Introduce Yourself Author Interview Links Updated


ATTN. Authors of Introduce Yourself. The links to your guest interviews have been updated. If you have any updates of your own let me know. Updates such as:

  • New book – I can add them to your post. (If you have tons of books out I cannot feature every one. I can however post a universal buy link if you have one.)
  • New cover – If you have since changed the cover for a book promoted in the post.
  • New platform – Links to new places your book may now be available.
  • Any new updates you would like to share about your books.

Please let me know by commenting on this post or emailing me. This is for all of the authors interviewed on this blog via Introduce Yourself. You can check out your post in the Introduce Yourself Author Interview page HERE.

Also don’t forget to do your part and reblog and share the post across social media every now and again. Help me to help you.

If you would like to be interviewed on this blog, visit the original post here. All you have to do is choose questions from the list at the bottom of the post (choose at least 10) and email me your answers along with your author photo, book covers, buy links and social media links.

Stay tuned for next weeks featured author.

Shadows and Lights of Harlem – Interview with Author Yecheilyah Ysrayl

I am mobile and will be over the next few days so I’ll be sharing Guest Posts this way because I cannot reblog.

Be sure to stop by Sarah’s blog for my latest interview on Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)

Special thanks to Sarah for having me.


Are You Just Seeing Your Writing on The Side?


“Is your writing going to be a lover in the center of your life? The thing you pulse toward, the fever in your soul? Or is your writing life more of a casual crush, something you think about, but don’t do much about? You know how when you are in love, lying with your lover, time stops–goes so fast and doesn’t move at all? You feel mushy and goopy, and you are wet and hot and cool and loved and lovely, all at the same time?

Here’s the thing, there is one way to make time stop. And only one way: Fall in Love.

When you have a lover or a baby, you fall out of time, and into the beloved. Love is the only time in our lives when we are out of time. To create a writing life, you will need to fall in love–deeply, seductively, passionately–with your writing life. It will become not a habit or a job, but a lover. If you keep it a second-string lover, your back-up lover, your Tuesday night sex-as-friends kind of lover, it might always be cranky with you. But if you make your writing life so lovely you can’t take your eyes off it, you will space out during meetings, and dream about it as you go through the day, just like when you’re in love. – Heather Sellers, Page After Page, Chapter 3


Heather Sellers is an Award winning writer and professor who has taught writing workshops for twenty years, has a Ph.D. in writing and is an associate professor of English. Her book, Page after Page, is a great resource for writers looking to jump-start, begin, or keep the writing juices flowing. She presents great advice on how to dedicate yourself to writing, enjoying the process, and writing exercises to help keep you passionately, seductively, and totally in loooovveee with writing.

5 Horrible Mistakes Self Published Authors Make

Saw this on twitter, thought I’d share. These are some good points:

The Following is by Laurence O’Bryan:

hands pointing towards business man

Self publishing is a golden opportunity. For the first time in history authors can reach readers without going through the traditional publishing system.

But many self published authors are making horrible, beginner-type-mistakes, which will cripple their book sales. Here’s my take on these mistakes:

1. Not getting outside help. Writers can’t generally be editors, cover designers and marketing experts, as well as being writers. Not if they want to do these jobs well. And asking a relative or close friend to do these jobs for you is probably worse than doing it yourself. Your judgement typically goes out the window when someone close to you does something for you. If you won’t spend money on getting experts your sales will be poor. I know there are occasional exceptions to this, but they only prove the rule.

2. Having unrealistic expectations. Most books, up to ten years ago, sold hundreds of copies. Only 1 in 300 traditionally published books, which got good editing, covers and marketing support, became bestsellers in the past. Publishing became a giant game of throw-it-up and see-what-sticks. With printed books it became ever growing and almost criminally wasteful, when you consider the dirty secret that most of the books you see in book stores are destined to be pulped. Now that game is in decline. If you do get editing, covers and marketing right, you might expect reasonable sales, but publishing is always a gamble, so never risk more than you can afford to lose. Great books don’t always sell well. And Print on Demand is way better than ordering books to store in a front room and then a back room – forever.

3. Not building an email list of people who might be willing to read and review your book on Amazon. This is one of the main reasons traditional publishers take so long to publish a book. They often send review copies out to a large group of their reviewers three months in advance of publication. This policy ensures that positive reviews will be posted day one after the book goes up on Amazon. Self-published authors should consider the day a book goes live on Amazon as a soft launch. The day you have five reviews is the day your book gets launched. The day you have ten is when it can hold its head up. The day it has fifty is the day you can expect Amazon’s algorithms to start presenting it to readers near the top of a list of books someone searched for. Congratulations!

4. Not focusing on what makes your book different. Whatever you write, you need to find something unique about your book. That you’ve written a good me-too book, like many others in its genre, is simply not good enough, unless you are happy with poor sales. Sensational writing, words that jump from a page, a heart-stopping plot, and real recipes from your grandmother in a village in Sardinia, where many people live to be 100, are all potentially unique aspects of a book, which will help you find readers.

5. Not believing in yourself. Self-belief is critical to long-term success as a writer, as in many walks of life.  Writing is a profession where those who believe they can and who don’t give up, succeed. Perseverance and a willingness to learn, to edit the whole book again, for the twenty-seventh time, are necessary characteristics for a writer who is determined to become a success. Adopt these characteristics and your path will open up. In the past, it took most writers about ten years to find a publisher, from starting to write. Each year was spent improving, honing, learning. Be prepared for a long journey. If you love being creative with words, don’t give up because the road is hard. Use the journey to prepare for what lies ahead.

Finally, when you have done all of the above, you will know that you can move on. To the next book. And then the one after. Most books lead to another. One of the joys of writing is discovering what else lies inside us, waiting to be born.

Guest Feature – Alone

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
‘Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

– Maya Angelou, Alone

Guest Feature – Change


Great Advice. Short but fulfilling. I especially love the last sentence. It is in my opinion the most important part of the entire post:


“Change can come in many forms in our lives. It might come forcefully like a tidal wave, or creep along incrementally like a glacier. It might come in the form of devastating tragedy, difficult choices, broken relationships, or even new opportunities.

But even though change is often difficult, many times it’s also for the best. Accomplishing anything great in life requires significant change that pushes us beyond our comfort zones. Many times, the only way to improve our lives is to force ourselves to undergo difficult change. That might mean breaking up and leaving a stale – but comfortable – relationship, leaving a mediocre – but stable – job, moving away from a nice – but uninspiring – location, or anything else that’s holding us back from accomplishing our dreams.
Of course, dealing with uninvited change in our lives is often difficult and painful. In many cases, instigating major, but necessary, change in our life can be just as painful. But whatever change you’re dealing with, know that how you cope with that change will have an impact on your future.”

Guest Feature – Top Five Reasons You Should Be Reading Poetry

by Nickole Brown

(Found this on BookPage, excellent piece on Poetry)


5. Because it’s unnecessary.

Yes, unnecessary, absolutely so, but only in the way that beauty and truth are unnecessary. Like an elegant armful of cut tulips brought home dripping from the store among all your pragmatic sundries, like my grandmother’s false lashes glued on every morning to her come-sit-your-handsome-ass-down-here wink, like that baked-bread smell of a newborn’s crown.

Poetry may bear witness, but it is rarely the hardy mule carrying news or facts. No, its burden is unquantifiable, and similar to a penny tossed into a fountain, its worth is in the wishing. As William Carlos William wrote, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet men die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Put another way, C.S. Lewis said, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. . . . It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

4. Because it’s a throat full of word music.

For the poet Patricia Smith, the word was anemone. She was nine years old when her fourth-grade teacher asked her to pronounce it. She writes that she “took a stab and caught it, and / and that one word was uncanny butter on my new tongue.” For the poet Laure-Anne Bosselaar, she loves it when plethora, indolence, damask, or lasciviousness work, in her words, “to stain my tongue, / thicken my saliva.” For me, some days, it’s the word fricative. Other days, it’s ardor, aubade, hydrangea; I’ve held each of those words like a private little bubble of air popping around inside my mouth. Donald Hall calls this “milktongue” and names it as the “deep and primitive pleasure of vowels in the mouth, of assonance and of holds on adjacent long vowels; of consonance, mmmm, and alliteration.”

3. Because it fosters community.

Robert Pinsky knew this when he started the Favorite Poem Project when he was U.S. Poet Laureate—people love to share poems that speak to them. And not just poets, either, but postal workers and dental technicians and racecar enthusiasts, too. Almost everyone carries a poem with them, even if only a scratch of a line or two deep in memory, and reading poetry can place you squarely in the chorus of people hungry to share those lines. Consider, for example, a casual late-night post I made on Facebook last February, making a request of the Internet for poems of joy and happiness. Within hours, over sixty comments magically arrived in my feed, recommending poem after poem. . . poems by Naomi Shihab Nye and William Loran Smith and Robert Hass, among many others. I read them all, and suddenly, I was much less alone; my dreary winter was flooded bright.

2. Because it welcomes what’s inexpressible.

I’ll confess: it was fiction I studied in graduate school. But when I finished my program, I found the cohesiveness required of a novel to be false and hardly conducive to the fragmented, often discontinuous memories I carried. When I wrote my first book, Sister, I needed the white space between poems to hold the silence between the remaining shards of my childhood. With Fanny Says, I needed a form that would allow me to mosaic together a portrait of my grandmother with only the miscellaneous bits of truth I had without having to fudge the connective tissue between them. You see, poetry doesn’t demand explanations. In fact, most poems avoid them, often reaching for questions over answers. Now, this doesn’t mean poetry is necessarily difficult to understand, no. It means that it simply makes room for things that are difficult to understand. John Keats called this negative capability, as poetry is “capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” To me, this acceptance of what cannot be explained is one of the best reasons to read poetry.

1. Because it calls for a life of awareness.

People often assume poetry exists in the realm of thought, lost in philosophical inquiry and romantic meanderings. And most early attempts at writing poetry fail because of this, or worse, because beginning writers travel those easy, hard-wired paths in the brain geared towards survival, which are inundated with years of advertisements, televised plots, and habitual speech. But poetry demands awareness, a raw, muscular devotion to paying attention. You have to live in your body, you have to listen hard to the quiet ticking of both your life and those around you. Like an anthropologist, you have to take down good notes. Poems require a writer to write from all the senses. As Eudora Welty said, “Children, like animals, use all their senses to discover the world. Then artists come along and discover it the same way, all over again.” To me, poetry can make even the most quotidian of things—a tomato on the counter, a housefly batting against the window, your bent reflection in a steel mixing bowl—something extraordinary. Poetry notices things. It scrubs your life free of clichés and easy answers, and the best poems make everyday life strange and new. Poetry requires you to be awake to write it, and reading effective poetry is a second kind of awakening.