Tag Archives: joeypinkney.com

5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… DeiIra Smith-Collard, author of Secrets, Sins and Shameful Lies

JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
DeiIra Smith-Collard, author of Secrets, Sins and Shameful Lies
(Anexander Books)

“What is told into the ear of a man is often heard a hundred miles away” and the women of Love, Lust & a Whole Lotta Distrust have the halls of Synergy Wireless a buzz. Five years have passed since a storm of betrayal and deceptions swept through the call center halls. Everything seems calm, but underneath the peaceful quiet lurks long forgotten secrets and lies that threaten to expose sins, both past and present.

Nicole, still hungry for love and craving attention, is desperate to find a man to show her true affection. True to her nature, she is willing to have it at all cost. Carmell constantly longs for Louis. But is she willing to sacrifice herself for the sake of his love? Natina is devastated by loss and blames others for her misfortune. Anger causes her to employ her by-any-means-necessary tactics of revenge. Years after, Kendra is still torn between desire and obligation as she struggles to find her way. Can she end up finding herself?

Satiate your appetite for drama with Secrets, Sins and Shameful Lies as some secrets will be revealed while others concealed. Get ready for another turbulent voyage.

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Secrets, Sins and Shameful Lies?

DeiIra Smith-Collard:
Secrets, Sins and Shameful Lies is the sequel to my first novel. Initially, I said I was leaving those crazy characters of Love Lust & a Whole Lotta Distrust alone and moving to someone one new. I started a different novel, but I wrote halfway through and couldn’t finish it. Those characters started to speak to me, and I listened. I felt there was so much more to tell of their story, and my readers were demanding to know what happened to them.

JP: Where did you get the idea to incorporate a wireless company into the lives of the characters we find in Secrets, Sins and Shameful Lies?

DS: I am influenced by my environment. For the past ten years, my day job has been in the call center of a prominent wireless company. Working in a call center is quite the experience. If you ask anyone who’s ever done the job, they will surely say it’s a whole new world. I took in the countless rumors and drama that seemed to take place on a daily basis.

On the surface, it was business as usual. Everyone was working hard to make sure our company ran smoothly. But underneath the calm exterior, if you listened close enough, there was always some office drama. I thought it would be a great setting for all the antics of both Love Lust & a Whole Lotta Distrust and Secrets Sins and Shameful Lies. While sitting at my desk taking in my surroundings, Synergy Wireless was born.

JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Secrets, Sins and Shameful Lies getting out to the public?

I think the greatest key is hard work. Working with such a great publisher and publicist has taught me to constantly think outside of the box, and it has helped me to achieve success. Because there are so many means and methods in which to market my work, I’ve explored various promotion opportunities such as book signings, readings, book clubs, online marketing and book giveaways.

Word of mouth is extremely effective, so I never miss a chance to tell everyone who I think maybe interested. I always have books with me just in case. Every event won’t be a success, but there is always something positive to take away from the experience.

JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Secrets, Sins and Shameful Lies?

DS: There are many methods to my madness. It depends on my mood. I keep a recorder to record my ideas when I’m on the go. I also make notes on the direction I would like my story to take. I write out a simple outline with a clear destination in mind. Sometimes the characters of the story have a different idea. So what may start out one way, may take a completely different turn and I will begin to freestyle.

Depending on what I am writing, I have other strategies and techniques that I use. Music always seems to inspire me, and it played a large part in the writing of Secrets, Sins and Shameful Lies. I started the book in Feb of 2008. Partially through, I experienced writers block. I didn’t write for months. I tried, but nothing I typed was good enough. With a little over a month to deadline, I was hit with a gust of fresh air while listening to my iPod. I began to write, write and write. I averaged no less than a 1000 words a day. Within a month and a half, I completed the novel and walked away proud of what I had written.

JP: What’s next for DeiIra Smith-Collard?

DS: My next project is an anthology with four other fabulous authors. Bedtime Stories was released on July 21, 2009 and will feature my story The Sin, which is an erotic short story with an unexpected twist. My goal is to continue writing and entertaining my readers, while challenging myself to grow as a writer and further master the art of storytelling. I see great things for DeiIra Smith-Collard!


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5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Booker T. Mattison, author of Unsigned Hype

JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Booker Mattison, author of Unsigned Hype
(Baker Publishing Group)

I’m Tory Tyson, but you can call me Terror Tory because I bring terror to all producers and DJs. I’m from the hood side of Mount Vernon, which is right next to the Bronx. I’m fifteen, and I already met my future wife. I just have to get her to see it that way. Did I mention that my beats and turntable skills are sick?

This summer I’ll be spinning at a block party in my neighborhood on Friday nights. You should come through. It’s going to be hot (pun intended). Me and my partner Fat Mike are going to enter the Unsigned Hype demo contest on New York’s Power 97, “the nation’s number one station.”

If we win, my whole life will change. But there’s always somebody hatin’. I’m trying to stay focused, but every day it’s different drama.

Man, I just want to make it . . .

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Unsigned Hype?

Booker Mattison: A publisher contacted my agent and asked her if she could find a book with a black male protagonist that wasn’t about violence, vice and hyper sexuality. My agent approached me about it because all of her other writers are female.

As a former rapper, producer and DJ, this story flowed out of my experience as an African-American male and a former wayward youth. As a result of my experiences, I have developed a heart for the hood in general, but specifically for young African-American males.

JP: What sets Unsigned Hype apart from other novels that mixes Hip Hop and Urban Literature?

BM: What sets Unsigned Hype apart from other novels that mix Hip Hop and Urban Literature is its realistic portrayal of the African-American community, complete with a diversity of voices and characters. It grapples with class differences, generational relationships to hip-hop and secular and Christian debates in the black community. All of this is set against a back drop of African American music history as seen through the lens of hip hop.

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

BM: The key to my success is knowing my purpose. This allows me to easily determine if a relationship or an option is an obstacle or an opportunity to me fulfilling my God given purpose. I firmly believe that this story was divinely inspired as an instrument of uplift for African-Americans.

Too much of our literature today is designed to shock or titillate. There is still a place for African-American stories that empower; like those written by Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and other African-American literary legends.

As for the work getting out to the public, I just so happened to know the right people at the right time. In my opinion, the market is ripe for this kind of story.

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

BM: My process is to seek God on what story he wants to channel through me. I then have to have the courage to write what I am given. I work at it daily and the end result is something for the reading public to respond to.

It took me six weeks to write Unsigned Hype, a rare feat for completing a novel. Right now I’m working on my second novel Snitch, and I’ve been working on that for a lot longer than six weeks and I’m not even close to being finished!

JP: What’s next for Booker T. Mattison?

BM: My novel Snitch will be released in the spring of 2011. It is the story of a bus driver who witnesses a crime, the inner drama he experiences in whether or not to break the common code of silence not to cooperate with the police, and what he must overcome to save himself and his family when he becomes a target of the perpetrators.

I am also a filmmaker, so I just started writing the screenplay for Snitch last week. My last film, The Gilded Six Bits (adapted from the Zora Neale Hurston story of the same name) which I wrote and directed aired on Showtime. It starred Chad Coleman (The Wire), T’keyah Keymah (That’s So Raven, Cosby, In Living Color), Wendell Pierce (Treme’, The Wire, Ray) and Novella Nelson (The Antwon Fisher Story).

Accomplishments for Booker T. Mattison and Unsigned Hype: Unsigned Hype has been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, and featured in The Source and Black Beat magazines. It won the “New African American Voice” award at the 2010 Afr’Am Festival. It was voted one of the Best Novels of 2009 by Black Pearls Magazine and one of the Top 50 Fiction Novels of 2009 by Conversations Book Club.

The book trailer was voted the Best Book Trailer of 2009 by African American Literature Book Club. Unsigned Hype has been optioned for development into a television series by the producers of Boyz N Da Hood, Hustle & Flow, Run’s House and Def Comedy Jam.

This past semester it was required reading in Dr. Nicole Hodges-Persley’s Hip Hop and Popular Culture class at the University of Kansas and Dr. C. Vernon Mason’s Theology and Urban Ministry class at New York Theological Seminary.


P.S. Join the Joey Reviews Newsletter at http://joeypinkney.com/joey-reviews-newsletter.html.

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5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Jonathan Queen, author of Are You S.A.N.E.

JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Jonathan Z. Queen, author of Are You S.A.N.E.
(Asikari Publishing)

Author and motivational speaker, Jonathan Z Queen, draws on his experiences as a convicted drug-dealer and career criminal, who was able to change his life after spending over nine years in prison. Based on his street education, spiritual revival, drug/alcohol and cognitive therapy treatment, Jonathan provides an innovative approach to changing how you think so that you can feel the way you WANT to feel and become the change you desire to see.

Are You S.A.N.E. explores intriguing topics such as: The ‘Don’t Blame Me’ Mentality, Personal Prisons, Overcoming Addiction, Chained to the Gang, Spirit Up, Mis-sed Education, The Role Model Risk, Drug Dealers Anonymous, Keeping It Reality, Taking the Diss Out of Dysfunctional Families, and much more. Mr. Queen delivers a masterful mix of memoirs and motivation!

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Are You S.A.N.E.?

Jonathan McQueen: While promoting my first book, Don’t Blame Me: The Convict Chronicles, I did a lot of speaking events. I would end up talking about my prison experiences, which Don’t Blame Me is loosely based on, and how I was able to change from a drug dealing, womanizing, selfish criminal who was sentenced to 10 years in prison at the age of 23; to the father, husband, author, business man, and servant of God they see today. I was often told that my words, my inspirational testimony needed to be written down. Are You S.A.N.E. is a result of my promise to share the things I have learned and to teach others how they too, can set a new example.

JP: Are You S.A.N.E. is a dynamic model using the classic concept “each one teach one” as its foundation. What has the response been from those who are up for the challenge after read this book?

JM: I am receiving a lot of positive praise for being so honest and thorough in the book. Many people are reading it a second time and responding to many of the S.A.N.E. Challenges I issue at the end of each chapter. I try to say this with complete humility, but I already know that this book is going to help change the world. God gives us certain experiences (trials if you will) that prepare us to offer a credible and authentic voice to those who are going through similar trials.

Are You S.A.N.E. has something for everyone. Because of my willingness to self-disclose as well as share the tools and coping strategies I have gained and used to become a model of change, there are people who will read and become teachers.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Are You S.A.N.E. getting out to the public?

JM: I am very motivated to motivate others. I do a lot of speaking events, and I use those opportunities to promote my books. Whether it’s schools, prisons, churches or businesses, I try to include a signing as part of my contract. Because of my history and my sincerity, I am also one of the few authors who can do signings with your favorite street lit author as well as your favorite non-fiction and christian authors.

I am also becoming very savvy at using the virtual world to promote myself, my books and my message. That’s not bad for a man who came home from prison a little over three years ago and was so Internet-challenged my 11-year-old daughter sighed many times as she helped me navigate the web and taught me the power of Google.

JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Are You S.A.N.E.?

JM: Are You S.A.N.E. took me over 18 months to write. I would love to blame it on the fact that I was promoting my other book, working full time, raising children, working in the community, etc.. Truth is, I was still growing as I was writing and God was doing what He does to assure that what I wrote would bring glory to Him. The deeper my spiritual revival, the more I began to transition from simply telling my story to writing about the things I have gained that have made me better.

As far as my process is concerned, I carry a hand held recorder and write notes on anything within reach at the time a thought hits me. I sit at the computer and type and edit, type and edit. And I am blessed with a beautiful wife who will bring my dinner to the computer and tell the kids to keep it down while Daddy is writing.

JP: What’s next for Jonathan Z. Queen?

JM: The ‘Are You S.A.N.E. Tour’ will begin in the Fall and will include motivational speakers, authors, poets, musical guests and pastors. God willing, it will help uplift our youth and inspire them to become the change they want to see in this world and start that “Change Reaction”.

I will also work at growing New Mindz into a nationally recognized outreach and uplift program. I will bring the story “Next” from Don’t Blame Me, to the stage, hopefully for World AIDS Day. And look for my series of Christian children and YA books Entitled Cool Like Us to go live in December 2009. I want to thank everyone who continues to support me, my books and my ministry. I promise you I will not let you down.


P.S. Join the Joey Reviews Newsletter at http://joeypinkney.com/joey-reviews-newsletter.html.

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