I’ve been supporting the Webuyblack movement for a while now. I’ve purchased products from the many black-owned businesses on the site, attended the inaugural convention last year and met some talented all-black business owners. I bought toothbrushes, coffee, hair care products and even potato chips all from black-owned businesses. Recently, I watched the first episode of Killer Mike’s Netflix special and was proud to see Webuyblack represented. Mike’s idea intrigued me: See if you can survive 3 days solely on the strength of food, transportation and products from black-owned businesses. This was interesting and brought the idea of selling on the site back to my memory.
I first met a WeBuyBlack representative in March, 2018 at the Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta. At the time I had decided I would definitely open a store on the site. Over time, though, I was not sure if I should. I was not sure if it was worth it from an author point of view. I didn’t see many authors at the convention and I didn’t see many of the authors whose books are on the site being promoted by the Webuyblack team. I am not selling Laundry Detergent, Soap, or clothing. It took me almost a year to decide if it was worth it. To make a long story short, I have decided to try it out. I see this as eventually being monumental and I’d like to be part of its history.
What is WeBuyBlack?
We Buy Black is a global marketplace for Black owned businesses. All the products on the site are designed and produced by black business owners, but not only that, WeBuyBlack is a movement to see social and economic justice globally. Can we recreate our own version of Black Wallstreet? Can we pool our resources together and support one another? My books are on Amazon, B&N online, Kobo and iTunes but why not WeBuyBlack? As a writer of Black History, this is right up my alley. Surely, I can support a movement centered on black empowerment.
First, you should know that as my circle of readers, I am not asking you to buy anything.
Many of you already have the two books I have decided to upload for now. If you reviewed these books on Amazon, I am asking if you can review them on Webuyblack. This will help me to get the attention of other readers and to decide if I want to make this a permanent move or not.
If you LOVED Renaissance and you LOVED I am Soul, let’s show other readers why these books are worth the time investment. I’ve decided to start with just these two. Only if they do well will I add more. What do you think? Can we do this? Yes, we can!
Today, I’d like to welcome Camille Frazer. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Camille Frazer. I was born in Jamaica.
Jamaica in the house. Are you employed outside of writing?
Yes. I am a Child Advocate Attorney. I advocate for the best interest of children who have been removed from their parents due to abuse, abandonment or neglect. I support a team of attorneys in Florida.
I love that. What was your childhood dream?
To be an attorney.
Dream fulfilled. What job do you think you’d be really good at?
I think I would be good at Logistics Management. I feel I do quite a bit of it already in my job as I cover a vast region (Central and South) in Florida.
What skill would you like to master?
I would love to master marketing. It is important to reaching people, establishing relationships and building a base for your audience.
Agreed. What skill do you think you’ve mastered?
Delivering a closing argument in court. I love pulling out the facts that support my position and crafting a strong and moving argument.
Awesome. What’s your favorite food?
Ackee and Saltfish. It is the national dish of Jamaica.
What kind of music do you like?
Every kind except metal.
Lol. Who is your favorite writer?
Speaking of writing, let’s get into that. When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
I published my first book in December 2017. It was an exciting process as it was a dream of mine for so long. The book was self-published in collaboration with Createspace. I was attracted to the support and efficiency of the process and the sort of a la carte approach. Meaning, the ability to choose the services I wanted, such as copy editing and marketing and foregoing services related to creation of a book cover. The team kept in regular contact via messages on my dashboard and by phone, if necessary. It was such a wonderful feeling receiving the finished work in my hand.
What would your perfect writing/ reading room look like?
My perfect writing/reading room would be a room with bay windows overlooking water, with built in bookshelves, a daybed for reading and a writing desk.
What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?
The most difficult thing I have found is the discipline to write every day, no matter the distractions. I got distracted in 2018, so my goal is to write every day in 2019. So far, I am on track. I carve out time to write, so it is built into my day.
The most exciting is crafting a story or poem from an idea, and creating new pieces of it that you can share and hopefully someone finds it beautiful or helpful.
Why is writing important to you?
Its important because I love it and I see it as an ability to help others lose themselves in a story or poem. It’s also a way to express my thoughts and emotions.
You seem to have a passion for being an attorney and writing so I have to ask. If you had to pick one to do the rest of your life, which would it be?
If I had to chose, I would chose writing. I have practiced law for many years and have focused more on it than my writing. I welcome the opportunity to focus on my writing and the experience the joy that it brings.
Good to hear. You are so talented. What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
It would be traveling abroad for at least a year, volunteering, mingling with the locals and collecting stories and inspiration for a novel and other collections of poems.
I am so feeling that. I love to travel. What small things makes your life easier?
Audible makes my reading goals easier. My goal in 2018 was to read 24 books for the year. My 2019 goal is 36. I travel quite a bit, so Audible helps me meet my goals.
What makes it difficult? Traffic.
What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
I think there are so many channels already, but if there isn’t already one, there should be a channel that prepares children to live successfully after they leave home. It should cover budgeting, balancing a check book, provide information on credit card spending and debt, savings, insurance, and creating healthy relationships.
That is so needed. What TV channel exists but really shouldn’t?
Channels with infomercials. They can get you into trouble if you are not careful.
In your own words, what is humility?
Humility is a letting go of one’s ego and demonstrating a sincere interest in another person.
In your own words, what is love?
Love is an appreciation of self, letting go of ego, aiming to be your best self so that you can be the best for another person and also, sometimes putting the needs of another before your own.
What is the most thought provoking book you’ve ever read?
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a law firm dedicated to defending the poor and condemned, and individuals on death row. Its a call for us to consider mercy for these individuals as chronicled in the stories, they faced mental and familial challenges that contributed to their involvement in the criminal justice system.
What do you think of police brutality in the black community?
There is no denying the police have a difficult job, and there are good policemen and women who serve their communities honorably. However, given the statistics it should be hard to deny the disparity in treatment. For example, “black Americans are more than twice likely to be unarmed when killed during police encounters than whites” (2015 Guardian report), and “black people accounted for 31% of police killing victims in 2012 even though they made up just 13% of the population,” (Vox report by German Lopez).
I am concerned about the examples of brutality that have been documented and have led to the death or serious injury of civilians, particularly in the black community.
It’s unfortunate that good officers are blighted by the bad actors who tarnish their reputation. However, we can’t ignore the brutality suffered by black Americans.
I think better training and screening of officers would help to address the problem.
Outside of writing, what are some of your passions?
I love to play tennis. I enjoy exercising outside and tennis is a great sport for running around and burning calories while having fun.
If you could, would you visit the past?
Yes. I would love to have lived in Egypt during the time of their inventions such as the papyrus writing paper, their contributions to medicine, and the building of the pyramids.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be more consistent with your writing and network more.
Life is not always pretty. We all experience hardship every now and again. What is your best advice for reducing stress?
Deep breathing and meditation. They help clear and relax the mind.
Thank you Camille for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!
Camille Frazer currently serves as Regional Legal Counsel for the State of Florida Guardian ad Litem Program. Ms. Frazer has been with the Guardian ad Litem Program for twelve years. Prior to her current position, Ms. Frazer was the Supervising Attorney in the 19th Judicial Circuit.
In 2005, she began her tenure with the Guardian ad Litem Program as a Best Interest Attorney in the 11th Judicial Circuit. While there, she also represented the Guardian ad Litem Program in the capacity of Litigation Attorney. After a one year hiatus practicing in the field of Insurance Defense, Ms. Frazer re-joined the Guardian ad Litem Program in October 2009, continuing her advocacy for the best interest of children.
Ms. Frazer earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica. She obtained her law degree from New England Law, where she served as a Senior Editor for the New England Journal of International and Comparative Law.
Ms. Frazer serves as a mentor with the Florida Take Stock in Children Program, which prepares high school students for college and provides scholarships to assist with their educational needs. She is also a member of the Family Support Committee with Habitat for Humanity.
The Unveiling is her first collection of poems. The poems cover the many nuances of a relationship between people, between an individual and a community. Ms. Frazer believes that every moment has meaning, and each should be utilized to achieve its full potential.
ATTN. If you’ve never read my books, these FOUR are 99cents each in ebook for the entire month of February.
I write poetry and Black Historical Fiction.
About Renaissance: The Nora White Story Book I
When seventeen-year-old Nora White successfully graduates High School in 1922 Mississippi and is College bound, everyone is overjoyed and excited. Everyone except Nora. She dreams of Harlem, Cotton Clubs, Fancy Dresses, and Langston Hughes. For years, she’s sat under Mr. Oak, the big oak tree on the plush green grass of her families five acres, and daydreamed of The Black Mecca. The ambitious, young Nora is fascinated by the prospect of being a famous writer in The Harlem Renaissance and decides she doesn’t want to go to College. Despite her parent’s staunch protest, Nora finds herself in Jacobsville, New York, a small town forty-five minutes outside of Harlem. Shocked by their daughter’s disappearance, Gideon and Molly White are plagued with visions of the deadly south, like the brutal lynching of Gideon’s sister years ago. As the couple embarks on a frightening and gut wrenching search for Nora, they are each stalked by their own traumatic past. Meanwhile, Nora learns that the North is not all it’s cracked up to be. Can Gideon and Molly overcome their disturbing past in time to find their daughter before it’s too late?
About Revolution: The Nora White Story Book II
When Nora White is drugged by her friend she is forced to deal with the harsh reality of life in the North. She meets Keisha and the women catch a ride to The Den, a gambling and numbers hole-in-the-wall in Jacobsville New York. Unlike the upper echelon of Harlem, Nora’s new friends are hustlers but down to Earth and feels more like family. They take her to Liberty Hall where she is introduced to Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A.). Meanwhile, Nora has no idea her father has been arrested and back home Molly is hanging on by a thread. When the community discovers the truth of the alleged crime they devise a way to get Gideon out of jail but their actions could mean life or death for everyone involved. Will Nora come to her senses and return home in time to help the family or will her naiveté lead her astray once again?
About I am Soul (poetry)
I am Soul is a short collection of poetry and prose from Yecheilyah’s PBS Blog covering Black History, Faith, Love and all things Soul. Short, sweet, historical, and spiritual.
About The Road to Freedom (novella)
Deeply concerned about the state of Black America, a fight with his brother compels a young Joseph to leave his mother’s house and join his friends for a trip to Atlanta for SNCC’s (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) second conference. Excited to live life on their own, Jo and his friends have left school and the lives they were living for a chance to become part of the movement. With no money and essentially no plan the seven friends, three black and four white, set out for the road when they are stopped by a racist cop who makes them exit the car. The teens are unaware that a mob of Klansmen also await them at the New Orleans bus terminal. Find out in the 3rd installment of the Stella Trilogy how Joseph and his friends discover the truth about themselves in the Jim Crow south on The Road to Freedom.
Hurry though, this EXCLUSIVE offer won’t last long!
Welcome back to another episode of No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week where you do not get to whine, complain, or criticize. Now, if you are new to this blog or new to this segment please visit the first post HERE for more on what this post is all about.
“I am not a victim. No matter what I have been through, I’m still here. I have a history of victory.”
– Steve Maraboli
What does it mean to be victorious to you? To me, it means to endure. We may have many trials and stumbling blocks but if we do not give up, then we reign victorious regardless of the situation. Here’s the thing about the victory I’d like you to take with you:
The victory will change from moment to moment just like our mood changes from moment to moment. Today the victory can be a job promotion, a new baby, a published book, or a family meeting. At these times we are excited and overwhelmed with joy. But, the victory doesn’t have to be so elaborate. What we count as the little things are also victories. Tomorrow, you may find it hard to get out of bed. But choosing not to give up you decide to at least take a shower. Then, you decide to at least eat something. These are victories. These are accomplishments. These are examples that you did not give up. It may not be as exciting as other things but it is still a victory. You aren’t defeated.
The victory won’t look exactly the same from day to day. It will change just as you change. Someone making you laugh when all you wanted to do was cry is a victory. With this understanding, you have (as the quote says) an entire history of victories. Every step is a victory. I’ll leave you with another quote:
“You were born a winner, a warrior…and now that you are a giant, why do you even doubt victory against smaller numbers and wider margins? The only walls that exist are those you have placed in your mind. And whatever obstacles you conceive, exist only because you have forgotten what you have already achieved.”
Not everyone doing well for themselves have “sold out.” Not everyone doing well for themselves are chasing the American dream. Not everyone doing well for themselves are seeking worldly success. These kinds of self-limiting beliefs will leave you stuck, broke, and dimming your light (because, ya know, you don’t want people to think you tryna get rich or die trying…)
Stop giving everything away for free if you are trying to run a business.
I have a few free services I offer to authors as my contribution to the writing community and my commitment to putting other writers on. (Author Interviews are one of them and they are free. Click Here to learn how to sign up.) As an author myself, I feel it is my responsibility to do my part to help others. I truly believe in the saying, “do what you love and the money will come,” so money has never (and will never) be my focus. My focus is on doing what I love while providing as much value as I can to others so that they can also do what they love. I am passionate about writing so it doesn’t feel like work and I am happy to help no matter the circumstance. In addition to my free services and tutorials, I also give away the first chapter to my latest book (whichever is the most recent) to new subscribers to my email list.
However, I keep my freebies to a minimum because I do run a business.
Would you go to work a 9-5 for free? So why do we expect entrepreneurs to do everything for free? Would it be more righteous for us to wait for a corporate promotion than to run our own business? Why is working for someone more admirable and respected than someone working for themselves?
While freebies are good, keep them to a minimum. It’s okay (and I would even recommend it) to give stuff away for free every now and again but if everything you do is free, you are teaching your audience not to take you seriously and they will get so used to you doing everything free. Set a few things aside as freebies (maybe they get a free book when they sign up for your author newsletter) but charge your worth in other areas.
Advice is a consult and comes with a price, teaching is a service and comes with a price and I’m sorry but no, my ebooks are not 99cents (except for preorders on new releases and when there is a sale..I also don‘t think there‘s anything wrong with giving away books to your email list or ARC team). This is not a game, I did not come to play and neither should you. YOU are important. YOU are special, your work is special, and in 2019 you simply deserve more.
Educate yourself to ensure that what you are charging for is in fact valuable (research, research, research)
Charge your worth
Ask your clients to leave reviews. They are witnesses that your product/service is of good quality and worth the time / money investment.
This isn’t about the love of money but let’s stop acting like you don’t need money to live in this world. Let’s stop acting like your children don’t need to eat, your bills don’t need to be paid and your books don’t need to be edited.
This is about knowing your worth and your value professionally. Financial literacy and management is the backbone to successful businesses. You don’t have to spend hours of blood, sweat, tears, and money, sacrificing your time and energy writing and doing all these AMAZING things just so you can give it away for free. Not everything that is free is valuable. Paying for something of good quality creates more of a commitment to follow-through. Meaning, when someone pays for something they are more likely to listen to, watch, apply, or read it. If they didn’t pay for it, they are more likely to put it off for a better time and a better time may never come. I can’t tell you how many ebooks are on the Kindle that I got for free. I intend to read them all but the ones I read first are the ones I paid for. That’s just real.
How serious are you about your writing? Either this is an expensive hobby or a writing business. You choose.
I would like to extend a warm welcome to Abbie Taylor.
What is your name and where are you from?
My legal name is Abigail L. Taylor, but my author name is Abbie Johnson Taylor. I’m currently in Sheridan, Wyoming, where I’ve lived for over thirty years. I was born in New York City on June 1st, 1961. After moving to Boulder, Colorado, then Tucson, Arizona, my family finally settled here in 1973 so my father could run the family’s coin-operated machine business after my grandfather died. I went away to school in the 1980’s but came back and have lived here ever since.
Cool. What is the most annoying habit that you have?
I talk to myself. When my late husband Bill was alive, it drove him nuts at first. Then after he suffered two strokes that left his left side paralyzed, he said he liked it because he always knew where I was and what I was doing. Because he was totally blind and then became partially paralyzed, this was a comfort to him.
Aww. I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. May he rest well. Are you employed outside of writing? Tell us about your job.
I’m not employed anymore. Before I married Bill, I was a registered music therapist, working with senior citizens in nursing homes and other facilities. I have a visual impairment, so I also facilitated a support group for others with blindness or low vision, taught braille, and served on the advisory board to a state trust fund that purchased adaptive equipment and services. In 2005 when I married Bill, he persuaded me to quit my day job and write full time.
Sounds like he was your writing foundation. Excellent. Music Therapists sounds like a powerful job. Can you tell us a little bit about it? What does a Music Therapists do?
It’s a therapeutic tool that can be used with a variety of populations including children and adults with physical and mental disabilities and seniors suffering from dementia. My focus was with the geriatric population. In nursing homes and other facilities, I conducted sing-along, name that tune, and other group activities to mainly help residents re-connect with their younger years. I also worked one on one with residents who were bed-ridden or chose not to attend group activities.
Wow. that is an awesome service you perform. Speaking of music, what songs have you completely memorized?
There are a lot. Even though I’m no longer working in nursing homes and other facilities, I still take my guitar to these places and play and sing for the residents at least once a month. They enjoy it, and it gets me out of the house and away from my writing for a while.
Any siblings Abbie?
I have a younger brother who lives in Jupiter, Florida. He has a P.H.D. in physics, and after years of lab work, he now teaches at a private high school. He’s married with five kids, all either in high school or college.
Neat. What’s your favorite drink?
It’s Dr. Pepper. I wrote a poem about it which was published in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver.
My husband loves Dr. Pepper. What state or country do you never want to go back to?
That would be Arizona. My family lived there for eight years before moving here. The summers were extremely hot and didn’t cool down much at night. Often, our air conditioning quit working. Also, I had some unpleasant experiences at the state school for the deaf & blind.
What was your childhood dream?
When I was about twelve years old, after I discovered that I could sing and play the piano, I wanted to be a singer like Debbie Boon or Olivia Newton-John. I entered a local talent competition several times and finally won second place when I was a sophomore in high school. After graduating, I was convinced that I needed a more stable career. After several years of college, I discovered music therapy.
Does blogging help you to write?
I don’t know if blogging helps me write, but it does promote my work. I now post at least three days a week, and some of my content is related to what I’ve written. I include links to where my books can be purchased on every post.
Smart. What’s your favorite food?
I love pasta of all kinds with a variety of toppings. Now that I’m widowed, I don’t do much cooking but enjoy ready-made frozen meals from Schwan.
Yea, Pasta is my weakness. What’s your favorite color?
I’ve been told that blue looks good on me. Having some vision, I agree, but I also look great in red, yellow, pink, and brown. I really don’t have a favorite color.
Got it. Let’s talk some more about writing. Who is your favorite writer?
I like Danielle Steel because she tells compelling stories with happy endings. However, there are times when she does way too much telling and not enough showing, and that drives me up the wall.
When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
My first book, We Shall Overcome, a romance novel, was published in 2007. At the time, I was married, and Bill was depressed because his therapists had given up on him. My book being released and Bill’s favorite baseball team, The Colorado Rockies making it to the play-offs, kept us both going. When my author copies came in the mail, he wanted to look at one of them. Although he couldn’t see it, as he held it in his hands, I could imagine the shit-eating grin that spread across his face, as he said, “My wife, the published author.”
Do you have children?
No, Bill was my first husband, and we were married late in life. I was in my forties, and he was in his sixties. We realized that having children would be a risky business, and after he suffered his first stroke, I was glad we’d made that decision. Caring for him was hard enough without the added burden of a child or two. My latest book, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, tells our story.
What do you think of the current U.S. political climate? What needs to change?
Right now, we have a president who is going against what we stand for as a country. Ever since Donald Trump took office two years ago, he has done everything he can to limit immigration, claiming immigrants are criminals and not realizing, or perhaps caring, that he, along with the rest of us, are descended from immigrants and that if not for immigrants, this country wouldn’t exist. He’ll stop at nothing to get what he now wants, a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. I can only hope that our newly elected Democratic House of Representatives will prevail and that Trump will be voted out of office in 2020.
What genre do you write in, why?
I write fiction, poetry, and memoir. I like the flexibility of more than one type of writing.
Outside of writing, what are some of your passions?
I enjoy reading and listening to podcasts. I play the piano and guitar and sing, and I’m involved in a women’s choral group. I also participate in water exercise classes at the YMCA.
Thanks so much Abbie for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!
Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of a romance novel, We Shall Overcome, two poetry collections: How to build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, and That’s Life: New and Selected Poems, and a memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. She’s working on another novel. Her work has appeared in The Weekly Avocet and Magnets and Ladders.