Writing Sensation August 2018 – Terri Ann Johnson

TERRI ANN JOHNSON - PHOTO

 

Welcome back to Writing Sensation! If you tuned in last month, you will remember my introduction to fellow Brown Girls Books author, Terri Ann Johnson. In support of her debut novel Faith Alone, here is a second reminder that her book will be released on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. Congratulations and many blessings, Sister Scribe!

Terri Ann Johnson is a National Bestselling author for her contribution to the anthology All I Want for Christmas and is also a contributing author to the new anthology Spice, which will be published by the Macro Publishing Group in October 2018. She has always had an enthusiasm for reading which blossomed into a desire to write. Terri is a mom and loves to travel with her family and friends. She is a finance professional in Washington, D.C. and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Please visit her website at www.terriannjohnson.com/www.browngirlsbooks.com.

 

Faith Alone

PAB – Tell us the title of your new book and what it is about.

TAJThe title of my debut novel is Faith Alone. It is in the Christian fiction genre and I added some romance. One of the themes is overcoming challenges. How do we respond? What do we lean on during challenging times? My main character, Lachelle, is coping with a life-threatening pregnancy while she is in the midst of unsurmountable grief. She experiences some dark days, emotionally, which gives us a glimpse into what depression looks like. In terms of physical health, I hope Faith Alone raises awareness on a medical condition called preeclampsia which is a life-threatening hypertensive disorder of pregnancy that occurs in about eight percent of all women.

PAB – Give us some insight about your main characters in the story.

TAJ – Brian and Lachelle have been married for twelve years and have accepted that they won’t have children. But, unexpectedly they find themselves pregnant. This pregnancy is life-threatening for Lachelle. After tragedy occurs, Lachelle struggles emotionally, mentally and physically, but her best friends are there to help her come to terms with some challenges of her past so that she can let go of some baggage.

PAB – What inspired you to write Faith Alone?

TAJ – Many parts of this story have been on my heart for years. I pieced those parts together to write Faith Alone. One of my closest friends has experienced preeclampsia for the majority of her life. I’ve dealt with various levels of depression as many of us do. And my sister/friends are an important part of my life. You’ll see these themes run through the book.

PAB – Tell us what helps you stay on track with writing and completing a book.

TAJ – I live by outlines, deadlines and an accountability partner that keeps me on task.

PAB – What kind of research did you have to do to write your book?

TAJ – Well, I wanted Lachelle’s pregnancy to be as authentic as possible. I spoke to OB/GYNs, survivors of preeclampsia and I read numerous articles about the disease. I spoke to law enforcement professionals and attorneys regarding sentencing guidelines. I’m a fiction author but I want my facts to be correct.

PAB – How has writing impacted your life?

TAJ – Writing brings me happiness. There is just something about getting your stories on paper and into a book. It is an extreme sense of accomplishment. But, writing is not easy. You have to create time to get your thoughts out of your head.

PAB – What advice can you give aspiring writers to help them finish their books?

TAJ –My biggest piece of advice would be to write one word each day. My mentor gave me this piece of advice and it helped. When you begin typing you won’t want to stop until your thoughts are out.  And don’t edit while writing your first draft, just get it out of your head. I’d also recommend taking writing classes to gain confidence in the technical aspects of writing.

PAB – Tell the readers how they can learn more about you and your work?

TAJ –  Please visit my website www.TerriAnnJohnson.com

PAB – What’s next for Terri Ann Johnson?

TAJ – I’m currently writing my sophomore novel, Switched, which I hope will be released in the summer of 2019.

 

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Writing Sensation August 2018 – Paulette Harper

Paulette HarperFinding Inspiration for Writing by Paulette Harper

Every Writer needs Inspiration. No matter how many books one has written, there are times when we need a little inspiration to get us going.

Many times, I sit at my computer, staring at a blank screen, waiting for words to start flowing. Sometimes they do, sometimes I need a push. If you’re like me, I find ways to get the inspiration flowing.

Here are seven ways you can get that push.

1. Pictures

Whether you take them yourself, look through an old photo album, or spend some time searching through Google, photographs are a great way to find inspiration for your writing. There is a Facebook group that uses pictures for this purpose.

2. Books

I use this method a lot. Reading what other people have written may be enough to spark a few ideas you wouldn’t have otherwise had. Grab a book and mediate and let the inspiration flow.

3. Eavesdropping

I know it’s not polite to do but it does work. Next time you’re at work, the store or the coffee shop, pay attention to what’s going on around you. Listen to the conversations people are having. Body language says a lot. Watch the movement of the people around you. People live interesting lives and those lives are told in someone’s book, why not yours?  Remember always have a pen and tablet with you.

4. Experience

This is the best teacher. Sitting at home may not be the greatest idea to stir your mind. Go for a walk, sit at the park, run or ride somewhere, go sit at the beach. Keep your eyes and ears open while you do it. Through life experiences we can find plenty of inspiration. We can take what has happened to us or even to others and that alone can trigger an idea which can easily lead to some interesting writing.

5. Music

Some people can write while listening to music. If this is you, grab some of those tunes and go for it. Playing old tunes can sometime jar memories that can be used to get the juices flowing. Try finding music that you’ve never listened to and see what happens.

6. The Internet

The internet has proven to be a great source of inspiration filled with knowledge, gossip and information—some truth, some lies. There are plenty of topics that can spark meaningful conversations amongst your friends and family but most importantly amongst the characters in your head.

7. Interview Someone

Talking to someone whose story might be similar to yours is a sure way to get inspired. One word, one idea, one encounter can make all the difference in the world.

Are You Inspired Yet?

We are surrounded by information and people. Things we see, people we hear, any person you meet can bring the inspiration for your next best seller.

Be Inspired!

 

About Paulette Harper

In addition to being an award winning author of Completely Whole and Secret Places Revealed, Paulette is an writing workshop instructor. She has a passion to coach aspiring authors while helping them bring their book to reality. As an inspirational speaker, Paulette has been mentoring and teaching women for years though seminars, workshops and conferences.

Her literary works have been spotlighted in a growing number of publications, including CBN, Real Life Real Faith Magazine, The Sacramento Observer and Black Pearls Magazine. She has also appeared on numerous local and online radio shows. Paulette is also the owner of Write Now Literary Book Tours, an on-line service to help promote authors.

She resides in Northern California.

Connect with her Socially

 

Host a Watch Party in Your Facebook Group

Do you have a dedicated Facebook group that includes followers or clients? If so, you can use the Watch Party feature to engage your followers and create discussion time.

  1. Go to the new post feature and choose WATCH PARTY.
  2. Find public videos on Facebook to add to your queue.
  3. Post the Watch Party.
  4. Group members will be alerted via notifications, but only if they receive notifications from your group.

Choose a theme of the videos, many come in series. Show the series.

Plan the Watch Party by creating a group event to give advance notice. At this time Watch Parties cannot be scheduled but you can schedule a meet-up date and time, and add your videos to the queue a few minutes before hand. You can search out and choose your videos in advance.

Your Watch Party automatically goes to a separate page with a chat applet for commenting. And you can invite participants in the group even as the videos begin.

You also have the option to end the Watch Party in the middle of a video.

This sounds like fun. You should try it and be creative in how you use it.

Are You Okay? Authors, Writers and Mental Health Awareness

The number of suicides of notables and celebrities always alert us to the fact that people are dealing with any number of mental health issues. Writers and authors are no exception. Those of us who write with deadlines looming as real-life makes its demands are living under stress, whether we admit it or not. We tell ourselves this is the nature of the beast and it’s only temporary, but truth is, the stress still can take a toll on our overall wellness.

Here are some tips to guard your mind and spirit:

  1. Stay in-tune with the signals your mind and body are sending you. If you’re tired, do not ignore it. If you find yourself prickly or moody, do not ignore it. Ask yourself the hard questions, and be ready to accept the answers. Be ready to make adjustment to keep your sanity and health intact.
  2. Schedule recreation for you. Go for walks, swim, ride a bike or do something like go to the museum or to an exhibit, just go. Do something just for you. Do something for you for at least five minutes every day.
  3. Watch what you eat and how you’re eating. Carb-loading with no physical activity can lead to weight gain horrors. Prepare your snacks in advance and when possible do the same with your meals. Sitting at a computer for long stretches of time and eating is a recipe for lethargy and irritability.  
  4. Sleep. Take naps and go to bed at a scheduled time every night. A lack of sleep affects heart health and the vital organs in our bodies. It also affects the ability to think straight.
  5. Get counseling. There is no shame in making a confession of being overwhelmed or stressed out and needing help to manage it all. Find a licensed counselor who will give you the space to talk and learn how to cope.

Writers and authors are at the mercy of our imaginations and a world of facts and figures. That alternate universe can affect daily decisions and exacerbate stress. We need to take care of ourselves. We also need to look out for our colleagues. Ask someone if they are okay. Check on your friends. Check on you.

Does Anyone Use Classmates.com to Market Their Books?

Perhaps the question is: Does anyone use Classmates.com at all? Admittedly, beyond connecting with classmates from grade school to college or even look through old yearbooks, Classmates tends to be an under-used social network. Here are a few ways you can use it?

  1. Invite classmates to your events – book launches, readings and signings – by posting a graphic and announcement.
  2. Invite classmates to your social media events on Facebook and Twitter by posting a graphic and announcement.
  3. Post news about your book or project. Your classmates will receive notification via e-mail.
  4. Post photos of your book cover(s) in your photo album section with links to purchase sites.
  5. Invite some of your classmates to become beta readers or reviewers.

There are many free features on Classmates.com and there are features available for those who pay the subscription costs. Subscriptions can be paid monthly for those sporadic occasions you wish to post and market your work.

This is a great way to keep up with your friends and classmates but also apprise them of your activities and growth. It doesn’t have to be braggy or pretentious.

Do you use Classmates.com for marketing? If so, let us know in the comments.

Writing Sensation July 2018 – Terri Ann Johnson

TERRI ANN JOHNSON - PHOTO

 

Welcome back to Writing Sensation! If you tuned in last month, I introduced you to fellow Brown Girls Books author, Terri Ann Johnson. In support of her debut novel Faith Alone, here is a second reminder that her book will be out on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. Congratulations and many blessings, Sister Scribe!

Terri Ann Johnson is a national bestselling author for her contribution to the anthology All I Want for Christmas. She has always had an enthusiasm for reading which blossomed into a desire to write. Terri is a mom and loves to travel with her family and friends. She is a finance professional in Washington, D.C. and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Please visit her website at www.terriannjohnson.com/www.browngirlsbooks.com

 

Faith Alone

PAB – Tell us the title of your new book and what it is about.

TAJThe title of my debut novel is Faith Alone. It is in the Christian fiction genre and I added some romance. One of the themes is overcoming challenges. How do we respond? What do we lean on during challenging times? My main character, Lachelle, is coping with a life-threatening pregnancy while she is in the midst of unsurmountable grief. She experiences some dark days, emotionally, which gives us a glimpse into what depression looks like. In terms of physical health, I hope Faith Alone raises awareness on a medical condition called preeclampsia which is a life-threatening hypertensive disorder of pregnancy that occurs in about eight percent of all women.

PAB – Give us some insight about your main characters in the story.

TAJ – Brian and Lachelle have been married for twelve years and have accepted that they won’t have children. But, unexpectedly they find themselves pregnant. This pregnancy is life-threatening for Lachelle. After tragedy occurs, Lachelle struggles emotionally, mentally and physically, but her best friends are there to help her come to terms with some challenges of her past so that she can let go of some baggage.

PAB – What inspired you to write Faith Alone?

TAJ – Many parts of this story have been on my heart for years. I pieced those parts together to write Faith Alone. One of my closest friends has experienced preeclampsia for the majority of her life. I’ve dealt with various levels of depression as many of us do. And my sister/friends are an important part of my life. You’ll see these themes run through the book.

PAB – Tell us what helps you stay on track with writing and completing a book.

TAJ – I live by outlines, deadlines and an accountability partner that keeps me on task.

PAB – What kind of research did you have to do to write your book?

TAJ – Well, I wanted Lachelle’s pregnancy to be as authentic as possible. I spoke to OB/GYNs, survivors of preeclampsia and I read numerous articles about the disease. I spoke to law enforcement professionals and attorneys regarding sentencing guidelines. I’m a fiction author but I want my facts to be correct.

PAB – How has writing impacted your life?

TAJ – Writing brings me happiness. There is just something about getting your stories on paper and into a book. It is an extreme sense of accomplishment. But, writing is not easy. You have to create time to get your thoughts out of your head.

PAB – What advice can you give aspiring writers to help them finish their books?

TAJ –My biggest piece of advice would be to write one word each day. My mentor gave me this piece of advice and it helped. When you begin typing you won’t want to stop until your thoughts are out.  And don’t edit while writing your first draft, just get it out of your head. I’d also recommend taking writing classes to gain confidence in the technical aspects of writing.

PAB – Tell the readers how they can learn more about you and your work?

TAJ –  Please visit my website www.TerriAnnJohnson.com

PAB – What’s next for Terri Ann Johnson?

TAJ – I’m currently writing my sophomore novel, Switched, which I hope will be released in the summer of 2019.

 

Hootsuite Adds Pinterest Integration

Part of the fun of Pinterest is pinning to boards almost mindlessly. You pick your topic and look for interesting pins, and then you just pin away. It can be soothing as well as functional to marketing your business and books. If Pinterest is pivotal to your business marketing but you find yourself with little time to pin original content to your boards, then Hootsuite has just made it easier by allowing you to schedule pins.

This is what you need to know:

  1. You can also use Hootsuite to create new boards.
  2. Pinterest scheduling can be managed as a team.
  3. You can delete boards and pins from your Hootsuite dashboard.

It is really easy to post and schedule, and you can use Hootsuite’s new-ish composer to post, schedule and publish to Pinterest too.

One last thing about Hootsuite: If you use the composer tool, then you have access to a couple of really great features. One feature is the ability to schedule to a Facebook page and create an album right in Composer. And you can add emojis to your posts.