Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a native of Washington, D.C. and have enjoyed living in Dallas, TX, Charlotte, NC and my current home is in Los Angeles, Ca. I am a mother of three wonderful sons. I always knew I would become an author and my love of reading inevitably directed my path. I spent my younger years giving back to the community through a youth Arts organization I founded. I left D.C. in 1989 to pursue a fashion design career in Los Angeles, California.
I have spent the last twenty years in several successful fields. In the corporate world, I used my technical expertise as a Computer Application Specialist. My entrepreneurial spirit led me into several successful business ventures. I opened a chain of Exclusively Yours stores on the east and west coast – featuring handmade aromatherapy products, clothing and jewelry. I continued my fashion design career in the entertainment world as an image consultant to new and existing recording artists which ultimately opened doors for me to become the President of WOG (Word Of God) Records, Vice President to KNTD Publishing and a manager of several recording artists. I am also interested in Naturopathic healing and I am currently pursuing a Doctor of Naturopathy degree.
Through everything, I never lost the dream to write and when the Lord called me in 2005 to put “pen to paper” regarding my walk with him, I answered by penning my intimate journey with God in the form of a book. The Skin I’m In – An Intimate Journey With God is the first in a series I have published.
I have received numerous certificates over the years as a guest lecturer for colleges and universities. My awards include nods from the late Mayor Tom Bradley, Michael Woo as well as Maxine Waters in Los Angeles, for my successful fashion design business and youth outreach programs.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Skin I’m In: An Intimate Journey With God is the first book in a series I have written and published.
My inspiration for this particular book series stemmed from my walk and ministry to others.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t know if one would consider my writing habits unusual; however, I like to take a package of post-it-notes and write down stories, sections for the book. I stick them on the wall in my office and to avoid writer’s block, each day I take down a post-it note and write what is on the note.
One of my other writing habits is based on organization combined with my Application Specialist skills. I maintain an MS Excel workbook for each book. It is color coded with stories to write and stories that have been completed. I also use this workbook for character development.
Once the work is done I also have worksheets for marketing etc.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I have read so many authors and so many books, this is a difficult one. I would have to say one of my most favorite authors is Sidney Sheldon. Next would be Jean Auel and the entire Clan of the Cave Bear series. And finally, Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins – The Left Behind Series. I would have to say after reading the Left Behind Series – I was truly inspired to write and complete “The Skin I’m In”
What are you working on now?
I have been multi-tasking. I am working on the sequel to The Skin I’m In (book two). I am also working on the development of my next five book series “Wake Up Girlfriend”.
And I have a project that I am very excited about that is geared toward Young Adults this will be my first Fiction/Fantasy series.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Oh my, promoting my books is an everyday job. I am constantly searching for tools that will assist with me being more efficient in marketing therefore I have become a Social Media Queen. I have had a lot of sales from Twitter but it requires communication and constant interaction with your followers. My Facebook Fan page has helped out but one has to ensure they participate in the various Fan Page Parties, I have sold many books from promoting that way as well as joining Groups on Facebook for Readers and Reviewers. I use many other sites to promote my books but I have no way of determining if I receive customers from the sites. (i.e., Pinterest, Author Marketing, Goodreads, etc.)
Do you have any advice for new authors?
There are thousands of authors today, what really sets you apart from the rest? That is what you have to discover and bring that forward. It is not up to a Literary Agent, or a Publishing company to ensure your book ends up in the hands of people. Sit down and spend a great amount of time doing your research first for where to market your book. Marketing and Promotions of your work is the biggest part of getting your work into the hands of readers. If you are on Amazon – you need Reviews to push you up the ladder. Start there first and a few friends or family members is not enough (smile). Write, Market, Promote, research, market, promote, research – ahhh you get the picture.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
The best advice I have received to date was from a fellow author and friend. “Your book cover means everything when it hits the shelf; even though you are indeed self publishing your book, your cover should not look like it has been self published.”
What are you reading now?
I am currently reading “This Present Darkness” by Frank E. Peretti
What’s next for you as a writer?
Aside from the books series I am preparing to write, I want to start an internet radio talk show for authors.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
If I were stranded I would first request my Bible, second a Bible Dictionary (preferably an Ungers), I would like to have a Lexical to define the original Hebrew and Greek of the Bible.