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Feb 5, 2014

Chatting to RYCJ_Author and Paperback GIVEAWAY: #Interview

Posted by Wendy Ewurum  |  at  4:07 AM

The very first person to interview me, which completely had me baffled at the time, was RYCJ of OEBooks Blog. What I didn't get was why she would think I, a newbie blogger and fronting reviewer, had anything relevant to say. Here's interview link..... Eeeeeeeck!!!
But as you guys know, you don't have to tell me twice to talk about myself being the born long winded diva that I am. I never forgot that honour that RYCJ paid me and the boost of confidence she gave with it and I am so glad, I get to have her on my blog too today. 
To be honest it took so long for her to get here because her whole blogging package intimidated me. Her writing (even her posts) are so profoundly insightful and exquisitelty written I get awestruck everytime I read her blog.
Anyway I finally managed to put on my "big girl panties" and here we are......three years later.
So without any further babbling. Ladies and gentlemen i give you RYCJ.

RYCJ - Author

For some reason RYCJ you have always been a sort of enigma to me. When I read you blog I see all sorts of very clever things and write ups and so on but can never quite put a finger on all that you have your little fingers in. Please give me the full scope. You have carte blanche here.

Ha! Ha! You aren't the only one wondering about this. The plain truth is, I love reading and writing that much. Reading is extremely relaxing. I also enjoy reviewing books I've read, and meeting authors, interviewing them, getting autographs from some of the celebrity authors. Oh Man! I don't exactly do the whole 'OJ' thing, charging through airports and jumping turn-styles and whatnot chasing down autographs, but it might be well worth the entertainment to see the happy dance I do when I get one. Blogging is another high, though recently all of this (except for getting those autographs and reading) has become not as much fun… something I recall reading in one of your posts (smile). With my publishing company picking up activity, it's put a lid on blogging, reviewing, and many other bookish activities I used to more freely enjoy.

OSAAT Entertainment, my independent publishing company I share in partnership with three very talented entrepreneurs and technical gurus, is moving into its second year accepting new writers and seasoned authors to publish. I started the company solo, and now five years later 'WE' are building other platforms to expand the way we share literary content. It's been a busy time for us, shifting gears to bring out the best in print and digital literature, One Story At A Time ( the acronym for OSAAT spelled out). You have to visit our website, link below. We have some really exciting new books coming out this year, too!

I’d love to also delve into your publishing experience right quick and ask, what are the  top 2 no no’s for authors when:
  • Quering?
  • Preparing for book release?
  • Promotion post release?

Dealing with bloggers and reviewers?
The top no-no's, or number one author sins is not respecting the guidelines of whomever we're querying. You know, some of that similar stuff when a reviewer has outlined how they do not read romance, or erotic, or children's books, or whatever, and then the author sends just what explicitly was asked that they not send.

Preparing for book release? Promotion post release? 
The best writers can do is 1) network with those where the appeal is mutual. And 2) when networking, try to have a little fun and not get so worked up on being liked. I wanted to add, 'create attractive, mistake-free press sheets, except to the eye-of-the-beholder, what in the heck is that? As for dealing with bloggers and reviewers? …Due to time constraints, I can only answer queries or review requests from those who read and respect the guidelines I posts on my blogs.

Gone are the days when publishers did the marketing work while the writer rested on their laurels, these days authors are as responsible to promotion as they are writing whether they are traditionally or indie published. What are the most important areas do you think a writer should cover when working on a book promotion strategy?
Actually, that's a small publishing myth. Writers never were allowed to rest on their laurels while the publishing company did the grunt of marketing. Most publishers wouldn't bring on writers who didn't have a 'built-in audience…', alas the marketing piece right there. Of course too, for authors signed by large publishing houses, things were creamier. There is a big difference in saying Random House published me, as opposed to a less known name, YET, the author still has to do his or her part to get readers to buy their books from Random House, or whomever.  A name might get a reader to look up, but it doesn't always convince them to pull out their wallet. Garnering an Audience FIRST, is my number one strategy.

You are an incredible blogger RYCJ. I mean your blogs are brimming with phenomenal writing and book reviews and features, has this played any role in your commercial success as a writer do you think?
Thank you Wendy. I truly appreciate the compliment. Yes, I suppose all of this activity has played a role in my success. Like who can miss Wonder Woman, jetting around with books on her back in place of a cape, right? Seriously, the answer is yes.

There is always a lot of negative talk from authors about publishers and their non-ethical conduct, what do you think this stems from and what steps could one take to prevent falling into that trap as an author and as a publisher?
While I was miffed, let's say, by the way some publishers handled their products… books that being, much of their activities more so benefited authors. Writers sent those generic rejection letters, where their precious work was tossed on slush piles, and laughed at, were the writers getting more so the raw deal. In other words, in one hand there's the rejection letter, and in the other hand a publishing contract... and check! Which hand holds the raw deal?

I'm not saying this because I am now a publisher, but I never saw publishers as bad guys… well, not any more than in any other business. To this end, the best practice for publishers is to accept and publish work we value, and to be as clear and direct as possible with our authors. I guess too, being an author helps put myself in their shoes, to better balance both worlds.

How long have you been writing and what was your first book ever completed? Did you publish it?
I've always been writing, like child with its hand help high waiting to be chosen; in my case… to write. Professionally though, I started writing in the early 2000's; first published in Tavis Smiley's Keeping the Faith in 2002. I wrote and self-published a couple of poetry books, and then in 2005 wrote my first novel, Leiatra's Rhapsody… edited, proofed, and critiqued all to be damned, and finally published November 2008, by OSAAT Entertainment.

How many books do you personally have published thus far within what genre/s?
I have 19 published books; a few poetry books; two memoirs, a romance series, a short-story collection, a multicultural book; and then spiritual, erotic, paranormal mystery, mystery, chick-lit or contemporary fiction, and an epic historical book.

How do you define your books and do they have an overriding theme that they share?
My books focus on people and relationships. That's the overriding theme they all share... and oh, the humor, though don't take my word for this. I've been told by some my stories made them cry, and yet by at least one reader, despite being pretty serious writing this one novel, but yet told how they laughed and laughed.

If anyone of them could be adapted into a movie, what would it be (Why):

  • A tv drama
  • A play
  • A comic

Just fantasizing here, because I truly cannot picture any of my books on screen, but for a TV Drama, I'm going with the Rhapsody Series, Storytella, or Black Table; For a play I'd say 'The Ganbabies Mom-Mom' (inside GEM)…since it's already a play. No answer for a comic. I might laugh at my work, and others too, but I dare to think how this stuff might work on screen. Scary!

If you were picked to write a movie script:
Who would you pick as your co-writers (only 2): 
I have no idea. Left on my own to chose, I suppose I might turn to one of the colleges and post a want ad maybe?

Who would be your male and female lead? 
Someone with the Angela Bassett and Denzel Washington or Sam Jackson magnetism. I know there's a lot of new talent out here, so I wouldn't want to overlook this thread, but would be looking for mature talent who can tone it down, or bring it up… any way the character, or story needs to go!

Which of your books would have inspired it?
Probably the Rhapsody Series. It’s the only story where I can see those type characters, more than any of the others.

Which one of your books is closest to your heart?
Lockbox. I love that book because it is the first story I wrote as lengthy, and as quickly, ad libbing all the way, where the story came together like putting together a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle in a few minutes. Plus, the story is so darn silly it's hilarious.

Of all your books which character do you:
Love the most?
Leiatra in the Rhapsody series is my favorite. And of course it's because she is me… so-to-speak, or maybe I wished.

And which is the unruly one you could strangle every time they pitch up? 
None really. I haven't been able to write a character I truly dislike, though maybe Lolita, Leiatra's best friend in the Rhapsody Series. Yes, Lu-Lu might be the most annoying, but then too, when characters get annoying, I just write less of them until I'm ready to hear from them.

What were the biggest highlights of your writing career? 
Oh Wendy, I wish I could answer this one in one big highlight, but there have been so darn many highlights. …Anything from receiving a number of Congrats letters from reputable agencies and teachers about my writing, to being a part of Tavis's book, to all these autographs (& author/reader interviews) I've danced on pins and needles collecting, to the family newsletter I used to write, and writing the nomination that won a fairly recognizable award for a corporate diversity forum… it just gets downright hard to answer, though in some way hope I have;-)

What is the ideal experience you want the reader to have through your books?
Great question! I write to entertain. Although I hope my books are insightful, I am aware of how blunt many of my stories are. Even so, I ABSOLUTELY do not want readers to close any of my books feeling depressed or sad. My main objective is that readers are laughing, shaking their heads, and closing the book remembering little scenes that stay with them, hopefully in a good way, forever.

Rhonda,  what are you gifting two of my readers with?
Wendy, thank you so much. You've asked some very insightful, engaging questions. Hope you and your readers enjoy my responses, and of course wish you and your family the best this year, and on.
And for your readers I will gift them anyone of the following paperback titles:

Catch RYCJ live.

Connect with RYCJ:

Reader if you'd like a paperback copy of one of RYCJ's books just leave a comment about the interview and the title you are interested in plus your email address so I can get postage details.

About the Author

Most know me as the author to Fabulosity Reads and in actual fact, that is the previous name of this blog. I have since then moved my books to a Wordpress self-hosted blog so that I can have a place to show a different side of me which I am equally passionate about and that is marketing and personal development. I hope you will love being here, watching me grow as I share and learn. My highest hope is that we will grown and learn together in all disciplines affecting our lives. I'd LUUURRRVE to hear from you, so don't be shy...


  1. What a true delight. Wendy, thank you. I appreciate your generosity, and stand in awe of your love for literature! Now let me run off and tell everyone!


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