Tag Archives: literary interview

From Surviving to Thriving w/ Beverly Smith


People love to spew inspirational phrases about adversity. They love to talk about how it builds character. How it reveals character,and how it enhances success and progress. For some, those phrases are more than just hollow and vapid cliches. It’s the toughest strand in the fabric of their lives.

For author Beverly Smith, her adversity  fueled her  desire  and motivated her to create her own world.     beverly


Born and raised in Southeast Washington DC, Smith experienced the gamut of negative circumstances-from homlessness to domestic violence, Smith has endured it , but now she took that negativity  and turned it into success.  Three years ago, she released her debut novel ” He Kept Me”, a powerful and soul gripping story about a young woman’s struggle through the streets of DC.  After releasing her novel, Smith went on to establish “Momma’s Safe Haven”, a foundation that offers a bridge of support to those in need of resources to help improve their lives and two businesses.

Recently, I spoke with Smith about her book, some of her favorite things and what’s next  on the horizon for this dynamic woman.



Jannelle: Your book, “He Kept Me” has been out for three years and has received great reviews. For those who aren’t familiar with the book, fill readers in on the theme of the story. Tell them what makes the story “pop”. How does it resonate with your audience? What makes it a great read?

Beverly: The theme of my book is ” My Testimony  straight no chaser!”  What makes it pop is the rawness of the real life situations, representing DC, and landmarks in the city. It resonates with my audience through struggle, This is for  people who have been through the fire. It’s a great read because there is a never a dull moment. It is definitely a page turner that will have you on a emotional roller coaster.

Jannelle: You have a foundation called Momma’s Safe Haven. What kind of projects and programs that your foundation spearhead?

Beverly: At Momma’s Safe Haven, we promote self love, higher education and self employment. We have ‘DC Youth has talent’, which is a program for the youth to display their talents while keeping them engaged. We had our first annual Show in February at  the Benning Park Rec Center.  Currently, we are in the planning process for our 2nd annual showcase. We  also have a program called “Never Give Up”.It is a three hour work shop on wheels. The workshop consist of me sharing my story through my book, encouraging a purge through a writing session, a vision board, letting go of guilt and shame.


Jannelle:  Some foundations sell products and take a percentages of the proceeds to support the the foundations or initiatives etc. Are some of your book sales funding “Momma’s Safe Haven”? If not, is it in the cards for the future?

Beverly:Yes! Momma’s Safe Haven  has several sponsors that help fund our events. Some of the proceeds from “He Kept Me”, D&B Handyman Service, and B’s Natural Products just to name a few. I believe it’s very important to maintain a great relationship with those who are heading in the same direction as you.

Jannelle: What inspired you to take on the publishing world?

Beverly:  I was inspired by pain that was eating me alive! I had to get it out. The purging was great and I knew it had to do something with the strength that I had gained from believing in God. I was inspired by wanting to help someone else who has experienced any of the things that I have been through.

Jannelle:  You are a DV survivor and many people always talk about leaving the situation. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done. What steps did you take to escape your situation?

Beverly: Yes I am a DV survivor and yes for me it was easier said than done. My strength to leave came when I gave birth to my second child my 12 grade year at Cardozo High School. I knew in order for me to provide for my children I had to leave the abuse. The first step for me was when I started to love myself more than I loved him and suddenly my fear of what happen if I left turned into what would happen had I stayed.

Jannelle: What advice do you have for women and even men who are victims of Domestic Violence?

Beverly:  My advice to anyone who are victims of DV is to tell a loved one  and talk to someone who you can trust. Leave them  (the abusers) alone They will never be worth your time because love doesn’t hurt! Love nurtures, caress, protect. Self love is key! I have a support group on my website and you can call DV Hotline 1-800-799-7233.

Jannelle: Describe your writing process for “He Kept Me” ? What was your writing schedule like? How did you deal with writer’s block if you had any?

Beverly: I purged when I wrote my book. I was unemployed, attending Ashford University studying on line for my BA in ECE Administration and I was also studying spanish with Rosetta Stone. So my schedule was pretty flexible. I  moved about an hour away from my family so I had plenty of peace and quiet. No i didn’t have to deal writers’ block. I feel writers’ block is just fear. It took me four months to write my book from beginning to end.

Jannelle: What do you find the most rewarding? Your book or your foundation? Are they equally rewarding? Or are they rewarding in different ways?

Beverly: They are both equally rewarding in different ways. My book is so personal and it draws others who has been hurt. My organization focuses on the healing process from the pain.

Jannelle: I have a few either or questions for you as well.

Jannelle: Paperback or Ebook?

Beverly: Paperback.

Jannelle: Online or Stores?

Beverly: Stores.

Jannelle: Early Bird or Night Owl?

Beverly: Early Bird

Jannelle: Country or City?

Beverly:  City.

Jannelle: Mall or Boutique?

Beverly: Mall.

Jannelle: Dress Up or Dress Down?

Beverly: Dress Up.

Jannelle: Money or Fame?

Beverly: Money.

Jannelle: What is next for you? Please give us some links to where we can learn more about you and your projects.

Beverly: I  have a short film titled  “Still I Rise”.  It’s  a ten minute movie inspired by Dr. Maya Angelou’s  poem. I entered it into a contest and won!! We finished filming my movie in July and it will premiere in the Fall! Stay tuned!

You can pick up “He Kept Me” on Amazon now and don’t forget to leave reviews.


Check out Beverly’s  ” Momma’s Save Haven” as well


About the author

Jannelle is the author of “Wild Cards” “Thirst”, “Thirst II”, and “Love’s Hangover” and is a fresh voice in African-American fiction, spending time on Amazon’s Hot New Releases list for two of her four titles. She’s also a freelance journalist. Her DC Bookdiva Debut, “Uppity” will be released in November, and is available for pre-order now at http://www.dcbookdiva.com




Website: http://www.jannelle.net
Twitter: @jannelle12
Instagram: writerdiva
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jannelle1

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


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



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! :)


“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!




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!


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


“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


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


The Art of Reinvention w/New York Times Bestselling Author Wahida Clark

“It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.”

-Oprah Winfrey

One of the many reasons I wrote my first novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson was to show the young people of my millennial generation that there are benefits in dreaming and keeping things positive. On a daily, we are bombarded with a myriad of negative media images that depict us in the worst ways possible. Why can’t more of our successes be celebrated on a mass scale? Why is it that you have to dig deep to find the positive aspects of the youth of America? An even bigger question, why is it buried in the first place?

When you live in a community where a sex tape gets more attention and coverage than a young man getting accepted to all of the Ivy League learning institutions, there’s a major problem that needs to be addressed. How can young people ‘aim for the stars’ when we’re stuck in a seemingly inescapable, bottomless pit? Those who have the courage enough to attempt an escape from this proverbial hell hole are condemned and dragged down by the very individuals that they are trapped with.  Others allow their fear and doubt to overtake any thoughts of striving for better. We’re honestly in a miserable state!

The adults of this society aren’t any better. Many of them spend their times psychoanalyzing any misstep we happen to make in our journey to adulthood instead of being guides for us. We are so desperate to find the path to success that we often choose to fall victim to the mesmerizing glare of instant gratification. What’s the point of working hard when it’s easier to wild out and have fun twenty-four/seven? Forget the future! Many young people decide to live for right now, a choice that one comes to regret as time wears on. But how are we to know any better? We are seen as the bastard child of human evolution after all. Listening to how people view us, you’d think that the world is doomed to Armageddon when we grow to become the elders of our respective communities.

I want my peers to realize that struggle is the only way to achieve success. Nothing worth achieving in life is easy. No matter what neighborhood, block or project you’re from, passion for your craft and hard work can help you achieve infinite prosperity. Don’t let anything limit you from climbing the stairway of success. You may experience a few bumps in your trip. You may even stumble altogether. Nevertheless, it’s your responsibility to get up and keep working towards your goals.

One of my favorite songs of all-time is James Fortune’s gospel hit Hold On featuring Fred Hammond, Monica and FIYA. The hook of the song really speaks to me. The members of FIYA sing:

“So hold on

You are too close to give up now

You have so much to live for

Remember what you prayed for

Hold on, please don’t let go in this season

Know that flowers bloom when rain falls

You just hold on”

A perfect example of a person using their talent and ambition to make it out of their rough situation is Wahida Clark. She’s a New York Times best-selling author, publisher, entrepreneur and one of the most recognizable faces in urban literature. However, she didn’t start off at the top of the food chain. Ms. Clark underwent some major changes to become the literary legend that she is today. In between promotion for her new novel Blood, Sweat & Payback with Cash Money Content, I got a chance to ask her a few questions.

Randall: You were in prison for nine in a half years. What willed you through that trying time?

Wahida Clark: If I had to choose one thing, I’d have to say having to provide for my family.

Randall: You wrote your first novel and signed a publishing deal while still serving your prison stint! How were you able to keepwahida_-084 focus on your goals?

Wahida Clark: I actually wrote seven novels by the time my nine in a half years were over and had lucrative contracts with two major publishing companies. I was determined to write best-sellers, be the best at what I was doing and to provide for my family. That is why I was able to stay focused.

Randall: How much of a key was your relationship with Martha Stewart to your current success?

Wahida Clark: Knowing that Martha was right next door, but yet still seeing her shows and commercials running on the television was huge to me. Her empire was still growing even while she was in prison. That spoke volumes to me.

Randall: How were you able to bounce back from your prison stint and become one of the most recognizable brands in African-American Literature?

Wahida Clark: Honestly, I am just getting started. Outside of expanding Wahida Clark Presents Publishing, I have also just a few days ago launched W. Clark Distribution (wclarkdistribution.zreply.com) to assist indie authors and small publishers to get their titles in every format and in front of 38,000 retailers. I’ve noticed that we have not been able to do so because we didn’t know how or have the vehicle.

Randall: What are the qualities of a New York Times best-selling author?

download (4)  Wahida Clark: There are three major qualities that all New York Times best-selling authors have:

  1)      They are able to move large units of their work 

  2)       They have a well-crafted product  

  3)      They have a strong fanbase and they engage them daily

Randall: From extensive research, I can tell that you use all of your power and resources to give back  to  your community. What are some of the services that you provide to young people?

  Wahida Clark: Through our non-profit organization Prodigal Sons & Daughters Redirection    Services, we offer Mentorship and Life Skills training. Our ultimate goal is to get our own state-of –    the-  art vocational training center. We actually have just been nominated for the White House  Agents of  Change award. Wish us luck!

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

Wahida Clark: Of course we are disadvantaged but it’s not just black women. All women experience this. I honestly believe there’s a change coming though. Women’s liberation has been going on for over a hundred years. Not just here, all over the world.

Randall: What advice would you give to young women aiming to become entrepreneurs?

Wahida Clark: Study your craft and then master it. I love being an entrepreneur. You can grow, you never remain stagnant and are always learning new things.

Purchase Blood, Sweat  Payback now!

A list of Wahida Clark’s upcoming projects!

  • The Blood, Sweat & Payback App.
  • W. Clark Distribution (w.clarkdistribution.zreply.com)                      

o   Enemy Bloodline by Umar Quadeer

o   Butterfly by Michael A. Robinson

o   Venom in My Vienz by Rumont Tekay

o   Ratchet City by Cayenne

o   The Pussy Trap Part 4 by NeNe Capri

Follow Ms. Clark on:

o   Twitter: @wahidaclark

o   Facebook.com/wahidaclark

o   Instagram: @wahidaclark

o   www.wclarkpublishing.com

o   www.bloodsweatandpayback.com

The Randall Barnes Experience

-We came, we saw, we conquered! My debut publishing effort “Riverview High: Circumstances” reached #2 on the Amazon charts! Check it out on Amazon today. Don’t forget to leave a review!


-“The Diary Of Aaliyah Anderson” is out now! Make sure to go get it!


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

The Gift of Writing

Written by Sheri Harrigan

Aaron Bebo is the of the critically acclaimed title Change For A Dollar.

His debut. Aaron is a look into the urban terrain in a profound presentation of words. He spins tales so vividly that the reader is almost compelled to believe they are actually participating in every dialogue and location. His debut novel highlights the theme of transition. Bebo delivers the story in fine fashion with his detailed wit, and slick character dialogue. He uses his uncanny view of the urban structure, and the conditions of the people that live there, to draw out a vivid tale. He is able to translate into words a broader spectrum of the ominous shadows that seemed to be an ever present force in the urban structure where he grew up.

Aaron has also ghostwritten two novels outside the street fiction genre that have been published. One being a Non-fiction title on Cancer. He has also lent his time speaking to youths in the South Florida school system as well as juvenile detention centers.

Aaron is also the author of Rat Hunters, Cupids Assassin, Bunches of Love, and Author Wives. The Long Story Short Series a collective of short stories which includes the titles; Accidental Nut, Area’s Grey, On The Green, Mischievous. Bebo has also published works under the name Sadie Morris and Unique Styles. Aaron most recently signed with the publishing house G Street Chronicles. Bebo’s G Street Chronicles debut I Used To Love Her is available now.

Aaron Bebo currently resides in South Florida where he continues to write and connect with the people as a means of promoting literacy. You can connect with this author @ https://www.facebook.com/AaronVERBALKENTBebo , https://twitter.com/AaronBebo Read More Into Urban Culture….

And now I will get up close and personal with Mr. Bebo in the exclusive interview


Sheri: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Aaron: I am Aaron Bebo. I am a writer, a radio show host, and a partner in a publishing company. I am also a ghostwriter as well.

Sheri: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

Aaron: I’ve been writing since I could. I was one of those kids who needed to express themselves, but are guarded. I mostly wrote my thoughts and feelings and through that I discovered the gift of writing. I continue to grow as a writer daily, mostly through my love of reading.

Sheri: How did you choose the genre you write in?

Aaron: I really have no specific genre I write in. I am well rounded as a writer. I wrote my first book in the street fiction genre because it was something I was familiar with (the streets).

Sheri: Do you ever experience writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

Aaron: No I don’t. I believe writers block is a myth. I believe a true writer always has something to express. It may not be what they desire. But a writer should never be at a loss for words.

Sheri: Can you tell us about your challenges (if any) in getting your first book published?

Aaron: I really had no troubles. I knew all the steps to publishing the book. It was after the book was published that I started experiencing challenges. Like getting books into book stores, and on vendor tables. I also learned about the unseen hands that move to try to stop progress for others through connections they may have established before hand. My biggest challenge has been separating my passion from the business.

Sheri: If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?

Aaron: No because I couldn’t fork over a Harvard tuition and receive the education I got from my experience.

Sheri: Can you tell us about your upcoming projects?

Aaron:  My next project set for release is Til My Casket Drops. It is a title that will be shared by fellow author Cash Street Lit Author. We are releasing these books as a challenge, not so much between us. But to challenge the authors and readers alike to start focusing back on what’s important and that’s reading and writing. We are hoping to bring our literary affiliates closer and bridge the gap that’s been holding us all back as African American authors. This is a historical event, because nothing like it has been done before; and we encourage people to get behind it or rather beside.

Sheri:Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers.

Aaron: Study the craft and stay off social media until your manuscript is complete. That way when you get on you’ll really have something to talk about. Study the craft; and read books outside the genre you write to keep your language and ideas fresh.

Til My Casket Drops WEB-1


Purchase Until My Casket Drops by Aaron Bebo now, http://amzn.to/1rJgxDq


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.

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait


Written by Sheri Harrigan


I was introduced to NeNe Capri through her book series The Pussy Trap. It was such a great series. Her writing style is unique and helps to make her stand out in a crowd. I became friends with NeNe and made a great connection with her. Not only do we share a passion for writing but a deep passion for law. It was such a pleasure to discover someone I look up to as an author can identify with my journey to be a law student. NeNe Capri is such a wonderful person. Anytime I have a question or need to talk she is there. And now I have the honor and pleasure to present Ms. NeNe Capri.

NeNe Capri is an Urban Fiction author or as it has been termed Street-Literature. She came on the scene in 2011 breaking boundaries with her first title The Pussy Trap. NeNe signed with Wahida Clark Presents Publishing and then began to build her personal brand which she has been coined #Trappin. NeNe Capri spent the first 18 years of her life without her father who was serving a life sentence for murder, raised on the ill streets of North Jersey by a mother and grandmother in Wilson Place and Mechanic St. projects. Being heavily influenced by her surroundings she went head first into the streets. Once her grandmother passed in 1992 the only crutch she would have to get through it was alcohol. Being a 16 year old high school dropout with very little work experience she picked up on the neighborhood trades which only pushed her further into the streets and spun her totally out of control. It would be many brushes with death that would present a fork in the road and provide an opportunity for change.

At 18, she met Wahida Clark who quickly placed her under her wing relocated her to Georgia and put her on the road to success. In 1999 Wahida a second mother to her was given 10 years in the federal penitentiary throwing NeNe totally off course and into a small bout of depression. However, Wahida would not accept failure from her on no level, she continued to mentor and encourage her from her prison cell. Through Wahida’s tutelage and the support of NeNe’s mom Birdie she went back to school got her G.E.D and then an A.A.S in legal studies then on to attend Temple University to continue her education.

Currently NeNe Capri holds a BA in Philosophy/ Pre-Law and is on her way to law school in pursuit of a law degree, also active in The Literary Arts Society, Parents of Murdered Children and Psi Alpha Delta. NeNe is The Assistant Director of Prodigal Sons and Daughters Redirection Services Inc. Trenton Chapter, teaching and mentoring female and male inmates preparing them for what awaits them on the other side of the wall. Also works with, deters and redirects our youth to become productive members of society.

The driving force is to all her accomplishment is her daughter who is the motivation for every step she takes. NeNe is the author of “The Pussy Trap”, “The Pussy Trap 2: The Kiss of Death”, “The Pussy Trap 3: Death by Temptation”, “Trust No Bitch” and “Trust No Bitch 2: Deadly Silence” a collaboration with Ca$h, also a short story entitled “Shattered” in the anthology “Love is Blind” presented by Boo Jackson in which 100% of the proceeds are donated to a battered woman’s shelter to help with the fight against Domestic Violence. She has recently signed with G Street Chronicles, in which she released her latest novel, Tainted: Lies. Fear and Death. Also the CEO of Boss Lady Publishing. NeNe Capri has also put on her Agent hat signing her first celebrity client porn star “Roxy Reynolds” to G Street Chronicles with her new novel Secrets of Porn Star. With success in full view NeNe looks forward to the next level of her career and her life. She lives by the motto, “Good things come to those who wait, but only what’s left by those who hustle.” PicsArt_1388372215908


Sheri: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

NeNe: I am NeNe Capri #1 best-selling author of such works as The Pussy Trap series 1, 2 and 3 under Wahida Clark Presents Publishing. Also the Trust No Bitch series 1, 2 and 3 co-authored with Cash. I have recently signed with “G Street Chronicles” and released Tainted with part 2 lingering close behind. Along with writing and building my person brand I am the CEO of Boss Lady Publishing and Founder and Head of Productions for Writing Royalty Radio and CEO of Writing Royalty Entertainment. Out of all the titles I carry such as Author, Publisher, Paralegal and Mentor, the one I hold the highest regard for is mother. All that I do is powered by the love of my Princess and I cannot let her down. I am so honored to have the love and support of my readers and I pray I can always leave my heart on the pages for them.

Sheri: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

NeNe: I have always wrote, it is therapy for me. I got serious around age 10 when my step-father gave me a small yellow journal with a lock and key and then handed me a bird feather that he made into a pen. I felt as if he had gave me the power of words. It was there in the pages of my journal that I came to life. It was my greatest escape and my best friend. It was not until 2010 that I would began my journey into the literary world of urban fiction with Wahida Clark Present Publishing.

Sheri: How did you choose the genre you write in?

NeNe: I had a story to tell, before I started on my path into academia I was on a path of destruction. I had lost my grandmother at age 16 and the only thing I could do to numb myself to the pain, was drink and smoke. With reckless practices came reckless behavior and with several brushes with death. At age 18, I ran into Wahida who snatched me up and put me on a different path. However, those days made me who I am today and to be able to write about them with a touch of fiction frees me. I am truly blessed to have the title of author.

Sheri: Do you ever experience writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

NeNe: I am mostly blocked when I write more than one story at a time. Each character demands a certain amount of attention and when they don’t get it they all protest and show up at once trying to tell their story lol. I usually put on my headphones and pump my music and force my attention in one direction and fantasize until I have the perfect scene then I write.

Sheri: Can you tell us about your challenges (if any) in getting your first book published?

NeNe: The main challenge was writing while in undergrad and making time to do all the many edits and make my deadlines with the pressure of studying and test.

Sheri: If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?

NeNe: I always go back and read my first works and I see things that I could have done better I also see my growth from one story to the next. If I had to do it again I would do it the same way only with one minor fix, do more studying of the craft to execute the proper process in order to get the better results. Publishing with Wahida Clark was a no brainer, she has taught me a lot and given me a great platform to now stand on my own and continue to create works of art.

Sheri: Can you tell us about your upcoming projects?

NeNe: I am finishing up The Pussy Trap 4, also working on Tainted 2 and two other projects. I am the agent of the porn star “Roxy Reynolds” and her book Secrets of a Porn Star comes out May 20th. There are big things coming your way from Boss Lady Publishing I have some Beast waiting to be released this summer. Also I have several projects I am working on with Writing Royalty Entertainment with the first being Author Wives season 1, we brought reality television to the radio which airs Sunday’s at 7 pm eastern. This is one of many tricks I plan to pull out of my Fedora. Please join me on this journey .

Sheri: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

NeNe: Yes. Please do your homework. Learn the craft and take your time don’t rush the process. Release your heart into the pages and let the story have all the attention it needs, have a reader you can trust that will give you honest feedback so you can grow in your art and then get proper editing. Covers are like brand new clothes choice it wisely. The cover and title along with synopsis begins the journey for the reader, provide a magnetic attraction to your work where readers cannot walk away without having. Thank you for sharing this time with me remember, “Good things come to those who wait but only what’s left from those who hustle.” – NeNe Capri Tainted g street


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.

The Power of Social Media w/Author Mike O

“It seems like Facebook is starting to slowly become MySpace 2.0. It started off cool, then you let ratchet people get a profile and things go crazy! You got people getting killed over Facebook drama now! I have a profile too but I barely get on. The only time you’ll see me logged on Facebook is when I’m posting some pictures or wishing someone a happy birthday. I barely accept my friend requests. It’s just too much drama!”

-Aaliyah Anderson, from the forthcoming young adult novel “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson”

As I wrote my first novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson I debated with myself on what topics I should take on. There are so many things that happen with the youth of the community that needed to get brought to light! However, the way social media has impacted our lives was something that definitely needed covering. All I needed to do to is scroll down my Facebook news feed to get inspiration for the content I was about to write. There’s so much ratchetness that it makes your head hurt!

From the inappropriate, half naked pictures and twerking videos to the fight videos and endless photos of guns and marijuana, it’s evident that we need to have a lesson on proper social media etiquette. The worst part of this equation is that there are countless adults that would benefit from learning how to carry themselves on social media as well. It seems like all sense of ethics, moral value and brain power is lost when people log in to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Like what was said the quote above from my novel, we even have people getting killed over Facebook and Twitter drama.

The definition of the world “social media” is “a form of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content”. The internet was said to make the world closer, and the addition of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram tighten things up even more. It’s a shame that many people don’t wake up to the power that they have in their fingertips. I surely did.

If it wasn’t for one fateful night in December of last year, I wouldn’t even be here speaking to you right now. The opportunity of a lifetime was inboxed to me by my current author mentor Benjamin Janey! A couple of months later, I was discovered by my publisher Tiah Short (more widely known as the Dc Bookdiva) and offered a publishing deal.

How’d I do it? Well, I did it through the positive usage of Facebook and this e-book website called Wattpad.com, where The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson has 25,000 reads. Bottom line, what you post on your profiles matters. It can build fantastic business and/or personal relationships or cause drama and turmoil.

Author and one of my fellow publishing label mates under DC Bookdiva Publications Mike O takes on the negative aspect of social media usage in his short story series called Fakebook Chronicles and The Tweet Files. Hailing from North Carolina, which recently had Cary rank as the fourth most dangerous small town in America, Mike O has a wealth of knowledge on how to navigate past the negativity that comes on a daily when it comes to social media drama.

Without further ado, here’s my sit down interview with Mike O on the state of social media and his two social media themed short stories!


Randall: What prompted you to write The Tweet Files and Fakebook Chronicles series?

Mike O: I’m a social media junkie. I need help and I’m not in denial! Seriously, with me and my life, I just always been a street dude and have always been on them, ducking a century behind bars, and evolved with the streets. The internet came into play, and these computer screens took our attention away from reality, traveling up the information highway. By the time I reached Facebook and Twitter I had been dealing in the social media for quite some time.  I wanted to write something fresh and new, plus show people the mindset of the type of individuals they choose to play online games with.

Randall: In your opinion, how has social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter changed the dynamics of relationships? Is it positive or negative?

Mike O: Facebook and Twitter took the heart out of people and poured it all into their fingertips with no conscious, nor any immediate reactions to the slick things they say to people. I grew up in the era of having to say things face-to-face. Anything that wasn’t said just wasn’t meant to be said and that was that. Now, there are no boundaries and the things that are being said that would never fly out the mouths’ of these people in person. It’s a positive tool for networking and meeting good people if you’re a business person or a good person yourself. Strong relationships are built online. However, it’s negative if you’re a smart mouthed, drama filled person that brings drama upon yourself or if you surrounded by a bunch of drama filled people. Birds of feather flock together whether you do the same things in life or not. Great minds connect to great minds, and small minds usually run in drama filled cliques.

Randall: How do you feel about women posting provocative pictures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? Be honest!

Mike O: Honestly, I love women and sexy bodies. As I click the pictures I think to myself, “Would I want a chick like that?” Maybe I would for a night or two of fun but not for a true lady.  I guess it’s a difference between classy and trashy, but you can’t tell in a pic that’s for sure. With that said, I need my classy boo clothed in public and in front of these thirsty online clowns.

Randall: Likewise, how do you feel about brothers in the street who take to their social media pages to show off their guns and drugs?

Mike O: So we back to the online clowns? They have to be the dumbest “brothers” on the face of the earth. These are the type of dudes that grew up thinking movies were real and rappers were leaving the studio and going on the block or out killing people when in reality all the real gangsters are dead or locked up. While they’re showing their drugs, the police and the goons watching. The goons thinking, “Let me rob these n**** before the police get em” and in the process you or them die, somebody goes to jail, and everybody loses. Except the state or the feds, cause they gain a prison. There’s nothing special about a gun. Everybody has one and felons get the most time getting caught with them. The streets real and just don’t belong online.

Randall: As an author, how have you used the various social media platforms to extend your reach and fan base?

Mike O: My fan base came from online. I built it writing drama, real life drama, and branded it with my hashtag #TWLD (Team We Love Drama). Anyone who enjoys my writing enjoys drama. That’s what I write. I started out local, and now I’m working on being national and social media is leading the way.

Randall: How important is social media visibility to business success?

Mike O: What big time business do you know that’s not visible in the social media? Social Media is a huge marketing tool, and trust me, you want to be seen. I’m waving my arms like I’m stranded on a desert island trying to capture the attention of a plane flying overhead!

Randall: What upcoming projects do you have?

Mike O: I have the sequel to my novel Smokin’ Mirrors (DC Bookdiva Publications) and the full novel for Fakebook Chronicles coming soon. That’s all I got lined up for now, but I’m working on some things and may be dropping something else.  

Randall: Where can we find you?

Mike O: You can find me on Facebook: Thewriter Formerlyknownaz Mikeo. Also follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @Mikeothewriter.


To learn more about Mike O’s novel Smokin’ Mirrors and other DC Bookdiva Publications projects visit:


All volumes of The Tweet Files and Fakebook Chronicles can be found on Amazon.com.

The Tweet Files (Volume 1)

Fakebook Chronicles (Volume 1)



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Randall Barnes is a teen author, internet radio personality, public speaker, journalist, mentor and entrepreneur who currently resides in Macon, GA. Randall is already renowned for his positive, realistic, moral driven writings. To date, his forthcoming novel, “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson” has garnered over 24,000 views on Wattpad.com and worldwide acclaim. Randall is also a staff writer for the popular website urbanintellectuals.com.