Welcome to the Sisterhood Series this week. I will be interviewing three lovely authors this week, Jae Henderson, Rosalyn McMillan, and Victoria Christopher Murray.
First up is the talented Jae Henderson. I met her at the Sisterhood Showcase, she has a friendly sweet spirit. The kind of spirit that makes you feel welcomed, as if you aren't a stranger. So I knew I had to have her as one of my interviews this week. I hope you enjoy it and show her some love for her debut novel, Someday.
After embracing careers as a radio talk show host, freelance writer, marketing and media professional, and voice over artist, Jae Henderson is making her debut as a Christian/Inspirational romance author.
Someday is the first release in the I'm A Good Woman literature series. Jae's books serve as an extension of her women's motivational website, I am a Good Woman.
She is the former host and producer of On Point, a popular talk show geared toward youth and young adults. Other accomplishments have included serving as a contributing writer for the award-winning, syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show and a successful career as a voice over artist. Her signature voice has been heard in hundreds of commercials and even a couple of cartoons. One of this 30-something’'s proudest moments was founding College Bound of Memphis, a non-profit dedicated to helping youth pursue a college education. Jae currently resides in her hometown of Memphis, TN where she can be found heading her copy writing and public/media relations company, Put It In Writing.
You are known for your voice over talent for television and radio, how did you go from that to writing your first novel, “Someday”? And what inspired you?
Doing voice over work has been an amazing opportunity but there’s no reason to limit myself to one art form. I also do a women’s motivational blog called www.imagoodwoman.com where I feature inspirational messages, blogs and wonderful women doing amazing things in hopes of inspiring other women to make their dreams come true and achieve greatness. My books are an extension of that. “Someday” is the first book in the I’m A Good Woman literary series. I want to produce numerous books all geared toward inspiring and motivating women to do their best in whatever they endeavor to do. Right now I’m featuring Lemmonstine Poindexter, the founder of the National Barren Women’s Support Group. I also feature men I think women want to know more about and my current interview is with R&B sensation Tank.
“Someday” is an inspirational romance, why did you combine the two genres?
These days inspiration and Christian are often used interchangeably. God has been good to me and one of the ways I say thank you is by spreading the message of his love for us. We are all blessed. I enjoy romance novels but I never wanted to write anything that I couldn’t present in the church. Christian woman want to read a good love story, too and romance novels don’t have to be graphic to get the point across. You can leave something to the imagination. Your readers will get your point. So, I basically write Christian love stories.
What are some of the obstacles you've encountered as a first time author?
I wouldn’t say that I had any obstacles. Although, publishing a book can be a tedious process, with the writing, reading, editing and revisions. I have a knowledgeable publisher, Latrivia A. Nelson, who walked me through every step. “Someday” is my first book and I wanted it to be perfect. It didn’t turn out perfect, but it did turn out to be a quality story that I could be proud of. I have received some amazing feedback from my readers, and I am grateful to everyone who has taken the time to read it.
What are you currently reading?
I actually started reading books by some of the authors I met at the 2011 Sisterhood Showcase. So far I’ve read “Wench” by Dolan Perkins-Valdez, “We Ain’t the Brontes” by Rosalyn McMillan and “Getting to Happy” by Terry McMillan. I recommend them all to anyone who loves African American fiction.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Follow your dreams and surround yourself with good people. Life is too short not to make your dreams come true and when other people or situations seek to discourage you, it’s your friends and family who will remind you that the sky is the limit. As a child of God each of us is born with greatness inside us. However, many fail to tap into it and unleash it for the world to see and enjoy.
Can you give three books all writers should have on their bookshelf?
Well, I can’t say these are just for writers. Two of these are for anyone who wants to be successful. “Never Eat Alone and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship At A Time” by Keith Ferazzi, “Fight for Your Money” and “The Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach, and “The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing” by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier.
If you want to succeed as a writer you need to be able to do more than write a good book. This is a business. You not only need to know how to put out a great product that will sell but also learn how to foster great relationships and manage your money.
How has it been traveling and touring with such great talents as Terry McMillan, Victoria Christopher Murray and Reshonda Tate Billingsley? What advice have they given you as a writer?
It was an honor to have my book featured alongside theirs during the 2011 Sisterhood Showcase here in
. I am extremely grateful to Tina Birchett, the founder of Sisterhood Showcase and Grace Magazine, and Garbo Hearne of Pyramid Books, Art and Custom Framing for the opportunity to present “Someday” to thousands of women. Memphis
Victoria Christopher Murray and I didn’t get a chance to chat long but she is also an inspirational romance writer and we discussed our love of the genre. She told me to write what’s in my heart and don’t limit myself. You will have critics but you must first enjoy your own work before anyone else can.
Best-selling author Dolan Perkins-Valdez and I shared a table and we discussed self-publishing versus getting signed by a publisher. There are drawbacks and benefits to both. You have to do your research and then decide what’s best for you. You have to ask yourself how long you are willing to wait to get signed because there is no guarantee that a major publisher will pick you up or it could take years of shopping your book around before someone does. If you don’t get signed are you willing to put the book out yourself and promote it? Self-publishing is a great option for some and not so attractive to others.
What is next for Jae Henderson?
I am promoting and selling “Someday” whenever I can. I’ve been asked by several book clubs, churches, singles and women’s groups to participate in their events. I really enjoy connecting with people. “Someday” is a trilogy so I have two more novels to go. I am currently working on the sequel “Someday, Too,” which is set to be released in November. I’m also working on a book of inspirational short stories that will only be available in e-book. My plan is to keep the books coming and inspiring women to greatness every step of the way.
Please let everyone know that I have a book signing at Urban Expressions Book Store July 2, 2011 from 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm. It’s inside the Raleigh Springs Mall at
3384 Austin Peay Hwy, Memphis, TN.
I sure will. And thank you for doing this interview for me and my readers.We wish you the very best in all your endeavors.
You can reach Jae Henderson at:
http://www.imagoodwoman.com/ and http://www.jaehendersonauthor.com/
Don't forget to check out this week's Blog Hop Literary Giveaway, with over 70 blogs giving away free books or bookish items. I am giving away 8 books. Two winners, four books each. Check out the selection of books and if you comment on all three interviews this week and you happen to win the giveaway, you will recieve a free beaded book thong as well. So please enter and don't forget to comment or leave a question for Ms. Jae Henderson. :-)