#GuestPost- …From Pen to iPad by Doris H. Dancy

The Change in the Industry

 

I struggle to remember any time in my life when I was not involved with writing. From the time that I could draw, paint, paste, or write, my Mom had me in some kind of activity book.  It was a time when bedtime stories were held in our parents’ hands, and we sat together on our bed hearing the words and sharing the drawings.  Parents were the voices of the characters and the sound of the POW WHAM action. They were the life- blood of the book.  That was a time when we heard pages turn, we saw dog-ear folds at the top, smudges on our favorite book, and small tears turn into rips over time. Scotch tape was the only saving grace for putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.

When we went to a library, the shelves were filled and there was no other source to find where the dreams were, where the adventures might lie, where the voices of the past could still be heard.  We could smell the dust, feel the pages, be lured in by a cover we were told should not be the reason for acceptance or rejection. With pen or pencil in hand, and paper books at our side, we thumbed through this magic kingdom, traveled vicariously with words across the universe, and scribbled down our discoveries.  Looking back now, I can say that this was the age of once upon a time.

So, what of today?  How has the writing industry changed?    The one that I remember is barely recognizable to anyone ten years old or younger. They no longer have to turn a page.  With one finger, they simply swipe a screen and pictures change, actions zoom out in 3-D, colors scream for attention, sounds crash and bang in real time, characters move under the users command and they, unlike me, many times, sit alone, attended only by what they create on the screen.

They know words that were not in my vocabulary…upload, download, worldwide web, hashtag, email, google, wi-fi, tweet and twitter, post, ipad, mp3, and many other words that, when I was a child, would have been cause to roll on the floor in laughter at a parent who would have been simply entertaining with crazy sounds.

Presently, there is little patience to wait for creation…to ponder the written word…to look for just the right expression.  The language is very different.  No need to spell out BEFORE when all you need is a “b” and a “4” to communicate B4.   Why write out a sentence to tell the reader that you laughed out loud when you can just type LOL?  Why bother to say, “I’ll talk to you later” when all you need is “ttyl?” Writing today takes no time at all. “C u @ home” requires only one complete word, and that may alter B4 I finish this topic. Things today are automatic, and change is swift.  Instantaneously, it comes crashing and banging into existence before our eyes.

Today, trees are saved because there is little use for paper to document print.  With the right device, a total book can be at your fingertips with the click of one button.  The download is quick, accurate, and cost effective.  Magazines placed on a virtual newsstand wait for you to snap them on and read about any subject in the world.  If you want an opinion, writing takes no longer than you can log on to twitter where the tweets are short and plentiful.  No need to print encyclopedias and pay hundreds for the fancy bound books…just google whatever you want to know for free.

Yes, the writing industry has changed immensely, but the need for the knowledge it produces is still imperative, the search for it, still alluring, and the desire to devour it, still insatiable.  We have moved from pen to iPad so it’s only the implements that have changed, but that makes all the difference.

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Derek Wellington had his life set.  He was born into wealth, graduated with honors from Harvard Law, and, since high school, knew he would marry the beautiful Morgan LaRue.  …but somewhere along the way, everything he thought he knew about himself, about Morgan, and even about life itself will boggle his mind, and catapult him into a world of betrayal, deception, and confusion. Somewhere in this darkness, he must search for The Light to find his way out of a maze that, if he fails, will destroy his heart and soul forever.

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Praise for Jagged Edges

“Jagged Edges is definitely an easy reader and page turner.”

“From the prologue to the last chapter, Doris grabbed my heart, mind, and soul with her masterful storytelling”

 Excerpt: 

~A Prologue~

~The breaking of dawn is the best keeper of secrets I know; it has a pact with the close of day. At sun’s first peek, the confidence is safe, and one has no evidence at all how altered life might be by eventide~

The library at the university is quiet except for multiple pages turning and a stupid unnecessary clock facing me. I might just waste a star wish to get that annoying thing smashed. I’d do it myself, but I’d get caught, and be a greater disappointment to my parents than Ruff who still can’t sit up, roll over, or even bark like a real dog. I sigh. Deal with the clock, Arianna. You’re twenty-four years old, already have your MBA in Fashion Management and Entrepreneurship and almost ready to start your own Fashion House for goodness sakes. All you have to do is complete this little research, and you’re on your own. You’re not five. Anyway, you have far more important things to think about at 8:15 on this lonely Friday night, like how to meet that gorgeous guy sitting at the table across from you.

 

I sit back in my chair and just stare at him, counting how many times he glances up and quickly looks back at his work. He is doing a very poor job of pretending he hasn’t noticed that I’m staring at him. He’s on his eighth under eyed glance at me when he puts his laptop down, folds his hands, sits back, looks straight at me with a smirk, and holds the stare. I smile what I think is my very best smile. Let the games begin! After a minute and a half of staring, I’m just getting comfortable, and there is no way I’m giving up. He begins packing up his things slowly. Still staring, never glancing down to see what he’s doing, he meticulously places his laptop in his black leather attaché case. I can tell he is purposefully taking his time, and for some strange reason, his deliberate movements, to me, are extremely sensual.               I almost have to break my stare when I think to myself: any man that sexy ought to be locked up and the key thrown away. He leaves his case on the table, returns two books to a nearby shelf all the while looking into my staring eyes, and then he brings his fine self over to me.

 

He pulls out the chair that faces me without saying a word, turns it backwards, and tries to stifle his grin from becoming a full face all teeth showing spectacle. Of course, he’s far too cool for that.

“OK, you’ve been staring at me for the last ten minutes so I thought I would just come over and ask if I have spinach in my teeth or a booger up my nose.” I laugh. He smiles.

“What if I say both?” I grin, cupping my hand under my chin and looking directly into his brown bedroom eyes.

“Well, I’ll know that’s not true,” he taunts matter-of-factly.

“And how would you know that?” I question cynically. This man is about to make my heart jump out of my body.

“Simple.” “Simple?” “Yeah, simple. It’s a trick question.” He rocks back in the chair. “I didn’t have

spinach today.” We both laugh as quietly as we can since we are somewhat aware that we are in a library, and there are a few people still pretending to study on a Friday night.

“Well, to be quite honest with you, umm…Peter? Ah…Paul?” I lift one eyebrow and continue. “…Mary?” He gives me a closed mouth smile, and plays around his mouth with his thumb and index finger.

“Well, definitely not Mary. Derek. Derek Wellington.” For the first time in my life I hear the sexiness in that baritone voice of his that will drive me insane for years to come.

“Well, to be quite honest with you…Derek, Derek Wellington, your hair caught my attention.

“My hair?” I bite my bottom lip to cover my grin, and nod my head yes. “Yes, your hair…and

definitely your eyes too,” I say with mocked seriousness… “and then there’s that mouth,” I giggle.

“Oh, is that good or bad?” he chuckles. “Oh, that’s real good,” I admit with a flirtatious grin. “Good. Good,” he nods in mock approval. “So, you… this beautiful woman sitting here toying with me, you are… Gracie?”

“No, not even close,” I laugh.

I opt here for a more serious tone. My hazel eyes, my windows to the soul, touch his. “My name is Arianna…Arianna Channing.”

“Ah, a beautiful name for a lovely lady.” “Well thank you kind sir.” I bat my eyes playfully. “You are quite welcome, my lady.” And then he does something totally unexpected. He reaches across the table, takes my hand in his, and slowly brings it to his beautiful lips. That is how it all started with Attorney Derek Chase Wellington, III and me.

I would say that we had a whirlwind summer romance. We were inseparable. Both of us were taking a break of sorts before starting full force into our careers. Derek had studied for the Bar, passed it, and in September would join a private law firm in Virginia. I had completed my studies in Fashion Management and Entrepreneurship in New York City, and studied an additional two years in Paris. Coincidentally, I was also moving to Virginia, after the summer, to start my own Channing Fashion House, the first one in the Tidewater area.

Our connection, from its inception, has that magic touch…that something special; however, there is this one thing that tears our bond, interferes with our solidarity, and will forever puzzle me. Throughout this disappointment, I am honest with myself. Common sense and life’s experiences have taught me that it will be impossible to know the essence of the truth surrounding a very deep, but damaged, relationship in Derek’s past, but that is not my issue.

From the inception of our brief courtship and after we marry, Derek and I are always completely honest with each other…we trust each other explicitly, or so I am led to believe. That is what makes my discovery so perplexing… so hurtful and a huge issue for me. The mystifying thing, now that the real truth irradiates, is that my friend, my boyfriend, my fiancée, my lover, my husband never mentions Morgan Shay LaRue to me. Not once, that I can remember, does he ever even call her name.

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 About the Author:

Doris H. Dancy is an accomplished and award-winning educator, speaker, writing consultant, playwright, wife, mother and now author. Her life’s focus has been educating our youth in an appreciation of both the written and spoken word. She received her BA Degree in English from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina and began a teaching career in both English and Spanish.  She was graduated from Hampton University with a MA in English Education and eventually became Chairperson of the English Department, English Teacher Specialist, and later Curriculum Leader of English K-12 for Hampton City Public Schools.  Teaching and supervising were both rewarding careers, and each taught her a different level and focus of professionalism and commitment.  As the Curriculum Leader, along with many other responsibilities, she developed and provided staff development for a writing program that guaranteed student achievement.

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

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#WriterWednesday- Interview with Stacy-Deanne!

Welcome back to another #WriterWednesday! Today I’d like to introduce you to Stacy-Deanne as she drops by today on her blog tour to share her reasons for writing. Read the sneak peak at an excerpt from her novel, The Wild Life, and be sure to check out the contest listed below!

Stacy_Hot_Like_Fire_Blog_Tour

Welcome, Stacy!

What inspired you to write?

I write simply because I enjoy it. I’ve always had an active imagination so making up stories and characters comes natural to me. I also write because it’s therapeutic for me mentally. It keeps me sane and grounded. It helps me not to be so stressed. I have anxiety disorder so anything that can relax me is a wonderful thing. When I’m writing I forget about the world around me and all the problems in it so that in itself is inspiration to write.

 

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

My primary genre is mystery and suspense with romantic elements (primarily interracial). I guess we found each other. I’m a true mystery buff and I grew up loving mysteries. I am a huge Alfred Hitchcock fan and he inspired me to become a mystery writer. I write interracial stories because I’ve always been interested in interracial relationships.

 

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I don’t put myself under pressure in terms of scheduling, etc. I just use my time wisely when it comes to writing. I write when the mood hits me. If that’s everyday then that’s every day, but if it’s not then it’s not. I take a more relaxing approach to my writing now. I’ve been in this business since 1997 and I used to write constantly and I had no room to do anything else. I realized through the years that I can get my work done without killing myself to do it. It’s not how often your write, but write what counts when you write. That’s what’s important. Writers should work at their own pace and at a “schedule” that works for them. We’re all different and that should be respected.

MJ: Great advice!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Well, I’ve always been one that kinda talked to myself. LOL! That’s only because I have a good imagination and I am an only child. When I was a kid I made up brothers and sisters and I talked to them. This translated into me even now talking to myself sometimes as if someone else is with me. Sometimes I imagine myself as one of my characters and I’ll talk to other characters in the book as if I’m right there in the scene. LOL!

MJ: Stacy-Deanne, you and I have that in common! Only child giving ‘life’ to others to keep entertained….lol!

 

Are you a pantser or plotter?

I like to jump into a story the minute I get my idea. I jot down ideas for scenes as I go, but I don’t outline an entire book or anything. No way. To me the fun part about writing is the surprising journey the story and characters take you. Plus I don’t think you can really plan everything in a mystery because the story relies on twists that come to you as things unfold. I also think you should not force a story to go a certain way. You might start out with an outline, but any writer knows that it’s the story and characters that dictates a story when it comes down to it. Eventually things will shift in a direction the author didn’t count on and to me that’s the fun part!

 

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?

Nope my stories are not based on me, my experiences, or anyone I know. I write fiction that comes straight out of my head. I think that’s another thing that makes writing fun. I like to learn about new people (characters) and have new adventures. I wanna be taken on new journeys through my work.

 

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

The biggest thing I see these days is that some new writers are very impatient. I also see that for some reason new writers think they are entitled to publication without putting in the work. I am seeing a lot of coattail riders and shortcut chasers. As my publisher Elissa Gabrielle says, “Publication is a privilege, not a right.” This is true because being published is not something we are owed, but something we are supposed to work hard for. It’s not supposed to be easy. I always tell new writers to research the business before jumping into it. They won’t get anywhere if they don’t know how things work. They also should be patient because too many people out here are rushing to publish and the outcome only hurts the author if the work is not up to par. Newbies need to take time to actually learn how to write. Anyone can write a first draft, but not anyone can write a novel of publishable quality. That takes skill, patience, discipline, and years of learning. Anyone who says it doesn’t take time to be able to write well is mistaken.

MJ: Well said, very true, and amen! 

 

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

I’m traded published. I was with Simon and Schuster and now I’m with Peace in the Storm Publishing, which is a traditional independent house.

 

What are your current projects?

I have a lot of things coming up. First off, I’ve started three new short story serials. The beginning installments of these serials will be released soon by my publisher, Peace in the Storm Publishing. I am very excited. I never wrote shorts before but now I got the hang of it and I really enjoy writing serials. I’m excited to embark on this new venture. I also have two novels coming up in 2014. One, The Ultimate Rush, is a standalone. The other, Harm a Fly, is the fourth installment of the Bree and Steven series. So you’ll be seeing a lot from me.

I’d like to thank you for having me and I want everyone to remember to answer the giveaway question below so they have a chance to win a copy of my current release, The Wild Life!

MJ: Your more than welcome! Thank you for stopping by! 

 

The Wild Life

When Albany Detective Brianna “Bree” Morris learns that Cuban crime lord Milan Varela wants her estranged father dead, she heads off to Miami to find out why. With Homicide Detective Jayce Matthews and her ex-lover Detective Steven Kemp she devises a plot to get close to the Varela organization.

Brianna finds herself attracted to the older Milan and falls deep into his web of seduction while fighting to keep her mind on her mission. Milan is equally drawn to Brianna and vows to win her trust and her heart.

Is Milan really the villain when it comes to Brianna’s father? Or is he the victim?

Is Brianna’s father really in danger or is there more to the story than anyone could ever imagine?

Brianna risks her life to save her father’s but will she end up losing her own?

The steamy, explosive, and super-hot new installment in the Bree and Steven Series!

Amazon     Barnes & Nobel   

Excerpt: 

“What do you expect me to say, Steve?” Brianna sat beside Jayce. “I don’t even know what’s going on.”

He bent over her. “Can’t anything go well for you, woman? Why do you keep getting yourself in these predicaments?”

“Oh excuse me for coming home and finding a man in my kitchen!”

Jersey tugged on her ears. “I have a huge headache and one of my officers has just been attacked. The last thing I need is for you two to argue.”

Steven and Brianna made faces at each other.

“We’re worried about you, Morris. Tell us what’s going on so we can help.”

“I don’t know if you can help.”

Davis slunk into the room and rested at Brianna’s feet. She scooped up the brown feline.

“The guy that tried to kill me…” She scratched Davis’ ear. “Well he worked for Milan Varela.”

Steven gaped. “What the f*** did you just say?”

Brianna shrugged.

“Are you f***** kidding me? A man who worked for the head of the Southern Cuban Mafia was here? Here?”

“I was telling Bree that a friend of mine in the FBI might be able to help her,” Jayce said. “It’s about her father. They’re looking for him.”

“George?” Jersey’s green eyes beamed from behind her glasses. “What the hell would the Cuban Mafia want with George?”

“No telling. You know the life my father lives. It’s full of risks and he makes no apologies for it.”

Jersey touched the back of her neck. “How the hell could he even get close to Milan Varela in the first place?”

“So this is the type of stuff your father’s always into?”

“Jayce my father has never been a father to me. He stays gone for decades at a time and pops up probably once every ten or fifteen years when he wants something. I wonder if he even remembers he has a

daughter half the time.” She kissed Davis’ head. “Right now what’s important is this mess he’s got going with Milan. Why would he want my dad dead?”

“I just can’t believe this. I mean your dad has been involved in some shady things during his life but nothing like this. What are you gonna do, Morris?”

“As much as I hate him, I can’t let anything happen to him. I gotta find out where he is.”

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****CONTEST****

Giveaway question:

What are THREE qualities the perfect main character must have?

Five people who provide the most interesting answer to this question will each win an ebook copy of The Wild Life.

Giveaway ends at 8 pm Central Time. Ebook copies will be emailed to participants by Stacy-Deanne. Commenters must leave email address with comment to be eligible.

 

About the Author: 

Stacy-Deanne (Dee-Anne) is an award-winning novelist of crime, mysteries, and interracial romantic suspense. She’s been writing professionally since 19-years-old, and her work includes Divas of the New Millennium, Everlasting, Melody, Giving up the Ghost, The Season of Sin, When the Mouse Chases the Cat, and The Wild Life. Stacy is profiled along with notable authors in the NAACP-nominated 2006 book, Literary Divas: The Top 100+ African-American Women in Writing. She is a 2011 and 2012 African-American Literary Award nominee. The Season of Sin and The Wild Life were both reviewed and highly recommended by USA Today. Stacy was born, raised, and resides in Houston, Texas.

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook    Pinterest     Instagram  Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email