Thursday, June 30, 2016

Book Spotlight-Dr. Felicia McGowan




This is a story of a little girl who loved school and all things fun. Experiencing a roadblock in her journey caused Hattie to reroute her path. Was Hattie able to overcome these obstacles in her life? Hattie’s Journey, is a children’s book that can be used to familiarize readers of the different ups and downs families could face when a child has been diagnosed with kidney failure.

Meet Dr. Felicia Arnetta Williams McGowan



Dr. Felicia Arnetta Williams McGowan was diagnosed with Kidney disease over 32 years which did not stop her from achieving educationally. She has completed undergraduate work at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. Graduate work was completed at Webster University in Mental Health Counseling in Greenville SC, and she received add-on certification in School Counseling from UNC Charlotte. Finally, a doctoral degree in educational leadership from University of Phoenix was completed in 2013.

 Dr.  McGowan is a first time author Hattie’s Journey Book/Coloring/Activity book. This is a story of a little girl who loved school and all things fun. Experiencing a roadblock in her journey caused Hattie to reroute her path. Was Hattie able to overcome these obstacles in her life? Hattie’s Journey, is a children’s book that can be used to familiarize readers of the different ups and downs families could face when a child has been diagnosed with kidney failure. Dr. McGowan third activity workbook will be released soon which is titled Hattie’s Journey-The Courage to Keep Going which is a product of off her next book that will be released by fall 2016. 

My contact information is:  






Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Book Spotlight: Eartha Watts Hicks


EXCERPT

 I stepped through the double glass doors of the sky lounge into the moist heat outside and took a good look. Scattered clouds stretched through the evening sky like tulle. In the still wind, somehow all drifted southeast—all, except a dense plume looming above. My heels clicked with each step across the paved walkway, until I reached the stone fire pit at the other end. The sun was long gone, and there were no stars; the moon was nowhere to be seen. Even searching the clouds, I didn’t see any blurred circle of light or any portion of the moon, just darkness. Off in the distance as far as I could see, more darkness was closing in, making the flattened skyline of Queens resemble an industrial graveyard.
I took a deep breath, inhaling muggy air seasoned with salt from the East River. Then, I kicked my shoes off and knelt on top of the fire pit, hoisting myself up to get a better view over the concrete wall. My heart felt like it was twice as large; it was exploding out of my chest in heavy thumps that throbbed even more than my now rock-hard breasts. The porous concrete felt scratchy against my arms, but bracing myself, I peered all the way down. There were no obstructions. It would be a straight drop. I returned to my feet, picked up my pumps, and took a deep breath. Now, it was time to work up the nerve to do this.


“Love Changes” is a terrific story that i am sure both men and women can relate to in some ways, but i assure you that you will not be ready for the dramatic conclusion of this book.”
— DJ Gatsby Book Club
“Imagine my pleasure & surprise when I get to page 140 and saw me! Love Changes is wonderful, perfect for the beach! When I sit in the sun, I read.”
— Nikki Giovanni (via postcard from Aruba)
Writerly-Good Advice (Circa 2000’s)
Author: You wrote this?
Me: Yeah.
Author: You’ve got something here! This shows a lot of potential! You need to join a workshop. Fast!
Me: But I don’t have the money for one right now!
Author: Here’s the number. Call them up. Email them this. And tell them I sent you. They may work something out with you as far as payment.

Meet Eartha Watts Hicks



I began my writing journey, teaching myself the craft at my local library by reading how-to books. “My man’s mama gave me a set of keys to her brownstone and said I could use them any time.” That is the sentence that started the writing, which became the manuscript, which was edited and revised, to finally become my award winning novel, Love Changes. My first opening line, scratched, to be replaced…. I wanted my words to be clear, concise, and ring profoundly true. So what did I do? I wrote the word PROFOUND on a Sticky Note with a black Sharpie and stuck that to my monitor. My mantra. And then I asked around and got feedback. We have to put it out into the atmosphere, into the universe to learn what works and what doesn’t. And why. And make a commitment to stick with it. From one opener to another….
Mommy never minced words. Instead of saying hello, she stood on my welcome mat, greeting me with an insult. “You don’t look good. You’re not getting enough sleep.”

I consider my writing like trail mix, a feel good treat that’s good for you, too. I love writing dialogue, entangling nutty characters in arguments from every perspective. And then also, there is still that part of me that longs to be a songwriter. I can lend those lyrical nuances to my prose. I infuse music, social commentary, spiritual messages, and comedic timing. I want to make people laugh and cry. I want to capture people of color in our depth, amongst people of different class/race/gender/lifestyles, in predicaments that they’ll have wiggle themselves out of. My favorite authors are Chris Abani, Terry McMillan, Bernice McFadden, Jamaica Kincaid, Dorothy Allison, Iyanla Vanzant.

Books by Eartha Watts Hicks

What Ca Drive A Struggling New Mother Over The Edge
Love Changes








Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Author Interview with Natasha Frazier


LaToya: Hi Natasha, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Natasha:  Most of my writing is inspirational. I started writing about ten years ago, sending encouraging devotionals to my circle of friends. It wasn’t until about four years ago that I published my first book, The Life Your Spirit Craves, A 30-Day Devotional and Journal that encourages readers to seek, accept and pursue their God-given purpose. I also enjoy reading inspirational & motivational books. I enjoy Christian fiction and clean romance as well.
Aside from writing, I am also a CPA and have worked in public accounting and the federal government. My husband and I live in the Houston, TX area with our three small children.

LaToya: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Natasha: I will continue to write whatever God lays upon my heart and eventually I’d like to write my own television series. I think our society is lacking wholesome and encouraging entertainment and I’d like to be one of the people who change that. I also plan to work with my daughter to write a children’s book or two in the next couple of years. We’re really excited about that because she also enjoys reading and writing.

LaToya: Which writers inspire you?
Natasha: Michelle Stimpson and Joel Osteen. Michelle is consistent in her writing to share Godly truths and inspire readers. Joel inspires me because he uses his platform to lift others.  No matter what I write, I want to be the kind of author to consistently point readers back to our Heavenly Father and to think about what they’ve read and determine how it can apply to their daily lives.

LaToya: What are you working on at the minute?
Natasha: I am currently working on Shattered Vows: Love, Lies & Consequences Book III. This book in particular deals with marital infidelity. I am also working on a non-fiction book regarding financial management. It is currently untitled.

LaToya: What genre are your books and why?
Natasha: Devotionals and Christian Fiction. I write in this genre because this is the area where I feel led to write and where I want to make an impact by encouraging readers to be the best they can be.

LaToya: In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your writing?
Natasha: Inspiring Readers One Page At a Time

LaToya: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Natasha: Sanaa Lathan as Raegan and Christian Keyes as Caleb

LaToya: When did you decide to become a writer?
Natasha: I struggled with the idea for a moment in college. At one point, I was going to change my major from Accounting to English but decided against it. I also toyed with the idea again after graduate school. I started my first book in 2009 but allowed a lot of things to get in the way of me being disciplined enough to finish it. In 2011, the idea of writing a book began weighing heavily on my heart again. I prayed about it often and felt like every sermon was consistently pointing me in that direction. One time after studying my bible, I prayed and studied again. That is when I read Joshua 18:3, which says, Then Joshua asked them, “How long are you going to wait before taking possession of the remaining land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given to you?” Much like the Israelites in the background of that scripture text, I was making excuses and waiting on God to give me the clarity that had already been given to me, when in actuality, He was waiting on me. That is when I decided to put pen to paper.

LaToya: Do you write full-time or part-time?
Natasha: For now, I write part-time.

LaToya: Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Natasha: I generally write during nights and weekends, and my lunch break when time permits. I sometimes have time during the day but my preference is the night. For some reason, I seem to be able to concentrate a little better during that time.

LaToya: Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Natasha: My goal is one thousand words per day. I also have a goal of spending at least one hour per day writing. In general, I usually meet or exceed my word count within this time frame, but I also end up working for more than an hour as well.

LaToya: Where do your ideas come from?
Natasha: My ideas come from dreams, personal experiences or the needs of others. I have also gotten ideas based off random comments that people have made in conversation. Actually, Shattered Vows is based off something I heard someone say.

LaToya: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Natasha: I usually jot down ideas of things that I think must happen in the story, but I don’t work to an outline. I just sit down and type and try to visualize the book as a movie and think, “What would I want to happen next if I were watching this on the big screen?” As far as non-fiction, there is sort of an outline for my devotionals, meaning each page has to have the same elements. I am currently working on my first non-fiction book that is not a devotional and I do have an outline for that.

LaToya: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Natasha: I’m becoming more of a story teller than having the characters talk through the story. I didn’t realize I was doing this until I received all of those red marks back from my editor with the first fiction book, which basically had to be rewritten. My feelings were hurt but it helped me as an author.

LaToya: What is the hardest thing about writing?
Natasha: The editing phase. After I receive the manuscript back from the editor and have to make significant changes and really think about how I want the story to go and incorporate the editor’s suggestions. I often dream about it because I’m thinking about her “red marks” so much. It’s almost as if I’m back in school.

LaToya: What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Natasha: My latest book is The Life Your Spirit Craves for Mommies: A 52-Week Devotional and Journal. The hardest thing about writing it was making sure that the personal stories I shared in the book and the spiritual application were relatable to the reader. One of the things I’m working on is keeping my reader in mind while writing, so I constantly asked myself, “How would the reader perceive this?”

LaToya: What is the easiest thing about writing?
Natasha: Just letting the words flow. That first draft is whatever you want it to be; you just need to get the words on paper.

LaToya: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Natasha: A couple of months, if I’m consistent with spending time writing each day.

LaToya: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Natasha: I have another series that I’m going to start as soon as I’ve completed Shattered Vows. There is also a non-fiction set of devotionals that I’m working on. So in five years, I should have completed those and have helped my daughter publish her first book. I don’t want to just write more, but definitely grow as an author and be the best that I can be.

LaToya: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Natasha: Spend less time worrying about what others are going to think of your ideas and goals and just do it. You don’t need permission from man when you’ve already been granted permission by God. Go for it girl!

LaToya: Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Natasha: Oprah Winfrey. She uses her influence to build up others.

LaToya: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Natasha: First, I would give them the same advice that I would give to my younger self. Second, I would tell them to take a few minutes each day and just sit down and write. It’s not about the time but developing the habit and sharpening the skill. Eventually, you will have an entire book.

Connect with Natasha:




Twitter: @cpAKAuthor

Instagram: @cpAKAuthor

LinkedIn: Natasha Frazier





Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Book Spotlight: What She Survived Womanish by Angelia Vernon Menchan


Angelia Vernon Menchan is wife, mother, nana, mentor, author and publisher. Since 2006, Menchan has published over 100 literary offerings of her own work and the work of fourteen other authors. She is CEO of Honorable Menchan Media and works alongside her husband of 38 years, Maurice Menchan who designs her covers and jewelry.

Menchan considers writing to be a way to mentor and give back to those who support her work. He fiction work is considered Fictionalized Truths because it always relate to what is going on in the life of actual women in real time. Mencha writes to still the voices in her head because in many ways writing for her is a form of artistic therapy. She is in her most serene moments when creating characters. Menchan is also an avid reader, reading a minimum of four books monthly. She loves the work of Nia Forrester, Colin Channer, Bernice McFadden and other contemporary authors. Her favorite author of all time is James Baldwin and she considers Maya Angelou as her literary muse.Womanish: How She Survived is Angelia Vernon Menchan's latest offering and is a book from a woman, about women and for women.What is WomanIsh? It's all the things women go through. The day to day ish, the man ish, the raising kids ish, the I earn lots of money but still wanna be cherished ish, the I'm more than my womb ish... The what you mean I'm old ish... Sound familiar? 









Twitter: @AngelMenchan


Instagram: @angeliamenchan




Thursday, June 16, 2016

Author Interview with Krystal St.Cyr


LaToya: Hi Krystal St.Cyr , thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Krystal St.Cyr : Hi well my name is Krystal St.Cyr  but I use the name Kay Brown for writing. I’m from New Orleans, La and I’m the only child for my mother. Growing up in New Orleans at that time was the number one murder capital city so I saw a lot, there were killings over the craziest things like a starter coat or the shoes on your feet but my environment didn’t make me, I lived inside my imaginary fantasy head a lot.

I began writing when I was a young child around seven or eight years old. Being so young I had a big imagination, maybe it’s because I am the only child.  I remember I would sit in my room and look out the window asking the Creator all kinds of questions and sometimes I thought that I would hear an answer, after that I would start writing poems in my notebook.
At the age of fourteen I became pregnant with my first child, a boy, and he was the only child for sixteen years because my mother didn’t play that. I had the child so I had to raise my own child not her and that made me not want any more children until later in life because being a teen mother was very hard, going to school, working and taking care of a child. You can say I learned life experience early from being a teen mom and I knew I could not have another one until I was ready.

As I got older I did the one thing my mother wanted me to do and that was to get my high school diploma but I took it a step further and went to community college and received my Associate degree in Arts concentration in Journalism. I wrote for the college newspaper and was the assistant editor, I also interned at a local paper, wrote for an online magazine, worked at radio station and TV program called Phat Phat & All That, which played videos and did interviews with rap artist. I needed to see what filed I liked the most in Journalism. In 2005 hurricane Katrina enter my life and like everyone else we were homeless and moved around for a while until I settle in Atlanta with my son. My family was scattered and I was alone but somehow I talked my best friend to come move there and she became my only family for a year. While living there I began to write my first book Truth Love, at the time I just was writing because I needed something to do. When I finished the first chapter I let my friend read it and she wanted more of the book but unfortunately I didn’t finish the book until ten years later.

LaToya: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Krystal St.Cyr : My ambition for my writing career is to continue to write more books but also I would like my writing to open doors up for me to speak to young girls. I gather a group of women who can relate to young girls that have been through a lot in the streets and I’m working on us going to the girls’ group homes so we can talk to them like big sisters. I call it Listen and Talk because we are not doing this to be authority figures we want to take the girls in different groups and listen to them and if they have questions we then talk to them but we are going to gain their trust first and just be an ear. Also I would like my books once I have a collection to eventually become a movie.

LaToya: Which writers inspire you?
Krystal St.Cyr : Writers that inspire me, that’s a tricky one because to be honest I didn’t grew up reading a lot of fiction books  like the one I wrote but the one that I couldn’t put down is my all-time favorite Sister Soldja The Coldest Winter Ever, and Midnight. The way she engaged the reader and the twists and turns, I knew if I ever wrote a book it had to be very unpredictable.

LaToya: What are you working on at the minute?
Krystal St.Cyr : At this moment I am working on part two to Truth Love.

LaToya: What genre are your books and why?
Krystal St.Cyr : My book is Street literature/ Urban literature.  I had to start from what I know and what’s a part of my life. Eventually I would like to write children books.

LaToya: In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your writing?
Krystal St.Cyr : The quote for my writing I use is “Urban Literature with a Twist”. Now I can’t tell you the twist with my writing you have to read the book to get it.

LaToya: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Krystal St.Cyr : Who would I like to play the lead in my book? Well I never thought about it but since the question was brought up I might like a person for Truth the main character to be someone that no one has heard of. Someone new and fresh and that’s looking for their big shot like I am, someone that is hungry and can really put in the work.
LaToya: When did you decide to become a writer?

Krystal St.Cyr : When did I decide to become a writer, funny thing is that I didn’t decide it chose me. It was natural for me it was my go to as a child and when I went to college I really didn’t know what I wanted to do.  My first year in college my English teacher told us to write about our summer, my summer was like every other summer so I decided to use my imagination and make some things up. Once the teacher received and reviewed our paper he pulled me to the side after class and asked what my major was. I told him I didn’t have one at the moment just general studies, he told me I should look into writing because I engaged him with my details and creativity. After that I changed my major to Arts concentration in Journalism.

LaToya: Do you write full-time or part-time?
Krystal St.Cyr : I write part-time but my goal is full-time.

LaToya: Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Krystal St.Cyr : I do not have a special time to write. My writing is not structure at all. I can be sleep and have a dream and would wake up and jot it down for a plot in the book. But once I get in the zone of writing it’s very hard for me to stop and put it down so I tend to write when the kids are sleep late at night.

LaToya: Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Krystal St.Cyr : I do not aim for a set amount of words or pages I just write until I get distracted, tired or writers block.

LaToya: Where do your ideas come from?
Krystal St.Cyr : My idea for my main character Truth came from living in New Orleans where creole’ women are at, but just mostly my ideas come from a place of familiar something or somebody inspired me, the life style, the lessons learned, and  just  life in general the good the bad and the amazing.

LaToya: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Krystal St.Cyr : I do not outline or plot. I go with the flow of the book. When I began writing Truth Love I didn’t know where I was going with it but it took a life of its own. My scenes in the book in my head looked like a movie. I laughed as I wrote, and I cried as I wrote so mostly I wrote with passion and emotions and I want the reader to feel that same emotion when they read the book.

LaToya: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Krystal St.Cyr : Creatively I have evolved from writing poems as a young child, to short stories as a teen and young adult to now a fiction book. As I grew physically my world did as well, so inspiration and my outlook of life grew my imagination.

LaToya: What is the hardest thing about writing?
Krystal St.Cyr : The hardest thing about writing is starting. Once I start its simple but starting is so hard.
LaToya: What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Krystal St.Cyr : The hardest thing about writing my book was finishing it. Because I started at a time of uncertainty in my life, I put it down but I picked it up several times within these ten years and finally I made it my mission to finish it no matter what my circumstances were, June 16 of this year will mark the one-year anniversary of my book.

LaToya: What is the easiest thing about writing?
Krystal St.Cyr : The easiest thing for me with writing is letting go and just write. Sometimes you need to ramble and then go back and edit it.

LaToya: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Krystal St.Cyr : Since this is my first book it took me ten years but not the next one I’m trying to finish this one in a year.

LaToya: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Krystal St.Cyr :         In five years I see myself with three books under me and my own youth consultation to young girls along with some personal financial investments. 

LaToya: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Krystal St.Cyr : The advice I would give my younger self would be don’t get to distracted.

LaToya: Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Krystal St.Cyr : I would like to meet any of the Dalai Lama dead or alive because they are peaceful people with a lot of spiritual knowledge.

LaToya: If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Krystal St.Cyr : If I could have been the original author of a book it would have been the bible only because I know the whole truth is not in there and it was not always called the bible. I like to know the big mystery of spirituality and the energy connection to a higher power. Basically I would LIKE TO KNOW THE REAL TRUTH not everyone else’s truth.

LaToya: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Krystal St.Cyr :  The advice I would give to aspiring writer is don’t give up. It’s so easy to stop and give up but don’t do it and when you have that first copy of your book or an article you wrote it feels so good.

Connect with me


Facebook/Kay Brown

Instagram… @Real_Kay_ Brown

Twitter… @realkaybrown

Amazon author page… amazon.com/author/kaybrown




Thursday, June 9, 2016

Author Interview with Adrienne Thompson


LaToya: Hi Adrienne, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Adrienne:  Hey, thanks so much for this opportunity!
I was born in Ohio, the second and last child of my parents’ marriage. I was raised in Arkansas and currently reside there. I’m the divorced mother of 3 grown people, the grandmother of 2 little ones, a music fanatic, art lover, Christian, avid reader, and storyteller.

LaToya: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Adrienne:  To be able to write for a living for the rest of my life.

LaToya: Which writers inspire you?
Adrienne:  Alice Walker, Bernice L. McFadden, the Apostle Paul, Zora Neale Hurston, Maya Angelou, Terry McMillan, Langston Hughes

LaToya: What are you working on at the minute?
Adrienne:  I’m working on several projects right now, including a sequel to my novel, See Me, and new installments for my Bluesday and Been So Long series.

LaToya: What genre are your books and why?
Adrienne:  I mostly write Women’s Fiction and Edgy Inspirational Romance, but I’ve also written African American Fiction, Multicultural Fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. I just go wherever the story takes me, but I have a heart for broken women, so my work usually centers around them.

LaToya: In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your writing?
Adrienne:  Honest, open, vulnerable, visual, emotional, raw, and real.
LaToya: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Adrienne:  Hmm, that would be Joy and Pain. Gosh, I’m bad at this. I usually don’t use actors or models to visualize my characters because they are real people to me with their own unique features.

LaToya: When did you decide to become a writer?
Adrienne:  I like to say writing actually found me in 2009 after my all-time favorite singer, Michael Jackson died. I was seeking my true purpose in life and stumbled upon a long-forgotten talent for writing.

LaToya: Do you write full-time or part-time?
Full time, thankfully.

LaToya: Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Adrienne:  I schedule my days on my calendar and on any given day might be marketing or blogging or engaged in the business side of things. I try to write a little something every day. My goal is 500 words per day. Sometimes I write less, sometimes more, depending on how the story is flowing.

LaToya: Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Adrienne:  500 words/day is my goal but I usually just write until I get to a good stopping point.

LaToya: Where do your ideas come from?
Adrienne:  Life, music, people, anywhere

LaToya: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Adrienne:  I am allergic to outlines, lol. I let the story lead me.

LaToya: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Adrienne:  I definitely think I have grown as a writer and a creator as I’ve grown as a person. I think with anyone who is creative, as we mature, so does our work, and as our point of view shifts it affects our work.

LaToya: What is the hardest thing about writing?
Adrienne:  Actually sitting down and writing and finishing. Ideas are easy to come by, executing them takes dedication and perseverance. But once I get started on a story, it’s usually easy to keep going.

LaToya: What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Adrienne:  Accepting the final word count. I wanted it to be a bit longer. The story disagreed with me, lol.

LaToya: What is the easiest thing about writing?
Adrienne:  Coming up with new ideas and watching them take flight.

LaToya: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Adrienne:  It would depend on the subject matter. If it is a very intense story, it can take months. If it is lighter and flows well, maybe a month or less.

LaToya: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Adrienne:  Hopefully more financially stable.

LaToya: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Adrienne:  You, alone, are enough. Never stop believing in yourself or trusting in God.

LaToya: Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Adrienne:  Michael Jackson with the hopes of some of his genius rubbing off on me.

LaToya: If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Adrienne:  The Color Purple because it truly changed what I believed a book could be and told a story from an under-represented segment of society, which is what I strive to do in my work.

LaToya: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Adrienne:  Never give up and always strive to be authentically you rather copy someone else’s style.

Connect with Adrienne:









Purchase Links:


All books:

Kindle and paperback:  http://ow.ly/fxVXG




Amazon UK: http://ow.ly/miFUU


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Author Interview with Danyelle Scroggins


LaToya: Hi Danyelle thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Danyelle: My name is Danyelle Scroggins. I was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. I have lived whether years or short stay, in Japan, Corpus Christi, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Jacksonville, Florida. I guess you can say I’m well rounded thanks to the United States Navy. I am the Senior Pastor at New Vessels Ministries North and I am married to the Founder of New Vessels Ministries, Pastor Reynard Scroggins. I have a degree in Psychology, in Psychology & Biblical Studies, and I am presently working on a Master’s in Religious Education. I am the mother of two daughters who are college graduates and are both working on Master’s and a son, who will be graduating college in December 2016, I have two sons by marriage, and expecting my first grandchild this year. I have been writing since I was a little girl and published my first book in 2003.

LaToya: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Danyelle: My greatest ambition concerning my writing is to reach those who may have questions concerning whether Jesus is Lord. My books are an extension of my ministry, written to touch the hearts and minds of the saved and the lost.

LaToya: Which writers inspire you?
Danyelle: The late Danielle Steels & Francis Raye inspired me, and now I really look up to Author Victoria Christopher Murray & Joyce Meyers.

LaToya: What are you working on at the minute?
Danyelle: I’m working on two books which are sequels to stories in The Power Series: Pain, Restoration, Love, & Forgiving and I am promoting Put It In Ink, my latest release.

LaToya: What genre are your books and why?
Danyelle: My genre is Christian or Inspirational Fiction and I write in this genre because my books are again, an extension of my ministry. I love Romance and my books often show how love transpires between those who love God, but I decided I wanted to give people what I needed when I was a single woman, a book with minimum references to sex.

LaToya: In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your writing?
Danyelle: “My life revealed, so others, can be healed.”

LaToya: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Danyelle: The lead actress would be Emayatzy Corinealdi.

LaToya: When did you decide to become a writer?
Danyelle: When I was in the 5th Grade at Queensborough Elementary, reading Amelia Bedelia books by Peggy & Herman Parish, I knew I wanted to write. Anything that made me as happy as these books made me, I wanted to do the same for someone else one day.

LaToya: Do you write full-time or part-time?
Danyelle: I would consider myself a full-time writer, because I write every day except Sunday.

LaToya: Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Danyelle: When I wake up, after morning hygiene routines, prayer, and breakfast, I go to work (write). I try to do an eight-hour day. If I need to do some church activities during the week, I make up the time I lost after 10 PM.

Danyelle: I learned that word counting was not a good goal for me, but rather to finish a beginning or ending to a chapter. Therefore, if I begin a chapter on Monday, I try with all of my might to be finished no later than Wednesday.

LaToya: Where do your ideas come from?
Danyelle: I have gotten book ideas through dreams, through my life, and through situations that I encounter at church, in class, or in my surroundings.

LaToya: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Danyelle: I am all things charted. I believe in putting what I have envisioned in a plan. Then, I try to follow my plan. It is like my new book, if you have a vision or dream, you need to Put It In Ink.

LaToya: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Danyelle: I have learned that writing is an art and although it cannot be rushed, it must be nurtured and presented as art. Your very own art; not like anyone else’s, but your own.

LaToya: What is the hardest thing about writing?
Danyelle: The hardest thing about writing to me is being able to stay within my guidelines and not be so all over the place.

LaToya: What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Danyelle: The editing of my latest book, Put It In Ink was the hardest. I took classes and went over and beyond to make sure it flowed and was free of those catchy errors, I missed in other books.

LaToya: What is the easiest thing about writing?
Danyelle: The easiest thing about writing is embracing my characters. I have learned to treat them as if they are a part of my family.

LaToya: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It truly varies, but I try not to spend more than two to three months on a project.

LaToya: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
In 5 years, I would like to have put out at least six more books and be a published children’s author as well.

LaToya: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Danyelle: Be authentic! When God created you, He had purpose in mind. You were the piece of His puzzle meant to perform and fit exactly, where you were created to fit. When you embrace someone else’s life instead of your own, you destroy the puzzle as God has created it.

LaToya: Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Danyelle: One day, I will be so enthralled to meet Jesus. You know it is like having the smartest person you’ve ever known sitting before you, and the only question you have to ask may seem stupid to someone else, but is your best shot at understanding that which you have questioned.

LaToya: If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Danyelle: I would have loved to be one of the authors of a book of the Bible, written from the point of view of a liberated woman, who loved Jesus.

LaToya: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Danyelle: I would tell them, never, ever give up. I was denied by all kinds of publishers, but I never gave up. I created my own publishing house and now own my very own catalog. To someone it may seem crazy, but to me, it proves no one can stop you but you.

Connect with : Author Danyelle Scroggins








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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Author Interview with NiaShanta Ross



LaToya: Hi NiaShanta, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
NiaShanta :  My background is primarily in education.  I have taught English and Spanish at the high school and college level. 

LaToya: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
NiaShanta : My desire is to write full time. Ideally, I would be able to teach the craft of writing to aspiring authors. 

LaToya: Which writers inspire you?
NiaShanta : I love a good storyteller. I am inspired by people who make me feel their characters. Christian Fiction is my favorite genres. I have way too many to name. I'd leave out someone. 

LaToya: What are you working on at the minute?
NiaShanta : I am currently working on the sequel to my debut novel. I'm also working on a nonfiction/self-help piece for blended families. 

LaToya: What genre are your books and why?
NiaShanta : Christian Fiction and/or Inspirational Fiction. They are meant to connect the reader to Christ. 

LaToya: In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your writing?
NiaShanta : Telling stories the way that they should be told. 

LaToya: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
NiaShanta : Jill Scott would be amazing. There's even a reference to her in the book. If not Jill, Natalie Desselle or Brely Evans. 

LaToya: When did you decide to become a writer?
NiaShanta : I've always loved to write. Even as a child. I knew I wanted to be a writer when I started to really become vested in telling stories on paper. 

LaToya: Do you write full-time or part-time?
NiaShanta : Part-time

LaToya: Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
NiaShanta : I teach high school and college English, so my time is extremely limited during the school year. I try to commit to writing during breaks from school, and in the evenings. 

LaToya: Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
NiaShanta : I usually flow with the stream of consciousness, and let the Spirit lead me

LaToya: Where do your ideas come from?
NiaShanta : A lot of my ideas come from personal experiences, or from experiences of others. 

LaToya: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
NiaShanta : I want to be an outline person, but that doesn't work for me. 

LaToya: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
NiaShanta : I definitely have more focus and realize that there is truly an art to writing. 

LaToya: What is the hardest thing about writing?
NiaShanta : Finding the time to do it and avoiding distractions. 

LaToya: What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
NiaShanta : The editing process. 

LaToya: What is the easiest thing about writing?
NiaShanta : Actually telling the story. 

LaToya: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
NiaShanta : About a year. 

LaToya: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
NiaShanta : Hopefully on a beach with a laptop working remotely as a full-time author. 

LaToya: What advice would you give to your younger self?
NiaShanta : Don't be so hard on yourself. You don't have to be perfect at everything. It's okay to ask for help and to have boundaries. 

LaToya: Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
NiaShanta : Would have loved to meet Maya Angelou. Her wisdom and experience as a writer would send chills down my spine. 

LaToya: If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
NiaShanta : Oooh, that's a tough one. I'll have to think about that one. 

LaToya: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
NiaShanta: Foster your gift and perfect your craft. Connect and surround yourself with likeminded people. 

Connect with NiaShanta :





Facebook: NiaShanta Ross's Author Page

Twitter: @niashanta


Purchase Links:  http://amzn.to/1WuIXBu