Do we give readers what marketers say they want, or what we want to write?

Over the past year or so I have paid for a number of marketing courses to help me sell my books. Unfortunately, when I signed up I didn’t realise that when they promised that I would sell tons of books if I followed their plan, that the books they were talking about wouldn’t be mine.

What do you mean? I hear you say.

Well, I mean, that these courses are designed to help you sell books that sell, which may not necessarily be your books. They cater for genre pulp fiction or non-fiction self-help type books. If you don’t write stuff like that, then from my experience, you won’t sell that many books. If you  follow the training in all of these authorpreneurral type courses where a few writers make millions out of selling novella style crime/mystery/whodunnit stories, then you will succeed. Especially if you are prepared to give most of your books away. Literature in general is suffering because of this influx of junk food style prose, in my opinion.

Readers don’t always want safe, they want different. Give it to them – please!

I don’t want to write like everyone else.

My motivation for writing does not come from the desire to make money, it comes from the desire to write for the thrill, the fun, the wonder of the written word. I am passionate about my writing. I laugh, cry, hurt when I write. I feel exhausted sometimes after I have spent a few hours struggling with sentences that won’t work, or characters that say things like, ‘Paul, we’ve done it!’ Ah! Done what? Now I have to figure out what they’ve done. It’s called imagination and you won’t find that in any course.

So, writers, not authors, writers – write from the heart, the gut, the soul – not from the bank account.


Here is a wonderful poem by Charles Bukowski which sums up my rant beautifully.

So You Want To Be A Writer

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.


If you would like to know more about my work, please visit my website  Oddly Books:


Read A Book Video Challenge

I was recently challenged to record a video, requesting people to read a book. Whilst I was practising the piano accordion, I began to sing a few lines about what books mean to me and why people should read them. After a few goes and some interesting input from a large red bookworm, I decided to record the following video and post it on Facebook.


You can view it here:


So – READ A BOOK!!  Preferably mine:


Echoes cover


A Silnce Heard cover sml


All Authors Blog Blitz!!

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So excited because I am hosting my first All Authors Blog Blitz!!!

I am very pleased to be hosting the versatile and talented Karen Einsel who has a fascinating insight to the relationship between authors and athletes.I know what you’re thinking:



What? How? I sit and type, and sometimes get up to make myself a cup of tea or coffee. I’m no athlete.”




But Karen has made an interesting connection that just might change your mind. Take it away Karen!



Authors and Athletes

I’m a tennis fan, and if you’re not, that’s okay. No matter which sport you are a fan of or who your favorite player is, you have to admire their tenacity. Their willingness to go the extra mile. To give it their all, win or lose.They didn’t get to where they are by how many tweets they tweeted, nor by updating their facebook status. No, it took studying their craft, practicing, and a lot of hard work. They play through pain and adversity. When others say they can’t, they believe they can.

Unknown-2      Unknown-1      Unknown-3

Authors can learn a lot from athletes and believe it or not, we have a lot in common. For one; Not everyone will like us, or like what we do, or even how we do it. And that’s okay. We need to realize that we are all unique. Each of us have our own strengths and weaknesses, but it’s what we do with them that sets us apart. We both have hopes and dreams. We set goals and work towards achieving them. Sometimes we fall short, but we struggle on.



And last, but not least, we both have support groups. We might have the raw natural talent, but we need the people who rally around us. Who help us along the way. Family and friends make up a big part, but athletes also rely on trainers, nutritionists, and coaches, where writers have beta readers, editors, and proofreaders. But the bottom line is, it’s up to us if we want to succeed or not. Do we swing and take a chance on striking out? If we strike out, do we just give up? Or do we go back out there and try again? So the next time you throw your hands in the air and shout, “I give up!” Stop and think, “What would your favorite athlete do?”

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Thank you Karen for an interesting insight into the challenges that face both authors and athletes.

And to continue the BLOG BLITZ – you can check out my post – CREATIVE USE OF LANGUAGE IN NOVELS –  on Karen’s blog here:


You can find and follow Karen:

Here on Facebook

Here on Twitter

And her Blog – Karen’s Different Corners: HERE!


Author Spotlight – Hannelore Moore

I would like to introduce to you the wonderful Historical Romance author – Hannelore Moore.

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Could you tell us a little about yourself and your typical day?

I have always wanted to be an author, but I really got serious in 2006, when a close friend of mine earned his Master’s degree in creative writing. As I watched him present his thesis, I thought, “Wow! How great is that? Getting an advanced degree for doing something you love!” So I decided to apply and muddled through until I graduated in 2009. I’m not really sure someone can be taught to write, but attending classes and having deadlines and a structure made me put stuff down on paper. That was the most valuable thing about that program, and I’m so glad I did it!

I have a full-time job, so my weekdays are pretty busy with non-creative stuff. At the end of the day, unless I’m truly inspired or in the middle of something, I tend to have a glass of wine, listen to music, and mess about on social media, especially lately. I think you’ve mentioned this yourself, Nikki, that once we’ve finished a book, we have to spend a lot of time promoting it, so I’ve been on Facebook and Twitter more frequently these last few months.

Since my poor old dog TrevOrr is slowing down, I tend to hang out with him and don’t go out as much as I used to. Weekends are spent lounging and attempting to write. I have a couple of friends who drag me out for charity dog walks, movies, or food. I appreciate that they get me away from this monitor every once in a while.

 Tell us about your novel The Ice Goddess.

The Ice Goddess is about Evangeline Grey, an introverted woman who has lost everyone important to her. When she finds out that her guardian is going to force her into marriage so he can get his hands on her pending fortune, she manages to escape, but in the winter of 1752, it’s hard for a woman alone to survive, especially when she’s making the long trek from York to London. On the way, she meets Kendall Beaumont, a second son who has been banished to the north to learn responsibility by managing a rundown family property. The two make a pact – Kendall shelters Evangeline by pretending to be her husband, and she helps him transform the crumbling wreck of a house he’s inherited into a real home. They keep up this facade until she turns twenty-one and becomes eligible to claim her inheritance. During their time together, Evangeline learns how to break out of her icy shell, and, because of her steadying influence, Kendall begins, finally, to grow up. They fall in love, of course! That’s probably a spoiler, but you knew it was coming. And there’s much more that happens after that!


In the bitter winter of 1752, Evangeline Grey is determined to return to London, claim her inheritance, and lead a solitary, uneventful existence. York holds too many sad memories for her now, and she’s ready to leave it behind.

When she finds out that her guardian has designs on her — and her pending fortune — Evangeline manages to escape, but her journey south is fraught with uncertainty and danger. Mourning the murder of her brother, still reeling from her aunt’s recent death, and close to penniless until she finds her way back to London, she’s never been more alone.

And then, on a desolate Northern English moor, she meets a benevolent stranger who changes everything.

Kendall Beaumont is a man running from a few demons of his own. On his way to his home in remote Almsborough, he stops to help the pretty, young runaway. The future seems fairly bleak for the both of them — until he decides to make her an offer she can’t refuse…

When did you decide to become a writer and publish your work?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I actually decided to self-publish my first novel Tower Bridge last year via CreateSpace. Although I haven’t sold many copies, I’ve found an amazing network of writers on social media. This is great because so many folks, like you, for example, are so supportive. It’s also daunting because I’ve realized how many other books are out there. Getting a new publication noticed is a feat!

photo 1-3

I read that as a teenager you wrote and illustrated a graphic novel, could you give us more information about that?

I was really into it! I loved Marvel comics, especially. I completed a few stories about the Avengers and the X-Men. The Avengers were my favorite. I loved The Scarlet Witch and The Vision and the strange, complicated relationship they had. My family moved a lot since then, so I think my early attempts at graphic novels are lost to the ages. A shame.

Would you consider writing a graphic novel now?
I have considered it. My drawing is really rusty, though, and you know how self-doubt brings you down. With Tower Bridge and The Ice Goddess, I’ve been playing with illustrations on my blog for promotion purposes, so I’m hoping that I’ll get used to drawing again and be brave enough to branch out. Anything is possible, right? I mean, a year ago, I had no idea I would be the published author of a historical romance!

What is your favourite genre to write in and why?

I think that I like contemporary literary fiction the most. I appreciate that it’s straightforward and non-sentimental. Although I suppose that you can write that way in any genre. One of my newest favorite authors Kate Rothwell has proven to me that romance doesn’t have to be flowery and sappy. In any case, after I finish my next historical romance, I would like to try my hand at another contemporary novel.


Where do you get your ideas?

I’m inspired a lot by music and the UK. I tend to have a lot of musicians in my stories. I guess I always wanted to be a rock star myself! And I’ve always been drawn to the UK. Not sure why. Maybe I lived there in another life, but I find the history, architecture, and landscape fascinating.

Do you have a favourite author?

I do! Nick Hornby, without a doubt.

If so, why?

He makes writing look so easy. What an amazing skill that is! He’s funny, too, which is hard to pull off in writing. His dialogue is amazing and I really care about his characters, as self-absorbed and clueless as many of them are.

Do you have a writing routine?

Not really. I can write anywhere at anytime, but I have to be on a roll. I think, maybe, I am more apt to write in the morning, but that’s not always the case.

Do you have a favourite character in your book and why?

I tend to like my boys. Stan, the guitarist in Tower Bridge, is such a pillock, but he was so much fun to write! And then there’s Kendall in The Ice Goddess. So many romance heroes are cynical and cold. Kendall is just the opposite. Even though he is somewhat irresponsible, he’s a good guy. Kind, talkative, and vulnerable, but brave when he has to be. And a musician, too. I have a thing for those musicians, apparently.

If you could spend a day in a book as your favourite character, who would you be, what book would it be, and why?

Hm. That’s a very good question. I guess it would be interesting to be Claire in Outlander and experience the 18th century (and Jamie Fraser) first hand (I hope that doesn’t come off as a double entendre). Only the first book, though. I’m not crazy about the sequels. But she and Jamie share a fierce, true love, and it would be amazing to feel such a strong connection. Or Jean Grey/Phoenix in X-Men, who has awesome powers and two strong men in love with her.

What are you working on at the moment?

Three things! I really want to finish these. One is another historical novel based loosely on Katherine Fanshawe, the first female highwayman in England. The second is inspired by Ealing Broadway, a short story I wrote about the 2011 London riots – I’d like to build a novel around the mother and son in that. And the third is a short story about the Beatles 1966 US tour. All the characters in those are anxiously waiting for me to tell them what to do next.


Thank you so much Hannelore for your brilliant answers and a brief insight into your world and the books you write.

 Below are links to Hannelore’s blog page, publishers and where you can purchase her books:


Amazon US Author Page:

Amazon UK Author Page:

My publisher:


Echoes from the Lost Ones – A year of doubt and thanks to all the readers!!

About a year ago, I had my first ever book published by Fable Press. Echoes from the Lost Ones – a YA dystopian/sci-fi novel.


I was unsure how people would react to it, because I used a slang-based language to tell my story from the heroine’s viewpoint. I took quite a risk writing in this style, but I knew that I wanted to produce a story that broke the mould and create a unique world with a unique voice.

I waited for my first reviews with apprehension.  My first one was a 3* and yep, the reviewer didn’t like the language. So I thought, here we go, I’m going to get slammed for daring to be different. Now, I wasn’t actually upset that I got a  3* review!! That’s good isn’t it?  I was actually very pleased indeed. Then I began to get 4* and 5* reviews. Very, very pleased. My experiment with narrative payed off – for the most part. I still get 3* reviews from readers, and they pretty much say the same thing about not liking the language and finding it difficult to read. But, more people enjoy my quirky world and oddly use of English than don’t.


So I say to all who want to try and do something new with language – DO IT! You never know, it just might work.

To celebrate the launch of A Silence Heard – the second book in The Song of Forgetfulness series, Echoes form the Lost Ones is FREE to download on all Amazon sites from 29th May to 2nd June. Thanks to everyone who has downloaded Echoes!! Very much appreciated.




If you enjoy a read that is different from the usual dystopian/sci-fi novels that are around, then why not get a copy and see if you like my style.

Still not sure? Check out my book trailers for both novels: B00CXSZIGS

Echoes from the Lost Ones – A year of doubt

About a year ago, I had my first ever book published by Fable Press. Echoes from the Lost Ones – a YA dystopian/sci-fi novel.


I was unsure how people would react to it, because I used a slang-based language to tell my story from the heroine’s viewpoint. I took quite a risk writing in this style, but I knew that I wanted to produce a story that broke the mould and create a unique world with a unique voice.

I waited for my first reviews with apprehension.  My first one was a 3* and yep, the reviewer didn’t like the language. So I thought, here we go, I’m going to get slammed for daring to be different. Now, I wasn’t actually upset that I got a  3* review!! That’s good isn’t it?  I was actually very pleased indeed. Then I began to get 4* and 5* reviews. Very, very pleased. My experiment with narrative payed off – for the most part. I still get 3* reviews from readers, and they pretty much say the same thing about not liking the language and finding it difficult to read. But, more people enjoy my quirky world and oddly use of English than don’t.


So I say to all who want to try and do something new with language – DO IT! You never know, it just might work.

To celebrate the launch of A Silence Heard – the second book in The Song of Forgetfulness series, Echoes form the Lost Ones is FREE to download on all Amazon sites from 29th May to 2nd June. Thanks to everyone who has downloaded Echoes!! Very much appreciated.




If you enjoy a read that is different from the usual dystopian/sci-fi novels that are around, then why not get a copy and see if you like my style.

Still not sure? Check out my book trailers for both novels: B00CXSZIGS

Clouds and a Suffolk sunset



Some photographs I took a couple of days ago in my garden. The colours are not enhanced. The sky went from a dark sulphur orange to this spurt of purple in a matter of minutes. Such amazing clouds!!

Truly inspiring.









Presenting: The Confessional

Hi my name is Queen and I have a few confessions to make.


QOS-Logo copy

First off before I even indulged in writing or sketching I was a fan of singing. This was the biggest indicator to the world around that I was relatively happy. I even sung in the choir during my middle school and junior high years. Now many years later I reserve my singing for the shower or when I’m doing my chores at home but I have a wonderful appreciation for people who can “sing with their chest”.


Excerpt from Inside of Me

I always feel
that inside of me,

there’s a song
waiting to come out.
Learning about different notes
makes me smile.
Memorizing little songs
makes me feel worthwhile.




As far as relationships I’ve been in some doozies! I bet all of us have some stories to tell about the wacky things we do for love. Heck, I even had a blueprint drawn up! Yet even the best laid plans go awry like shown in Dreams of Fog(excerpt):


I envisioned myself

styling and profiling

with the finest of things!


Engaged by 26,

married by 28,

and having my tubes tied by 35!


Yes, everything was great!


But my dreams were not to be.


Reality clapped next to my ears,

reminding me of the shambles

that is my life.




I had to find a way to get back on track. One way of doing that was addressing my fear and taking steps to conquer it. Now I’m not advocating violence by any means but it makes me smile how Courage, Faith and Love took care of business in Loss of Fear (excerpt):


One night,

as the sandman held me,

Fear heard a sound—

a moving about,

and Fear, being the paranoid

Ninny She was

arose from Her slumber

to see what it was all about.


And from behind,

Fear was nabbed

and She tried to scream,

but I didn’t hear Her,

immersed in my own dreams.


Courage cut off Fear’s oxygen.

Faith tied Her up.

Love picked Her up and quietly carted Her away

so as not to cause too much fuss.


Once Fear mysteriously (or not) disappeared, I had to find my way to Happiness. I was sprinting after it tenaciously but just kept missing the mark. But sometimes you just have to let things come to you:




I see a butterfly

I like to call Happiness

sitting upon

a yellow rose petal.

I crouch low in the grass,

anticipating capture.

When I am almost near the flower,

it decides to fly away.


I see a butterfly

I like to call Happiness

sitting upon

my window sill while I’m cleaning.

My movements become slow,

steadily deliberate.

I almost touch its’ feet

when it’s on its’ way again.


I see a butterfly

I like to call Happiness

sitting upon

the leaves of a tree,

but this time, I ignore it

and proceed to my writings,

but this time around,

it takes a seat on my knee.


Could this possibly mean

that Happiness is also

meant for me?


And as if it sensed my thought,

it again decided to flee.


But this time, I’m not worried.

It’ll come back,




For a limited time, get it NOW for $1 at AMAZON.COM !


On Smashwords (please enter code QK82Q upon checkout):

Reflections of Soul

For those who love paperbacks, there will be a $2.00 discount off the title via CreateSpace. Please enter code YA64DN9T upon checkout.

 Thanks to Queen of Spades for this wonderful insight into her life and thoughts.

QOS-Logo copy

Interview with C.Desert Rose – Angels – Demons – Death – Love

Want to get to know more about the up and coming author of If Death Should Love Me – C. Desert Rose?

You do?

Okay then. Let’s get to know more about this enigmatic writer.

Take it away C!


Who is C. Desert Rose? Tell us a little about yourself.

Well, this is a complex question because I am very many things. I am a person who loves literature. I am your average, everyday, woman—only with a love for writing. I am a lover of all things mystical and inexplicable. I use my imagination more than a normal person should at times.

But, I am also an easy going person who is a good listener and has the bad habit of saying what’s on her mind; often times a little too openly.

I am also keen on Youth/YA Paranormal. Of course, I do respect and appreciate a great many other genres, but Youth/YA Paranormal is that one that speaks to me. There is something about the alluring nature and the enigma that it contains that just makes my mind run rampant—and I love every minute of it!

When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?

In all honestly, I’ve known it all of my life. But it wasn’t until recently that I gathered the courage to do it. And that was for several reasons.

(1)I didn’t think I’d be good enough.

(2)I was certain that my stories wouldn’t be anything “new or exciting”.

(3)I didn’t believe in myself.

Until one day.

That day changed everything for me. It was the day that I said “Rose, stop being such a dog-on chicken, and just do it!”

Does your background influence your writing?

Very much so, yes. I am of Hispanic descent, and it reflects abundantly in my writing. Someone once told me—or maybe I heard it somewhere, not sure—they said, “Write what you know.” What I knew was my heritage, my background… and paranormal. So, I unified them.

What drew you to the subject matter of If Death Should Love Me?


Throughout my life I’ve done exponential research on angels and

demons and religious mythology. I’ve actually done studies on the subject and have learned many things about it. It’s always been something that had caught my attention. It was the affinity for those things that brought forth the premise for If Death Should Love Me. The rest of the story was strictly from my imagination.

How much research did you do before writing the series?

Quite a lot. As I said, I’ve spent a long portion of my life researching topics such as these.

Who is your favourite character in the book, and why?

Ugh! THAT is such a hard question to answer! But being forced to choose, I might have to say Azriel. He’s just (as they say here in America) all that and a bag of chips! More than that, what I love so much about him is his personality. He’s tender and caring, yet cryptic and sensual. He has a certain way of speaking that can make any girl weak at her knees. He’s incredibly handsome, but what’s even more impressive is his courage.

Where do you write?

Everywhere! (Lol) Wherever I get a spot, that’s where I write. Thank goodness for the laptop, if you know what I mean.

Do you have a favourite author? If so, why?

ImageYes, actually. I love Stephanie Meyer. I think that she is very misunderstood by so many that degrade her work. I utterly respect what she did with the Twilight Saga. I feel as though she wanted to offer the public a different view on what was becoming an unspoken rule as it pertains to vampires and werewolves. And, I believe she did it well. I think that those people who take time out to belittle her work should shut up and think about this… Who is it that got a movie contract?! Oh, yeah. That’s right. It was Stephanie Meyer. Not them.

Do you have a favourite genre that you read?

Most definitely it is YA Paranormal. I’m a huge fan and have read many authors in this genre. Some incredibly good, some not so much. But still I can’t get enough of it.

Do you have a favourite book?

THAT, I do not. I mean, for me, it’s like taking a walk in Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I would never be able to pick just one. They are all too tempting, and I’m sure that I’d love them all for one reason or another. Unless of course it’s gross.

Is there a character from a book you have read, that you identify with?

In all truth, I think that to a certain extent I can identify with a wide array of different characters from different books. Simply because, when a book is well written and the characters are believable, then you cannot help but see the human condition in them. In so doing, you automatically connect with them.

If a film were to be made of your book, whom would you like to play the leading roles?

Ooooh!! I loooove this question, because I’ve thought about this more than once. 😀

ImageAzriel would be played by Lance Gross


ImageSophia would be played by Christina Milian

Image Gabriel would be Paul Bettany

Image The Alpha would be Jude Law

Image The Omega would be Gwyneth Paltrow

As for the rest of the characters, I have no clue! (Lol)

What do you do when you are not writing?

Wishing I was. (Lol) No, no. Kidding.

When I’m not writing, I am busy with ordinary, everyday, family life. The uneventful things that we all do. You know… work, family, friends, errand, chores, and such.

If you could live in a book for one day, what book would it be?

Image  Definitely, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Wow! What an adventure!


What inspires you to write?

Everything, everywhere. Sometimes it could be something as simple as what a person might say. Sometimes, a picture. Sometimes, music. In all truth, all different things can inspire me at any given moment.

What are you writing at the moment?

I am currently working on the 2nd part of the Fate’s Endeavor Series. The title is Demoness Enchanted and is estimated to be release next year (2015), in the summer. It is the 2nd part of the series, but it can also stand-alone as it’s the story of another set of characters. However, you will find Azriel, Sophia, Parí and Alec visiting the scene once again.

The main characters to this story are names Zita and Roman. She is a hybrid demon/human mix. He is, unbeknownst to him, a hybrid angel/human mix. Things get pretty interesting as Zita and Roman find themselves in the pursuit of truth. Zita must learn that “what you are, does not define who you are”!

Thank you so much C.Desert Rose! 

Please be sure to look out for her books of check out her website:

“A Queenly Visit in 2 Acts”.

Okay, get ready for this Author Spotlight.

I am delighted to introduce to you a gifted author of poems and prose.

 Fanfare and drum roll for Queen of Spades!!!


I asked Queen some questions about her life and works,  and she will be sharing her answers with you here.

So, let’s get to know a little bit about Queen of Spades and her writing:

 “A Queenly Visit in 2 Acts”.

When did you start writing poetry, and why did you choose poetry as the medium to express yourself as a writer?

I started writing poetry at the age of eleven.  In a way, poetry chose me.  I was going through some trials in my life, and my coping mechanism became pen and paper.  Yet, even after I improved in that aspect, the ink still flowed.  Although I am branching out in other areas, I know that poetry will always be my primary form of expression.  It feels just as natural to me as breathing.


Why do you write under a pseudonym?


There are many reasons actually. 

One: There is a children’s author who’s already using my first name, plus my maiden. 

 Two: Using my full name would be pretty long to place on a cover. (chuckles)

 Three (but the most important reason): I started using Queen of Spades since I started writing, so it would feel weird for me not to use it.  Back then, the persona of Queen of Spades allowed a freedom of expression that I thought couldn’t be obtained.  Queen of Spades is an alternate aspect of my personality that I amplified and gave a voice to, yet she and I are now so in alignment that we have merged somewhat.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I get inspiration from so many things.  Sometimes, I can pick up on the emotions of others and write about them as if they were my own.  Other times, it could be a story in the news that makes me feel some type of way.  I can be inspired by scenes in nature or something as tiny as plays on words or a melody to a song.  Every element, to me, has an inspirational component.

Which do you prefer writing, poetry or prose, and why?

I’m not sure if I have a preference, just the experiences are different. Poetry provides the quicker fix, in the sense that when I write my poetry; it’s like an overflow of ideas dying to get out in one setting.  I have to do the write at that particular moment. 

Where poetry is somewhat microwave in terms of creation, the proses are slow cooked.  I can do one part, then return to it a few hours, even days later, and still know the direction I was going in with the prose.

Adrenalin rush goes to poetry.  Slow and satisfying goes to proses.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your latest work.

Time to play “About Me” via short phrases and bullet points.  I’m going to throw in 5 standard things about me and 5 random things about me (and pray the random things I haven’t repeated in an other interview)

  • Southern bred/Northern placed (originally from Mississippi-southern US; now residing in New Jersey-northeast US)
  • Raised by my grandparents
  • Presenter of one poetry anthology & author of four poetry collections
  • Administrator and Principal Reviewer of The Review Board (Ma Maow the cat assists from time to time.)—[insert Ma Maow the reviewer graphic]
  • Featured Columnist/Editor-in-Chief of All Authors Magazine


  • I have a difficult time sleeping in total darkness.  A small light has to radiate from somewhere.
  • I have no problem spending money on loved ones, but it’s like pulling teeth when it comes to stuff for myself


I didn’t even like cats until I moved to NJ, and no matter what cat was around, I was chosen as “the human”.



  • My husband serves as my alpha reader, but it was difficult for him to read certain parts of Private Pain: Amidst These Ashes due to some of the described events.
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  • I haven’t mastered the concept of being completely still.  I get bored if I’m not being productive in some way.  The only way I’m completely still is if I’m sick, and even then, my husband has threatened to tie me to the bed or sit on me when I attempt to do things.

Private Pain: Amidst These Ashes


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Book Trailer

Blurb:  In Life, one is expected to put her best face forward, but what if the process of revealing her best face involves putting the demons on display? Would the journey continue? Or would one stop dead in her tracks. 

Private Pain: Amidst These Ashes is the response in its rawest form. It is an inside look at: in its simplest form, Life’s growing pains; in its most complex form, a person battling internal and external forces to find peace in her own existence. The lines are blurred between what’s real and what is embellishment in this second edition, a sleeker re-mastered collection that doesn’t miss a step in intensity.

I have read some of your work and found your writing to be very honest and heavily influenced by your life history. Is that fair to say? If so, would you say that all your writing is based on personal experiences in some way? 


Yes, that is fair to say.  Reflections of Soul was entirely based on an experience I had gone through.    As far as my other poetic writes, I can’t take full credit.  The Eclectic collection went beyond my experiences: I wrote about others as well as certain issues that are occurring or have occurred over in the States.  Spaded Truths: Themes and Proclamations is more of an exercise with beliefs than actual experiences while Private Pain: Amidst These Ashes circles back to being more personal, using the universal connectivity of pain and endurance.

What are your future projects?

 Well, I do have some short stories in the works.  “Misfortune”, which was featured in Eclectic: Beyond the Skin, will be reappearing in Continuous Drips, set for the end of 2014.  However, not all of the short stories I’m writing will be included in the collection.  I am planning on having some for people to obtain for free: to give people a chance to know me beyond the poetry.  Poetry publication will be on the backburner for a moment to give this other aspect of my writing a bit of spotlight.

I am also working on an online store, called Eclectisms.  Originally, I was going to use it to simply promote my current works, yet I kept being inspired by other people as well as other things, so it blossomed beyond that.  The spirit of Eclectisms is advocacy of truest self, even if it’s not in alignment with the blueprint of everyone else.  It’s in the beginning stages, and more products are gradually being added.

Visit the website for more information:

From seeing some of your photographs and thinking them rather good I was wondering if you have an artistic streak in you?

Thanks!  I definitely appreciate that, since I’m such a fan of your photography.  My first talent was actually sketching.  That blossomed around age eight, but it has since taken a backseat to writing.  I still have my sketch pad and draw from time to time, but the works in my head take precedence.


You are also a reviewer and article writer, which one of these disciplines would you say comes easily to you?

Article writing, most definitely!  Back in high school, my creative writing teacher approached me about writing for the newspaper.  I mainly did editorials and special features.  Then, a few years after I had moved to New Jersey, I was a volunteer newsletter editor for the Pride Center of New Jersey.  Now, with this opportunity at All Authors Magazine, it seems like it has come full circle.


Do you have a special place where you write?

 Poetry: I have to strike while the iron’s hot, so with it, no particular place.

 All other writings:  Those occur in one of four places:

(a) The office—when it’s a very slow work day
(b) My little office at my apartment
(c) In the bedroom
(d) Local park—when it’s a nice, quiet day

Does any specific writer influence you?

Traditional or indie?

Well, traditional, my inspirations are: Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Alice Walker, Stephen King, and Edgar Allan Poe.


Poetically:  Chantay Legacy Leonard—her connectivity and style is wonderful.  I was extremely honoured when she did the foreword for Eclectic. 

Fiction/Short stories:  There are quite a few people who I’m observing their styles and learning from, simply because writing short stories and novels are an entirely different animal than poetry.

Beem Weeks is a phenomenal story teller.  I fell in love with his novel, Jazz Baby, and I’m a fan of his stories.  They are well put together, and I can hardly wait until his short story collection comes out.

I applaud the way MJ Holman weaves a story.  The Guinea Ghost  stands out to me.  I felt like I was in a trance (a welcomed one at that) from beginning to end.  I appreciate that effect in her writes, not just her stories, but in her poetry.

I love Y. Correa and Perri Forrest because they defy any type of classification when it comes to audience and genre. 

With Y. Correa, there is a write for any and everyone.  Even if you aren’t deep into paranormal or romance, she writes things in a way that makes you think and comes across as very original.  I know she was probably under pressure to modernize aspects of MarcoAntonio & Amaryllis, since it is set in medieval times, but I give her ultimate respect for keeping the authenticity of the narrative. 

Perri Forrest’s approach to her writings: from cover concept to narrative reminds me of a scientist—there is something beautifully methodical about every component she places in her writes.  With each write, she becomes even better.  Although some have tried to place her in the boxes of “urban”, “erotica”, or both, the richness of her writes and her characters burns those boxes to bits.  I want my short stories, as well as any future extended works, to have that same level of nonconformity and authenticity.


If you could stay the weekend in a particular book as one of the characters, which one would it be and why?

In A Lioness’ Tale (originally called “Revolving Doors”) by Perri Forrest, Gabriella, one of the main characters, gets her heart broken.  She is presented an opportunity to see one of her close friends who resides in Brazil.  The way that place was described was fantastic!  I was ready to pack up and just go.  It was a combination of Gabriella’s exposure to a brand new world and the climate that made me want to be in her shoes.

I believe poetry needs to be spoken, do you agree?

Queen of Spades on Soundcloud

Well, I don’t necessarily agree with “need”.  Yes, it is helpful to hear the work being spoken.  However, there are some people who excel better at visual presentation than spoken presentation and vice versa.

There is this one poet.  He is a phenomenal spoken word performer.  Yet if you look at his writings, you would think he was subpar because of how his works were visually executed.  On the same token, you can have someone who writes beautifully, but a person’s actual voice and/or stage fright may cause a poem’s audible delivery to be poor.

In my mind, the presentation of the poetry is like a scene in a movie.  I actually see the images as I write them out.  For me, I know where the pauses are supposed to go and where I would like to emphasize something.  I know where the scene separations are to take place.

Doing poetic vocals is a different animal.  If you are putting music to it, the music has to match the rhythm of the voice.  You have to make sure the music doesn’t drown out your voice.  This makes vocal composition quite a task at times, yet if this is composed in your house (or at a studio, if you can afford studio time); you aren’t dealing with multiple eyes on you, and there isn’t that level of performance anxiety.

I like writing, and I have what some would say my performance voice.  But I’m also a chameleon, and I also have an office receptionist voice and my voice when I’m hanging out with others.

I say all that to say this: I understand why there are poets who choose not to go full fledged into the spoken word arena.  I actually find it a bit more baffling the other way around—speaking wonderfully but not having it in written form so others may enjoy it in that way as well.

Finally, what is your favourite beverage when you are writing?

Mornings:   I’m trying to wean off of coffee, so I have to go with a very strong brewed English breakfast tea with cream and honey.

All other times:  Dr. Pepper

Thank you Queen of Spades for a really fun and in-depth look into your writings and your life.


For more information about Queen of Spades, please see the links below: