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Day 14 ~ What is in my handbag…

So What’s in my handbag?

  • Nothing interesting that’s for sure!  Actually it needs to be cleaned out.  Mostly old mail and receipts that should have been thrown away by now but I just keep stuffing it in my bag and making it pile up.
  • My car keys
  • ID
  • library card
  • Insurance cards
  • pens – because you never know when you need to write something down!  And if I haven’t brought my notebook with me than that’s where all those receipts and old mail come in handy.

That’s pretty much it.  I don’t know why but this question feels a bit uneasy to answer… I feel like it’s one of those TMI for myself questions…LOL

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Day 8 ~ Old Photo

Ok, I don’t think there’s must writing to this except for the fact that I hate taking pics so you will not find many of me anywhere…

But this one is definitely an oldie about ten years maybe… maybe a few years less…

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My Writing Fears Pt. 1

I’ve wanted to become a writer from as long as I could remember.  It somewhat pains me to say that I can’t exactly say what every other writer says.  For example, “I’ve been writing stories since the 1st grade.”  I honestly can’t say that.  I wish I could.  Honestly, I wasn’t even that big a reader, I don’t think.  I mean sure I read books in elementary.  I LOVED books in elementary.


Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary were my fav authors of all time!  As I write this, do you guys know that Beverly Cleary is 100 years old!!!  beverly-cleary-today-160324-tease-01b_4879fd44914fc5f7c13a7bf90fe98556  What a blessing!!!   

Children should learn that reading is pleasure, not just something that teachers make you do in school. ~ Beverly Clearly


My most fav book of all time; however was We Hate Everything But Boys, by Linda Lewis.

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 My next fav book was, Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar.  8889252598

I’m sure there may be some others here and there Like Charlotte’s Web and all of the Disney stories like Cinderella and what not.  But after elementary I think puberty and life got in the way and reading just wasn’t for pleasure anymore.


After I became a young adult, (early 20’s) and I would go through some type of tragedy of a broken heart or whatever, my mother’s famous antidote would be to read a book and take a bath.  After much kicking and screaming about it, I found a book sitting around my mother’s house because unlike me at the time, she was an avid reader.  But we had totally different genre’s of reading.  She was into Stephen King and Dean Koontz, where as if I had to pick a genre at the time it would have been romance.  So anyway, the book I found was Breath of Scandal by Sandra Brown.  th_0446359637Loved it!  It was such a long book and kept me engrossed for a while!  I had some how magically forgotten all of my problems because I was too busy reading about someone else’s.  After that, I started reading The Witness by Sandra Brown.6617120-m  And from then on I got into a habit of collected and reading anything by Sandra Brown.

Again a new found love of becoming a writer was something I wanted to do and become.  Now mind you, at this time there was really no such thing as the internet.  Sounds weird to say that.  I’m not really that old… I don’t think.  😀rs_500x251-141022111554-jamie-lee-curtis-crypt-keeper-freaky-friday-gif  Anyway you have to realize that at the time the only people that had cell phones at the time were mostly doctors and people who had them in their cars were rich!  We were doing good if we had a pager! lol

fondaSo one day, I got out my handy dandy typewriter and began to type away.  There were no e-books so I lived in the library,  I began to type out some pages and tried my best to emulate what I thought a writer would write.  I tried to identify with the books I’ve read.  The name of the book was Venturousness Enterprise.  I have no idea why or even what that means right now.  I still have the printout of it from my dot matrix printer around here somewhere.  Maybe one day I’ll post an excerpt of it.

Anyway, I’ve said all that to say this.  With that book, it wasn’t really me.  I was trying to make it me without making it me.  If that makes any sense.  I was trying to write the way I thought people wanted to read.  The books that I saw at the library and was used to reading.  The movies and TV shows that aired on TV.  They were all written and about Caucasian people.

After a decade, the internet, cell phones later, and many more heartbreaks again, mother’s antidote was read a book and take a bath.  I was at Walmart one day and this book caught my eye.  Cheaters, by Eric Jerome Dickey.9b7aa0478a3adce14533ca0472c71ed4  I turned the book over to read the back side and low and behold… the author wasn’t just black but male.  At this point in my life I had never read a book by an African American, I was all too excited to read what was inside the book.  I wanted to know so bad if these characters were like me.  Did they look like me?  Did they deal with the things I’ve dealt with?  So on and so on.

Low and behold all those things were true!  I read that 500 page book in a matter of a few days and was upset when it was over.  I went to the library looking for more books by EJD and found them.  I couldn’t believe there were African American authors!  I know you might be thinking what freakin’ rock were you living under! patrick-rock That’s a long story….  Anyway, that’s how I discovered African American fiction.  I’ve been in love ever since and have gone back to writing because finally I can tell my story the way I want.  I can be free to be me!  My whole way of thinking is that I can teach and entertain at the same time!

For years I would do research because we no longer have dial-up… we have lightening speed DSL and the world is at my fingertips!  But that’s not all!  There are e-books and super, quick, easy, and free ways to self-publish.  I don’t have to go through sending my manuscript off, finding a literary agent, being rejected over and over again because for once, I can be my own boss!  I can write what I want, when I want, and how ever much I want!

I sit down and research, outline, plot, plan and get stuck.  Writer’s block?  NOPE!  I’m paralyzed!  I can’t move! I can’t even complete that thought in my head because of the crippling fear that, “What if” someone thinks this is true or about me or this has really happened to me!  I can’t take that chance.  OMG! what if my family reads this!  I can’t say that or deal with those issues!  What will the “Church folk” think of me!  Ok… STOP!  I put that book on hold and place it on the back burner, lets deal with something else… another issue.  Got it! Young Adult!

Yeah that’s the ticket!  I’m going to deal with issues that all teenagers deal with and from this book, there are going to identify with themselves and have revelations the same way I did when I read Cheaters by EJD.  I had it all planned.

Then I started dealing with  what POV to use?  I wrote a few chapters in 1st person and then decided to change it to 3rd person, only to go back and change it back to 1st person again.  I’m pretty sure that it’s possible that most writers go through that from time to time.  Then another issue arose.

 swear-wordTo curse or not to curse.swear-word  I researched it the best I could and came to the realization that you have to do what’s best and believable for the character. SO that’s what I did.  It took months to come to that realization.  I made sure it wasn’t excessive cursing but more like primetime words.  If they can say it on regular television shows then it should be okay for my book.  But what ended up happening after I published that book is because of the curse words, I didn’t advertise or tell any of the “church folk” about that book so definitely no book sales from there.

Before publishing the book, I printed it out and gave a copy to my family so they could look over it and tell me what they thought of it so far.  It wasn’t the whole book just about 100 pages of it.

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Why I Write YA Fiction

One thing I dislike is for a kid to say that they hate to read.  Another thing that I dislike more than that is to hear that an African-American child does not know how to read or does not comprehend what he or she reads.

I believe that both are a load of malarky!

Usually a child/YA does not like to read because he/she can’t find anything worth reading.  They hate reading because 9 times out of 10 they are picking up books with content that they cannot identify with.  They need to read and see more books out there that depict who they are as a person.  They need to be taken into a whole new world and shown that reading is fun, exciting, and educational at the same time.

I believe that they have a harder time with reading comprehension because most of the content they read and supposed to comprehend has nothing to do with them or their lifestyle.  So an African-American child may have to work twice as hard than other students who can identify with the content.

For example:  Even something as simple as a little word play can make a difference.

Changing certain names.  Instead of Becky… insert Sharkeshia.  (I know a bit extreme but I think you get the point lol)

So getting back to the point.  I write because I believe that kids should read and they should love it, find it entertaining, and learn something from it at the same time.

Another reason is that I can reach more people with my books than who I just meet on a daily.  I hope that in someway I can help each and every person who reads a novel by Heaven J. Fox.

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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!