Thursday, December 22, 2011

L.A. Jefferson Wishes You a Merry Christmas

Wishing you blessings and love this holiday season!

L.A. Jefferson

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Don't Beat Yourself up for Missing Deadlines

Here we go again. Another self-imposed deadline quickly approaching and I'm nowhere close to meeting it. Now, it's one of two ways that I can look at this. "LOSER!" I could yell at the reflection in the mirror. But is that really necessary? Am I really a literary loser? Surely, I'm not the only writer/author to miss a deadline, let alone a deadline she set for herself? Heck, I didn't even used to set deadlines! So I've come a mighty long way on this literary journey.

The other way is to simply enjoy the rest of the journey. I still have a whopping 18 days to get even closer to the goal of completing my draft of my latest writing project. And the best part is that I'm not giving up. It's kind of like NaNoWri month. As far as I'm concerned, I have until 11:59 P.M. December 31, 2011 to make this thing happen! Everyday that God blesses me with breath in my body, I'm going to pound some words out of my head onto the work in progress and pray it comes to completion soon.

Point is, don't beat yourself up if you miss your deadline. Embrace the journey. Celebrate what you do accomplishment. And keep going!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Right now thousands of people are in the final days of the National Novel Writing Month Challenge (NaNoWrMo) where participants challenge themselves to complete a 50,000 word manuscript in the 30 days of November. Of course, I'm no stranger to this challenge having tried it for the first time last year. I didn't come close to meeting the goal but I was proud of myself for taking on the challenge. It's a very interesting experience. Unfortunately, this year, I've been hard at work on my upcoming novel, Reconciliation to Hell, which is a spinoff to my first novel, Unfinished Business, so I didn't dare try to take the challenge. What I did do, however, was challenge myself to meet the 50,000 word count for November on my project.

Nope. Didn't come close to the goal, but not for lack of putting forth great effort!

But, I did move farther along than I would have had I not challenged myself at all. So, the moral of the story is, DON'T BE AFRAID TO SET HEFTY GOALS! And CELEBRATE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS AT EVERY LEVEL!

While November is quickly slipping away, I still have my ULTIMATE goal of completing my manuscript by 12/31. So, my challenge continues...ROOT ME ON!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

2011 Essence of Motown Literary Jam & Conf

Awesome! Energizing! Electrifying! Educational! Phonomenal! Fun! Long. Exhausting. Irreplaceable.

Above are only some of the words that come to mind when I reflect on the day spent at the 8th Annual Essence of Motown Literary Jam & Conference hosted by the Michigan Literary Network and Motown Writers Network. Founder of the conference and the network, Sylvia Hubbard, pulled it off again, with a host of volunteers, sponsors, vendors, workshop presenters, and panel discussion participants.

A few of my personal favorite presenters today included author and motivational speaker Monica Marie Jones, who was also having a book release party for her latest book Monday Motivations, Versandra Kennebrew, author, speaker, holistic teacher, and life coach, as well as national bestselling author of 13 books, Vincent Alexandria.

Now that I'm done with my literary shout outs, let's get to the literary lessons learned. Disclosure: A literary sistah could only spread herself so thin during the course of one day. There were lots of workshops to choose from. Below are few of my takeaways from the two workshops I participated in as well as a new activity added to the conference itinerary--60 minuted write-in (i.e. lock-in, but for writers).

Motivating Yourself to Market Your Book--Workshop 1 Facilitated by Monica Marie Jones

Perfect ones 30 minute elevator speech. Make your audience want to know more about you.

Fan the fire of your project. Get a buzz going about your book BEFORE its even finished. Easily achievable by having your book cover designed early and releasing it to the public. Blog regularly about yourself, your book, or subjects related to your book. Keep yourself on folks' minds.

Don't keep your deadline to yourself. Tell your readers when you plan to have your book completed. They will keep you on target by always asking, "How's the book coming? You almost done?"

Social Media for Authors--Workshop 2 Facilitated by Versandra Kennebrew

Utilize group lists on Facebook. Suggested groups for authors may include: fans, book club members, writers, PR professionals, virtual mentors (see description below)

Have Facebook Fan Pages targeted for each area you work in (i.e. fiction, nonfiction, motivation). In the case of our presenters, Versandra Kennebrew,  who is not only an author, but also a massage therapist, life coach, and holistic teacher, she has a Facebook fan page for each of these subjects to better engage her fans of those particular endeavors. The same should be for all authors. Create a fan page for each book you publish, every service you offer. Social media is all about connecting to as many people as possible!

Develop virtual mentors. Thanks to the power of the Internet you don't have to personally know people to learn from them. You can easily Google successful authors you admire and learn by watching. A good number of virtual mentors is 10 but you can have as many as you'd like.

Be a resource to others. It's to your advantage to help others. While you're helping them, in essence you're helping yourself. The more people who know you is greater exposure to the people in THEIR network. See how that works.

Have a target number of  Facebook fans and/or friends, Twitter followers, Blog subscribers. Without goals of where you want to go, you have no sense of growth for your business (your authors, hip, your blog, etc) or no sense of how well you're doing.

Write-In--Hosted by Venus Mason-Theus As much as I loved the workshops I participated in, this event was THE ONE I anticipated the most. It was simply a one hour free write session. Participants could start on a fresh piece or work on a project in progress. Considering I hadn't written anything on my upcoming novel the previous week, I NEEDED this hour. The goal was to write non-stop (no backspacing, no deleting, no minor editing). And what a benefit it was! In that hour, I added nearly 700 words to my novel. Plus, the exercise got my creative juices flowing for the rest of the day.

Needless to say, I had a great time! And I had company. My wonderful daughter was kind enough to man my vendor table while I was bouncing around in and out of workshops and networking, soaking up all of this knowledge! Isn't she adorable???

Yours in Literary Love,

L.A. Jefferson :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Can you believe it's Halloween already? The last day of October! It's already my least favorite holiday--a fake holiday at that--but today it's a wake up call! On this last day of the month, I now have sixty one days to complete my upcoming novel. Did you hear me? Sixty-one days! That's not a whole lot of time BUT I'm up for the challenge! So while my coworkers are walking around reliving their childhoods, trick or treating around the office and oohhing and ahhing at each other's costumes, I'll be pounding on the keys of my computer bringing my novel thousands of words closer to completion.

Click here for an excerpt of what's next for L.A.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Celebrate National Book Club Month

Happy National Book Club Month!

Below is an article I found on how you can celebrate this wonderful month for books! Share your suggestions!

7 Book Loving Ways to Celebrate National Book Month

By Earma Brown

 October is National Book Month, according to the National Book Foundation. For me it's a book celebration all twelve months. As you may already know or can tell, I love books! I also love to honor and celebrate authors and help aspiring authors. It's a good time to honor and celebrate the authors in your life. What ways are you going to celebrate? I've come up with a few you might consider:

1. Join a book club. It's a great way to celebrate books and your literary inclined friends. Inside a book club, you can meet new friends and fellow readers of your favorite books. Most clubs choose a new book to read and discuss each month. If you want to ramp your reading up, join a book club and read a new book each month.

2. Read as a family. Use this month as the perfect month to encourage the whole family to read. Choose one to two chapters to read aloud, even three if you're ambitious. Our family did this for many years. We came to love and treasure the special moments our reading together created for us. Reading books together as a family will ignite the imagination tuner inside each of us. Even after our kids are gone, my husband and I still read together. In recent years, we now write together. Which I believe all started with us reading together as a family.

3. Swap your books. As a group, especially a writers group or book club you can meet and swap books. Gather the books you love but haven't read in years. When you meet, swap them with each other. You can organize your book swapping with a sign-in and sign out list. Or you can use the honor system. A group of friends on a low budget decided to do this with my books for sale at a writers conference. They each purchased the main book they wanted to read. Then later they swapped with each other to read the other books in the collection.

4. Have a book party. Everyone loves an excuse to party. Have a book party! This event is good for not just authors but book clubs, writer groups and even indie publishers. Invite your book loving friends and even your (not so much) book loving friends. Most people love a good party and you never know who has a secret passion for books. Be sure to prepare tasty treats and refreshments. Have lots of books on hand for your guest to browse. Consider hosting the party at a local bookstore or library. Offer support to a local author and invite them to give a talk about their work and the value of reading. Whatever you decide about your book party; relax and have fun.

5. Buy a book for yourself. Support the literary community. This month, go purchase the book you've been planning to pick up but never got around to it. Take the time to relax and read your favorite classic. I'm reading the Jane Austen classics. O.k., I am an unashamed girly-girl. Treat yourself and buy an eReader. This month is a good time to purchase the latest iPad, Nook or Kindle. A couple of years ago, when I purchased my Kindle I read more books in one month than I used to read in a year. I now think of what book I will read this month instead of this year. When I see a book I'm interested in reading, I immediately check to see if it's on the Kindle or available in a PDF format. I've found that some of my older PDF books that haven't been specifically formatted for the eReader, read just fine on my Kindle.

6. Buy a book for a friend. I still get excited when I receive a good book as a gift. Don't you enjoy getting a good book for Christmas? Although, these days I may have read it already. Since technology has changed the accessibility of books. It seems every book I think I want to read I go get it because of the eReader technology. I mean why not if I can access it so fast and easy. Even so, consider adding a book gift for a friend to your celebration.

7. Help an aspiring author. Do you know an aspiring author friend? Encourage them in their book writing quest. Buy the book of their favorite author and gift it to them. Give the gift of the now popular eReader or an upgrade to their existing device. You can show your support by investing in their training or computer system. Purchase their seat in a writing course, online or offline.

Above all enjoy the month of celebrating books. Discover or rediscover the joy of reading. Remember, inside a book you can meet new people, visit new lands, get good training or just plain old take a pleasant journey. Happy Book Month!

Article Source:

Article Source:

© 2011

All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Birthday Celebration

"Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me! Happy birthdaaayyy to meeee!" Happy Birthday to me!"
Wow! I really enjoyed that--singing to myself even though I'm a couple of days early. My birthday is actually this Saturday, October 15th. Ironically it's also Sweetest Day, a holiday celebrated in states across the Midwest! Even if it wasn't my birthday, I'd still be looking to this Saturday. It's the 3rd Annual Book Club Mix & Mingle sponsored by the Michigan Literary Network, but it'll be my 1st time attending. As an author and a book lover, I'm pretty darn excited!

Is this the way I really want to spend my birthday? Absolutely! I can't think of a better way, in fact. The only thing missing is my family, but I'm going to get with them later.

Side Note: My daughter bought me the cutesy shirt that reads, "Future Best-Selling Author" You know I can't wait to rock my shirt at the event!

LaCharmine   (L.A.)Jefferson,

Author of Unfinished Business, the story of one woman's addiction to the wrong man for the wrong reason & what she risks to get him out of her system for good.


My Blogs:
A Day in the Life of L.A. Jefferson @
All Things Love @
Follow me on Twitter:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No More Excuses, Only Results

This past Saturday, October 8, I attended the monthly meeting of my beloved writers group, Motown Writers Network. I was so proud of my determination in attending the meeting--on time, at that! Go L.A.! Go L.A.! If my memory is correct, I haven't made it to one of our meetings since the early part of the year. Anyway, on to the point of this post. As is our custom at the beginning of the meetings, all in attendance introduce themselves and share their challenges & successes. For me, as I'm in the process of writing
my second novel, I found myself expressing the same challenge that I had when I was writing my first book, Unfinished Business , over 10yrs ago--writing the book!

Now that just shouldn't be the case! I know my writing mentor and Motown Writers Network founder, Sylvia Hubbard, gets tired of hearing me say the same thing. Heck! I'm getting tired of hearing me say the same thing. It's funny, though. I hear myself saying, "I've got to do so and so with the kids." "I find myself staring at the screen and not typing enough words." "Ive got a lot of outside activities that take up my free time." Blah, blah, blah. I know full well that every other writer in my circle and beyond have the same life obligations. If they can complete their manuscripts in reasonable timeframes, so should I, right? Not to compare myself to others, but I know that I can do better.

Actually, that's the whole point of attending the meetings. You can't attend and NOT be encouraged & inspired to DO better, regardless of your personal challenge. That's why my new motto for my writing life and beyond is, "No More Excuses, Only Results!

What about you? What challenges do you need to overcome?

LaCharmine Jefferson,
Author of Unfinished Business, the story of one woman's addiction to the wrong man for the wrong reason & what she risks to get him out of her system for good.

Paperback at

Ebook at

My Blogs:

A Day in the Life of L.A. Jefferson @
All Things Love @
Twitter @lajefferson
Facebook @lajefferson

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Latest Writing Inspirations

As summer days crawl to an end, I'm gearing up for completing my 2nd major writing project. I'm hoping to complete the manuscript by the Christmas holiday season. Wish me luck! In the meantime, I've been filling my days listening to some very motivational writing books via Audible Books application on my iPhone. LOVE IT! Anyway, the first book I listened to was "The 30-Minute Commute" by stephanie Dickison. Ms. Dickison is a non-fiction writer on a variety of subjects including book and restaurant reviews, articles, essays, columns, profiles, etc. The book was a memoir about her writing life. Interestingly, I wasn't expecting that to be what the book was about--tells you alot about how I purchase books--but I was delighted, nonetheless. Immediately I was inspired by her recounting of the years she spent working at her day job and trying to find time in the evenings and on weekends for her writing life. I know ALL TOO MUCH ABOUT THAT! From there she goes on to explain how long she contemplated leaving the day job to writing full time. The most interesting and profound thing she said was something like this, "The time to leave ones day job is solely up to the individual. Most importantly, it's not for everyone. There are some writers who thrive off of having something else to do while writing and publishing on the side." So basically, the choice is for the individual writer. YOU choose how you want to live "the writers life!" The next writing book I purchased, which I'm currently listening to as we speak, is Telling Lies for Fun and Profit by Lawrence Block. Now, I almost didn't buy this book because it was copywritten waaaayyyy back in 1981, but believe me when I say  its content are timeless. Right now, I'm up to chapter 9, which is all about beginner writers preparing ones self for rejection when sending out ones work for publication. Is this relevant in this "self-publishing" dominated publishing industry, you might want to know? I say yes! Because, quite frankly, self-publishing IS NOT for everyone! However, there's been one thing Mr. Block has said thus far which spoke volumes to me as an aspring SUCCESSFUL, WORLD-RENOWNED author! It was somewhere about Chapter 6 or 7 in which he's discussing whether or not an aspring writer--specifically college students, but aspiring writers just the same--should prepare for other career options as they work on their writing careers. Simply stated, Mr. Block contends that "preparing for another career when you know that you want to be a writer equates to preparing for failure as a writer." Isn't that powerful? I mean, sure, we all have to pay the bills as we pursue our writing goals BUT earning a paycheck to pay the bills is not the same as pursuing another career which will surely take a greater level of time and dedication, which should rightfully be allocated towards your writing goal IF you're serious about it. Basically, if you treat your writing as a side gig, that's exactly what it will be! After hearing those words, I made some decisions. For starters, I'm done pursuing promotions on my day job. The last thing I need is more work, responsibility, and stress during the day. My job keeps me busy enough while allowing some freedom and peace of mind to explore my writing. Secondly, I'm going to give up my Avon business. It's pretty senseless operating a business that's not making any money AND taking up pieces of my time that I could be using for my WRITING business! From now on I'm going to be writing like my life depends on it and you should too! If I come across anything else interesting in my listening I'll let you know. And feel free to let me know what you know good :)

Share your writing motivations! How are living your "writers" life?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Writing Software---What are Your Thoughts

Okay, so my little weekend haitus has come and gone AND I couldn't have enjoyed it more. For the first time, I didn't think--at least not that much--about writing or marketing.  I mean, let's be honest. From the moment you decide you, too, want to create entertaining tales along the lines of your fav authors, it's nearly impossible to read a book without some sidebar thoughts going through your head like, "Wow, where'd the author get the word from?" "Hmmm, I hope my characters are as clearly defined as these characters are." "Oh, I hope my readers are as engaged in my story as I am with this one." You know, stuff like that.

Anyway, prior to my weekend break from writing my mind got to churning about fiction writing software out there. At this particular moment--and any other moment, I'm sure--I can't think of where the thought came from, but I started Googling "fiction writing software" in hopes of finding something that assists with creating masterfully descriptive scenes. Admittedly, descriptive settings are one of my weaknesses. I'm more of a dialogue and plot focused writer.  Most writers probably are, but, heck, I don't know. Anyway, while I know that my writing can not and should not mirror anyone elses, I still want some masterfully descriptive settings in my work too! Is Fiction Writing Software the help I need? Or is simply an awesome editor that I need on my team???

Below are a few of the links---HALT! Scratch that. I found the perfect link to share. Not only does it contain some advice that I needed to hear myself whether the softwares are worth the cost, it also contains the softwares that I located through my Internet search and then some! Check it out.

 Writing Software


L.A. Jefferson

Friday, July 08, 2011

Writer's Self-Imposed Weekend Timeout

That's right! I'm taking a break from the world of writing this weekend! I really need it, too. For the last couple of months I've really upped my writing game. Constructing & tweaking my book outline, blogging, tweeting, and researching all of the above. Seriously! Just about EVERY night when I'd get home from my day job, I'd open my document on my netbook and type something. And, that's a good thing. A VERY good thing, but it's also pretty darn exhausting! By far, I'm not complaining, but I can just feel it on the inside that it's time for a break.

Over the last few days, I've found myself yearning for some pleasure reading.  I've been nastolgic about my time in Hawaii, over 15 yrs ago, when my love for reading was reignited when my mom sent me two historical romance novels by an author who would become one of my favorites Beverly Jenkins , Vivid and Night Song. As clear as the screen before me, I can envision myself laying comfortably on the couch--while my daughter slept soundly or played with her soft blocks--soaking up the history, the romance, and intrigue of those books. Presently, I'm longing for that good 'ole feeling. You know that feeling you get when you read an incredibly well-written, entertaining book! Well, summer reading--this weekend, at least--here I come!

I'm starting with the long-awaited Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva by Victoria Rowell. I've heard nothing but good stuff about this book and am excited beyond measure to dedicate this weekend to the novel. I absolutely can't wait!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Writers Benefit from Taking Their Own Advice

Ever found yourself listening to the words that were coming out of your own mouth? Have you ever done so and thought to yourself, "Wow! You're one smart cookie!"

I've had a few such occassions. Most recently I was giving a pep talk to my teenage daughter about her (our) desire to lose weight. WAIT! Before you say, "Losing weight has nothing to do with writing" and you move on to the next blog post, hold on a sec. The advise that I gave her applies just as much to ones writing goals.

1. Starting out, don't focus on your longterm goals. Instead, set small, measurable goals. For weight loss that small goal could be something like eat a fruit or vegetable with each meal. For writing, it could be a goal of writing for 15-20 minutes each day.

2. Keep your focus on what you want out of this effort. Obviously, for weight loss the BIG picture is to lose weight, but this piece of advice is about the longer term goal. For a teenager, it may be to lose at least 3 dress sizes by prom, which is anywhere from 1-4 yrs. For a writer, it may be to make it on a national bestseller list. In order to do that, you have constantly work on your craft and network. This could mean taking writing classes in the areas where you may be weak. Seeking out honest critiques of your work--not from family and friends. Attend conferences & workshops. Start out with the free ones. There are plenty to choose from in just about every city!  Don't just write stuff for the sake of publishing. Write for the sake of perfecting your craft. The more involved you get, the more work you'll see is involved in making your literary dreams come true. But, if you stay focused on what you want out of this--whatever that is for you--there'll be no doubt it's worth every effort.

3. Don't compare yourself to others. When trying to lose weight, it always seems like everyone else around you can eat whatever they want, not workout, and still have awesome bodies. Now, when we see people like this, we don't know a thing about their genetic make-up, whether they're using weight loss supplements, whether they're throwing everything up when they get home, or whether they have a plastic surgeon's number on speeddial. Point is, you'll drive yourself totally mad trying to compare apples to oranges. It's no different with writing. Don't compare how many followers you have on Twitter compared to another author or how many readers purchase the books of another author at a book event compared to yourself. On the outside looking in, you don't know the struggle of that fellow author that has gotten them to the point where they are today. For all you know, you may be comparing yourself to an author who's been in the writing & publishing game for 10+ years compared to your 3. I'm telling you, just watch a few of those episodes of Behind the Music or Unsung. Take note that most superstars didn't start out that way. Many were signed to their record labels for years before they actually gained any notoriety. It's no different for writers. The most important thing you can do is keep working towards the longterm goals.

Taking my own advice, here are a few short-term goals that I'm working on:

Work on your book, blog, newsletter, website a minimum of 3 times per week.
Forget about self-imposed deadlines for your book, just keep working on it weekly 'til it's done!
Tweet at least once a day about your current book or upcoming book.
Retweet something interesting by another author.
Comment on another's authors' website, blog, or FB page.

Your Author Friend, L.A. Jefferson
Follow me on Twitter @lajefferson

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Story Outline--What Have I Got Myself Into???

OMG! Who knew this was going to take this long??? I've been working on the outline for my upcoming book since, I'm almost embarrassed to say, March. Granted, I encountered some personal setbacks that kept me from my work (theft), but still, I'd hoped that by now I'd at least be in the middle of the chapter by chapter outline. NOT! Heck! I was planning on locking myself up in a hotel room next weekend--you know, away from it all--to get started writing my manuscript (AGAIN) with my handy-dandy story outline by my side. Hopefully, I don't have to change my plans.

Everyday that I pull my outline out of my totebag to update, I keep repeating the words of my online instructor, "It's better to rewrite and rewrite while you're outlining. Better to get the story clear and concise in the outline form than to find yourself stuck midway through a manuscript." Deep down I have faith that this is true. The more clear that my story is becoming to me, I clearly see why I ran into the brick wall in the latter part of 2010. Sure, my idea was HOT! I had no doubt about that. Problem was I hadn't spent any time developing that HOT idea into a well-structured story. When I started writing, I still had the characters from my first novel, Unfinished Business, stuck in my head--I'd been writing it so long, they were encased in me. Let me explain. My upcoming novel, Reconciliation to Hell, is a spinoff of Unfinished Business. The main character in the second book was a secondary character in the first book. However, I was into the third chapter of Reconciliation to Hell when I realized that I was still writing in the voice of the main character from the first book! And believe me when I tell you that these characters are complete opposites!

Anyway, as frustrating as this process has been over the last few weeks, I wouldn't trade it for the world. In fact, I'm looking forward to applying this outlining process to the many unfinished articles that I have started and stopped over the years. They're some really great ideas that just need a little developing.

I only wish that I'd started working on this darn outline like five years ago while I was preparing to publish my first book. I'm sure I'd be ready to write right about now, if not near finished with the first draft. Oh well, you live and you learn, right?

Tell me your experience. How does or doesn't outlining work for you? Do you complete your entire outline before you start writing? Is the outline a work in progress as you write the manuscript?

Update: I'll be in that hotel this weekend with or without a completed outline! Either way it goes, this weekend will be a writing-filled weekend and I can't wait!!!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Published Authors Benefit from Continuing Education Too

Any day now, I expect to be up to my neck (not literally, of course) in pages of my new manuscript. Why any day now and not right now? If you've been keeping up with my blog, you'll probably remember a post or two about my progress on my second novel. Well, I wasn't lying. I did actually start the manuscript several months ago, but like with my first manuscript, I hit a brick wall--unfortunately a lot sooner than I expected.

Isn't it funny how powerful a story idea can hit you--of course while you're in the middle of another project? Anyway, when the idea for my upcoming novel, Reconciliation to Hell, came to me I couldn't wait to be finished with Unfinished Business! I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this would surely be the novel that would put my name of the tongues of literary giants! So it's easy to imagine my utter disappointment when I finally got started on my breakout novel only to hit that all too familiar brick wall. Can you see the tears???

What did I do next? Just like when I was writing Unfinished Business, I put it down, feeling defeated but determined to get rejuvenated. That rejuvenation never came. However, I didn't remain defeated. Instead, I sought out a little literary help by way of Ed2Go. I enrolled in Writing Fiction Like a Pro, a class that promised to leave me with an complete outline of my book project that would enable me to write, and write more swiftly and concisely from beginning to end.

The result: So far so good. The class ended in May. I experienced a minor setback shortly before that when my totebag with A LOT of my writing material was stolen. But, I didn't stay down for long. Being the eternal optimist I decided that it wasn't the worst thing that could've happened since I was going to start my story over from the beginning anyway. Now, I don't have a choice.

Goal: Today is June 8th. I plan to begin writing no later than the weekend of June 24th, Until that time, I'm marinating on the checkpoints of my outline and sketching out subplots of secondary characters.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Author L.A. Jefferson's Discussion with 4 Kicks Book Club Meeting--May 2011

Earlier this month my novel, Unfinished Business, was the featured selection for the 4 KICKS book club. Consequently, I was invited to join the discussion. Since debuting my novel in 2009, this is the second time that I've received such an invitation so I was just as excited AND nervous as I was the very first time! Let me tell you, this was a VERY lively and fun group of women to discuss my novel with. To get the party--oops--meeting--started the ladies and I toasted with shots of Petrone! I did say lively, didn't I? LOL! Anyway, the meeting was ALOT of fun--reminded me of my own book club days! At the end of the day, the ladies and I had so much fun, they invited me to come back for other book discussions. I gladly accepted the invitation!

Below are some questions and comments that stemmed from the discussion.

Q.  What was your inspiration behind the story?
A. Honestly, it began with my personal to recapture the essence of my first love. The story evolved into what often happens when two people reconnect after years of separation only to realize that--after the ups & downs of life's experiences--they are no longer who they were when that love was born between them.

Q. What was the deal with Lena? Was she bi-sexual, lesbian, or just extra kinky?
A. Surprisingly, the word "lesbian" never came to mind when Lena's character was created. I simply envisioned her as a woman willing to go to great lengths to give her man whatever he wanted in the bedroom. Now, the real question is whether her motivation was to satisfy her man or control him?

Q.  On the night of the bridal shower, did Roy really sleep with Christian, the woman he met that night or did he just want Lydia to think that he did so she could realize what she was on the brink of losing?
A. I left that one open for the reader to decide...

"I'm glad that there was a couple in the book on the right track. It was refreshing to have that balance of Black love."

"As fine as Officer Chris Boyle was, I wanted to see him hook up with somebody in the story! He was too fine to end up by himself."

My question to the group: "What was your opinion of the end of the story? Was it a realistic or unrealistic end?"

"Personally, I couldn't see it happening like that, at least not so soon."

"I wouldn't say unrealistic, but it'd definitely make me want to know what happened later on down the line with the characters' relationship."

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Be True to Yourself

Let me the first to say, there are some extraordinary literary movers and shakers on the scene! They're writing. They're blogging. They're hosting blogtalk radio shows. They seem to make every literary event! They're hosting their own literary events!They've got  fans and followers up the yin yang! And on top of all of that, they still manage to produce a book!!! It's enough to make you do a triple take! For the longest time I have set back, purely awestricken, trying to decipher how these folks were able to do all of this. And more importantly, why wasn't I doing the same thing? Obviously there was something wrong with me. There was no question about it. I had all of the same desires as these other writers and authors. But from the outside looking in, I wasn't putting forth nearly the effort to really make my literary dreams come true.

Did that or does that mean that I don't want it bad enough? Am I just playing writer/author?

Absolutely not!

And neither are you, if you've ever felt that way!

Here's the thing. We're all individuals, with unique talents,personalities, and lives. What one person is strong in, another is weak, and vice versa. We go wrong when we try to immulate others especially when you don't know the ins and outs of how folks are doing what they're doing. For example, that author who is at every literary event may not have any children with evening or weekend activities. Perhaps, their children are older, less needy. Maybe that person who wrote their book in six months spent a year structuring their story from start to finish, which makes the writing part easy. You see, people often don't share with you (until you ask in some cases) how they're accomplishing what they're managing to accomplish. Some people like you to look at them in blind fascination. I say, ASK! Remember, the only stupid question is the one not asked. But I'll be the first to tell you that you will run yourself stark raving mad trying to be what someone else is. Even worse, you NEVER will be anyway! As a writer, aspiring author, or novice author you have to carve out your own path, you own way, on your own terms. In the end, you'll be more the wiser and more successful!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blogging Queen

Wow! Talk about going from one extreme to another!!! I can remember as clear as day when I became a member of Motown Writers Network how I would stare quite dumfoundedly as the group's founder, Sylvia Hubbard, would go on and on about the importance of aspiring authors to join the "blogging" community. At that time I was still struggling with finding substantial time to finish writing my first book, Unfinished Business, so you can imagine my frustration! "How am I suppose to find time to write my book and blog?" Not to mention, "What the heck was I going to blog about???"

Fast forward five years. Today I'm blogging more than I'm writing! Good or bad? Honestly, I can't say BUT I do enjoy it. Immensely, in fact! I manage, not one, but a total of four blogs:   All things literary Work/life balance Relationships  Obsession with weight loss

What I love about blogging is that whatever I blog about doesn't have to be an area that I specialize in--just something that I have an interest in. For example, although I'm a published author I do not feel that I'm an expert--yet--in the field of self-publishing. However, I have learned A LOT about it, specifically that it's more than a notion! With the knowledge that have acquired, I can help other aspiring authors by sharing my experiences. Also, I've been married and divorced twice, a single parent much longer than not, but it's not on my agenda to write a book about these subjects. HOWEVER, I certainly have a lot I can say on the subjects! I've LIVED those things. Blogging enables me to be able to add my two cents! So when Sylvia said, "Blog about whatever you want", I took that advice and ran!!!

Blogging provides me with a slightly different gratification than I receive when I complete a large writing project. Instant gratification! Blogging doesn't entail the long process of writing a book. There are no characters to craft, no plot to create, no climax to reach, etc. It's simply a simpler & faster way of connecting and sharing my experiences with other folks--friends, family, fans, and the unknown! Needless to say, I'll be a blogger for life!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Support National Reading Month

Did you know that March has been designated as National Reading Month?

Isn't that exciting? Of course, if you're already a book lover like myself then this month isn't going to be much different from any other month for you. But, it could be.

Sharing your love for reading with the greater community, especially children, can be extremely rewarding. And it can be relatively easy. You can easily join libraries, schools, community organizations, and individuals across the nation in this month long celebration of books geared towards igniting a love for reading in children. After all, isn't that when most usbegan our love affair with books? Below are some ways you can contribute to this worthwhile endeavor:

Donate new or used books to a local book drive.

Post on facebook/twitter what you're reading this month.

Take your child or a child in your family to the bookstore or library.

Support activities of libraries, schools, and bookstores.

Buy a new author's book.

Easy enough, right? Have fun and happy reading!

L.A. Jefferson

Friday, March 04, 2011

Avoid Resource OVERLOAD!!!

Deciding to embark on your writing career can be both exhilirating and scary as hell!  As most of us--book lovers turned aspiring writers/authors--are avid readers it's only natural for us to want to buy every writing resource we can get our hands on. After all, the experts do advise {taken from one of my resources, of course :)}, it's important to learn everything you can about the industry you plan to delve into it, right? Only thing is, when you combine ones thirst for knowledge with ones love for buying & reading books, it'll be no time before an excited, aspiring writer finds themselves at the overwhelming stage of RESOURCE OVERLOAD! Between the Writer's Digest book club offers and your own browsing of the book store's resource aisle, you can have everything from the basic poket/tabletop dictionary and thesaurus, grammar & style guides to every year's annual Writer's Market. Believe me when I tell you, the available titles are endless!

I wish someone had told me then what I'm about to tell you: "STOP! SAVE YOUR MONEY!"  For one thing, many of the resources regurgitate the same information. Secondly, none of these books will catapult your writing career. Only effective marketing & promoting will do that.

Now, on that point--marketing & promoting--besides a good dictionary & thesaurus, maybe a manuscript formatting guide, resources on the marketing & promoting is what you need to spend your money on, if not a good publicity coach. One such resource that I recently added to my library is  Red Hot Internet Publicity by Penni Sansevieri. For all other resource books, utilize your public library and the internet.

Hope you found this tidbit of information helpful.

Happy Writing & Publishing!
L.A. Jefferson

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Networking Tips--Mailing List

Just arriving home after attending a Glam R Us event, I find myself still pretty excited from the networking opportunity that it turned out to be. The event was a demonstration to attendees on makeup application for everyday and evening occasions. However, the gracious host, the Glam Doctor--being the giver that she is--also allotted approximately 10 minutes for attendees with their own businesses to promote their business by turning in a business card for her to read off to the audience. In hindsight I kind of remember the event details advising business owners to bring business cards with them but that was furthest from my mind as I trudged on to the event after a very exhausting day at work. BUT, I've heard it in enough writer's meetings to know that I absolutely MUST ALWAYS HAVE ON HAND some kind of promotional material for my book and myself as an author because networking opportunities have no bounds!

So that is more like a refresher networking tip to remember--Always keep a stack of business cards/promotional flyers on your person (i.e. in your purse, coat pocket, vehicle glove compartment,etc). Here's what I didn't think about--creating a quick makeshift mailing list. Why? Even though it wasn't my event, those who expressed interest in my book may have been eager to join my list. Fact is, just because someone takes your card doesn't mean they're going to make use of it--or at least not any time soon, if they don't lose in the pile of other cards they collect. On the other hand, if they are willing to give you their email address for your mailing list, a shift of power now exists for you, the business owner--in my case, author--has the control to reach out/follow up with that potential reader. For example, one of the women who took one of my cards mentioned that she was in a book club and that she'd love to recommend my book to her club. Awesome, right? Absolutely! Good news with her is that she also gave me her card so I do, at least, have a way to follow up and I certainly will! But that wasn't the case with some of the others :(

Anyway, as you see, on this literary journey there are always things to learn, but I was very pleased with my application of everything that I've learned thus far in the game and I hope you have, too!

Til Later..L.A. Jefferson

Thursday, January 13, 2011


"Aggghhhhhh!!!!" That's me screaming. Forgive me for the sudden outburst but I gotta let it out one way or another to maintain a semblance of sanity. At least that's what I heard. Why am I screaming, you may want to know? Let me tell you...This balancing act of my life can sometimes drive me MAAAADDDDD!!!!

I love my life. I love my life. I love my life. You may find it helpful to repeat this several times on your journey to get to wherever you're on your way to in this life. Especially when the going gets rough. I find it helpful, at  least.

If you've been following my blog, you'll know that I'm diligently working on my second novel. So far the deadlines that I've set have come and gone. First goal was to have the draft complete by 12/31/2010. Nope--not even close! Most recently I set a new goal to complete a chapter a day. Yesterday, by midnight, chapter 3 was to be completed. Nope! However, I can say that I was very close BUT that's because I've been working on it for over a week! Could the goal of completing a chapter a day be too far reaching? Maybe, but I feel it necessary to apply such pressure so that it doesn't take me 10 yrs to complete this novel like it did my first. SMH.

I'm motivated like HECK to complete my follow up novel to Unfinished Business. However, I'm also equally motivated to improve my Internet marketing skills, increase sales of Unfinished Business, increase traffic to my blogs & website, get more people to know about L.A. JEFFERSON! Oh yeah, did I mention that I'm also planning to move in the next few months.

EVERYTHING on my plate today often makes me reminiscent of the days before I became a self-published author. The days when I toyed around with the idea of turning my manuscript into a published novel. The days when I wrote when I felt like it, read books without guilt that I should be writing, or enjoyed a television program without simultaneously working on something related to my writing career (website, blog, Facebook, Twitter).

Okay, back to reality. I love this pursuit of making my dreams come true. I really do! Whenever I think of entering other career options, I'm soooo not into it! I'm obsessed with writing. Writing permeates ever fiber of being. Watching my favorite television programs, watching big screen movies, browsing the shelves of any book section or stor all bring me back to my ultimate passion of creative writing! So yes, balancing a budding writing career, handling ones own marketing & promotion in conjuction with everything else going on in life is challenging BUT as ones dreams begin to manifest, surely there will be no regrets. NO PAIN, NO GAIN!

Now back to work, L.A. Jefferson

Sunday, January 02, 2011

It's the New Year! Let's Get it!

It's 2011! I know, I know. You had so many hopes and plans for 2010. Some things you achieved, some you didn't, but in the coin phrase of 2010--LET'S GET IT! Meaning there's no time for mourning the goals you didn't reach for 2010. Whether it was finishing that novel you started so long ago (or not so long ago), getting your webiste up and running, creating your newsletter, or doesn't matter.

Now is the time to re-prioritize. Create a new set of goals with the most important ones from 2010 at the top of the list. Move forward and have a positive mindset. If you haven't joined a writers group you should. They can be instrumental in helping you as a writer to stay focused. For example, my writers group, Motown Writer's Network challenged us to write for 15 minutes everyday and we're supposed to bring our work to the 1st meeting of the year. How's that for motivation?

Anyway good luck on whatever you set your mind to do in 2011. LET'S GET IT!