Interview of Keli Lenfield

Hi there:

Welcome to the second installment of my author interview series. Today, I have Keli Lenfield with me, author of “Everyone Is A Supermodel: Secrets For Any Career Based On My Modelling Experiences.

Keli Lenfield

In addition to being an author, Keli Lenfield is a collaborator and the founder of www.kelilenfield.com.  As a published author, course developer, internationally accredited achievement coach, and workshop facilitator, she focuses on raising awareness, improving intercultural understanding, and helping others find their talents and achieve their successful careers.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Born to an Estonian father and a Danish mother, I grew up in Canberra, Australia. I began dancing when I was 3 and made it to the Australian youth ballet when I was 12. When I became too tall for the Australian ballet, I started modelling. By the time I was 17 I was doing more catwalk shows than study, so I completed my IB at college and went on to study in Paris at the Sorbonne University. Modelling again became part of my life and I ended up walking on the international circuit until bulemia took hold and I was back in Canberra on suicide watch. A number of abusive relationships followed until I had my son and chose to be a single mother. This is when I began to write.

So, what have you written?

I have written a Certificate II course aimed for national accreditation here in Australia as well as my first book “Everyone is a Supermodel. Secrets for any career based on my modelling experiences.”

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I was 36, a single mother, in serious debt and back home with my parents. I needed to start something that could keep me at home with him and help people at the same time. So I started on an intense personal development journey, used my background in vocational education and began writing down my last 20 years’ experience in the most competitive industry on the planet!

Where do the your ideas come from?

Lately, my ideas have been extension of my book and how personal branding is essential to differentiate yourself. I also get my ideas from situations that annoy me and go against my social entrepreneur side that sees greed and industry treating people badly – especially in the modelling industry. I am researching my next book about social sustainability which is a whole other interview 🙂

Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?

As part of my writing practise I joined sourcebottle.com and answered an ad for some articles about body image and health. The enquirer was Nicole Russin-McFarland from New York and the articles were for her magazine The Comeback UK. She liked my articles and posted them. We stayed in touch and about 18 months later Nicole contacted me and asked what was happening with my then shelved book? We negotiated terms, she edited my book and has been my publisher and publicist ever since. She is remarkable, creative, tireless, focused, generous, dynamic, sassy and very clever!

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

I have learned that any review good or bad is great for exposure and growth. Like any type of feedback you have to put it in perspective and use your power of choice to either take it on or ignore it.

What is your favorite positive saying?

My tagline – “Be the Difference to make a Difference.”

Any tips on what to do and what not to do?

Really dig deep and discover why you want to do something, even if you don’t know what you want. Be brave and stay true to yourself and express your own voice in whatever form. Don’t take negative feedback too personally. Listening to someone who hasn’t done what you have done is a complete waste of your time and your energy.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Everything about me is available for view and contact at www.kelilenfield.com

Thanks to Keli Lenfield for agreeing to an author interview and giving us some insight into her important work.  I hope that you enjoyed it.

Peace.

Interview of Ken Williams

Hi there:

Today, I have the pleasure of bringing you the interview of Ken Williams, a Santa Barbara author who writes books about the homeless. His latest book, “Fractured Angel,” deals with the homeless in California.

Ken Williams

Tell us a little about yourself and your background

I was a social worker for the homeless in Santa Barbara, California for thirty years. My main clientele were the mentally ill, the physically disabled, those impacted by drugs and alcohols, families and veterans. I now write full time.

Which writers inspire you?

I was greatly impacted by John Steinbeck. Also, the author of: I NEVER PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN. I read this novel after being medivaced to the hospital ship, USS REPOSE in 1969 during the Vietnam War. This novel of a teenager suffering her first psychotic break helped me see beyond the horrors of that hospital ship and the war, and launched my life-long desire to work with the mentally ill. The book changed my life by giving it direction. It also taught me the incredible power of the novel to influence the individual. Later, I would come to appreciate the novel’s ability to move society. President Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying to Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of UNCLE TOM’S CABIN: “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”

So, what have you written?

CHINA WHITE: During the Vietnam War, a CIA field agent becomes addicted to the adrenaline rush of combat. Now, thirty years later, this need for the rush collides with his attempt to resurrect the old pipelines for China White from the Golden Triangle. This interplay forces two men who were enemies during the war-an ex-Marine and an ex-North Vietnamese soldier-to work together when this highly potent form of heroin brings death and destruction to their community.

SHATTERED DREAMS, A STORY OF THE STREETS: Shattered Dreams is a memorable story about the pain, fears, hopes, and dreams of the homeless and those who commit their lives to serving them. It portrays the human side of the mentally ill who find the streets their home.

THERE MUST BE HONOR: In one of the world’s most beautiful places, amid swaying palms and ocean breezes, Ken Williams battles death and hopelessness. In There Must Be Honor, Ken traces a journey behind the golden façade of Santa Barbara’s scenery and into the panting heart of its streets.

FRACTURED ANGEL, How would you go about trying to help your daughter who, suffering her first psychotic break at fifteen, is chased by her wounded mind to the streets of Santa Barbara? FRACTURED ANGEL is my newest novel.

I’ve written several other unpublished novels, screenplays, short stories and poems. All my published books can be bought on amazon.com, kenwilliams-writer.com and other outlets. To see my blog, stories and poems, please visit my website.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Kerry Wilson is a Marine combat veteran who is haunted by the war. He has not only dedicated his life in helping the mentally ill homeless but finds refuge in that work. When Lynne Swanson arrives in Santa Barbara to look for her mentally ill homeless daughter, it sets into motion a series of events that forces Kerry to realize just how much he has hidden his pain and loneliness in his work.

What are you working on at the moment?

GAIA’S REVOLT takes place a few years in the future. Global Warming has let to constant war for energy resources while frying the planet. The economy of the United States and the world have been severely impacted leading to ever increasing polarization between the rich and the have-nots, widespread homelessness, poverty and an increasingly belligerent corporate elite. Devastating extreme weather events hammers the planet. In this background regular people struggle as they always have to work, provide food and shelter to themselves, families and people they care about.

When did you decide to become a writer?

A Hollywood scriptwriter attended a lecture I was giving. He came up to me and said that the stories I used to illustrate my talk would make a great script. I wrote several scripts then started writing novels. I also write articles, poems, and opinion pieces for various news outlets.

Why do you write?

A really good question! For several years, I’ve kept journals. I began journal writing when I realized that I was beginning to forget the particulars of my homeless clients who have died. During the AIDS and crack epidemics I was losing three to four clients/friends a month. Writing about them, their circumstances, who they were was like a pressure cooker being released. Since then, a friend of mine has inscribed the names of my homeless clients/friends who have died in Santa Barbara on a wall in his house. Over three hundred names are on that wall! Their memories give me inspiration to write. Their stories, even though fictionalized deserve to be heard.  Authors, artists and those with a caring heart must address this national disgrace. The political establishment will never come to grips with this issue unless we force them to. Much as the GRAPES OF WRAITH, THE JUNGLE and UNCLE TOM’S CABIN forced society to face the issues of their day, I hope my novels can likewise play such a role.

Many thanks to Ken Williams for agreeing to be interviewed and talking about this very important topic.  For more information about him and his books, visit http://www.kenwilliams-writer.com/

I hope you enjoyed this first installment of my new author interview series.  There will be more to follow.

Peace.

 

Learn Things Online at Udemy

Hi there:

I don’t know about you, but ever since I started my own law firm and indie publishing company, I’ve struggled with learning how to do everything from managing my company’s books to how to market my businesses and my romantic suspense novels. You see, prior to starting my own businesses, I worked for a big company where marketing, accounting and the like were handled by people in other departments.  We even had a department that put together Powerpoint presentations for us.   Now that I’m a one stop shop, I get to do it all.

I’m probably a little late to the party, but I just discovered a whole new resource to help me with this learning curve:  Udemy.  Before last week, I had no idea there was one place I could go to learn how to do Excel spreadsheets, make effective Powerpoint presentations, market my Kindle books, and do yoga.  I could even learn how to twerk dance with the best of them if I were so inclined.  I was surprised to see courses on everything from languages to voice lessons, to business and social media marketing on Udemy’s website.

I have good news for you.  Udemy is offering a huge sale through Monday, January 11, 2016, at midnight.  To take advantage of the sale, click the banner below.* (affiliate link banner)

January Sale 300x250

In the past week, I’ve taken courses on meditation, Facebook marketing, and Bing advertising.  The courses were excellent and I learned a ton of valuable information.  I took advantage of the sale and signed up for courses on everything I need to make 2016 an amazing year, including Excel, Powerpoint, video making, Quickbooks, social media marketing, Kindle marketing, etc.  You should too by clicking the banner above.

Here’s to getting the tools we need to make 2016 the best year ever.

Peace

 

*This website uses affiliate links and banners.  If you click on them and buy something, I will earn a commission.  You should know that I only promote products and services I believe in and have probably sampled myself.

Cover Reveal: The Monrovian Affair by L.J. Taylor

Hi there:

You may know me as a romantic suspense author, but did you know that I also write flat out suspense?  My next book, “The Monrovian Affair”  – an exciting suspense novel set in Liberia and New York – will be released in March, 2016. I will also put it up on pre-order soon.

The Monrovian Affair

What if the person you married neglected to mention he was a member of a notorious family of Liberian arms dealers?

Sonia Johnson, native New Yorker, attorney, and daughter of a U.S. Senator, never expected to find herself a virtual prisoner in Liberia, but her husband – the country’s new president by way of coup d’etat – won’t let her take their son back to the States. The only way for her to protect him from her husband’s enemies is to spy on her new family for the C.I.A. If she gets caught, her son will grow up without a mother – if he grows up at all.

Keep an eye out for the pre-order and sign up for my newsletter.  Those who pre-order the Monrovian Affair will get it at a special pre-order price.

Peace

I Entered My Novel “Dreams Deferred” in RWA’s RITA Contest

Hi there:

So, I did something wild and crazy.  I entered the second novel in my romantic suspense series “Dreams Deferred” into the Romance Writers of America RITA competition.

The purpose of the RITA award is to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas. The award itself is a golden statuette named after RWA’s first president, Rita Clay Estrada, and has become the symbol for excellence in published romance fiction.

Up to 2,000 romance novels are entered in the competition each year. A novel may be entered either by the author or by the book’s publisher in one of the contest categories. After the first round of judging by published romance authors, entries that meet the qualifications to become a finalist then advance to the final round.

Once RWA announces the finalists, a final round of judges evaluates and scores these novels to determine the RITA Award winners. The RITA Award winners are announced at the Awards Ceremony at the RWA Annual Conference.

Winning the award is a long shot for me since my books tend to be heavier on the suspense than the romance, but you know what they say:  “You’ve got to be in it to win it.”

Wish me luck.

P.S. You can get your copy of “Dreams Deferred” here.

Release Day for Dreams Deferred!

Hi There:

I’m excited to tell you that today is release day for my new novel – “Dreams Deferred” – Book 2 of the Brooks Sisters Dreams Series.  You can get it on Amazon here or from your other favorite retailer by clicking on the “Dreams Deferred” book cover here.

“Dreams Deferred” is the story of Ivy Brooks – Kathy Brooks’ wild baby sister:

Ivy Brooks was always attracted to the bad boys until one day, she met the worst of them all and landed in prison as a result.  Now, three years later, more mature and the mother of a beautiful little boy, she’s determined to make a better life for herself and her son. She’s also determined to make better choices when it comes to men and she’s not sure her former cellmate’s drop dead gorgeous brother Luke – a former bad boy who professes to have turned over a new leaf – is the right choice.

Just when she believes she’s made a fresh start, her son’s father, Zeke, finds out about him and sues for full custody.  She kept her mouth shut when the police found jewelry from the heist committed by Zeke in her apartment.  But now, to save her son from a life of misery, Ivy has no choice but to testify against Zeke.  Luke is determined to protect Ivy and her son at any cost.  Will she stay alive long enough to testify? And can she trust Luke to stand by her side without being drawn back into a life of violence?

Pick up your copy today and please don’t forget to leave a review on the site where you buy it.  Reviews are very important for helping others discover a good story.

I hope that you enjoy my work.

Peace

My First Time at BEA and BookCon.

Hi there:

So, a month later, I’m finally getting around to posting about BEA and BookCon 2015.  BEA (BookExpo America) is the mac daddy of publishing industry trade shows in North America.  Anybody who is anybody attends along with a few newbies like myself.  Agents, publishers, bloggers, bestselling novelists and even TV, film and recording stars attend hoping to generate buzz about and/or discover new books.

BookCon is a two day event wherein the exhibitors are allowed to sell their books directly to the public on a retail basis.

I attended the BEA and BookCon with Dietrick (my significant other and cover designer) and my good friend Marjorie Belson – the author of a fantastic memoir called “Nothing is Promised.”  Marjorie and I shared a booth.

L.J. and Dietrick

Since I’m a small indie publisher and a new author, I was a bit intimidated about having a booth alongside the heavy hitters who normally attend.  But I figured that if I wanted to generate buzz about my novel – “Just Dreams” –  I needed to be there in publishing mecca.  My aims were to get librarians and booksellers interested in picking up the book on a wholesale basis, find new readers, and get bloggers to review the book. I also hoped to sell a good number of my books to the public at BookCon and to find new fans.

As far as I’m concerned, both BEA and BookCon were resounding successes.  At BEA, I met librarians, bloggers, agents, and other industry professionals who gave me invaluable marketing and other advice, offered to review my books, and/or expressed an interest in having me present author talks and participate in book signings.  I met with existing fans and found some new ones and I practically sold out my stock of books at BookCon.

All in all, I had a great time and learned a lot.  Dietrick had a great time too.  He met famous actors and scored dozens of free books handed out by publishers during BEA.

Time will tell whether booksellers and librarians pick up “Just Dreams” as a result of the exposure I received at BEA and BookCon.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Peace

 

L.J. Taylor Selected as a Featured Author in the 2015 NAACP Author Pavilion

Hi there:

Guess what? I’m happy to report that I was selected to be a featured author in the 2015 NAACP Author Pavilion, at the NAACP’s 106th Annual Convention, which will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, in Philadelphia, PA, July 11-14, 2015.

The 2015 NAACP Author Pavilion is part of the Convention’s Commerce and Industry Show which is free and open to the public.  I’ll be there signing books with Charlie Wilson and other illustrious and noteworthy African-American authors.

Although my romantic legal thriller “Just Dreams” is the featured book on the 2015 NAACP Author Pavilion website, I will also be signing copies of  “Dreams Deferred”  – the second book in the Brooks Sisters Dreams Series.

The book signings will take place on July 11-14, 2015 at the following times:

Saturday:    11:00 am to 6pm

Sunday:      12:00 pm to 6pm

Monday:      12:00 pm to 6pm

Tuesday:     12:00 pm to 6pm

I’ll let you know when my two 2 hour time slots are scheduled.

You can get more information about 2015 NAACP Author Pavilion here.

See you in Philly!  We’re going to have an amazing time.

Peace

 

“Dreams Deferred” is Out on Pre-Order

Hi there:

I am happy to announce that Ivy’s story,”Dreams Deferred” – Book 2 of the Brooks Sisters Dreams Series – is available for pre-order on Amazon.com.  The book is scheduled to be released on June 30, 2015.  It took me longer than I had anticipated to finish it, but, based on the comments I received from my outside editor, I believe I’ve produced a story that’s worth the effort.  I hope you enjoy it as much as she did.

Ivy Brooks was always attracted to the bad boys until one day, she met the worst of them all and landed in prison as a result.  Now, three years later, more mature and the mother of a beautiful little boy, she’s determined to make a better life for herself and her son. She’s also determined to make better choices when it comes to men and she’s not sure her former cellmate’s drop dead gorgeous brother Luke – a former bad boy who professes to have turned over a new leaf – is the right choice.

Just when she believes she’s made a fresh start, her son’s father, Zeke, finds out about him and sues for full custody.  She kept her mouth shut when the police found jewelry from the heist committed by Zeke in her apartment.  But now, to save her son from a life of misery, Ivy has no choice but to testify against Zeke.  Luke is determined to protect Ivy and her son at any cost.  Will she stay alive long enough to testify? And can she trust Luke to stand by her side without being drawn back into a life of violence?

You can get “Dreams Deferred” here.

Peace

L.J. Taylor to Appear at the L.A. Times Festival of Books

Hi there:

I sure am getting around this year.  This time, I’m flying clear across the country to appear at the 2015 L.A. Times Festival of Books which will be held at the University of Southern California’s University Park Campus, on April 18-19, 2015.  http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/. You’ll find me at Waterview Publishing, LLC’s Booth (Booth #41).

The Festival of Books promises to be an amazing event with live music, author readings, interviews, autographing and appearances, children’s activities, book vendors, food vendors, poetry readings, chef demonstrations,  and so much more.

This is the 20th anniversary of the Festival of Books so it should be the best year ever. One of my favorite Food Network chefs – Aartie Sequiera – will be there doing a cooking demonstration.  Levar Burton – the actor who played Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation – will also be there to discuss his book.

If you are in the Los Angeles area next weekend, come on out to the Festival and have a great time.  You can bring the family or leave them at home.  There will be something for everyone.  Stop by Waterview Publishing’s booth – Booth 41 – to say hello and/or get your book signed.

Peace

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