Are you a GOOD Woman? Do you know a GOOD Woman? Many of you know that my trilogy Someday, Someday, Too and Forever and a Day fall under the I’m A Good Woman series. Well, did you know that there is IGW apparel as well? Make a statement without saying a word with the bold IGW logo on soft beautiful t-shirts, tank tops, underwear, pajamas and totes. All you need to do is go to my online store and place an order. I know they’ll look good on you!!! Find it here.
Attention Book Lovers! I have an announcement. I will be releasing a new book in the Things Every Good Woman Should Know series this fall. This book will address Christian dating. I am struggling with the title. You guys know I like to make light of life’s challenges and this one will be no different. So far I have “Your Name Is Not Boaz and I’m Not Ruth”, “Dear God, Was My Boaz in an Accident?” or “Mr. Righteous Where Are You?”. Please tell me which one you like the best or if you have another suggestion, I’m open to that as well. Ask yourselves, “Would this title make me want to read it?”
I look forward to sharing this offering with you.
I recently read a post that completely resonated with me. As of late, I have had to reevaluate my relationships and my priorities with others and even with myself. Self-reflection can be painful but if you do it right you’ll be better for it. Well, anyway….the author of the post, Karen Hardin of Priority PR Group & Literary Agency, was nice enough to give me permission to repost it on my blog. It all goes back to the golden rule, Treat others as you want to be treated.
RELATIONSHIPS MATTER. PEOPLE MATTER.
It’s been an interesting week in my world and it all surrounded around relationships—those who do them well and those who don’t.
As in any area of our lives relationships are important and can help open or close doors. This is obviously true in the publishing world as well.
This week I had the opportunity with two different publishers for interaction on contracts that had already been signed. The scenarios were almost identical. The contracts were signed on a tight deadline in which the normal time frame for the book to release was cut short—or about to be cut short. It required that my author and I move very fast, but it also required the publishers to move very fast in order to get the books released in a certain season which was important to the book. This is where the stories depart from their similarities.
Two different publishers. Two different books. Two different authors.
Two VERY different responses.
Publisher #1 – was too busy to meet with us immediately after signing the contract, but assured us they would be moving ahead with the book to get it formatted and information out to the key sales accounts for the book to start being sold to the national accounts. Great. We sent them the information needed and then waited FIVE weeks for a phone meeting.
Due to an automated meeting confirmation process the publisher used, which gave my author the wrong time for the meeting, we missed the meeting after waiting five weeks!
Those things can happen, but the problem was the response from the publisher. They went ahead and had their decision making meeting about her book without her. Then they took no responsibility for the fact that they sent out the wrong information to her regarding the meeting or the fact that they did not go through all the channels requested to try to let her know when she missed the meeting. We were even told without apology, “We have LOTS of authors and you are just one of them.” (Yes, they actually said that.)
Publisher #2 – Compared to Publisher #1, this publisher has a stronger line-up of “known” authors, a more recognized name in the publishing industry and they are putting out more books each year. My author and I would be considered a small fish in a big pond relatively speaking and yet, this publisher has worked to make my author feel important. They have welcomed ideas, marketing strategies and, in every phone call, of which there have been several since signing, they have made the statement, “We are very excited about your book and the opportunities in front of us.”
Which publisher would you want to be YOUR publisher?
While there are no relationships that are perfect, and human error will happen, it’s how we respond that is important. Errors will happen and grace should be extended. But the message that is important is VALUE.
At the end of the day, value shouldn’t be extended based on how well-known someone is or isn’t or what they can bring to the table. At the end of the day, EVERYONE has value. It’s important for all of us to remember that. Do we extend the same grace and value to lets say the trash collector who comes to our home, as we do to the president of a company? It’s something to consider.
For my company, I want all my authors to know they are valuable, as are the publishers I work with and every editor, illustrator, designer, writer, etc. I’ve certainly had to grow in that area. What about you? I’m not the gushy, constantly affirming, sanguine type personality, but I’ve learned—sometimes belatedly-that as an agent or publicist, my job is to encourage my authors and remind them who they are and the value of the gift they possess. (OK, sometimes I have to give them a kick in the rear as well, but that’s another blog.)
Writing can sometimes be a thankless job until you hit that book or article that goes “big” and you begin to receive steady feedback. Some writers never hit that place. Some only achieve their fifteen minutes of fame.But let me say, your value and your skill as a writer, shouldn’t be based on the number of books sold or fame you achieve.
I’ve represented some authors that are absolutely phenomenal writers. Their words inspire, encourage and cause food for thought and growth. In my book they are heavy weights and yet their sales numbers do not always reflect the skill or the depth of their message.
Sometimes, if we listen only to what others say, (for example like publisher #1 – “You are just one of many…”) or if we pay attention to sales numbers, or perhaps that we haven’t been able to yet secure a contract, does that determine who you are or what you can do?
It does not.
So here are my thoughts that I would like to share as I finish this rant:
1. If you feel God has called you to write. Then write.
2. Do it well. Be thoughtful. Take the time write it and then let it rest and then work on it some more. Also, do not forego a professional edit if you plan to publish. You devalue yourself when you do that.
3. Be willing to accept constructive criticism.
4. Be a life-long learner. That means continue to hone your craft to improve your skill level. Be willing to go outside your comfort zone and learn to market your material to the best of your ability.
There are so many great books available on the market right now to speak into this area, I can’t even begin to keep up with them all—and neither can you. So start reading. Make it a goal. How about one a month? And then begin to apply what you learn.
And remember, YOU. HAVE. VALUE. And so do those around you. Just as you want to receive value. Be willing to extend value. If you are lucky enough to one day have a publisher, value their efforts. Value the sales team. Value your publicist. Value your agent. (smile)
As we extend value. We often receive value. It’s all about the relationship.
You can learn more about Karen Hardin at http://www.prioritypr.org/.
Yes, I know I haven’t posted anything for a while. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m honestly trying to figure out what I want this site to be other than a place for people to find out more about me. I don’t want it to be a smorgasbord of info about me. I’m really not that important. It’s about my readers, my audience which means I want to offer content that is relevant and wanted by you. I’ve also been focusing on my inspirational blog, http://www.imagoodwoman.com, to the detriment of my other blogs. I’ve already got http://www.mysideofthesinglelife.com, which is geared towards singles sooo what else can I talk about that I know about? The writing process? Public speaking? Skinny women? Oh, I don’t know. Please bear with me while I find my bearings and figure this out. In the meantime, enjoy my short story Frying to Stay Alive. I was lucky enough to have it featured in Oosa Book Club’s compilation “The Naked Pen”. Oosa asked authors to write a story that was not in our usual genre. As an inspirational romance writer, I think I did a decent job stepping outside of my box. Ain’t nothing romantic about this one. What do you think?
By the way, I’ll be right outside of Dallas, TX next week for the Romance Slam Jam Conference. If you live in that area, the public is invited free of charge, to come meet the participating authors on Saturday, March 28th from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. It is being held at the Embassy Suites DFW Airport Hotel North Outdoor World (2401 Bass Pro Drive, Grapevine, Texas, 76051). Here is a link to the event if you would like to learn more www.romanceslamjam.com. Be blessed! Frying to Stay
Before I became a book author, I was a radio personality and talk show producer and host. I am proud to announce that I am co-hosting a new blog talk show for those who love the Lord and literature as much as I do. Please tune in as me and my co-host, fellow author Ta’Mara Nicole, discuss our first topic, Spirituality vs. Religion. Is there a difference and if there is, which one most fits you?
Our special guest will be Dr. Eugene Gibson, Jr. He is the Pastor of Olivet Fellowship Baptist Church in Memphis, TN. He is also a professor at Memphis Theological Seminary, and teaches annually at McCormick Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary. Last but not least, he is the author of Courage Under Fire.
I’m 38 today and so grateful to be alive. It’s been a challenging year, but I really have nothing to complain about: I feel good, I look good, I’m happy, I’m healthy, I’m financially stable and I have wonderful people who love me in my life! Thank you Jesus! Happy Birthday to me!
I used to do something called “Things I’ve Learned” each year on my birthday. I think today is a good day to revisit that. Although, instead of sharing the number of years in my life (I’ve got way more years now LOL) I’ll just do twelve. Feel free to pass them on.
- Be grateful. It is the most powerful and thoughtful means of saying THANK YOU!
- Adversity will come and go. It’s your job to make sure you stay put!
- The man you want may not always be the man you need but a smart woman makes the man she needs the man she wants.
- Do not entertain foolishness because it takes up too much time and energy.
- You are entitled to your feelings. Make no apology for how you feel , but don’t expect others to always agree with your feelings because they are entitled to the same.
- Your circle of friends will decrease when your love for yourself increases.
- When the one person who loves you more than life leaves this earth, cling to the love they left behind in your life. You’ll find it in the care they gave you, the lessons they taught you, and the people they introduced to you. **
- Grief is a form of therapy. Allow your tears to heal your soul.
- Remembering WHO you are and WHOSE you are will help motivate you to greatness. Daughters and sons of The Most High King have no business at the bottom.
- Your gifts are meant to be shared. You do the world a disservice by not doing so. We were created to be a blessing to others.
- Laziness is a disease that you must purge from your very being. It serves no positive purpose. It only prohibits you from operating in the greatness God has instilled in each of us.
- A shack can seem like a palace when you put it in perspective and employ positive thinking. You could be on the street.
- BONUS: Money can’t buy you happiness but poverty can make you miserable. Go get some ends so you can one day buy that palace.
** Thank you to everyone who said a prayer and supported me through what has been the fight of my life and my most devastating loss. I love you and miss you mommy!! Rest in peace. There’s no suffering on the other side.
In honor of my birthday, all of my ebooks are on sale for $.99 to $2.99. For a limited time only, I assure you. (-: Shop for the reader in your life now. Happy Thanksgiving!
Buy it today!
I am a firm believer that you should celebrate the accomplishments and special moments in your life. You only live once and you don’t get those moments back. That is why I am hosting THE BOOK LAUNCH to celebrate the paperback release of “Things Every Good Woman Should Know Volume 1”. It is also to say thank you to my amazing readers who have helped to make my dream of becoming a published author come true. It is free and open to the public. So, if you are in the Memphis, TN area please feel free to come by.
Click the flyer for a bigger version and all the details.
Saturday, November 1, 2014
6980 Winchester Rd.
Memphis, TN 38115
11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Thank you to my sponsors. I couldn’t do this without you!
Frank Marshall Insurance
ME Wilson Realty
When I first started writing a man asked me what genre were my novels and when I replied inspirational romance he replied, “Isn’t that an oxymoron?” This was the first of many such encounters where I found myself explaining what exactly inspirational romance is. The simplest definition I can give is that inspirational romance is the edgier side of Christian romance. I often push the envelope of Christian fiction and romance with the actions of my characters. However, it never ceases to amaze me that most people assume that romance ALWAYS includes sex and if I’m writing about romance/sex it must be immoral. It is times such as these that I take the opportunity to enlighten others.
1.God created sex. Sex itself is neither dirty nor immoral. It is a beautiful physical expression of love and/or desire two people have for one another and a necessary process for procreation that was intended between a man and his wife. It is the context in which people choose to have sex which leads to immorality and chaos. All we have to do is look at all the calamity that has come into play from sex being used outside of God’s will to know this is true. There is tons of data about the astronomical number of children being born out of wedlock and the also astronomical number of STDs being passed around the globe. We can even go deeper and cite sources about the emotional and developmental challenges that children who do not have both parents in the home often face. This is not to say that we would not have illegitimate children being born or STDs if everyone having sex were married. People have been having sex outside of their marriages for eons but I’m willing to gamble that the numbers would be far less than they are now.
2. Romance is not synonymous with sex. Although I recognize that within the literary industry when you say romance novel it is a given that it will contain sex and probably lots of it. However, when you add the word Christian or inspirational it becomes more about faith and less about sex. This is actually getting back to the truer sense of the word romance. Just as you can have sex without romance you can have romance without sex. When I looked up the definition of romance this is what I found:
ro·mance—(rōˈmans,ˈrōˌmans/) noun— a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.
By definition romance has to do with love not sex and God in His purest form is LOVE. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that I am able to write an inspirational or edgy Christian romance novel and explore all the facets of love and the emotions associated with it.
In each of my novels I display the love that God has for us and because of His infinite wisdom we are able to give this love to others in many ways–from acts of kindness to intimacy. I hope you’ll read my novels and allow me to spread a little love and God in your lives.
Moments like this make all the late nights, early mornings, email inquiries, travel, book events and any other thing I’ve done to establish myself as an author worth it. In USA TODAY, nestled below the latest romance novel reviews is an interview I did about my latest book, Things Every Good Woman Should Know. To say that I am excited would be an understatement. To say that I am grateful wouldn’t do my level of gratitude justice. Thank you Michelle Monkou for the opportunity. Thank you Lord for favor and the gift of storytelling,
Learn more about the book and/or make a purchase here.
A few years ago, I started website/blog to motivate women to accomplish their dreams. It featured women and men who are doing amazing things in hopes of encouraging others to do the same. I wanted it to create a kind of “If they can do it, I can too” feeling among my readers. I am proud to say that I had a great response but the busier I became with other things the less I focused on the site. Well, I recently retooled it, giving it a sleeker, simpler look and relaunched it. Please take a look, www.imagoodwoman.com. It will continue to feature wonderful women and men as well as give a few suggestions about things to do, music, products, and foods I recommend you try. I also put my own special brand of commentary on current events and pop culture. It will even feature a few guest bloggers who want to help me inform, encourage, motivate, and inspire women to be the best they can be. Check it out for yourself and if you have an idea for the site, feel free to reach out to me.
The first woman in the This Good Woman section is Brandee Evans. This stellar choreographer is readying herself for world domination with her Hip Hop In Heels dance classes. They are designed to showcase your shoe game while instilling confidence and teaching you some sexy moves you will definitely want to show your man or just do in the mirror over and over again until you’re tired.
When Brandee saw the article, she posted the graphic above on her Instagram page. Thanks Brandee and you are very welcome! Reach for the stars ladies!