As we approach the end of the year, I am doing what I always do at this time. Revisit my pages, update them, move some things around and maybe change my theme. In doing so, I’ve compiled all the Introduce Yourself Interviews and stored them away on their own page. You can now easily access the author’s interview using the Introduce Yourself Author Interview page. If you are one of the featured authors, you can also easily access your feature if you need to copy and paste your link or share it.
As a reminder, I am still looking for authors interested in being interviewed by me on this page. When I took that extensive break the feature slowed down but I am now ready to start scheduling again. AND if I missed you, please resend your information to my email HERE.
Interviews are published every Monday (being it’s already Sunday afternoon here whether we have one tomorrow will depend on how early I get some questions in).
Here are some benefits of being featured on someone’s blog:
Whether you are guest blogging or being interviewed, promoted or featured, as a guest your work is introduced to a NEW audience. This gives people who have never heard of you or your books an opportunity to learn more about you, follow your blog and check out your social media pages.
I’ve heard it said that guest posting is FIVE TIMES GREATER than posting to your own blog. Now, I am not sure how accurate that is but I do know from experience that guest posting gives you the opportunity to connect with a new group of people and to share your expertise or skill. If you wrote a book, I believe you are an expert on the subject matter that you are writing or have written about. In fact, I believe we are all experts in some way. Everyone is a genius when we focus on our own individual gifts. We have all been given something special that others can learn from.
You could have been blogging for five years and promote your books the whole time only to find out, after posting to someone else blog, that few people knew you existed. That’s the power of networking. Being featured on someone’s blog is stepping outside the box. If you’ve been blogging longer than one year, chances are you are already comfortable with your own blog. If you want to continue this growth, step outside your comfort zone and introduce your books to a new audience. Why not start here? Whenever I publish an Introduce Yourself Feature, it always becomes the most viewed page on my site for that week and a few authors have even informed me that they have sold a book or two.
Not interested in an interview but have books to promote? Just shoot me an email with your covers, links, bio, and release date. I’ll be happy to help you to spread the word!
Note: If you have any trouble with the email link or emailing me in general, use the contact page.
Yecheilyah (e-see-lee-yah) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet of nine published works including Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One), her latest novel available now on Amazon.com. Learn more by exploring Yecheilyah’s writing on this blog and her website at yecheilyahysrayl.com.
Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Felicia Denise. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.
What is your name and where are you from?
Felicia Denise is my real name, and I’m a southern girl by birth—Ole Miss—but grew up in Michigan, got married and started a family in California, moved back to Michigan and now I live in Arizona.
Watch out traveler. Always wanted to visit Cali. Now, you know I have to ask. Since Friday came out, how many times have someone said to you “Bye Felicia?”
LOL! Actually, I’ve probably said it to other people more than it’s been said to me! I also have half a dozen t-shirts, a coffee mug, a keychain and a cap that say, “Bye Felicia!” Both my sons have it as my ringtone. LOL!
How many siblings do you have?
I am one of nine—six girls and three boys. We lost our youngest brother twenty-five years ago to AIDS-related pneumonia at the age of twenty-nine. I don’t believe the eight remaining of us have all been in the same place at the same time since his funeral. There’s always one missing.
Awwue. I am so sorry to hear that. How long have you been married Felicia?
We’ll celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary in mid-September!
Whoop! Yass. Do you have children?
Yes, three. Our oldest son lives a couple of hours away and works for a major medical corporation; the younger son is a member of the National Guard and works in security, and our daughter is an Army wife who works on base. Notice there was no mention of grandchildren… but I have four grand-dogs!
In the Best Interest of the Child (September 30, 2016)
Not grand-dogs loll. I understand that you write, are you employed outside of writing?
No. I had to leave the workforce almost twenty years ago because of chronic illnesses—osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia.
What was your childhood dream?
To sing with Up with People! LOL! They were a group of young men and women who toured the country regularly…singing in schools, on college campuses, at sporting events, etc. And I loved to sing when I was a kid! My parents’ friends would pay me a quarter to sing at BBQs and picnics LOL! And I sang it all—Aretha Franklin, Freda Payne, Barbra Streisand, Mahalia Jackson—just give me room!
When I was thirteen, a large mass grew over my thyroid and larynx. Fortunately, it was benign. It took a year of surgeries and rehab, but I did go back to singing. Only instead of standing with the girls and singing soprano, I had to stand with the boys and sing bass!
Cool! You gonna have to sing for us one day. So sorry about that mass, glad you everything went well.
You named some artists and I know you be jamming out with us on Throwback Thursdays! So, please tell us more about the kind of music you like.
I love music… end of story! My playlists are so eclectic—60s folk and Motown, 70s funk and disco, 80s Soul, R&B, and boy bands, 90s power females… all mixed in with Classical and Country! The only music that annoys me is gangsta rap and grunge.
Yea, the music today irks my nerves. I don’t even know what to call it but it’s not music. What skill would you like to master?
Playing the piano! Always wanted to learn and even owned a piano at one time. My children were young and involved in every group and club imaginable and there just was never enough time for lessons and practice.
I’d love to learn to play the piano too. Let’s talk about writing, what’s the most difficult thing about being a writer?
Finding your audience.
The most exciting thing?
The emails from readers when they make a real connection with characters and plot. There’s truth even in fiction.
Indeed it is. What is the most thought-provoking book you’ve ever read?
The Bible. Some believe it’s just a book of rules on things you can’t do, but think about it. Nearly every existing trope or genre can be found in the Bible. There’s a lot going on the pages of the Good Book, which is why it takes at least a year to read and comprehend it properly.
Probably the best answer to that question I’ve had here yet. You KNOW I agree. I think people will be surprised at how much information is in the bible. Giants? Bible. Demons? Bible. Righteous and fallen angels?Bible. Black History? Bible. It’s all there.
Religious, no. Spiritual, yes. My maternal grandfather was a Methodist pastor and I was raised in church, but I am not a fan of church doctrine. To me, it’s the underlying problem of ANY religion. Man interjecting his rules and wills where they don’t belong and for non-religious reasons.
I knew we connected for a reason. I gotta share some information with you! Who is your favorite writer?
Two-way tie between Toni Morrison and Jonathon Kellerman. They couldn’t be more different in genre and style, but before I finish the first chapter of any of their books, I’ve crossed into another world.
Family Matters (In the Best Interest of the Child #2) (August 2017)
The subjectivity! Everyone wants you to buy their book or enroll in their class because they have the sure-fire method for becoming a bestselling author and selling truckloads of books. But that just isn’t true. What works for you may not work for me. And it isn’t because I did anything ‘wrong’. An author must put in the time—hit a few and miss a few—to find what works for them… and it doesn’t happen overnight.
Say THAT. What do you love about writing advice?
I love the common-sense advice. It removes all the mystery and double-talk and explains in two or three paragraphs the information you need to know.
Indeed. Now, I met you through the blog so let me ask you, does blogging help you to write?
Actually, for me, it’s the opposite. Writing helps me blog.
I like it. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
JRR Tolkien Network! “All Hobbits, All the time!” I’d never change the station!
What? Lol. Felicia girl you got me rolling.
What TV channel exists but really shouldn’t?
TRUtv…ugh! It was nice when it was CourtTV, now it’s just desperate reality shows and people saying, “Hold my beer and watch this!”
I grew up in the 60s and came of age in the 70s and would give anything to have those days back. They were not perfect times, by any means, but the movement for change was a positive one and shared among the masses. Today, pick any ten people and you could get ten different agendas. Diversity was once our strength, now it’s the focus for oppression. It saddens me to look into the eyes of children and the elderly when they realize how little their lives matter with the changes taking place.
Hmm. Right. In your own words, what is love?
To understand and accept someone into your heart, regardless of their shortcomings or differences, without expecting anything in return.
We enjoyed you lady! Thanks for spending this time with us today. Now, bye Felicia :-).
Writing has been a hobby of Felicia’s since grade school, but other than serving as editor and writing for her high school newspaper, she never publicly shared anything until the early 2000s when she began writing fan fiction. At the urging of a good friend, Felicia took on the challenge of NaNoWriMo in 2015, writing what would become her first published book, In the Best Interest of the Child. It was released in the fall of 2016.
Currently working on several projects, Felicia plans to release book 2 of In the Best Interest of the Child – Family Matters, in summer 2017.
Welcome to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books.
Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Jo Ann Maxwell. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.
What would your perfect writing/reading room look like?
It would have lots of windows and be situated in a forest area. Somewhere in the mountains would be perfect. And a beautiful lake or river outside as well. It would stay at a perfect 68° no matter the weather. The walls would be a pale robin’s egg blue. I would have a sound system that would play my favorite Christian music. I would have a sturdy couch with an ottoman when I want to put up my feet. It would have a small refrigerator with bottled spring water, and fruits and nuts. It would also have an attached bathroom. There would definitely be no TV or phone!
No TV or phone, I hear ya. What skill would you like to master?
I would like to learn how to fly a plane. Just a small plane. I don’t need to go fast. Just want to get up close to the clouds and look at the earth from that perspective. It would be a little like God looking down from heaven and seeing us. Our perspective is so narrow and immediate focused. He sees the big picture.
In your own words, what is humility?
Humility is choosing someone else over yourself. Humility is being willing to be wrong. Humility is making sure those around you are successful. Humility is the opposite of self-righteousness. Humility is not being submissive and allowing abuse to continue. Humility is grounded in love for yourself. When we love ourselves, we can love others! And as we love others, humility is a byproduct of that love. There is no competition, needing to be right, nor a desire to control others.
What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
I would like to travel around Italy and sample the wines and cheeses throughout the country.
That sounds lovely. Jo, tell us about when published your first book? What was it like?
My book was published in the fall of 2016. It is called Fearless. It chronicles my journey through grief and depression to rely on my faith to gain victory in spite of living with a chronic disease; multiple sclerosis.
Can you talk a little bit about what Multiple Sclerosis is for those who may not know?
After my diagnosis, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) was my first and continues to be my go-to source for information. According to NMSS, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. The exact antigen—or target that the immune cells are sensitized to attack—remains unknown, which is why MS is considered by many experts to be “immune-mediated” rather than “autoimmune.”
Within the CNS, the immune system attacks myelin—the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers—as well as the nerve fibers themselves.
The damaged myelin forms scar tissue (sclerosis), which gives the disease its name.
When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or interrupted, producing a wide variety of symptoms.
The disease is thought to be triggered in a genetically susceptible individual by a combination of one or more environmental factors.
People with MS typically experience one of four disease courses, which can be mild, moderate or severe
What small things makes your life easier? What makes it difficult?
I have been living with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis for a little over four years. What makes it easier for me is to have several rest periods throughout the day. I swim three days a week and do my physical and occupational therapy. This doesn’t necessarily make my life easier, but it doesn’t make it more difficult. I need to exercise and be strong in all the ways I can while I still can. Stress and busyness make it difficult for me. Before I was diagnosed, I was a teacher for 17 years and then a nonprofit manager for 19 years. So I’m used to a very high activity job that requires multitasking. Now looking at all the emails that come in to my two email accounts I get overwhelmed. I have to take a while to digest the information, regroup, and then tackle it. I was used to be able to go to three or four stores in the morning and still have lots of energy left over. Now I can only do two or three errands, especially if one is a drive-through. I think it is the fatigue that is the most annoying symptom that I have. The fatigue has caused me to radically change my lifestyle.
What is your favorite historical figure?
That would have to be Jesus, hands down. He has influenced my life in ways that I can only repay him by walking as closely to his word as I can. It is the amazing love of the father who sacrificed his son so we could have the Holy Spirit living inside of us. Almost too amazing to even think about.
I take it you’re religious?
No I am not religious. Religion is a set of rules you have to live by. I have a relationship with Jesus my Savior. I love spending time with him, and he wants to spend time with me. Just like any relationship, it takes effort on my part to make it rich and meaningful.
What is the most thought-provoking book you’ve ever read?
It has to be Magnificent Obsession by Anne Graham Lotz. She goes through the life of Abraham and paints beautiful pictures of how we too can be sold out to God and his plans and guidance for our lives.
If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be?
It would be a research scientist with the power to find the cure for all of the currently incurable diseases in the world. That would include cancer, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, dementia, polio, Parkinson’s, Lupus, influenza, diabetes, asthma, and mental illness. And I would also coordinate the research projects so that all scientists can work together rather than separate in their own little silos.
Thank you Jo for spending this time with us! Because of you we know more about Multiple Sclerosis!
I was suddenly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 60. Many of the symptoms I had throughout my life suddenly became clear. My faith, independence, and fearlessness were threatened. In my book I talk about my struggles to find hope again. I had a successful career as a teacher and a senior-level nonprofit executive. Since retiring I have been assisting my aging parents in North Carolina. I try to stay active as a volunteer at the Billy Graham training center in Asheville North Carolina, read, play mah-jongg, do puzzles, and exercise as much as I can. Right now my walking is very limited, but I get in the pool and swim three days a week, and I can work on a recumbent cross trainer. As a physical educator, I know the great advantages of exercise. It’s also important to stay as strong as I can and not let the MS get the better of me! My book chronicles how my faith was stretched and strengthened and how I find victory in spite of living with a chronic disease.
Working at a Wild Animal Rescue/Rehabilitation Center.
Aww. I love animals. I really really want a dog. Do you have a dog? Any animals?
Until moving to Istanbul when I married age 72, I have had several dogs, and three parrots. As dogs are not allowed in apartments here in Istanbul, I had to leave my dog Oscar with a friend back in Kemer, nr Antalya, where I used to live. I see him each time I go down there, and pay his vet bills. I have adopted a Tiger named Jasper from Care For the Wild/ Born Free for the past ten years, with my wife and I having a cat here in Istanbul.
A Tiger? Wow! What skill would you like to master?
There are so many aspects, right? What skill do you think you’ve mastered?
Quality control of inter fit-outs to high-class projects.
Cool. In your own words, what is love?
Love is something you feel when you meet that someone special in your life.
Awwue. I’m definitely feeling the love up in here! If you had unlimited funds to build a house that you would live in for the rest of your life, what would the finished house be like?
I know that’s right. Gonna get a little personal here, what’s your favorite drink?
Alright now! I’m scared of you. Now, blogging, does it help you to write?
I like to think so.
What’s your favorite color?
Who is your favorite writer?
What kind of music do you like?
Many, but I like Jazz.
Ohh me too! Give me a glass of wine with some Jazz in the background and I am good. Now, inquiring minds wanna know, when did you publish your first book? What was that like?
Lol! Wait, how you gonna butter her all up like that then come back with this. I hope you not sleeping on the couch tonight Mr. Spending time with your wife, sheesh.
What do you wish you knew more about?
Writing and good books.
What small things makes your life easier? What makes it difficult?
Being able to phone and have meals delivered to the house. The over-crowded roads.
I feel you. Home delivered meals sounds nice. Colin, are you a political man?
Not really, but I am more of a Conservative.
What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?
Getting publicity for what I write. Satisfaction on completing, having it edited and publishing my books.
Why is writing important to you?
By writing, it gives me satisfaction that others might learn something by reading my books.
I love it. What do you love about yourself?
My understanding of what’s what.
What don’t you like about yourself?
I get angry about the lack of thought by others.
Lol. Whew, Colin you’re something else. What genre do you write in?
Fiction & Non-fiction.
In your own words, what is truth?
Truth is what too many people and politicians don’t know the meaning of. You cannot trust a liar.
I know that’s right.
Thank you, Colin, for spending time with us today, we enjoyed you!
Colin Guest, a retired Englishman, is married and living in Istanbul Turkey. Colin has written three books: An Expat’s Experiences of Living in Turkey, Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps, sub-titled the Adventurous Life of an Expat, a memoir and Terror Holiday. He is presently working on a short fiction book and a romantic novel.
Colin also enjoys writing poetry, with several of his poems doing well in contests. As a result of one poem read out at a festival, he was so taken by the reader that he is now working on preparing an audio version of his memoir.
When Colin has the time, he enjoys reading books by Le child, Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler and Eric Ludlum.
You can find out more about Colin at https://colinguestauthor.com and htps://tigerman74.wordpress.com and the other links below! Go show him some love.
I love the warm weather! The flowers are blooming and everything is just abounding with life. What a perfect occasion to introduce something new.
Last week I announced the start of a new series on The PBS Blog and boy have you all responded!
So, this post is to remind you that if you want in this summer you may want to go ahead and submit your questions. Spots are filling up fast! I’ll be introducing our first author tomorrow, Monday, April 3, 2017 and then every Monday afterwards we’ll meet a new author (just as long as the spots stay filled). I am booked up through April and there is only ONE spot left for May so again, if you want to be featured this summer, don’t wait.
I know that not everyone following this blog is an author / writer / aspiring writer, but many of you are.
If you aren’t familiar with this blog, I offer a few services that you may or may not know about.
Email List Book Promotions
Writer’s Workshop (Details TBA)
Book Review Follow-Up: Where Are They Now?
Email List Book Promotions are Book Covers, Blurbs, and Buy Links that I promote to my email list at no cost. But you must be on my newsletter to take advantage of this offer.
Sign Up HERE and then send me your Book Cover, Blurb, and Buy Link. My newsletters go out once a month (18th) or twice a month for those who choose bimonthly (3rd, 18th).
Book Reviews are published to this blog on Friday’s. New Book Review submissions are currently closed until my TBR pile is low. However, you should keep checking my Book Review Registry to see when I am open again. Again, I am not currently accepting new submissions for book reviews.
BUT, it’s a good idea to follow this blog so you can get first notification when I re-open!
Understand that registering for a review does not guarantee you the review. I still have to see if it’s the book for me. I will then get in touch with you and let you know.
It is good to register because I have lots of books to read and the registry puts you on my list and secures you a spot in line.
I review books in the order in which I receive them. When I am open, you won’t see the message that I am not accepting responses. I will also be vocal about it on this blog and social media.
Books that I promote (Book Reviews or Book Promos) are also listed under the Indie Author page in my sidebar.
When I open back up I’d like to read more of my favorite genres in addition to the others. I encourage authors with African American centered themes in particular to reach out to me.
Book Review Follow-Up: Where Are They Now? – I’ve been reviewing books since 2015 and have met some great writers. But once I’ve reviewed you, I’d like to continue to support you. I’ve been in touch with some authors and have decided to introduce a Follow-Up segment of the Book Reviews. Book Review Follow-Up: Where Are They Now? is an author interview following up on the authors whose books I reviewed. I have not set a date for this feature but I do have some authors lined up who are eager to meet you all. When I lock their dates in I will do an entire post dedicated to this new feature and give you the start date and the frequency of the interviews (weekly or monthly).
If you’re interested in being interviewed on this blog please email me HERE.
You must have had your book reviewed by me to qualify for the Book Review Follow- Up since this is a book review follow-up series. (yea, kinda self-explanatory but you never know…)
If I’ve already reviewed your book, send me an email.
Introduce Yourself – Can’t get a review in at this time? I have a new feature that I will be doing a separate post on real soon. I will share the motivation behind this segment in that post but in brief, at the close of last year I stated I wanted to offer another service for authors on this blog aside from the Book Reviews. After much thought I have many ideas (some I won’t implement at this time) and some that I will.
Many authors have been writing for years and have multiple works out however they are unknown in the blogging community or writing community in general. Even for those who are known there are always someone who has never read your work or probably don’t even know that you’ve written a book.
I’d like to offer this space to new and established authors as an opportunity to introduce themselves in an interview-like setting. The questions in particular will be tailored toward getting to know more about you as an author and as a person.
More information on Introduce Yourself coming soon.