These past few months have been a whirlwind of activity for me. I have been busy building, expanding, cultivating and participating.
The authors here at Katrina’sWORKS participated in our first national event in Memphis Tennessee this past September, and we had a blast. We interacted with fellow authors and readers from all of the country. The (BWABC) Black Writer And Book Clubs Literacy Festival highlighted popular authors, as well as those of us who are just getting started; focusing on literacy throughout communities nationwide.
Next, I got to work and launched Katrina’sWORKS’ online bookstore, to help fans find and purchase their next great read. You will find titles from Olivia M. Dutton, who has recently released her latest, Where was God?; and my latest, Lessons: The Complete Series, along with my other titles. And to kick things off, you will find special pricing for most of the titles throughout the month of October! So head on over to the bookstore for romance, suspense and drama.
When tragedy strikes, Angel Moffett asks a question most have pondered. Where was God?
Angel’s life has been far from picture perfect. Her mother dies in a car crash before she’s old enough to remember; taking the identity of her father to the grave with her. Raised by her grandparents, Angel soon learns life can be harsh as she endures the death of Papa, which uncovers shameful family secrets; Gran’s poverty and hardships brought on by Papa’s dying; and the wrath of her mother’s sisters who blame her for it all.
About the Author
Where was God? is the second novel from author Olivia M. Dutton. Her first novel, Mama Said, Keep Your Dress Tail Down, was written from what her grandmother told her, after inquiring where babies come from. Instead of her grandmother sitting her down to explain, she told Olivia to keep her dress tail down so she wouldn’t have to worry about such things.
Born and raised in the north, Olivia M. Dutton spent many summers in the Deep South, running and playing in the fields on her grandparent’s farm. Those happy memories have been catalysts for her novels.
Visit Olivia M. Dutton on Facebook
– See more at: http://katrinasworks.com/#sthash.IugWkg7c.dpuf
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the South, in a time when the whole community were your parents. We didn’t have much, but family was everything. That close family connection has helped me form my writing style by drawing on upbringing, family love and old wives tales.
When did you first start writing?
I first started really writing in 2010. I’d kept diaries prior to that, but only seriously started writing after taking a diary enter and expanding on it, until it became a full-fledged book.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
My latest book “Lessons – The Complete Series” was born from miscommunications; personal experiences with stalkers; and trust placed in a perceived friend turned enemy.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I initial knew I had a great story to tell, but after researching the traditional way of publishing and the grueling process involved, lead me to pursue independent publishing.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has been a great help in reaching more diverse readers, which helps me to continue to reach the next level of success.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing allows my creative and imaginative process to become limitless. I can create what ever I like and this makes me extremely happy.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean everything to me. Their continued support encourages me to continue to grow within every story and character I create.
What are you working on next?
Actually, I am currently editing another author’s novel; Olivia M. Dutton’s “Where was God?”, the author’s second novel. Aside from being an indie author, I am also an indie publisher via my company Katrina’sWORKS.
Who are your favorite authors?
Oh my gosh, I have so many! But my most favorite are Stephen King, Brenda Jackson and Zane.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The mere fact that I will come in contact with my next story and/or character via the people I meet.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I’m not writing, I am thinking about writing or participating in some activity that allows me the opportunity to use encounters for my writing.
Katrina’sWORKS authors, Kesi M. Omari, Katrina Avant and Dorothy A. Cooper, will be participating in the Black Writers And Book Clubs Literacy Festival, on September 20, 2014 – 10am – 5pm, at the Memphis Hilton, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd, Memphis, TN 38120.
Katrina’sWORKS is my baby; my creation that is used to bring forth inspiration, vision, creativity and most of all opportunity, for those who have a gift they would like to share with the literary world.
There are those who have the talent and drive to put their ideas and creativity to print, but may not have the resources or platform to accomplish this. I know firsthand how difficult this can be, after experiencing the complexity of publishing my own novels with my resources being next to nothing.
I started this company from nothing, by using skills learned from training I received during my time at our local college. From there, I have continued to build on my skills through online classes, the accumulation of software, along with other tools needed to provide those who have, and will choose to publish through Katrina’sWORKS, the opportunity to make their dreams a reality.
My aim is to give my authors the very best without the high cost. This means everything to me, because I understand the desire to bring a dream to fruition with limited avenues to do so. For me to continue with my goal, Katrina’sWORKS has to reach the next level, and this is where you can help.
Help me to continue to provide authors with the opportunity to fulfill their dreams, by contributing to my FundRazr campaign: Help Me Expand My Business
Thank you for your support!
Katrina Avant – Author/Publisher
The three-part Lessons series come together to take you on a wild ride through the murky territories of relationships, misplaced loyalties, and fatal attractions; all driven by perceived enemies and unexpected friends.
Lesson 1: Friends & Enemies
Friends & Enemies takes you on a wild ride through the murky territories of relationships, misplaced loyalties, and fatal attractions, all driven by perceived enemies and unexpected friends. Enemies aren’t always enemies!
Lesson 2: Addiction
Cole Porter is addicted to the one woman who doesn’t want him, Amelia Donavan. She had no use for him in high school, and it appears, she has none for him ten years later. So when Cole discovers Amelia would be attending their high school reunion, he plans to convince her otherwise. His obsession can only be satisfied, if she becomes his wife.
Determined to have her, Cole bulldozes through every obstacle to claim her. After much plotting and manipulation, he finally convinces Amelia to marry him. Everything is going according to his twisted plan, until he realizes Raina Carter, one of his and Amelia’s former classmates, has a compulsion of her own—Cole. And Raina is just as determined to have her desires satisfied—even if it means destroying Cole in the process.
Who is your ADDICTION?
Lesson 3: Redemption
Tomás finds Peyton’s proposition to be his right-hand intriguing, and agrees to hire her. But there is a catch; she has to pretend to be his girlfriend for one weekend, to prove to everyone that he’s capable of sustaining a relationship, despite his bad boy ways. All goes well until Tomás realizes he doesn’t want to pretend anymore; he wants Peyton to be his. But knowing how she views him as a man, he must find a way to prove himself, or lose her forever.
Tomás Raya must find Redemption.
Lesson 1: Friends & Enemies
Friends & Enemies takes you on a wild ride through the murky territories of relationships, misplaced loyalties, and fatal attractions, all driven by perceived enemies and unexpected friends.
I knew when I was carrying my second child that he would be different from his brother. It was the way that he kicked and moved around inside my swollen belly. But nothing could have prepared me for the differences that this child has and continues to display.
My second baby boy was just as unexpected as the first, but just as the first, was welcomed and loved to no end. When it was days away from my due date, I had an ultrasound that suggested that he was going to be breached, without any indication that he would change his position. My doctor was due out-of-town the following week and asked if I wanted to wait to see if he would turn, at the chance that my labor would come while he was gone, or schedule a caesarean birth. I opted for the latter, because I trusted my doctor, and in my mind, no other would be familiar enough to get it right.
The day of the surgery, my ob/gyn, bless his heart, attempted to turn my stubborn boy into position, but no go. So the surgery was on. The caesarean and birth itself were unremarkable, all things considered. After holding my boy, I decided to breast feed this child after being gently pushed in that direction by the helpful staff, who just raved about its benefits. Unfortunately this didn’t go as smoothly. My bouncing baby boy pulled so hard on my nipples that they bled each and every time, so breast-feeding was out of the question. (more…)
The Touch of a Man’s Heart takes you on a journey through the ins and outs of the lives and loves of three friends: Paige the no non-sense partner of an interior design firm, who thought she had found the love of her life, until the morning paper tells her otherwise. Then there is Andee, the most outgoing of the three, who falls for the man of her dreams, only to be side tracked by drama. And Dani, the balance of them all, finds unexpected heat in a client’s home. Come inside the pages of The Touch of a Man’s Heart to love both physical and emotional.
I have been watching a disturbing trend in our society, where women are more apt to man up than men.
There are several videos making their way around the internet, featuring teen girls (and some grown women) fighting one another for any given reason. Even though this in itself is troubling, but at the end of their brawls, they usually walk away with only a few bruises and scrapes.
Now take two teenage boys who may have beef with each other. Instead of fist fighting it out, and living to become friends by the end of the day, they settle their disputes with guns; and more times than not, kill each other. So instead of videos of misguided youths punching it out over some perceived wrong, we gaze upon mug shots, on the evening news, of those who have wounded or killed another with a handgun.
Why is it that girls/women can settle their differences with a few slaps and some hair pulling, but boys/men find it more desirable to kill each other? What is it about you guys that you aren’t man enough to take a punch, but the girls are? Where are the days when most quarrels were settled with fists, by male and females alike? What is it about our society that will make a man more apt to pick up a gun, instead of talking it out; or at the very most punching it out?
My thing is this: if the ladies can settle their issues with a few angry words (and at times with a few licks passed), why can’t you guys do the same?
I would like to believe that racism doesn’t exist, but I know better. Over the course of my life I have been looked down upon and called out of my name, because of my race or the color of my skin, so I know all too well that it does exist.
Even with these experiences, I still deal with people according to how they treat me, and not by the color of their skin and hope that the people I meet are doing the same. I am fortunate and grateful to say I have met a lot more people who think as I do, instead of those who don’t. Most of which enjoy the company of all people without punctuating it with the phrases: “I don’t see color” or “I am color blind”.
The people who do use these phrases are proud to express these facts, along with the sentiment that they treat all people the same. Well that is all well and good, but my question to these people is this: If you can ignore the fact that I am of a different color and can recognize me as just another fellow human, do you also ignore my culture, history and my struggles of being a person of color?
If this is the case, you are missing out on the totality of who I am, and where I come from spiritually, mentally and emotionally, as the result of my skin color.
Do you not want to understand what makes me different on these levels? Do you not want to learn my history, in order to understand why I live my life as I do, or why I have experienced things that you may never experience, simply because you are of a different color? And do you want to know why or how those experiences have shaped my life? Or how my life has been shaped by the experiences of my ancestors, or even by those of my parents and grandparents, because of the color of our skin?
If it is your goal to be blinded by all things about me, then you have not really embraced who I am. That blindness may mean my history, the history of my people as a whole, is unimportant to you. It might mean to you, if you are color blind, all people are the same with no differences in history or culture. Nice thought, but not true.
This kind of thinking may leave you unsympathetic to our plight as people of color; enabling you to blow off whatever injustice that may have or will befall us. You may even let it cross your mind that we (people of color) must be exaggerating our outrage or helplessness over any particular horrific situation, and that there is no way this thing could have happened, simply because you are blinded to the color of our skin. You may shake your head and say to yourself, people of color are no different from me and could not have experienced the atrocities that they claim.
My point is this, maybe you should see color. I would like for you to see my color and the history that is attached to it, in hopes that you may understand that our plight has been and will always be different from yours.
It’s great to be color blind, but don’t be blinded to my history.
I just viewed a video clip on Facebook, where two dolls were placed on a table; one black, the other white. African-American children were asked series of questions about the two dolls: Which was the pretty doll? Which was the bad doll? Why was the white doll considered pretty? It hurt me to my very core to watch these children point at the black doll when asked the negative questions. They saw the white doll as being pretty because it was white and had blue eyes. It was good because it was white.
How can we as African-Americans, in this day and age still buy into the stereotype of seeing ourselves as ugly and bad?
It’s easy when just about everything on TV points to it. We are usually portrayed as the evil, unattractive characters in movies, television shows, commercials etc. On the evening news, you may think we are the only ones committing crimes because we are all we see on in the back of police cars or in handcuffs. The positive things associated with people of color, are seen so far and few between that we have bought into the notion that we are ALL just bad and no good and nothing positive can come from being black. We portray this madness in some of our music, with young African-American men and women referring to each other by derogatory names, further devaluing themselves and other people of color.
Young people, stop giving validity to this madness! See yourselves for who you truly are; capable, intelligent people who can rise above the hype.
Parents open your eyes and see what is happening. Stop going along with this madness and uplift your children. Sure there are some bad apples in our communities, but realize this is the case in EVERY community. Tell your children that they are worthy, beautiful and smart. Stop looking down on yourselves and realize this is not who we are.
No child should ever look at a doll and feel ashamed for acknowledging that he or she looks like that doll in color. No child should look at a doll and be ashamed to identify with its features. We are beautiful, intelligent people who deserve to feel as such, everyday of our lives, no matter who may think otherwise!