Saturday, February 27, 2010

Interview with Author David L

Join us as we chat with David L, Author of My Life Is A Movie, Over Your Dead Body, and Chalk Outline Confessions

***** Contest Alert *****
Leave a comment on this interview and be entered to win any of the books we have available. For contest details please read the side panel. don't forget to leave an email address with your comment. We can't send you a book if we can't contact the winner.

1)Tell us about yourself? I am an author signed to my own publishing imprint, Total Package Publications – a company which is actively seeking writers that are both serious about their craft as well as having a fresh, new story to tell to the masses. Before my first title, OVER YOUR DEAD BODY was published, I was writing for syndicated magazines as well as testing the free agent literary market via my articles based on subjects ranging from working with at risk youth to becoming an author in a very saturated market. Presently, I am working with a film company which is adapting my first title into a movie and is expected to begin shooting sometime later this year. Besides all of the above, I am an avid writer who also enjoys touring in order to get my books into the hands of all book readers interested in what I have to say.

2)How long have you been writing? What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? I have been writing for about eight years. I began my first book, IT’S LIKE BUTTER, BABY sometime in 2002. By the spring of 2004, it was completed and released through a publishing company in Canada. Although it was not properly marketed or distributed, it was well received and offered me an opportunity to recoup my investment and brand both myself as an individual, and my company, Total Package Publications. I first realized I wanted to write and had the GOD-given talent to do so way back in grade school. While everyone was playing Atari and trying to get a paper route, I was making and selling comic books to the neighborhood kids. Not just writing them. I was coming up with the storyline, cover design, character outline – everything! I was about eleven or twelve. That eventually evolved into other writing projects such as the school newspaper. I would write about current and controversial topics that plagued my community on an ongoing basis. I appreciated the reaction of my peers and the positive feedback, so I kept writing. Eventually, my articles turned into full-scale stories.

3) You have a number of titles available. Please let our readers know which of your titles have plus size characters and their role in the books. Presently I have 3 titles available. They are (in order they were written): OVER YOUR DEAD BODY, CHALK OUTLINE CONFESSIONS, MY LIFE IS A MOVIE and coming sometime in June of this year – REPRESENT. Although none of the characters in my books can be defined as “plus size,” I can guarantee I do not discriminate! Whether a specific character is of a certain race, heritage, questioning their sexuality and/or “plus size,” it is what makes up our population, so consequently, there will always be room in my books for these individuals. In my second title, CHALK OUTLINE CONFESSIONS the main character previously dealt with what she considered to be an obsession with being overweight. As a result, she became fixated on going to the gym daily and eventually developed a clinical disorder over her fixation on weight.

4) Why did you chose to feature plus size heroines in your novels. I did not consciously decide to choose a once “plus-size” heroine in any of my titles. Whenever I create the storyline for a book, I first draft a synopsis on what the character traits will be as well as how I envision what each character will look like. Francine (the main character in CHALK OUTLINE CONFESSIONS) is an example. Without giving away too much information, my purpose for this novel was to both enlighten as well as entertain my readers with a character who grew (not literally!) with each chapter – thereby also developing new twists and turns for my reading audience to appreciate in order to see the before and after continuum of her growth.

5)Tell us about your most recent novel My Life Is A Movie? Why should readers run to get a copy of this book? Does it feature a plus size heroine? My newest book, MY LIFE IS A MOVIE was made available during the summer of 2009 and takes the reader back into time. The exact year is 1988. A time when life was simpler, yet an era being duplicated today with fashion, slang, and culture. I delve into the lives of three High School seniors, each going in separate directions of their lives. Consequently, choices are made and based on those choices; life events are forever altered to match those choices. The general theme is upbeat and action-packed, and everyone who reads the book will be able to identify with at least one of the main characters. Although none of the MAIN characters are “plus-sized,” many of the supporting characters can be described as such.

6)Do you plan to write more books featuring plus size characters? Unless I write a non-fiction novel on myself (which is very unlikely to ever happen!), both plus-sized men and women will always have a place in any of my future titles. The reason is simple and straightforward: my intention whenever writing a book is to provide an alternate reality for my reader to delve into a peaceful place. A place which includes ALL types of individuals – both Black and White, large and small, all the way to shy and outgoing. Thus far, I can say with confidence with my present titles – I have a perfect record!

7)When will your next book be released? Tell us a little about your next book? Will it feature a plus size character? The name of my next title, REPRESENT is expected to be released sometime around mid June of this year. The book takes place in modern-day New York and follows the life of a young man who recently witnessed his older brother get a life sentence for his numerous crimes. Now little brother has a choice: take over the family drug business or be considered an outcast to the ones that has raised him. His once promising football career over, he makes the choice to enter the family business – along with all of the dire consequences and pitfalls that come along with that way of life. A critical life choice has to be made within the storyline as he is faced with a major decision – leave his life of crime or end up another statistic. Like all of my other book titles, this book has its share of “plus-sized” characters for everyone to enjoy!

8) What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer? My biggest challenge faced as a writer is getting individuals to understand that this business is not as simple as picking up a pen and paper, thinking this is an overnight hobby or spur-of-the-moment idea! I continue to be amazed over how similar the publishing industry is compared to the music industry. In the murky world of publishing, distribution and niche marketing is key. No matter how well you’ve written a body of work, no one will ever know about you unless it is distributed and promoted correctly. Secondly, you need to establish a core fan base. Readers can sometimes be very fickle and possibly forget about you when that next “hot” author comes out. My goal from the very beginning was, and still is to stay humble and appreciative of those that supported my vision from day one. A special “shout-out” to those that I am referring to right now…you know who you are!

9) Where do you see yourself a year from now? A year from now, I see myself concentrating more on putting out that next hot author of the decade. In order to do this, constant and continued dedication will be implemented both towards my writing as well as my publishing company. A year from now, my plan is to take over the literary market. A year from now, I will be reading this interview and telling whoever may be next to me, “I TOLD YOU SO!”

10) What are you reading now? Who are your favorite authors? There are no books that I am reading at this moment. The time it takes for me to read someone else’s book is negatively taking away the time that I need to work on my next novel. Consequently, I do not remember the last title I have read from anyone. One of my favorite authors of the past include: The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. His book Message To The Black Man can be summed up in one word: CLASSIC!

11)Tell us about the online and offline personal appearances you have planned over the next couple of months. Where can readers connect with you up close and personal. Some of my upcoming personal appearances this year include: Delaware Black Expo on April 24th, The Urban Arts Festival in Queens, NY on May 1st and 2nd, Positively Dover Festival in Dover, Delaware on June 26th, the Harlem Book Fair in Harlem, NY on July 17th, and the Brooklyn Book Festival on September 12th. Interested attendees can visit my website for updated information.

12)How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website? Readers can get up close and personal with me in a variety of ways: email, website, author sign-ins, etc. I am very much in “the streets” and do everything possible to take questions for upcoming writers trying to get into the industry. Have a question for me or want to comment on any of my novels? Get in touch with me via email at:, author website:, or postal mail: P.O. Box 3237, C/O David L., Mount Vernon, NY 10553.

13)What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? I try to keep my eye to the streets whenever possible. When I’m not writing, I am looking for every opportunity to brand myself and take my writing skills to the next level. Activities that I’m constantly involved in include public speaking in the areas of race relations, self-publishing, and effective marketing and my personal passion – working with at-risk foster care youth in the community. I am often asked what the last book I’ve read was and my answer is always the same: “the time it takes me to read someone else’s book, I could be hard at work writing my next one!”

About David L: David L., author and publisher, holds a BS. in Communications and Human Relations and a Masters in Social Work with a concentration in clinical administration.

David L. has authored several published articles relating to race relations; "How To" articles in becoming a self-published au-thor. David L. is also very active in his community and participates in public speaking engagements with various schools and foster care agencies."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Interview with Anna Black, author of Now You Wanna Come Back

Join us as we chat with Anna Black, author of Now You Wanna Come Back. Learn more about Anna's books, her future goals, and her literary journey.

***Contest Alert***
Leave a comment (with an email address) and be entered to win a copy of Now you Wanna Come Back by Anna Black. For Contest Details see side panel. This contest ends March 31, 2010.

1) Tell us about yourself? I am originally from Chicago, but I now reside in Texas with my husband and daughter.

2) How long have you been writing? I have been writing a little over ten years now.

3) What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? Stress...really. I was going through a divorce with my ex-husband and writing was a way to relax.

4) Your novel, Now You Wanna Come Back, featured a plus size heroine. Please tell us about this novel and why you choose to feature a plus-size heroine. Well, my main character Leila is based on a plus size sister who wasn't always full-figured, but after marriage and settling into her life, she put on a few pounds. She got pregnant and that added on more pounds, and by then Devon, her husband no longer wanted to be with her. He treated her horribly and took away her self esteem. Hurt and ravaged, she didn't believe that Rayshon, the new guy was interested in her full-figured frame. Rayshon came along and treated her the way her husband Devon should have treated her, giving her back her confidence, causing Devon, to want her back. This book also offers a twist, because drama brews with Rayson and Leila's relationship too when Katrina a woman from Rayshon's past shows up out of the blue. In the end you'll wonder who Leila will go back to.

5) How did you get your first publishing deal? Well, I self-published first with a company called DeNovo Publishing and it was awful because my book released September 2008, but the company sent me an email November 2008 saying they were going out of business and my book didn't go anywhere. After a few months with that disappointment on my shoulders, I was still determined and I self-published with Infinity Publishing and my only complaint with them was having my book being a POD, that limited who could order my book and that kind of held me back too because places I wanted to have signings wouldn't order a POD book. Then after a few months I meet up with Tamika Newhouse, a driven sister who had just started her own publishing company and we just hit it off. I signed with her on Delphine Publications and I'm happy because there are no restrictions and I don't have to promote and push my novels by myself. I have a publishing company that helps me in marketing, promoting, etc.

6) Are there any more books featuring plus-size heroines in the works? Not in the works, but complete. I have my next book Luck of the Draw that will release April 2010. I have two others that are complete on called Truth Is and the other Relax Your Mind. Don't have a release date for those two yet, but they also feature plus-sized heroines.

7) Tell us a little about your next release Luck of the Draw? When can interested readers purchase a copy of your book? Luck of the Draw is about friendship, jealousy and trust. My main character Kennedy is a beautiful plus-sized sister that is envied by her size four bomb-shell best friend Cherae. This is a twist because no one would expect the slim, gorgeous friend to be jealous of the big girls life, but one man, Julian gives Cherae a rude awakening when she has to face that fact that skinny don't make you better. Friendships and relationships are destroyed in this tale, but a major lesson is learned for all at the end.

8) What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer? Getting people to give my book a chance I would I am promoting my book everywhere I go, by giving out cards, brochures, etc and folks, even if they are avid readers are scared to try someone new. Its hard always trying to convince someone that your book is a good read, because they think, of course its good to you because you wrote That is my biggest challenge I think, but I still push.

9) Where do you see yourself a year from now? Still writing and growing as an authoress. This is a tough industry and I know it will take me more than one more year to really see the fruit of my works. Now in five years, I see myself everywhere, on every shelf, having a fan base of a major author.

10) What are you reading now? Who are your favorite authors? Right now I'm reading The Bum Magnet, by K.L. Brady and I'm really enjoying it. I don't have a favorite author honestly because I enjoy so many novels, so a favorite author I don't have, but my favorite book is The Coldest Winter Ever.

11) Tell us about the on line and offline personal appearances you have planned over the next couple of months. Where can readers connect with you up close and personal? How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website?
I will be at Jokae's African American Books, 3223 W. Camp Wisdom Road, Dallas, Texas 75237 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. and AAMBC 1st Annual Bowl-On-A-Lane For Literacy Forum Bowl, Grand Prairie, Texas, February 27, 2010 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Readers can catch up with me by email at, on Facebook and Twitter and my website is and my publishing company is

12) What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? That I'm easy going and laid back. I would love to attend book club meetings in person or by phone to get more readers reading my work. When I write I try to make realistic stories for average, curvy, plus-sized, full-figured women like myself. We all want and need to be love and I want average everyday women to feel the same butterflies reading my novels thinking this could happen to me, verses the hot sexy slim chicks that always get the guy.

About Anna Black: Anna has been writing for ten years and she has completed a number of romance/drama/suspense stories. She started writing short stories and poems, and moved over to full length novels about six years ago. Her talents have been enjoyed by a select few in the past, now she is here to deliver her page turners to you. Originally from the southside of Chicago, she was raised to dream big, and now her dreams of publishing her work has come true. "Now you Wanna Come Back," is her debut release, but Anna is not taking a break. She is anxious to also release "Luck of the Draw," April 23, 2010. Anna is here to WOW her readers, and give the readers of today, something to talk about.

She currently resides in Texas with her husband Chris and daughter Tyra.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Interview with Author Rebecca Brock

Join us as we chat with Author Rebecca Brock about her literary journey and her new book The Giving Season. The Giving Season is a charming heartwarming love story you do not want to miss.

****Contest Alert - Leave a comment (attached to an email address) on Rebecca Brock's interview and be entered to win a copy Of The Giving Season. This contest will end March 31st

1)Tell us about yourself? I live a (thankfully) quiet life. I read a lot, in all kinds of genres, and I tend to be a bit “conspiracy theory” minded at times (depending on what type of non-fiction I’m into at the time). I like to cross stitch, but my attention span isn’t what it used to be, so now I mostly stitch up Christmas ornaments and smaller projects. I also crochet, even though the afghans I’ve made tend to unravel after a while. On weekends I like to catch up on my favorite TV shows (I have a weakness for wedding reality shows) and movies. Good grief, I didn’t realize I was this boring! (ha ha)

2)How long have you been writing? I started writing when I was in third grade, I believe. I liked to write sequels to horror movies and “kill off” all my friends (they loved it, and thank goodness no one took it seriously). I got impatient writing in longhand and taught myself to type with the help of my aunt’s manual typewriter, an old typing textbook, and some black tape. That sped the process up a bit. I don’t know if anyone remembers those old typewriters, but I had finger muscles like you wouldn’t believe.

3)What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? I honestly don’t know. I started reading at a very young age (I think I was 2) and the first novel I read was Carrie by Stephen King when I was five or so. I don’t remember what impulse made me think I could write—I just started doing it without much thought to the hows and whys.

4)Along with this interview we will be giving away a copy of The Giving Season. Tell us a little about this book and why you decided to feature a plus size heroine in this novel? I wanted The Giving Season to be about the importance of family, especially to someone who is alone in the world. The main character, Jessy, is on her own and lost (literally and figuratively) when she meets Michael, and his act of kindness—inviting her to share Christmas with his family—changes her life. Not only does she find a family, she finds someone who loves her. It’s hard for her to accept his sincerity, so she struggles against her own self-esteem problems in order to allow him into her life.

I wanted to write about a plus-size heroine because I’ve struggled with weight issues all my life. I liked reading romance novels, but I’d inevitably feel disappointed (if not flat out annoyed) with the books because the heroines were always so perfect and beautiful and thin. Where was the struggle to find love? Where were the self-esteem issues and self-doubts and worries and nights of feeling lonely just because they felt they were “different” than everyone else? The heroines of those books didn’t have the emotional struggle that I wanted (needed) to read about. So I decided to write a total “wish fulfillment” novel, in which a woman like me—full-figured, shy, self-esteem-challenged—meets a wonderful guy who sees beyond all her real and imagined “flaws” and falls in love with her.

5)The Giving Season is a bit different than your other work. Your personal blog, as well as your self-published collection of short stories all fall within the horror genre. Why did you decide to step out of your norm with this novel. I guess there’s only so much horror you can take before your brain starts screaming “I need fluffy happy sunshiny stuff!” Writing horror helps me to exorcise my worries and fears, but writing romance is an exercise in optimism and hope. There’s always a happy ending. As much as I love writing horror, I love writing romance just as much.

6)Do you plan to write more books featuring plus size characters? (Maybe a horror with a plus size heroine now that would definitely be interesting) Funnily enough, in my horror stories I leave the descriptions of my characters fairly open-ended, so the reader can fill in the blanks however they want. I do plan to write more books with plus-size characters; that’s the life I know. I’m familiar with the problems and issues than can come with being plus-sized. Plus, I think it just makes stories more interesting when the main character is struggling with the same drama as me. I might not have to worry about zombies in my life, but discovering that I can’t zip up my favorite jeans anymore? That I’m all too familiar with.

7)What is up next for Rebecca Brock? Do you have another book coming out anytime soon? I’m working on a few things all at once (nothing like juggling fifty balls in the air). I’m trying to finish up a final draft of a plus-size romance to submit to Pearlsong Press, as well as working on a script for my brother, David, who is a director (it’s a zombie movie, of course), and finishing up a few short stories here and there.

I do have a story in a horror anthology called “The Best of All Flesh,” which should be available now. It’s a zombie anthology, and my story is about a guy who is stuck at his job at a youth detention facility when the world goes kablooey and the zombies attack. He has to decide between his responsibility to the kids at his job and his family, even though he doesn’t want to have to choose. My brother, Matt, inspired the story—he worked at a facility like that and told me some real horror stories about the kids.

8)What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a writer? Getting published, to be honest. When I was a teenager and full of youthful arrogance, I would send out novel manuscripts to publishing houses such as Zebra and Tor, fully expecting that my writing was good enough to be in print (this was when I was 16, mind you). I started collecting rejection slips. I couldn’t let myself think about how many other people were submitting stories and novels, and how many other people were flat-out better writers than me. I just stubbornly kept submitting my stuff—and this was in the days before the Internet, when I actually had to send hard copies of my novels through snail mail. It was an expensive, slow, frustrating process. Plus, living in the boonies put me at a real disadvantage when it came to finding/reading the few magazines that were publishing short horror stories. We have no bookstores in my town, so it was really difficult to study the market. The Internet, of course, changed the game completely.

9)Where do you see yourself a year from now? Hopefully talking to you again about my second or third romance novel. Getting a horror novel or two out there to publishers. Working on more scripts with my brother. Basically, I'd like life to be the same as now, only more successful and better.

10)What are you reading now? What types of books (genres) do you read in general? I’ve just started “Under the Dome” by Stephen King, and I’ve got a few non-fiction books in various stages of completion. Right now, I’m primarily reading non-fiction works concerning conspiracy theories and other creepy things (aliens, UFOs, cryptozoology, etc.) because I’ve got a feeling my subconscious is storing up the information for a story. I tend to flip-flop around in my tastes—last week I read biographies on John Lennon and Elvis, before that I was totally into horror, before that, I was interested in books about Christmas traditions and pagan origins. I never know what I’ll want to read. My home library is eclectic, to put it mildly.

11)Who are your favorite authors? In the romance genre, I’d have to say LaVyrle Spencer is my absolute favorite, followed by Jude Devereaux. I remember spending my junior prom night at home reading a LaVyrle Spencer novel (senior prom night was spent watching “Return of the Living Dead,” but I digress). Of course, I’m a fan of Stephen King (especially the early novels, like “The Stand”) and Dean Koontz, but I also enjoy books by Jack Ketchum, Richard Layman, and Robert McCammon.

12)What is a typical day for you like when you are on a writing deadline? Panic, followed by much procrastination, wailing, and beating of the breast.

Actually, I just try to keep my head down and my attention focused and get the words on the page. My thinking is that it’s easier to edit than create, so the priority is to just get everything I’m planning to say on the page, with the plan of going back later to fix it. Right now, though, any writing deadlines I have are of my own creation, so I have a bad habit of scooting the deadlines back as needed.

The biggest deadline I ever faced was when I was working with the drive-in movie critic, Joe Bob Briggs, as the researcher for his book "Profoundly Disgusting." I had put together hundreds and hundreds of pages of research for him and knew the subject matter about as well as he did. The book was in the midst of its final edit when I got an email from his editor asking me if I could fact-check about fifty or so items by the next morning (because Briggs was in Europe and unreachable at the time, otherwise he would have done the work). I worked all night to get it done, but by golly, the finished product was emailed back to the editor first thing the next morning. Don't ask me how much I got paid for the job (she said with a bitter laugh).

13)Tell us about the online and offline personal appearances you have planned over the next couple of months. Where can readers connect with you up close and personal? How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website? I hope to be at the Ohio River Festival of Books in Huntington, WV on April 17th to sign copies of The Giving Season and Abominations (see for more details). Readers can get in touch with me by email ( My website,, is currently under semi-construction, but it’s up and running. I’m still trying to figure out the whole “webpage” thing.

14)What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? That I honestly hope that my writing—whether it’s a romance or a horror story—genuinely entertains them and gives them a laugh or a scare or a swoony sigh. They say that you should write for yourself—and that’s true—but it’s the reader who is the most important element. I try to write for them.

Plus, I’m really not that weird. Honest.


About Rebecca Brock: (Borrowed from Pearlsong Press website) Rebecca is the director of a small library in southern West Virginia. She is also the author of a collection of short horror stories (Abominations) and a variety of other horror stories published in anthologies and online since 2000.

When not cleaning up after her cats, Rebecca enjoys books and movies in a variety of genres (romance, horror, true crime, sci-fi) and attempts to be crafty by crocheting, sewing, and cross stitching. The Giving Season is her first published novel (all the others are hidden away in drawers somewhere).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winners Announcement - Rida Allen Contest

The Rida Allen Contest has come to an end and the winner is Venus. Thanks for commenting on our blog Venus. You will be receiving a copy of Rida's latest release The Player, the second book in the Bandmates series. Venus Rida will contact you with more information on your prize.

The book contest might be over but all other comments on this interview and all other interviews will be entered to win a copy of one of the books we have available. There is also time to win a copy of Family Picture by Rachel Berry (an epci novel and family and the ties or lies that bind them).