Monday, April 11, 2011
Get to Know Maxine Thompson
Growing up in foster care, Zipporah "Z" Saldano never dreamed of becoming a police officer, but after she's rescued from a hostage situation during the L.A. Riots, she chooses a career in law enforcement.
After ten good years on the force, Z is involved in a domestic homicide case gone awry. Her partner is killed, and Z is fired when alcohol is detected in her system. It's two long years before she gets sober and opens her own private investigation firm.
Now Shirley, her former foster mother, is in need of Z's help. Someone has murdered her grandson, a high school basketball star, and she wants Z to find out who did it. Z soon finds herself in deeper trouble than when she was kicked out of the LAPD. What she discovers is a conspiracy much deeper than anyone would believe, and she finds her own life is in danger.
Dr. Maxine Thompson is a novelist, poet, columnist, short story writer, book reviewer, an editor, ghostwriter, Internet Radio Show Host, and a Literary Agent. She is the author of The Ebony Tree, No Pockets in a Shroud, A Place Called Home (A Short Story Collection), The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell, a contributor to bestselling anthologies Secret Lovers, All in The Family, and Never Knew Love Like This Before, (Also a Kindle Bestseller), ebook, The Hush Hush Secrets of Making Money as a Writer. She hasan upcoming novel, Release, LA Blues, and upcoming (ebook) The Hush Hush Secrets of Creating a Life You Love.
Hostage of Lies, her latest fiction novel, was voted a Best Book of 2009.
Interview with Maxine:
1. What do you feel about the publishing industry and where it’s headed?
Right now the publishing industry is being turned on its ear. Best-selling mainstream authors are turning to self-publishing, and unknown indie authors are becoming rock stars by selling unusually high quantities of ebooks.
Well, I love it! I feel this is a great time in history to be a writer, and particularly an African American writer. It’s no secret that racism is the reason I only found one Black book in the library when I was a child during the 1950s. Needless to say, for a budding writer and a child who loved to read this fact was devastating. As part of a child’s development, it’s important to see books which feature people who look like you.
Unfortunately, 50 years later, institutional racism still exists in the publishing industry. For this reason, I fight for Black writers’ voices to be heard. That’s why I do all I can to help promote or develop Black talent in the literary arena.
As a literary agent, I get many rejections for every book deal I get for A.A. writers, but I don’t take it personally. I just keep pushing back.
On the other hand, I enjoy the freedom authors are now given to take their bodies of work straight to the public. No more gatekeepers to hold you back. Even so, you still need a professional team of editors, graphic designers, and a PR team. A good knowledge of social networking and the Internet helps also in promoting your book.
2. Have you ever self-published?
I was working 60 hour weeks as a social worker, (unbeknownst to me, I was wrapping up a 23-year career at that time), when I self-published my first 2 books. I have self-published all my books, except for two novels, Hostage of Lies (which was my reissued second novel, No Pockets in a Shroud,) and 4 anthologies, I participated in.
After rejection of another novel from New York traditional publishers, I self-published my first novel, The Ebony Tree, in 1995, and I self-published, No Pockets in a Shroud in 1997. I recently self-published an ebook, The Hush Hush Secrets of Making Money as a Writer. In all, I've written or been published in 14 of my own books.
3. Tell us about your ebook publishing experience?
I e-published my first ebook in 1999, How to Publish, Market and Sell your Book Via Ebook Publishing, and was featured in Black Enterprise Magazine in April 2001 for e-publishing. At the time, though, I couldn’t find a Black audience for my ebooks.
Now, we have the software/ereaders and the means to reach a global audience. I’m glad to see more Black writers putting out their ebooks. These shorter and generally cheaper ebooks are great marketing tools for your more expensive print books.
E-publishing means a lot for African American writers and our ability to penetrate this new global market.
I am really proud to see young African American publishers take responsibility for the destiny and penning down our stories. I love how many have taken leadership roles such as AAMBook Club to help promote Black writers and keep our works in print.
4. How did you become a literary agent?
I typeset and formatted self-published books between 1998 and 2000. Then in 2000, I began to do story/ developmental editing. I kept noticing the books I edited get book deals. From that, I decided to become an agent in 2003. It took 2 years to break in, but I have negotiated sixty-seven book deals since 2005. It has been an interesting journey.
5. When did you become an Internet Radio Show host?
I began hosting Internet radio shows on March 5, 2002 on Voiceamerica.com. I later started on Artistfirst in March 2004, and did both shows at the same until the end of 2005. I started doing my own show from home in March 2005 on Maxine Show, and hopefully, will pick that back up in the future. I still do a show with Artistfirst.com, whom I’ve been with for seven years. I do this to promote new, seasoned, and self-published writers.
I am really beginning to see market impact because my Internet radio shows are archived through the writers I represent such as Shelia Goss, Michelle McGriff, Rosalyn McMillan.
6. Where are some of your columns located on the Internet?
Ehow.com, Ideamarketers.com since 1999. Maxine Thompson Ezine Article Expert since 2006
I credit the Internet with giving me the break I needed as a writer. As I wrote more free articles on line before blogging became popular, people began to trust me.
7. Tell us about your upcoming novel, LA Blues, due out 6-28-11.
My upcoming novel, LA Blues, is my first foray into crime fiction. The backdrop to the story is about the on-going wars between LA gangs, The Crips, The Bloods, and the Latino gangs.
At the time I penned this story in 2009, this situation had hit close to home. My nephew, Sanchez Thompson, had just been murdered in Detroit at the young age of 18, only four months after I closed my sister’s eyes in death at her hospice bedside. To say I was numb and grief-stricken is an understatement. But out of this grief, I’ve emerged with a sharper appreciation of life. In fact, this grief not only gave birth to my story, but gave me a renewed sense of purpose. That is, to try to save or to protect the lives of the up coming generation.
Find Maxine at:
http://www.maxinethompson.com, http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com, and http://www.maxineshow.com, linkedin.com/MaxineThompson