Monthly Archives: December 2015

Author Interview: Fabiola Joseph

I connected with the beautiful and talented Fabiola Joseph on Facebook almost a year ago. I watched her from afar, and saw her passion for the arts; writing, reading, music, film, cooking, and everything in between. She has exquisite taste and I resonate with everything she posts. Her writing is beautiful. Her energy and vibe is unique and special. I was so happy she agreed to do an interview with me. My prayer is that the rest of the world will see her gift. I see it, and I know others do too, but my hope is that the rest of the world sees it, and experiences her talent firsthand. It is with great pleasure to introduce to you, Fabiola Joseph.

1)  What was it like growing up in Springfield, Maryland as a child?

Growing up in Maryland was lovely. I have always enjoyed watching the seasons change and it offered so much to do. I love the zoo, museums, and poetry clubs. I could go on for days; there was always something to do. There was always a reggae club or house party I was sneaking out of the house to attend. I just love the feel and flavor of Maryland. One minute, you could be in Washington D.C. enjoying the fast city life, and the next minute, you could be in the suburbs. I had the pleasure of growing up in Montgomery County. It was extremely diverse and allowed me to interact with people from all over the world. I always laugh when I think back and remember this girl Sarah. She was a Jewish girl who introduced me to Snoop Dog and 4 Non Blondes. I grew up not seeing color or religion, I just saw people…and I credit that to growing up in Mo county, as we call it.

2) You found your passion with the written word in middle school. Do you remember what book did it for you?

Yes, it was a combination of four books and a movie. Whoreson and Street Players by Donald Goines. Disappearing Acts but Terry McMillan, Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree, and the movie “Poetic Justice.” I was captivated by all four of them and they made me want to build my own world and tell a story.

3) What was the first piece you ever wrote?

The very first book I wrote was titled, Among Us. It was a tale, of sex, friendship, and deceit. It was soooo juicy, but someone stole it from me years later. It was hand written.

4) Did anyone influence or encourage you to write?

My school mates and my teachers all pushed me to write. I was in middle school yet I had teachers letting the class socialize quietly so that they could read the fresh chapter I wrote the night before. I had to keep a separate notebook and write names down so the students could get their turn as well.

5) Describe the world through your eyes?

The world through my eyes is a beautiful, tragic, scary, loving, and colorful place. Beautiful because I have decided to see the beauty in the good and the bad. Tragic because monsters are real. Scary because at times, we don’t know who the monsters are until they are unmasked. Loving because I have had the pleasure of experiencing true love. Colorful because when it comes to people, I love them for exactly who they are, and that takes things from a dim grey to an array of colors. I get to understand the truth of their soul, and that is priceless because as a writer, we yearn for authenticity.

6) You have excellent taste in music. Where did your passion for music begin?

Thank you. My love for music comes from my upbringing. My mother always cooked and clean at night. She was also married to a man who was in a Haitian folk dancing group. They would practice at our house and the music would be blaring from morning to night. When my mother cooked and cleaned, she always had music on. She also has a great musical palate. She listened to everything from Haitian and Jamaican music, to Latin and American. I got so used to falling asleep with music on that I still go to bed with it on today.

7) What is your process as a writer?

I am always stumped when it comes to this question because I don’t think I have a process. My ideas usually come to me while writing. I guess that’s when my creative juices are flowing. For me, as long as I have a computer, music, and a snack, I’m good. At times, I need the music very loud, and other times, I need dead silence. It all depends on my mood and the mood of the piece I’m working on.

8) When you started to write for your first novel, how did you feel? Was it difficult? What did you find the most challenging? What did you learn through the process?

I always say that writing for self is one of the best experiences. When there’s no pressure from readers or publishers, I feel like I have free range to create. They only thoughts or voices in my head are that of my own, and my characters. That’s what it was like when I wrote my first book. I was free, and every single word on that paper was exactly what I wanted, not what I thought people wanted to read. That is what I have taken with me, what I have learned from writing that first book. I learned to write for myself. To stay true to me, no matter what. I still live by that motto today. I write for me, and hopefully, the world will understand and appreciate it.

9) What do you believe makes you different, distinct and sets you apart from other authors?

I laughed when reading this question because I have had shows where people call in and say, I know your writing, as if they could pick it out in a literary line-up, and I love that. I only know that I am different because the people who read my work say so. When I sit down to write, I don’t think, how can I be different this time around? I just sit and write what the characters are saying to me. I write what I am seeing while my fingers move. I don’t try and recreate anything someone else has done. I strive to tell the story my way, and that sets me apart I guess. Maybe that’s why each and every one of my books has been different from the last. I follow the characters, they lead me.

10) Are you a full-time writer, and if so, how did you make the transition?

I always say I’m a full-time author, even when I work. {lol} To me, writing is always full-time. If I’m not sitting there writing, I’m thinking about writing.

11) What does your typical day look like?

I’m always busy. I can’t wait to move back to Maryland and just have days to myself. I run around a lot. Always helping someone else, which is rewarding, just tiring. I don’t make it to bed until three, four in the morning. Then I’m up by ten the next morning to do it all over again. I hit the malls a lot between all of that. I have a shopping addiction I need to get control of. {lol}

12) What steps did you take to perfect your craft?

I’m still learning and I’ll die a student. I don’t think anyone ever reaches perfection as a writer. Hopefully, you just get better with every book you write. But, I do try and read authors far more advanced than me. I am also a huge movie buff, and that is a great teacher as well.

13) If there is one thing you could change about the industry, what would it be?

I would change how a lot of African American writers are pushed to the masses. I think that there needs to be more visibility when it comes to our work. I would love to see more of our books turned to movies, and have our books read outside of our community. Don’t get me wrong, I have readers of all races, but let’s take a book like…Fifty Shades of Grey. The reason it was so huge was because EVERYONE wanted to read it and see what the hype was all about. I only wish that for our work as well. Books don’t have a color, no matter the race of the writer or the race of the characters. A good story is just that.

14) What are some of your all-time favorite books and authors?

Donald Goines and almost all of his work. It’s so chilling and real. I love how Terry McMillan tells a story. I love the diversity in Omar Tyree’s work. I think Brandie Davis weaves words like a magician and makes them so beautiful. I love the tragic tale of Janet Fitch’s White Oleander. I also love the raw and sexy swag of Jackie Collins. There is also a book called, Groove, Bang, and Jive Around by Steve Cannon. It’s nasty, crude, shocking, and downright disgusting at times, but I loved every minute of it. I had never read anything like it. I could really go on for days but, they stand out to me right now.

15) Please list and describe your books.

I will go in order of publication. 1. The Art of Deceit. It’s a tale of sex, drugs, music, murder, and the grime that dwells behind the shadows of Hip-Hop. Tangie is a video girl who wants the world, or she’ll take it. She’ll do anything to make sure she gets what she wants. 2. Porn Stars 1&2. Author Mathew Ramsey and I really wanted to dive into the lives of our porn stars and fill you in on what happens once CUT is yelled and they go home. It’s sexy, thrilling, and full of action. 3. Rebel’s Domain. Scarlett is a 15 year old girl with an insatiable appetite for blood. Her father trains her in the act of seduction and murder, and soon, she grows into a full-blown monster. 4. Niya 1&2. Niya is a coming of age story that deals with the main character coming to terms with being a lesbian and falling in love with her neighbor, Jamilla, who isn’t quite sure how to deal with falling for a girl. It’s touching, has helped so many people, and are my most successful books to date. {Niya 1&2 has been picked up by Urban books and is not available for purchase at this time. It will be re-released into one book late 2016} I have two shorts, The Bully Bangers, and Truth or Death. In the Bully Bangers, the victim finds a way to get even with her tormentors, and in Truth or Death, you find out what happens when a man lives a double life and someone is out for revenge. Coming soon I have The Turn Out Queens anthology. Four other authors joined in on the fun to bring the readers sexy stories dealing with the workers in a lesbian night club in Washington D.C. I had a blast working with Christiana Harell, Raynesha Pittman, Ben Burgess Jr., and Renee Wallace. Pricey: Playing in Traffic was also picked up by Urban Books and it’s a hell of a story dealing with human trafficking and what happens to its victims. It will be out August 2016.

16) Which book was the hardest to write and why?

The hardest to write was Niya 2. I was going through hell emotionally and I didn’t want to have to go to that place I knew Niya would take me. A lot of my real life is in that book and that fact made it hard to write.

17) How long does it generally take you to write a book?

I have written books in as short as a few weeks, Niya 1. And up to six months, The Art of Deceit. But TAOD was well over 100k words, and Porn Stars 1&2 was well over 200k.

18) What do you want your readers to get from your books?

I want the readers to walk away from my work understanding the world more. Maybe acquiring more tolerance, more love, and more peace with themselves. I want them to be entertained. I want them to laugh and cry along with the characters. I want them to be turned the hell on and drop my book and jump on their mate. I want them to enter my world and never come out the same person they were when they read the first sentence.

19) What are some things you still want to accomplish?

In 2015, one of my literary dreams came true, and that was being signed to a major. Now, I plan on reaching the masses and changing the world, one reader at a time. I dream of my work on the big screen. I pray to touch more people and open minds. And yes, I am working on something new. I feel like she’s taking me back to that place I haven’t been since writing TAOD and Tangie. She is so raw and sexy, and I love it.

20) Lastly, what advice would you give a novice writer?

The only advice I constantly give when I am asked is, remain true to who you are and what you want to write. Never follow fads…they fade.

A lover of literature, good music, movies, and art, Fabiola Joseph is multifaceted. She was raised in Silver Spring, Maryland and while in middle school, she found her passion for reading and writing. She began her love affair with the power of the written word, and it was clear that writing was her destiny.
In 2011, The Art of Deceit, a novel about the grime that dwells behind the shadows of Hip Hop, through the eyes of a video vixen, was released. In 2012, she co-authored the erotic tale, Porn Stars 1 & 2, which provided readers with a behind-the-set look into the pornographic life style. November 2012, Fabiola unleashed the fifteen-year-old serial killer, Scarlett Rose. Rebel’s Domain is new and exciting,, and it brings something different and captivating to urban thrillers. Suffocating in darkness, this teenager is nothing like any girl you’ve ever read about before. Her newest release is NIYA: Rainbow Dreams. Niya explores the world of a stud lesbian named, Niya, and her best friend, Jamilla. This is a story about two young women who are coming to terms with who they are. It’s a touching tale of friendship, love, dreams, and murder. Niya 2: Dreamer’s Paradise was released in 2014, continuing the Niya saga. Ms. Joseph also published two short stories The Bully Bangers, which deals with a growing problem in America’s schools. The Bully Bangers brings justice to the jilted with a twist where the predators become the prey. Truth or Death brings to the readers a new meaning to couple’s therapy and the repercussions of a man who is living a double life. Pricey: Playing In Traffic is Fabiola’s next major release. She delves deep into the world of human trafficking, and is sure to tug at your heart and soul with this gut-wrenching novel. Billie and Carmines story is not for the faint of heart. Join them as they go from kids to monsters, and from slaves to beasts.What does it take to survive in the world of human trafficking? Find out August 2016.
Fabiola is uncompromising when it comes to her work. She believes that for her… there is no box, so never try to fit her talents into one. Taking risks, being open and free within the realms of her words, and writing from the heart is the only code she lives by within the domain of literature. Enter her world and she promises that you will not come out the same. With her pen, she plans on changing the world.
In 2015, Fabiola signed a multi-book deal with Urban Books. Niya 1&2 will be turned into one book and re-released under Urban Books, 2016. It is no longer available for purchase independently.
Contact Fabiola Joseph
*Twitter – @Soulofawriter
*Facebook – Fabiola.Joseph3
*Fan Page – FabieTheDreamer
*Instagram – TheArtOfBeingFabie

Temporary Fixes

When we’re not getting our needs met the human tendency is to search for a temporary fix. I’m not saying everyone does it, but the majority do. We substitute one thing for another.

We fantasize, run and chase what we believe will fulfill or satisfy us. If you are an artistic person, with a vivid imagination, you will come up with a lot of creative ways.

Courtesy of Creative Commons ~ Bewitched by Paula Ferrary

We tend to build a fortress of lies, believing if we get this one thing, it will be the answer to our happiness.

What I’ve discovered from various and random conversations how dissatisfied people are. Whether it is with their jobs, careers, families and marriages; people are unhappy.

No wonder romance novels, movies and love songs do so well. Deep within us is a longing to be loved. I believe it is deeper than being loved. There is this inner yearning for a real connection. Who doesn’t want a love story with a happy ending?

Unfortunately, there aren’t many happy endings. People are walking around with broken hearts, relationships and marriages. People are losing hope, and settling for temporary fixes to assuage their wounds.

I see a bunch of lonely, disconnected people walking around, having sex, and nothing more. They claim this is all they want, which I can understand. I’ve entertained this kind of thinking, only to realize how empty it is.

There are single people looking at married couples, and secretly envying them, but what they fail to realize is that they are only watching a snapshot in time. Granted, there are those few exceptions of happily ever after couples who still hold hands and kiss at eighty, but they’re rare.

So, for those who are single and dreamingly looking at married couples, thinking they’re blissful; relationships require work. But instead of working, they want easy, they want temporary fixes. They buy into cheap fantasies to fill the void. Hollywood does a good job in feeding us a *feel good* dream, and who doesn’t want to feel good?

However, what feels good, may not necessarily be what is best for us. What we think we need, may not be what want and what we want, may not be what we need.

There are many in dead end marriages who cheat on their spouses thinking that’s the answer in alleviating their misery. Unfortunately, those who do, come out more empty than when they went in.

The answer is not another person, job or thing. People, jobs and things aren’t going to fulfill you because they are only temporary. You must focus on you.

Value who you are and know your worth. Don’t settle for breadcrumbs, when you deserve the main course. Don’t lessen your standards to meet someone else’s expectations. Don’t betray yourself in the midst of trying to please others. Get to know who you are and what you want. When you love, embrace and accept yourself for who you are, you won’t feel the necessity to chase after temporary fixes.

Do you chase after temporary fixes? What has been your experience?

The Anger Meridian by Kaylie Jones

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Akashic Books (July 7, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1617753513
ISBN-13: 978-1617753510
Price: $15.95
Purchase: Amazon | BN | Akashic Books









Merryn Huntley is rudely awakened to the many bad decisions she has made in her life when she is told by two Dallas police officers that her wealthy husband Beau has been killed in a car accident, along with a local waitress. Merryn’s first instinct is to flee in order to protect her nine-year-old daughter, and the only place that feels safe enough is her mother’s beautiful, isolated home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Merryn’s mother, the redoubtable Bibi, always said to her as a child, When you tell a lie, make sure you keep it as close to the truth as possible, because it will be easier to remember. Ironically, from the moment Merryn arrives, she is forced into twisting the truth—about how much she knew of her husband and his shady business affairs; about her own secret lovers; and most importantly, that she is beginning to doubt the one person who has always been the greatest influence in her life: her mother.

The situation worsens when two FBI agents show up and begin to ask Merryn questions about her husband’s business, which only intensifies her need to continue lying. While Merryn’s perfect world begins to crumble around her, she must decide whether or not she can face the most painful reality of all—that she has been lying to herself her entire life.


Kaylie Jones is an absolutely beautiful writer. The Anger Meridian was a unique, interesting, emotionally charged, suspenseful, surprising and romantic story. It had a little bit of everything. The characters were real, complex and dynamic.

Kaylie Jones brings San Miguel de Allende to life, rich in its landscape and vivid imagery. Everything she describes, you are able to experience with your senses.

I was transported into Merryn’s world, between her deceased husband, her mother Bibi, her nine year old daughter Tenney, and all the other relationships she formed. Kaylie Jones describes the inner workings, psychological and emotional dimensions of Merryn with such depth, including her secrets, and the lies she’s forced to tell.

The mood, pacing, prose and plot is phenomenal. The events which transpire in this story, keep you guessing and wondering what will happen next.

This is by far my favorite novel in 2015. I highly recommend it.

KAYLIE JONES has published seven books, including a memoir, Lies My Mother Never Told Me, and her most recent novel, The Anger Meridian. Her novel A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries was adapted as a Merchant Ivory film in 1998. Jones has been teaching for more than twenty-five years, and is a faculty member in the Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing & Literature program and in Wilkes University’s MFA in Creative Writing program. She is the author of Speak Now and the editor of Long Island Noir. Her newest endeavor is her publishing imprint with Akashic Books, Kaylie Jones Books.

You can follow Kaylie Jones on Facebook and Twitter.


Author Interview: S.W. Frank

I came across this Indie author and found her books to be realistic, well written and researched. She intrigued me so, that I reached out to her and asked if she would be willing to do an interview for my blog. She graciously accepted and generously responded to my questions. I am happy to introduce to you, S.W. Frank.

1) Who is S.W. Frank?

I’m someone with a long standing love affair with the arts. I enjoy drawing, music, and write poetry. I’m family oriented and cherish every moment in the company of good friends, as well. There are causes that I support, Anti- bullying, adult literacy and the arts.  My passion for what I love, transcends into my stories in a sensual way amid the drama.

2) Did you grow up in New York?


3) When did you first learn you were a writer?

I suppose as a child when my imagination and views were transcribed regularly into my notebooks. The expositions, were often catchy and I think back then I had an idea that I enjoyed writing immensely.

4) What has your writing journey been like?

There are the bumps and skids that occur in the journey. However, it’s an exhilarating feeling to know,  I’m doing what I love and that’s the most fulfilling part of the ride.

5) Did you read as a child? If so, what was your favorite book?

I read often. I have too many favorite books. In the formative years some books that stretched my imagination were, Alice in Wonderland, Charlotte’s Web, The Three Musketeers and others. In grade school, my reading interest expanded to a diversity of books: autobiographies, poetry, philosophy and academic readings. My favorites when I was very young were, Anansi the Spider and The Cat in the Hat.

6) Was there anyone in your life that encouraged you to write?

My mom always encouraged my creativity, whether art, singing or writing. Growing up, my parents steered me to the library or encyclopedias whenever I had a question about a subject. In college, my Creative Writing and English Literature Professors were encouraging as well.

7) What did you do specifically to hone your craft? Did you take classes? Did you read any particular books? If so, which ones?

I’ve written as long as I can remember. I’ve taken Creative Writing in college, attended a few writing workshops.  I am currently enrolled in a writer’s class that is taught by a well-known author. I have read books about writing, but there isn’t a particular book that I have studied. I take risks, and might break grammar rules. I might end a sentence with a proposition or use informal syntax. That is the voice, I believe allows readers to identify my works.

8) What are some of your favorite books and authors?

My favorite authors, wow, I’m an eclectic reader. I might desire to read Alex Haley today, revisit Homer or James Patterson and then sit and read a poem by Julia de Burgos or a comic book to a contemporary novel. The Odyssey and Roots are books that I have reread. I guess, Homer and Haley are in the top tier.

9) What do you think makes you become a better writer?

Learning about many things, interacting with people of different cultures and having a passion for writing, work for me.

10) Do you believe a writer is born or made?

I can only answer that by saying, writing has been an intrinsic part of my life and is an extension of my speech.

11) How did you first get the concept or idea for Alfonzo?

The novel Alfonzo is a compilation of my enjoyment of mafia stories. I wanted to make a contemporary mafia kingpin and include diversity which is reflective of the world.

12) What stands out for me about you is that your books are well researched. How much time do you spend researching?

When there is a subject I’m unfamiliar with, I do quite a bit of research, which might include interviewing people or travel.

13) When you first wrote Alfonzo did you know it would become a book series?

I knew I loved Alfonzo and Selange. Initially, I considered a sequel. As I delved further into the characters, there were many stories more potential stories to explore. Therefore, Alfonzo turned into volumes.

14) Could you tell us a little bit about the books you have written?

The Sisters of Cain and Abel, is what I consider a modern version of Cain and Abel, with a colorful twist. Missing Person, is a suspense novel. A woman whose husband goes missing crosses path with an illegal organ transplantation surgeon named Dr. Nebojsa. Thus, that lead to a spin-off, entitled, Dr. Nebojsa.  Then there’s Evelyn’s Cross, which is a supernatural romance with warrior angels and demons. Mana-Made is a novella and my satiric slant on the ‘nothing is as it seems,’ especially in modern times in relationships and the genders. The Criminal Elite, is an action romance that incorporates current events and social concerns into entertainment. I created a protagonist that has to come to terms that he has a stake in the political direction of his country when he falls in love with an immigrant, yet the forerunner for the presidency is anti-immigration. Queenpins, is a novel that highlights nothing is black and white. To eat, or just to have a roof over their heads, two young girls have to make tough choices and become women of industry.

15) How do your ideas and inspiration come?

My ideas come from everything and anything. There’s nothing magical in the formulation, simply ideas that excite me and I find might make an interesting story.

16) How did you transition into becoming a full-time writer?

The transition to writing full time was made easier by having a supportive family. There isn’t a certainty of a set salary. However, the true reward is living as fully as possible by following my dreams. 

17) Is there something else you still aspire to do?

I see myself tending bar, doing fancy tricks as I mix drinks and chat with the customers. Sociable, engaging things like that.

18) What are your thoughts regarding the book industry today?

These are the best of times and the worst of times in the book industry. Book stores are vital, yet many are closing. There is a saturation of books and someone that has chosen to self-publish must employ creative marketing tools to compete with the novels cranked out by the mainstream publishing powerhouses. There are many wonderful Independent books in circulation, and my belief is the industry is dependent upon the savvy reader to peruse the contents of books to discover something that might resonate. Hopefully, the reader will not rely solely on the publications that often exclude Independent or self-published novels. I think, E.L. James is a great example of some of the interesting books available to readers. Hopefully, readers that are looking for different perspectives might consider checking out Independents.

19) Are you currently working on any new projects?

I’m long overdue for a family vacation, and that’s my immediate agenda.

20) Lastly, what advice would you give an aspiring novelist?

A person entering the writing profession must have a thick skin, dedication and a passion for the craft. Read, write, keep learning and maintain a healthy perspective. Most of all, have fun.

S.W. Frank resides in New York. As a child, the author has always enjoyed, music, poetry and the arts. The influences of the arts is notable in the S.W. Frank’s burgeoning library of novels. The novelist’s adventurous life, has included a career in the FDNY Emergency Medical Services, during which time the author received numerous commendations, including an award for Bravery. However, a stint in law school and writing for the Law School’s Journal, the author decided the manuscripts collecting dust required fresh air. Ultimately, the joyful pursuit of writing became a full-time career.

Since that time, S.W. Frank’s novels have been listed in several publications, including an article in the Guardian, as one of the, ‘Gems in Indie Publishing.’ Considered, ‘bold and unapologetic in delivery,’ an S.W. Frank novel is certain to defy convention, often thought provoking and entertaining drama that includes diversity. Ultimately, love of family, friends and humanity is reflected, which is indicative of the literary artist’s soul.

You can follow S.W. Frank on Twitter.