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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Conversations w/ Jahzara

AAMBC: When did you discover your passion for writing?

Jahzara: I discovered my passion for writing when I was in the third grade. I was constantly in trouble for fighting the boys in the class and found myself being punished for taking up for myself. So, my punishment was the "Wee One's Corner". It is probably the equivalent to today's "Time-Out." Anyways, after I completed my school assignments in isolation, I would write in a composition book and the love affair started there.

AAMBC: How many books have you written?

Jahzara: My first book is Contradictions written under the name Nicole Bradley, Love Don't Live Here Anymore is my second book, I contributed a story entitled, "Friends With Benefits" to the Hood2Hood Anthology by Shannon Holmes, my third book is entitled Never Would Have Made It: A Testimony of What God Has Done In My Life and I am also accepting submissions for 3 anthologies as well.

AAMBC: You're very busy. I understand that your felt that you had to write Love Don't Live Here Amymore, can you expound on that?

Jahzara: Yes, I felt like I had to write that novel which is loosely based on my life. It doesn't read as an autobiography, though. But, I had to write it for two reasons. One, I had come out of a tumultuos marriage and I was hurt, angry, and bitter and that's not who I am as a person. I knew that if I didn't let ago of those negative emotions, they would ruin me. I also, knew that no woman deserved to undergo what I went through and so if my story could prevent one woman the heartache, I endured then writing it would be worth it.

AAMBC: What advice would you give to an individual who wants to pursue writing?

Jahzara: My advice would be to go for it--write. I caution people about the company they keep. Surround yourself with positive people. Always keep pen, paper, or flashdrives handy because you never know when the writing bug will hit you and you need to be able to record those ideas.

AAMBC: You started your own publishing company, Tranquil Moments LLC can you share how you went about doing that?

Jahzara: I did research on top of research. I reached out to individuals who had started their own companies and asked questions, followed up on the information that they provided me. I prayed and asked for guidance. Additionally, I invested in myself and my company with my own revenues and later OPM.


Jahzara: Other People's Money. I took a sponsorship course with Fran Briggs, who is also my publicist and mentor and learned how to secure sponsors to assist me with my endeavors.

AAMBC: How can people contact you to learn more about your books and what you do?

Jahzara: Thank you for allowing me to share. I would like to encourage people to visit me at www.jahzarawrites.com and www.nicolebradley.com and allow me to put them and their projects in the limelight. It's not all about me. I have a love for people and like to spotlight them. To learn more about that opportunity, people can go to my Never Would Have Made It webpage at http://neverwouldhavemadeit.4t.com/index.htm

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Get to Know Patti Lacy

About the Author

Patti Lacy graduated from Baylor University in 1977 with a B.S. in education. She taught at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois, until she retired in 2006 to pursue writing full time. She has two grown children with her husband, Alan, and lives in Illinois.

About What the Bayou Saw

Segregation and a chain link fence separated twelve-year-old Sally Flowers from her best friend, Ella Ward. Yet a brutal assault bound them together. Forever. Thirty-eight years later, Sally, a middle-aged Midwestern instructor, dredges up childhood secrets long buried beneath the waters of a Louisiana bayou in order to help her student, who has also been raped. Fragments of spirituals, gospel songs, and images of a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans are woven into the story

The Interview

1. Tell us something you make sure you put into your writing as far as emotions and mission.

Romans 8:38, God working for good in all things, provides the framework for my exploration of the tough issues women have to face. God can work for good even if you have two dysfunctional mothers, like Mary did in An Irishwoman's Tale. God can work for good through racism, through a rape, through lies, as he did in What the Bayou Saw. God can work for good in ALL things. It's a hard teaching--for me, anyway!

2. What is one thing writing has done for you in your life?

Writing has forced me to explore parts of my life and my heart that I thought I'd locked up forever. Writing has introduced me to a zany community of artists that I never would've met otherwise.

3. What do you want readers to gain from your novels?

The certainty that every woman has a story to tell and a life to turn over to God, no matter how dysfunctional that life has been. I hope they have fun spanning seas and secrets with me as well!

4. Why this particular story line, what?

I've struggled with the human stain of racism upon the South and the horrible scars left on women because of sexual abuse. In What the Bayou Saw, God encouraged me to explore both sociocultural issues within the frame of a novel. It may not always be a comfortable book to read, but I hope it stimulates the gray matter and precipitates dialogue.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Conversations w/ Eileena Warehouser

QUESTION # 1: What kind of book is this?

ANSWER: “The Truth Is Reality” is a self-help-inspirational book; how to apply practical solutions to everyday problems.

QUESTION #2: Why did you write this book?

ANSWER: I wrote this book because I am a numbers and logic kind of person. I love that show called “NUMBERS” on CBS, where they use mathematical equations and logic to solve crimes. My educational background is in accounting, economics and business. In this book I apply the basic principal taught in most leadership and management schools which is “Properly identify the problem” – I apply this method to common problems and come to a logical, attainable solution.

Often we attempt to resolve symptoms of the real, true problem. Often we attempt to or resolve related or resulting problems without ever solving the real, true problem. The first step in problem solving is: properly identifying the problem.

With all due respect, and I mean no offence to anyone, but I get tired of hearing the phrases “Lets raise awareness” and “Lets start a dialog about …” whatever issue currently being discussed. There is a solution. And through systematic methodology one can come to a logical best solution.

QUESTION # 3: Why didn’t you provide information about yourself – the author?

ANSWER: On the back cover of the book, in the space where you usually see “About the Author” I had my publisher print “The message is much more important than the messenger.”

I don’t currently have a degree or any credentials in sociology, or psychology. As I mentioned, my background is in accounting. I was recently accepted into a Ph.D. program. But there are many people who excel in a field in which they are not formally trained. You see many singers become successful recording artist without having formal voice training. I’ve read statistics stating that 30 to 40% of people with degrees don’t work within their field of expertise.

Often people look for an author with a Ph.D. in the subject area when shopping for self help-inspirational books. I’m hoping that through word of mouth and once you read the list of chapters this will spark reader interest.

QUESTION # 4: Tell me the list of chapters and give me a brief description.


PART I: is called “Racing to be Human.”

The first four chapters about the basic humanity {The Human Race} issues, such as: black & white racism, and black on blacker racism.

CHAPTER 1: So Many Followers, So Few Leaders

This is really the introductory chapter which basically properly identifies the one singular problem that leads to all the other related and resulting problems. But you must first identify the problem before you can solve the problem.

The first basic problem is EGO. People comparing and competing with other people to determine their self worth. Its really not how well you stack up against your siblings, your co-workers, or your friends that gives you your self worth. In the book I tell you what is the true measure of ones self worth. That way you can do away with feelings of jealously, inadequacy, the backstabbing and degrading of others in order to boost your own ego. Because, as most of us know, negative energy attracts more negative energy and circumstances.

The second basic problem is “Followers.” It is common knowledge that most people are followers, the followers follow the crowd, follow popular trends, follow popular ideology and philosophies. Most people are afraid to stand alone or think or step “outside the box” because they are afraid of criticism or ridicule – which relates back to the EGO issue. In this book I break down the reason most people are followers. This “Follower Mentality” stagnates the education and intelligence of mankind because people are generally afraid to take their endeavors more one step further then their peers.

The third basic problem is “The Truth.” The popular phrase now is: “Keeping it Real.”

Here is a story from the book:

THE TRUTH and A LIE were walking down the road to a small village. Along the way, they came to a lake of water. A LIE suggested they jump in and take a swim. After some talking and convincing, THE TRUTH finally agreed to take a swim. So THE TRUTH took off its clothes and jumped into the lake of water.

While THE TRUTH was under the water, A LIE put on THE TRUTH’s clothes and ran to the village spreading lies all around. The people in the village believed A LIE because he was clothed in the ROBE OF TRUTH.

When THE TRUTH finally got out the lake and ran to the village spreading THE TRUTH, no one would believe him because …

… They couldn’t handle the naked truth!

Some people want to sugar coat the truth, spin the truth, manipulate the truth, suppress the truth, or live in denial of the truth. The truth manipulated in any form or fashion is no longer the truth.

“A persons sanity is directly proportionate to their ability to accept and comprehend the truth.”

There’s a saying “What goes on in the dark, will come out into the light.” The truth and reality will confront you sooner or later, weather in public or in private. The manner in which you deal with that confrontation is the measure of your sanity.

There are people who live beyond their means to impress others or maybe they are living in denial. How do they cope with nagging creditors, repossessions and foreclosures?

This too relates back to the basic problem # 1 EGO. Your self esteem/self-worth should not be based on how you compare and compete with others, it should not be based on your material possessions, it should not be based on “The Follower’s” definition of beauty. In this book I tell you the true and real basis of one self esteem.

CHAPTER 2: Basic Black and White: Don’t just Tolerate Me, Understand Me

“People fear what they don’t understand and people hate what they fear.” To me the word Tolerance implies a certain degree of impatience. Like deep down inside I honestly dislike you, but I will use my restraint, discipline and maturity to cover up my true feelings so we can painstakingly get through this co-existence.

If people fear what they don’t understand and they hate what they fear then don’t just tolerate me; understand me.

Racism comes from EGO. Some people have the need to degrade others to make themselves feel better.

It may not be time permitting or the situation may not be conducive to familiarize yourself with someone else’s heritage or culture. But it is obvious there are differences. The ego wants to compare and compete. The ego wants to rank everything as either good or bad, or better or worse, hoping they are the better in the comparison and thus giving them an ego boost.

There are good and bad in every race. There are the highly intelligent in every race and there are really stupid in every race. You should deal with each person on an individual basis, approaching your first encounter with an open mind. In this book we review what happened back in the 16th century when European explorers first ventured to the continent of Africa and the differences between the two cultures at that time, to get to the root of the problem.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Conversations w/ Candance Preau

1. What motivates you?

My purpose and calling of God to inspire and encourage people and offer a positive outlook on life motivates me. I know what it’s like to have and have not, and in either case, if you are not aware of your God-given purpose in life, you have nothing. It is my passion and my personal mission to use my creative gifts to share with the world what God has given me.

2. Who are your heroes?

My parents are my heroes because I have learned so much not only from what they say but by their actions. These people have survived 29 years of happy marriage. Note the word, happy. I can proudly say that I am blessed enough to have seen what real love looks like and what peace and joy look like irregardless of circumstance. They show each other unconditional love and support everyday and I can only pray that I am blessed enough to have the same with the man I marry. They are filled with such wisdom and God’s presence is evident in their lives.

3. What are your qualifications?

I thank God that I have been able to receive a quality education through grace and hard work. I received my B.A. in Advertising from Southern Methodist University, and am currently pursuing a M.A. in Creative Writing and Education. I value education as a good education has been instilled in me from a young age. Being a first generation American, I want to see to it that my children make even more of a mark in history as our family grows and prospers in this country. I have taken acting classes, voice classes and have edited and written articles both freelance and for my school journals and newspapers.

4. Where do you see yourself in 5…10 years?

I see myself as getting closer to being financially independent. I will have my graduate degree(s) by then, have a few books published and hopefully be giving back to the community by teaching reading and writing and mentoring young people. My passion is literacy and I hope to establish programs in the arts and literature for all youth, especially minority and inner-city youth to be at or above the level of their more financially privileged counterparts.

5. Why is education so important to you?

Education and literacy are important to me because the mind is the most powerful force we possess. Without critical thinking, analytical and reading skills, a people become hopeless, dependent on others to solve problems and unable to think for themselves. The weakest person is not weakest in physical strength, but weakest in mental strength and capacity. The uneducated suffer immensely in all walks of life. The illiterate suffer immensely as well. It’s a sad thing when you live in a land of the free, of plenty, and have no ability to think for yourself.

6. What is your strongest quality?

Faith….I have ridiculous faith. I have unbelievable faith. (smile) I have the faith where I believe I can do the unimaginable and that God will make a way for me. I was able to attend a college that other people in my community could only dream of attending. I was able to see people speak and meet people, great people, that others have not have the privilege to meet. I have won talent contests based not only on talent, but with the faith to believe that I am gifted, and I can do this. Faith is my best quality and I thank God for giving me that adventurous faith.

7. Would you change anything at this moment if you could?

Many people say, no, they wouldn’t change a thing in their lives. Honestly, I say yes, I would change many mistakes I’ve made. Yes, I’ve learned from them, but they have also cost me many things that I wish I could have restored to their fullest potentially. Life lessons do make you stronger, but I wish above all that I had always been true to myself. If I had always been true to myself, I would have been so much further in my career. Instead of being and doing what others thought I should, I would have stayed true to my gifts, talents, and what I would be happy pursuing.

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