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Interview with Heaven J. Fox

Interview with Heaven J. Fox

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

My greatest joy of writing is being able to create. I think it’s amazing how you can start with a blank page, pick a name, and some characteristics and start creating a person that seems so real and life-like. The characters that I create, I feel as though I for some type of relationship with them because they become like real people.

What are you working on next?

Currently I am working on Semester 2 of Fitting In. Along side that, for Nanowrimo I had written a Christian fiction that needs editing.

Who are your favorite authors?

Some of my fav authors are: Eric Jerome Dickey, T. Styles, Vanessa Miller, and many Indie Authors

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

When I’m not writing I spend most of my time thinking about writing, crocheting, sewing, reading, and watching TV shows.

How do you approach cover design?

I love graphic design so I create my own covers. The hardest part is finding the right image.

What is your e-reading device of choice?

My e-reading device is definitely my Kindle Fire.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

The story behind my latest book, Fitting In, is that it’s a story about teens. Just your everyday run of the mill teens. I didn’t want to do anything drastic that has already been done to death like the whole drug dealer, sagging pants, murdering, sex crazed thugs. I wanted real everyday teens. Not taking away from the fact that street lit isn’t true because it very well is. I wanted to deal with the peer pressures of wanting to fit in with the in-crowd and being pressured into having sex. How far will some go to fit in? What won’t you do?

This story has a few characters that are important to the story. Not just one protagonist and antagonist. Life is made up of so many different people and situations and it’s all about the choices we make in life. That’s what this story is about. How will each person deal with the hand that they are dealt?

What motivated you to become an indie author?

I have always wanted to become an author for as long as I could remember. Way back in the day it just all seemed so far-fetched. I didn’t even know at the time that there were any Urban authors but I wanted to read something that I could relate to, not just entertain me.

Now that we are in the day and age of e-books and the WWW. The possibilities are endless. Now I am able to make my dream come true. I can finally reach people and hopefully teach what they can relate to while I entertain them.

How do you discover the ebooks you read?

I mostly discover the books I read through Smashwords or Amazon.

What is your writing process?

My writing process varies with each story I write. But mostly it involves a lot of index cards and outlining. I guess you can say I’m more of a panster outliner… if that’s even such a thing. I will outline to try and get my thoughts out, but most of the time as I get into writing and the characters take on a mind of their own, I’ll let them do their own thing. Because first and foremost I pray and ask God to please guide me in the direction that He wants me to go.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up in an Urban area. I’ve seen and experienced a lot. Maybe not as much as many but more than some. So this has definitely influenced my writing. When I think of a concept, especially with teens, I draw from my past but then have to intensify it even more because kids today has it the hardest with the internet, cell phones, and social media. I don’t think I would have survived it back in my day. So I kind of want to help out the young adult of today seeing as though I gave birth to 7 of them!

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Posted in 31 Day Blog Challenge, Health, Faith, & Miracles

Day 24 ~ A Difficult Time in My Life…

A Difficult Time in My Life…

Well, that would have to be the day my doctor told me I had cancer.

I was going to save this story for when I shared by biopsy story but I guess now is just a good a time as any.

So it all started when I was going to this one Doctor and he said that I had high enzymes.  (Actually the nurse called me to tell me that after reading the results from a recent blood test.)  I said, “What does that mean?”  She says, “The doctor says he’ll talk to you about it at your next appointment.  Don’t worry, you’re not going to die!”  I thought that was kind of weird and odd so anyway I changed from that doctor to our family doctor where all my kids have gone since they were born and it was way more feasible because it was literally down the street from our house.

So I told him what the other doc had said, his face bore a worried look as he wanted fresh blood test ordered.  When the results came back his nurse calls and says, “Yes, the enzymes are very high and he thinks you may have a gallbladder issue.  Can you come in the hospital for an ultrasound.”  No prob.  I did that.  It turned out that I had a few masses on my liver.  One that was about 5′ another was 3′ or something like that.

So long story short, and a few CAT scans and MRI’s later he calls me into his office to give me some results.  He says flat out, “You have cancer.” and then grimaced a bit.  I just knew I didn’t hear him right.  Tears just began to stream down my face and I began to cry like a newborn baby.  He continued to ask about my family history and if anyone in my family ever had cancer.  I cry more because both my maternal and paternal grandmothers did.  My father’s mom died when she was 50 and my Mom’s mom died when she was 67 from colon cancer.

The doctor makes that face again as he stares at his computer screen.  “We just don’t know what type of cancer it is though.”  I was like… okay?  dumbfounded you know?  “It could be liver cancer or skin cancer… we just can’t be sure right now.  I’m going to refer you to a liver specialist.”  He checks over my whole entire body and question every mole I had and then said, that’s not it.

I get out to my car and sit there for a few and then call my mother because my husband was working.  Usually my hubby always goes to the doctor with me but I was going so often with all the ultrasounds and scans I figured no big deal… I’ll just let everyone know what the doc said.  Anywho… As I tell my mom, I hear her voice crack (my mother is not an emotional lady nor have I ever seen my mother cry or a tear drop from her eye!)  She ask if I can drive home.  Mind you my house wasn’t too far.  But I sat there and thought about it and I couldn’t.  I could barely move!  I call my husband and he was there to pick me up in no time.

Of course I balled my eyes out that whole day and more days to come.  My husband says, “I don’t care what the doctor says, you don’t have cancer.”  I cry harder because to me he just didn’t understand!  I was probably going to die!  Why me?  I kept asking God.  It’s so many bad people in the world and I try to do good my whole life!  Why me and not one of them?

I went to see the liver specialist and he wanted me to do another scans for him and drink stuff so they could see in my veins or something.  I didn’t want to go through all this again.  Why couldn’t he just look at the other results?  Anyway… after the specialist got his results back he couldn’t tell what kind of cancer either unless he I did a liver biopsy.

I didn’t want to do that!  I didn’t want to do anything else!  I was tired and worn out!  I just surrendered to God and was going to accept my fate whatever that may be.  I called my Pastor (which is a family member)  told him all about it.  He prayed for me and told me not to tell anyone.  So outside my family I didn’t.  I called my husband’s father because he’s a Deacon and Minister and Elder of the church… because the Bible said to call the Elder to come pray for you.  He did.  Everyone was praying for me including all my children.  My husband or kids never once said that I had cancer… they wouldn’t claim it.  I went online and printed out every healing scripture I could fine and taped it to every wall in my house! ( You know every room has 4 walls well some have smaller parts that extend out… could be a closet or whatever I put one on that wall too!)  Everytime I past it I’d say that scripture and tell my family to do the same thing.

I cry myself to sleep and when I wake up, I’m in the room alone and a bright white light is shining through my window.  So bright that it’s blinding!  I tried to look at it longer but I just felt peace as if God had healed me.  I drift back off to sleep and dreamed.  I dreamed that I was in a dark hospital room more like one for surgery.  My first doctor was there in an all white lab coat and he laughs a bit and says, “You don’t have cancer.  You just don’t have a lick of iron in your body.”  (I am also severely anemic)  So when I wake up, I tell everyone that I didn’t need to get the biopsy because God already healed me!

So my family agreed with me and we continued on with our lives until of course I had to go to the doc and he’d bug me about getting the liver biopsy.  He bugged me for a whole year that I finally went ahead and did it.  But at first I struggled with it because I didn’t know if I didn’t want to do it because I was scared to death or I felt that if I did the biopsy that meant I was telling God that I didn’t have faith in Him.

I went ahead and did the biopsy (1 year later).  I wasn’t anxious or anything to get the results back because I already knew and BELIEVED that God had healed me!  The results came back… I DID NOT HAVE CANCER!!!  What he said I did have was…

Focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) is a benign tumor of the liver (hepatic tumor), which is the second most prevalent tumor of the liver (the first is hepatic hemangioma). It is usually asymptomatic, rarely grows or bleeds, and has no malignant potential.

Then he said, “Just keep doing whatever it is you’re doing.”  In my mind I was like, “If you people would have left me alone to begin with!  UGH!!!”

That was all a few years ago.  My oldest daughter asked me the other day if I thought that I really had cancer and God healed me or if I think maybe I never had it to begin with.

Great question!  In either scenario I know what I felt like when the doctor said those words to me. And what I know more now than ever is that MY GOD is a HEALER!!!  Rather I had cancer and he took it away OR the devil kept trying and MY GOD BLOCKED it!  That’s why they could never completely come up with, “What kind of cancer.  I know it’s cancer… I just don’t know what kind.”  WHAT kind of crap is that!? LOL

Anyway I’m Blessed and Highly Favored and this is why!

This is already super long so I’m going to make my biopsy story another blog post.  After I write it I will link it here.  If you read down this far may God Bless your heart and Heal you or a loved one if that is what you are seeking!  AMEN!

Posted in 31 Day Blog Challenge

Day 23 ~ Pet Peeves

Pet Peeves

I know I have a lot but I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to think of them all…

  • People who see you’re blinker but won’t let you over… They won’t speed up or slow down.  They are just determined that they are not going to let you over!
  • When someone pulls out in front of me and then is going so slow I have to break.. And then when I look in back of me there are no cars behind me… They could have waited.
  • Cars that choose to get in the shorter turning lane line and then instead of continuing on in their lane they just get over in front of you… no blinkers or anything!
  • People who act like they have to come to a complete stop when turning

(Yes, It may seem that I have a bit of road rage! LOL)

  • When I’m eating and someone burps without saying excuse me. (Or any other bodily function.)
  • Watching someone eat cereal and try to talk with their mouth full and then milk drips on their chin and they act like it’s not even there.
  • Teaching kids math and you ask them to hold up 7 fingers.  They hold up one hand and two on the other and then they begin to count.  Starting with the whole hand… (You already know that’s FIVE!  Just say FIVE!) Hahahaha!
  • Telling my 6 year old to hold up 6 fingers and she holds up 3 fingers on each hand… LOL
  • TAPPING ME!  UGH!!! That’s the worst!  I hate when my kids come and repeatedly TAP ME!!!  (BIGGEST HUGE PET PEEVE EVER)
  • Calling me repeatedly and then saying Nevermind!
  • Or this…
  • Rude fast food worker or anyone for that matter (Especially if they are giving a service)
  • Still sucking on the straw when there is nothing else left inside and it makes that annoying gurgling sound.
  • When I’m eating and someone comes by my plate and says, “Oh that looks good!” LOL
  • When one of my kids have something and another one finds out and then says, “How they get that?”  (BY ASKING!  TRY IT!)
  • BULLIES! (Need I say more?)
  • When I vacuum and it leaves nice lines and someone walks on it for no reason.
  • People who pop up or decided to come earlier than invited.
  • Watching the same sitcom/movie over and over again.

I think that’s about it…

  • OHHH! WAIT (One more) A funky made bed with wrinkles, sleeping on a bare mattress, dirty sheets, unfresh towels…. wait… are those pet peeves or just things I don’t like?  Or is that the same? lol
Posted in 31 Day Blog Challenge

Day 21 ~ Something I Miss…

Something I Miss…

That’s easy!  My youth!  As soon as I turned 30 years old, I instantly felt different.  I remembered looking in the mirror and seeing the change.  It wasn’t as if I had crows feet or wrinkles… I was just older.  My face fuller.  It didn’t droop or anything but it wasn’t as tight either.

I missed my perky breast and flatter stomach and my BIG badunkadunk!  Where did it all go!?  What happened?  And why was it replaced with another chin!  Who asked for that?  What’s with the extra meat that now hangs from my arms?

Who would have thought that at 43 I’d be telling my kids… “Back in my day I used to be something to look at!”  My mother was never this old at my age!  She’s 67 years old right now and has way more spunk and energy than I do!

I asked my mom one day… “How did you keep up with everything?  You have everything so together and in order when we were kids?”  She said, “Well in all fairness for the most part I just had two kids… you have 7 and the more babies you have the more toll it takes on your body.”  Okay.  I guess she was right because for the most part when I only had my first two kids… I was good! LOL  But the more that came, the more tired I got and they’re boys!  BIG HUGE BOYS! LOL  They are all bigger than me know and they always walk up to me and say, “Dang Ma… you’re little what are you 4’11?”  Yeah well when I turn around and punch you in the gut, you’re going to be glad I wasn’t 4’11! HAHAHAHA

Oh dear, I’m getting off topic!  What are some things you miss?

Posted in 31 Day Blog Challenge

Day 20 ~ Where I Want to Be in 10 Years…

Where I Want to Be in 10 Years…

That’s easy!  At my age and in this day and age… ALIVE!

Seriously!  I want to be ALIVE.  Then after that I hope to be successful in becoming a book publisher and Author.  I’d like to have some grandkids.  But the ones who are grown and gone of course.  Well at that time my youngest will be 16… so definitely not her! lol Then I’d have a 22, 24, 26, 27, 31, 33 years old.  I hope the majority of them would be married to nice God-fearing people… The 22 and 24 year old needs to still be in college or graduating and still finding themselves. LOL

Anyway yea, that’s all.  I’m simple and not hard to please.  I just want to be able to continue on here and see my kids kids kids kids kids… You know?  HAHAHAHA

Posted in What We Learn

One Thing I’ve Learned About Writing a Novel…

I’m going to keep this short and sweet!

The short answer… It’s not that serious!  It’s really not!   And here’s why.

To me.  In my head, I had the greatest idea for a Young Adult teen fiction series.  It was going to be the bomb.com and enlighten kids and get them to pick up a book to read and change their lives for the better.

I took my time and made sure I crafted my masterpiece to perfection.  Time was of no essence because that’s why I was going to self-publish so that I could do what I wanted when I wanted.

Long story short.  I battled with the POV right from the beginning.  I had written it in 1st POV then changed and rewritten it again in 3rd POV and I do believe I went back and forth like this for quite a few times.  Until I decided on both.

Anyway it took me over a year to complete this novel.  When it was all done and edited, I then decided the book was too freaking long!  So I chopped it in half and made two parts from it.

To test the waters, I had a short story… very short story I had written ten years ago which was only about 7,ooo words or so.  I published that first to make sure I knew what I was doing and each steps I had to take on Amazon to publish en ebook.

Well the book was never supposed to be for sale let alone have actual people even read the book.  But of course, Amazon MAKES you do at least $.99.  As soon as I uploaded it… people started downloading like crazy!  And that was with no advertising!  I have never not once solicited any reviews so none of my family or friends have even left a review.

So I figure… well if you guys love something that I only took a week to write ten years ago… You’re going to really love this series that took me over a year to write.  I mean I actually sweated bullets and blood for that series and hovered over it with a fine toothed comb.quote-writing-is-easy-all-you-do-is-sit-staring-at-a-blank-sheet-of-paper-until-drops-of-blood-gene-fowler-10-3-0322

Guess what happened guys?  That’s right!  Kissing Cousins is and still remains to be my #1 best seller!  Why is that?  I ask myself that everyday!  Is is the title?  Is it because it’s a short read?  I have no idea!  Fitting In: The Westbrook High Series, is still struggling!  Book 1 had only 4 reviews and Book 2 just got it’s 1st review!  I’m not complaining!  Don’t get me wrong because I am thankful for the reviews I have!  Just merely making a comparison of an observation. 🙂

So yea, I read somewhere… (I know I’m beating myself in the head right now because I would like to find that book again for myself)  Anyway, the book said,

Just freaking write!  You can edit some but just write and get it out there.  If you find a mistake just edit it later!  People are either going to like your stuff or not.  Don’t sit there harping over it and spending all your life writing and editing a book that someone might not even read or like!

Yea I paraphrased it of course but that’s the jist of what it said.  You know what?  I kind of agree… well I do agree because it takes me forever to finish editing or just let the book get out there to be seen in the first place.

For instance, the Christian fiction I wrote and won during Nanowrimo November, 2015… It’s still technically unpublished!  I’ve been sitting on the editing part for a year next month!  UGHHHHHHH!

So what I did was swallow hard, do a quick edit, and send it to createspace to get my own proof copy and edit it that way!  Sometimes it’s hard to see my mistakes looking at the computer screen and sending it as an ebook to my Kindle was having the same effect.

But looking at the physical book in my hand felt great and empowering like I had definitely accomplished something.  As soon as I opened the book, I saw at least 2 mistakes on page 1!  So yes, it works.

What We Learn:

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff:  It’s not that serious!  People are going to like it or not like it.  Get it out there and fix your mistakes later.
  2. Get a physical book:  Grab a copy of your book in it’s book form to edit.

What about you?  Do you agree or disagree?  Do you have any tips to share?  Let’s discuss it!

 

Posted in 31 Day Blog Challenge

Day 19 ~ My Worst Habits…

My Worst Habits…

Well I guess I’m glad to say that I don’t have many!  I think I’m pretty good for the most part of being able to either not start something or have the willpower to quit.

  • My worst habit was smoking cigarettes.  I had been smoking since the age of 16.  I used to still my mother’s cigs from her pack and hide them around the house.  I’d hurry home from school and go to the bathroom to light up before she came home from school.  (Hmmmmmm…. that just gave me an idea for one of my characters!  I guess this blogging and challenge thing is good for something! LOL)  I have quite many times and started back since then.  I am currently now smoke free again probably going on 9-10 months?
  • This one is a bit embarrassing for me but I will share it for you guys!  *I’m hesitating…. (How much is too much info?) Hahahaha… Okay, so when I was about 6 years old, my cousin used to suck her thumb and I’d always make fun of her and mimic her.  Well don’t you know it became a habit!  My mother would try to get me to stop so many times.  She’d say, “Try another finger.  You won’t like it and then you will stop!”  Well guess what?  I did what I was told and I went down the line and it became a habit on each freaking finger!  Sad to say, I am now 43 years old and am stuck on my pinky finger.  There I’ve said it!  My step-father even tried to get me to stop by sprinkling hot sauce all over it.  I never liked hot sauce until he did that… now I love the stuff! Hahahaha!
  • I’ve never had any nail biting habit or other little quirky things that was a bad habit.  The only other thing I can think of was drinking.  I started that at a young age too.  Had many of alcoholics in my family and my mother never really like to see me drink excessively so to know worry her so much I stopped.  But late teen and young adult I could tell that it might have run in the family so yea I put a stop to it.  Besides when you truly get into church when you’re older you start to change and you tend to shed your old self like a scaly skin, if ya know what I mean.

So yeah, there ya have it!  Me at my worst!

Posted in 31 Day Blog Challenge

Day 18 ~ What Am I Afraid of?

What AM I Afraid Of?

Probably the easier question would be what am I NOT afraid of.  LOL  Well to make things simple I’m going to use a list.  Here are most of the things that I am afraid of.

  • The unknown
  • Being Home alone
  • A bad report from the doctor
  • Dying
  • Losing a close loved one
  • Dentist
  • Driving at night alone
  • Driving out of town alone
  • Failure
  • Not having readers / Or people hate my books
  • Monsters
  • Open closet doors when I sleep
  • Hanging my foot off the side of the bed LOL
  • Running out of things to write about
  • Meeting new people
  • Giving speeches or sermons
  • Posting on social media in the form of reader engagement or when someone is supposed to respond but doesn’t
  • Breaking a bone
  • Getting old

That’s pretty much the just of it all… How about you?  Are what are you afraid of?

Posted in 31 Day Blog Challenge

Day 17 ~ Favorite Childhood book

My Favorite Childhood Book is and was…

Caps for Sale by ESphyr Slobodkina

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I loved this book!

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The man walked around with all these caps on his head and when he sat by a tree to take a nap all the monkeys took his caps. LOL  He had a hard time trying to get back all his caps.

WTH!!! 😀 Are there more books????????????!!!!!!!!!!

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Looks like I’ve gots some reading to do! 😀 😀 😀