Tag Archives: interview

5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… M. Raye Turner, author of Pretty Monster

JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
M. Raye Turner, author of Pretty Monster
(Faith Works Production, LLC)


m raye turner pretty monster on amazondotcom

Experience tears and laughter walking through the life and times of Tangie Waters, a resilient daddy’s girl who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Pretty Monster is an attention-grabbing tale of a young woman’s determination to survive that leaves one questioning their own maturity.

Despite her monstrous ego, Tangie finds humility through her faith in God and the wisdom of her grandparents as she struggles to be at peace while overcoming constant setbacks, family woes, and the complexities of being a single mother pursuing higher education. Pretty Monster is powerfully portrayed story told with raw honesty and love.

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Pretty Monster? Is Tangie Waters you?

M. Raye Turner: Pretty Monster fell into my spirit as I was on the way to buy a cup of coffee one morning. The introduction just came to me: “I want to paint you a picture and write you a song about the love below…” I rushed home to write that down. The flow didn’t stop until I had outlined a whole book that had no title. I didn’t decide or plan to write a book.

It was just the next logical step with the purge that I began to share with others. I eventually bought into the idea to go for it and turned it into a tribute to my deceased parents.

Tangie was created to be a rare breed with a masculine appeal to male readers and from the daddy’s girl perspective. Misunderstood and envied by most women who can’t relate to her deep faith and free spirit tendencies. Tangie could very well reflect my alter ego and the twin I wished for but never had.Also, in retrospect I give some credit to Outkast and the movie Idlewild as it sparked something-something.

JP: What sets Pretty Monster apart from other novels in its genre where the protagonist is a single mother struggling with survival in the inner-city?

MRT: It’s succinct and lacks product placement/free marketing… It’s suburban, country, faith driven, intellectual and raw as hell. My readers say its real and that they can see and feel the movements in the literature. They laugh out loud, tears up and get mad based on the way the story pulls them into the characters.

Tangie is never a victim of her circumstances; she has book and street smarts. She knows what she wants and knows how to get it. She learns from the mistakes of others as well as hers and keeps moving.It has been compared to Lackawanna Blues.

JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Pretty Monster getting out to the public?

MRT: Time and chance, Mr. Pickney. Word-of-mouth and public speaking opportunities have been awesome venues with positively powerful results. I have been blessed by people God has placed in my path that want to share the light and actually push me to the front of the stage and out of my comfort zone behind stage.

I was encouraged to publish my mental purge, harassed into self-publishing and delighted by the way Pretty Monster has begun to create its own following, interest and success.

JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Pretty Monster?

MRT: (Smile) I like a quiet workspace or a place of beauty (a beach or nature trails). I only write when I feel like it which means I might jump up at 2 or 3am and write until I get it all out of my head. I may not revisit that piece for days or months. I started Pretty Monster in October and finished it in January. The story took 3 months at best.

The revision process came as people showed interest in publishing my work. Months and months later, I found myself making notes to add comedy sketches, Gullah vernacular and the things I love about Chicago to the emerging list of revisions, time lines and the themes of the book.

JP: What’s next for M. Raye Turner?

MRT: I have 3 books outlined. I don’t feel compelled or inspired to move on those at this time. My focus is to take Pretty Monster to the next level, which to me means stage and film plays.

www.mrayeturner.com
www.myspace.com/prettymonster2008

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5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Darnyelle Jervey, author of If You Understood My Past, You Would Understand My Praise

JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Darnyelle Jervey, author of If You Understood My Past, You Would Understand My Praise
(IOE Publications)


darnyelle jervey if you understood on amazondotcom

When you look back over your life, do you get caught up in praise or hang your head in shame? Have you been there, done that and gotten the souvenir t-shirt for all of the mistakes that you’ve made? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired of getting the short end of the “love” stick?

Welcome to my world. Trenton and I had a tumultuous relationship. I thought that he was all I deserved and that he owed me the life I wanted because I had made sacrifices to be with him. It became crystal clear that he wasn’t ready to give me what he owed me when 3 months before our wedding he dropped a bomb on me that blew a whole in my world.

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write If You Understood My Past, You Would Understand My Praise?

Darnyelle Jervey: My inspiration for If You Understood My Past is life and a mandate from God that it was time to tell my story. My debut is a memoir based on a true story. You know, we all have a story, but we are not all ready to share it. I became transparent and real for my readers on purpose.

I had reached my breaking point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired after my fiancé’s confession 3 months before our wedding. Sadly, I had watched this movie play in relationship after relationship and enough was enough. I realized that you cannot conquer what you are not willing to confront, so I had to go back to my past and deal with my issues. When I decided to conquer my past, I confirmed my future.

I found my praise (self-love, self-worth, confidence, passion, abundance) and decided to share my story in a vividly authentic memoir that would read like a well written novel and hinder readers from being able to put it down.

JP: What sets If You Understood My Past apart from other novels in its genre?

DJ: I am different, uniquely talented and called to empower others. With that alone, I and my literary works are set apart. If You Understood My Past is the truth; the names of the characters have been changed to protect the not so innocent (smile). For anyone who wants to read a real life story of courage and resilience, my book is the one. Its back drop is the relationship that changed my life, but it is more about how I transformed than it will ever be about the catalyst for the change. What happens in the story will keep the reader hooked until the last word has been read.

JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to If You Understood My Past getting out to the public?

DJ: I have an extensive background in marketing and I am using my skills to the fullest to market myself. I sought advice and assistance from people who were where I want to be, and I have threw fear away and went for it. I wrote an incredible book, and I believe in it and my success. I am aligning myself for the growth that I know is on the way.

I entered the literary world in the fall of 2008, and I have already sold over 3,000 copies of my book. That makes me very proud and excited. The keys are simple: be authentic and original, be willing to take risks, don’t compare yourself to others, run your own race, maximize exposure opportunities by speaking, radio interviews, etc. establish a presence on the internet.

And most importantly, dream so big that only God can make it happen.

JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish If You Understood My Past?

DJ: As a writer, I make it my business to write something everyday. A lot of my books come straight from my true source of inspiration: God. He speaks to me in dreams. I have authored four books so far, mostly self-help/empowerment works that have not yet been widely released but are available on my website.

When I am writing, I sit at my laptop with appropriate mood music for whatever I am writing. I started If You Understood My Past in April of 08 after asking myself , “Why not me, why not now?” When I couldn’t think of a good reason not to just do it, I went to work and it was finished in late June 08 (Yes, just two and a half months later.) It was released in September 08. I have recently started my first fiction novel, A Quick Work, which I am projecting for completion in late 09. It will probably release in early 2010.

JP: What’s next for Darnyelle Jervey?

DJ: What’s next for me? Well, I am an empowerment speaker, so my goals and books are centered around my company mission: to Define the Incredible in You. I am working on four books simultaneously, three of which are self-help/empowering in nature and one fiction book, A Quick Work.

I have plans to write another fiction work sometime next year. I am traveling to speak at several conferences in 2009 as well as I have my own empowerment series in Delaware aptly entitled, The Incredible You.

http://www.incredibleoneenterprises.com/
http://www.twitter.com/darnyellespeaks

If You Understood My Past, You Would Understand My Praise was nominated for Best Book by a Delaware Author in 2008.

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5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Julie Kasten, author of Dancing Amidst the Chaos

JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Julie Kasten, author of Dancing Amidst the Chaos
(PublishAmerica)


julie kasten dancing amidst chaos on amazondotcom

Dancing Amidst the Chaos is the story of a life, told in snapshots of its moments. Each verse invites the reader to catch a glimpse into the author’s internal world of hopes and dreams, fears and struggles. From building a love that lasts to mourning the loss of a friend, from delighting in the joys of childhood to healing the scars of addiction, no topic is off-limits, and each is explored with poignant emotion and pervasive honesty.

All of us are dancers amidst the chaos of the world we live in… Every reader will find a wealth of passages that resonate at the deepest levels within the pages of Julie Kasten’s piercingly candid, brilliantly expressive collection of poetry.

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Dancing Amidst the Chaos?

Julie Kasten: All of the poems you see in Dancing Amidst the Chaos were written over a span of about 5 years of my life. My inspirations for individual pieces came from all around me… From simple observations of the night sky to complex explorations of the deepest emotion, almost anything in life can become fodder for my poetry. The people in my life (especially my five-year-old daughter) provide a constant source of inspiration and ideas!

When I began to write these pieces, after a few years of being away from my writing, I don’t know that I even had the idea that they would one day come together into a book. At that point, I was writing them mainly for myself , for my own pleasure and/or my own therapy. Dancing Amidst the Chaos is sort of a “best of” collection from this period in my life.

JP: Why did you choose to use poetry as a medium to communicate your stories of Dancing Amidst the Chaos?

JK: I love the challenge that poetry affords me to make an impact on my reader in just a few lines of text. I love using wordplay and structure to create powerful imagery and evoke strong emotion.

I’ve often compared my poems to snapshots, capturing a slice of life or a moment in time. Reading Dancing Amidst the Chaos should feel like flipping through the pages of a photo album where each piece on its own creates a mood or tells a story. They all come together form a stirring mosaic of moments, memories and feelings.

JP: Which poets inspired your writing style? What were you able to take from them to make your poems stronger?

JK: I read Hart D. Fisher’s Poems for the Dead back in the late nineties and was inspired by the very genuine and fearless way in which he expressed difficult emotions in his work. From him, I learned to dig a little deeper in my own works and take the risk to reveal more of my truth.

I also love the works Universe Konadu, and I have been inspired especially by her poems about her faith journey and her walk with God. From her, I learned the power (for both myself and my readers) of communicating about my spiritual growth in verse.

Jessica Sanchez’s Under the Wishing Well inspired me in its skillful use of imagery and metaphor, as well as the author’s creation of and adherence to her own unique style and structure. There are so many others I could probably name here, but these are the three authors that really stand out for me, and whose influence can be seen and felt in Dancing Amidst the Chaos.

JP: What advice would you give to aspiring poets who haven’t taken the steps to publishing their works?

JK: For me, publishing wasn’t something to rush into. I wrote poetry for many years before I really had a sense that both my writing skills and my subject matter had evolved to a level that was suitable for publication. I would advise all aspiring poets to keep writing! Gather lots of feedback about your work.

If you don’t have people in your “real” life with whom you’re comfortable sharing your work, there are many great communities online for writers. And when you do feel that you’re ready to make the leap to publication, be sure to seek out a publisher that knows and respects poetry. Find a publisher that will work with you to maintain your unique style and voice during the editing process.

JP: What’s next for Julie Kasten?

JK: Right now, my publisher is putting together a little “mini book tour” for me here in Delaware and the surrounding area. I look forward to getting out there and meeting readers. Also, I’m in the early stages of work on a second book of poetry, and hope to be ready to release it early next year.

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