Curiouser Author Society – Official Member!

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Imagine my excitement when I opened my email this morning to find Shayla’s email that I had been invited into The Curiouser Author’s Society! Whoo hoo! For those of you with your noses in the air let me clarify that this is not some ritualistic sell your soul to the devil type thing (You can breathe, no oaths were taken). Curiouser Author Society is an invitation only group of authors, editors, reviewers, and just an entire team of professionals and aspiring professionals who are serious about perfecting their writing. Below is a brief description of our mission, purpose, and goal:

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“The Curiouser Author Society is an exclusive community for serious indie authors who want to write better books and put them in the hands of voracious readers while creating a distinctive author brand.  ” – Curiouser Author Society

I’m really excited to learn all I can from Shayla and her crew. This is the perfect platform to help me to get my publishing goals off to a great start. Here’s a word from Shayla:

“Having come from inside a publishing company to starting my own editing service that quickly grew to be a means of indie-author support, I saw firsthand how badly authors needed to grow and learn and educate themselves in the process. For example, many authors struggle with marketing. No one will know an indie author has written the next great classic if it’s never visible enough in the literary community to be read. The Curiouser Author Society is here to provide that support so authors can educate themselves and sell more books.”

— Shayla Eaton, President of Curiouser Editing and Curiouser Author Society
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Two More Reviews Are In – 5 Stars for The Road to Freedom

Below are excerpts of the two newest reviews for Joseph’s Story: The Road to Freedom:

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5star

Siyah says:

“Wow this was a Great Read!!

The road to Freedom: Joseph’s story, may be set In the time frame of the early 60’s but it’s contents is very relevant to today’s current events. 

The writer takes you on a journey through the eyes of a young man named Joseph. He and his friends begin down a road with only the hope of wanting to somehow help the fight for equality of African Americans and to stop the mistreatment they suffered under segregation and Jim Crow laws. They realize that the task would be harder than they imagined. As they travel down the road of reality, they find that the segregated world they live in has been paved with cruelty, injustice, and was blinded by hatred and strong resistance to even the notion of change. Joseph and his friends encountered first hand the mistreatment and persecution of the African American people and those that helped them.”

Constance Says:

“In the book Stella: A Road to Freedom #3 Joseph’s story. In this 3rd installment of the series this book told the story of Joseph’s journey in finding himself. The truths that he faced were an eye opener for him. Joseph and his friends, all young, embark on this journey to fight for equality and freedom. In their journey they learn just how much racial inequality there is. They learn that even the friends that they that choose to align themselves with can possibly get them killed. Their alliances with one another in this fight showed just how unaware of the seriousness of the road they were traveling. This book  was well written. I was worried for them being young and traveling across the country to fight for the freedoms of integration. I love the history that is told in this book and when it comes to telling this story through Joseph’s eyes, you have to question whether or not we as a society today are still traveling this same road to freedom and if we will ever find it.  The characters in this book are relatable and the writer continues to leave readers wanting to take a look back into history. This series should be required reading in middle schools and high schools around the country…its just that good!”

Stella Spring Giveaway: Enter to Win

If you’re in a hurry, take the short cut to this announcement. CLICK HERE. ​

The sun is out, the trees are budding, and the flowers are in full bloom. That’s right, spring is here and I am excited to announce my first Spring Giveaway.

Let’s be real, who doesn’t like FREE stuff??

Because of this, I am reaching out to you in regard to my upcoming Stella Spring Giveaway.

Giveaway
Stella Spring Giveaway April 12-26th

The Stella Spring Giveaway includes paperback signed copies of all 3 books in The Stella Trilogy PLUS matching Bookmarks. The Stella Trilogy is a 3 Part Standalone Series about one woman and her family’s struggle for identity and freedom. By standalone, we mean it was written to be read in any order as a standalone novella. Short, sweet, and to the point, start at Book Three and work your way down to Book One. Or, read in chronological order, you decide! Already have this series? Win it for someone else! Have teens? This Historical, Young Adult Series is perfect for getting their summer reading list off to a great start. You will be able to  enter the contest HERE when it launches (only your email address is required).

The contest begins Tuesday, April 12, 2016 and ends Tuesday, April 26, 2016 so there’s plenty of time to spread the word and enter: Spread the Word.

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Kathryn Reed on Between Slavery and Freedom (Stella, Book 1)

“Yecheilyah Ysrayl takes us on a colorful and thought provoking journey through the eyes of a mulatto slave woman Stella. Generations later, Stella’s descendant Cynthia May has no idea of Stella’s life as a slave, nor the true identity of their bloodline. Since Cynthia is a racist she is in for a rude awakening. Stella is reminiscent of a wonderfully written slave narrative, a story of history and pain, it is a brilliant opener of the Stella series.”

Colleen Chesebro on Beyond The Colored Line (Stella, Book 2)

“By the time the Great Depression eases, Stella and her family move to segregated Chicago, where life is not much better. Aunt Sara, a school teacher, struggles to wait for the school district to pay her. Sara has made the step into white society by dating an affluent doctor and encourages Stella to do the same. After a discussion with Aunt Sara, Stella decides to pass for white. Sidney McNair is born and enters a white society where she had the freedom to go where she chooses and to buy whatever she likes. Stella has crossed the colored line.”

Christa Wojo. on The Road to Freedom (Stella, Book 3)

“Like the first book, Ysrayl works her magic of putting the reader into her characters’ minds to witness history through their emotions and perspectives. At one point in the story, the friends are trapped in their vehicle as it’s mobbed by a pack of violent racists. My heart was literally pounding at this point. I was horrified that anyone had to experience such ugly cruelty.”

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Like. Share. Enter. Win.

Black American History: Why It Matters

It is no secret. Racial tension in the United States has not dwindled. In fact, not only does racism, discrimination, and police brutality continue today but it does so with just as much vigor as if it had been torn from the pages of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. It is today’s current events that will add to the history our children will one day read about. However, to understand one’s future one must first understand the past.

I spend a lot of time speaking about ancient black history but the truth is that many of us do not even know our current American history. The past is filled to the brim with African American contributions but our understanding of these endeavors is either unknown or utterly flawed. Uncle Tom was not a sell out, Christianity was not beat into black people, Rosa Parks is not the first person to refuse to give up her seat on a bus, Negro spirituals was not made up babble, and black people did not die for the right to vote (we died for Freedom). These are just a few of the common misconceptions that are not only regurgitated as truth, but even taught in our schools. And it is the inspiration behind why I write black.

Not only is slavery being taken out of school textbooks, but many people have no idea concerning what these times were truly like. Nor can many people name more than a handful of individuals in relation to black history itself. Many African Americans in particular have no idea of their rich and glorious past which started long before slavery. I write these books because we cannot guarantee that our present will preserve the rich legacy concerning the true birth of a nation. Today Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks are the only names many people know and it is a disservice to the many other influential individuals in the black community. Even so, what happens ten years from now? Will Martin King and Rosa Parks names ring foreign? What would have happened if someone long ago did not write about them? Would we have known? Can we depend on modern society to teach history? What happens ten years from now? Will we understand what slavery was really about? Sharecropping? Tenant Farming? Does the black man and woman know who they were before slavery?

The Stella Trilogy is a series of short stories about one family and their search for identity amidst the African American fight for freedom. These books are my attempt to remind all people of our  forgotten legacy so we never forget what freedom looks like.

Stella: The Road to Freedom – Joseph’s Story (Book 3)
Stella: Beyond The Colored Line (Book 2)
Stella: Between Slavery and Freedom (Book 1)

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The Snowflake Method For Designing A Novel

I don’t usually use an outline when writing my books but I found this really neat method I’d like to try. While I can’t say I’ll stick to it like glue, it looks like something that will help me to organize my thoughts without the confusion. For my next project I’ll be using The Snowflake Method. Click Here to check it out. After your reading, research, and daydreaming is done (when you have an idea of what the story is about), here is Step #1 from the article:

Step 1) Take an hour and write a one-sentence summary of your novel. Something like this: “A rogue physicist travels back in time to kill the apostle Paul.” (This is the summary for my first novel, Transgression.) The sentence will serve you forever as a ten-second selling tool. This is the big picture, the analog of that big starting triangle in the snowflake picture.

When you later write your book proposal, this sentence should appear very early in the proposal. It’s the hook that will sell your book to your editor, to your committee, to the sales force, to bookstore owners, and ultimately to readers. So make the best one you can!

Some hints on what makes a good sentence:

  • Shorter is better. Try for fewer than 15 words.
  • No character names, please! Better to say “a handicapped trapeze artist” than “Jane Doe”.
  • Tie together the big picture and the personal picture. Which character has the most to lose in this story? Now tell me what he or she wants to win.
  • Read the one-line blurbs on the New York Times Bestseller list to learn how to do this. Writing a one-sentence description is an art form.

Another important point: It doesn’t have to be perfect. The purpose of each step in the design process is to advance you to the next step. Keep your forward momentum! You can always come back later and fix it when you understand the story better. You will do this too, unless you’re a lot smarter than I am.

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Sounds exciting! There is also a book which you can find here. Are you writing a book? Share the method to your madness! How do you stay organized?