Happy Friday and TGIF to everyone!!! I have some exciting book updates that I am itching to share and I cannot type this blog post fast enough to tell you!
Poka City Blues is set to hit book stores in the next coming weeks and the reality of it all is really starting to sink in. I often wonder how I would react upon seeing Poka City Blues in a major book store like Barnes and Noble. Knowing me, I would be skinning and grinning from ear to ear; that I am sure of. I may even stand there in disbelief because over a year ago I did not think this would even be possible.
You see, before I self published Poka City Blues on Amazon, I pitched it to a number of literary agents first. The responses I received were a little discouraging because most of them acknowledged that it was a good book, but they did not feel they would be able to market it. Why? Because Poka City Blues is too direct and blunt; their words, not mine. There was a time when I seriously wondered if I should scrap this book and forget about it, but then I would think about how hard I worked to craft this story.
The more I read over those rejection letters the more determined I was to tell this story. Seeing how this is a story that is inspired largely by my mother’s life and in part by my father’s, I was not going to “pretty up” this story just to get picked up by an agent. Not every life story is a fairytale and I refused to portray this story as such. Yes, I will admit, Poka City Blues will yank at your heart strings, but it is an inspiring story that will stay on your mind long after you read it.
I shudder to think of the regret I would have felt years on down the line if I did not self published this story. Looking back, I have no regrets whatsoever because I have found a reader base who appreciates my frank candor and unconventional writing style. I am still amazed at the number of readers who requested Poka City Blues to be made available in paperback and I am so happy that I was able to do that.
To all the aspiring writers and authors out there, do not let rejection hold you back or prevent you from telling what you believe to be a great story. You never know who may be inspired by it. Take it from me, just because someone may not like your particular writing style, that does not mean no else will appreciate it.
I am currently working on book signings and meet and greets, but what I am looking forward to the most is taking my mother to a major book store and showing her in person the book that was inspired by her life. My mother is one in a million and she is the strongest woman I know. It is hard to believe that a woman who has been through so much can find every reason to smile. I got NOTHING but LOVE and RESPECT for my Mama.
I pride myself on being an honest person and an honest writer. Why? Because when you are true to yourself and to everyone else, it makes life less complicated. I see no need to emulate anyone nor do I see the need to pretend to be something that I am not. Besides, it is not that serious. I was raised to march to the beat of my own drum and I am going to keep living my life that way. Does that make me a bad person? I would say no. Stubborn? Maybe. Different? Absolutely! Am I ashamed of that fact? You already know the answer to that…
Over the course of a year, I have built up a nice following of wonderful readers, amazing writers and awesome bloggers who appreciate my barefaced honesty for what it is. I am a shameless writer who is not afraid to write about the good, the bad and the downright ugly. I write what most people are afraid to write and I say what most people are too afraid to say; in real life and in the stories that I write. It is not about being defiant or rebellious, it is about discussing the obvious no matter how upsetting, how uncomfortable or how embarrassing it may be.
For those of you who have been following my blog since the beginning, you already know that sugarcoating is not my thing, but I do take the power of the pen seriously. I use these small copper brown hands of mine to speak for those who can no longer speak for themselves and for those who are too afraid to speak for themselves. Now ask yourself, “Why on earth would I be ashamed of that?” Do not let my profile picture fool you.
Today is an exciting day for me, my family and my debut novel Poka City Blues. This gripping novel that I self-published as an eBook over a year ago will soon be available worldwide in Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million. Never would I have imagined that an eBook I self-published on Amazon would be requested in paperback by so many readers and not only that, to have a guaranteed place in book giants like Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million. Just the thought of knowing that in a few weeks Poka City Blues will be available in a number of other book stores blows me away. Nobody really knows just how hard I had to work to get to that point except for my family. There were many days when I would come home tired from work, but I knew I had to grab my paper and pen to write. There were many nights when all I wanted to do was lay down and go to sleep, but I pushed through the fatigue and my burning eyes so that I could pen this emotional story.
Poka City Blues has been well received as an eBook and it has even been eligible for a few awards. Even though it did not win any awards as an eBook, it was an honor to know that it was at least nominated or made it to the semi-finals and finals. I for one cannot wait to see the future of Poka City Blues when it makes its paperback debut in a number of book stores. One thing is for sure, I do not regret the setbacks and disappointments that came along the way as I wrote this book. Those setbacks and drawbacks were just preparing me for one of my biggest comebacks. Stay tuned for updates and book signings.
For the past two days, I have given readers the opportunity to download Spurned: A Short Story for FREE on Amazon. Since then, a large number of readers have downloaded this short story and it is currently ranked at #5 on Amazon under the category of Bullying. To be able to offer a story with events that were taken from my own personal life has been an honor. I am not ashamed of anything I have written in Spurned because it was something that I intended to write. I wrote what I wrote on purpose and for a purpose because this was a story I was itching to tell. If I can help someone by sharing parts of my own story I will not hesitate to do it.
Yes, I was bullied as a child but you know what? I survived it. I am here, I am still standing and I am a much stronger person than I was before. There is a saying in my family that “we are survivors of our hardships and not victims” because we are always triumphing over our trials. Trials are like storms, they can sometimes be devastating but they are only temporary. So far, I have received quite a few emails from readers who were touched bySpurned and I hope to receive more. Everyone has a story to tell, Spurned happens to be one of mine.
September 30thand October 1st is just around the corner. Underneath the Pecan Treereleases September 30th and my debut novel Poka City Blues will be available in paperback October 1st. I am honored that so many readers requested Poka City Blues to be made available in paperback. For starters, this is a story that is near and dear to my heart. Poka City Blues is inspired by real life events taken mainly from my mother’s life and it is a story that is told in its rawest form. Who would have thought that a story based on my mother’s life would go on to inspire a number of readers? I for one would have never imagined the amount of paperback requests I have received thus far.
Underneath the Pecan Treeis an upcoming short story that I am very proud of. I cannot even express how ready I am for this story to release! I accomplished something that I thought I would never be able to accomplish and that is to pen a love story that is truly like no other. My heart races every time I think about this story because I remember how I felt writing it.
If you want to win a FREE copy of one of my books, there is still time. The rules have not changed. I am still giving away FIVE copies each to ten readers. Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me which book you would like to win and why. Do not forget to type “Giveaway” in the subject area to keep your email from being marked as SPAM. Winners will be emailed on October 2nd.
A few days ago I finished polishing up my upcoming short story entitled Underneath the Pecan Tree. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be able to pen a love story that is not only different, but is unlike anything that has ever been written. I love writing stories that stray away from what is considered “safe” or “the norm” because it allows me the opportunity to be more creative with my writing. Underneath the Pecan Tree is a story that is full of Southern charm, strong family bonds and of course, love. I also threw in a few other surprises, but you will have to read the story to find out. I cannot wait for readers to delve into this story and meet Sadira and Casim. You are going to love these two and after reading this story, you may just want to read even more about them. Who knows? There might be a follow up story in the works.
Pre-Order your copy here and let the anticipation begin!
Hooray! Hooray! It is time for a book giveaway! Are you excited? You should be. As a writer and blogger, I appreciate every read and sale that I receive from a reader. Without readers, writing for me would be a complete waste of mytime. To show my appreciation, I am giving TEN readers a chance to win a FREE copy of one of my books. Underneath the Pecan Tree will be available for pre-order September 16th, but I am going to giveaway FIVE Amazon Kindle copies to FIVE readers. My debut novel Poka City Blues(published a little over a year ago) will be available in paperback October 1st. I had no intentions of making this book available in paperback until I received a number of requests from readers asking for a paperback edition. Since this book has been requested by a number of readers, I am going to giveaway FIVE signed copies to FIVE readers.
So, there you have it. Here is my opportunity to give back to readers and show just how appreciative and grateful I am for each and every one of you. You are the reason why I continue to write and I cannot thank you enough.
How to Win
To win a FREE copy of one of my books, simply shoot me an email at email@example.com and in the subject area type Giveaway. In an email, tell me which book you would like to win and why. Winners will be announced October 8th.
Until next time, I wish each and every one of you all the best and GREAT success!