Chat With Me This Sunday!

I’m honored to announce that Blerd Book Club’s October Book of the Month is my short story collection, Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror! Squee!!!

Spook lights books

I’ll be chatting about the collection on Twitter this Sunday at 3 CST. My inspirations, my inclusion of the Gullah language and Geechee culture, and conjure magics. Even if you haven’t read it yet, stop by and say hello. Or better yet, pick up a copy here first.

The Blerd Book Club is many minds wrapped around a good book. It is a book club for blerds, nerds, bleeks, and geeks to discuss, review, and reflect on the books they love. Find out more about Blerd Book Club (and maybe join!) on Goodreads here.

Join the Blerd Book Club on Goodreads!
Join the Blerd Book Club on Goodreads!

Join me on Sunday, November 1 at 3pm CST (4pm EST) as I chat with Thelonious Legend and Constance Burris about Spook Lights. If you’d like to join the discussion, or ask me questions about the book, use #BlerdBookClub on Twitter.

Support Books By and About Strong Women

The publishing game can be a challenging one, especially for indie publishers. I’ve had work published with several independent publishers over the years, and many of them–for various reasons–are no longer in existence.

One company that is doing it right is Spider Road Press, an indie publishing company with a mission to publish and promote literature by and about strong women. (Don’t worry guys; you don’t have to be a female writer to be published with Spider Road, but you do need to write strong female characters.)

Founded in 2013, in Houston, Texas, Spider Road also focuses on publishing fiction about women from diverse backgrounds. To make things even better, they donate 5% of the proceeds from our book sales to women’s shelters and veteran’s groups.

But as I mentioned, the publishing game can be tough, especially when it comes to funding for indies. Many times income from sales doesn’t always cover all of the press’ needs. So Spider Road has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to fuel their 2016 projects, which include a novella collection and a flash fiction contest. But there are only seven more days to contribute.

Cover for "In The Questions", the poetry collection which features my poem "Prescription Refill".   It's available only by supporting Spider Road Press' fundraising project.
Cover for “In The Questions”, the poetry collection which features my poem “Prescription Refill”.

One of the prizes you can choose for donating is a copy of the poetry collection, In The Questions, available only by supporting this Indiegogo campaign.  Enjoy poems by established poets such as Shae Savoy, Catherine Edmunds, Andrea Barbosa & Teresa Mei Chuc, as well as emerging poets such as Karen Marinaccio, Eileen Brunetto, Melissa Algood and Gay Yellen.

Some other nifty prizes are an exclusive, personalized portrait by artist Genevieve H. Smith, one of the artists featured in In the Questions and an editorial consult with Spider Road’s editor-in-chief to make your short story the best that it can be.

Any amount helps. You can read more about Spider Road Press and donate to their Indiegogo campaign here.

Black Girl Nerds Podcast: Halloween Special– This Sunday!

This Sunday, I am honored to be taking part in the Black Girl Nerds Horror podcast!

In the interview segment, I’ll be talking about my book, Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror as well as my outreach to other Black female horror writers. 51YOUAH3SBL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

L.C. Cruell will tell us about 7 Magpies, the first all Black, all female horror film anthology: her inspiration for the idea and why this anthology will be an important dent in the horror genre.

A first of its kind: a horror film anthology written and directed by Black women.
A first of its kind: a horror film anthology written and directed by Black women. I’m the third.

Ashlee Blackwell will be telling us about about her creation, Graveyard Shift Sisters–how it came to be, the experience she’s gained, and the reception she’s gotten from it. (I’m also pleased to say, I write a feature for the GSS blog about other female horror writers of color.)

In addition, Ashlee will talk about her successful #FridayNightHorror, a monthly live-tweet hosted she hosts that selects various movies of the horror genre.

On top of all that horror goodness, we’ll be discussing our favorite things about Halloween.  (Hint: Scary movies and your horror crush…Every horror fan has one!) You don’t want to miss this!

Tune into the Black Girl Nerds Halloween Special podcast on Sunday, October 25th from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST at this link.

If you can’t make it, I hope it will be archived, so I can post a link to the show.

Colors in Darkness: A Multicultural Celebration of Horror

I’m part of a group of alternative female authors–dark fiction writer chicks, if you will. And we brainstormed an idea: What if we put together a multicultural celebration of horror, paranormal and dark fantasy?

Of course, we all agreed and after much discussion and planning, we announce the 1st Annual Colors in Darkness Facebook Party.

Come and Celebrate With The Fear! There will be contests to win spooky prizes, excepts from the dark writings of various authors, and more:

Colors in Darkness

Come join the fun beginning on October 29th. My personal takeover for the even will be on Saturday, October 31 at 6pm EST and 10pm GMT. Find the details here.

Happy Halloween!

Black Beauty Blog Tour: Random Facts


Constance Burris is the author of the horror short story, Black Beauty, a cautionary tale about putting too much emphasis on one standard of beauty.  I interviewed her for my Graveyard Shift Sisters feature here.  She was kind enough to send me a few random facts about her release for her blog tour.

Plot Summary:

At Vista Apartment Complex, life drastically changes for four of its residents when they decide to do business with Crazy Jade—the supposed voodoo witch who can grant your wish for a price.

Shemeya wants the confidence to stand up against the girls bullying her at school, but she soon has to choose between keeping her dreadlocs or living a normal life. After catching her boyfriend cheating, Latreece just wants to have the same curves as all the other girls. Ashley will do whatever she can to have “White Girl Flow”, but takes her pursuit too far when she steals from Crazy Jade.

Constance was kind enough to share with us a few random facts about her tale, Black Beauty.

Most of Black Beauty is set in an apartment complex in Oklahoma City

I’m from Oklahoma, and I wanted to write about my childhood. Until junior high, my family lived in various apartment complexes across the city. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was a very social type of living.  Apartments are a type of ready-made communities where adults and children have no choice but to interact with each other. It’s different living in houses, where you don’t have to talk with your neighbors if you don’t want to.

Medusa was inspired by a fellow author

One of my favorite authors has dreads down her back.  In the TSA line, they patted her hair and treated her dreads like they were snakes. And I thought, “wouldn’t that be a cool if her dreads were snakes.

Music Videos and Body Image

Latreece is affected by the images of black women she sees in music videos: big butties and curvy. What happens if you don’t fit the stereotype?

Reality Is Stranger Than Fiction

One of the reasons I wrote Black Beauty was because I have a teenage daughter. I had to watch as she went through puberty, be verbally assaulted by boys, and be ignored by boys.  Black Beauty is the closest I’ll ever get to a self-help book for her.

There will be sequels

Shemeya, Andre, Ashley, and Crazy Jade will have their own stories.

Get your copy of Black Beauty at the links below:

Amazon: Purchase Link Itunes: Purchase Link Barnes & Noble: Purchase Link Goodreads: Connect about it on Goodreads!  Book Depository: Pick up internationally!

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Graveyard Shift Sister: Constance Burris

Next up on my Graveyard Shift Sisters review and interview series is Constance Burris.

Constance is usually a fantasy author, but when I spoke with her about her latest release, Black Beauty, she said that when she came up with this particular story, she knew it had to be horror.  It’s the prequel to her fantasy tale, Coal, which is doing brilliantly in the rankings for multi-cultural young adult fantasy.

N'Bushe Wright in Blade
N’Bushe Wright in Blade

Read the entire review and interview on the Graveyard Shift Sisters website.