Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Sean Mungin

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Sean Mungin. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Sean Mungin and I live in Los Angeles, California.

I always wanted to visit Cali. What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

My perfect writing/reading room would have bookshelves (filled with books, of course) covering every wall (except for the window and sitting area) from the ceiling to the floor. It would have soft music and sounds of water running in the background. It would have a comfortable sitting area next to the window.

I love that sound of water, I imagine that would be peaceful. What job do you think you’d be really good at?

I think I would probably be a pretty good counselor. I have always been the person that others would come to talk through their problems. I think the most memorable moment was when I was in high school; a married co-worker of mine came to me and began sharing issues she was having within her marriage. I do not remember what I actually said to her, but I do remember that she returned to me and thanking me because whatever I said to her worked.

That’s what’s up. Speaking of being good at things, what was your childhood dream?

My childhood dream was to be a musician. I have always had an ear for music. I once asked my mother for music lessons, but we were not in a position financially for me to ever begin them.

Cool. Do you play any instruments?

I play around with the keyboard and was teaching myself to play guitar until I broke a finger on my right hand.

Aww. Boo. Speaking of childhood, any siblings?

I have five siblings. Two older brothers, an older sister, and two younger sisters.

What’s your favorite drink?

My favorite drink is coffee. I love to try different blends from around the world. The smell is intoxicating. The taste is awesome. Dark, bold roasts…of course.

A coffee drinker, yaass. What state or country do you never want to go back to?

I never wanted to come back to California, but it is amazing how my life has come full circle and I am right back here in the Greater Los Angeles area again 20 years later.

The Thorn in the Flesh is available now on Amazon.

Lol. Let’s switch it up a bit. Does blogging help you to write?

Blogging has helped me write in a major way. I have always loved to write. It helps me to process my thoughts and life experiences. However, because becoming a successful blogger and growing a larger reading audience requires consistency, it also requires that I pay close attention to the content and the reading patterns of my audience. As we try to interpret the data from our sites, we have to tailor everything towards the things that work and make the necessary adjustments on the things that have not worked.

True. Sean, what’s your favorite food?

I am not certain that I have a favorite food. I like to try different dishes at least once.

C’mon Sean. I know you have a favorite food! If all the food in the world no longer existed and you had to eat one meal every day, what would it be?

If I were in that situation, I would have to choose an egg and cheese sandwich. I can eat breakfast any time of the day.

Nice. I love eggs. Well, except for…anyway. Let’s move on. What’s your favorite color?

I have four favorite colors: white, black, blue, and olive green. I am not certain if white and black qualifies though, but I like them anyway.

Ha! Your one of those “black and white aren’t colors” kinda guy huh? Lol. Who is your favorite writer?

I think it would be blasphemous for me to say that I do not have a favorite writer, but it is true. I like to read across different genres and I believe that my writing has been influenced by each in their own respective ways.

Nice. You said you wanted to be a musician, what kind of music do you like?

I like to listen to Christian, classical and soft instrumental music.

Let’s go back to writing, when did you publish your first book? What was that like?

I published my first book back in 2003, I think. It felt like a great accomplishment. But, as I have matured in my thinking about life, I think I would do a complete overhaul of the work to include my current perspective on things. Back then, I was really just venturing out for the first time in this capacity, so I am certain that there were a lot of errors in need of major editorial assistance.

I feel you. I felt the same way about my first work. Although my baby, I have since pulled it from shelves for that reason. What do you wish you knew more about?

I wish I knew more about public policy. I, for some reason, am in love with policy.

Interesting. What do you think of the world we live in?

I think, at some point, we all have lost our way. Everything has become focused on global competition instead of what is in the best interest of the global community.

What are your thoughts on Race?

Contrary to the beliefs of many, I believe race is still an issue. It has an undeniable presence within our society. I believe that it has become more overt within the past 14 – 15 months. Maybe that was needed to force others to acknowledge its existence. We cannot address something if others are unwilling to meet us at the table to discuss how to best remedy this problem.

What is the most thought provoking book you’ve ever read?

The Bible.

Yasss! What’s your favorite scripture or book?

I love the entire Bible. If I had to choose my favorite books, they would be everything written by Paul. My favorite verse is John 15:5. That verse keeps me grounded.

Powerful verse. What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

The most difficult thing about being a writer is overcoming writer’s block. One day, things may flow more fluidly than on others. At this point, you are at the mercy of the process. In a world where there is so many negative events taking place, it is sometimes difficult to be inspired.

The most exciting thing is the finished product. The sense of accomplishment is a big deal to any writer, I would imagine.

Indeed.

Thank you Sean for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!


Copyright©Sean Mungin. Photo used with permission.

Sean Mungin is a public figure who has embodied the spirit of individual and corporate success. Sean graduated from Lee University in 2005 with a Bachelors in Theology. He also earned a Masters in Psychology from the University of Phoenix in 2010. He also completed the Masters in Religious Education program from the Mason Kelly Washington Religious Training in Long Island, NY.

Sean’s current positions as an administrator and minister align him with his previous positions as an individual genuinely concerned about the holistic well-being (spiritual, mental, physical, and socio-economical) of all people. His most recent accomplishment was becoming a Certified Writer/Editor for the International Association of Professional Writers and Editors. Sean is currently working on focusing on developing and implementing several entrepreneurial projects. His goal is to create multiple opportunities for a higher quality of living for all within his area of influence.

Sean’s is known for his favorite motto, “Love God…love people…love yourself”


Are you an author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE!

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A New Generation of African-American-Owned Bookstores

After a steep decline, the number of black-owned independent bookstores is growing.


Mahogany Books opens in Washington D.C.

When Troy Johnson began tracking the number of black-owned bookstores in the U.S. in 1999, there were more than 325. By 2014, that number had dwindled to 54, a decline of 83%.

“They were closing left and right, and the major ones were struggling,” said Johnson, who runs the African American Literature Book Club, an online book database. Today, Johnson estimates, there are at least 108 black-owned independent stores, a number of which have opened in the past six months, marking a substantial reversal. “Last year was the first year I added more stores to the list than I took away,” he noted.

The surge in black-owned indie bookstores is notable at a time when both bookselling and publishing are wrestling with issues of workforce diversity.

Read through to the ORIGINAL article HERE.

My Atlanta African American Book Festival Interview

I was interviewed by Atlanta’s African American Book Festival a couple months ago. Check out the feature at the link below! Also, for you Atlantians, be sure to register for the first inaugural AAABF festival this summer. “The Atlanta African American Book Festival is a great opportunity to showcase your work. Vending at the Atlanta African American Book Festival is an investment in your community, business, and personal brand.”

Click through to the INTERVIEW HERE.

ps. I was a little nervous so I made some mistakes. The Aftermath was not my first book, just my first novel. My first book was a collection of poetry. Also, the deer thing was weird but I didn’t know what to write at first lol. Reedsy also listed The PBS Blog among the Best Book Review Blogs for both 2017 and 2018 so far.

The Secret Behind Disappearing Amazon Reviews? | Tina Reber

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I came across this article a few months back but I want to share it now because, for the first time in my career, I have noticed that one of my reviews on Amazon (for Renaissance) is missing. Because of how hard it is to get reviews, this is obviously disheartening. I have never bought a review or forced anyone to leave a review and none of my reviews are from family members and the like. To my knowledge, I have followed all of Amazon’s rules for book reviews so to have one missing is weird to me. I have set a personal goal (that I haven’t mentioned before except for now) of reaching at least 20 Amazon reviews for Renaissance before releasing book two. I was at 19 and now I am at 18. My only hope is that those who bought books at the signing will also leave reviews. Just in case, I have disconnected my blog feed on Amazon. My Goodreads page is also not connected to Amazon. Check out the article below for more tips on how to decrease the chances of your reviews being removed.

Yesterday, Love Unscripted had 1145 reviews.

Today, Love Unscripted had 1144 reviews.

This is not the first time reviews have disappeared. Several weeks ago, the number of reviews on all my novels were much higher.

And then, overnight, something mysterious happened. Poof, about 75 reviews disappeared into the nether.

So what’s causing some reviews to disappear while others remain untouched?

Keep reading by visiting the ORIGINAL article HERE.

10 Lessons My Book Signing Taught Me

  1. You have to learn to sell to a small audience before you can sell to a larger one.

Sometimes social media can give a false perception of success, whereas we think we have to constantly be working and grinding and that we have to have a lot of people support us. The truth is that we really just need a few committed individuals to build with to lay the foundation for where we ultimately want to be. If ten dedicated readers bought a book at $10 and left an Amazon review, that’s already ten reviews and $100. This is just an example and it may not seem like much to start but over time that number of dedicated people will grow. Don’t look to other people to determine what success is for you. Start off giving your best to the few people who are already there to support you.

  1. Don’t underestimate the power of your worth. People will travel for you and go through great lengths to meet you, hear you speak or buy your book.

I was worried that I had chosen a bad time for the morning signing. I knew that not everyone had that day off work and that the noon time slot meant many were still going to be at work. Tyler Perry’s Acrimony also released that same night and I don’t think myself more important than Mr. Perry in peoples list of priorities (they’ll choose him over me lol) However, the traffic turned out to be decent and a few people had traveled to buy a book in person. They came from Florida, North Carolina, and Gwinnett County Georgia.

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  1. It doesn’t matter how much you plan, things do not always go as planned. (and that’s OK)

When things go opposite of your wishes, don’t stress. That’s the plan itself and one day, you will be grateful things didn’t go as you intended. I was late for my own signing but I arrived at just the right time. The original time turned out to be too early for most people anyway but I had not taken into account lunchtime! The one, two o’clock time slot was perfect far as traffic flow.

  1. Genuine kindness goes a long way.

When I explained to people that support was not just financial and that they can take a business card if they didn’t want to buy a book, many of them changed their minds and bought a book. I wasn’t being deceptive, I actually meant what I said and was grateful for the people who did just take cards. If they couldn’t afford a book or maybe they were a passerby who didn’t know me and wasn’t sure, they could just visit me on the web. The fact that I had accepted this as a form of support (just as we do online), people were willing to go the extra mile for me just as my kindness had done for them.

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  1. Use what you got.

Another concern of mine was that I didn’t get the chance to get my poster, my colorful table coverings, and other author swag but I just focused on what I did have and put my energy into that. I didn’t have a card reader but I was at a bookstore, we can just use the register for change. I didn’t have author swag but I did have business cards which was the most important thing. I didn’t have a poster but I did have my voice, I can just speak. I shouted and got silly and communicated with the people. I made them laugh so they stopped at my table. I got up and walked around. Sometimes I was inside the store and sometimes I was outside talking to people who passed by. It’s not about what you don’t have, it’s about what you do have that matters most.

  1. Be yourself

I learned you don’t have to have a million strategies in place; you just have to be yourself. I think one of the greatest deceptions of being online is that things are actually a lot less stressful in real life. I thought I was going to be shy and worried about what to say and how to say it and how I was going to sound but none of that mattered. When it was time, I spoke and I didn’t need to have a long list of “author strategies for a book signing.” Just open your mouth and talk. Let the words come from the heart. Just be yourself.

  1. Embrace the growth.

My life since my last big signing event (2016) has changed dramatically. I am no longer a member of the same organizations and no longer communicate with the same people. I was saddened by the reality of that change and how only a select few of some of the people I considered family was still there to support me. However, when I got the chance to sit down and look at the pictures, it occurred to me that I have an almost entirely new group of readers! Of course, there are still my most faithful readers who will always be there and I am immensely grateful for their friendship and dedication. They are the core and the foundation. When I saw all the new faces, however, it helped me to appreciate them too and to notice my growth. Life is not about preaching to the choir all the time; it is also about bringing new people in and building with them.

  1. Keep writing.

I intended to sell some Stella books. I didn’t have to buy any because I still have some in stock. The reality, however, is that the final installment of The Stella Trilogy released two years ago so most people were interested in my new material (Renaissance and I am Soul). This showed me the importance of staying consistent with my writing and always having something fresh in store for my readers. Again, to sell to large audiences is to first sell to a small one and one way to take care of your readers is to consistently produce. There will always be room for older works but this weekend motivated me to write more. Whether it’s novels, poetry, short stories or blog posts! I want to give my best to those who support me.

9. Black men are supportive.

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There was a surprisingly large number of Black men who supported me! They came in droves and some of them even traveled. It was humbling. When this group of men surrounded me for the picture, I felt power and powerful. And even though I didn’t know them personally, I felt protected in a way. I could feel the energy. I also thought maybe as women we can be more supportive of each other in this same way. Let’s root for one another and support one another without preconceived notions. Let’s fix each other’s crowns without telling the world it even needed fixing. Let us crown each other the way these men crowned me.

10. Relationships sell books.

Finally, I learned that relationships sell books. Some of the people who traveled to see me did so because they had already known me over the years for my work both in publishing and in ministry. I had known some of them for several years and others I was just meeting for the first time, but they knew me because they are familiar with my work. I love to blog and I enjoy keeping up with an email list for this very reason: it helps to build relationships and to cultivate bonds. It makes live events that much better because you get to meet the people you’ve been building with over the course of time but never met. You get to put a face behind the name and verbally communicate in ways far more powerful than texting will do and that is priceless.

For more pictures of this years signing, visit the pictures page of my website HERE. I also uploaded pictures of the 2016 and 2014 signings.

Introduce Yourself – Promotional Opportunity for New Authors

Tomorrow marks the exact date of the premiere of this feature. On March 27, 2017, I opened my blog to authors who were interested in being interviewed here and to promote their work. I am reposting this for any authors out there who are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity for free promotion. While met with much excitement, the number of authors taking advantage of this feature has slowed. I want to remind you that it is here if you’d like and it’s free. If you are a new author or author in general and you’re looking for a way to introduce yourself to the blogging community or potentially new readers, please read on for more information.


Many of you know me from my writing and this blog but before I dedicated my time to writing full-time, I worked with children and to an extent, I still do.

I taught creative writing as part of a private Louisiana In-Home School program for about four years and then I helped to run a research and fellowship center in Shreveport for about five more years. My primary job was working with children, tutoring and teaching them.

What does this have to do with my promotional opportunity for New Authors?

One of the songs my team came up with to help children to break the ice  in the children’s bible study class is an Introduce yourself song. It starts:

“Introduce yourself, hey hey! Introduce yourself…hey!

My name is___________.”

At the end of last year, I told you all that I was looking to implement another promotional opportunity for authors on this blog. It has taken a long time but is finally here!

At the moment, I run two:

  • Book Reviews (currently closed for registry but returning soon. Stay tuned.)
  • Book Promo. – Where I promote book covers in my email list FREE. Send me your cover, blurb, and buy links to be featured to my email HERE.

Now I am implementing a third opportunity. Something I am hoping will give you a bit more exposure. I am calling it Introduce Yourself, inspired by the children. Here’s how it works:

Introduce Yourself – a promotional opportunity for new authors on The PBS Blog. It is an interview conducted by me with questions specifically tailored to helping us to get to know you better.

I enjoy thought provoking conversation and so is the tone of this blog so please be as detailed as possible in your answers. People are less likely to support people they don’t know anything about so dig deep and let us get to know the real you!

How to Get Involved

All you have to do is choose at least 10 questions from the list below and email them to me with your social media handles, photos, a brief bio, and a link to your website or blog. Email me HERE . Once I receive your email, I will respond in 2-3 business days with the date of your feature.

Again, answer the questions as fully and as detailed as possible.

Even though this segment is inspired by new authors (i.e. Introduce Yourself), any author can jump on board!

INDIE AUTHORS AND TRAD. AUTHORS

PUBLISHED AUTHORS AND ASPIRING AUTHORS

NEW AUTHORS AND EXPERIENCED AUTHORS

I run into people all the time who didn’t know who I was until they saw me featured on someone’s blog. It is a wonderful opportunity for increased exposure.

If you’re interested please choose your questions* (no less than 10 but no more than 40), email them HERE along with your photos, bio, and social links. I won’t pull your arm or beg you to participate in this but let’s face it, this is for you! Also, let’s not forget this is a FREE opportunity for exposure.

Just saying.

*The questions are not in any particular order. Start with question 30 or question one. Your choice. Just make it an interesting mix.

  1. What is your name and where are you from?
  2. What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?
  3. What is the most annoying habit that you have?
  4. Are you employed outside of writing? Is so, tell us about your job.
  5. What do you hate most about writing advice? What do you love?
  6. What job do you think you’d be really good at?
  7. How many siblings do you have?
  8. What was your childhood dream?
  9. What skill would you like to master?
  10. What skill do you think you’ve mastered?
  11. In your own words, what is humility?
  12. In your own words, what is love?
  13. What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
  14. 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?
  15. What’s your favorite drink?
  16. What state or country do you never want to go back to?
  17. What songs have you completely memorized?
  18. Does blogging help you to write? If not, why so? If so, how so?
  19. What’s your favorite food?
  20. What’s your favorite color?
  21. Who is your favorite writer?
  22. If you could shadow your favorite artist, who would it be?
  23. What kind of music do you like?
  24. When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
  25. If you could live in a movie, which would it be? Why?
  26. Who is your best friend?
  27. Are you married? How long?
  28. Are you single? Would you like to be married?
  29. Do you have children?
  30. Would you like to have children? Why?
  31. What takes up too much of your time?
  32. What do you wish you knew more about?
  33. What small things makes your life easier? What makes it difficult?
  34. What’s your favorite Historical figure?
  35. What do you think of the world we live in?
  36. What are your thoughts on Race?
  37. In your own words (not Google’s) define racism.
  38. What’s your favorite TV Show? Movie?
  39. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
  40. What TV channel exists but really shouldn’t?
  41. Are you religious? Explain.
  42. Are you political? Explain.
  43. What is the most thought provoking book you’ve ever read?
  44. What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?
  45. Why is writing important to you?
  46. What do you love about yourself?
  47. What don’t you like about yourself?
  48. If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be? Why?
  49. What genre do you write in, why?
  50. In your own words, what is truth?

Added Disclaimer: DO NOT try to use this as an opportunity to preach your personal message of salvation, bombard / hit us over the heads with your awesome books, or take advantage of this space in any way that is discriminatory. That is NOT how you want to use this feature! This is an opportunity for us to get to know you as a person. Only then will we be interested in your work. That said, try being less “salesy” and more genuine in your answers!

New Author Tip: Don’t Just Write More, Improve as You Write

Indie Author Basics

I’ve heard it over and over again: “The more you write, the better you become at it.” I get it. It’s practice. The more you do something, the better you become at it. When it comes to writing though, I think there is more to it than that. You can write and write and write but if you’re not correcting your mistakes as you write, you are not necessarily going to become a better writer.

My new author tip for you today is this:

Learning and applying what you learn as you write makes you a better writer not just writing for the sake of writing. You don’t have to write every day to become better. Understanding what needs to be improved on and correcting it as you write, makes you better. Otherwise, you’ll keep making the same mistakes and thus, produce the same kind of work. This means that if you’ve been producing mediocrity unless you correct yourself, you’ll just continue to write and produce mediocrity. It’s that aged old saying, “insanity is repeating the same thing and expecting different results.”

I have been writing and publishing books for over ten years. In this time, I have remained true to my authenticity, my morals and values. I have sat down to write what I wanted when I wanted. However, my years in publishing doesn’t mean that I am a better writer. What makes me a better writer today compared to ten years ago is if I have been applying what I’ve learned to the skill. I measure my progress not by how many books I’ve published or how many years I’ve been publishing or how many reviews I have. I measure my progress based on how well I’ve been able to correct the mistakes pointed out to me.

With the help of my beta readers and the WordPress blogging community, in general, I’ve been capable of recognizing and understanding so much more about writing than I ever have in the years prior. While I have a long way to go, the books I published in the years I’ve been blogging are noticeably better, in my opinion than the ones I published before starting this blog. I credit this to nothing except for applying many of the things I’ve learned from others who are more knowledgeable and skilled than I am, to my work. I believe that as authors we have to be very intentional about this and very aware of what works for us and what does not work for us. Don’t just assume that people are always hating on you or don’t understand you or don’t like you. Consider all feedback as constructive to the process.

In these past few months (where I’ve had the opportunity to speak with people face to face, consultants, bookstore owners, and their reviewers,) I’ve come to understand that the more aware I am of my strengths and weaknesses, the better I can build on those strengths and improve on those weaknesses. The more aware I am of what needs to be corrected and the more intentional I am to actually correct it, the better I become as a writer. Not just writing alone, but learning and applying that knowledge to my writing and to the publishing process as a whole as I learn and as I grow.


Be sure to check out more Indie Author Basics by visiting the Writer / Tips and resources page!

Click here.