Tag Archives: Author

Welcome Our New Staff Blogger!

penelope

 

 

Penelope Christian is a freelance writer and poet with a knack for fiction literature. This up-and-coming novelist resides in Dallas, Texas, where she is set to publish her debut novel, Coffee and Cream. With degrees in Marketing and English from University of Maryland, Christian takes an entrepreneurial approach to her craft. Christian has over 18 years of writing experience and a special interest in short stories and novels (she penned her first novel at only 16 years old). Christian often credits nature, random happenings at the airport, and her mutually quirky friends as creative muses. As an active member of two national organizations — Books & Writers and Authors & Writing Professionals — Christian offers peer-to-peer advice and critique to fellow writers. Streetz Magazine has published several of Christian’s intimate interviews with contemporary artists, shedding light on the meaning of their music and the story of their success. When Christian finds time to close her laptop, she enjoys working out, cooking, and playing in her natural hair.

Cali’s At It Again

Paperbacks are dead, is what they said. Ebooks are taking over, that’s what they told us. I remember exchanging letters, with Fwy Rick, back in 2009. Trying to convince him that I was onto something hot, with a bookstore/retail outlet idea I called Raw Truth Distribution. At the time, bookstores were closing like crazy, and, the entire industry was in an uproar about a coming doomsday device called an ebook, which was set to detonate and crumble the entire publishing game. But, they forgot about the West Coast. They forgot that hood books are read by hood folks (most times without an eReader) and they forgot about the long-lasting shelf life of urban lit., in an industry where 10-15 yr throwbacks like True to The Game, the Dutch series and the Cartel series, to name a few, still have people checking for them. An industry where people take pride in their collection of books and like to hold on to them.

Like hip hop music in the 1980’s, hip hop lit also found its initial footing on the Eastern shore. The South came alive, dumping books out of beauty salons, and the industry, as a whole, gathered steam, gaining distribution through the likes of Carl Weber and other powerful industry insiders. But, what about the West? Who’s moving books on the streets of the West? Who’s got the West Coast distribution on lock? Again, we search for names.

On the East coast, it’s common to find young urban authors/publishers out selling on the corners or opening their own bookstores, but, you think of the West and you hear crickets. Well, I’m warning you now: You better keep listening, for, it is most definitely the quiet just before the storm.
calikim
Cali Kim is one of the hardest working boss chicks in the West Coast book game. More than just talk, this Queen peeped the need then set out to fill it, opening her store right in the heart of (gun smoke) Central Los Angeles. Having just gotten into the retail game, she is leading the charge and doing amazing business, selling books as quick as she can get them, reminiscent of the East Coast book game some 10 years ago.

Not to be ignored, California has long had independent stores where urban books are sold, such as Smiley’s Bookstore in Carson Ca., Zahara’s Books and Things in Inglewood Ca. and Milligan Books in L.A. Ca., But the energy and vibe of those spots are not as you’d see on the Eastern shore. For example, I can tell you, first hand, as a guy who’s personally written letters reaching out to try and get my books carried in those very stores, no one, absolutely nada, ever even replied. However, through the help of a friend, I did eventually get my book placed in Zahara’s. But, that’s just it, these stores are mostly ran by older women who are not in tune with, nor compassionate towards, the struggles of the average independent urban author who’s just dumping books “out of the trunk” and has no ready “distributor”. Thus, to them, my cries meant nil. Enter the likes of Cali Kim.

Cali Kim (author of Devil in A Red Dress by DaReal Bo$$Lady) is an independent urban author who’s chased the dream and drummed the sound of the urban author’s struggle. And, having done so without distribution, she readily understands the struggle, so, she openned her doors and openned her heart and the readers have responded.

By being an author herself, Cali Kim knew how to tap into the audience she intended to serve. Instead of a reader going out to some quiet little store being ran by some sweet little old granny, with gospel music softly playing in the background, now, readers could go out and experience the urban culture, get ahold of independently released titles (which might not be in many stores) and meet an author face to face all at the same time. Starting to sound like the East Coast a bit? Oh, and, by the way, this Queen does have my book on her shelf. How awesome is that? Thanks, Bo$$ Lady!

Well, enough of that. Let me step back, and turn the light where it’s meant to shine. In case you haven’t heard or don’t already know, here’s the go-getting, beautiful and intelligent Bo$$Lady Kim herself.

 

Godfather: How long have you been writing?

Kim: . I’ve been writing since I was about 9 years old.

Godfather: Who/what first inspired you to write?

Kim: Life’s experiences is what inspired me to write.

Godfather: What books have you written and what were they about?

Kim: The first book that I wrote is called “Devil in a Red Dress. ” It’s about jealousy, greed and the type of things that go down behind the scenes of the music industry.

Godfather: What’s the name of your store and where is it located?

Kim: The name of my store is The Beauty Bar & Bookstore. It’s located in South Central Los Angeles, inside of the Slauson Swapmall.

Godfather: I notice that you sell more than just books, talk about that?

Kim: Yes. I sell 100% Virgin Hair, Make-up, Essential Hair Care Products, Books and so much more.
Wes: What made you open a book store?

Kim: Well, I’ve been selling books out of the trunk of my car since 2007. So, I always knew that if I had a location, I would do good.
Wes: How is business? On average, how many books do you sell per day?

Kim: Considering the fact that my business, is fairly new, I can’t complain. Business goes up and down, so it’s hard to say. But all I know is that I’m blessed.

Godfather With ebooks going for pennies on the dollar, how are readers responding to the average $15.00 price of a paperback?

Kim: We get a lot of people, all of the time, who say they have a reading device, but prefer to flip through the pages of a paperback. And, yes, we have some who don’t buy, because they say they prefer to pay the low for a download. So, I try to be as reasonable as possible to entice the readers to support.

Godfather: Do you plan to expand or open any other locations?

Kim: Most definitely. It’s already in the making.
Godfather: What’s your take on the pulse of book distribution on the West Coast?

Kim: I believe that a lot of authors from the West Coast prefer to sell ebooks, and aren’t really interested in distribution outside of Amazon & Barnes & Nobel. Maybe because it’s the easiest way out, but when you’re a born hustler and failures not an option, you have to be willing to go hard and expand your reach.

Godfather: Are a lot of your customers also Facebook friends or no?

Kim: No, not at all. A lot of my customers are those who I reach out to, by way of promoting.

Godfather: Are authors helping to promote, doing book signings, supplying you with enough books, etc? How would you say author support has been?

Kim: Well, let’s just say that I have more strangers sending me and dropping off books than those that I personally know.

Godfather: What are your biggest challenges?

Kim: I don’t really get much author support.

Godfaher: Has anyone in the industry stepped up to help guide you or lend support?

Kim: My biggest challenge is getting my people to see that support comes in many forms and fashions. You don’t necessarily have to spend money to support someone or their endeavors. Just spreading the word sometimes is more valuable than the money.

Godfather: Are you currently working on any other project? What’s next in the clip for Cali Kim?

Kim: Yes. I am currently working on the sequel to “Devil in a Red Dress”, which is called “The Fine Black Widow” along with a few other projects that I’m  working on.

Godfther: What’s your advice to new authors?

Kim: My advice to new authors is, just do your research. You can’t go wrong by doing your own research.

Godfather: What would be your advice to anyone looking to get into the retail side of the book business?

Kim: The more bookstores, the better for us all. Why do you think there are so many alcoholics around? It’s because there’s liquor stores on every corner in the hood. If we can get just as many bookstores as liquor stores on the block, that would be excellent. And last but not least, location is everything.

Godfather: How can people go about getting their books on your shelves?

Kim: All they have to do is contact us at the store or email us.

Godfather: How can you be reached?

Kim: The Beauty Bar & Bookstore, 1600 west Slauson Ave #B17, Los Angeles Ca 90047 phone: (323)753-3963    email: beautybarandbooks@gmail.com

 

“GODFATHER” Hunter is an incarcerated author from Los Angeles, Ca. He has  written several books covering a variety of genres, to include self-help/how-to/advisory, autobiography, poetry, urban romance, erotica and street lit. Godfather has even taught urban lit during his many years of incarceration. He makes an added effort to lace his writings with history, social-political consciousness and other such pearls of wisdom while penning  in a style which many have compared to the likes of James Patterson, John Grisham and Michael Connelly.

 

Writing is an Outlet

I’m very pleased, to have had the opportunity, to interview the remarkable Ms. Rocky Rose. I’ve learned that we share something extraordinary, in that, we are both raising physically challenged young children. Every time I talk to her, I am renewed, as I feel her passion for writing and children.

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Author Rocky Rose, born and raised in New Haven, CT. is the third of four children. Her parents are both ministers. Rocky’s love of writing began with her love of reading; the two going hand-in-hand. Rocky, first, thought about pursuing writing as a career, after being given a short story assignmement, by an English teacher, during her sophomore year of high school. After he read it he told her she had a great talent, but soon after that writing became a distant memory for her.

In, 2010, Rocky met Karen E. Quinones Miller. After talking to Karen, for about two hours, Rocky, then, decided to take the necessary steps to pursue a writing career. So, after attending seminars, by Karen, and other well-known authors, Rocky, started putting the pen to paper. In ,2012, Rocky’s, first work was published. I Win You Lose, was a co-authored compilation of six short stories, dealing with issues of domestic violence. In, 2013, Rocky, released her debut solo novel, My Man My Abuser, a tale loosely based on a relationship she was in, for three years, where she was physically abused. Rocky is currently working on, Stirred & Shaken, and, Bruised Never Broken,which are the two novels that come after My Man My Abuser. Rocky resides in Connecticut with her son and daughter.

Sheri: Tell me a little about yourself and your literary background?

Rocky: My love for reading and writing, I would have to attribute to my mother and my sophomore high school teacher. Every summer when school let out, I was required to read a certain amount of books and do book reports which I had to turn in to my mother. It got to the point where I would literally read a book a day, I loved it. As far as writing goes, it really all started, my sophomore year in high school, when my English teacher made us all write a short story. Needless to say, my story was one of his favorites, even with my very racy sex scenes.

Sheri: What are your goals for your writing career?

Rocky: My ultimate goal is to be a full-time, self-employed author, in the very near future. Writing is a gift God gave me and I want to use it to my full potential. I also want to be a motivational speaker; I want to be able to speak to people about my trials and tribulations, and how I have overcome them.

Sheri: What have you written?

Rocky: I have written countless short stories that have yet to be released. I have a compilation book out titled I Win You Lose, which was released in ,2012, and my solo novel, My Man My Abuser, which was released in 2013.

Sheri: What are you working on now?

Rocky: I’m currently working on a few different projects, namely Stirred & Shaken and Bruised Never Broken, which are the two novels that follow My Man My Abuser, both are set to be released early 2015. I’m also combining some of my short stories into a compilation novel, but no set date for it to be released.

Sheri: Why do you write?

Rocky: Writing started out as an outlet for me, because I never really had the type of relationship, with my parents, where I could go to them and talk to them about different things. Instead of talking to people about my problems or what I was going through, I wrote my feelings out. Then, after doing the short story assignment, my sophomore year in high school, I became hooked on writing and I haven’t put the pen down since.

Sheri: What was/is the hardest thing about writing your newest book?

Rocky: The hardest thing about writing these next two books, is rehashing the memories that I’ve been trying to block for the past six years or so. Writing these books has me reliving all of the hurt, pain and sorrow I endured.

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

Rocky: I don’t get writer’s block, I listen to music when I write, which helps me with the flow of my story.

Sheri: Shout out your editor! Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?Rocky: I have worked with two different editors, Allyson Deese and Tiffany from Tiff’s Editing Café. Allyson and I had been in talks around the time I completed I Win You Lose . She mentioned the fact that she does editing, so I went with her. For my novel, My Man My Abuser, Tiffany came highly recommended by, the brother, Treasure Blue. When someone of Treasure Blue’s status recommends you, you must be good. I am also currently working with Editor Carla Dean for another project of mine.

Sheri: Shout out your graphic designer! Who designed your book cover/s?

Rocky: I have worked with three different graphic designers, Brittani Williams, Allyson Deese and Gregory Goodwin. With all three of them, I simply told them my vision, gave them an overview of the book and allowed them to take it from there. Not one of them has disappointed.

Sheri: How do you work out being a mom and an author?

Rocky: Being a mother is my first and most important job. If I didn’t have my daughter, I, honestly, don’t think I would have a career as an author. After having her, I vowed to do any and everything I needed, to ensure she had all that she would ever want or need.

Sheri: It takes a lot to raise a disabled child. How much time do you put into writing, marketing and perfecting your craft?

Rocky: I don’t like referring to my daughter as being disabled, it just seems so negative to me. But, raising her and maintaining my career isn’t really all that hard, I think the toughest part is traveling to different writing functions and having to find a sitter or having to have someone come with me to watch her, while I attend literary events. My aunt and my sister are my biggest helpers; they watch her when I need to attend literary functions out of state. My daughter is pretty independent. Even though she is not yet walking, over the years, she has learned ways to maneuver and get around. To be 5, she’s very smart. I try to write everyday so I don’t lose my flow. For now, I am only marketing via social media, radio interviews with Blog Talk and local radio stations.

Sheri: What are your thoughts on reviews?

Rocky: I like reviews. Reviews help me to know what my readers like and dislike, so I’ll know for the next book, what I need to fine tune and work on. I respect my readers opinions, feedback and constructive criticism is great.

Sheri: In what formats are your books available? Rocky: My books are available in paperback and eBooks

Sheri: How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Rocky: I can be found on Facebook as Rocky Rose, on Instagram as authorrockyrose and Twitter @naughtyrocky85.

MMMA

Available Now on Kindle 

Sheri Henry-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 becoming a lawyer. Sheri lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

Who Is Treasure E. Blue?

Treasure Blue

1.Many assume they know the author based on the book. Yet, tell us who is Treasure Blue, the person?
A: That is a kind of/sort of correct answer because my writing is a reflection of me. I came to the conclusion years ago, we talking as far back as 30 years, before I even knew or wanted to become a writer, that I can only write what I know, what’s inside me. I give it up, even if it’s dark secrets. I’m not ashamed

2.What and who inspired you to become an author?
A: What inspired me I’ve said it many times in the past, my love for words and a need to regurgitate toxic pain and anger from within.

3.How difficult was it for you to enter the literary field?
A: It was actually a natural progression. I was a screenwriter prior to writing novels, and won several awards in the process. Even in college, I won essayist of the month and things like that. My gift goes way back, plus the fact that I was a lover of books. Had to be, my mother was a school teacher. LOL.

4.Is it what you expected?
A: When you write for the love and for the craft, there are NEVER any downsides to it. It is only when authors write for other motives such as fame or future will they always be disappointed. I just wanted people to read my work; everything else was a plus and a gift.

5.Where do you get your story ideas from and what’s the process?
A: I always have and feel I always will continue to genesis all stories from what I know and build on that. I have a great imagination and think during the process the “WHAT IF THIS HAPPENED” and kick around different mind blowing ideas, with the readers in mind, that they would NEVER see coming. That’s the art of storytelling.

6.In 3 years, where do you see yourself at?
A: Writing….. Period! Whatever beyond that is going to be, I don’t force anything. So when any other grand opportunity comes along, I’m prepared.

7. What type of music do you listen to?
A: Majority of the time 90’s music. That seems to be my theme. I still play my 60’s 70’s & 80’s jams. That’s just me.

8. Where are you from?
A: Harlem Stand Up!

9. As a professional, you have to put your personal views and feelings to the side for the sake of business?
A: I’m not that type to be controlled in my opinion of views…I’m a artist first for Christ sakes. We are supposed to voice our pure and unadulterated feelings, right or wrong. I have little need to be politically correct.

10. What genres do you write in and do you have ambitions to dabble in other ones?
A: I don’t fancy that term genre too much, but Yes, I do dabble in other genres, I put out and released Urban Lit, Chick Lit, and Erotica.

11.How can we find your titles and future book signings?
A:Treasure Blue novels are everywhere, bookstores, online and in local libraries, so I’m available with little problem if you want to check me out. I probably, since the digital era, only travel about a half dozen times to events and signing.

Thanks bro.

I thank you more for giving me a minute this morning. We were up with the sun making it do what it do.

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