a second job?

Joseph: Right now, writing is a second job, but I write as a goal to become a full-time writer.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

Joseph: To touch as many lives as possible through my writing is my goal as an author. I would also love to see my writings on the big screens and television.

Blaque: How does it make you feel when a reader tells you that they enjoyed reading your book?

Joseph: It brings my heart joy. I put a lot of heart in to my writing. Whenever I receive a compliment from a reader, I am overjoyed and humbled.

Blaque: What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

Joseph: I would tell them to read and write! This will help them to find their writing voice.

Blaque: Now that readers know about you as an author, let’s learn more about you as a person.

Joseph: Sure.

Blaque: What is your favorite holiday, and why?

Joseph: I love Christmas! Everything about Christmas! From the celebration of my Lord and Savior, all the way down to the Christmas music. I must admit that I get a head start on the Christmas music in November.

Blaque: If you could change anything in the world, what would it be?

Joseph: If I could change anything, it would be me.

Blaque: What is your favorite food?

Joseph: I’m a sucker for Chinese food.

Blaque: As authors, we are also readers. How many books can you honestly say you’ve read in a single year?

Joseph: I would say a little over ten.

Blaque: What is your zodiac sign?

Joseph: My zodiac sign is Aquarius.

Blaque: What kind of child were you growing up?

Joseph: I was a kid with a very hyperactive imagination. I often acted out a lot of kung-fu and action movies on TV. I believe the most hilarious thing out of all this is the fact that I hated reading and writing when I was younger.

Blaque: Who is your favorite author? Why?

Joseph: I would have to say Mary “Honey B” Morrison. Her story telling skills are so vivid. She is the very reason why I started and got in to reading.

Blaque: I love her writing as well. I have read tons of her books and loved every one of them. Do you have any other talents besides writing?

Joseph: I can draw as well.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

Joseph: I would have to say Gospel is my absolute favorite genre of music.

Blaque: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Joseph: I’m either reading or drawing when I’m not writing.

Blaque: I am not a fan of sports at all, but are you a sports fan? If so, who is your favorite team?

Joseph: I’m a big football fan. Dallas Cowboys is my favorite football team.

Blaque: If you could co-write a book with any author, who would it be, and why?

Joseph: It would definitely be an honor to co-write with J.K. Rowling. She created a universe of characters that will be remembered forever. Enough said.

Blaque: Well, that looks like that just about does it for today’s spotlight interview. Thank you so much for sharing just a small bit of yourself with me and the readers today Joseph.

Joseph: You’re welcome. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share.

Blaque: Make sure to leave your social media contact information so that readers can follow your writing journey.

Joseph: Sure thing. I am on Facebook, and I can also be found on Twitter. Thanks again for having me.

Blaque: No problem. Keep encouraging the youth of today to read and write.

Joseph: I definitely will.

Blaque: Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

If you are an indie author, and you would like to spotlight on my blog, please visit Author Spotlight, and follow the instructions to submit your interview.

Author Q and A: Kevin D. Brady

Author Kevin D. Brady wearing a tie

“Both a man who says he CAN do something, and a man who says he CAN’T do something are probably both right.” – Will Smith

Blaque: On today’s author spotlight, I am speaking with author Kevin D. Brady. Thank you so much for joining me.

Kevin: Thank you for having me.

Blaque: so, how long have you been writing?

Kevin: Well, writing has always been a childhood dream of mine, but I took a break from writing to focus on other ventures. I entered into a Halloween writing contest in 1998 in the Statesboro Herald, and it sparked my enthusiasm to start writing again.

Blaque: Nice. So you have been writing for a long time, I see.

Kevin: Yes, I have.

Blaque: So, what inspires you to write?

Kevin: What inspires me to write is the thrill of telling a story to people and entertaining them, or making them laugh.

Blaque: Where is your favorite place to write?

Kevin: My favorite place to write is at my dining room table, where I open my laptop on one end of the table so that I can turn toward the television whenever I want to.

Blaque: It seems you enjoy watching television while you write.

Kevin: yes, I do.

Blaque: If only we had the power to make a difference in the world. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Kevin: If I could change one thing in this world, it would be getting rid of all nuclear weapons for good!

Blaque: Wow! That is definitely something that I would have never thought about, but I see your point. The world would be able to breathe just a bit easier if we didn’t have the constant threat of nuclear weapons hovering over us.

Kevin: That is my point exactly.

Blaque: How many books have you published to date?

Kevin: As of right now, I have published ten books.

Blaque: What is your biggest pet peeve?

Kevin: My biggest pet peeve is when my computer starts shutting down without warning to do updates. It causes me to lose info I have typed, due to not saving it in a timely manner. It infuriates me and makes me want to throw my laptop across the room. It seems like the programmers could make the computer warn the user something like, “The computer will shut down in five minutes. Save your materials NOW!!!!”

Blaque: LOL. I definitely agree with that. Sometimes I’m so engrossed in what I’m doing, I don’t think to save my work every time I type out something. That is so annoying.
Everyone loves to eat. Well, at least I think everyone does. LOL. What is your favorite food?

Kevin: My favorite food is shrimp fried rice. I love it cooked the way the local Chinese restaurant, Chinese Kitchen, here in Statesboro, Georgia, cooks it.

Blaque: Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing career?

Kevin: I would have to say that my wife has been my biggest supporter in my writing. Since I debuted three years ago, she has supplied me with story ideas for three of my novels, she has given me helpful advice in marketing my books, and assisted me in the designs of my book covers. She has been in my corner to bounce ideas off, and to offer moral and financial support as well.

Blaque: What is your favorite holiday, and why?

Kevin: My favorite holiday would probably be Thanksgiving, due to all the big spreads of food traditionally cooked on that day. When it comes around every year, I am always good and ready for the turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pie, and other sides.

Blaque: How do you deal with writer’s block?

Kevin: I deal with writer’s block by closing up my laptop and doing other things until I develop an idea that brings me back to my story, whether it’s a few hours, days, or even months.

Blaque: It’s always good to have people in your life who inspire you. Name three people who inspire you, and explain why.

Kevin: Three people who inspire me are Stephen King, and my late parents. I choose Stephen King, because he is such a prolific, legendary, and famous writer, who has written so many classic horror novels. Knowing that he rose from obscurity to become a nationally known literary genius, gives me the inspiration that I can do the same one day. My parents are the other two, because they did their utmost best raising me to be the man I am today. They raised me to work hard and to make an honest living within the confines of the law. They were my first test audience for my writing. They laughed themselves to tears at how funny “A Helluva Home” was when I first shared it with them, making me desire to keep adding to it.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite movie?

Kevin: My all-time favorite movie would have to be “Django: Unchained.”

Blaque: Oh, I love that movie too! Out of all the books you have published, which is your favorite, and why?

Kevin: Out of all my published books, my favorite would have to be “Ghostly Encounters” since it was a collection of true stories, and it just poured from memory as I wrote it.

Blaque: Do you prefer writing your first drafts on paper, or on the computer? Why?

Kevin: Since I was fortunate enough to get a laptop, I have preferred to start my writings on it. I can copy, paste, and edit easier. I don’t have to type it all up once I’m done with it like I had to when I was writing in legal pads and notebook paper since it’s typed from the get go.

Blaque: Where do you get most of your story ideas?

Kevin: I have gotten three of my story ideas from my wife. She furnished me with the ideas for “The Sinless House,” “Won’t God Do It?,” and “Blood Thirst.” The other seven ideas came to me on my own. “Ghostly Encounters” was a true tell all story that required no mental stress to write. I simply pulled it all from memory. “Funny Things Mama Said and Did” was just a collage of true story tidbits I put together in dedication to my late mother, who was quite humorous during her lifetime. “Fat-Man: the Dream Hero,” “The Officer,” “A Helluva Home,” and “The Self-Defense App” all came from my imagination. “K. D. Brady’s Four-In-One Holiday Collection was a marketing idea I came up with to offer my first four novels in one collection for the 2016 holiday season.

Blaque: We all have this thing, or things that scare us half-to-death. One of mine is being lost in a forest that keeps going around and around in a circle. No matter which direction I go in, I still can’t seem to find a way out. The spooky noises of the forest would add an extra layer of fear to keep me trembling in my shoes. What is your worst fear?

Kevin: My worst fear right now, is hearing that a nuclear missile has been launched, or seeing a mushroom cloud in the sky somewhere where a nuclear plant has blown up.

Blaque: Well, I can see why you would want to rid the world of nuclear weapons. So your biggest fear doesn’t become a reality.

Kevin: Exactly!

Blaque: What show(s) did you enjoy watching as a child?

Kevin: The show I enjoyed the most as a child was “The Three Stooges.”

Blaque: Writing a book and publishing it is an exhilarating feeling in itself, but feedback from readers makes it all worth it. How does it make you feel when a reader tells you that they enjoyed reading your book?

Kevin: It makes me overjoyed to hear that someone loved reading one of my books. It gives me the fuel I need to write again and again.

Blaque: What is your favorite type of dessert?

Kevin: My favorite type of dessert is a chocolate cake with about three golden yellow cake layers.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

Kevin: My goal as an author is to write a New York Times Bestseller like J.K. Rowling of the “Harry Potter” series.

Blaque: What inspired your latest book?

Kevin: “The Self-Defense App” is all of this app business that is so rampant in today’s society. There’s an app for this and an app for that. An idea struck me a few months ago saying, what if a person could instantly have a muscled up warrior show up at the touch of a button on their cell phone to defend them out of a hairy situation? Hence, my book was born.

Blaque: Writing and self-publishing isn’t as easy as people may think. What’s been the hardest hurdle you’ve had to jump over while embarking on your writing journey?

Kevin: The hardest hurdle I’ve had to jump over in my writing career has been finding a publisher to get me out there. I had been trying to get published since 1999 when I finished “A Helluva Home” and sent it to Dorrance Publishing, but I was quoted a price of $7,700.00 to publish five hundred paperbacks. After thinking all companies would have offers similar to this, I put publishing on the back burner for sixteen years until the idea to publish my true tell-all story struck me in 2015. It was then that I decided to ask about publishing on Yahoo Answers, and I got a reply from a young lady, who told me about FREE self-publishing through a company called Smashwords. After checking them out, I got my first novella, “Ghostly Encounters” published in e-book form with them, and after Googling to find a free paperback self-publisher on the internet, I found Createspace.

Blaque: Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?

Kevin: Yes, I do have a favorite character that I’ve created, and that character is Marcus Williams, who is “The Officer.” Marcus Williams is a man who transformed himself from a helpless victim into a lethal fighting machine, who is a force to be reckoned with.

Blaque: Before we wrap up your session, I have one last question for you.

Kevin: Ask away.

Blaque: What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

Kevin: The advice I would give anyone wanting to become an author is to not go into it without a back-up income source. In other words, have a bread and butter career that pays the bills without fail and delve into the writing as a hobby on the side. That way it is less stressful if your writing is slow to yield profits.

Blaque: Great advice. Many new authors get frustrated when they publish a book, and they don’t see the money rolling in automatically. Like any other business, you are going to invest more than you get out of it in the beginning, but if you stick with it and work hard to keep improving yourself, you will see the revenue you seek.

Kevin: That is so true.

Blaque: Thank you so much for an awesome interview!

Kevin: No, thank you. It has been a privilege speaking with you, and I appreciate the opportunity you have given me to share my books with the world.

Blaque: No problem. Well, leave potential new readers with your contact information so that they can check out your books and stay up-to-date on your writing career.

Kevin: Of course. Readers can visit my website Kevin D. Brady to check out my books.
I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Both of my books can be found on Amazon and Createspace along with my other titles.

Ghostly Encounters book cover

The Sinless House

Blaque: Thanks again Kevin for stopping by. Until next time. Happy writing!

** NOTE **

If you are an indie author, and you would like to spotlight on my blog, visit Author Spotlight and follow the directions to submit your interview. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Attention All Aspiring Authors

As some of you know, or maybe some of you don’t, I am a self-published author. My genre of choice is contemporary African-American fiction and poetry. I have published six books to date, and I’m in the process of publishing more. I am totally blind and have been writing since the age of eleven. Last year I took a leap of faith to get my work published and submitted some of my work to appear in an anthology. My work was chosen to appear in the book, and so my publishing career began. There were no proceeds from this anthology. It was just a promotional tactic to help aspiring authors get their foot in the door in the literary world. That was the first step I took to make my dream of becoming a published author come true. Since then, I have published my own books via Amazon’s Kindle, Ibooks, and Barnes & Noble and other eBook retailers.

Since I have gotten my foot in the door and have generated a fan base of loyal readers, I am extending the same opportunity to my fellow blind and visually impaired aspiring authors. I am putting together an anthology of short stories entitled United in fiction. This book will feature 12 authors, one story per author. Any genre is permitted except for children’s stories and erotica. The book will consist of many different genres and styles of writing, so I wanted to pick a general title. The stories have to be fiction, hence the title. Each story must be no more than 10,000 words and no less than 8,000 words. There will be no proceeds from this publication. This is just to help people who aspire to be authors get there foot in the door. I will take on the expense of editing, formatting, graphic design and publishing the book. It will be available in eBook format and paperback. People will be able to download the book free of charge from Kindle, Ibooks, Barnes & Noble, and other EBook retailers, but there will be a price to purchase the paperback version to help with cost of production.

This book will be published under my very own publication company, Diamond in the Rough Publications. I recently established my publishing company so that I can give other visually impaired and blind aspiring authors a voice in the literary world. For right now, I will be my only client until I build up enough revenue to take on other clients, but I will be producing anthologies so that you can have the opportunity to get your work published. Once I have generated enough revenue to take on clients, I will post a calls for submissions post, seeking books for publication. This has always been a dream of mine, and I am happy that I can have a hand in making someone else’s dream of becoming an author come true as well. There will be a contract for you to review and electronically sign, agreeing to the terms of the publication of your story in the anthology. It will all be simple enough for you to understand the terms of the agreement.

The deadline to submit stories to be published in, United in Fiction is May 31, 2018. I am looking to publish the book in late June, or early July of 2018. Not all stories submitted will appear in the book. They will be sent through a screening process by my co-editor who is helping me on this project. If your story is selected to appear in the book, you will be notified via the email you provide during the submission period. If your story is selected, you will need to provide a 100 to 150 word bio written in 3rd person along with the genre of your story. You will also need to include your social media links so that readers can follow, or befriend you if they choose. Providing social media links is strictly optional. Once the book is published, you will be provided with links that you can share with friends and family members. You will also be provided two physical copies at the expense of me, the publisher for your own possession. This is something that I thought would help those who do some day want to be authors. This is how I got my start, so I am providing the same opportunity for anyone who is interested.

You can send your submissions to Diamond in the Rough Publications. I will let you know when I have received your submission, and I will also notify you if any changes need to be made before the final manuscript is ready for publication.

Even though I was the only visually impaired person featured in the anthologies that I appeared in, my goal for this anthology is to feature only blind and visually impaired aspiring authors. It’s a way to showcase your talent for writing, and for you to have pride knowing that you have contributed to the publication of a book that the world will read. I look forward to hearing from anyone who is interested in being a part of United in Fiction.

**Note**

If you are already a published author, and you have your own Amazon author page, or Smashwords author page, please be sure to include your author name in your submission so that I can link you as a contributing author to this book. If you have not published anything yet, then this does not pertain to you. Also, the physical books will only be shipped in the US.

Author Q and A: SLF Entertainment

Charming without chance book cover
bad politics book cover

“Never settle even when you’re settling. Elevate!” – SLF Entertainment

Blaque: I’m back with another author spotlight interview. Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with SLF Entertainment. Thank you for stopping by.

SLF: Thank you for having me.

Blaque: So, let’s dive in and explore your life and what led you to become an author.

SLF: Let’s do it!

Blaque: What inspires you to write?

SLF: I have come across so many barriers. Some are big, and some are small, but they have all made me a better person. I get inspired by the things I go through and the things people I know, seen, or heard go through, and it’s all a part of life’s challenges.

Blaque: I love writing in my home office. It’s my place of peace. Where is your favorite place to write?

SLF: My bed is where I enjoy writing. I do just about all my writing in bed with the pillows propped up behind me against the headboard.

Blaque: What is your favorite season of the year, and why?

SLF: It would have to be spring, because I was born in April.

Blaque: Where are you from?

SLF: I am from Dallas, Texas.

Blaque: What show(s) did you enjoy watching as a child?

SLF: Martin, Arthur, Goosebumps, and Star Trek are among some of the shows I watched as a child. “One Saturday Morning” had all the Cartoon Network shows that I loved to watch. I also enjoyed watching Moesha, The Parkers, Living Single, etc. I was watching some of everything.

Blaque: The Parkers was, and is still one of my favorite shows to watch. I have the entire show on DVD for my watching pleasure. LOL. What is your biggest pet peeve?

SLF: I have a hard time leaving things alone; especially when it doesn’t look “perfect.” I am a reformed perfectionist. I say this, because not pushing a chair under a table, wet counters near the sink, no punctuation in sentences, misspelled words, uneven lines, and procrastination bother me, but not so much to the point that I could scream. It just feels out of place. When it comes to my own work, I had to learn that nobody’s perfect. I just do the best that I can, find a stopping point and move on.

Blaque: If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

SLF: We depend on fear way too much. Fear is like an annoying person that tries to denounce who you are, or what you have done. If we just stopped speaking out of fear, stop letting fear control us, and stop giving fear so much power, we could live our lives freely.

Blaque: Name three people who inspire you, and explain why.

SLF: My mother is one of the people who inspires me, because she is such an amazing, strong, and loving person. No matter what, she keeps her head up, and aims to do better each day. My family also inspires me because of their support and encouragement for me to succeed. Lastly, people that go after their dreams when facing adversity, because they know it’s possible to be and do whatever they want.

Blaque: We all have that food that we just have to have, what is your favorite food?

SLF: I love my greens: SPINACH, okra, sweet peas, salad, green beans, and sometimes kale. If it weren’t for Popeye, I don’t think I would love spinach as much as I do. LOL.

Blaque: I love all of the above greens except okra. Ewww! LOL. I can definitely do without that. What is your favorite holiday, and why?

SLF: I live for the end of every year: Thanksgiving and Christmas. Halloween, too, because I can watch scary movies back-to-back.

Blaque: How many books have you published to date? (Compilations and anthologies included.)

SLF: I have published three books: Charming Without Chance (2015), Charming Without Chance 2: Crimson Love (2016), and Bad Politics (2017).

Blaque: Where do you see yourself in five years?

SLF: In five years, I see myself enjoying my relationship with God, my family, my friends and all the good, positive things that I have experienced in life. I see myself getting to vacation whenever I want to. I also see myself working for myself with a great team of people, helping children and adults through my non-profit in my old neighborhood and spreading the love and message that God gave me to share.

Blaque: Sometimes the mind just draws a blank and ideas seem so far out of reach, how do you deal with writer’s block?

SLF: I don’t force the writing. I have to do something else like paint, read, or do a project. I leave the writing alone for a few days and then come back to it. Lately, I find what helps is to already have a plot going, and sometimes how I want the story to end.

Blaque: What can bring tears to your eyes?

SLF: A really sad movie can bring tears to my eyes. Whenever I can feel the tears coming, I look away and start shaking my head, and I say, “Awwww naw, they done got me for my tears.” LOL.

Blaque: If you had $1,000,000 to donate to a worthy cause, which would it be, and why?

SLF: Honestly, I would start my own non-profit in my old neighborhood. It would be two centers. One would be an afterschool facility for kids to be creative and educated. The second would be a place for adults to get their High school Diploma/GED, assist with finding employment and a home. It will also teach about the dollar bill and how to invest, save, and spend it.

Blaque: What kind of child were you growing up?

SLF: I was very quiet around others. A little shy, but mostly because I wasn’t quick to get comfortable around people outside of my family. At home, I was funny, playful, creative, and a big sister – most people thought I was an only child.

Blaque: Out of the books you have published, which is your favorite, and why?

SLF: My favorite would have to be my latest book, “Bad Politics” because I was able to learn from my first two books and apply that knowledge to it. And mostly, because I have wanted to write this story for years. A group of women working together to make their dreams a reality in the music industry – I felt it was a much needed story.

Blaque: Where do you get most of your story ideas?

SLF: Experiences I have gone through, or that others I do/don’t know have gone through inspire my stories. Little things like a quote, a song, or a random thought can give me a story idea.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

SLF: I love 90’s R&B all day, every day. I also enjoy smooth jazz.

Blaque: I am a huge 90’s R & B fan as well. What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

SLF: Stop saying “but” – “I want to write a book, but…” You can write a book or write anything you want. You can also self-publish like I have. You just have to research and commit to trial and error. You won’t know what can happen until you try it.

Blaque: That is great advice. I try to tell people that all the time. It’s not as hard as they think it is. As long as writing is your passion, you will know when you should begin, or how you should begin. Do you have any other talents besides writing?

SLF: Yes. I am a creative artist. I write songs, poetry, and short stories. I have my own painting business – Fascinating Paintings. I host my own podcast show – Characters Here, and I love Do-It-Yourself projects.

Blaque: How does it make you feel when a reader tells you that they enjoyed reading your book?

SLF: I feel all bubbly inside. It’s like getting an award for sharing my passion. It’s like a stamp of approval. I love feedback.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

SLF: I want to write full-time. Like, writing will be my day job. I want to be on a panel with other authors, and I want to sell 100 books a day.

Blaque: What has been the hardest hurdle you’ve had to jump over while embarking on your writing journey?

SLF: Self-doubt and fear have been my hardest hurdles. I have second-guessed myself and talked myself out of opportunities instead of putting my trust in God and allowing him to take over. By myself I knew I couldn’t do much, but with God, I can do all things.

Blaque: What inspired your latest book?

SLF: Not seeing enough representation of women standing together, working together, and uplifting one another inspired my latest book.
Blaque: Thank you so much for sharing things about yourself that I’m sure your readers didn’t know.

SLF: No problem. I want my readers to get to know the person behind the words.

Blaque: So, do you have a website where readers can check out your work and more about you?

SLF: yes, readers can visit my website here.

Blaque: And are you active on social media?

SLF: Yes, if any readers are interested in keeping up with me and my latest releases, they can follow me on Instagram and on my Facebook fan page here.

Blaque: Well, this concludes another interesting and informative author spotlight interview. Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

If you are an indie author, and you would like to spotlight on my blog, visit Author Spotlight and follow the instructions to submit your interview. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Someone Like Me

 

the sign representing the disabled

 

This poem is dedicated to anyone who may have a disability of any sort. Whether you are blind, deaf, wheelchair bound, have cerebral palsy, are autistic, an amputee, mentally disabled, etc, this poem is for you. We all deserved to be loved for who we are on the inside, not what people see on the outside. Love comes from the heart, not the eyes.

 

This poem was written specifically from my heart, but it represents all disabled people, and how we feel about how we are treated because of our disability. Men and women alike can relate to this poem. If you have ever been rejected in love because of your disability, this is for you. Know that you are worthy of love, and the right person will come along and see that.

 

You say I’m beautiful and sexy

But you could never be with someone like me

The fact that I can’t physically see

Makes me unworthy

Of being your girl

Or a part of your world

You like that I am intelligent

But the fact that I am blind makes it irrelevant

My personality turns you on

But for your image I am so wrong

You have a misconception

That my disability is an imperfection

My inability to see makes me less than

A real woman for a so-called real man

I am good enough for you to fuck

But at the thought of being with me you buck

What would your friends and family say?

If I had the fortune to meet them one day

Or would I just be your little secret

Your girl when convenient

If you really got to know me

Then you would clearly see

That just because I am different

Doesn’t mean you have to be ignorant

There is a whole lot more to me

Like love, compassion, and loyalty

Having a disability has its challenges

But doesn’t everyone have their own imbalances?

I am just as good as anyone else

I do my own thing, I take care of myself

But to you I am only just half a woman

So to love me is something you couldn’t

I’m independent

Not easily offended

By your lack of interest

Or hesitance for a commitment

But at the end of the day

No matter what you think or say

I know what I am worth

A blessing on this earth

A real man will see me

And know that I am worthy

Of being his girl

A part of his world

It will be your lost

Too late to defrost

Your cold closed heart

Since you didn’t want to take part

To see what could happen

For this you were slacking

So closed minded

By shallowness you were blinded

Oh I’m not angry you see

Because you missed an opportunity

To have someone like me in your life

As your girlfriend or even a wife

You left room for the next man

To get in where he can

Because he has no shame to be

With someone like me