Meet And Greet Session:
BPM: Tell us about your journey becoming a successfully published author. Do you have anyone in your life that was heavily influential in your deciding to become
Janie: My journey into becoming a successful author has been a long and tedious road. Like so many green authors I thought all you had to do was finish your manuscript,send it out to the agents and here comes the book deal. What a rude awakening for me. Id learn writing was a business and a tough one at that. Learning the publishing world- and I still have a long long way to go, has taught me a lot about polishing your work before it leaves your desk. All in all writing has been fun. The way I sums it up, it's like a pregnant mother laboring through her pains. Once you hold your novel in your hand you know the work was well worth it. To answer the second question, the only person I remember that gave me a hint that I had a knack for writing was my English teacher Mrs Pernall back in 9th grade. She told me my poems was beautifully expressed and I should do more.
BPM: What is your definition of success?
Janie: My definition of success is doing what makes me happy and sharing it with others.
BPM: Success leaves clues, whose clues did you follow?
Janie: I think that would have to be my mother. Even though she is no longer with me,
she has instilled in me about going after my dreams will take me through the rest of
my life. She was a strong woman who had very little education but she taught me
strength and perseverance which I think helped me greatly in my writing journey.
BPM; What are some of the benefits of being an author that makes it worthwhile?
Janie: The benefits that I've been blessed to experience is when someone walks up to me
with a glow in their eyes and a wide smile say "You are really an author." It's like
you are a celebrity on the red carpet.
BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
Janie: The best advice I can give is to never give up. Welcome the rejection letters and take
take them in stride. See them as stepping stones to a book deal.
BPM: A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period to another period of
time. Finish this sentence- "My writing offers the following legacy to future readers..."
Janie: "My writing offers the following legacy to future readers because I believe it will
inspire them, turning a deaf ear to those who are negative and taking hold of courage
and faith as their helpers and they too will achieve their dreams.
Book Discussions Questions:
BMP: Share with our readers the "behind-the-scenes" dish! Introduce us to your book and
the main characters. Do you have any favorites? What genre is the book? On Kindle
Janie: My novel can be considered as women's fiction but it also has a flare for christian
fiction as well due to the backdrop of the story which is centered on God. The book
main characters are Saphire and her younger sister Gade. The Michaels sisters are
very intelligent, beautiful and driven, yet in their own way. Gade is soft spoken
and wears her emotions on her sleeves, while as Saphire has a do me attitude and I'll
suffer the consequences later persona.They both have loving men in their lives until
they cross path with Joe Burrels, a man who will change both of them for better or
for worse. My novel is available in paper back and kindle.
BPM: What compelled or inspire you to write this book? Why now? Ever experienced
Janie: I've been blessed thus far concerning writer's block. I have never experienced it.
When I write the words flows like a river. Sometimes I fear them drying up, but until
that day I will write. As far as what inspired me, well it was a whisper of God's voice.
I was sitting at my desk at work and I heard the words write a book. It scared me
a little but it came again...write a book. Coming from a spiritual background I was
taught when God speaks to you, you listen and do what he says. I too ask the
question why didn't God say something to me years ago, but God had his own plan
for me and now is my time.
BPM: Are there any scenes from the book borrowed from your world of experience?
Janie: I can't say there is any that coincide with my life, other than the character Gade
who were smitten with an older man. I've dated older men in my days.
BMP: In writing your novels, how do you develop the plot? Did you have difficulty following
the plot? How much research was needed?
Janie: The plot came along easily because in relationships there are always a boat load of
drama, whether it is good drama or bad. But keeping the story on point was a
challenge due to the character Joe Burrels, who was a menace to society so to
speak. The only research I've done was on the disease Mental Illness, which came
out later in my book.
BMP: What particular scenes from the novel will grab readers and serve to stimulate
Janie: Not to give the story away, but I think after the sisters reached a level of maturity
in their lives, they realized they weren't as close to God as they should have been.
Their ultimate choices reflected this in the end when the forgotten past comes back
to haunt them.
BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message enclosed?
Janie: I want to reach anyone who finds themselves in a love triangle. Just remember no one
really wins in a situation like this. The hurt and pain lingers in the lives that been destroyed.
BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book?
Janie: The first thing readers should do is encourage others to go out and buy the book.
Secondly, I want readers to examine their own relationships. Ask themselves is this
the relationship for me? Will my actions hurt someone else in the long run?
Sometimes we think that as long as it feels good, nothing else matters. But karma
has a way of letting us know that it does.
BPM: How do you avoid the temptation of interjecting your own morals, value systems or
ministry in your writing?
Janie: Now this is hard. I grew up as a preacher's daughter and my life has been centered
around the church. As a child of God, seeing the disintegration of morals and values
today is very dishearten. So I try not to preach fire and brimstone to my readers,
for we all are sinners. We all make mistakes in life no matter how hard we try not
to. But when we do wrong and know that we do, we can't blame God when our
world falls apart.
BPM: What insight does the book give readers on Mental Illness?
Janie: I think this will be a very surprising twist for my readers when the story takes on a serious
topic as Mental Illness. Mental Illness is the black community is sometimes thought
of as taboo. After all, we have survived slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. We are
considered as a strong race so when someone says they need help it is easily
shunned, and thought of as a sign of weakness. As in the life of my character Joe
Burrels, who as a child carried unresolved emotions which escalated in his adulthood.
If you or someone you know needs help, don't be ashamed to seek it out. If you
needed clothes you would go shopping. If you needed a doctor, you would find
one. So why not seek out help of a councilor. Our mental health is just as important
as our physical health.
BPM: Share a quote or brief excerpt from one of the most powerful chapters.
"Oh so you are telling me that I'm no good now, just like my father,huh? Don't you dare talk about us like that Momma. My father was a good man and he took damned good care of us. You didn't have to work a day in your life when you was with him,so how can you say he wasn't no good!" Saphire lashed out, feeling the years of buried pain coming to the surface.
Josey felt a sting of tears as her daughter spoke. She didn't know half the story, even if she thought she did.
"You are the one who ran him off, Momma," Saphire continued with vengeance. "You stifled him, nvever letting him out of your sight. The man couldn't breath with your smothering ways. I heard the arguments you two had about him going out. You wanted him right under your thumb like some whimpy ass man. Maybe if you would have loosened the chains you had around him he wouldn't have left us Momma!." Saphire screamed as she stood up from the bed.
Josey's tears turned to anger now. How dare she blame her for her father's leaving.
"Let me enlighten you on what you think you know!" Josey hissed as she stared into her daughter's fiery eyes. "I tried my damnest to be a good wife to your father. I loved that man with all my heart." Josey choked. I cooked and cleaned,ran his bath water when he came home, and tried to pleased him anyway that I could. Even in the bedroom, if you want to know the whole truth about it." Josey's voice rose. "And he still cheated on me every chance he got. I wanted a happy, loving home and Russell...well he wanted the streets and every woman he could find there." Josey stammered.
"Well, Momma, maybe if you had backed off just a little,maybe he would have stopped. But you couldn't do that, now could you?" Saphire shrieked accusingly shaking her head. Saphire pranced around the room. "Oh no, the almighty Josey had to have things her own way. What was it now, the same speech you gave to me and Gade: My way or the high way?" Saphire spewed as she glared at her mother.
"What should I have done, Saphire?" Closed my eyes to it all and accept the fact that my husband, the man I loved with all my being was a dog?" Josey huffed with wide eyes.
BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
Janie: I want the readers to gain a sense of accountability. We can't be responsible for
what others do, but we can control what we do.
BPM: Now let's talk about the industry. Will the digital age or social media usage changes
the face of publishing?
Janie: Yes, I thinks so.I believe in the near future we will no longer have paper back books.
There are some people now who don't even mail letters anymore thanks to email.
I think it would have a great impact.
BPM: How do you feel about selling digital vs. selling in brick & mortar stores? What impact
do you think electronic book sales will have on black authors.? Or Indie authors?
Janie: Selling digital books are great but selling in brick and mortar stores gives you a
more personal contact with your readers. As for as electronic book sales for black
authors, yes I think it will have a great impact on sales.
BPM: What has been your most difficult hardle to leap? Marketing, promotion or giving
media exposure, etc. How can EBC creations and our readers help you?
Janie: Living in a small town, it is very difficult to get your foot in the door when it comes to
the media. You have to know somebody who knows somebody if you know what I
mean. As far as what can EBC and the readers do for me, well this interview is a great start.
I thank EBC for giving me the opportunity to get the word out about my book, and I
hope the readers will encourage friends, families and others to buy my book.
BPM: How much "word of mouth" plays into the success of your book? What grassroots
strategies have you used to spread the word about your book?
Janie: I think word of mouth plays a major role in selling books. It's like a validation when
someone says have you read this or that? It was a really good book. And coming
from some one the other person knows they would be more apt to go out and get it.
I am a walking marketing plan for my novel. I pass out flyers and book marks every
place I go. And I carry extra copies of my book in my car just in case I am asked
that proverbial question... "Do You Have A Copy?"
BMP: We are here to shine a spotlight on your new book, but what's next? Share with us
your latest news, awards, or upcoming book releases. How may our readers
follow you on line?
Janie: Whats next for me is the release of my novel Broken Commandments with
Parker Publishing in November of this year. Readers can contact me...
BMP: Thank you Janie for sharing a little bit about yourself, your journey and your book
with our readers!
What My Sister Don't Know
by Janie De Coster
ISBN- 13 978-1589099043
Links to purchase my book is bookstandpublishing.com