Six Things You Need to Make Your Book a Best Seller by Cheryl Holloway

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Six Things You Need to Make Your Book a Best Seller

These techniques will work on any kind of book: fiction: romance, mystery, sci-fi, urban fantasy, thriller, etc.; or non-fiction: business or literary work. Any writer can implement these techniques no matter where you are in your writing process, from the first draft to the polished final draft.

  1. A Well-written Book
  2. A Positive Attitude
  3. Inspiration
  4. Motivation
  5. Determination
  6. Target Audience

A Well-written Book – Tell a wonderful story to make readers love you (Fiction). Provide useful information that readers can use (Non-fiction).

Hint: Pull on their emotions—make them laugh or make them cry.

A Positive Attitude – Do not underestimate the power of positive thinking when it comes to your writing. Learn and know your craft by building and enhancing your skills and developing your resources. As a writer, you must build and maintain a positive attitude. Don’t worry about rejections or negative feedback.

Hint: Everyone is not going to like your book.

Inspiration (definition) – the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative (such as writing). Find your inspiration and let it lead you on to better writing. It will also lead you from being a writer to being an author. What inspires most people is “an ordinary person who has done an extraordinary thing.”

Hint: Whether your inspiration is someone or something; big or small; let it lead you on to better writing.

Motivation – According to Writer’s Digest magazine, “Writing takes commitment, self-discipline, and desire.” My passion for writing is my motivation. What’s yours?

Hint: Find a quote about writing and put it near your PC or laptop where you can always glance at it.

My Two Favorite Quotes: 1) I live in my own little world. But it’s okay…they know me here! 2) If there is a book you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. Toni Morrison

Determination (definition) – a firmness of purpose; resoluteness. As a writer with a mission, you need an unflinching determination. You have goals and deadlines to meet—go for it.

Hint: Don’t give up! No matter what.

Target Audience – The Bible is the only book that is for everyone (and some people will question that). Know who should read your book: What type of people? (Christians, entrepreneurs, etc.) What type of groups? (shoppers, smokers, children, baby boomers, young adults, etc.) What other books do they read? (romance, sci-fi, urban, etc.) Know their demographics: age, income, education, race, gender, marital status, and/or occupation

Hint: Learn as much about your target audience as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am determined to make one of my books a best seller. I promote my books each and every day. It’s only a matter of time for me…how about you?

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Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Seven Sentence Sunday with Cheryl Holloway

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Seven Sentence Sunday

Once Upon a Time

 

Most of my blog readers and followers enjoy Seven Sentence Sunday and often request the short stories. 

I write a short story using only seven sentences. I also use this as a writing exercise in the writing workshops that I present. 

I’m in the process of trying to move/relocate. Well, this week has been a real dilemma for me or rather an eye-opening situation. We cleaned out the garage and shed, and next is the basement.

So, here is my epiphany.

Title: Baby Boomer Breakthrough

Whether it is decluttering, downsizing or just moving…dejunking is hard!

I’ve accumulated a lot of objects or furniture over time.

I’m holding on to STUFF out of a sense of obligation to the past,

I finally realized I have to let go to create a peaceful and stress-free space for myself.

I have to donate it, sell it, put it on consignment, or just give it away.

It’s so easy to accumulate and soooo hard to get rid of, but…

I have to just let go!

The End

Keep in mind that this is my perspective. 🙂

Short Stories_2

Thanks for reading this short story. Please give me some feedback and tell me what you think about the topic.

Have a Great Writing Day!

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Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Cheryl Holloway’s Advice for Developing Good Writing Habits

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Did you know that 82% of the people say that they want to write a book, but only 2% actually write a book?

I am an Accountability Writing Coach and today, we are discussing advice that I give to my clients and the students in my Creative Writing Classes.

  1. Be A Winner When Setting Your Goals

You must set goals you can easily achieve. I set weekly goals.

Start out with a simple goal: Within One Week I will… Example: Within One Week, I will write the outline for my fiction book.

As you progress you can make bigger, smarter goals. Years ago, I learned about S.M.A.R.T. Goals. (I can’t remember who to give the credit to, but I didn’t come up with this idea.) These goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Example of a SMART Goal: I will write the first chapter of book title with 1,500 words by December 15, 2017.

You want to be successful in reaching your writing goals. I would rather that you write 250 words a day and reach your goal, than strive for 1,000 words a day and never reach your goal. Now, if you write 479 words today and only 251 words tomorrow that is okay, because you still reached your daily goal of 250 words. Note: I advise you not to end your writing session until you have achieved your goal. And that is why a smaller goal is better than a big/fast goal…like writing a book in 30 days. Yes, it can be done, but are you the one to do it.

Remember: A successful author set goals (and deadlines-another blog post).

  1. Be Diligent in Managing Your Writing Time

Did you know that when you write something down, you are 42% more likely to make it happen?

Ask yourself: How often will I write? How long will I write? And then write your goals down.

You must be very specific with yourself about the time you will commit to writing, especially if you want to go from a writer to an author. You must write on a regular schedule—write every day at the same time. Whether it is early morning, late night, or all day, the key is to be consistent in your daily writing. If you need help, keep a chart of daily writing times.

Remember: Writers write.

Month Day Word Goal Words Written
August 1 250 250
2 250 593
3 250 649
4 250 255
5 250 407
6 250 1,528
7 250 1,751

3. Be a Finisher and Complete Your Draft

Ask yourself. What type of writer am I? Am I a pantser? Am I a planner?

A pantser makes the story up as they go along. A planner plots the story, usually with an outline.

Regardless of what type of writer you are, you need to completely finish writing the entire first draft, before you start self-editing!

Remember: A carpenter doesn’t polish the table before he attaches the legs.

Every writer wants to become a successful author.

  

Remember: Alice Walker, Walter Mosley, Danielle Steel, James Patterson, Nora Roberts and Stephen King were not an overnight success—it took years for them to reach that status.

I hope this short blog post helped you better understand developing good writing habits.

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Note: Clip art compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Cheryl Holloway on Copyright Basics for Writers

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Copyright Basics for Writers

On Friday, I taught a Creative Writing Class for 15 new writers.  Some of the information we discussed was copyrighting your work. Since most of them did not know the copyright basics, today I am going to discuss it with my blog readers and fans.

What Is A Copyright?

According to U.S. Code and the website www.copyright.gov, Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.

“Original works of ownership” include literary works—a written piece of art—such as a book, a poem, a short story, or an article, etc.

The Copyright should include the following:

  • The copyright symbol,
  • Followed by the copyright year,
  • Followed by the author who created the work and who is responsible for and who is the owner of the copyright,
  • Followed by the phrase, “All Rights Reserved”

Published Example: © 2017 Cheryl Holloway All Rights Reserved.

Unpublished Example: Unpublished Work © 2017 Jane Doe

It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of the copyright.

Copyright Theft

The reason you will copyright your writing is that you do not want anyone to copy your “work” without your permission and steal it. In this day and digital age, there are many possible ways to copy your work—both in the U.S. and in foreign countries.  So, protect your writing from plagiarism by using the copyright law.

Keep in mind, plagiarism occurs when a writer duplicates another writer’s language or ideas and then calls the work his or her own. Copyright laws protect writers’ words as their legal property.

There are two ways to copyright your literary work:

  1. Copyright Registration with the Copyright Office using Form TX (Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim.) There is a Filing Fee ($35). For general/updated information about copyright, call the Copyright Public Information Office at (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 Toll Free.
  2. Poor Man’s Copyright is a method of using registered dating by the postal service, a notary public or other highly trusted source to date intellectual property, thereby helping to establish that the material has been in one’s possession since a particular time. (Email me and I can send specific instructions.) No Fee

I hope this short blog post helped you better understand the Copyright Basics.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

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Seven Sentence Sunday with Cheryl Holloway

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Seven Sentence Sunday

Once Upon a Time

 

Most of my readers enjoy Seven Sentence Sunday and often request the short stories. 

I write a short story using only seven sentences. I also use this as a writing exercise in the writing workshops that I present. This writing prompt is from my writer’s group, Accokeek Womens Writing Group.

Title: Spring Greenery—Symbolic of New Beginnings

I love spring because it is a refreshing and revitalizing time after a long, cold winter.

The trees and the grass are fresh and green with all of the plants and flowers blossoming.

It starts with the Cherry Blossom season that spills over with warm sunlight, bright colors and delicate fragrances.

Ahh…the smell of spring greenery brings a new beginning for nature and me.

I’m ready to make some changes that are long overdue in my writing and in my life.

So, I’ve begun writing a new book and I’m trying to get myself ready to recycle all of the old stuff.

Yes, I’m ready for a new journey…California, here I come.

The End

Short Stories_2

Thanks for reading this story. Please give me some feedback and tell me if you like it or what you think about the topic.

Have a Great Writing Day!

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Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

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Celebrity Guest Author Interview – Pat Simmons

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Celebrity Couch (2)

Title: Love by Delivery

Genre: African American/Christian Romance

Synopsis: Senior Accounts Manager Dominique Hayes has it all—money, a car and a condo. Well, almost. She’s starting to believe love has passed her by.
One thing for sure, she can’t hurry God, so she continues to wait while losing hope that a special Godly man will ever make his appearance.
Package Courier Ashton Taylor knows a man who finds a wife finds a good thing. The only thing standing in his way of finding the right woman is his long work hours. Or maybe, not.

A chance meeting changes everything. When love finally comes knocking, will Dominique open the door and accept Ashton’s special delivery?

Pat Simmons, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Celebrity Pat Simmons. Pat is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching her ancestors and then casting them in starring roles in her novels. Welcome to my blog, Pat.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book? 

PS: For Christian inspiration

CH: Where do your ideas come from?

PS: Anyway and everywhere—church, strangers, news, movies, and real life situations. There are no limits when it comes to listening for God’s direction.

CH: Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

PS: That depends. As a Christian author, it is important for me to defer to the Lord for the message in a story. Case in point, I have readers waiting and I was eagerly ready to pen book nine in the Guilty series when I realized that I had no spiritual message for the readers. Concerned, I prayed and asked God what should I do? That had never happened before in all my works. The Lord Jesus had me resurrect an outline from 2011. He told me it was time to tell the story and He had a message in it for someone, so that is my current project. As for other plots, I have a news background, so I like to write stories that are issue-driven.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

PS: No. I want my stories to hit home with readers. I want to be sensitive to people who are hurting. That’s real life.

CH: Was there a special reason that you decided to write this book?

PS: Yes, I had a conversation with a young woman who asked why do all my characters have to be well-off, especially the men. She asked, “What about the plain everyday guy?” First, I chuckled, because I thought some of my characters were down to earth heroes. Also, I entered the industry at a time when Arabesque/BET had the market cornered for Black romances. One requirement to write for them was the hero had to be almost wealthy to create the fantasy escape for their readers. Although, I never wrote for them, I followed their lead.

CH:  Did you have to do any special research to write this book?

PS: Always, sometimes the research will create scenes in the story that I might not have ever thought about before. Digging deeper is part of my personality to a fault sometimes. I got it honestly with a degree in broadcast journalism. I call them field trips when I have to go interview someone or go on location. I did so much research for The Acquittal that took place in Ghana, Africa that I felt I lived there.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your Christian romance writing style?

PS: I would like to think as Christian authors, there would be more similarity than differences between us. That’s not always the case. I don’t have sex scenes, use profanity, and have a woman or child violated. I believe in using scriptures rather than paraphrasing a quote. If people don’t read their Bibles, and my work is their only exposure to scriptures, it’s important for me to be accurate and list the references where they can go and study for themselves. I also like my Christian characters to be consistent. In other words, my writing mission statement is Jude 1:24. God can keep anyone from falling into sin. He gives us warning signs. There are Christians who are sincere with their walk with Christ and those are the type of people I like to feature in my stories.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest character to write?

PS: My favorite is Grandma BB who is a hoot in my Guilty series/Jamieson Legacy. The woman writes her own scenes. I wouldn’t say some characters are hard to write, rather my focus is on convincing the reader that a dislikeable character can be redeemed and are worthy of a second chance. I liked Karyn Wallace in Crowning Glory (My favorite book). I have to be true to their past, but show their baby steps to salvation: Jet (Restore My Soul series); Landon Thomas (Redeeming Heart); Michael Bishop (The Keepsake)

CH: What inspired you to write an inspiration book for others to read?  

PS: I thought, emphasis on ‘thought,’ it was because I wanted a clean and inspirational romance to read free of sex/profanity/infidelity. But God had other plans after a couple of years into my writing. The Lord Jesus let me know I had a writing ministry to help hurting people by giving Him the glory.

CH: As a Christian writer, is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

PS: Absolutely, Jude 1:24: Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy… 

CH: How long does it take you to write one of your books?

PS: From outline to release, a novel takes about four months and for a novella, six weeks to two months.

CH: You’ve been writing for ten years and you have published over thirty books. Can you tell us a little about your writing journey?

PS: I’m so happy to share the testimony about my first book deal. Guilty of Love was actually the third novel I wrote, but the first one that was published. The amazing thing is I didn’t want to write the story because of the subject matter: abortion. After I gave it some thought, I realized that I could write ten novels and none of them would be successful until I wrote the one God told me to. Let me tell you what Jesus did. That book broke sales records for the imprint that year. It also established my writing career. The Guilty series now called the Jamieson Legacy will probably go to twelve books. Look at Jesus. What would have happened if I didn’t say, yes Lord?

Prior to starting that book, I became interested in my family’s genealogy. I decided to incorporate some of my family names for characters in the stories in hopes of tracking now distant relatives who might pick up the book and recognize names.

I chose Charlotte for my main character’s mother. Charlotte was my maternal grandmother and my maternal great-great grandmother. Then on to the last name. I needed something that had a distinguished ring. Somehow Jamiesons stuck, thus creating Parke K. Jamieson VI. He and his brothers became the strong, successful and confident black men who were the tenth generation descendants of a royal African tribe.

Okay, back to my family history. My maternal grandmother’s last name was Wilkerson. I located Charlotte Wilkerson along with her two sons: William (my great-grandfather b. 1866) and his brother Samuel (b. 1868), on the 1880 census. I hit a wall when I went back to the 1870 census. I couldn’t locate them. I turned to other genealogy enthusiasts to help in the hunt for Charlotte Wilkerson and her two sons who would have been four and two. It’s amazing how savvy some of these sleuths are. A few days later, they came back with information that made me hold my breath.

It appears that Charlotte’s last name was actually Jamieson. Eerie, huh?  I had no idea I was giving my character the exact FIRST and LAST name of an ancestor.

Since 1870, was the first year blacks were counted as free, I searched the 1860 slaveholders’ schedule. Sure enough, Robert Jamieson was the slaveholder over my great-great-grandmother. In his household, there was a guest and teacher in the academy, John Wilkerson (my white great-grandfather).  The Guilty series renamed the Jamieson Legacy has captivated black and white readers alike with its positive strong black family and historical facts that are weaved into contemporary storylines. Currently, the series is eight books strong with plans for four more to complete the series.

Throughout my publishing career, I have learned that I work for the Lord, and any recognition is God’s.

CH: Can you tell my audience about some of your series?

PS: Restore My Soul Series: Wounded spirits, troubled pasts, and a God who can restore souls for His glory. (John 8:36) “He who the Son sets free, is free indeed.” Karyn Wallace has issues with forgiving herself. Jet Hutchens refuses to forgive others. And the man of God who stands between them, Minister Rossi Tolliver, knows the power of prayer and deliverance.

Love at the Crossroads Series: When relationships are tested, love covers a multitude of faults and conquers all for Candace Clark, who has to start over after the death of her husband. She will learn faith and fear aren’t friends; Solae Wyatt’s inability to have children has been a deal breaker when it comes to relationships. Will Hershel Kavnaugh let her walk away?; Next, it’s going to take Desi’ forgiveness, and Michael’s repentance, and redemption to give their marriage a second chance after infidelity; In hindsight, unwed mother Halcyone Holland admits that God didn’t handpick the father of her children. Yet, that doesn’t stop God from sending her the man who has been standing on the sidelines for a long time; Finally, Monica thought she knew what she wanted in a man until she suffers health challenges, then God sends her what she needs most, a praying man.

The Andersen Brothers Series: There is nothing sexier than a man who loves God and family. Christian kicks off the holiday series by showing how he celebrates Christ’s birth, resurrection, and the biggest of all, Father’s Day to a single mother; It takes a pure heart to capture God’s attention, and David is looking for that one woman who can pull at his heartstrings; Nathan finds a kindred spirit in Noelle who has a heart for the helpless, hungry, and homeless. Together they try to make a difference during Christmas.

The Jamieson Legacy Series: If you love history? You won’t be disappointed as American Black history and genealogy are weaved into the romances. The series tackles cultural issues with godly intervention, whether it’s abortion, single parenting, or our angry youth. The Jamieson men are tenth and eleventh generation descendants of a royal African tribe. They carry strength and determination in their DNA when it comes to family ties. The only ones who can penetrate their armor are strong-willed women that God puts in their paths.

The Carmen Sister Series: Sisters who pray together, stay together, and Stacy, Shari, Shae, and Sabrece (Brecee) hold one another accountable when it comes to dating God’s way. Shae has to choose between her career and true love; Shari has to believe God when He sends her a man with a tormented past; and Brecee has to be convinced of a match made in heaven when it doesn’t make sense on paper.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of the book?

PS: Great reviews are this being a sweet inspirational romance. I have faithful fans, but I’m always looking for new readers and that’s where reviews come in. In addition to a great back blurb, only a reader can sway another reader to give my book a try.

CH: Most reader/fans can hardly wait. So, what is your next writing project?

PS: I’m working on book one of a new series called THE CAREGIVERS. I’m still tweaking the title, so amazingly, I don’t have one to share, yet. Also, I’m not sure if this story will be a novella (35,000 words), or a novel (65,000 words). The most important thing about this story is that I get God’s message out.

CH: How to Find Pat Simmons:

CH:  Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

PS: There may be some of my older titles in book stores, but all are sold online and some are available in libraries.

CH: Any closing remarks?

PS: Cheryl, Thank you for the invitation to share my story, and God bless you.

CH: Thank you so much, Pat Simmons, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Pat Simmons and Cheryl Holloway..

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

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Seven Sentence Sunday with Cheryl Holloway

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Seven Sentence SundayOnce Upon a Time

Most of my readers enjoy Seven Sentence Sunday and often request the short stories. This year is no different.

I write a short story using only seven sentences. I also use this as a writing exercise in the writing workshops that I present. Last night, as the TV was watching me write, I was inspired to write these stories. Of course, they are inspired by true incidents on the news. 

 

Title: I Told You So…

She had been physically abused by her husband for over ten years and she just couldn’t take it any longer.

He always showered her with gifts of love and apologized for hurting her.

She had prayed and prayed that God would intervene, but she finally had to call the police and file charges against him.

He came to court in his work uniform and always convinced the judges to let him go on some technicality.

She had taken enough and decided to get a restraining order.

She quickly and happily moved to safer quarters.

A week later, the police found her dead and next to her body was a note from her husband—the minister.

The End

 

Title: The Ball                    

The children were so happy, Santa had bought them a ball for Christmas.

It had snowed, but now in January the snow was melting and the weather was much warmer.

The boys begged their mother to go outside and play with their new ball in the yard.

She finally agreed after she had explained that they had to be safe and not let the ball roll into the street.

She carefully watched the children play from the front door and smiled as they enjoyed throwing the ball to each other.

The mother turned and ran into the kitchen for a split second to check on the dinner, when she heard a car’s tires screech.

Her sons ran into the house, and the older boy said, “Mom, we didn’t go after our ball in the street like you told us and the nice man stopped his car and got our ball for us!”

The End

Short Stories_2

Thanks for reading these stories. Please give me some feedback and tell me if you like them or what you think about the topic.

Have a Great Writing Day!

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

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Cheryl Holloway’s Personal Writing Thoughts for the New Year

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Cheryl Holloway’s Personal Writing Thoughts for the New Year

Some of my fans and readers are on the One Year Book Plan. If you are you are, you should have written 8 pages or 2,000 words. Yay!

Some of my fans and readers are on the Write When You Can Plan, who tend to write most on weekends.

My thoughts are this, “I don’t care when or how much you write, as long as you write and you recognize that ‘Writers write.’”

Cheryl Holloway’s Personal Writing Thoughts

I firmly believe in My 3 P’s of Writing—passion, persistence, and practice. Here are my definitions:

Passion is a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.

Persistence is firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

Practice is repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.

 

Writing can be a lonely situation.

 

My downfall of writing is that I am alone most of the time, but at least I’m in good company. Since I am an introvert, it doesn’t really matter to me. When I come up for air, I visit with my writer friends, family and others. I have a sign in my office that reads: I live in my own little world, but it’s okay…they know me here!

When all else fails…I am still a Writer!

 

 

Cheryl Holloway’s Best Writing Tip and Best Writing Advice…Ever!

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Cheryl Holloway’s Best Writing Tip Ever!

If you write 1 page a day (approximately 250 words) for one year, you will have more than enough pages (365) and words (91,250) for a book.

How many days will you spend writing in 2017?

Cheryl Holloway’s Best Writing Advice Ever!

There are 525,600 minutes in a year. If you write 60 minutes (1 hour) a day for 365 days, you will have written for 21,900 minutes

How many minutes will you spend writing in 2017?

My 2017 Wish for You “is you will find the time to write the book you were meant to write during 2017. You can go from being a writer to being an author.

You can make 2017 your best writing year, EVER!”

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Cheryl Holloway Suggests A 2016 Year-End Review of Your Writing

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Hi Creative Writers Everywhere,

The year is almost over and soon we will be thinking about New Year’s Resolutions and Writing Goals for 2017

Hey, Not so fast, I challenge you to do a 2016 year-end review of your writing and tell us about it?

I mean…Think about it… what great writing success did you have in 2016?

What went well for your writing in 2016? Did you do any great writing?

Made the Best Seller List…Sold 5,000 copies of your book…Started a Blog…Got a Contract…Got an Agent…Self-Published your Book

Let’s share it on my blog!

So, here’s how I review my year (the short version).

What went well for my writing in 2016:

I published two books: A Sisterhood of Women Living Life and The Proposal: A Leap of Faith.

Two of my books were considered for awards: Cougar Tales: Jamaican Love and A Sisterhood of Women Living Life.

I was chosen as an Author to Watch by Best Indie Book Awards.

I sold lots of books on Amazon.com.

I already started writing books for 2017!

My Advice to New Writers (Pay it Forward to others)

Write. Write. Read. Write. (Remember: This is the key to being successful.)

Learn your craft—take writing classes and workshops. (Remember: Before you can make it big, you have to learn the ropes.)

Get a website—it is your bill board to the world. (Remember: Readers have to be able to find you.)

Use professionals—editor, graphics designer, and formatter. (Remember: You have to look good to your readers.)

Pay it forward to another author/any author. (Remember: You have to share with others.)

My Writing Goals for 2017

Create/Recreate my Action Plan for my writing

Publish my book, The Lady in The Trunk.

Publish a full-length romance novel.

Take James Patterson’s Writing Workshop

Social Media Plan-Increase the number of subscribers on my blog, CherylHolloway.net/blog.

Continue writing more novels and short stories.

This is Important. So, here’s what I want you to do:

Today, I want you to take some time to think about what went well this year for your writing. Then, I want you to think about what advice you can give to other writers. And finally, I want you to think about what your big plans are for 2017.

There are 525,600 minutes in a year. How many minutes will you spend writing in 2017? My 2017 Wish for You “is you will find the time to write the book you were meant to write during 2017. And you can make 2017 your best writing year, EVER!”

Even better? I want you to tell my blog fans and readers.
I want you to leave a comment on this blog post. Write the comment like this:

Hi, My Name is __________________.

My website is __________________________________ (a little free publicity for you)

  1. My writing and What Went Well in 2016: [Insert What Went Well]
  2. My Advice for a New Writer: [Insert any advice, tips, books, etc.]
  3. My Writing for 2017: [Insert any goals, great events, New Books, etc.]   Go leave the comment now.
    Thanks for Participating.

Cheryl Holloway Explains How to Go from Writer to Author

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How to go from Writer to Author and from Dream to Reality!

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Question: Have you ever wanted to write a book?

Fact: 82% of Americans say they want to write a book, but only 2% actually write one!

The Truth: Most people believe they have a book in them just waiting to emerge; however, they fail to ever write it. They only dream of writing a book. For most people, that dream never becomes a reality and a written word never reaches the page.

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Getting Started: What people don’t realize is getting started is easier than you think. And…I can show you how.

Fact: I know how good writing makes me feel, and I do believe that most people will benefit from writing their book…and seeing a completed product.

Learn how you can go from Writer to Author and from Dream to Reality!

I can show the writer how to produce written pages and how to begin book building.

Email me for the Accountability Writing Coach Survey, Is Accountability Coaching What You Need?

Remember: I offer Accountability Writing Programs for every level of writer and every budget.

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If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of writing the book you’ve always dreamed about, then you need to contact me and find out the secret that I have for getting started today and…completing your book in the near future!

Learn how you can go from Writer to Author and from Dream to Reality!

Email me for the Accountability Writing Coach Survey, Is Accountability Coaching What You Need?

Remember: I offer Accountability Writing Programs for every level of writer and every budget.

With the Program, You Receive:

  • 3 Easily Doable Tips That Keep You Accountable and Writing
  • 7 Steps to Stay Motivated, Encouraged, Accountable and Writing
  • 7 Important Tools Every Writer Should Have
  • An Accountability Writing Plan
  • Feedback from An Experienced Writer
  • Monitoring and Evaluating of the Writing Process

With the Program, You Find out:

  • The benefits of an accountability writing coaching.
  • What are the S.M.A.R.T. Goals
  • What are the W.O.W. Goals

 My Guarantee: If you follow my advice, I will help procrastinating writers to become debut authors.

nowisthetime

 

“I offer my clients insight and expertise. Accountability is Action.”                  ~Cheryl Holloway

 

 

 

If you want to take the next step to begin an accountability writing program, and get a FREE Consultation, then contact:

Cheryl Holloway                                                         Email: AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com

Toll-Free: 1-877-WRITE18

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Cheryl Holloway is Featured on GeeLovestoWrite Blog

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TUESDAY TALENT      gee

geelovestowrite presents Cheryl Holloway, an Accountability Writing Coach…

Link: https://geelovestowrite.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/tuesday-talent-9/

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Become a Subscriber_meme

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Overcoming Procrastination and…Becoming A Writer

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How many of you are Aspiring Writers? 

Now, I’m going to give you the definition of an aspiring writer.

Aspiring writers are the people who sit watching their favorite show on TV or those who spend eight hours on facebook, all the while saying, “One day, I want to write that novel!”

Now, how many of you, who are aspiring writers, have written a novel?

None

Why? Because Aspiring Writers are Procrastinators

Procrastination 1

Why do so many people procrastinate when it comes to writing?

The #1 reason is that most aspiring writers make excuses for not writing.  Such as, I don’t have enough time. I work. I can only write on weekends.

The #2 reason is they don’t make a plan to implement their writing and act on it. Such as, I don’t have enough time to start writing today. I will start writing my book next year. I don’t really need a plan to write.

The #3 reason is that they have poor time management skills. Such as, I will start writing tomorrow, because I have to watch the basketball game today.

Procrastination 2

Remember: If it can be done tomorrow, it can be done today.

Procrastination leads to feelings of anxiety and stress, fatigue, and disappointment from falling below your own standards and having to put your life on hold for extremely long periods of time.

Procrastination can be hard on you and actually increase your chances of failing, but so many aspiring writers do it anyway.

So, what can you do to overcome your tendencies to procrastinate?

Five Simple Steps

Step One: Awareness– You must understand the reasons why you procrastinate. Most people can’t come up with an effective solution, if they don’t really understand the root of the problem. As with most problems, awareness and self-knowledge are the keys to figuring out how to change. In your case, how to stop procrastinating when it comes to writing.

Step Two: Commitment- You start simply by committing to write. Period. Say to yourself, “I am a writer.” Then, complete a small task, any task, and write it down. Finish it and reward yourself. It’s just that simple. Focus on starting your writing project, rather than finishing it. People who write down their task tend to finish them. Make a “to do” list and when you finish something on the list, check it off or X it out. You will feel so much better.

Step Three: Motivation- In order to overcome procrastination, it’s critical that you stay motivated to be productive. Tell your best friend that you want to write a book and you need her to call you once a week and check on you and your progress.

Step Four: Set Goals– You must make reasonable and doable goals. You must be realistic when making goals. Achieving goals and changing habits takes time and effort (usually 21 days); don’t sabotage yourself by having unrealistic expectations that you cannot reasonably meet.  Such as, I’m going to write the first ten chapters this week. You need to take action and ten chapters will only frustrate you. It’s not the thought that counts — it’s the action. You must take action to make your goals and dreams a reality.

Step Five: Time Management- In order to overcome procrastination, some time management techniques and tools will help. Break big tasks into smaller tasks. Instead of having one giant task, break it down to four smaller tasks. Instead of saying, “I’m going to write for four hours today.”  Say, “I’m going to write for one hour today. When I accomplish that, then maybe I’ll write an additional 15 minutes.”

The truth is you are not procrastinating, but you are deciding not to write.  Ultimately, you make time for the things you want to do.

Procrastination 3

Just a thought…Writers Write.

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I Pay-it-Forward to Authors 365 Days a Year.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Seven Sentence Sunday with Cheryl Holloway

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Seven Sentence SundayOnce Upon a Time

Most of my readers enjoy Seven Sentence Sunday and often request the short stories.

I write a short story using only seven sentences. I also use this as a writing exercise in the writing workshops that I present. Today, when I went to church, the Pastor said something that triggered the following seven sentence story.

Title: Great-Grandmother’s Friends

There was a great-grandmother, who was getting up in age—97 years old—she always enjoyed telling stories to her great-grandchildren and the young children in Sunday school.

She often told stories of her youth, which the children enjoyed tremendously.

They were stories about her life and the various things that she had done long ago when she was a small child.

This Sunday’s story was about the ice cream socials after church and how the mothers of the church had several small ice cream makers and let the little kids hand-crank the ice cream, which was ready to eat almost immediately.

Her favorite flavor had been peach, while her best friend’s favorite flavor was vanilla, but her friend had died years ago and so had most of the old lady’s friends.

Her great-grandson thought about it and asked her where were all of her friends, now.

The old lady thought for a moment, and chortled, “They are all in heaven and they probably think I’m not coming to join them.”

The End

Short Stories_2

Thanks for reading the story. Please give me some feedback and tell me if you like it or what you think about the topic.

Have a Great Writing Day!

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 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Seven Sentence Sunday with Cheryl Holloway

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Once Upon a Time

Most of my readers enjoy Seven Sentence Sunday and often request the short stories.

I write a short story using only seven sentences. I also use this as a writing exercise in the writing workshops that I present. I woke up this morning with this story on my mind. Of course, it is inspired by a true incident. 

Title: Cancer, Church and Faith—What Do They Have in Common?

A few years ago my friend had breast cancer and she had the Chemo and the radiation treatments, but what’s most important is that she is a “Cancer Survivor.”

She believes in God and attends church on a regular basis, probably more often than myself.

We have celebrated her success with pink ribbons everywhere and been on many of the Cancer Walks together.

A couple of weeks ago, she told me that she has cancer…a second time.

We cried and prayed together and discussed how she would defeat the Big C, once again.

Then, she hit me with the news…she still believes in God, but she no longer attends church, because her faith has waned.

I told her that now is the time for her to have more faith than ever before, because With God All Things Are Possible!

The End

Short Stories_2

Thanks for reading the story. Please give me some feedback and tell me if you like it or what you think about the topic.

Have a Great Writing Day!

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Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Would I Still Write, If…

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Would I still write, if I never got paid?

My answer is “Yes! I love writing and I write every single day. Why? Because writers write.”

If you honestly believed that you would write, if you never got paid, then you obviously have a passion, a talent, or a need to write. So, you must discipline yourself to write every day. Preferably at the same time each day and for the same amount of time daily.

If writing brings you happiness, go for it. You will find a way to pursue your happiness and you might even make a few dollars along the way.  I’ve been writing all of my life.

I acquired a love for books and writing at an early age. My mother bought me little Golden Books once a week when I was three years old.  These books were to keep me occupied while my mother was pre-occupied with my new brother. Since I could read, I started writing and drawing my own little books. So, the rest is history.

Then at fifteen years old, I won my first Writing Competition. I wrote the winning essay on Crime Prevention for a statewide contest in Indiana. (I still have the trophy.)

 Writing Trophy

During high school and college, I was on the Newspaper and Newsletter staff. After college, I started writing for the Government as a Technical Writer and later became a Writer/Editor. So, I can proudly say that I have been a writer all of my life.

I wrote for Military magazines and was also Managing Editor—Road and Recreation; Flying Safety; Nuclear Surety; and the Proceedings Magazine, the oldest Military magazine in history.

For years, I had a business writing resumes for clients. I also freelanced as a writer for many magazines and newspapers from coast-to-coast. I even dabbled in writing poetry from time-to-time. And I landed a prestige Intern job working at the Smithsonian Press.

Now, as a retired Writer/Editor, I teach writing workshops and lead writing retreats. But most of all I write books for myself and my readers. So, the ultimate writing decision for me now—I write a blog—about writing and books.  My two favorite things.

So, as you can see, I have had my fair share of writing throughout the years. I am not rich or famous, but I can honestly say that I love writing and I had a good writing career as a professional Writer/Editor.

So, would I still write, if I never got paid?

Yes, do what you love and the money will come.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Guest Author Interview – Michael D. Beckford

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Title: Little Black Bird: The Slaughter (Volume 2) and Little Black Bird: The Decision (Volume 3)

Genre: African American

Synopsis: A little black boy is dead. A white police officer shot him. Was he correct in shooting Junior Green or was it murder? Sheila Green is living every black mother’s nightmare. Her eight-year-old son was murdered and the police officer has not been charged. Can the D.A. and the police be trusted to investigate and do the right thing? Should Sheila Green and her husband Rocky Green take advantage of the public outcry and join alongside the angry protesters who are out for revenge? Junior’s death was only the beginning, as scores of other black males fall victim to the police. Should Rocky Green retaliate against the slaughter of black males in America? Or will he and Sheila enact forgiveness during the most heart-wrenching time of their lives?

Micheal Beckford

Michael D. Beckford, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Michael D. Beckford, an Urban and Christian Fiction author. Welcome to my blog Michael.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

MDB: Little Black Bird: The Slaughter (Volume 2) is about the killing of a black boy by a white policeman. Little Black Bird: The Decision (Volume 3) is about changing the framework for justice. Rocky and Sheila Green are still mourning from the loss of their son, Junior. So they decide to take their case all the way to Congress.

CH: When you start a new story, do you have a title for it? Or does the story trigger the title?

MDB: I am normally gifted the titles by the author of this universe before I write one page. I am actually appreciative of this process because when I receive a title, it sets the theme of the story. Then, it’s just a matter of me outlining the beginning, middle and end.

CH: Black Lives Matter is currently trending. So, when you are coming up with a new idea for a book, do you look at the market for trends?

MDB: In retrospect, the answer is no. Why? Because at the core of my being, I am an activist and I strive to stay true to my work no matter how few or well my books sell. I have had many individuals tell me what I can write that would make me a lot of money. I don’t write for prosperity and I don’t write for charity, either. I write with the thought in mind that God gave me this gift for a purpose. My goal is to write the best books for His people, which is all of us. Now, I would not state that I’m not influenced by current trends, while writing my books; it would be foolish to not lend an ear to the surrounding world. Yet, to measure your work based on a trend is the sacrificial death of your book. My objective has always been to write literature that last through the test of time.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

MDB: The answer is simple. Many of our people, march till we turn purple, which marching has made a significant impact on change, both during the Civil Rights Era and today. Yet, I believe the true change begins in the halls of Congress—they are the ones that write the laws. They are the ones that can create laws that would make it much harder for police to shoot and kill an unarmed individual without true justice being served.

CH: This is Volume 2 in a series, when you wrote the first book in the series, did you realize it would be a series then?

MDB: Yes, I wrote the first book with the knowledge that it would be a three book series. But just as of recent, I received more inspiration to expand, so this very well is tracking to be a five book series and beyond.

CH: Which book was hardest to write?

MDB: The first book in the series was hardest to write because it’s sort of the origin story. It lays the foundation for everything else to come.

CH: How long have you been writing? How did you start writing?

MDB: I have been writing since I was nine years old, when my mother had me to write in journals every day. That journal about my daily life expanded into poetry and from poetry to one-page creative writing. I published my first book, SpeakUp! Poetry! when I was eighteen years of age.

CH: What genre are you most comfortable writing?

MDB: It’s sort of a blended genre for me which is African American, Urban Christian Fiction and Poetry.

CH: What’s next on the agenda in your writing career?

MDB: Little Black Bird: The Decision (Volume 3) was recently released. I have the fourth book in this series Little Black Bird: Judges and Liars to be released at the end of February 2016. I am releasing my third book in my wildly successful Dying to Be Straight series Dying to Be Straight! Again in March 2016.  I have my poetry book Poetry of My Sins to be released in May 2016, which is not attached to a series. Lol. Then, I have the fourth and final book in the Dying to Be Straight series projected to be released in September of this year. I also have sent off my book Dying to Be Straight! to a movie producer I met at a conference in Miami.

CH: Who is your favorite author? Why?

MDB: My favorite author is God, because I don’t know anyone else that could have written a better book on life. Many people shy away when you speak about God, which is actually not even his name. It’s just an adjective to describe Him, just the same as author is not my name. But many people shy away because they believe you are going to bring a big Bible into a conversation. Hey, just look around and you’ll see the billions of books that God has written because each one of our lives is a story. And let’s be honest with ourselves, how many other authors can you say wrote billions of books without breaking a sweat? So, yes, He is my favorite. I love Him.

CH: Are there any books that influence you as an author?

MDB: Of course, I am influenced by the work of Kimberla Lawson Roby, and I was inspired by the work of Stephanie Perry Moore. I get my foundation from the Bible.

CH: What book are you currently reading?

MDB: The Arrivals by Melissa Marr. It is a sci-fi book. I love sci-fi movies, and everyone that knows me, knows that I am also a movie buff.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

MDB: www.Speakpub.com

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

MDB: This book was released the first week in February and will be sold on speakpub.com, Amazon, Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s nook. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1QgWzC5

CH: Any closing remarks?

MDB: Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to share my dreams and passions with others. I just want to tell all your readers to let the writing speak for itself. Don’t craft your writing for temporary pleasures, write so that your work can be seen as eternal jewels that even the heavens can appreciate. God bless you.

CH: Thank you Michael D. Beckford, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

Celebrate Black History Month

Note: February is the shortest month of the year, so we will post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 Spread the Word

Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Michael D. Beckford.

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Rusty Blackwood

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International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

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Title: Willow’s Walk

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: The Path each person walks is entirely their own. The pitfalls along that path, as well as the way in which they are dealt with are entirely up to the individual. But Willow Sutherland-Crosby walks a far different path, and with her own agenda. Abuse, deception, intrigue, and a never ending quest for happiness and love – will she find these, or will her blind determination be her downfall? This 5-star awarded romantic fiction drama is a gripping new tale, certain to hold readers captive from the very first page. Set in the beautiful city of Ottawa, Canada in 2003, this touching story centers on the life and times of a woman determined to prevail at all costs, regardless of what is set before her, the result of which is certain to leave the reader reeling in its wake.

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Rusty Blackwood, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Rusty Blackwood, a Canadian author. This is Rusty’s second interview on my blog. Welcome back, Rusty.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

RB: I believe what can be derived from Willow’s tumultuous journey is invaluable in helping the reader with their own life choices.

CH: A quote on the back of your book reads, “The path each person walks is entirely their own.” So, what inspired you to write about “Willow’s Walk?”

RB: I very much enjoy writing about topics near and dear to my heart, and although Willow Crosby is not me as such, the idea to borrow assorted aspects of my life in which to create her, the tumultuous path she walks and the story surrounding it, was greatly influenced by my life experiences. I believe a reader can gain enormous insight into their own life by the way in which a story is presented to them, especially if they themselves are contemplating an area whose outcome, should they blindly venture forth, not turn out exactly the way they might hope.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your type of writing?

RB: This is a question that I don’t really have a specific answer for and I don’t think many authors would without sounding full of themselves. However, I would hope my readers enjoy the perspective of what I’m writing about, possibly my tenacity to write it the way I feel and want it to be, and possibly my ability to open my soul in areas one might not expect. I’m an expressive writer, but I don’t believe in writing so intricately that my readers would require the constant need of a dictionary in order to understand the words I’m using, or what I’m trying to express with them. Often times, the more simplified the use of an adjective or verb, the more impact they have when trying to state a point. I don’t enjoy reading a piece that confuses me, or makes me feel inept because I can’t understand it. I don’t wish to imply that a writer who writes this way is doing so with the intent of appearing more knowledgeable than another writer—for that matter the reader—or is trying to appear well above others who may not hold the same level of education.  My writing style has been described as simplistic and smooth, lyrical and genuine, as well as somber and appropriate for the chosen topic, but to me my writing, as well as the style of it, is simply an outlet of expression and emotion, and if I cannot feel what I’m writing about then I may as well put it away and wait for another day.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

RB: All characters have their idiosyncrasies, as well as their own views and personality that the writer gives to them, so in that respect this question is a bit difficult to answer. But if I had to choose, I would say it would be Willow’s second husband, Jonas Crosby. When you create a character, especially for a specific role in a story, it can be difficult to project them in the way you would expect them to be if they actually existed. You put thoughts in their head, make them do the things they do, and you hope that the choices you make will be believable, and politically correct in keeping with the story you’ve put them in. I somewhat answered this previously when you asked whether or not I base my characters on actual people. Jonas, without revealing my inspiration, was in-fact a bit of a stretch because I wanted to present him in a multi-colored light, because he truly is a multi-faceted character who happens to have sharp wit, a spiteful tongue, and whose over-the-top-actions could be taken out of context, depending on the happening of the moment. He can even be calculating and heartless, but without revealing too much, he is justified in what he does. I tried to walk a careful line with him and not let my feelings over-take the character, because he really is someone that the reader will either like, or despise.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

RB: There are a few that were a delight to create and brought me enjoyment to use, but I believe my favorite would be Willow herself. I certainly relate to her in many ways and can totally understand where she’s coming from, why she makes the choices she does, and why she is so adamant to see them through. Experiences in life have made Willow strong, to quite an extent, but they have also made her vulnerable when it comes to the choices she makes. I admire her point of view, as well as her staunch determination to stand her ground and find her way, even when the odds are stacked against her.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

RB: I, basically, draw from my life, the experiences I’ve had, and hopefully have learned from. I’m fortunate to be blessed with a vivid imagination and endless ideas in which to draw from, but I don’t sit down and purposely decide to write a specific topic; instead, I let my thoughts go where they wish, and often times they reveal the next story. I have never been fortunate to physically travel the world, so I do it in my mind, and let my expression do the rest.

CH:  Did you find anything challenging while writing this book?

RB: Unfortunately, yes. At the time I began what eventually became Willow’s Walk I was still writing Passions in Paris and I was also going through some very difficult personal issues, so it was difficult to express anything, let alone stay focused on the creation of a new story. As the years went by, certain issues changed into other issues, and some of these managed to help in the writing and finishing of Willow’s Walk. There were times—many times in fact—that I simply stepped away and totally shelved it, but it always beckoned me back. I believe a story, possibly the characters within a particular story, are what allows a writer to continue with it. I think the characters develop the need to live, and this very often helps to finish a piece that might otherwise stay on the back burner, or totally abandoned.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life?

RB: I draw from my own life experiences, as well as my ideas and needs. I’m a hopeless romantic, I’ve said that many times, but just because I have never managed to find that wondrous bliss for myself doesn’t mean I can’t find it in what I write. I’ve always thought that whatever one writes about should be situations that are not only believable, but something that the reader can actually relate to. Then again, there is a lot to be said about writing about topics that might be considered totally unbelievable. It’s really all in the imagination and mind of both the writer and the reader, but I think if it’s believably written then it will be believably enjoyed.

CH: Take us through your writing process. When you get an idea, do you map out the book beforehand, or do you allow the characters to write their own story?

RB: I’m a character writer first and foremost. I love that part of the entire writing concept. I truly do feel the characters can project the scenario they wish to be immersed into, so I always create them first and then the story. But I will admit to already having an idea of what I’d like to say. I’ll map-out certain areas of a story to help me move along the course I’m hoping to take, make notes to refer to and pull from along the way, but I don’t block out a book. It’s hard to explain, but the method I use seems to work for me, and so I stay with it.

CH: How long does it take you to write one of your books?

RB: That very much depends on what I wish to express. Passions in Paris took ten years—of course that’s from initial inception of character and story idea to a finished novel, and Passions in Paris is a grand scale novel. I was also working full-time during the writing of that novel and could only work on it during evenings and weekends. Willow’s Walk has taken ten years, but as I stated earlier that was due to personal issues throughout the time of writing it. The stories that appear in my children’s short story collection, Through the Eyes of Innocence, where created at an earlier time, and then newly revised in order to create that collection. The same could be said in regard to my poetry collection, Impressions. Both of these collections were previously published under different titles, but because I was not satisfied with the way my work had been handled by the publishing firm I had used, I decided to terminate my contract, revise the work, and republish it through the company I presently use. The Misadventures of Derwood Tugbottom, the comedy short I wrote in 2012, took only a few months to write and produce, so it really depends on the circumstances at the time of writing a piece.

CH: When did you realize that you were meant to be a writer? 

RB: I don’t know if I am meant to be a writer, but I greatly enjoy it, I always have, although it was something I did not set out to do with my life; therefore, I was never professionally trained in the field. But I have always loved to write, and would write whenever the time allowed. It wasn’t until the separation from my husband that I decided to see where my writing could take me. One might even refer to me as an accidental author, but I have never been sorry for making the decision to write and self publish my work. I suppose when you invest time and money into something you also make the choice to see it through, which of course I did, and continue to do, but I greatly enjoy what I do and hope to continue with it for many years to come. If I could change any area of it, I would have loved to become an author at a much younger age; then again, if that were so I wouldn’t have experienced life as I have, nor would I have that experience to draw from now. In that respect a lot can be said for beginning new ventures later in life.

CH: What are some of your aspirations as far as the writing profession?

RB: I would like to see independent authors and writers be given the same respect and chances as those represented by Standard Houses. Unfortunately the reading public has been educated to think that if a book has not been written in the traditional manner, or by an author who is represented by a Standard House, it is not worthy of attention, least of all purchase. This can be witnessed in bookstores everyday; the shelves are lined with books carrying Standard House imprints. They are front and centre; the latest publications stacked at the front of the line and practically forced into the hands of the reading public; yet, a self-published book—if it even gets into the store let alone on a shelf—is totally ignored. It is given not one speck of promotion, nor is the author. Some stores, depending on the manager, have an independently published author and local author area, but it is usually no more than a few spaces, and the books will get no coverage or push. When an author does a signing, it is on consignment, the author provides the stock, does all the signage, all the work, and the store takes forty-five percent of sales—if you manage to get any at all. Some have a set requirement of sales in order to be given another signing, if you’ve not managed any prior success. Yet how can you hope for any measure of success when you get no support? The stores think they are being supportive because they allow an indie author time and a table in their store, usually in areas where you’d have to literally trip customers in order to get their attention. I may sound somewhat jaded, but if I do it’s because I’ve been through this so many times. This kind of treatment needs to stop, or at least improve. If these places were to have a renowned author grace their establishment, they would roll-out the red carpet for them, and if they can do that for them, they can do it for all. There are many talented, superb authors who choose to remain independent, and it is my hope that the choice to remain so, will finally be given the respect it deserves.

CH: As far as accolades or achievements, what would you say has been your greatest writing achievement?

RB: I believe that would be the writing of my 818 page romantic fiction drama Passions in Paris: Revelations of a Lost Diary. To undertake a novel of this scale is not an easy task, nor is it something to be taken lightly. However I don’t intend on ever writing a piece of that page count again, not because I can’t, but because the cost of stock and shipping is too great because of the weight. Looking back, I don’t think it was my intention in writing a piece that lengthy, but I had a lot to say, and the further I went the more I had to say—or the characters had to say and do—so it ended up being what it became. The original manuscript was well over 1,000 pages before edit, and it was hard to let pages be cut, but of course it was necessary, areas were repetitious or simply not needed. It really did feel like cutting your child’s arm off, because a piece you create and build is very much like a child you are nurturing. I realize it’s only another writer who could understand this comparison, but it is true, and hard to explain any other way. I’m extremely proud of Passions in Paris and I am of Willow’s Walk, as well. I’m proud of every book I’ve written, as well as every poem, because they are part of me, my thoughts, and my life.

CH: What authors do you read? And who are some of your favorites?

RB: I seldom get a chance to read as much as I would like, in fact I don’t read at all when I’m writing a piece of my own. I like to remain focused on my own thoughts, words, and experiences, as opposed to the possibility of borrowing from someone else, and though the chance of that happening would be next to nil, by not reading another’s work during the creation of my own removes that possibility entirely. However, in between projects, I do try to read interesting work; the last novel I read was The English Professor by fellow St. Catharine’s author, Gina Iafrate. Wonderful read, and made even more pleasurable by the fact it was written by a local Indie author. I very much enjoyed The Help by Kathryn Stockett, very descriptive writer, and entertaining story. I still enjoy the authors I read during my childhood: Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Canadian author, Lucy Maude Montgomery. I greatly admire Stephen King’s work, for I find his uncanny ability in creating a story that will never leave your mind, an ability that not many writers possess. But in general, I don’t I have a favorite; I simply appreciate expressive writing, and interesting storylines.

CH: Last but not least, why do you write, and what do you want readers to take from your novels?

RB: I write because I love it, I love to create scenarios for my characters that I would like to experience myself, if given the chance. There are times I feel the need to express something that I cannot express verbally, or if I do, it is not wholly expressed in the way it would be if it were in written form. I have often used my writing, especially my poetry, as therapy to help me through troubled times in my life. I, often, pull from life experience when creating a piece, because I, more than anyone, know how I felt at the time it happened, or at the moment of expressing it again, and it can often assist me in coping with or accepting something in my own life, possibly something I am experiencing difficulty with, or something that I would like to experience for the first time. I find an escape through writing, and I would hope that my readers could feel this same way in regard to something that may be happening in their own life. Above all, I would hope my readers find enjoyment through my expression, the topics I write about, the scenes I describe, and the stories I tell.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

RB: You may find my official website at http://www.rusty-blackwood.com and from there you can take direct links to my Twitter and Facebook pages.

CH: Can you tell my audience where is your book sold?

RB: Willow’s Walk is available in paperback and Kindle at all Amazons worldwide, in paperback at Barnes&Nobel.com, and Create Space. The E-PUB version for all reading devices is available at Payhip.com Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1TBylle

CH: Any closing remarks?

RB: I would very much like to take this opportunity to thank you for this interview, Cheryl. Through conducting an in-depth interview such as this one, and displaying it on a well patronized Blog, such as yours, allows an author’s work to gain a larger audience, and better awareness of what is found between the covers of a new title. The boost it gives is invaluable in more ways than you realize, so thank you again.

CH: Thank you Rusty Blackwood, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

Note: February is the shortest month of the year, so we will post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 Spread the Word

Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Rusty Blackwood.

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Cheryl Holloway’s Seven Sentence Sunday

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Most of my readers enjoy Seven Sentence Sunday and have requested it for the New Year.

I write a short story using only seven sentences. I also use this as a writing exercise in the writing workshops that I present. This one, of course, was inspired by New Year’s Resolutions and is based on a true story. 

Title:  A   New Year’s Dream

January 1, 2011, Paige Davenport was an unknown writer, who loved to write about ordinary people and the lives they lived, so success with her book was her New Year’s Dream.

She had written a book—a simple story—about people living their lives in a small town with all of the ups and downs of daily life.

Everyone who had read the book—mostly family and friends— had bestowed many accolades on the book and had wished Paige much success.

She had tried to find an agent and a traditional publisher to no avail; and the rejection letters and forms had started to pile up.

Paige was getting more and more frustrated as time went from days, to months, and finally, to years without having success with her book.

So, after what seemed like an eternity, she decided to self publish her book with Amazon and Create Space.

A couple of years later…the article read, “Local author is overnight success with 46 weeks as #1 on the New York Times Best Selling list and publishers are lined up to give her a contract!”

The End

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Thanks for reading the story. Please give me some feedback and tell me if you like it or what you think about it.

Have a Great Writing Day!

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Note: Photos/clip art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Deidra D. S. Green

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Title: Suddenly Single: So Undeserving

Genre: Saga/Women’s Fiction

Synopsis: Are happily ever after’s only for fairy tales? Bailey Jamison’s life could have been plucked right from the pages of the most romantic story book. She married the love of her life. He loved her without condition. It was like a dream. But what happens when the dream turns into a nightmare? Devastating loss, new life and divisive lines drawn in the sand wreak havoc in Bailey’s life. Can she handle all that is being thrown her way or will Bailey crumble under the pressure? Find out in “Suddenly Single, So Undeserving”.

Deidra Green

Deidra D. S. Green, Author

CH: Today’s guest is the prolific author Deidra D. S. Green, who writes life.  Welcome to my blog, Deidra.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

DDSG: Suddenly Single: So Undeserving is the encapsulation of the story of my life; some fictionalized but mostly fact.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

DDSG: When I was going through what I was going through, so many people said to me they didn’t know how I did it, how I managed it, how I got through it. Some of those same people would suggest that I in some way, convey my story as it may be helpful to someone else. I wrote Suddenly Single because it’s the testimony to my personal test.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

DDSG: My ideas generate from everywhere and absolutely nowhere. Most often, I don’t go looking for ideas.  They generate from things I hear, see, and witness in my everyday life. I certainly do not have a standard formula for plot or story development. I may get a sentence, a title, a concept and it flows from there. I am a panster by nature. I fly by the seat of my pants and don’t do any outlining. The most I do is character development as the characters introduce themselves to me. I truly believe that I am merely the conduit by which these stories are told and I rely quite heavily on the characters to present and my muse to guide them.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your type of writing?

DDSG: I don’t ascribe to traditional directives as to how a book should go. That doesn’t mean I don’t take into account grammar, syntax, etc., but I am not a prescription writer. I don’t believe that every love story has a happy ending. In real life they don’t and I tend to reflect the rawness of relationships in my writing. I also deal with topics that tend to make people uncomfortable (intimate partner violence, mental illness, grief, and dysfunctional relationships, etc.), but I deal with them in such a way that causes one to think and consider.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

DDSG: Suddenly Single was catharsis for me. I have started and stopped the writing of this book multiple times. When I tried to write the story before, I was still very angry and it showed in what I produced. It has taken on many shapes from a how to guide to what eventually ended up being the final product. Finally, after 15 years, Suddenly Single: So Undeserving is the result.

CH: What pitfalls have you run into as an author?

DDSG: I think I have been able to avoid pitfalls because I stay focused on why I write in the first place. I have always used the written word as personal expression. I respect the power of words and have used them to express my emotions, happy, sad or indifferent. So when I decided to publish, I went into it understanding that what I write would not appeal to everyone. I understood I may not be the most popular author and have a huge following. That was and is still okay with me. What I know is that those who read my work, see my passion and if my story impacts one person, then I’ve done what I set out to do. I did my due diligence and continue to research the industry. I developed relationships with people I trust who are in the industry and that has aided in averting many of the problems that may befall others.

CH: When you start a new story, do you have a title for it? Or does the story trigger the title?

DDSG: It can happen either way—title then story or story idea then title. I am not locked in to a particular order of pulling a story together.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life?

DDSG: I have a very vivid imagination… lol… and I tend to balance that with real life situations (not necessarily my own) that make my characters believable.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

DDSG: The hardest character for me to write was Holly from The Twisted Sister Trilogy because of what she experienced. In Suddenly Single I would consider Bailey the most difficult to write because she is me.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

DDSG: Gina has been my favorite character to write so far. She is the lead character in the trilogy Woman at the Top of the Stairs. In Suddenly Single, Reign was my favorite character to write. She is Bailey’s daughter.

CH: Is there an overall message in your book that you want the readers to grasp?

DDSG: No matter what the situation, what the circumstance, know that you were designed to overcome it. The Creator gives the hardest tests to the toughest soldiers. You were not designed to fail.

CH: You write books back-to-back, and seem to be quite successful. What kind of advice do you have for those aspiring to write? If you had to give them a blueprint for success, what would that be?

DDSG: Write what you love to read! Be true to your authentic voice. Don’t follow fads in literature, create your own path. As long as you stay true to the writer you are, success is imminent. If you are an aspiring writer, determine if you are passionate about the writing process. It is a lonely endeavor and everyone is not cut out for the time and dedication it takes to produce good material. Writing is not something you decide you want to do. For real writers, if they don’t write, they don’t live. Research, research, research is the blue print.

CH: How long have you been writing? How did you start writing?

DDSG: I won’t give the cliché answer that I have been writing since I could pick up a pencil. What I would say is that I wrote for me for a long time. My brother spoke life into my gift and told me that I had a story to tell and no one could tell that story but me. That was nearly eight years ago and I have been writing professionally ever since.

CH: Can you tell us a little bit about your publishing journey?

DDSG: It started from my brother’s comment to me. He spoke life into my giftedness and no matter how much I tried to downplay what he said, I couldn’t. I didn’t sleep for nearly two weeks, after he said that to me. There were thoughts and ideas and a flurry of words that kept me from sleeping. I spoke to the universe after 13 nights of sleeplessness and said if I am supposed to write, I need a clear sign. Well, I received that sign. The first book I wrote was a children’s book, My Forever Airplane. It deals with grief from a child’s perspective, but not in a sad way. Once again, this was a book based on real life, much like Suddenly Single and that’s where my journey began. I knew I didn’t want to have someone else dictate to me what I wrote and so when my brother and I launched our own publishing house and we have been producing our books, as well as over 200 authors, since its inception.

CH: Who are some of your writing influences?

DDSG: Stephen King by far is one of my most significant writing influences; not just because he is a NYT (New York Times) bestselling author but because of his work ethics.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

DDSG: Yes, my website address is www.deidrawrites.weebly.com

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

DDSG: You can find Suddenly Single: So Undeserving with Amazon, Kindle Unlimited, eBook and paperback. If one desires an autographed copy they can reach out to me on my website or via Facebook at Deidra Ds Green. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1UPK1PG

CH: Any closing remarks?

DDSG: Cheryl, thank you so much for having me! I certainly appreciate you and your readers!

CH: Thank you Deidra D. S. Green, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

 Spread the Word

Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Deidra D. S. Green.

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net