THE EMERGENCE OF A LEADER

Written by: Wesley “Godfather” Hunter

 

A man can only teach what he himself has learned.

 

In this thing we call a ‘book game’ different people make it/succeed for varying reasons. To be clear, not all great writers achieve great notoriety or pools of riches, and not all poor writers flop like the dead-weight tomb they drop. Some succeed on popularity and their charismatic ability to draw a crowd (like the guy/girl in school just popular and adored for no identifiable reason) and their writing may be totally sub-par, others may succeed on the basis of hard work and dedication: they probe, they learn, they watch, they wait, they push and get that boulder up the hill, slowly but surely, until others take notice and lend a hand. They earn their way and they pay their dues. And, finally, at the very end of the chain, there’s talent; that one who can write their ass off and, truth is, they may or may not succeed, if they don’t get up and do the work, increase their popularity and try to become all three. For, talent alone is not enough, and even the best book ever written will go unread if no one ever knows it exists. And, this is what Silk White intrinsically understood.

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Silk White is a young 30ish CEO who’s building his own company, and gathering the all important distribution he needs to succeed. Not just another eBook CEO with a Fb profile, Amazon/CreateSpace account and a charming smile, this diverse author of 13 books went after it because he wanted it. He never let anything stand in his way,and when he faced a brick wall, he sought a way to get over it. He found a rope and he climbed.

A New York native, Silk White, now heads his company Good 2 Go Publishing. He’s picked up 4 other authors (a line-up which includes a children’s book, a Christian book and a horror story) and he’s just finished working on his 2nd indie film called No Way Out. So, is Silk White making it? Is he a success? Well, I’d say he’s well on his way, because, in order to succeed he well understood that he, first, had to be a student of the game, but, like he told me, he’s still learning everyday and still reaching out to network in order to share and exchange the hows and whys of this constantly evolving game. Because, no one starts at the top, and to know it all is to crash and burn, as we simply can not learn that which we feel we already know.

So, let’s hear it from, Silk White, CEO and avid student of the game.

 

Godfather: 13 books in the game. Talk about them. What are the titles and when did they come out?

Silk White: Married to da streets
Tears of a hustler 1-5
The Teflon Queen 1-3
Never Be The Same
Stranded
The serial cheater
Sweet Pea’s Tough Choices (children’s book)

Godfather: I know you’ve had some legal troubles. Talk about that?

Silk White: I got caught with a gun and drugs in 2003 and did two years.

Godfather: I’ve seen a few comments from readers who talk highly about your books. What sets your books apart?

Silk White: Basically, what I try to do is not the same ole same ole drug dealer story. I add a lot of other things in my books, I do it in a way that the reader won’t get bored.

Godfather: Were you self-published from the beginning? How much did you spend? What were your initial challenges? Tell us about your journey?

Silk White: Yes, I have been. It has been a rough and expensive journey all the leg work I had to do myself. All the different states I went to, I had to pay for it myself. I don’t even know how much I spent in the last seven years but it’s a lot .

 

Godfather: Is the book game easier or harder than you expected?

Silk White: No. It’s just like any other business, you are going to get out what you put in.

 

Godfather: Marketing. What are some of the marketing tricks you’ve learned along the way? What’s worked? What hasn’t?

Silk White: I’ve spent so much money In marketing, it’s not even funny. A lot of marketing tricks have helped me, and a lot of others haven’t. What will work for one person, won’t necessarily work for you. So you just have to go with what works best for you.

 

Godfather: Ebooks. Have they been profitable to you or do you find selling ebooks to be a challenge and, if so, why?

Silk White: I think that ebooks are a wonderful thing, it makes it easier and quicker for the author to get their work out there. The only problem with ebooks is that anyone can now upload a book and say that they’re an author. People who don’t have love for the craft but just looking to make a quick dollar.

 

Godfather: Distribution is a pretty big deal. It’s the holy grail to success in this industry. So, how did you obtain distribution and how would you advise others to go about it? Are there any short cuts or tips?

Silk White: For years I was trying to find a distributor to distribute my work, and repeatedly, I had door after door slammed in my face. I kept on doing my thing and a distribution company heard about the noise I was making and found me.

 

Godfather:  Social media. What social media sites do you find to be most beneficial/profitable?

Silk White: Social media is good, as long as you use it for what it’s for. I think it’s a good way to connect with readers that you may not ever be able to come in contact with.

 

Godfather: Tell us about Good 2 Go Publishing. How big is it? Are you looking to expand? What sort of materials are you looking for?

Silk White: I am currently taking submissions and yes I am trying to expand the company. All genres are accepted.

 

Godfather:  Expectations. A lot of us come out of the gate believing, ok I wrote a book, now it’s time to get rich. What do you say to them?

Silk White: I would tell a new author to not expect anything. If you come into this game expecting something, and you get the opposite, you’re going to be mad. I would say just do your best at promoting yourself, and trying to become a house-hold name. And the biggest key is consistency.

 

Godfather: The biggest mistake you’ve made so far, and what you’ve learned from it?

Silk White: I think it was have to be giving certain people consignment, I hate having to have to ask for my money. You should never have to ask for what’s yours, but you’re going to run across some people in this business like that.

 

Godfather:  The top 3 things you’ve done which you feel have contributed to your success?

Silk White: 1. Never gave up
2. Never stop trying
3. Never took no for an answer

 

Godfather:  What advice do you give the new guy with a manuscript and a dream?

Silk White: I’ll tell a new author, to be prepared to work. Nothing comes over night. They probably see a lot of authors eating, and say they wanna eat too, but trust and believe, those same authors that you look up to, had to go through the same thing, when they started their career.

Godfather:  Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Silk White: Yes. I would like to thank Godfather for this interview sorry it took me so long to get back to you.

 

Godfather:  How can you be reached?

Silk White: www.Good2gopublishing.com
Silkwhite212@yahoo.com
@silkwhite (twitter)
Silkwhite212 (Instagram)
Facebook.com/silkwhite212

Check out Silk White’s book now available at amazon.com

 

 

 

 

Wesley “Godfather” Hunter is a long time incarcerated author, who’s spent over 20 years seeking an opportunity, to get in the door and be recognized, Godfather, speaks, first hand, to the challenges which have plaqued the West Coast author in general, and the incarcerated West Coast author in particular.  <PARA >
Wesley “Godfather” Hunter is an L.A. native and author of the self-help/howto/ advisory /women’s empowerment guide EVERYTHING SHE SHOULD KNOW: What Daddy never told you and Mama never knew. As well as the autobiography TRUE BLUE: The life and times of a real and true Mafioso. Which journals his travels as a 98 Main Street Mafia Crip, begining in 1979, and takes into and through the case which finds him facing 36 counts of robbery, 2 counts of attempted murder on Deputies, a hostage situation and a 12 hr police standoff.With over 20 completed manuscripts, and having just signed with the indie-major DC Bookdiva Publications and Ben Official Books, you can expect that many more of Godfather’s titles will be coming to market soon.Having taught urban lit. classes, since in prison, added his ink to various projects, written poems and social political articles for various newspapers, etc. Godfather is no stranger to the art and craft of the pen. Author of fiction, non-fiction, self-help, howto, erotica, poetry, news articles, autobiography, as well as a frequent interviewer,  blogger and former spokesman, Godfather, is now ready to make some noise and he’s well prepared to do it.For more detail/info check out the detailed interview titled INCARCERATED SCARFACE on the all new hot spot for industry news www.StraightChaser.com and get to know this all around talent as he emerges from the shadows.

Overcoming Obstacles w/Author Nathan Welch

Get the first four chapters of “The Diary Of Aaliyah Anderson” for only $2.00 today! The money goes to promotion and marketing costs for the novel. Support the youth. Remember, the author of this article is only 17! :)

http://payhip.com/b/DhLU

“You either got time or money, can’t have ‘em both. A n***** with money, don’t have no time. A n***** with time, don’t have no money. We don’t have a lot of time around here ‘cause time is money.”

-Big Meech

Ever since it was announced that I’d be getting my first novel published, people have told me that my ambition and tenaciousness has inspired them. It’s incredibly humbling to have people say that to me. However, I tend to become irritated when these same people that I’ve miraculously “inspired” come up with every excuse in the book to justify their reasoning behind not chasing their goals. If another person tells me that they don’t have enough time to put in the work towards achieving prosperity, my head is going to explode!

Be clear, true success doesn’t come over night. Can we really count all the meaningless attention-whoring as success? Sure, it’s a quick come up but where’s the longevity in it? Eventually you’ll fade away into obscurity as the next internet phenomenon gets their fifteen minutes (or seconds) of fame in this short attention span having society we live in. True prosperity is worth putting your all into.

So, what are you doing to pursue your dreams?

While you’re working at that dead end nine-to-five job you hate, the successful, powerful people of the world are steady making moves. Why are you sitting back watching like a helpless spectator? You have all the resources at your disposal to make something out of yourself. The problem with most of us is that we don’t want or expect better out of ourselves.

I saw a Facebook post that I wholeheartedly agree with. No matter where you live on the earth, there are twenty-four hours in the day. What are you choosing to do with your time? I know I’m hustling like crazy trying to build a media empire for myself. Beyoncé, a name that was brought up in the post, recorded an album and released it on iTunes a few months ago without anyone knowing about it and it made record numbers! Don’t we all have the same hours in our day as Queen Bey? Let’s not forget, along with being a superstar artist, she’s a mother and a wife to one of the most prolific men in the industry. I ask again, what are you doing to pursue your dreams?

Nathan Welch, one of my fellow publishing label mates under DC Bookdiva Publications, has five published street classics on his resume. The most impressive thing about it is that he’s serving a life sentence in jail! He hasn’t let his situation limit him from chasing prosperity. Nathan put forth the effort to market his work to publishers and he hooked up with the right people that saw his potential. I chopped it up with him about how he was able to make the most out of his inconvenient situation.

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Randall: Without giving away too much of the plot, tell us what your new novel is about.

Nathan Welch: The novel is mainly about four women looking for love in Ohio who get in compromising situations because of their search.

Randall: The title Drunk In Love is interesting for many reasons. Beyoncé just released a smash single using the same name. Is this merely a coincidence or is it a parallel between what we can expect to read in the novel?

Nathan Welch: It’s merely a coincidence that the title of the book falls in line with Beyoncé’s single. However, as far as the sexual content is concerned, it’s definitely just like the Beyoncé song.

Randall: How have you been able to keep focus on your goals during this troubling time in your life?

Nathan Welch: I just maintain my discipline, my hope of turning a negative into a positive and my passion for doing what I love, which is writing. It helps me to escape the madness that I endure daily.

Randall: How did you hook up with DC Bookdiva Publications?

Nathan Welch: I hooked up with DC Bookdiva after I sent out sample chapters of my novels to several different publishers. She was the one that took a chance on me and the rest is history.

Randall: How instrumental has writing been to your life?

Nathan Welch: It’s been very instrumental, because it has given me a voice while I’m in this horrible situation. It’s also allowed me to gain a few fans who are really into reading my work. It has mainly given me the chance to make my mother proud of me, which is what I’ve wanted to accomplish my whole life.

Randall: As a writer and entrepreneur, it’s incredibly important to be resourceful. How have you used your current situation to propel you to success?

Nathan Welch: It’s very important to be resourceful because you never want to depend on others for anything. That’s an easy way to get disappointed. Being independent and resourceful is kind of like a guarding mechanism in all endeavors that you become involved in. Personally, I used my current situation as fuel to become a better man than I was in the past so I can be able to leave a mark on this world.

Randall: What other projects do you have coming up?

Nathan Welch:  I have a novel in the works that chronicles the life of a female gangbanger. It’s going to be interesting and it will bring a new flavor to the urban literature genre. I’m also planning to work on some fantasy novels. Who knows what the future holds for me? But one thing that I’m sure of is that I’m going to stay writing.

Randall: By the time this article is published, it will be read my many young people. What is your advice to them? Do you have any words of wisdom to give to the younger generation?

Nathan Welch: My advice to young people who want to become successful is never to quit on your goals and dreams. If you do then you will always ponder on the “what ifs”. If you choose to chase after your dreams, eventually you will push yourself hard enough to make them a reality. Stay focused and try to do all that you can to stay away from negative situations that can lead to incarceration and other life altering troubles. There are some mistakes you can’t come back or get any second chances from.

Last but not least, thanks for your time and the opportunity to be heard Mr. Barnes. I look forward to reading your book very soon. Make sure to let the world know that DC Bookdiva Publications is taking over the game, one book at a time!

Check out Drunk In Love on Amazon today! Don’t forget to leave a review!

http://www.amazon.com/Drunk-Love-Bookdiva-Publications-Romance-ebook/dp/B00JP0NE9K/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1397770840&sr=1-1

 

We came, we saw, we conquered! My debut publishing effort “Riverview High: Circumstances” reached #6 on the Amazon charts! Check it out for free for a limited time on Amazon today. Don’t forget to leave a review!

http://www.amazon.com/Riverview-High-Circumstances-Young-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00O2FCWGY/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Want more of Brianna, Maury and the Hendersons? Part 2 is available on Amazon as well!

http://www.amazon.com/Riverview-High-Against-World-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00O3GV498/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1412897767&sr=8-2&keywords=Riverview+High

“The Diary Of Aaliyah Anderson” is dropping this month!

Read The Pre-Release Preview: https://payhip.com/b/DhLU 

Preorder Now: http://www.amazon.com/Diary-Aaliyah-Anderson-Randall-Barnes/dp/0988762196/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404822785&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Diary+Of+Aaliyah+Anderson

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Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Was I right or wrong on this issue? I would love to hear from you! Contact me directly at:

Email: thediaryofaaliyahanderson@gmail.com

Kik: @AuthorRandallB

Ask.Fm: @YoungandGiftedBooks

Twitter: @AuthorRandallB

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randall.barnes.501

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Success By Any Means Necessary w /Author Michelle Roberts

“We declare our right on this earth…to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.”

-Malcolm X

“Limiting (adjective)

 Placing a limit on what’s possible”

One thing that irks me to no end is when I hear people trying to minimize the contributions that historic orators like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. As a matter of fact, it irritates me when I hear anyone that isn’t a practicing public speaker talk down on journalists, talk show hosts, presenters and those occupations and professions similar to those already named. How can you criticize someone for doing something that you wouldn’t have the courage to do yourself? Folks usually don’t even give applicable critiques and commentary. If the individuals on T.V. or radio heard what some of these haters have said from behind the comfort of their Twitter handle, I’d imagine violence would ensue.

From comedians to motivational speakers, the orators of our modern day time have an incredible task when they have to take on a restless crowd. Hundreds of thousands of eyes are leering at you, ready for you to evoke any emotion productive to your presentation. The public speaking field isn’t for the faint of heart. Trust me, I’m a witness!

However, a task that proves to be even more troubling than presenting your thoughts and viewpoints to a crowd of thousands is trying to convince yourself to be the best you can. We become so acclimated to our situations that we affirm negativity into our lives. Words have power and it’s toxic to speak death on your life. Speak affirmations of success. When you change your mindset, you realize that you must succeed by any means necessary!

Author Michelle Roberts has written a book of positive affirmations. She openly boasts about how affirming success yields great results, using herself as an example. Recently, I got a chance to talk with her about her book and having a positive mindset towards life.

 

Randall: What prompted you to write Affirmations For Success?

Michelle Roberts: I have been collecting affirmations for over 5 years and use them daily so I decided to share my love and belief with others. I believe you are what you say!

Randall: Do you think a person can be too young or old for success?

Michelle Roberts: You are never too young or too old. The determining factor is you! If you have an idea or dream go for and don’t stop. I went back to school after 40 and completed my BSM in management, got a Masters of Art in Leadership and will be starting Dissertation next year for Doctorate I will be 50 then. I have 2 daughters who are 19 & 20 who just launched their Natural Hair line, website and blog. I believe Success does not have an Age!

AffirmatoinsRandall: How can one change a negative mindset?

Michelle Roberts: You can change a negative mindset by what you think and what you say. “As a man thinks so is he or her” We become the Words we say every day. That is why I use affirmations. An affirmation is a statement that is carefully crafted to address an unwanted pattern and transform it through the use of positive thought. An affirmation or affirming statement can be a phrase that is written down or a statement that is repeated verbally. An affirmation may also be an audio recording that is listened to repeatedly. Affirmations focus attention on the positive outcome of a situation, and are structured to affirm that the positive outcome is already a reality

Randall: In your opinion, are relationships and success synonymous?

Michelle Roberts: Well, yes and  no. Yes you can have positive relationships that can foster and boost your success. However, I do believe no one can stop you from being successful but YOU. There is always someone who beats the odd despite having help.

Randall: Do you believe black women are at a disadvantage in the business world? Why or why not?

Michelle Roberts: I believe Black women have different challenges than our white counterparts.  For example, getting investors or having money set aside by parents to go into business. However I believe lots of doors are opening for women of color and we can succeed despite challenges we may come upon. We have a rich heritage of tenacity and winning against the odds.

Randall: How important is faith to success?

Michelle Roberts: I think faith is paramount to success, without my faith in God, I know I would not be where I am today and I would have long ago given up. My faith is my rock and my shield when the storms come.

Randall: What upcoming projects do you have on the horizon?

Michelle Roberts: I am in the Studio recording affirmations for Success on CD (I am very excited), I am receiving more speaking engagements around the country, I also have a book 7 Steps for Finding and Preparing for Networking Events, those steps help me build my Travel Business “Roberts Travel Services”.

Randall: By the time this article is published, it will be read by many young people. What is your message to them?

Michelle Roberts: Whatever you are dreaming to do just go for it and start, yes it may not be perfect , but you can always improve and always get better, but if you never do it you will have regrets and what if’s, don’t leave the earth with an I wish I would have done it. Do it now! Follow your passion and fulfill your dream

 

Follow Michelle on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/michellearobertinc

Website: http://www.michellearoberts.com

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/robertstravelservices/

Twitter: @Divamichelle44 Hash-Tag: #AffirmationsForSuccess

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/michellearobertsllc

 

 

The cover to my novel, “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson”. It’s coming in October!

Read A Free Preview: http://www.wattpad.com/story/6314747-the-diary-of-aaliyah-anderson

Preorder Now: http://www.amazon.com/Diary-Aaliyah-Anderson-Randall-Barnes/dp/0988762196/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404822785&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Diary+Of+Aaliyah+Anderson

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Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Was I right or wrong on this issue? I would love to hear from you! Contact me directly at:

Email: thediaryofaaliyahanderson@gmail.com

Kik: @AuthorRandallB

Ask.Fm: @YoungandGiftedBooks

Twitter: @AuthorRandallB

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randall.barnes.501

 

 

Talking Just To Be Talking

Many people run their mouths and don’t mean half the shit they say. And then there are those like K Sherrie.

This interview is a special one to me. When I first became acquainted with K Sherrie she was an aspiring author. We met in a Facebook group called Sisters into reading/Reviewing Book club where she is an administrator. Upon meeting, K Sherrie expressed interest in joining my Facebook group for Aspiring Authors. I added her to the group and she asked questions and participated in discussions. After talking to her, and assisting her with anything that I could, she has now accomplished her goal of publishing her first book.

ksherrie

K Sherrie is now working on Queen of DC: The Middle which is due out on Sept. 20th. While also working on a project titled Some People Were Made For Each Other. I am indeed so proud of this young lady for all of her hard work and diligence. It’s my pleasure to be able to present to others this great new author. Meet KSherrie.

Sheri: What have you written?
K Sherrie: I released my first book Queen of DC on June 24th of this year. I also have a somewhat weekly blog titled Journey Into My Mind where I just share my thoughts on everything via my website and Facebook page.

Sheri: What are you working on now?
KSherrie: I’m currently working on part 2 of the Queen of DC Trilogy and part 1 of Some People Were Made For Each Other.

Sheri: Do you write full-time or part-time
K Sherrie: Part-Time.  I’m patiently waiting for the day that I am able to write full -time, but until that day comes……I gotta make the doughnuts

Sheri: Where does your ideas come from?
K Sherrie: Life. I take stories or scenarios that I have witnessed or been apart of and use them as my starting point, and from there I let my vivid imagination take flight.

Sheri: How do you deal with writer’s block?
K Sherrie: I disengage.  I will completely remove myself from a project for a week or so. I stop reading and just try to relax and enjoy life.  Once I feel enough time has passed, I revisit the project.

Sheri: Do you read much?  who are your favorite authors ?
KSherrie: A LOT.  I try to commit myself to at least 1 book per week, Sometimes I find myself reading more. My favorites are Jason Poole, Sa’id Salaam, T Styles, Mike O, Eric Jerome Dickey, and of course MYSELF.

Sheri: What book/s are you reading at present?
K Sherrie: I just wrapped up Devil in the Pulpit by K Marquelle…. and I’m getting ready to dive back into Facebook Chronicles series by Mike O since the final chapter is now out.

Sheri: Shout out your editor! Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
K Sherrie: My editor is a close friend of mine name JP. She wants to get into the world of editing and asked me to take a chance on her and I did.  We are jumping off the porch together with this one.

Sheri: Shout out your graphic designer!Who designed your book cover/s?
K Sherrie: Gabrielle Prendenhaust. I came across her work via a post on FB, sent her an email and things took off from there. Www.coveryourdreams.net

Sheri: What are your thoughts on reviews?
K Sherrie: I think HONEST reviews are important. I’ve just put out my first book and I NEED honest reviews.  I don’t feel I, or any other author, can truly grow as a writer, if people only tell us what we want to hear, or hold back true feelings because of what the outcome could be. I want reviews and I want them honest. If you love my work tell me so and WHY. If you hate it, tell me so and WHY.

Sheri: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
K Sherrie: I’m on Facebook what feels like 24 hours a day. You can catch up with me via my promo page at http://www.facebook.com/ksherrie202 Or hanging out in my favorite facebook group “Sisters into reading/reviewing bookclub” I recently joined twitter…still getting used to it so bare with me. @KSherrie2014 is my Twitter name. My email is KSherrie2014@gmail.com

 

Purchase her latest release, Queen of DC now!

 
Sheri Harrigan started writing at the age of twelve, as an outlet for depression. In March 2012 her first project Tales of the Broken Hearted was published. Since then she has penned several titles. She started writing strictly urban fiction. Her most recent work, The Imperfect Love Series is more geared toward the romance genre. As she continues on with her writing career, she plans to move into the crime fiction and thriller genres. Besides writing, she is pursing her other passion of obtaining her Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing . Sheri lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

The 21st Century Black Woman w/ Author Renee Wallace

Get the first four chapters of “The Diary Of Aaliyah Anderson” for only $2.00 today! The money goes to promotion and marketing costs for the novel. Support the youth. Remember, the author of this article is only 17! :)

http://payhip.com/b/DhLU

“Freedom (n.): To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.”

– Ayn Rand, “The Fountainhead”

One of the beauties of life is how vastly things change over a set period of time. Trends change every minute and we get technological advancements seemingly every month. However, social behavior is something that drastically changes as the years wear on. We don’t carry ourselves or interact with each other like our parents or grandparents did before us. Our circumstances are different from theirs. The world as a whole is different!

Societal behaviors have always interested me. Maybe it’s my natural inclination as a writer but I’ve always had a habit of studying the people around me and taking note of how they act and react to different things. One societal group that has gone through a drastic change over the decades is black women. The adverse circumstances that many in the African-American community face from our current broken family structure to the backlash of living in a ruthless world altogether has created a new generation of females I like to call the “21st Century Black Woman”.

The new, 21st Century Black Woman is strong, sexy, intelligent, resourceful, business minded and aggressive when it comes to what she’s passionate about.  Their sheer courage, independence and will power is incredibly attractive to many men but comes off as pent up aggression and exuded masculinity. Because of this, many black women of this generation tend to have a rough time finding partners that they’re compatible with.

The true 21st Century Black Woman is rarely ever embodied in black literature for some reason. Instead, she’s replaced with a ghetto, over-sexualized, attitudinal, self-hating, loud mouth caricature that perpetuates the worst stereotypes you can name. I tried to fight the negative propaganda and tell a true narrative in my novel The Diary Of Aaliyah Anderson. Author Renee Wallace also highlights the brilliance and the struggle of the 21st Century Black Woman in her novel In Pursuit Of Joi. Recently, I talked to her about the novel and other relationship based topics concerning black women today.

 

Randall:  How did the novel In Pursuit Of Joi come about?

Renee Wallace: In Pursuit of Joi is a story about a woman, Joi McIntosh, who is perceived as a modern day Superwoman. Most people know a “Joi” or someone like her. She is, by most peoples standards, living the America dream. She has own business. She’s independent, happily married, awesome as a mother, and everyone’s sister-friend. She juggles all of her duties well simply because she is expected to. She is a success because she has to be. It is all on the surface, but she is forced to dig deeper when she meets a woman named Latoya Bradshaw.

Randall: Is there a real life motivation behind the story?

Renee Wallace: For me, there was because the characters involved are parts of me. In many ways, I was a “Joi McIntosh” as well as a “Latoya Bradshaw”. And there are many other woman who have gone through something similar to what occurs within the pages of this book. Though it is a work of fiction, I’m also telling someone’s story.

In Pursuit Of Joi Randall: Black women of the 21st Century are strong, intelligent, career oriented, well-  educated and  fiercely define themselves as independent. However, we find many black  women in situations where  the relationships fall apart because of the qualities mentioned  above. What’s your take on this?

 Renee Wallace: The best way that I can answer this is by countering with a question. At  what  point does it become too much? There is such a beauty in being intelligent,  career oriented,  educated, independent, and strong. However, there is also the pressure  that comes along with it  all. Women are often expected to be superwomen, so we follow  suit. We tend do what is expected  of us. Not only that, we tend to push ourselves harder in  order to exceed expectations. But at what  expense? Sometimes we get so determined to be  the “Alpha Woman” that we forget that we are  also soft and vulnerable and prone to make  mistakes. It can sometimes affect our relationships,  romantic and otherwise.

  Am I saying that women should be pansies? NOT AT ALL! However, we don’t have to  always be so  fiercely set on being independent that we no longer value things like  chivalry, protection,  companionship, or having a mate who can and will pick up our slack.

Randall: What does it take to bring balance to a relationship?

Renee Wallace: Honesty. The willingness to work towards better understanding of one another. Communication. Being one another’s strength. Being friends, having a sense of humor, and not being afraid to be vulnerable with one another.

Randall: Do you believe that there is a place in the current black literary market for fiction that has an overt message and tackles real world issues?

Renee Wallace: Oh yes! There is definitely a market for it. There is a need for it. The Black literary industry is meant to entertain, educate, and open the minds of readers. There are things that aren’t being discussed that should be. There are dialogs that need to be approached and books and magazine, and blogs are a gateway for it all.

Randall: In your opinion, do relationship stability and success correlate with each other?

Renee Wallace: Relationship stability and success are not mutually exclusive. You can definitely have one without the other.  However, life is so much better if you are fortunate enough to have them both.

Randall: What upcoming projects do you have on the horizon?

Renee Wallace: My next project is Foolish Pursuits. It is the follow-up to In Pursuit of Joi and it is a story about the consequences of actions that people take when they act out of emotion.  It is also a story about growth and learning to let go of things that hold you back from happiness and peace. It is told from the perspective of Latoya Bradshaw who is introduced in In Pursuit of Joi. I also have a book of short stories in the works for 2014 and more works for 2015.

Randall Barnes: By the time this article is published, it will be read by many young people. What is your message to them?

Renee Wallace: Don’t give up on your dream. If it is your passion, it is what you are meant to do. Don’t let anyone else determine your value. Don’t be afraid to dream big and don’t be afraid to have more than one! Failures are a part of life; let it motivate you. It’s okay to falter, but as long as you keep trying, you are not defeated. Always find at least one reason each day to smile. And never measure your standard of success by somebody else’s.

Randall: Where can we find you?

Renee Wallace: You can find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ReneeWallaceBooks, Instagram @skorpionlady77 and on Twitter @LivWallace. You can email me at foreverredbooks@gmail.com. I love to hearing from readers and writers. I love meeting new people and I look forward to hearing from lovers of literature!

 

Order Pursuit Of Joi and Renee’s other books on Amazon today!

http://www.amazon.com/Olivia-Renee-Wallace/e/B00BG0DVR2

 

 

We came, we saw, we conquered! My debut publishing effort “Riverview High: Circumstances” reached #6 on the Amazon charts! Check it out for free for a limited time on Amazon today. Don’t forget to leave a review!

http://www.amazon.com/Riverview-High-Circumstances-Young-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00O2FCWGY/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Want more of Brianna, Maury and the Hendersons? Part 2 is available on Amazon as well!

http://www.amazon.com/Riverview-High-Against-World-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00O3GV498/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1412897767&sr=8-2&keywords=Riverview+High

“The Diary Of Aaliyah Anderson” is dropping this month!

Read The Pre-Release Preview: https://payhip.com/b/DhLU 

Preorder Now: http://www.amazon.com/Diary-Aaliyah-Anderson-Randall-Barnes/dp/0988762196/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404822785&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Diary+Of+Aaliyah+Anderson

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Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Was I right or wrong on this issue? I would love to hear from you! Contact me directly at:

Email: thediaryofaaliyahanderson@gmail.com

Kik: @AuthorRandallB

Ask.Fm: @YoungandGiftedBooks

Twitter: @AuthorRandallB

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randall.barnes.501

 

All I Do Is Win w/Rapper & Mixtape Cypher Winner Que

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

-Vince Lombardi

Like it or not, the world thrives on competition. We all have an inherent desire to be the best in the world at what we do. Our desire to be at the top of our field is the fuel that moves and pushes us. It’s what fuels creativity and innovation. It also overcomes fear and risk.

Imagine performing in front of hundreds of fans for a prize as covenant as a guaranteed recording contract or $10,000. You step on an American Idol esque stage and put your heart and soul into thrilling the fans and the judges so you can inch closer to making your dreams come true. Some couldn’t conceive being in that moment as the spotlight will provide too much pressure.  However, a select few per2494430formers have the ability to walk in, electrify the crowd and create a  name for themselves on a large platform. One of those performers is Marquis “Que” Norton.

I first interviewed him a month ago about him pursuing his passion of music at an early age.  On Facebook I saw a huge campaign, led by his mom and other dedicated members of his team, to vote for him to win in a competition called the Mixtape Cypher. In a miraculous  comeback, Que managed to get a surge of support at the last minute and take the first place  crown from fellow competitor Mark Hall. Recently, we talked about his triumphant victory  and the upward direction of his career.

 

 

Randall: Congratulations on winning the Mixtape Cypher! How does it feel?

Que: It’s feels great to see that all my hard work is really paying off.  This competition is definitely one of my biggest achievements.

Randall: What is the Mixtape Cypher? What does winning the Mixtape Cypher mean? Explain to all the readers that aren’t aware

Que: The Mixtape Cypher’ is a talent competition & television show, where artists compete for an opportunity to showcase their talent during the Beyoncé and Jay Z’s On The Run Tour, win $10,000 cash, be advertised on television networks. The prizes Que Article 2also include being able to perform during BET Hip-Hop Awards Weekend in Atlanta, GA this fall and to compete for a multimillion dollar recording deal from the Capital Production Group.

Randall: The Mixtape Cypher was vastly different from other competition shows. What were some of the tactics you had to use to secure a win?

Que: My team and I did things such as hustling, raising money, getting people to vote for and sponsor me.  Even though the contest judges were looking at the different artists’ talent, the points are what really mattered at the end of the day and my fans/supporters contributed to that. 

Randall: How have you been able to cultivate such a supportive audience?

Que: Randall, I think it’s God himself who blessed me with such a great and supportive audience.  They believe in me and my talent. They see the time I invest into my craft and I constantly show how much I love and appreciate them for being supportive of me throughout my career. I believe my positive attitude and music benefited as well and that’s how I captured their will to support me. Huge shout out to everyone to who voted for me and helped me out on the win, without them, this wouldn’t be possible, and a special thanks to my wonderful parents because they went hard with me day in, day out during the competition, working towards this victory.

Randall: From what I see, you’re a high energy performer. How are you able to keep up that type of pace night in and night out? Does it wear down on your body?

Que: It wore me out in the beginning stages of my career because I didn’t take exercising and dieting seriously and eventually it came back to bite me. Now, I spend a lot of time practicing and working out. I also make sure that I eat healthy, and stay active at all the time. Drinking a lot of water helps too. Hydration is important to maintain when you’re a performer.

Randall: So after this huge win at the Mixtape Cypher, what’s next for the Que brand?

Que: We’re working on getting my music marketed and promoted in the various cities of the On The Run Tour thanks to the huge Mixtape Cypher win. I’m also gearing up to compete in the national competition. I have an upcoming show with the OMG Girlz in Macon on July 26th. I’ve received more award show nominations and I’m currently working on releasing new music for the fans.

 

You can find Que at:

Twitter @Queofficial

Instagram @QueWorld

Facebook.com/Que95

 

The cover to my novel, “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson”. It’s coming in October!

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Read A Free Preview: http://www.wattpad.com/story/6314747-the-diary-of-aaliyah-anderson

Preorder Now: http://www.amazon.com/Diary-Aaliyah-Anderson-Randall-Barnes/dp/0988762196/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404822785&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Diary+Of+Aaliyah+Anderson

 

 

Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Do you have somebody you want me to interview? Contact me directly at:

Email: thediaryofaaliyahanderson@gmail.com

Ask.Fm: @YoungandGiftedBooks

Twitter: @AuthorRandallB

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randall.barnes.501

 

Finding Yourself w/Author Erella

“The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose.”

-Richard Grant

One of the first steps in achieving success is productive self-discovery. On your road to ultimate prosperity, expect your will to be tested. If you aren’t strong in your morals and character, you won’t get far in any capacity. Sadly many people, especially in my generation, are walking around lost and without purpose. The lack of individuals becoming one with themselves is a major problem in society today.

Our chase for instant fame and gratification becomes a thorn in our side as time wears on. Many people are too quick to sell their souls for false prosperity. It takes true courage to be your own authentic self. Do you! However, how are you going to “do you” if you don’t know what you do? What makes you laugh? What makes you cry? What are your strength and weaknesses? Proper self-evaluation is the first step in unlocking the essence of what makes you unique.

Isn’t it about time that we have literature that documents this turbulent journey? Well, I’ve created such a novel in The Diary Of Aaliyah Anderson. Author Erella also crafted such a story in her novel The Flip Artist. Recently, I sat down to talk with her about it.

 

Randall: Was there a real life motivation behind your first fiction novel The Flip Artist?

Erella: Absolutely! The real life motivation behind The Flip Artist was a personal experience I had with being pursued by an aggressive stud when I lived in New York City. It was then that I became “aware” of the world of AG’s, that is, aggressive studs  and the preponderanceThe Flip Artist of lesbian relationships in our community.

Randall: Your character Dream is made out to be totally lost in the novel. What’s  the meaning behind a character like her?

 Erella: Dream is complicated. She is bi-racial, her parents are Irish Jamaican,  and an African descended Maroon. They are staunchly Catholic, while still  others practice Rastafarianism, and other religions. They are dysfunctional.  There is alcoholism, drug addiction, domestic violence, illegal activities and  cultural taboos being broken in her family. To top that off, she is an emerging  adult who is just beginning to recognize her attraction to females and is  confused about coming out and its implications for her relationship with her  family.  Dream represents young women who are grappling with their  sexuality and gender while confronting the disapproval of family, community  and culture.

Randall: What do you think is the main reason behind women converting to  lesbianism?

 Erella: One of the things that Dream discovers is that she is a twin. In the  second part of the trilogy, it is revealed that something happened to him.  Without giving away the plot, I will say that we are introduced to the age-old  question of nature versus nurture as a dichotomy with her gender and  sexuality. In addition to this, I believe that patriarchy, sexist oppression and  women’s rejection of stereotypical, restrictive gender roles has contributed to  the increasing number of women who are coming out and accepting or even  experimenting with same-sex relationships.

Randall: What other projects do you have coming up?

 Erella: As I indicated above, The Flip Artist is a trilogy so I am working on part 2 and part 3. I also have a fiction novella due out shortly entitled The Sick Bed – El Lecho de Enfermo. Finally, I am also doing research for a novel set in London in the early 1930’s.

Randall: By the time this article is published, it will be read by many young people. What is your message to them?

Erella: I would like to encourage young people to not be afraid to question and challenge the status quo. There is no cookie-cutter mold for everyone. It is okay to explore your identity. We all don’t learn who we are immediately. Sometimes it takes time to discover who you really are, what you want to become and what your personal beliefs are. So learn yourself, accept and be comfortable with your sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, culture and religious beliefs, even if they are not the same as everyone else’s. “Know thyself and to thine own self be true.”

Randall: Where can we find you?

Erella: You can find me on Facebook at Erella Still Dreamin, on Twitter @saphiralatina, on Instagram as Erella711 and you can email me at Erella711@yahoo.com or saphiralatrina@google.com.  Thank you for your interest and support.

 

 

The cover to my novel, “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson”. It’s coming in October!

 

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Read A Free Preview: http://www.wattpad.com/story/6314747-the-diary-of-aaliyah-anderson

Preorder Now: http://www.amazon.com/Diary-Aaliyah-Anderson-Randall-Barnes/dp/0988762196/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404822785&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Diary+Of+Aaliyah+Anderson

 

 

 

Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Was I right or wrong on this issue? I would love to hear from you! Contact me directly at:

Email: thediaryofaaliyahanderson@gmail.com

Kik: @AuthorRandallB

Ask.Fm: @YoungandGiftedBooks

Twitter: @AuthorRandallB

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randall.barnes.501