Thursday, January 29, 2009


Yasmin Shiraz's book Retaliation, has been officially selected by the American Library Association’s YALSA Division as a 2009 Top Ten Pick for Reluctant Readers. This list will go out to librarians across the country. Here’s the [link] to the list.

This is a huge honor for Yasmin—especially since her publishing company, Rolling Hills Press/What’s Happenin’ Books, independently produced this book. It goes to show hard work definitely pays off in the end.

Personally, I'm thrilled for my girl Yasmin. I was an editor for Retaliation and to see the passion that Yasmin exudes in every project, to see her tenacity and hunger to reach and teach the youth is a major blessing for me. Every youth should read Retaliation, and every parent and every person with youth in his or her life should read this book, too, and use it as a tool to reach and teach.

Click the cover to purchase Retaliation today!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Change Came to America - Now CHANGE YOU!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009, marked a major milestone in America. It marked HISTORY. It marked the day America finally put on its big girl panties and became a grown up.

No matter what side of the fence you fell on in regards to the election, it would be hard to deny the magnitude of what took place that day as we ushered in our first African American President of the United States. It would be hard to deny where this country has been and where we are today. It would be hard to deny the truth of slavery. It would be hard to deny the truth of blacks seeking rights in American once slavery was so-called done away with. It would be hard to deny the oppression of an entire race in America after so-called rights were established for them. It would be hard to deny - in a world where a black man can still be beaten, shackled to a truck, and dragged down the street like a piece of meat to his death and we treat it like Tuesday, like it's nothing - that blacks still have a long, hard road to go in this "free" America.

Despite the sour-grapers who will cry that Obama is not all black (though we know that if looks like a black man and does the bump like a black man, then many behind closed doors still see him as a black man...and, unfortunately, derogatory terms, too) or that all blacks voted for Obama because he was black (and forget the many whites that voted for him and the many blacks who did NOT vote for him), Americans have put America on notice; we want CHANGE, and we want it now.

Now, what does any of this have to with writing...OR you?

January 20, 2009, marked for me a new chapter (pun FULLY intended). It resonated, and still resonates within me the chance to wipe my slate clean, see my dreams, and develop a plan to forge ahead and accomplish them.

If a black man can be MY president, then I can sure as hell move forward and accomplish my goals. He runs my entire COUNTRY; surely, surely, I can write a few books and screenplays and have them see the light of day, right?

Yes, nod your head, for the answer is RIGHT. Yes, I can. And yes, YOU CAN, TOO.

On Tale It Like It Is ( today, I talk about the CHANGE that is coming in our country and the change that should be coming in YOU to make this the year you begin or restart or continue moving in your literary endeavors. The whole show (which first features an interview with author Michelle McGriff before moving into my The Write Time segment) is featured on my LISTEN page at my site.

Below, I want to showcase an arsenal of books, magazines, websites, and the like that serious writers should check out if it is their goal to make a real go out of their literary dreams.

If there are other resources that YOU love and YOU want to share, please leave comments, thanks!




  • Publishers Marketplace* - Welcome to biggest and best dedicated marketplace for publishing professionals to find critical information and unique databases, find each other, and to do business better electronically.
  • The Write Life for You - A monthly column dedicated to the craft of writing.
  • InkTip* - The mission of is threefold: help the producer easily find a good script, save time for the agent and manager in locating the right people for their clients' scripts, or new clients, and greatly increase exposure for the screenwriter.
  • Done Deal* - Done Deal Pro tracks the various script, book, treatment, and pitch sales and options made in Hollywood each day. Subscribers are able to search a sales database of over 9,300 deals and over 600 TV deals by title, writer, representation, company, genre, date, and more. This is an invaluable tool not only for industry professionals but for aspiring screenwriters who want to know each week what material is being sold and to whom, and to track the latest trends.
  • Backspace* - The Backspace Online Community is dedicated to helping writers navigate the often confusing world of Big Publishing. Regularly updated articles and columns from industry insiders make the Backspace homepages your first stop to a career in publishing.
  • Blood-Red Pencil - great resource for writers to see what what EDITORS think about writing.
  • Agent Query - need an agent? You can start here!
  • Fundsforwriters - Grants are FFW's specialty. Contests and markets that only pay in cold hard cash, too. To FFW, success means earning a living doing what you love. Our newsletters are our world. Free or paid subscription.
  • Writer-Reminders -Organize your writing with FREE Writer-Reminders (daily, weekly and monthly checklists, tips and resources). The weekly ezine gives sidetracked writers a road map to more writing time.
  • Writing Tips - The Write Way is a FREE, weekly ezine that has advice on how to improve your writing, so that you can write well - whatever the occasion.
*Paid-membership required for many of site's services


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Break-Up Diet Author Annette Fix Discusses Memoir Writing

For the month of JANUARY, All the Blog's a Page (AtBaP) is looking at memoir writing, and this week, I'm bringing back someone that I've become a fan of: Annette Fix, author of The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir!

For January, I asked the following set of questions:
  • What do you think is the lure of memoirs for readers?
  • Do you think there is a bit of egotism on the part of the writer who focuses on memoirs as a means to “tell stories”?
  • Why did you, as writer, feel compelled to write your story
  • Why did you feel compelled to share this story with others?

In answering the question, What do you think is the lure of memoirs for readers, Fix begins her response by stating, Personally, I love memoir. I find it so much more fascinating to know the characters are real and the events in the story actually occurred. I still read fiction, but in the back of my mind, I know the author is placing herself in the world of the characters and trying to imagine what she would do if she were confronted with the internal and external forces driving their actions. I don’t believe anyone really knows what they’ll do until they’re actually in any given situation.

To read the rest of Annette Fix's thoughts on memoirs and to read an article written by Fix on memoir writing, head to All the Blog's a Page!

You can also read the thoughts of others who have written memoirs - CD Mitchell, Versandra Kennebrew, and K.L. Belvin!

ALL THE BLOG'S A PAGE (AtBaP) - Where everything relates to writing

Thursday, January 15, 2009

ChickLitGurrl Talks with The MPire Trilogy Author T.L. James

This month, ChickLitGurrl talks with T.L. James, author of the fabulous The MPire Trilogy!


CLG: How did you grow as a writer during the writing of THE MPIRE: DEATH COMETH?
TLJ: Writing from a male’s perspective was really a growing pain. To actually get in touch with the testosterone while writing is a stretch. My other growing pain was to write against how I believe. Some of my views and the views and positions that my characters take are extremely different. However, I felt that it was very important to my project my voice in the characters and let them speak for themselves.

CLG: If you were asked to describe your writing philosophy, how would you answer?
TLJ: Free writing and an analytical balance. I used a spreadsheet to “create” my timeline. I added historical events, both real and fictitious. Once I had my scaffold completed, I started free writing, allowing the characters to talk, act, react and acted-up.

CLG: What are you doing or planning to do to promote THE MPIRE: DEATH COMETH?
TLJ: I have teamed up with a wonderful publicist, Dana Pittman, to map out promotions strategy. My most important goal is to get my books into reader’s hands and that does not always mean in book stores. I participate in literary events at Art shows, Wine shows, Beauty shows – anywhere were people are present and buying. I have a website ( that gives information about me and my books, as well as other projects. I have a blog ( where I share my secrets about writing, new authors’ reviews, and other thoughts.

Check out the rest of T.L. James' interview @ ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING!

ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING
Chocolate-caramel lattes + Women writers = ONE GREAT TIME!

Leave comments!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Author Versandra Kennebrew Discusses Memoir Writing @ AtBaP

For the month of JANUARY, All the Blog's a Page (AtBaP) is looking at memoir writing, and this week, we're featuring Versandra Kennebrew, author of the memoir, Thank God for the Shelter!

For January, I asked the following set of questions:
  • What do you think is the lure of memoirs for readers?
  • Do you think there is a bit of egotism on the part of the writer who focuses on memoirs as a means to “tell stories”?
  • Why did you, as writer, feel compelled to write your story
  • Why did you feel compelled to share this story with others?

Versandra began her explanation to the questions by stating, "The lure of memoirs for readers is the same as that of reality shows. People want to know what’s really going on in the lives of our leaders, celebrities, and heroes. They want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly because it helps them see that they too have a chance at greatness."

To read the rest of Versandra Kennebrew's thoughts on memoirs and to read a small snippet from her book, head to All the Blog's a Page!

ALL THE BLOG'S A PAGE (AtBaP) - Where everything relates to writing

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Got Unpublished Romance Novel? Check Out This Contest!

If you have an unpublished romance novel or novel with a romantic theme, then get it out and dust it off because...


Author Leigh Michaels [link] and Rachelle Chase [link] are co-sponsoring the third "Chase the Dream" contest for writers. Details on how to enter can be found at; however, here are the highlights:

SUBMISSIONS: The first 1,000 words of an unpublished romance novel/novella or novel/novella with a romantic theme.

JUDGING: Each week, Rachelle Chase will choose one finalist and post the entry on the web site. Then, at the end of the contest, agents and editors will post comments, and readers will vote for their favorites to determine the top three winners. Each week, Leigh will also choose one entry to win a mini-critique, which will also be posted on the web site.

PRIZES: There are fantastic prizes for winners and entrants [link] alike. In addition, editors and agents [link] will read all the finalist entries. While there are no guarantees, last year, all the finalists received requests from editors and agents, some of which resulted in book sales.

DEADLINE: Submit from December 1, 2008 to March 3, 2009

NEW FOR 2009: You can now get advice from the agents/editors on what they look for in the first 1,000 words. Click here to listen to what the agents/editors have to say: [link]

It's *FREE* to enter! Check the site for rules, last year's winners, and more.

Enter today at!

And, speaking of contests, enter to WIN AN iPOD SHUFFLE at:!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Camping vs. Marching in Stories

The Write Life for You

Becoming a Lifelong Learner of the Craft of Writing
By author, editor, educator Shon Bacon aka ChickLitGurrl™

The Write Life for You is a series of articles on the writing craft. Past articles have focused on building character, developing a solid plot, and harnessing a writing style. In the first article of the new year, I look at CAMPING VS. MARCHING IN STORIES.

Camping vs. Marching

This month, I’m talking about camping vs. marching. Before I pursued my MFA degree, I knew nothing about this “concept”.

Many writers, for fear of losing readers, will explain everything in their story, not realizing that they will definitely lose their readers this way. So, how do writers tell us everything? They might tell us everything a character has on, explain every piece of furniture that’s in a room, detail an entire conversation from beginning to end, relay every minute feeling that comes through the narrator’s mind, and bring us into every sight, smell, taste, sound, touch that occurs within a story – all in the name of making the story feel real to the reader. In the end, this may make the reader so full off “stuff” that’s unimportant to the actual story that he/she may close the book and find a less tedious (or as I like to say “less chewy”) book to read.

Want to learn MORE about camping vs. marching and how to know when to do both?

Then head to APOOOBOOKS.COM to read my latest article in The Write Life for You series!

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