Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Watcha Doin' with Tiana Laveen

Tiana, what inspired you to take up writing?

I have been writing since I was a young girl and learned how to write. I was drawing and writing, making up stories in my head with colorful characters and ‘inappropriate’ love scenes for someone my age, lol. My mother had an old typewriter from when she was in college in the early 80’s, and she’d let me use it to type out my stories. I had folders and folders of poems and stories squirreled away in my bedroom.

What do you love most about being a Storyteller?

I love the ability to literally create worlds and people. I thought initially, I’d be ‘making them’ do what I want, like playing with dolls, but quickly learned that is not how it was going to work. More times than not, my characters tell ME what they are going to do. I simply ‘set them up’ and they do the rest. I also love entertaining people as well as giving information they may be able to use, simultaneously. I enjoy interacting with readers about what I’ve written. It’s just a joy to disappear inside of myself, live with ‘people’ I created and then present them to others. I never get tired of it.

What did you do before you became a writer?

I worked as a Marketing Director in corporate America. I got sick of the rat race. I was tired of meetings, etc. My creativity was being stifled, but, I had to pay the bills. Then I got an opportunity to work from home for another company. I did that for awhile and while I was taking care of my then infant son, for stress relief, I began writing late at night. I never stopped writing, I just wrote less but I found myself needing an outlet. So, I spent the nights painting, drawing and writing and the writing took over more and more of my nightly routine until I looked down and saw I had literally written two books without knowing it. I cut and pasted and excerpt one late night online, a friend of mine saw it--he was already a published author (I didn’t know it though – he and I had fallen out of contact.) and he had me call him immediately to talk to me about my writing and the rest was history.

What do you enjoy doing besides writing?

Well, as alluded to, painting and sketching. I also enjoy cooking and spending time with my family and friends.

If you could change one thing about the world what would it be? Why?

I would have people automatically have to treat people kindly until their behavior warranted otherwise. We live in a very self-absorbed, cruel world and people sometimes don’t seem to care how their words and actions negatively affect others and sometimes, they in fact know, and because they are so powerless in their own lives, they thrive off of hurting others in other to feel important and get attention. I would have that sort of behavior stop and I am certain it would stop or at least greatly minimize larger social issues and problems - such as unnecessary wars, intolerance, etc.

My biggest challenge in writing The Scarlet Omen and the rest of the trilogy was keeping all the characters in my head alive and present throughout all three books. Please tell us a little about your latest release and the challenges you faced writing it.

My latest release, “Saved and SAINTified”, is the from a series in which the main character/Hero is a sex-therapist, author and ‘in your face’ advocate of interracial relationships, particularly those involving black women and Rainbeau/non-black men. The first two books in the series, “The Naughty Sins of a Saint” and “When Saint Goes Marching In”, delve into who he is, how he met his Goddess/wife, ‘Xenia’ and the trials and tribulations they’ve had to overcome vocationally as well as their relationship. This third release focuses more on Saint’s past, and how he came to be the man he is today as well as a new problem with a wayward relative across the globe who wishes nothing short of his and his new child’s death.
One of the challenges I had while writing this, is knowing that I had to go deeper into the paranormal of Saint’s life. I have some readers/fans who do not enjoy paranormal – but it came down to an artistic choice in which I had no choice. The main character needed to address this further, and after all, he is psychic with special abilities. I would have done himself and his ‘world’ a great disservice by not addressing it. I knew I was taking a chance, but at the end of the day, I have to be true to the characters.

Another challenge was one of the scenes involving a man that he grew up with. It was very gritty, heart-wrenching scene, and it was painful to write because I was fully aware that people like ‘Bomb’, really do exist and it was emotional for me, as a writer, to paint a picture of this side character’s world. He was an intelligent, Puerto-Rican gang member from a world that was lost – yet his mind was still ‘there’ – back in a time where heroine, fighting and basic survival were a way of life in the urban scene of the south Bronx, circa 1979-1982. This was such an important part of how Saint became the man he is today, it too, had to be addressed. Even though this is essentially a romance story and about family, Saint needed to tell his story much deeper – to go inside of himself and expose to the readers the how and why of his basic being.

Finally, the other challenge was the length of the story. I did not realize I had written over 700 pages. Please do not ask me how I didn’t know, lol, I truly didn’t until I received the manuscript back from my editor. I had two choices – split the story in half and sell it as a part I and part II, or deliver it whole, causing some people either annoyance or gratitude. I went with the latter, because the story was meant to be read as a whole, so that is what I decided to move forward with.

What are the three most important things an author should possess? Why?

1. Time -  You have to make time to write. Even if you are not on a schedule, if you are not writing, even in your ‘spare’ time, you won’t be able to develop your craft better. This is one of those things where you truly have to do it a lot to get better in your chosen genre(s).

2. A willingness to grow and learn throughout their writing career – The book(s) you write right now, won’t be the same as the ones you write ten years from now. That is how it should be. This is not to say those first two-three books won’t be good, but if you have readers and fans, they will see you getting better. They may not like everything you write, matter of fact, I am sure of this – but they won’t be able to see that you have severely declined, as far as your skills, if you are open to learning and getting better.

3. Drive -  Talent, willingness and time is not enough. You have to be driven to do it. You have to think about writing when you are not currently sitting at your keyboard or gripping your notebook. The things that you love and completely enjoy, you think about a lot. It needs to be your boy or girlfriend – that you are madly in love with. If you don’t feel that way about writing, then it means you may need to reevaluate what you truly want to do career wise. It can’t be a hobby. It can start as a hobby, but it can never stay that way – it must be a full-time relationship. The drive is what will get the writer over that hump regarding the pitfalls, delays etc. and it will allow the ‘wake-up’ call to transpire, the growth to transform them so they can reach it from the start of the manuscript, until they can see it in print and hold a hard-bound copy in their hands. (or kindle/nook) etc.

What do you want readers to feel after reading your novels?

I want my readers to have truly been enveloped in the world they read about. I want them to get angry, to laugh, and sometimes cry. I want them to have been entertained and possibly even enlightened. If it is a love story, I want them to be aroused and possibly even want to be the heroine or hero. I want the gamut of human emotions to have run. I don’t always write characters that are lovable at the beginning – because not all human beings are friendly, at ease, strong and aggressive. But I do want my characters to show evolution, and sometimes it is done subtly, sometimes on a much grander scale – but that that to me, is capturing the human divinity in a character that was 2-deminensiola, and is now fleshed out, almost palpable to the touch.

Any words of wisdom:

Stay true to your vision and your craft. Appreciate and acknowledge your readers and fans, and ask them to participate in dialogue but do not write what others want you to write, if that is not what is in your heart. If you do, you no longer have written your story, you’ve written theirs. You are the writer, and not everyone will fawn over your work – but at the end of the day, if you wrote what was in your heart, and did the best you could at that time, so that within itself is golden. Peer pressure is MFer, lol, but do not become her concubine. Don’t be pimped out by public opinion – be true to YOU.

Thanks so much, Tiana. Readers, please go to the links below to see what else Tiana is up to.





Monday, 1 July 2013

Bookworm Galore with Samantha Martin

Tell us about yourself and your blog.

I am 31 years old, married, and have three children. Since I first picked up Green Eggs and Ham I have been an avid and passionate reader. I love reading so much that I got a job working at my local library.

My blog focuses on Young Adult titles. I am not into spoilers, so my posts give you an idea of the plot of the story and the central conflict, without giving anything away.

When and why did you start book Blogging?

I started blogging in October 2011. I got this idea one day to start a blog that focuses on YA books because there were so parents who wanted to know about a book their teen was reading and if the title was appropriate. So a light bulb burst into existence and my blog was born. Now parents can go onto the blog and decide for themselves if the book will be appropriate for their child.

One of the great benefits of the blog is I can share my passion, promote literacy, and get to know new stories and new authors.

Name your favourite book/s and why.

My favourite book....that is a hard one. There are so many books that I absolutely love. If I had to name a favourite book as of right now, I would pick Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout, really the whole Lux series. I can really indentify with the characters in the story.  As I stated in my review on Onyx the second book in the series, “Drop dead gorgeous guys, super powers, books galore, aliens and did I mention scary ‘Men in Black’….oh and blogging, lots of blogging!!!” What’s not to love?

What won’t readers tolerate in a book?

Hmm....I find that what a reader will tolerate and won’t tolerate varies from reader to reader. You have some readers that just can’t stand anthologies, they think of them as teases. Then you have other readers who are sick of the whole “love triangle” scenario.

Personally, I am not a big fan of long drawn out adventures where the hero goes to find something, and still has not found it 300 pages later.

If you could pull an Inkheart, which book would you like to slip into and why?

Oh this is a fun one. I think that I would jump into Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. It would be awesome to be able to attend a school to learn magic. How cool would it be to be able to transform your clothes into beautiful evening gowns, levitate objects, and win the heart of your best frenemy! It is like Hogwarts for delinquents.

What are the things that you love and hate about being a book Blogger?

What I love about being a book blogger is that I can share my love for books with everyone. Being able to connect with people who share my passions is a wonderful feeling.

What I hate about being a book far I have not found anything I dislike about blogging. I wish I could speed read so I could review books faster, but all in all, I am content.

Do you have any recommendations for authors or readers who are thinking about starting their own Blogs?

The main piece of advice I can share about starting your own blog is to have fun! This is an outlet for your creative ideas and opinions. Not everyone will agree with you, they might not like the same books you read or write. This blog will not only help promote authors and books, it will give you a since of purpose, a vocation if you will.

Thanks, Samantha! It was great having you with us. Readers, go check out what else Samantha's up to on the site below...

Teen Blurb Blog:




Monday, 24 June 2013

Bookworm Galore with The Cover Contessa

Tell us about yourself and your blog.

My name is Brooke. I am formally of the blog The Cover Contessa.  I do all sorts of stuff on my blog: reviews, ARC reviews, interviews, memes, book blasts and book tours.
When did you start book blogging?

I started in March of 2012.

Name your favourite book/s and why.

Oh, so many to name! LOL! I am in love with Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Covenant series. It is spectacular. I also love Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me Series and Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices and Mortal Instrument series’. I really just love to read and I’ll try just about anything.  I mostly stick to the young adult genre focusing on paranormal and dystopian. I have a few indies that I really love, as well: Christine Fonseca, David Estes, Stephanie Judice. If you haven’t read them, you really should!

While I was writing The Scarlet Omen, I tried to keep in mind what I as a reader love while staying true to my writing style. In your opinion, what do readers look for in a book?

I think readers need a good plot line and well fleshed out characters. I need to be able to connect to the characters, to understand them and they need to be realistic (even if the plot line involves something supernatural or out of this world). I tend to gravitate towards books that grab me right from the start, so I need something that will start off with some kind of a bang. Personally, I like books that are well edited. I have read a few that have really needed some more going over and it really bugs me, probably because my first college degree is in English! LOL!

If you could be a character from any book, who would you choose to be and why?

Oh, I would definitely be Alex from The Covenant Series for sure. Why, you ask, well because I’d get to be with Aiden and what would be better than that??? J

What are the things that you love and hate about being a book blogger?

I love all the connections I have made with other readers, fellow bloggers and authors. It’s so great to get out there and see all these different personalities and thoughts on things. And it educational to boot! Sometimes, as a blogger, I feel like it is expected that I post every day and that I remember EVERYTHING people tell me. I’m a blogger for fun, I have a job and family and a house to run, so sometimes things slip through the cracks. I hate to disappoint people.

Do you have any recommendations for authors or readers who are thinking about starting their own blogs?

Make your layout easy. I hate blogs that are difficult to navigate. Make interesting posts. Connect with other bloggers to get ideas and don’t be afraid to contact authors. I find most authors love to do things for bloggers because it helps get their books noticed. Be organized. I use a lot of Google Drive spreadsheets and I have a template for my author questions and such. Have a calendar that’s easy to read and that might give you reminders of what you have set up. And try to get ahead of your posts if you can. I try to do at least 3 days at a time of posts, though it doesn’t always work out this way. Most of all—have fun blogging. If it becomes something you don’t enjoy, then it’s going to be reflected in your posts.

Thanks so much for that insightful interview, Brooke! Readers, here’s where you can go check out The Cover Contessa’s other Internet Escapades....

Twitter: @covercontessa
Blog Email:

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Watcha Doin' with Jide Forbes

Author Bio:

Well…honestly I don’t even know where to start from, it’s been a long journey. But I’ll put it simple and straight. I am Jide Ojeniyi, I write with the pseudonym Jide Forbes, born on October 22 1983. I write Christian Literature, Short-stories, Children’s Fiction and Articles. I studied Computer Science at the Lagos State University, graduated 2009. After that I proceeded to the Daystar Leadership Academy for a short course in Basic Leadership in 2010, the following year I was short-listed for a Professional course tagged Youth Enterprise with Innovation organized by the Federal Government at the Lagos Business School/Pan African University. In 2012 I was also short-listed for Project Empowerment Professional training organized by St. Augustine’s College USA in partnership with Centre for Enterprise Development & Action Research (CEDAR). When I was in school, I and my team created a new product we tagged “Six-Dimensional Branding” which we proposed to Blue Chip companies to promote their Brand. I am also a dedicated Entrepreneur into creating new innovations in the E-merchant Industry.

What inspired you to take up writing?

My God and my passion to display my God-given talent.

What do you love most about being Storyteller?

I love to showcase my creativity in storytelling to the entire world. And to tell stories from different cultures all across the globe.

Which character from one of your books do you think you most resemble?

Hmmm…I can’t really think of any now. I tell my stories based on my own creative imagination. I like to mix history with fiction.

If you could go back in time, where and when would you go?

Well I have never thought of going back in time, rather I would prefer going into the future and peeping into how great it looks.

Please tell us a little about your latest release and the challenges you faced writing it.

The Book I am about to release is the “Jolly Roger Trilogy; A tale of the Marauders.”  It is the first fiction to combine three Legends together. Divided in three parts, set in the 11th century, this story is a mini-series of complex, multi-layered thriller adventure that brings three different legends together in one fiction- “It was a battle of death as hell was let loose when the three most dangerous groups of sea robbers incidentally collided on an island. With each group claiming Supremacy and ownership of the island, they devised various means of wiping out each other...”  I wrote this Book for four years and I made deep concrete research about the Pirates, Vikings and the Buccaneers for me to successfully create a thriller/adventure story. I also submitted it for the Commonwealth Literary Award 2013, I hope I win.

What do you think about the role of book bloggers in the literary world? Do you have a favourite blogger?

Hmmm I don’t really have a favourite blogger per se and I think Book Bloggers are doing a fantastic job. I mean this is the Information Age, we need to make a great impact online for our presence to be felt.

How do you think writing and book marketing have changed over the decades? What are the implications for authors today?

To me writing has not really changed, what I’ve noticed is that we now have more writers out there. It seems more young people are beginning to discover their passion for writing. The introduction of the E-Book has made it easier to get your works published and sold over the internet which is good for the Industry. As Authors we just need to Brand ourselves and learn to promote our works on an International level, that way the sky will be the stepping stone for us.

Any words of wisdom:

The words of wisdom I have would be one of my favourite quotes by John Mason “Imitation is Limitation” which also happens to be one of my favourite Books.

Thanks, Jide! Readers, here’s a message from Jide:

Readers please feel free to download my first publication titled “Heavenly Wars” it‘s free!

Just click on the link below:





Thursday, 6 June 2013

Watcha Doin' with Lakeshia Ramsey

Author Bio:

Hello my name is Lakeshia Ramsey. I am 27 years old, and as a young child life was not easy for me growing up without my biological mother, being raped on 3 different occasions as well being in an abusive relationship was very hard. It would be for anyone. People that know me look at me and say “you are a strong lady”. Well, you would have thought a smart, beautiful, educated woman as myself would never go through what I have been through. People look and ask how I made it out of the projects? How did I overcome this tragic life that I lived in? I look at them and just say JESUS!!! He is a healer a provider and if you just call on Him He will be there. He brought me out of my mess and blessed me beyond what I asked for. I am happily married and living the life that my Lord has ordered for me!!!   God will use anybody to spread the gospel!! I am still a baby in Christ and some time we all fall short of His glory but if we believe and have faith nothing is too hard for God. All my life I wanted to write a book and God had that in my path but I just had to wait on his calling. So I live and breathe by the word of God.

What inspired you to take up writing?

My trials and tribulations have inspired me to write. I consider my writing to be a blessing from God. I could not sit back and know that god has ordained me to do something and not obey.

What has been your happiest encounter on your journey as a Storyteller?

My happiest encounter on my journey as a story teller has been just blessing people with my testimony. Just being able to spread the gospel along with me telling people how God has blessed me when I did not deserve His grace and mercy.

If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and why?

I don’t think I would want to be like anyone else because God has made me the way He wanted me to be.

What is your favorite movie and why?

My favorite movie is ‘Women thou art loosed’ by Bishop T.D. Jakes. The reason this is my favorite movies is because I see myself in that movie. It reminds me of my abuse but it also lets me know that God never gave up on her and He did not give up on me. We might have had trauma in our life but god used our traumas for someone else to get the glory.

Please tell us a little about your latest release and the challenges you faced while writing it.

Right now I only have one book released and that is ‘A destiny god ordained’. The challenges I have faced while writing my testimony is just knowing that the world would read this book and some people that is involved in my book would read this and dislike me even more than before. It was a lot of fear but after praying to God and just asking for peace a week later my book was out and published. He led me to do what was right because this was not about me…this was all for him.

I’ve come across some really rude posts by readers on Amazon about self-published authors. What is your opinion about the lack of respect shown to people on online bookstores (authors and their books or just people in general)?

It is their opinion and they are allowed to have them. Just don't let it keep you from doing what you want to do. If they are on board with a major house then they should count their blessing. Because there is always someone who just may get discovered who takes their place.

Any words of wisdom for our readers:

My words of wisdom would be to keep God in all that you do Nothing is too hard for god. Follow your dreams if you dream it do it.  Remember nothing is ours but everything is God’s Last but not least something that keeps me going is pray about everything and worry about nothing.

I take my hat off, Lakeshia...your bravery is inspiring. Hey Readers, if you would like to see what else Lakeshia's up to, please go to the links below.





Friday, 3 May 2013

Mind Games

A mind is the complex of cognitive faculties that enables consciousness, perception, thinking, learning, reasoning, and judgement—a characteristic of humans, but which also may apply to other life forms…The main questions regarding the nature of mind is its relation to the physical brain and nervous system – a question which is often framed as the Mind-body problem, which considers whether mind is somehow separate from physical existence (dualism and idealism), deriving from and reducible to physical phenomena such as neurological processes (physicalism), or whether the mind is identical with the brain or some activity of the brain…Whatever its relation to the physical body it is generally agreed that mind is that which enables a being to have subjective awareness and intentionality towards their environment, to perceive and respond to stimuli with some kind of agency, and to have consciousness, including thinking and feeling.” –(

I was watching Total Recall, the one with Kate Beckinsale and Collin Farrell, and it got me thinking about the ultimate power of our minds. We can convince ourselves to do anything. Our minds can be our best friends or our worst enemies. Any celebrity can tell you this, especially those who have been in rehab. So why is it that so many of us do not use this to our advantage? Why do we go through life without using our mind’s full potential? Why do we prefer to succumb to the dark side of chocolate instead of pursuing that six pack?

My father always said it’s all about “Mind over Matter” and that we can do anything to which we set our minds. I try to use this in my daily life but somehow, exactly that’s what gets in the way—LIFE! To be fully motivated and concentrated, centered, we need to have a clear mind, right? But how does that work when the whole world constantly wants something from you—when that one forgotten black sock puts a dent in your day by ruining all the whites?

Teachers, boyfriends/girlfriends, bosses, publishers, agents, children, spouses, friends, even your gym instructor…everyone wants (and deserves) a piece of your time and mind. So how can you concentrate on something for more than 10 minutes at a time?

Please don’t go around telling people that I’m blaming my lack of self-discipline on my peers! As I mentioned earlier it is just too simple to fall into laziness and take the flatter route. However, why do people feel much more motivated in rehab or at a spa getaway? Life is stressful, especially in this day and age, and it is important to remember that there will always be something or someone that distracts you from your goals.

As a working mum, the only thing that keeps me sane is my Mama Timer. It’s a little organizer that has been perfected to meet the needs of over-achieving mothers everywhere. If someone suddenly felt the urge to ruin me, they’d just have to “accidently” misplace it and you’d find me blubbering in a corner. There still isn’t enough hours in a day to stay as focused as I’d like to be, but it helps to be organized.

In my novels, I take this mind game very seriously. I think to make characters real you need to give them real problems as well as real pleasures in life. In The Scarlet Omen and its sequels, my protagonist Anjeli Xavier is constantly being stretched in all directions—something any teenager would be able to relate to as well as dread. She has to save a whole civilisation while juggling her over-protective family, school, a best friend and a boyfriend that seems to be in trouble all the time. By the end of the trilogy, I’m hoping that she figures out the secret to dealing with the pressures of life without having a nervous breakdown and…I sure hope she lets me in on it.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Bookworm Galore with Emily Lewis

1. Tell us about yourself and your blog.

I am Emily (AKA Mrs Mommy Booknerd)  I am the Founder of MMBBR, site manager and lead blogger of Mrs Mommy Booknerd's Book Reviews.

About me: I admit it, I am a booknerd. I love books: the feel, the smell, everything.I love to talk about books, search for books and collect books. It is one of my few passions. I like to share the gift of a good read with others. I marvel at writers and the journey they can take you on through the pages of a book. I also want good authors to get the credit and exposure they deserve.

I am a mother of 2 fantastic young boys, a booknerd, a wife, a growth and development teacher for children ages 2-5 and a fitness instructor. I am passionate about being a mother and about books. I feel instilling the love of reading in my children (and anyone else I can connect with) is giving them a lifelong gift. My husband jokes that I love books more than him. Although that is definitely not true I do love books a lot.

I am so pleased to be here today, sharing my love of all things books!!!

2. When and why did you start book blogging?

I started my blog in April 2011 on a whim. I wanted to talk to books...all the time, so I thought why not start a blog. I wanted to spread my love of reading with anyone who cared to listen. It was a slow start and has now grown drastically and I feel that I have made some wonderful friends, have read some amazing books I may not have discovered and have been able to grow my blog and add two more reviewers. It has been my hobby and passion every since the first post.

3. Name your favourite book/s and why.

I often ask this questions when I interview authors and now I know how impossible it is to answer. I always say "That was the best book ever." after I close a book and then I start another one with the same end result. I find that I get lost in each and every book I read...from 3 stars to 5 stars. I always seem to connect with some aspect of the book...the setting, a character, the dialogue, something. I feel lucky to be exposed to so many different authors and so many different genres.

I can say that I cherish my signed book collection. I sometime sit down with all my signed books and read the inscriptions, remember what I was doing when I read the book and reliving the moments in my life that each book represents. I feel like my books are snapshots of my life.

4. What do readers look for in a book?

I think that readers are naturally first drawn to a beautiful cover. It is one of the few things that visually set one book apart from another book. After the cover, I would say that readers are then drawn to the setting. It is my opinion, that if you have a great setting the characters just seem to belong there and the rest falls into place.

Reading can be quite a personal experience, so I guess it is hard to say for sure what every reader looks for. I know that I read a lot based on mood and based off what I just finished reading. But overall, I think a story with rich characters, a great setting and dialogue that is believable and relatable with create a big hit.

5. If you could pull an ‘Inkheart’, which book would you slip into and why?

Let me think....

Man, that is hard too! I am not sure I can answer with specific books. Like I said before, the answer would change based on my mood and life circumstances. There are times I would want to escape to somewhere far away and partake in a grand adventure. Other times, I would want to hang out with amazing female characters and go get into some shenanigans. Other times, I would love to travel throughout history and experience some historically significant moments. Isn't that the beauty of a can go anywhere and be anything your little heart desires!

6. What do readers absolutely despise?

Again, I can only speak for myself. But, I get very upset when I see a negative reviews, for the sake of it. I have seen reviews that say things like "I really don't like chick lit, so this books was just terrible". Why read a book you already know you won't like because of the genre and then run off and write a bad review? It seems so counterproductive to me. I feel very upset when I see people being vindictive towards an authors work without a solid basis for the opinion. I can understand that not everyone is going to love every book they read, but to take the time to write a bashing one star review seems so strange to me. I always feel that my reviews are my humble opinion and I will never intentionally go out and attack an author for writing what comes from their heart. That is why I have a policy that I will only review books I have enjoyed. My goal is to spread the word about great reads and great authors. I know the love, heart and work behind the pages of any book, so I always choose my words carefully.

7. Do you have any recommendations for authors or readers who are thinking about starting their own Blogs?
Here are my titbits of knowledge I have learned along the way:

•start slow

•reach out to authors and readers

•join blog hops

•BACK UP your blog regularly

•keep a posting calendar

•do giveaways

•post regularly

•make it our own

•make it about what you love


Thanks so much Emily! It’s really great to meet people who love and respect books as much as I do and I’m honoured to be writing for readers like you. Hey people…if you enjoyed this interview, please go to the links below to see what else Emily is up to.




Friday, 12 April 2013

Watcha Doin' with Golda Mowe

Author Bio:
I was born and raised in Sibu, Sarawak and I still live here. Following the advice of my elders, I took
up a matriculation course in Peninsular Malaysia which eventually led me to further my studies in
Japan. Seeing how well informed the Japanese people were of their own culture made me wonder
why my friends back home know so little about my Iban heritage. It took more than a decade for me
to decide to start writing Iban Dream, and it took almost as long as that to finally see it published.
You can read a synopsis of the book at
What inspired you to take up writing?
The Sarawak jungle and the Dayak culture inspire me. I love reading history books when I was
young, and the more I read about adventurers like James and Charles Brooke, as well as the work of
Benedict Sandin and Charles Hose, the more I started to believe that the gods and goddesses of Iban
folklore existed. It also didn’t hurt that I had a great-aunt who was a good storyteller and a dad who
loved to hunt.

What is the funniest thing you’ve encountered on your journey as a Storyteller?
My bad English. I’ve always been proud of my knowledge of the English language until the day I
sat down to type out a story. It took me close to two weeks to work on the short story, and when I
eventually had the courage to show it to someone, the only good thing the reader could think to say
was that there was no spelling mistake.

Which character from any book do you think you most resemble?
I would say JIM, from Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim. Why? Because I’ve been a coward most of my
life, yet at the same time have lots of vain-glorious ideas about what I am supposed to be. Having
read the book has helped me faced my demons, so that now whenever I fantasized about doing
something, I would challenge myself to actually do it. (In fact, one of the demons I had to face was
actually finishing the book because all of Jim’s regrets and failures felt too close for comfort.)
Please tell us a little about your book or latest release. What were the challenges you faced while
writing it and bringing it onto the market?
Iban Dream is about the adventure of a headhunter in 18th century Borneo. Christianity is only 3
generations old from my Iban mother’s side of the family, so superstition is still quite thick. The first
hurdle I had to cross was the spiritual barrier, as in should I or shouldn’t I write a story with Iban gods
as characters. Then the next challenge was to find someone willing to read beyond the synopsis.
Most seemed to have a fixed idea of what to expect from this kind of story, so nothing happened for
years until I come across a publisher who was looking for Asia based stories. The e-book version has
been out since May 2012, and I expect to launch the print copy in May 2013.

Your novel Iban Dream is about an orphan boy growing up in Borneo. Do you face issues with Asian slang or certain traits that only Asians have with which Western readers might not be able to identify? How do you address these issues?
One Iban trait that I had difficulty with was their habit of referring to a parent or a grandparent based
on the name of a first child. Ibans living in the longhouse don’t call someone by their first name
after they have had a child. Since I can’t actually explain this in a story, I made a point of introducing
a child first then named the mother by her own first name, Sika. After that I introduced the other
name she is addressed by via dialogue, Indai Menjat. It took a while to plan the scene, but I feel that
it was well worth it because it allows the reader to be eased into the idea. For more visual words, I
just repeat their equivalent in English, sometimes even treating them like adjectives, e.g. blue tarum
or red engkudu dye.
What do you want your readers to feel or think after reading your novel? What message do you
want them to hold onto long after they’ve put down your book?
The Ibans have one very interesting behavior, in that, if they wish to know whether the ancient gods
would bless an important endeavor or not, they would seek to divine it via objects such as the areca
nut or the movement and call of particular species of birds. If the divination indicates ‘no’, they
would repeat the process until they get a ‘yes’. Hence my message is; a strong-willed person is
master of his own destiny because he can persuade others to support him.

Any parting words of wisdom for our readers:
Don’t just dream about what you want to do. Plan for it. There are so many opportunities open to
this generation that it would be a waste to not at least try. Only after you’ve planned, and studied
your options should you decide whether your dream is plausible.
Awesome! Thanks, Golda for an insightful interview. Readers, you can get more of Golda by following these links:
Write to me at, Email:
Read my free stories and novellas, Website:
Find writing tips, Blogsite: