Getting to know your Community: A Chat with Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman, Director of The Virtuous Women, LLC

On August 17, I had the opportunity to speak at The Author’s Workshop, a community event held by The Virtuous Women, LLC in Lithonia, Georgia. The event brought together local authors who shared their publishing experiences and why they chose to write with the community. The goal: to inspire those who may have a story to tell but not know how to do it. I met some wonderful people that night and decided to share a bit more about the organization to those of you in the Atlanta, Georgia area who may be interested in joining in future events.

Let me share a little bit about the organizations director, Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman.

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman is a Special Education Teacher with the Dekalb County School System. She currently serves as the Department Chair of the Special Education Department. Dr. Harris-Coleman has over nine years of experience working with special needs students. Prior to working with the school system, she worked for the Department of Juvenile Justice in the capacity of the statewide transfer coordinator where she was responsible for the assignment of students to specific learning campuses throughout the state

TVW Pic

MJ:  Welcome, Dr. Harris-Coleman! I’ve visited your blog site and see the idea for your organization stemmed for a get together with your family. How did that turn into reaching out to the community?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  It went from a chance to get to know the newest member of our family, my sister-in-law, into a big event when one of my sisters who helped plan the party invited over 20 friends. In turn I invited a few people who own small businesses. We had jewelry, massages, and a few more things available for the guest. In the end we had over 60 people squeeze into my home. By the end of the night, people were asking when was the next event. We prayed on the matter and decided to do it again. We found a location to hold it in. Later, I began researching the term ‘virtuous women’ and discovered it had to do with health and wellness, which has become what we strive to promote with each event.

MJ: That is amazing! What is the general message or goal of the organization and how long have you been around?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  We officially had our first event in June 2013 which was on Women and Safety where the Dekalb County female officers came out to share safety tips for shopping, going on vacation, and home. July we did a Taste of Dekalb which featured different food vendors. The latest event was The Author’s Workshop. We are looking to reach more than the men and the women in the community, and strive to provide events that are good for the entire family as well. Our focus is on how to better the whole body, mind, and spirit. Each event is geared towards these themes.

MJ: How does your organization assist the community and its businesses?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  We help small businesses by inviting them to participate in events where their product compliments the event theme. The interaction with members of our organization gives  them the opportunity to test out their business ideas to see if it’s worth pursuing, and if it is, allows them to reach a customer base.

authors

The Author’s Workshop Participents: (From left to right) Dr. Harris-Coleman, Coach William “Buck” Godfrey, Studio Stefanie, Twala Meju, Earline Buchanan-Pitts, Terrance Ross, M.J. Kane

MJ: What has been your most memorable event?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  The last event held, The Author’s Workshop which was co-sponsored by Barnes & Noble. We had a lot of positive feedback and have been asked by those who were not able to make it ask when the next event will be held. Learning the truth behind why authors write was very touching. It’s not the same as reading about the author on the back of the book. I also enjoyed watching the children’s reactions and how they were in tune with what they learned.

MJ: I must say I really enjoyed being a part of that event and am happy you invited me to participate. You know I will happily do it again in the future! Are you looking for volunteers? If so, how can they get in touch with you?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  We appreciated having you! And yes, we are always looking for volunteers! Those interested can call  404-820-9210, or reach me by email at beverly@thevirtuouswomen.com. We need volunteers to assist with vendor set up, signing up potential members, and greeting members at events. Communicating with members and vendors between events would be a huge help as well.

MJ: You host events monthly and feature the calendar of events on your webpage. How can a vendor or someone interested in becoming a member find out more information?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  Visit the website for detailed information for membership and to sign up as an event vendor. We encourage people to become members for as little as $10 per month. We have been hosting one monthly event, but are looking to do events twice a month. Joining as a vendor gives you the option to host an event at the location as well. Keep an eye on the calendar to keep up with the events. More information is available on the website, or people who are interested can contact us by phone or email for more information.

MJ: Are you looking for sponsors?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  Yes! Anyone interested can contact me at the above information.

MJ: What is the next upcoming event and how can people find out more information?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  In September we will be focusing on relationships. We have been blessed to have Life Coach Robin May come and speak to the group about Women and Relationships. We would like to incorporate vendors that are geared towards the event theme; so again, anyone interested can contact us via email or call.

MJ: Dr. Harris-Coleman, it has been my pleasure speaking with you today, and I applaud what your doing to strengthen the community, and look forward to participating in future events. 

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman: Thank you for having me!

The Next Community Event:   

website-mays-flyer

 

 

#####

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

 

This Writer’s Life…Update!!!

As an author, I must say, the past few weeks have been amazing and unbelievably busy! I remember a month ago looking at my calendar and stressing trying to figure out how to manage it all without running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Did I succeed?

Well….it all got done, and successfully I might add, but I couldn’t avoid the headless chicken! 🙂

So, what happened? Oh where to begin….

IMG_0695[1]The month of July was spent doing another world wind blog hop promotions tour for my first novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken, which is nearing its first publishing birthday next month! Can you believe it? It’s almost been a year since words that I wrote were published and shared with the world! And to this day, it is still on and off of the Amazon Bestsellers list after staying there and holding it’s own for six months straight!  I am happy to have written a story that not only entertains, it captures readers emotions and leaves them wanting more! Believe me, it was not an easy feat!

I also had the privilege of hosting a Writer’s Workshop at my local library where I shared my experiences and tips on how to handle the query process without losing your mind. I got great feedback from that workshop. I also wrote a blog about it to share with those of you who were unable to attend. You’ll find it here: A Guide to Landing a Publishing Contract the ‘Write’ Way.  Be sure to read the entire post and take advantage of the downloadable handouts attached to the blog.

I also had a lot of fun with several groups I am affiliated with on Facebook! This is the part that makes writing worth the hard work! First, there was the W.R.S.R.G. (Writer’s Review and Support Resource Group) book chat which gave readers and fellow authors a chance to get to know more about me, the author. I was able to share my experiences and go into depth about why I write and what inspired The Butterfly Memoirs series, as well as offer some of my favorite writing tips.

Next came hanging out with my friends on the B.R.A.B. (Building Relationships around Books). This is a fabulous group or readers and authors. I got ‘called out’ to participate in an Author DJ Book Battle. Crazy right? But a ton of fun! I went head to head with author Loretta R. Wells as we shared songs that either inspired our book or best represented the story or characters. The twist? We didn’t get to decide which book was used and the songs had to be at least ten years old. Talk about a mental work out! I’m happy to report I won! 🙂

***And here’s something that made my year: I have been selected as a finalist in the B.R.A.B. Book Awards in the categories of Best New Author and Breakout Author! I am honored to have been nominated with the other talented people in the categories. I’d love to have your support! To cast your vote, visit this link to see the nomination form, then email it in! I’ll report back once the winners have been announced!***

The biggest event of my writing career happened last week when I was featured by the lovely organization, The Virtuous Women. LLC, as they hosted their first annual Author Workshop that was co-hosted by Barnes & Noble. It was a wonderful experience, and I had the opportunity to meet such talented and record setting authors within the community. People such as Coach William “Buck” Godfrey, who not only has an outstanding career as a football coach with an amazing championship record, he’s also assisted many of his players to see their dream of attending college and playing for the NFL. He also has a a Masters in English and has published three books. To learn more about him, visit this link where you can find more information about his career. 

I also meet Mr. Coleman R. Seward. Mr. Seward is a Chemist who worked for the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and has received the highest award that position can achieve: the FDA Award of Merit. He has published over thirty scientific papers in leading national and international journals. His book, The Chemistry of Change and Growth is his memoir.

So, what is next for M.J. Kane?

A LOT!

I’m currently working on the third novel in The Butterfly Memoirs, Lonely Heart,  and will be announcing the publishing date in the next few months, so, stay tuned! I also have a few projects I’m holding close to the chest, but the moment I’m ready to share, believe me, your going to love it!

If your not already, be sure to follow my blog so you can get on my monthly newsletter email list. If you want updates on what’s happening with me or to be in line for private contest only to be offered to my newsletter followers, SIGN UP TODAY!!!  Also, if your a lover of all things social networking, I am now on Pinterest and Instagram!

Pinterest: There are four boards to chose from. There are quick links to current blog post as well as seeing what books I like or am reading. My favorite board of course is the one dedicated to The Butterfly Memoirs. Ever wondered how I ‘see’ Brian and Ebony, Yasmine and Zach, and Kaitlyn? Stop by and check it out!

Instagram: While I write the memoirs of my characters, I figured it would be fun to share my own pictorial memoir. Get instant updates of what is going on in M.J.’s World when I’m not writing, or when I am. Here’s your chance to get inside of MY head! Have fun!

Well, that’s it for now! I’ve got WORK TO DO!!!! Time is of the essence because the kids are back in school and my schedule is now written around drop offs and pick ups, making sure homework is done, and getting dinner cooked on time. So much for the days of lazy summer!

Now, if would only stop raining I would be so darn sleepy! 🙂

Happy Writing and Reading!

#####

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

My First Big Speaking Engagement!

webflyer3 (1)

Are you an Aspiring Author or fan of The Butterfly Memoirs who resides in the Atlanta area? Well, this one is for you!

 I am pleased to announce that I am participating in the Author’s Workshop being held by The Virtuous Women, LLC and co-hosted by Barnes & Noble on August 17th where I have been asked to be the FEATURED AUTHOR! Talk about existed!!!

 But before I talk more about the event, let me give you a bit of history about The Virtuous Women, LLC.

 The organization was formed a by Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman, a Special Education Teacher for the Dekalb County School System. What started as a sisters and sister-in-law spa day quickly turned into more. The Virtuous Women, LLC is a Christian organization that looks to empower, educate, support, and help create businesses and opportunities within the community. They hold monthly meetings and events to share valuable information with the the goal of building a better community, one family and business at a time. For more information about to find out about upcoming community events, visit the website and get registered.

 The theme for this months event is The Author’s Workshop. The goal is to provide encouragement to aspiring writers who are looking to become published authors.

 Have you ever wondered what it takes to publish a book? Then this event is for you! There will be ten local authors who will be sharing their stories about why they chose to write, what motivated their project, and what challenges they overcame to see their project through to completion.

 During that time, I will have some great giveaways, and if you have purchased a paperback copy of either of my books, bring it and I will me more than happy to sign it! Got a Kindle or Nook and like to collect author signatures? I’ll sign that too! Don’t forget your cameras! For more information about the event, follow this link. I hope to see you there!

The Virtuous Women, LLC

 

#####

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