Literary Divas Write

These are the fantastic women of literature who represent EDC Creations PR!  The writers in this section will share their opinions and views on the world and literature in society.

3 comments on “Literary Divas Write

  1. Business Spotlight: Wahida Clark Publishing
    Website: http://www.wclarkpublishing.com

    Meet Author and Publisher Wahida Clark

    Wahida Clark was born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey. She is no stranger to the hard work and the sacrifices that breed success. This Trenton native owned and operated L.M. Clark Printers & Publishers Inc., a printing and publishing company in Trenton.   She is crowned the Queen of Thug Love Fiction by Nikki Turner, the Queen of Hip Hop Fiction. Wahida’s style of writing is the “TEMPLATE” for urban literature. When you read her novels, they are so real you are convinced of one of three things: you know the characters; you want to know the characters; or you are one of the characters.

    Her Essence and Black Issues Book Reviews bestselling novels include Thugs and The Women Who Love Them, Payback Is A Mutha, Payback With Ya Life, and her latest anthology with Kiki Swinson titled “Sleeping With The Enemy.”
     
    She has just completed her latest Novel ‘The Golden Hustla’ which will be released August, 2010. Coming in May is ‘What’s Really Hood?’ Part 1 an Anthology featuring, Wahida, Lashonda Teague, Victor Martin, Shawn ‘Jihad’ Trump and Bonta. She is vice president of the non-profit organization based out of East Orange, New Jersey, Prodigal Sons and Daughters Redirection Services, a re-entry program for convicts and ex-convicts. The organization also provides support groups and mentors for at-risk youth.

    Today, Wahida operates her printing & publishing company out of East Orange, New Jersey, Wahida Clark Presents Publishing. Her first releases include: Trust No Man 1 & 2 by Cash, Thirsty by Mike Sanders, Cheetah by Missy Jackson, Karma With A Vengeance by Tash Hawthorne and The Ultimate Sacrifice by Anthony Fields.

     

    Interview with Conversations Bookclub of Mississippi

    Meet Wahida Clark, she is a remarkable woman, grounded by her knowledge of who she is and what she represents. Wahida is first wife and mother, but she excels as a businesswoman in all she does. The writing career that has taken the literary world by storm only began in 2002 or 2003, yet you would think by the accolades she has received that she has been in the game for over a decade.
     
    What led her to writing while in prison? Her answer was simple: “My husband was locked up, I was locked up and we needed money. People don’t realize it, but it takes money to live even in prison, and I also needed money for my family on the outside.” While in prison she worked in the law library, normally by herself, and she would do a great deal of reading during that time. It was during one of these occasions that she was reading XXL Magazine and read about an author who also had their beginning while incarcerated. “I said to myself that if he could do it then I could as well.”
     
    There was a literary agent who was also in prison that decided to teach a course on writing, and Wahida signed on. She wrote on legal pads and let others read it for input. They devoured the pages and were always asking for more. I asked her if she ever worried about not being able to make it in the business. “I knew I would get published,” she said confidently. “My work was going to see the light of day.”
     

    Who inspired her before she wrote what became THUGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM? “I read everything from Donald Goines, Iceberg Slim to James Patterson.” When asked who she was initially writing for, she answered that it was the Urban lit market. “My husband told me that if I was going to do this that I had to do my research.”
     
    Not long after writing her book, Wahida happened to read “Married Men” by Carl Weber. She noticed that he was getting praise from critics and writers alike so she decided to reach out to him. “I wrote him and told him that I had just finished writing a book and wanted to know what I should do next. He asked me to send him my manuscript. It was from there that he submitted the book to Black Print Publishing. They told me it was too big so I would have to cut it down. The publisher ended up splitting the book, and that manuscript became THUGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM and EVERY THUG NEEDS A LADY.”
     
    Wahida told us that she can still remember the first time she saw her name on the cover of a book. “I was in Lexington, Kentucky and it was mail call. Some of the ladies on lock down with me had ordered some copies, and they had come in a big envelope with about seven or eight books in there. It was like ‘Wow, this is my book.'”
     
    Little did she know that readers all over the world were wowed by her as well.
     
    After her relationship ended with Black Print, Wahida—with the help of her literary agent—-was signed to a deal with Dafina, an imprint of Kensington. Ironically, becoming a label mate of Carl Weber, the author who helped her get started in the industry. Her other titles include PAYBACK IS A MUTHA and THUG MATRIMONY.
     

    Today, Wahida’s focus is not only her own career as an author, but helping others as well. She has begun her own literary agency to publish new authors, and she is now signed with Warner Books. I mentioned to her that in one interview she said that her writing is meant to entertain. She stood behind that, but added that her agent likes the fact that there are consequences to the things that her characters do. “Once I start writing and get in their heads, they take on a life of their own sometimes. If you get a message from what I write,” she said, “then that’s wonderful.”
     
    A workaholic in every sense of the word, Wahida is working on the 6th book in the THUGS series as well as what she calls her “crossover” book. “I want to get some of those James Patterson” dollars,” she told us with a laugh. Also in the works is an anthology with author Kiki Swanson and her novel PAYBACK WITH YOUR LIFE. Robin Garder, a member of the book club asked Wahida if she had thought about writing her autobiography. “People have asked me that,” she answered, “but I honestly hadn’t thought about it.”
     
    With everything that she has been through in the last decade, Wahida related that she can’t even look at her jail time as a bad thing. “I can’t say it was a negative. Without it there is no way I would’ve written a book.”
     
    When asked what authors have been on her reading list, she told the group that they are diverse as the rest of her life: James Patterson, Guy Johnson, Maya Angelou, Omar Tyree, Dean Koontz and Nikki Turner. Ironically, it was Turner who gave Clark the title of “Queen of Thug Love Fiction.” I asked her was there any pressure with titles such as that or “bestseller.” Wahida’s answer was short and to the point. “I really don’t think about that, not as long as I can back it up. It’s flattering, but it just means that I have to stay on top of my game everyday.”
     
    As we wrapped up the discussion, Wahida was asked what advice would she give those who say they have a story in them. “I would tell them to write. I have had people tell me that they have five books in their head. What I tell them is they need to put them down on paper, because they aren’t doing you or anyone else any good while they are just in your head. Do your research and make sure it is the best it can be.”
     
    And what did Wahida have to say to her growing legion of fans? The bestselling author actually became emotional before answering. “Thank you so much for your support. Thank you to everyone who wrote me, telling me how much they enjoyed the books. It meant so much for me to get that encouragement.”
     
    The future is bright for the author who had no intention of being a writer, but whose literary star is one of the brightest on the market at this time. She has a fan base that at this point is hard to fathom, and has made an impact that will probably take some time to wrap herself around.
     
    One thing that is clear at this point, however, is that Wahida Clark is a fighter in every sense of the world. She is not one to allow her circumstances to define her, but the lives she has introduced us to through her characters will remain with us for years to come.
     
    You can also visit her at: http://www.wclarkpublishing.com   or  WCP community at:  http://wclarkpublishing.ning.com
     

     

     

  2. Intimate Conversation with author Missy Jackson

     

    Intimate Conversation with author Missy Jackson

    Author Tennette “Missy” Jackson hails from Somerset, New Jersey. She has two daughters and three grandchildren. Missy began writing at a very young age and knew it was her passion. After years of drug abuse and numerous prison stints, Missy found an outlet in writing. Cheetah, her debut novel, was written in the state prison. Missy currently lives in Bound Brook, New Jersey  while working on her second novel.

    Book Spotlight – Cheetah  by Missy Jackson
    Born and raised on the mean streets of   Newark,  New Jersey, Yanika Johnson aka Cheetah is far from your average female. A true thug in every sense of the word, Cheetah has the ego and persona to prove it all. After she and her best friend Naj take Newark  drug trade by storm, the haters begin to do just what they do best…HATE. Can the tough streets of this brick city accept being ran by two women, or will their budding empire come tumbling down?

    Cheetah is a young woman with a heart of gold and steel. Follow her journey through a year of murder and madness. In this book, you will see how a true friendship is supposed to be. You will become engrossed in the “Hood Happenings” as you ride the wave of real street life. Cheetah will make you cry, laugh, and truly understand how things work in the ghetto.

    Ella:  Missy, please tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite?
    (A) My favorite has to be Cheetah, since she was designed from my past. Her gritty, no nonsense attitude, and love for her family made her my favorite. Actually all four of the main characters Nissan, Qua, Naj, and Cheetah are mirrored after my life. I took a piece of me and structured each one.

    Ella:  What sets you apart from other books in your genre?
    (A) The fact that I write from the lesbian point of view, sets me apart from many. When you read about drug dealers, gangs, clique, or a pack of robbers it is usually guys or a mixture of guys and girls. My story shows the struggle of not only the women in the hood, but also the lesbian women. The stereotyping and the differences they face due to life in an alternative lifestyle are prominent.

    Ella:  What issues in today’s society have you addressed in CHEETAH? 
    (A) CHEETAH touched on issues close to home for me. Here are a few of them: how some young people feel as if the only way to make it is to either sell drugs or rob. It touches on how you can even be educated, headed in the right direction; yet allow the lure of the street and the lifestyle to suck you in. My main issue is how most families in society deal with either having a drug dealer, gang banger, or drug user in the household.

    Ella:  If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?  
    (A)  No, I would leave the story as is. Though this is not a true story, it is very dear and personal. I feel that CHEETAH is one of the realest books out there. It portrays the everyday hustle and grind that’s going on in every hood. The corner boy/girl hustler, the one who don’t see the mansions and millions, and also the brutal end results that most encounter.

    Ella:  Missy what’s next for you? Are there any new books on the horizon?
    (A)  My upcoming novel “THE JUMPOFF” is sure to catch the same buzz. Be on the lookout for it summer 2010.

    Book Reviews for Cheetah by Missy Jackson

    5 Stars by Readers in Motion Book Club
    Can’t Knock Her Hustle

    Meet Yanika Johnson a.k.a. Cheetah, a female thug with more swagger than any male thug on the block. Born and raised in  Brick City, life has been a struggle for her and those she loves. Her ultimate goal is to become financially stable and get out the game. With her best friend, Naj, covering her front and back, nothing is impossible. That is until she runs into a few stick up dudes, who obviously didn’t know who they were messing with. Revenge soon becomes added to Cheetah list of goals.

    With the love of her life, Naj, and other loyal members of the crew, Cheetah locks down the drug game in Newark. Will she survive being the backbone to her family and loved ones, since her gangsta will be tested time and time again? —Reviewed by Minah, for Readers in Motion Book Club

    4 Stars by  The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
    What Goes Around, Comes Around

    Cheetah, born Yanika Johnson, is far from the cuddly name presented here. She is a street hustler from  Newark, NJ  and she is no one to mess with. She gives new meaning to the word “thug.”  Circumstances make her even more ruthless and she sets about the streets of Newark  on a reign of terror. Eventually what goes around comes around, and unfortunately for Cheetah, it comes around in the worst way.   

    CHEETAH was a very powerful read. I could not put this book down. Missy Jackson  gives the reader some insight on what could be happening in the streets where you live. This book fits the bill when we read about or hear about street violence in newspapers and on television everyday, but it hits home once you read it.

    The reader gets a glimpse as to what really goes down between street hustlers and crime. It also shines some light on females living in “the life”…the life of lesbianism.

    Despite the hard core persona Cheetah portrays, she has a soft heart when it comes to the people she loves. An excellent read!  — Reviewed by Cheryl Dublin, for RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
      

    Cheetah by Tennette “Missy” Jackson   (ISBN-10: 0981854559)
    Purchase the book from Wahida Clark Publishing

    http://www.wclarkpublishing.com/wcp-books-cheetah.htm

     

     

  3. Intimate Conversation with author Tash Hawthorne

     

    Intimate Conversation with author Tash Hawthorne

    Tash Hawthorne comes out strong and does her thing with her freshman novel… Showing that Karma is definitely a mutha!  —  J.M. Benjamin, Essence Bestselling author of Ride or Die Chick and On The Run With Love

    Tash Hawthorne, born in  Summit,  NJ and raised in the Valley section of  Orange,  NJ,  cannot be viewed as the typical Jersey Girl. For the first 18 years of her life, Tash had the rare privilege of being raised by three generations of strong Black women; all who lived under the same roof. Having received such ingredients like fearlessness from her mother, compassion from her grandmother, and resilience from her great grandmother, Tash grew to be a product of her environment. One of pure love and unadulterated passion for the human condition. 

    As a child, Tash dreamed of becoming an Olympic gold-medalist in track & field and an Alvin Ailey dancer, but her hopes to run and dance were soon deferred due to medical reasons. Writing evolved from that of her mother. Tash showed early signs of her gift of script at the age of 9; winning second place in a state-wide essay contest for students in grades 4-6. At age 14, she placed first in another essay contest which consisted of 1300 junior high school candidates along the East Coast. 

    Despite her early accolades, Tash did not seriously begin writing until the age of 17, three months after the untimely passing of her best friend. Writing became a therapeutic way to escape the unpleasant realities of her surroundings. And it was in that time of salutary that her first screenplay, “The Jaded Edge” was born.

    After graduating from high school, Tash went on to attend the first college of her choice,  Hampton University, where she furthered her love for the arts, pursuing a degree in theatre. She would soon be faced with another tragedy. Just seven days into her studies at the university, Tash received a phone call from her mother stating that her great-grandmother had unexpectedly passed away. Tash’s entire academic world came to a standstill. The woman she used to secretly meet in the middle of the night to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with had been taken away from her. It would take Tash the rest of her tenure at Hampton  to fully recover from the sudden loss. 

    Having regrouped and accepted God’s will, Tash turned her focus back to her studies. With the help of some of her professors and staff at Hampton, she went from being on academic probation to graduating on time with Honors. During her term, she was able to write a second screenplay entitled “Nu JeruSlum” and a stage play entitled “Mourning Glory.”  After returning home to Orange, Tash began to write a third screenplay entitled “Karma.” Throughout that year, she experienced unsettling thoughts about the format of the piece. It was not until a year later when she decided to turn it into a novel. “Karma,” like all of Tash’s works, encompasses the reality of life as she sees it and knows it.

    Ella: Tash, you’ve had a full life for one so young! Please tell us about your passion for writing. 
    (A)  My passion for writing stems from life experiences (mine and others) and my love for the arts. I write because I believe the genre of urban literature is missing something…and that something is substance. My goal is to give readers an alternate view of the urban world. This goal is what drives me. 

    Ella: What legacy do you want your writing to leave future readers?
    (A)  My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…a legacy of integrity. When I say that, I mean to say that I stood my ground in telling my characters’ stories. It was important to always tell the truth…their truths.

    Ella: Introduce us to your new book, Karma with a Vengeance. (ISBN-10: 0981854508)
    (A)  There is a time in a young woman’s life where the choices she makes will determine the outcome of her existence in the years (of uncertainty) to come. Those choices will lead to mistakes. The mistakes will lead to hard times. The hard times will lead to answers, searched for by that lost soul. In the urban setting of   Newark,  NJ, we accompany Karma Alonso-Walker, who, on this journey, gains support from an unwanted, unlikely source through life’s greatest troubles.

    At the age of 17, Karma becomes caught in the middle of her parents’ deteriorating marriage. Due to the unexpected appearance of her father’s one night-stand at the family’s church on Easter Sunday, Karma’s perception of men changes for the worst. With an opportunity to join the US Women’s Track and Field team for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Australia, Karma is driven to achieve her dream of winning Olympic gold. But to her dismay, her mother is stricken with Ovarian Cancer. Karma is forced to choose between running professionally at her mother’s request or running home to be at her mother’s side. 

    Ten years later, we follow Karma to her mother’s home on her fifty-second birthday. Her parents have separated and found comfort in new partners. All the while, unbeknownst to Karma, her mother’s boyfriend has made himself a permanent fixture in their life. While trying to protect her mother from her abusive lover, Karma finds herself distracted by the presence of her cousin’s new police partner. As distraction and attraction become intertwined, Karma loses focus of her mother’s safety. And on the very same celebratory day of her birth, Karma is forced to mourn her mother’s death.

    Driven by hatred and fury, Karma sets out to find her mother’s boyfriend and avenge her death. Having severed her ties with God, been dismissed by her family and the Newark Police Department, Karma becomes a menace to society–and to herself.  This timeless chronicle about a young woman’s unyielding loyalty to her mother will open your eyes to the way life can be, even when the glass looks half empty. As Karma’s life spirals out of control, her exploration leads her to self-preservation and true happiness…or does it? 

    Ella: Who are your two main characters? And what do you like most about them?
    (A)  My two main characters are Karma Alonso-Walker and Money  Parks. What I like most about Karma is that she is a strong, independent woman who can adapt to any environment. I also admire Karma’s ability to be dependent on someone else when her burdens are too much for her to bear. What I like most about Money is that although he makes many mistakes (terrible ones at that) his intentions are good. 

    Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
    (A)  I want readers to know that there are successful people of color in the inner city. Every woman is not materialistic or abusing the system or bedding multiple men for financial gain. Every man is not a drug dealer or a gangster or a male gigolo. For the most part, people are living their lives trying to do the right thing.
     

    Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
    (A)  I would advise a new writer to not write pieces for the sole purpose of sales or what he/she thinks other people would want to read. I would encourage the writer to write what he/she feels people NEED to know. It is imperative to ALWAYS tell the truth. 

    Ella: Name three things that it takes to make a successful author in your opinion.
    (A)  A writer must have discipline. For instance, they must have the strength of mind and will to be able to shut the world out so they can immerse themselves in their work. 
     
    A writer must be able to deal with adversity.  They must have tough skin and be able to take criticism, be it constructive or destructive.  They must have an open mind and be flexible in their approach to the art and craft of writing.  
     
    A writer must be a consummate student. A successful author reads works written by other authors, not only for pleasure, but also to learn new ways to invent and deliver their own stories.

    Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
    (A)  You can expect the sequel to Karma: With A Vengeance (wink). Seriously, you can expect a continuation of my works in film and theatre in the future. I believe writers should be multi-dimensional. They should never cripple themselves by writing in only one facet of scribe. 

    Ella: How may our readers connect with you online?
    E-Mail Addresses: TJade424@aol.com  or   karmawithavengeance@gmail.com

    Web Links:  http://www.twitter.com/tashhawthorne   or   http://www.facebook.com/people/Tash-Hawthorne/41003060

     

    Karma with a Vengeance  by  Tash Hawthorne
    Genre: Urban Fiction, Women, African-American, Cuban-American

     

    Purchase the book from Wahida Clark Publishing
    http://www.wclarkpublishing.com/wcp-books-karma.htm

     

    Book Reviews for Karma with a Vengeance by Tash Hawthorne

     

    Karma Alonso-Walker loves her family fiercely, particularly her mother Soleil. She would do anything for her mother. So when the beloved matron is killed by her abusive boyfriend, Jimmy, Karma sets out deep into the dark corners of the underworld to take revenge on the man who took away her world. Karma with a Vengeance unfolds through flashbacks and the present day, slowly revealing the real story behind Karma’s family and the people she loves.

    Author Tash Hawthorne does a great job through most of the twists and turns throughout the story. The characters are not one-dimensional caricatures of good and evil; good people do bad things and bad people have charm. Hawthorne does a nice job in giving them enough depth so that they become human.  All the names are symbolic and Karma’s beauty, so essential to the plot, seems a bit beyond belief.

    Karma with a Vengeance is entertaining and contains a better storyline than most books of its genre. It is written well enough to keep readers interested.
    — Reviewed by Inda Lauryn “Inda”, excerpt from Amazon review

     

     

    As an only child, 27 year-old Karma Alfonzo-Walker is very close to her parents especially her mother Soleil. Her parents have been separated for some years now since her father Lorenzo keeps his family second to his Military career. Soleil has had enough. And until Lorenzo decides to make her first priority, they will stay apart. Until then Soleil, a beauty in her own right has been keeping company with Jimmy, much to her daughter’s Karma disgust. To say Karma didn’t like Jimmy would be an understatement…she can’t stand him! But with respect to her mother she tolerates him hoping one day Soleil would come to her senses and leave Jimmy behind. Karma is upset with her dad and wishes he would retire from the Military and come back home. She knows deep in their hearts her parents still loved each other and that Jimmy would not be apart of her mother’s life if her dad was around.

    But tragedy strikes leaving Soleil dead and Karma feeling like the police aren’t doing enough to find her mother’s killer. Indigo, Karma’s cousin and a police officer is none to happy when Karma expresses her need to avenge her mother’s murder and take things into her own hands. While Karma maybe putting herself in danger to find her mother killer; she also finds love with police officer Money, Indigo’s partner. As her plans for revenge start to take shape and her relationship with Money becomes intense, revelations from the past begin to surface throwing a disturbing light on Karma’s new relationship.

    I predicted one event prior to it happening, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of this story. As I kept reading nothing prepared me for the in depth back ground information on Soleil and Karma told by the author’s timely steps back into their past. I was astonished, at the repercussions of Soleil’s abuse that trickled down to Karma paying the price, and I felt the author did a good job developing the love between mother and daughter.

    Yes, Karma with a Vengeance is an excellent title for this recommended read. I like the characters enough to want to read the sequel, so I’ll wait and see what author Tash Hawthorne has in store for us. Star Rating 4.0- This star rating is based on the story alone, as I read an uncorrected proof copy of the book. — Reviewed by Locksie, ARC Book Club Inc.

    Karma with a Vengeance  by  Tash Hawthorne
    Genre: Urban Fiction, Women, African-American, Cuban-American

    Purchase the book from Wahida Clark Publishing
    http://www.wclarkpublishing.com/wcp-books-karma.htm

     

     

     

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