Meet Dane Kovak, the anti-hero lead of the novella UNFORGETTABLE
Dane and Jenelle from UNFORGETTABLE
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Meet Dane Kovak, the anti-hero lead of the novella UNFORGETTABLE
Dane and Jenelle from UNFORGETTABLE
First, I have to say this never would’ve been possible without the proceeds from my books. So I have to give a great big grateful THANK YOU to all those who’ve bought (and continue to buy) my novels.
In addition to writing, I’ve also been moving into the ranks of independent filmmaking. It’s something I truly love to do and I think more minority writers may need to take that step.
For anyone who may be interested in more diversity on screen via independent filmmaking, I’ll list the equipment I’ve acquired after careful research, especially for a filmmaker on a budget. This has always been a major part of my platform as there are more avenues for independent works to be seen, so now is the perfect time.
For me, everything starts with the written word. From there I’m able to give the characters their own unique personalities and world build. The promos and GIFS come next, then the book trailers, so film is simply an extension of all the other things I love to do.
Not every ebook I write will turn into a film. But each book I write helps me become a better author.
To be continued . . .
First, congratulations to the Jackie Robinson West team for winning the 2014 US Little League Championship!!
They hail from Chicago, so go Chi-town! Next up is a formidable team from South Korea. All the teams should be proud of their sportsmanship, parental and fan support, and love for the game which was on full display.
I think this pic shows what else I’ve been up to:
This will be a continuing serial on my blog, but it won’t be set in Ferguson. It’ll be in a fictional town where everyone believes race is no problem, until it is.
If you don’t know who Mo’ne Davis is, you should. She’s 13 years old and made history last week by being the first female to pitch a shut out in a Little League World Series game.
Link to MLB.com GIF:
Her team lost tonight, and in order to advance they must win their next game. But when I went looking for a stock photo showing a black female pitcher, I couldn’t readily find one. So I decided to create one to go with a new YA story. Throw like a girl? If I could throw like Mo’ne Davis, then HELL, YES.
Love, love love Tevin Campbell.
Tevin’s song “Can We Talk?” perfectly fits my tale of two individuals coming together again after several years apart.
Tevin Campbell LIVE “Can We Talk” Essence Festival 2014
I’ve stated before that I enjoy putting diverse couples together. So I plan on releasing a number of stories with male and female contemporary leads in several different, but relatable occupations.
This time it’s political . . .
I haven’t attached an excerpt to the GIF of my novel Ivy League, but as soon as I narrow down which scene I want to use, it will be activated.
Sade’s Nothing Can come Between Us is a safe, vague hint regarding the storyline:
I’m still working on this post, so I’ll return later to add to it. Sorry, I’d meant to put up my new ad that’s on Dear Author. I decided to change the female lead’s first name after the utterly senseless and tragic death of Renisha McBride. If you click the GIF it will take you to the excerpt page:
I worked on another promo for the book HUI (pronounced Hway)
My apologies for the watermark.
I’m readying up The Player for release, and there are characters from other books who make an appearance in the story line. Also, the thing that took so long with that novel, is that its not just the two leads but also Ozzy, the ex husband.
His story needed to be explored, because I didn’t want it to be the typical evil ex tale. Rappers need love too.
I’ll be back to link this GIF to a short excerpt. Unfortunately, recent events have convinced me to make a change on the length of free excerpts.
Here’s a brief teaser of HUI:
First position . . .
Hui stood there, still and imposing, like one of the many large billboards with his likeness promoting the dance company. In a repeat of the countless hours they’d practiced together his arm was outstretched and his hand was elegantly positioned, urging her to grasp it. Instead of his usual attire of a tee shirt and black practice tights, he was completely naked.
Back in October of 2013, I put up an excerpt of one of my NA novels on this site and other places around the internet. The ebook title is “Before I Let Go” and its the story of a girl who has to drop out of college due to her abusive boyfriend, and how she rekindles a romance with her childhood crush, a young Hispanic male who’s wounded while fighting in Iraq.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, but this must be a popular concept, because its already been released. By someone else. So either great minds think alike, or what the hell, I dunno.*
*ETA: Well, this just got more effed up. Seems this same author was called out before regarding plagiarism. However I need to stress it’s my understanding that a premise, or “concept” cannot be copyrighted, so I guess that’s that.
In any event, I don’t wanna dwell on this. I’m just hoping if it wasn’t a sheer coincidence aka mind hive sort of thing, the author/associates now realize that “borrowing” a premise isn’t cool, and that jumping over to the minority side to get your next new novel can still back fire big time, because the internet isn’t as large as some would like to believe. But what’s more important, is that I didn’t create a Hispanic male lead for nothing. It’s because DIVERSITY IS MY PLATFORM. And it’s not as simple as giving a character an ethnic last name, but part of his/her racial identity imho.
Here’s my original blurb:
Twenty year old Skylar Torres is back home, trying to forget a volatile college romance and hoping to reconnect with her first love, Damon Salas. Twenty three year old Damon doesn’t recall the road side bomb that ended his tour of duty in Iraq, leaving him unable to speak his thoughts as clearly as before. Struggling with his new normal, Damon’s determined to live life on his own terms, and that includes a future with Skylar. But Skylar’s dealing with a controlling ex, while questioning her decision to stay away from Damon, in order to keep them both alive.
I’m still gonna release my ebook, since I’ve got a digital trail (I entered the excerpt in the Wattpad contest last year). In addition, I believe the writing inside the other author’s book is totally different than mine, though her premise has similar elements. But I’m committed to this story, because I wrote it with two Hispanic leads in mind who were both trying to cope with issues that affect young people today.
Please click the photo if you’d like to check out BEFORE I LET GO:
A teaser for an upcoming book. The title’s pronunciation is “Hway” :
I’ll link an excerpt to the GIF of Hui 慧 shortly, but I’ve got a new promo that will be up on Dear Author next month.
I was so excited when I saw this poster, because I thought WOLVES would be a weekly TV series starring Jason Momoa.
It’s not, but who knows? Perhaps it will be. Right now its a soon to be released film about werewolves.
I couldn’t resist doing some photo editing:
I love Werewolves, and I’ve been a fan ever since the old black and white classic with Lon Chaney Jr. started playing on television. Lon wasn’t a Werewolf though. He was a Wolf Man. But his angst over becoming a monster by the light of the full moon and hurting the woman he loved was way before the whole Interview with the Vampire and Twilight craze (No surprise that I was team Jacob from the get-go).
This may be of interest for those of you wanting to pitch your book (it has to be a finished manuscript) to Carina Press.
Here’s a link to the directions on how to submit for three days, starting today (July 23rd to July 27th)
*****I saw a blog post on the Carina site where someone asked if previously pubbed books were eligible, and the answer was yes*****
PITCH CONTEST INSTRUCTIONS
Authors are invited to pitch their 200 word (maximum) query and first 100 words or first paragraph for submission. The contest will run from July 23 – July 27 – pitches submitted after this date will not be considered. Please check back on the blog! You must submit your pitch with a valid email address. Authors whose pitches are chosen will be contacted via email. Editors will request materials from authors by July 28. Send your submission no later than July 31, 2014 midnight Eastern. The link you receive will expire after that, and you will be unable to submit via this route. Good luck to all!
This is another edited pic (two different photos merged together for a new ebook cover, but for now I’ll use it as a site promo).
This one doesn’t have the “glow” FX so the lines are a bit more defined:
I finished the cover for one of the books I’m working on featuring a sexy Asian leading male: Continue reading →
More interracial covers are coming from WSC books with the protags physically together. I think I may have stumbled onto a pretty good technique for recoloring photos and editing. There are a number of steps involved in matching the skin color of the model, but I’ve made new covers that I hope look a bit more natural, especially when the photos are enlarged:
This new GIF promo will be moved to the sidebar:
Here’s the GIF promo for the ongoing serial FERAL: A House of Tigris novel. I’m going to move the promo GIF to the right sidebar and link the first chapter once that’s done.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to try to make it easier for readers to navigate around this site and to look up books that may be of interest. I’m separating New Adult from Young Adult, and trying to get things into more order, especially since I’ve got a lot more books to release.
While I love contemporary romance, I also enjoy writing historicals and scifi. But I really enjoy putting romantic leads together and describing their journey to couplehood. With sequels it’s important (imho) to maintain the love affair but still tell an engrossing story. As I prepare to release Razher II among a few other sequels, I hope readers will enjoy the twists and turns I’ve taken with the characters and their various stories. I’ve added a short excerpt from The Player at the end of this post.
I’m also introducing another continuing serial, one that deals with big cats and the fight between several royal houses to take the throne. I’ll have a GIF up shortly and also the first chapter. For new readers, please understand that I use my book covers as promotional materials. The same thing applies to the free excerpts on this site and the excerpts that have more chapters which are listed on Amazon as Sneak Peeks. These are just a few ways I’ve found that help readers discover WSC books.
I’ve added another character to the continuing college serial The Men of Hilton Hall. I’m introducing Rae in the next chapter of TMOHH that I will have up this week:
Now for the new offerings. I’ve been working on my digital editing skills in order to have covers that are a bit more stylish as well as sexier:
I’ve got a free three day download (June 28th, 29th and 30th) featuring multiple chapters of Sneak Peek: The Player on Amazon.com. Just click the photo to be re-directed to Amazon:
I worked on another GIF for The Stone Boy:
An excerpt from Game.Set.Love
will be up this weekend. It’s been posted, so just click the photo to read it:
And since the heroine, Sinead Landon hails from Jamaica, I thought I’d add this old skol video with the song by Tom Browne:
A new chapter of The Men of Hilton Hall will be up shortly, and I’m also putting up an excerpt from Make Me Yours, a spin-off from RUSH, featuring a group of Somali Bantu refugees. I hope to
have that up tonight. It’s already up, please click the photo to be redirected to the page.
I’ve been busy working my nine to five and also editing a number of books (Gaijin, Razher II, The Player, Queensrealm and Furies). I don’t release a book until I’m satisfied that I’ve done the very best I can, and since I’m up against a deadline with The Player, I’m off to do more editing!
First an update on Aaliyah’s story from the sequel to RUSH.
I’ve found a stock image for the character of Amelle, though I don’t have my title for the book truly set yet. Right now I’m just calling it RUSH 2:
Aaliyah made a number of decisions in book one that affected her family and their standing in the Somali Bantu community. But more important, she strayed from her religion. Book two explores what the repercussions are and how she and Aiden deal with them. Aiden has questions and concerns regarding how close Aaliyah and Turk became while he was away, as Turk’s presence is still felt even though he’s nowhere to be found. That’s all I’ll reveal for now, but the Suicide Kings re-form with a surprising new leader.
Also nearing a release date:
Andre Santana gets his own ebook:
Click for a larger view:
Because Andre Santana is a recurring character in several other books (he’s in Razher and Confessions of a Shapeshifter. He’s also got a cameo in Razher, Rise of the Gargoyles) I’d always planned to have a spin off book for Andre AKA Dre AKA Cadaver Dawg, and now I’ve completed the cover.
Some other books featuring males:
There was a time when men and women (including African Americans) wore tuxedos and gowns on stage and on television. It’s that time period that’s revisited in the novel The Queen of Comedy. There’s a free sneak peek of the novel on Amazon, and it will be available on Kindle for free on these dates: May 31st, June 1st and June 2nd.
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
The LA Times has a tribute to Maya Angelou that Dear Author listed this week:
I’m taking a few more days to work on Queensrealm, but The Queen of Comedy will also be released in June
Ahhh . . . a three day weekend. I’m working on new, diverse book covers with Asian leading men and readying QUEENSREALM for release.
ETA: If you’re a self-pubbed author and you don’t know how to use Photoshop or Paint.net( free software), or Adobe elements, try to get someone to teach you. Stop by a local college art department and offer to pay someone to tutor you. It’s an investment that will save you money over the long run. Covers do matter, especially when faced with showing a heroine of color. The ability to manipulate an image to more closely resemble your book’s characters (if your female lead is brown in the book, then she should be close to that color on the cover. IR readers do notice and many are becoming quite vocal about seeing cover models with more variety in their skin tones and hair texture). The model below is actually a blending of two stock images I bought:
I think its very important that minority writers not fall complacent enough to think we can’t stumble into “othering” another racial group, or fall into the trap of making our own culture the exotic. There was an interesting discussion on Dear Author regarding the use of food to describe minority characters, in a way that is sometimes different than the description of white characters. I’ve seen this in a number of books and some readers don’t care for it, so that’s something I keep in mind when writing.
I tend to use Saturday as the time to work on covers and promos. There are a number of scifi novellas I’d like to release this summer:
This year my book HEAVEN once again made it to the quarterfinal round of the ABNA’s (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards) which meant the book was reviewed by someone contracted by Publisher’s Weekly. Long story short, I can use snippets of the review when promoting the novel. The ones I plan on using are “straight forward and emotionally raw story” and “starts off strong and develops a genuine emotional connection between Nevaeh and Joshua.”
I’ve had a great run with this novel. It reached #1 in a couple of sub-categories on Amazon (the category dance on Amazon is tough enough for indie writers, but especially frustrating for YA indie writers whose leads are characters of color. That’s a whole ‘nother post that I have to rant about).
There are a number of sequels to RUSH which follow several characters and introduce new ones. First up will be Daniel Semboga’s love story:
Then there’s Rory and Roxie’s love story. Roxie’s an exotic dancer who assists Rory (from RUSH) after he finds out his late dad owned Wallbanger’s, the strip club that plays a central part in the mystery of Turk’s disappearance and several other murders:
Gauge and Keisha’s story concerns a threat to her life. She needs protection based on what and who she knows. He makes her laugh. Who knew loving a biker could be this fun? Or so dangerous?:
There’s also a love interest for Boner and two more characters, plus the continuation of the main couple, Aiden and Aaliyah’s tale.
I’m re-editing Razher: Rise of the Gargoyles and Gaijin’s ending
That’s the fictional hit song of a Trini rapper named Ozzy AKA The Great OZ from The Player. This ebook is part of my Caribbean Queens Series.
I’m releasing excerpts from all three books (excerpts from The Player and Love and Baseball are already up on this site). Next comes Game.Set.Love. featuring Tristan “Didi” Botha and Sinead Landon, two tennis doubles pros who fall madly in love. Carnival is what connects all three heroines. Sinead is from Jamaica,