MFRWAuthor: Books and Bravado – An Author’s Must-Haves

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The difference between bragging and marketing.

If done well, telling the difference between bragging and marketing can be as challenging as deciding if a shirt is midnight blue and black. For real, who can tell?

I have to brag. Our society generally ignores the social intersections I embody, making it necessary for me,  like many Black women,  to blow my own horn. I’ve learned to highlight my talents and accomplishments as well as appreciate them for myself.  “Shine,” “Black Girl Magic,” “Do You,” all are a part of granting a level of acclamation usually denied.

For people who are used to those around them celebrating even the most mediocre of their achievements, someone doing it for themselves—resisting the erasure of their personhood—may seem like bragging, when it is not. It’s exhibiting confidence and shining for the world to see—an important aspect of marketing.

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In addition to our books, authors must market at least a part of ourselves. We must draw people to their public persona and build a following of readers who not only like their characters, but them as well. As a result, there is a need to “market” oneself, which may include a little a lot of horn blowing…bragging…marketing. Because I spent most of my life as my own cheerleader, doing it to highlight my authorship was not a huge leap.

Sharing milestones and achievements with readers provides a chance for them to celebrate with an author. In my article “The World’s a Stage-For Authors Too, I point out the importance of connecting with readers:

Just as important as creating a finished product that conveys the desired message is to build an audience that will want to hear it.  There are tons of writers out there, which makes it critical to build a platform and following. This is a mostly non-writing process and will require a lot of time and energy to get one’s actual voice out there.

In our social media-driven world, potential readers often want to see and hear from their writers. A lot of successful writers developed a way of connecting to readers outside of their writing, presenting personalities and appeal. Some will use social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) primarily not to sell books but themselves, acquiring hundreds, thousands and even millions of followers.

Posts and banners brandishing an author’s image and phrases like “award-winning” and “best seller” get attention. Interviews, book signings and open mics all require letting the world know how great the work and the writer are to motivate audiences to want to read more. It’s all business as usual that makes it possible to keep selling.

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For authors, there is a fine line between brand-building and bragging—a thin one that is often blurred. One person’s swag and shine are another’s boasting and self-aggrandizement. Deciding which is for authors to decide individually, but some bravado is as necessary as ink and paper.


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Vote for My Way To You Cover

My way to you has been selected for the All Author April cover contest.
Designer Taria Reed created a beautiful depiction of main characters Simon Young and Regina Kent, who want to shut out an intolerant world and love each other.

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CLICK HERE TO VOTE

Simon is a brilliant attorney and sexy ladies’ man who enjoys practicing the law and a string of consensual casual relationships.  When he meets his best friend Marcus’s baby sister, Regina, he is immediately drawn. Determined to have her for one night, he quickly becomes enraptured by her wit and charm. He decides to keep her in his life, risking limb if Marcus finds out.

Regina is a smart and saavy pro-Black blogger. Her attraction to her brother’s old college roommate, Simon is almost immediate. He was supposed to be a nice fling after a dry spell, but she soon settles into a relationship and Simon into her heart. She takes a chance on him and angering her followers for dating an Asian man.

Can Simon and Regina keep the world from tearing them apart?

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Thanks for voting!


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Laughter as Armor and Shield

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#OpenBook

What’s the one thing guaranteed to make you laugh?

Hmm…

Tough question. Is the laughter a sarcastic “you’re an idiot” or a full-hearted “that was hilarious” type of thing?

I laugh for so many reasons, not all of which involve anything being funny. Like when my former boss and her supervisor had me in the office jeopardizing my job because their friend/co-worker didn’t like that I ignored her unprofessional email tantrum.

The woman didn’t appreciate that I was not immediately motivated to stroke her volatile ego or placate her self-induced indignation. Grown folks had things to do. As retribution, I became targeted by her and her buddies in a toxic campaign to first make me uncomfortable then try to get rid of me.

Petty drama on top of petty drama culminated into a witchfest cloaked as a “team meeting” towards conflict resolution. Yeah, I didn’t buy it back then either.

As I sat at a round table with the coven, I laughed with them and their lame passive-aggressive attempts at whit despite the absence of humor.

My nerves will almost always send me into the chuckles. I  usually will at least grin harder than necessary for the situation. If things get too tense, I will titter like a school girl, finding any little thing funny.

There is a lot of gravity in life. Heavy things that will crush a person into a fine powder of hopelessness, blown away on the wind of regrets. Nice hyperbole, right? Except—it’s not. Things are hard, and when we seem determined to make them harder for no credible reason, I tend to laugh it off as a matter of survival. Continue reading “Laughter as Armor and Shield”

#OpenBook: Smell That? The Stench of Child Sexual Abuse

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If your childhood had a smell, what would it be?

One of the things most people remember about their childhoods is the scrumptious mixture of scents of a well-cooked meal at home. The revel in memories of swirls of seasonings in the warm air wrapping them in comfort.

Well, that would not be the smell of my childhood—not totally. For me, caustic fumes of abuse defiled such wonderful aromas, threatening to completely choke out my humanity.

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Continue reading “#OpenBook: Smell That? The Stench of Child Sexual Abuse”

#MFRWHooks-Brothers in Law Book 2 NYU Preview

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Author Reading at New York University

I had the great opportunity to read from the soon-to-be-published Sweet Love∼Bitter Fruit, book two in the Brothers in Law series.

The story features Marcus and Toni Kent from book one, My Way to You.

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Marcus is a lawyer directing a non-profit and Toni a psychologist with an established practice. The couple is deeply in love, but infertility and a life full of distractions threaten to tear them apart.

I was thrilled to be able to share part of their story with readers and authors at the Black Muslim Authors event. I read from the chapter “Bedlam.” Marcus usually has everything together, but the women in his personal and professional life seem determined to drive him crazy.

In this scene, they all converge on him either in his office or on the phone to drive him nuts.

**Note: I edited the video due to spoilers about My Way to You.**

 


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#OpenBook: Half-Charged and Ready to Go!

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#OpenBook How do you recharge?

I’ve spent most of the past twenty years of my life running on fumes. I became a mom to my beautiful daughter in 1998—and never slept again!

Well, I slept, but not much because her brother was born the following year. AND the babies kept coming. By the time my oldest was five, I had my fourth baby and forgot what having a good night sleep or a relaxing day was.

If that wasn’t enough, my dumb…self decides to go to college and finish a few degree programs—work—engage in community organizing, and have two more babies. Throw freelance writing and authorship (writing, publishing, promoting, etc.), and relaxing is truly an alien thing for me. Continue reading “#OpenBook: Half-Charged and Ready to Go!”

#MFRWAuthor- Anger & Food: A Deadly Combination

Stress Eating: The Whys and Wherefores

Anger is the main emotion that makes me stress eat. I will be basically cool with life and eating decently—then BOOM!

Papa Bear or one of his male cubs do some man shenanigans…the little ones act up…someone on social media tries it with me—and I am heading for the kitchen.

Anger increases my appetite like a forest fire, and I consume food like flames old tree logs.  I tend to rationalize the need for my greediness. I tell myself that I “deserve” a treat and it will help me relax.

I tend to look for something sweet first. I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. Sugar is my primary addiction.

Continue reading “#MFRWAuthor- Anger & Food: A Deadly Combination”

Black Glue Podcast – Lyndell Williams talks Interracial Romance — NbA Muslims

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I was recently interviewed by the Black Glue Podcast about my book My Way to You.

By NbA Muslims Staff Black Glue Podcast host, Tariq El-Amin interviewed NbA Muslims founder and managing editor, Layla Abdullah-Poulos [Lyndell Williams] about her new interracial romance novel, My Way to You. 33 more words

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via Black Glue Podcast – Layla Abdullah-Poulos talks Interracial Romance — NbA Muslims


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