The Deeper Side of Lisa Ridgeway


DSOLCover with Bio A

We start our tenth year on ANF with an interview with an up-and-coming author, Lisa Ridgeway although she is no stranger to the written word. You’ll find out what Ms. Ridgeway has in store for her fans and book lovers as we’re about to find out more of ‘The Deeper Side of Love’

Hello Lisa, please tell our audience a little about yourself.

My name is Lisa Ridgeway. I’m an Author, Poet, Editor, Motivational-Speaker and Facilitator. My previous book: “Dancing with My Heavenly Father, is a collection of spiritual-poems; designed to encourage, uplift & motivate. In conjunction, I’ve established a weekly spiritual-devotional; aimed to inspire & enrich the mind.

How long have you been writing?

Professionally, I’ve been writing for 20 years.

What inspired you to write “The Deeper Side of Love”?

My book: “The Deeper Side of Love” is a reproduction copy from the original-version; which I wrote, in 1996.

What steps did you take to publish your book?

Being a writer for many years, I’ve now learn the ends and outs of book-publishing; in regards to my latest project, (as well as other books I’ve done; and assisting fellow-authors).

Throughout the years, I’ve weaned my skills in editing, copywriting and collaborating with graphic-artists, to design book-covers. I’ve now learned; first and foremost, to research publishing companies to find the right-fit for my publishing needs; and to make sure, they offer the best quality service (for book-publishing).

It’s my desire to maintain creative-control, when developing my book(s). Furthermore, I study what readers are looking for in a book and focus on how to reach every genre.
It’s my desire to ultimately start my own publishing company; and assist up & coming authors in developing their book(s).

What’s your favorite part in “The Deeper Side of Love”?

When the (young woman Roxy) comes into the understanding of what true-love looks like verses, being deceived by what she thinks love is. Also learning to love one’s self even when you feel as though, you’re not worth loving.

Below is one of my poems (not in my current book):

Why does it seem I’m hated because of the color of my skin?
Why do people treat me differently; never trying to find out what lies within?

People who don’t know the contents of my character; hate me…not for who I am but what they fear about me.
They don’t care what matters to me; they look at me and see what they wanna see.

I’d hope this hatred would have ended long ago; but instead it seems to linger wherever I go.
I’ve tried explaining it to my kids; why it seems people have a problem with the color of their skin.

I recall one day my son came running into the house. He was upset and crying. A kid called him “Nigga.” He asks: “Mommy…why don’t he like me; why did he call me that name?”
And for some reason my innocent little son hung his head, as though he felt some type of shame.

I was angry and sad; yet…at the same time, damn mad.

Then it occurred to me; people don’t like us because we’re one of a kind.

We come in different shades of brown. Our women have full lips and full hips; you know…the ones that are round.

Our men are built like none other; their physics are quite unique.
As a matter of fact our men are what other women seek, between the sheets.

We’ve seen adversities and know how to come through;
God has given us staying power; how to be overcomers and pull through.

We have strong arms; strong backs and strong legs; we know how to stand.

When I look at the ones who’ve come before us I’m proud of those who’ve paved the way.
The ones who had courage and strength so, we could see better days.

They are the reason why…we’re free.

We’ve springboard off the shoulders of those who suffered long ago.
Unfortunately these senseless acts of hatred are still prevalent and reminiscent. There are some who still hate and won’t let it go.

So to those who judge me because of the color of my skin…that’s alright with me; but if you really want to know who I am and how I came to be.
I say to you…you must first learn to look within.

Outside of writing this book, I understand you’re involved in other projects. Would you mind sharing what those are with us?

I’ve assisted a fellow-author, in developing his latest book-venture. Currently, I’m in the midst of collaborating a daily Spiritual-devotional book. Also, I’m working on my next book-project.

Do you plan on attending any events soon? If so, please tell us where you will be?

Tentatively; I hope to attend the: Black Writers on Tour April 30th.

How can the readers contact you if they would like to receive a personal copy? Do you have a website?

At the present, I don’t have a website; hopefully it’ll be up and running by early summer. However, if anyone is interested in purchasing my latest book; or Dancing with my Heavenly Father (my former book), they can contact me. I can be found on Facebook & Instagram (Lisa DeDe) Ridgeway. Also, they can email me at: or

What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an author?

First & foremost I would say, never give up on yourself. Even when you get discourage…keep forging ahead; you’re worth it! Learn all the aspects when it comes to publishing your book; it’ll greatly benefit you in the long-haul. Fine-tune your skills, work hard to develop yourself & your book(s). Attend workshops, further educate yourself in developing your writing-skills and always get your works COPYRIGHTED before you allow others to view it.

Thank you Lisa for this interview. Everyone, please support Ms. Ridgeway by buying a copy of ‘The Deeper Side of Love’ right now and be sure to attend the Black Writers on Tour April 30 at the Carson Community Center in the city of Carson, CA to show her some of your love for her talent.

Recap of the Successful Compton Urban Book Expo


Just like that, it’s over.

The inaugural Compton Urban Book Expo took place at the Douglas Dollarhide Community Center over the weekend. Judging from the reactions of authors, organizers and local politicians, this is one literary festival that plans to be around for a long time. KLIQ Radio founder Devonte Styles and station manager Shelly Ward were the organizers of this fine event with the support from the city of Compton to make this expo happen as it encouraged literacy in the Hub City and beyond.

Held inside the spacious multipurpose facility, the community center became an ideal venue for authors to set up and sell their books to the public. A panel discussion “The Blueprint for Success” was held before the expo with several authors sharing their knowledge and experience from subjects on publishing and marketing their works on social media. A children’s area was provided for free face paintings and other fun activities for the youth. Authors were given the opportunity to speak on the microphone and pitch their books to attendees on hand.

Not only did Councilwoman Emma Sharif add her support, but it caught the attention of Assemblyman Mike Gipson of the 64th District as well. For entertainment, local hip hop artist Ms.Toi made an appearance with Isabell Izzy Requena, a participant on the television show X-Factor and the founder of the Miss America Belize Pagent. Returning to books, most of the authors in appearance either veterans of past literary festivals or first timers excited to be a part of the first annual event in a city known for negative news and the rap group NWA.

The Urban Book Expo is a great win for the city of Compton. It has put them on the map as far as a destination for literacy and the hard work and dedication of Mr. Styles and Ms. Ward cannot be mentioned enough. It takes cooperation, effort and foresight to make a community literary festival happened and the reactions on the expo’s Facebook page show the excitement, the promise and anticipation of great things to come. Hopefully it will produce more creative and non-fiction authors who will also produce literary works that are straight outta Compton.

Charles L. Chatmon
Authors N Focus Extra

Commentary: The Sting of Criticism

A list of resources for new and aspiring authors

When you begin to pursue a writing career, expect criticism. In fact, be surprised when you do not receive any at all. Chances are there is someone in this world who will care less about your book, your article, your poem, your essay – it doesn’t matter. Criticism is inevitable. You cannot run from it and as a writer, you definitely can’t respond to it as much as you would like. A recent example occurred when I researched a favorite book of mine written by an associate. The reviewer made pointed comments, disparaging the novel as well as the book cover. It was very unflattering of the author’s work.

In the past, I had critics tell me to my face the reasons why they didn’t like any of the books I had written. Immediately, I felt the stinging impact of those comments. My response to this critic was to defend my work. I understand their comments are simply opinions which they have the right to express personally or post online. The big mistake writers make is that they treat these opinions as gospel – when in fact it’s only one reader’s view of your work. Writers have to consider it’s one person’s voice of disapproval while a larger readership who have read the book or article may be in total support of what they do.

Criticism is a two edged sword, not only does it shred your work, but it may also fall into a personal critique as well. For example, if the aim is to criticize the work, then the critic should just focus on that, not the author’s personality, their online persona, or their looks. Yet, critics will indeed take it that far with the author when there’s no need. Conversely, this is not to say writers do not have fragile egos. What they could most appreciate is simply discussing what is on the printed or digital page. Anything outside of that boundary is not constructive for either party.

Criticism is inevitable in a writer’s life. The way to overcome it and not let it sour your attitude if you’re a writer is to just simply take it as it has been mentioned earlier – an opinion. While you may never become a James Patterson or J.K. Rowling, rest assured in the beginning of their writing careers and even now, they had their share of critics who were never satisfied with what they produced and preferred someone else as their ideal author or writer. Every writer has a critic, every last one of them. As a writer, you should be so lucky. You have someone’s attention and that’s not so bad.


Charles L. Chatmon
Authors N Focus Extra

The Marion L. Jones Interview

11719819_10153058285111464_1202165619_nPoems From Recovering

Our lives are filled with rich, inspiring experiences that deserve to be written in a book. Marion L. Jones is one such author who has undergone a crisis in his life and with some help, hopes to inspire others as he explains in his first book, Poems From Within Me, A Recovering Addict. His second book, The Full Picture of Marion Levi Jones has just been released but for now, let us focus on his first book.

Who is Marion Levi Jones?

I’m a just a man that love what I do and enjoy helping others who are or were like me in the struggles of addiction. Now ten years ago I was cracked out…my little brother called me a crackhead. God had seen fit to give me another chance at life. Through my writing, even when I was still under the influences of drugs, He kept His hands on me. See, I was lived in abandoned houses and cars and ate out of garbage cans…didn’t have to live like that but I chose to. The devil had me just that bad thinking no one loved me. Lost my dad at the early age of five and it sent me to a place of numbness. It took me to the age of 50 to realize the root of my downfall. Once I came to myself and asked the Lord to save me from the enemy’s hands and sincerely ask forgiveness he went to His Father on my behalf to get me back on the right road. Now I’m saved and love the Lord with all my heart. I still have a long way to go but not where I used to be and know that I’m not going back. I can fight the devil with Him by my side. I became a father again to my children and a big brother to my siblings and a son to my mom. I’m so grateful for that. It’s about recovery from drugs, alcohol and suicide, to help others to see that they’re not alone in this battle.

Mr. Jones, how long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since 2008, I was in a rehab center and God woke me up three nights straight at 1am in the morning. I never wrote before but after those three nights, I never stopped. I didn’t even know how to use a computer but I learned quickly and I was off and running.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book was Poems From Within Me, A Recovering Addict and that was me getting to understand what got me in this mess and showed me how to look at me inside out. Writing it made me open up and let the hurt of all those years come to surface and deal with them one by one. I knew I had to share this with the world.

What steps did you take to publish Poems From Within Me, A Recovering Addict?

I went through so many changes to get my book perfected, tried many self-publishing companies but they didn’t treat me right or messed up my book in the process. Now with the second one, I had a publisher who was willing to help me but fell short and ran out on me. So out of frustration I threw my book in a drawer for months not looking at it at all until I got hurt on my job which took me out and I’m still out. I won’t go back till 2016. It gave me a chance to finish it with the help of a friend from California that was willing to put her book aside to get mine done.

What’s your favorite poem inside the book?

God of the Valleys

The 23rd Psalms

Most of us know the about or have read the 23rd Psalms

The most recognized chapter in the Old Testament

and the equivalent to John 3:16 of the New Testament

We are used to being called and treated like 2nd class citizens

But being in the Lord…you are not a 2nd class but a true child of God

The Lord will watch over you

Know how to keep your surrounding still…while there’s chaos all around

He will walk with you

Even when they come to sleigh me I will trust in Him

He will welcome you

Even in my valleys and can’t see my way out I will trust Him

If the Lord is your Sheppard…you have nothing to worry about

I don’t care what the new trend is or new fashion…

I know the God will supply all my needs

As long as we trust in Him as our Sheppard…He will supply your nourishment

When you’re hungry He will feed you When you’re in need of thirst He will give you drink

He knows how to calm the rages waters so you won’t drown

Even when you think all is lost His rod will fight the enemy away

When you are lost and way out into the deep

He uses His staff to bring you back in your right mind

The Lord Is My Sheppard I Shall Not Want…

You read the rest

Copyright 6/5/15 MLJ Recovery

What’s the one thing you want the readers to learn from Poems From Within Me?

I want them to learn that they are not alone in their journey but know that God is just waiting on them to call on Him. To those that are saved, this book reinforces them through their valleys.

What makes Poems From Within Me stand out from the rest?

It’s my personal walk, not just hearsay but my living testimony…my relationship with the Lord and they can have it too. Maybe Chapter 2, really there is none… all of them will grab you one way or another.

Outside of writing this book, I understand you’re involved in other projects. Would you mind sharing what those are with us?

I do motivational speaking at rehabs and shelters; I talk to people trying to get back in the world from being incarcerated…I don’t sugar-coated the message because I want them to know it might be their last chance and tomorrow not promised to anyone.

Do you plan on attending any events soon? If so, please tell us where you will be?

I have a book signing at my home church coming up and one in Carson California…well a meet n greet in November. One in Baltimore coming up real soon.

How can the readers contact you if they would like to receive a personal copy? Do you have a website?

Email me at

Facebook under Marion L. Jones and inbox me

Books are $15.00 with your address.

What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an author?

If it’s about you and you think it can help someone else, write it but it starts with what’s ever in your heart.

Where do you see yourself five years from now if you continue writing books?

Five years I want to be able to have traveled to different seminars talking and helping lost souls…My motto is Saving Souls Today, One Day at A Time.

Is there anything else you would like to say in closing?

Hold on to God’s Unchanging Hand.

Marion L. Jones with his latest book, The Full Picture of Marion L. Jones

Marion L. Jones with his latest book, The Full Picture of Marion Levi Jones

We’d like to thank Mr. Jones for this interview. Please like or follow us on our social media pages and our website, to keep in touch with the authors who are keeping their books and lives in focus.

Until No More says, I Just Want To Write!


With her latest book, I Just Want to Write!, Not only is Until No More becoming a name in the literary world, but she’s making her mark as a reporter and talk show host. In this interview, Until shares her views on writing, poetry and her upcoming projects.

Thanks for taking time out to speak with us. Let’s know more about Until No More. Who are you?

My name is Quanda R. Graves but I’m better known by my pseudonym “Until.” I am first and foremost a poet as well as a journalist and literary columnist for the California Crusader Newspaper that coincides with my Youtube Channel and assisted blog entitled Until TV.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for over twenty years (20).

What inspired you to write your book I Just Want to Write!?

What inspired me to write my book entitled “I Just Want to Write!” was this book called “Round the Corner” by the Bankstreet Reader Group, published in 1965. It was the first book I had ever purchased at my first book fair in my elementary school at 6 years old; in which I still possess, that still provides great inspiration.

What steps did you take to get your book published?

The steps I took to publish my latest works (which is my first edition) was the following: 1.) I wrote the book 2.) Found two editors 3.) Sought out a Graphic Design artist to manifest my vision for my book cover. 4.) Filed a DBA (doing business as) for the name I created for myself as I chose to be a self-publisher “Black Swan Publishing” 5.) Purchased my ISBN number under my company’s name. 6.) Purchased formatting, Distributing, ebook and paperback copy services from Create Space. Let them post it on Amazon. 7.) Created my own website attached to my Paypal and did my marketing and PR with the contacts I have. Not all in this order but that is the just.

What’s your favorite part of I Just Want to Write?

My favorite part was the whole process. Because I love to learn, there was a lot that I was enlightened by. The research I had to do was crazy, but enjoyable. I have a poetry edition and you state for me to share one or two of my favorite poems, that’s hard because I have more than a few in this book. The three favorites are “Writing Heals” and “My Pen’s Position” and “My Life as the Sheet”.

What’s the one thing you want the readers to learn from your book?

What I want people to learn from my book are a few things: 1.) It’s never too late to follow your dreams. 2.) Never place your dreams in the hands of someone else without staying connected. 3.) Put in the work with anything you do because the rewards are endless and last but not at all least 4.) Have fun.

Outside of writing this book, I understand you’re involved in other projects. Would you mind sharing what those are with us?

I am involved with many other projects. Thanks for asking, no I don’t mind sharing them. I have created my company called Quanda’ Significance LLC, which specializes in greetings and decorative gift ideas and I’m currently in the process of getting ready to launch my very first line of greeting cards with my first theme called “Sometimes I Wish” this July of 2015.

I am also gearing up to create my own poetry segment that will be featured on my Youtube Channel called Until TV – slogan: You never know what you’ll see, on Until TV.

Do you plan on attending any events soon? If so, please tell us where you will be?

I am, however I’m still working on the particulars for each event I’ll be attending. But to read excerpts of my book, to find out my next move, events or interviews you can always visit my book blog called “I Just Want to Write!” at

How can the readers contact you if they would like to receive a personal copy? Do you have a website?

I have a website and readers can purchase my book and/or contact me on website at .

What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an author?

The advice I have for someone starting out as an author is, keep a notebook to write down all of your ideas, be organized. Hone down all that you want to do, make a plan. Once you do that, make a list of all you need, find out the cost and begin pursuing your checklist.

Where do you see yourself five years from now if you continue writing books?

Five years from now, I see myself as a well-established writer in not just books but in many genre’s I’m constantly indulging in, like greeting card writing, speech writing, essay writing and so on. I do many things, but to be honest, it all reverts back to writing. My joy is writing, so writing whether it be five year from now, ten years from now or more, writing in every way that I desire, I’ll just be—a WELL –respected and established yet loved writer.

Is there anything else you would like to say in closing?

Yes. I wish you and many others great success, happiness and joy in your writing and other endeavors you pursue. Many blessings Love Until…

The Sabata-mpho Mokae Interview


Sabata-mpho Mokae is an accomplished South African author, poet and journalist. He took time out of his busy schedule to speak with us. In our interview, we hope to find out more about Mr. Mokae and his published works.

Greetings Sabata, please share your background for our readers.

I’m a South African writer. I write in English and Setswana (a language spoken in five southern African countries by over six million people). I live in a city of Kimberley, known more for being the first place in the world where diamonds were discovered and mined. On a daily basis I work as a journalist for Independent Media’s DFA newspaper, also one of the oldest papers in the country.

How long have you’ve been writing?

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I do remember writing some things – it might have been poems or just fiction pieces – when I was in high school. But I know that in 1991 I stumbled upon a novel “No Longer at Ease” by one of Africa’s most celebrated writers, Chinua Achebe. The story was so interesting, even to a young mind, and his storytelling so flawless that it ignited the storyteller in me. After reading that book I started to seriously attempt writing.

What were the inspirations behind each of your published works?

The first one was a biography of Sol Plaatje, a pioneering South African writer and political activist. He was the first African to translate William Shakespeare into an African language and the first black South African to write an English novel. He was also one of the founder of the African National Congress, currently the governing party in South Africa and the oldest political organisation in the African continent. His life, works and what he stood for inspired the book and continue to inspire me. My other works are inspired by the realities of life in the post-apartheid South Africa; our new struggles and even our aspirations.

What inspired you to write in different genres such as poetry, biography and novel work?

I don’t want to confine myself to one genre even though I feel comfortable as a fiction writer. I don’t write a lot of poetry and my only collection of poems, Escaping Trauma, came after a decade of writing poetry. Writing a biography came naturally to me as a journalist. At times you write a feature story about some important person and still feel like you should have not stopped where you did. Right at that moment you need to write something longer about the person. When I started writing fiction I was experimenting. That’s why I was so pleasantly surprised when my first novella won two national awards. But what I know is that I had fun when writing it, especially because it’s in an African language. Both my Setswana novels are being translated into English by translators in the United States. But also writing in Setswana, among others, is being the opposite of what apartheid intended me and others to be. African languages were not official languages in South Africa. Attempting to Anglicise us also meant culturally confusing us. A culture carries values, indigenous knowledge and history. Making people forget their language means making them forget all those things. Writing in a language that the apartheid regime marginalised is showing apartheid a middle finger. But it’s also about cultural pride and the dignity of a people.

What were the steps taken to publish books such as The Story of Sol T. Plaatje to your current youth novella Dikeledi? Did you self-publish?

The first one was published by the in-house publishing house of the Sol Plaatje Trust and because I was working for the Trust, it was fairly easy to be published by them. I had been commissioned to do research by the Trust and in my spare time I wrote the book. Once I was done they looked at it and decided to publish it. Dikeledi was published by Geko Publishing, the publishers of my first novel which had sold fairly well nationally. The publishers had assured me they’d publish anything that came from me and they did. The one I self-published was Escaping Trauma, a collection of poems. This was because most of those had already been published in several anthologies and journals. Getting them in one volume was mainly getting all my cows in one kraal. They were enough to fill a volume.

Please tell our readers why it is important to read South African literature from authors such as yourself? What can we learn in the States by reading your books?

The post-apartheid South Africa is an unfolding story. It’s the story of a nation that’s picking up the pieces after apartheid. Ours are stories of a cosmopolitan Africa, a rising Africa, a now post-Mandela Africa. My generation of writers speak truth to power, travel the world and find inspiration for creativity wherever they go. They also write about Africans and possibly for Africans in Africa and the Diaspora. They know and are enraged by what happens to young black men in America. They’re aware of how Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians live and know that their struggles are our struggles too. Many African-Americans who came here found that we share stories, we find inspiration in each others’ stories. So these are stories of people trying to make ends meet, fighting racism, wanting to live normal lives despite the odds that are against them, reclaiming their space in the world and working to regain the lost dignities.

Do you have any other literary artists in your family? If so, could you share with our readers who they are?

The other writer in my family is Gomolemo Mokae, a medical doctor who decided to leave medicine for literature and writes in two languages like I do. He also wrote television dramas.

Are you involved in other projects at the present time? If so, would you mind sharing them with us?

I’m translating the children stories of a celebrated South African storyteller, Gcina Mhlophe, into Setswana from English. I’m also working on a new book on Sol Plaatje’s letter with England-based historian Dr Brian Willan. In the next few months I and Dr Lesego Malepe, a retired professor in Boston, Massachusetts will start co-writing a series of children’s books aimed mainly at South African and African-American children.

Do you plan on attending any events soon? If so, please tell us where you will be?

This year I plan to stay at home and write. I want to make up for lost time. I have been too busy for my liking. However, I have trips planned for Ghana and the United States in September and October.

What are your plans for promoting your works and yourself in the United States? What will you need to “break through?”

I’ll be going to Oakland, California in October to promote my new book “KANAKOTSAME – in my time”. I hope to get it to bookstores and independent booksellers in the Bay area. I’ll also go to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to do the same and deliver a lecture or two. Basically I need access to the US reading community. Hopefully I’ll get invitations to literary events in the US, which will help me to interact with readers and fellow writers in the US.

How can the readers contact you if they would like to receive a personal copy?Do you have a website?

At the moment they can go to my publisher’s website I’m on Twitter (@mokaewriter) and Facebook (Sabata-mpho Mokae). Otherwise my email address is

What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an author?

Writers are witnesses to the truth. Know your truth and be truthful to it in your art. Write the books that you’d like to read; that’s the only way you can be sure others will read them.

Is there anything else you would like to say in closing?

The world is one village with diverse people living in it. The best way to know others is to read about them.

The Lisa D. DeNeal Interview: Dead Lies

Lisa D. DeNeal

Besides being one of the biggest fans of Scandal and other favorite television shows, Lisa D.De Neal is an outstanding journalist and new author. She’s here to share her latest work, Dead Lies with us.

Let’s know more about Lisa D. DeNeal Please tell us more about yourself.

My name is Lisa D. DeNeal and I am a freelance journalist and published author from Gary, IN.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for more than 20 years.

What inspired you to write your book Dead Lies?

“Dead Lies” was inspired by my work as a freelance writer for a daily newspaper called the Post-Tribune. I decided to create an alter ego in the lead character, Adam L. Davenport and create a story line blurring with what I’ve dealt with over the years. Adam loves what he does, but has to deal with a percentage of citizens in his hometown where he is reporting stories. Many don’t like him because they don’t like the newspaper. He catches a lot of hell from critics.

What steps did you take to publish your book?

I started the manuscript about five years ago and set it aside until last year. I finished the manuscript, edited the work and my sister told me about Createspace. After doing the research, I decided to self-publish through Createspace. I chose to do all of the editing and layout myself and chose the cover and not have to pay for it.

What’s your favorite part of Dead Lies?

I love the flashback sequence between Adam and his ex-wife, Eva, who is a staff photographer for The Daily Perspective which is a rival newspaper. I had fun putting that together.

What’s the one thing you want the readers to learn from your book?

With “Dead Lies,” I want readers to see that lies don’t ever die. The truth is going to come out one way or another.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

While there have been published novels about journalists, but I decided to focus on what a freelance journalist goes through personally and professionally.

Outside of writing this book, I understand you’re involved in other projects. Would you mind sharing them with us?

I am taking notes on another novel involving a debt collector and how his personal actions may result in a debt that he can or cannot pay. I also freelance for a couple of magazines.

Do you plan on attending any events soon? If so, please tell us where you will be?

I don’t have anything on the horizon yet.

How can the readers contact you if they would like to receive a personal copy? Do you have a website?

You can email me at “Dead Lies” is available on and

What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an author?

Write. Whenever you come up with a story idea, write it down. Don’t give up. Keep writing until the end.

Where do you see yourself five years from now if you continue writing books?

I would love to write and produce the film adaptation of “Dead Lies” and a couple other films.

Is there anything else you would like to say in closing?

Thanks for the opportunity to promote “Dead Lies” and I hope readers support it.

Here’s hoping we’ll flood our Twitter accounts advertising the Dead Lies movie coming out one day! Thanks to Ms. DeNeal for the interview!


The Monica F. Hudson Interview


Monica F. Hudson is a new author who’s come on the scene in recent years. She owns her own publishing company and in this interview with her, you’ll find she has a lot to say.

Let’s know more about Monica F. Hudson. Please tell us something about yourself.

I’m a mother of three children, two sons and a daughter, the nana of three granddaughters. I live in Little Rock, Arkansas, my hometown is Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The majority of my younger life was spend traveling with both my parents, my father was military, army. I remember starting school at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, it was there that the Cuban Crisis and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy rings in my mind. I remember staying with my mother as my father was called for emergency duty during the Cuban crisis. I guess as a writer you get a visual of the world around you more than non-writers. I have always loved writing, as I grew up in my teens, two of my reporters I admired was Barbara Walters covering the national news scene and doing interviews and Pamela Smith here in Little Rock, AR.

I love arts and crafts, like stamping and creating jewelry or painting on glass, cooking when I get the chance, growing flowers especially roses, listening to music (jazz), and traveling. What do I have a thing for? Beautiful journals, ink pens, decanters, shot glasses (I have a nice collection) that friends and family have bought for me during their travels. I love star-gazing, art galleries, candy making, shadow boxes, and going to antique stores and consignment shops, I’m always on look-out for trinket boxes or old vases. I love birds, I have parakeets as pets.

I’m the author/publisher of Hudson Publishers, a company that creates non- fiction spiritual and inspirational books. We give faith based, scriptural information and encouragement. It is the calling of this writing ministry to spread the Word of Jesus Christ through all avenues of digital communication for the reader. Our logo and slogan are intertwined together, “Serving Spiritual Cuizine to the Masses”. I’m a member of the American Christian Writers, Missouri Writers Guild, Spiritual Writers Network, San Diego Writers Guild, Nonfiction Authors Association, Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Writers, Editors and Publishers. I have participated on many platforms such as Linkedlin, Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleton, Goodreads, Blogger, Black Blogger, Faith writers, Foursquare, and African American Book Writers.

I have had the opportunity to participate in a number of blog talk radio shows, podcast, and recently on book tour with my newest book, published in 2013, “Over There: Raindrops of Reflection.” I was invited in 2014 to speak on the Small Publishers Platform at The Arkansas Writers Conference. I have participated on the internet gospel praise radio show with Jerry Silvers, helping to create an avenue for other authors. I’m also one of the writers for the online magazine, “Make It So Report.” My website and blog page is visited by many global customers,, it is filled with information about the company, our mission, schedule events, book purchases, and inspirational messages for the reader on my blog page from over 80,000 customers here in the U.S. and abroad. I strive higher every day to create, write, and build a strong faith based company that others can receive for encouragement through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m also a veteran in the healthcare field for 25+ years, my home church is Bethel A.M.E. Church in Little Rock, Arkansas.
How long have you been writing?

My passion for writing has grown throughout my life but in 2003 is when the doors to become a professional writer emerged. The book, The Bride and The Bridegroom: A Spiritual Romance was published in 2008 through another publishing company. As time progressed the series, “Sleeper Awake!” came to life and also the company name, Hudson Publishers and thus, established myself as author/publisher in 2010. The company is now growing outward to create other paper products and items for this Christian company in 2014.

What inspired you to write your latest book?

The third book in the “Sleeper Awake Series”, “Over There: Raindrops of Reflection was to encourage and remind those of Christian faith of all that The Lord has done for them through His Son, Jesus Christ. God’s promises are so important especially in the difficult times that are arising now. It is the anthem for the entire series that God is walking not just in good times but even when we can’t understand what is happening in the cloudy days of our life. I’m a Spiritual Writer delivering a powerful message about God’s love.

What steps did you take to publish your first or latest work?

Every Publishing House sets standards of how they want to develop an author’s vision, much of which you have listed within this question. Making sure that the literature is copy written, editing and layout design are important factors in the road to publishing that should not be taken lightly.
What’s your favorite part  or poem you’d like to share?

The One

For tomorrow is never far off to think of my life becoming a new. Memories of treasures buried deep in the earth can I become inspired to unearth such times that have gone by. Our minds bring an endless scope of sparkles and dreams set on the horizon of dreams that open like a treasure chest. Can hope only grant me one wish that I may see the star chosen just for me and touch the days of tomorrow?
Wait on the black beaches that shimmer like pearls for there you will find me, hidden from all the others. Waver not in trusting your Faith; your eyes don’t deceive you. Not in all battles won and lost I have but mesmerized your voice, let my ears be attentive to that, which pour upon me as honey. Taste of what your eyes behold sweet, warm and running with juices as a plum fresh from the orchard. Has not? Cannot? My lips please thee after for my voice tenderly, softly releases your name into the wind that it be carried away so the earth may know I’m safe, secure and buried deeply in your arms.
——————Taken from the book: The Bride and The Bridegroom: A Spiritual Romance; 2008 (Author house Publishing)
Salvation Comes

Yes! My soul longs to see the justice of the oppressed, the sweet smell of magnolias, the by and by of the saints. Let us walk marching towards heaven’s gate, our mouths open with the notes of our God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. What joy to know that I’m walking towards my freedom in His promises, within the fullness of life my God has given me, within this life my Lord has placed confidence that His trust He has kept under His tongue; His voice rises my wanting for a better life within Him that my eyes shall behold the Great Light coming down to meet us.

See the Bridegroom riding down with victory and power, on the side of His thigh! The word is justice for all. See the strong gather around Him? They are calling his name, Jesus! On the other side of this empty life stands the narrow door of eternal life. Let me walk in the sweetness of the dew, for He has sealed His love within me. Over There is where my life starts. Let me walk with songs of a glad heart, for I have made a new life with my Lord Over There.

Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth so wonderful that no one will even think about the old ones anymore. Be glad; rejoice forever in my new creations! And Look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness.

Her people will be source of joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem and delight in my people. And the sound of weeping and crying will be heard no more.
—————–Isaiah (nlt) 65:17-19
Taken from the third book: Over There: Raindrops of Reflection, 2013 (Hudson Publishers)

What is the one thing you want the readers to take away from your books?

God never closes His door to anyone who wants to surrender and be faithful to Him. His hand is extended to those who want to live and experience eternal life with Him.
Please tell us what makes your book stand out from the rest?

The message of God’s divine plan and steadfast love.

Let us try to imagine standing at the gates of heaven, an eternal home filled with peace, but most of all the promise lives there. He has paved the way so that we may live with Him always. In doing the things asked of us we receive the crown of Victory. I know all that is in store for me there the riches of wealth unto the eternal life that is more than all the earth’s abundance.

He pours the longing of His love upon us because we took the time to listen to what He had to say. Each activity of our life teaches us a better way to live. How can I know love within my heart if I don’t open to the One who can give me eternal life?

May these mediations bring you closer to Jesus so that you can hear Him speaking to those who are looking for a better way to live. May it be believed that these mediations have been given with purpose and meaning to know that we have a God who loves us and want for us because He lives Over There.
Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord; Point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.
——————–(nlt) Psalms 25:4-5

Outside of writing your books I understand you’re involved in other projects. Would you like to share what those are with us?

Yes. I’m in the process of publishing the fourth and fifth book in the series, “Sleeper Awake!” I’m also working on two single book titles to come out in the near future. I have put together another book series and creating journal books, bookmarkers and post cards to air this year. This is part of our sister company, Eternal Fountain, its slogan, “Lines of Wisdom.” We are in the process of connecting with gift shops pertaining to these products. In the near future we are expecting to start a jewelry line reflecting our books. As the year progresses an audio CD and ebook of the book, “Over There: Raindrops of Reflection will be coming out as well as a UTUBE of the book. The next and fourth book, The Height of Perpetual Love will be marketed as a soft cover, ebook, and audio. Outside of writing, I’m working on a line of pampering products for women. There are a list of other projects that will be unveiled at another later time.

Do you plan on attending any events soon? If so, please tell us where you will be?

Yes. The Arkansas Literary Festival will be held this month. The event to kick it off is the Author! Author! Party, The Arkansas Writers Conference held in June, the Ozark Writers Conference held in October. Because of the kick-off of the fourth book trips for the year have been condensed to my home state. The book tour for the book, Over There: Raindrops of Reflection will end in July but not the marketing campaign nor products surrounding the book.

How can the readers contact you if they would like to receive a personal copy? Do you have a website?

Yes. I have been on book tour so there are bookstores that are marketing and selling the latest book, “Over There: Raindrops of Reflection.” Here in Little Rock, AR…… Wordsworth Bookstore, The Pyramid Bookstore, in Blytheville, AR…..That Bookstore, in Pine Bluff, AR…..Ephesus Bookstore, in Los Angeles, CA….Windsor Hills Christian Bookstore and coming soon in three other stores soon to be announced in the upcoming months. Too your second question. Yes. You can reach the company and order books online at We are Paypal secure. You can also leave a message on my website.

What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an author?

Have a clear vision of your writing path, perseverance to believe in your dreams, a strong marketing plan before you write the book, patience with yourself and most of all put God first.

Where do you see yourself five years from now if you continue writing books?

A mature and influential company not seen as a small press but a company with high expectations to continue to give readers the meat of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and continued integrity to integrate all areas of digital publishing to the global community.

Is there anything else you would like to say in closing?

Yes. There are two strong avenues of publishing, traditional and self-publishing the writer must remember that no matter which one they decide each one carries with it hard work, not so much about the book but marketing yourself. It is difficult for unknown authors to make it big especially the first time or even the second. You can’t depend even on traditional publishing house to pay out big bucks just for you-you have to put something into your marketing also. Remember that though self-publishing looks easy, know that you will take responsibility in wearing all the hats, work is harder but with progress comes the vision of what you want people to see. It’s that passion of your craft that will get you through many difficult times when you want to turn around and give up, but like a very close friend of years told me, “Keep Going!”


A Word From Our Sponsor: C Dyann Designs

Note: C Dyann Designs is an Authors N Focus sponsor

For Immediate Release April 8, 2015 8:00 AM PST
Jewelry & Accessories
C Dyann Designs Joining Shopify with Handmade Jewelry & Accessories

Los Angeles Based Brand Expanding Online Presence
C Dyann
Los Angeles, CA— Jewelry & Accessories — C Dyann Designs announces immediate availability of her handmade Jewelry & Accessories, providing existing and potential customers an additional shopping experience for the brand’s one-of-a-kind creations.
“I’m so pleased that we moved operations to Los Angeles. It’s the perfect place for fashion and innovation,” said Chandra Chatmon nee Adams, Owner and Designer at C Dyann Designs.

Many customers have enjoyed handmade jewelry, hats, scarves and purses purchased both offline and online from C Dyann Designs. Chatmon uses a variety of metals, gemstones, crystals, fibers and fabric to design her offerings. She is an author and an artist whose creativity continues to evolve and expand.
“I’ve made the leap from novelist to jewelry and accessories designer,” said Chatmon. “The future looks bright and bringing beautiful things to life with my own two hands is at the heart of what motivates me every single day.”

Founded in 2012, C Dyann Designs is a California-based business.. The company offers a wide range of products designed to make everyone feel beautiful and unique.
For more information on C Dyann Designs:

Writer’s Panel at AC Bilbrew Library

AC Bilbrew

AC Bilbrew Library will hold a writer’s panel on January 24 beginning at 2:30pm. It will be facilitated by Odie Hawkins who is an author and a performance artist. The panel is presented by members of the library’s Writers’ Workshop. Panelists are unknown at this time. For more information, please call the library at (310) 538-3350. The address is 150 East El Segundo Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90061.