Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Reader's Voice Feburary Edition

              Readers can make or break an author. So of course writers want to give readers what they want by coming out with jaw dropping, heart stopping, eye watering novels that will have readers bombard bookstores and recommend their work to everyone they know. It's all about supply and demand, but how do you know what readers want? How do you know what readers are demanding for you to write? Plenty of authors turn to their reviews after their novel is written in order to determine whether it was a hit or miss. But wouldn't it be better if you could know what readers want before you put pen to paper and will therefore be guaranteed a steady clientele, well authors this is your opportunity. Read once a month in the Reader's Voice exactly what readers of urban fiction wants once it comes to the genre. Know what is expected of you and how you can keep your novels original and fresh. And readers, let your voice be heard help authors write entertaining drama filled novels that will keep their sales boosting and your eyes entertained.

            For the first issue of the Reader's Voice three women were interviewed and asked a mixture of questions regarding the genre, urban fiction. I wanted to know their likes, dislikes, and how they viewed the genre. I wanted to know it all! 

             When asked what each of the readers believed urban fiction offered that other genres didn't each reader responded by saying the genre offers the truth and are relatable. Co-Lette Phoenix, 37, stated "urban fiction offers story lines that some people can relate to. The characters maybe fictional but the events are real to a lot of people." Krystle Middlebrooks,22, said "urban fiction offers complete realness." Although people like to sometimes get lost in the imagination of the author, it never hurts for the fictional novel to have some type of truth to it. In the New York Times article From the Streets to the Libraries written by Anne Barnard in October of 2008, urban fiction reader Shonda Miller, 35, also believes urban fiction is the truth. "I read what I can relate to, they're writing about what I've experienced. It's easier than reading about Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive," she said. Julie Armstrong, 46, likes the genre because she says "it is so real and tells the truth about the street life." Phoenix appreciates the fact that urban fiction gives readers a chance to look into what really goes on in the inner city.  

              There are people out there who look down on urban fiction due to its graphic and violent scenes, but there are also people who are fine with the genres violence such as Middlebrooks. She finds the violent scenes to be entertaining and drama filled. "Seeing how I'm a full time college student, there is very little drama in my life and when I need a dose of it I just open an urban fiction book" she explains.  Many people may look down on the violence the genre has to give but you have to remeber that sometimes these scenes are simply for entertainment purposes only, if not real life experiences being written on paper. 
               Even though these readers like urban fiction and the realness it has to offer there are things that will push them away from picking up a novel such as bad writing, bad cover art, and stories that become too predictable. One reader even mentioned that if she could change one thing about the genre it would be the most troubled character actually makes it out the hood without ending up dead or doing time. Sometimes it is refreshing to have a happy ending, although it is realistic for there to be sad and dramatic endings, authors must remember that there are also sunshine after the storm.

            Now what authors do these women read and has proclaimed their favorites? Who do they believe are great authors and contribute great novels to urban books? These authors are Ashley & Jaquavis, K'wan, Noire, Wahida Clark, Miss.KP and Kiki Swinson. These authors help keep urban fiction going and pull readers in from the very first page. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

T.D. Jakes at Barnes&Noble

T.D. Jakes will be signing copies of his latest novel Let It Go: Forgive So You Can Be Forgiven at
Barnes&Noble at 290 Baychester Ave Bronx, NY 10475 on Tuesday, March 27th @7pm.
According to B&N flyer "Wristbands to attend will be given out the morning of the event fo customers who have purchased the book. If you purchase the book prior to the event, please retain your receipt.
Please note:
  • Only the current title will be signed, there will be no personalizations.
  • Photographs will be allowed from the line, but please do not request a posed photo.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Conversation with Chunichi

        A pen is an addictive weapon that will keep you writing and spitting out stories you never thought you'd conjure. So when Chunichi picked up the magic wand she gave birth to California Connection, Married to the Game, The Streets Keep Calling, A Gangster's Girl and The Naked Truth, all fabulous reads which should occupy your book shelve. In my conversation with Chunichi I picked her brain and learned who the mastermind behind the pen is.

Brandie: Who is Chunichi outside of being an author?

Chunichi: I am a Registered Nurse on a cardiac unit, a student at Queens University working towards my Bachelors in science of nursing, and am part of Lot 123 Entertainment and acting manager for up and coming artist, YA Boi Dex. Outside of business, I am an auntie that loves spending time with my beautiful nieces.

Brandie: How did this all start? How did you become a writer?

Chunichi: Unlike many authors, I didn't have that dream of being an author my entire life nor did I submit my manuscript to a thousand publishing companies with hopes of getting signed. In my case, it was nothing more than a blessing from God. I was going through a rough patch in my life and I needed a way to release the hurt, anger and disappointment I was experiencing at the time. So I began to write.

        Within thirty days I had a book. I let a few close friends read it and they suggested I get it published. So I emailed all of my favorite authors asking for advice. Carl Weber responded, he had just started the Urban Books Imprint and he was looking for manuscripts. So I sent him mine. A few days later he told me he was interested but it was not in proper format. I knew nothing about manuscript format so I basically gave up. Two weeks later I received a call from Carl he was inquiring about the status of my manuscript. It was at that point I knew he was really interested. So I enrolled in a class about writing basics. A few weeks later I resubmitted my manuscript in proper format. A month later I had an offer.

Brandie: How do you differ from other authors?

Chunichi: To be honest, I haven't read urban literature since I started writing so it's hard to say how I compare to other author's, However, I can say I only write about what I know. My writing is based on personal experience and knowledge. This allows me to engage with my audience more because I am able to tap into my readers emotions because it's emotions I've actually felt.

Brandie: When you decided to put pen to paper for California Connection part one, what was your vision?

Chunichi: I wanted to create a new series, but it was important to have the same elements as my Gangster Girl series. My readers had fallen in love with Ceazia and continued to follow the series because they were eager to see what drama she would face next. So I had to create a character that could replace Ceazia and make the California Connection series just as popular.

Brandie: Did you ever have an idea for a novel but quickly disregarded it? If so tell us about it.

Chunichi: Because I write about experiences in my life, as my life changes so does the direction of my creativity. So as I grew closer to Christ, I wanted to head towards Christian fiction. I had a story on my heart and I actually started it but I knew it would be difficult to get it published so I left it unfinished. But our God is so awesome that months later I was approached by Joylynn Jossel and given the opportunity to put my story in her anthology, Even Sinner Have Souls.

Brandie: If you can have anyone of your characters personalities who would it be and why?

Chunichi: Actually all of my characters have a little of me in them. My main characters have a whole lot of my attitude. Many times I live out my fantasies through my characters. I may write about an event that happened in my life, but how its written is how it would have gone have I had the strength of the character at the time. My main characters usually have a certain hustle, inner strength, and street savvy all while maintaining a certain sexiness. That is all me!

Brandie: What is your favorite book?

Chunichi: Before I began writing I was a huge E. Lynn Harris fan. There isn't one particular book I can single out.

Brandie: What aurthor, if any, do you look up too?

Chunichi: I've always admired the accomplishments of my literary sister, Nikki Turner. We've created an awesome bond and she's always there for words of wisdom.

Brandie: What are some of the perks to being a writer?

Chunichi: It opens doors for greater opportunities.

Brandie: Have you ever felt like giving up writing? If so what stopped you?

Chunichi: Yes,yes, yes!!! like with anything you do there are people you simply don't want to see you succeed, there are people that pretend to support you for ulterior motives, then there are people who are only there for the money. Going into the literary game I was naive, I thought everyone around me wanted the best for me. When I started to observe and experience the negativity associated with game, I was ready to throw in the towel, but the constant encouragement of my loved ones is the ONLY reason I'm still doing this today.

Brandie: What made you choose Urban Books over other publishing companies to publish your work with?

Chunichi: The offer with Urban Books was effortless. I'd be a fool not to take it.

Brandie: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Chunichi: Right now is a tough time for new authors because the business is sooooooo oversaturated, You have to come with something new and refreshing that sets you apart from the rest.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Congratulations to Carl Weber and Eric Pete for making the New York Times Bestsellers with The Family Business.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


          On my Facebook book club My Urban Books Club I am holding a contest. "Like" Deja Kings Facebook page and write on her wall that Brandie Davis referred you and you will be entered in my contest. One lucky winner will have a chance to either win the kindle book Guilty Gucci by Ashley Antoinette or The Stalker Chronicles by Electa Rome Parks (the winner decides which).

       Blog followers you can participate in this contest too please follow the directions and comment on this post letting me know that you have done so. Good Luck!

Guilty Gucci on the NYT BestSellers List

Guilty Gucci by Ashley Antoinette has made the New York Times BestSellers List

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hard Candy By Amaleka McCall Review

           When I decide on a book to read the first thing I ask myself is whether or not the novel is original, something I haven't read before and would hold my attention. So when I picked up Amalkea McCall's Hard Candy and read the books description I knew I had a winner. Who wouldn't want to read about a trained female cleaner seeking revenge on the people responsible for her families death?

             This novel will keep you in the dark, the moment you think you have it all figured out you're slapped in the face with a reality check. Picture everything you believed being nothing but a lie, and the one person you had left no longer being around to guide you, how would you feel? what would you do? this is Hard Candy, this is what Amaleka leaves you pondering at the end of her novel. What do I do now? who do I trust? whats going on? whose after me? these have to be the thoughts running through main character Candice Hardaway's mind.

               I read Hard Candy thinking I had it all figured out, I paid close attention to the characters and all the events taking place, although I guessed a few things correct I still didn't solve the  rubik's cube, that alone proves this novel is a must read. Nothing is what it seems to be, nothing is what you would ever guess. Take a walk into a world where all you have is yourself and your on the hunt for the truth, Hard Candy is a mystery slash urban fiction. A novel where life's intertwine and your closer to the truth than you think. The flash backs will bring tears to your eyes and make you want to to change the events taking place. This novel travels deep into the core of family secrets and will keep you wanting more. Hard Candy isn't your typical novel, its a puzzle, that Amaleka challenges you to put together.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Win Trouble in Paradise by Stephanie Norris

 Want to win Trouble in Paradise by Stephanie Norris?  check out http://stephaniennorris.blogspot.com/ and follow the directions good luck!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Corruption Officer by Gary Heyward