Conversation & Participation

I’m an introvert. It’s hard being an introvert and an author in the Social Media age because readers expect a lot from authors. Not only are we required to put out good books, but we are required to entertain and capture reader interest outside of the pages of our books. Despite every inch of my soul begging me not to, I try my best to put myself out there and interact with the people who like my work. Same holds true for a ton of other authors.

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Should You Hire an Editor That is Also an Author?

shutterstock_redpencilbigShould you hire an editor that is also an author? My answer to that is an emphatic YES. Here’s why.

A while ago on Facebook, I stumbled across an author venting about other authors who offer editing services. She was so far in her feelings that I didn’t know how she’d ever managed to get out. This author was very adamant in her stance that authors shouldn’t be editors and editors shouldn’t be authors.

Slow your roll, Nellie!

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Can we please get rid of the stars? No, not those stars

no starsI haven’t written a blog post in a minute. I had other shit to do. Sike. I didn’t have anything to do. I was just uninspired. But then I had one of those “JC, get your shit together” talks with myself so here I am.

A convo with a fellow avid reader this weekend got me thinking that maybe I should explain why I don’t leave reviews on Amazon and hardly leave them on Goodreads. After all, I am an author and I’m constantly out on the Internet streets begging for reviews. Plus, my friend really laid into me for not wanting to give this book 5-stars when I really liked it. After the whole “heffa, get out of my face” argument was over, I switched from Jose Cuervo to Earl Grey tea and considered all the things I should have said during our heated convo.

I remember when I was thinking of names for my editing company and the first thing that popped into mind was 5-star Editing. It sounded good because everyone wants a 5-star rated book, right? The problem was that I hate the star rating system and every variation of it so I couldn’t name any business associated with the Jackie Chanel brand after something I loathe.
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Editor’s Note: The Devil’s in the Details

details quoteWe’ve all heard the saying, “the devil is in the details” or some variation of it. I’d like to think that this doesn’t apply to novels because a novel isn’t a house. It’s not an eloquently designed red carpet dress where yes, the devil is in the details. A novel is fluid and needs to flow smoothly. However, what I’ve come to notice is that when it comes to novel writing, sadly, the devil is in the details. These details can and will wreck havoc on your story.

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Writing Resources: Television

Let’s face it…writing something new, a story that hasn’t been told before just isn’t going to happen. Not in this day and age.

Authors, our job is not to reinvent the wheel. Our job is to entertain, educate, enlighten, and entertain. I know I said it twice but I had to. Entertainment is just that important. It’s the reason most readers (and all of my readers) buy a book.

So, instead of pulling out your hair as you search Goodreads or Amazon in frustration, seeing title after title of that ploy you just KNEW was your original idea, BREATHE! Grab a cup of coffee or tea and let’s hash this out.

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I Agree With Kanye (shocker, right?)

Normally, I don’t pay attention to Kanye’s rants but something about his post-Grammy rant stuck with me to the point that I was thinking about it when I woke up. Granted, Beck shouldn’t have to give his Grammy to Beyonce, but what Kanye said made absolute sense.
It made sense because his words don’t just apply to music or the Grammys. He’s talking about artistry and creativity.

“What happens is, when you keep on diminishing art, and not respecting the craft, and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you’re disrespectful to inspiration. We, as musicians, have to inspire people who go to work every day, and they listen to that Beyoncé album, and they feel like it takes them to another place. Then they do this promotional event, and they’ll run the music over somebody’s speech, the artist, because they want commercial advertising. No. We not playing with them anymore. And by the way, I got my wife, my daughter, and I got my clothing line, so I’m not going to do nothing that would put my daughter at risk, but I am here to fight for creativity. That’s the reason why I didn’t say anything tonight. But you all knew what it meant when ‘Ye walked on that stage.” – Kanye West, 2.08.15

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Writing is NOT a Competitive Sport

Today is Monday. Duh. It’s the start of the week and the day that I have my weekly (as it seems) existential writer’s crisis. I don’t know exactly why I feel so disheartened by the business that I am a part, but I do. A couple of weeks ago, R&B singer Tank had a “meltdown” on Instagram regarding his album sales. While I’ve never been a big fan of his, hence I do not own any of his music, some of what he said hit me square in the heart.

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Fictionalizing emotional subjects is a form of therapy.

For those unfamiliar, National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriWo in laymen’s terms, is a big deal for authors. It’s when we try, some of us desperately try, to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in 30 days.
I’ve completed NaNo 3 years running and I plan on keeping my winning streak intact. This year, I’m not only challenging myself to complete a new novel, I’m going to explore a topic that is a scary place for me to visit.
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How did A Hustler’s Promise 3 Get Written?

AHP3 no shadowI eat, sleep, and breathe music. It’s no secret. Music is the plot of one of my most successful series. And it was music that guided me through the harrowing process of writing A Hustler’s Promise 3. Let me go back a bit…

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Authors and Readers…can’t we all just get along pt. 2

e8cf5ca0c0fb9fb8da67385825dfd2d1A few months ago, I addressed the growing discourse between authors and readers via Social Media. You can read that here. Recently, not that I give myself that much credit, but I’ve noticed that not much has changed. In fact, it’s getting worse. I don’t know what the problem is but I know how to fix it.

There needs to be a mandatory author-reader etiquette “class” implemented by Goodreads, Facebook, and other social media sites that you have to pass before you’re allowed to interact with readers and authors. The level of disrespect from readers and authors alike is off the charts. There should be a positive union between authors and readers because you can’t have one without the other.

There are too many incredibly talented authors ready to stop writing because readers keep crossing the line and too many authors losing readers because they don’t know how to act on social media.

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