Philly writers tagged posts

Interview With Ronny Press on FNRadio.com

March 15, 2013 A Thug's Redemption  No comments


Hello readers! I've been a bit under the weather lately and I even lost my voice. If you guys could hear me talk, it's terrible. Well... actually you are about to hear me talk LOL! I pre-scheduled a radio interview with Ronny Press on thefnradio.com. With the stress surrounding my grandmother's death along with a cold that I was falling prey too, it was just too much strain on my voice. But I was not going to back out of that interview. Tina Turner got on stage and did one of her best performances early in her career with a hoarse voice and sang the hell out of Fool in Love. So if she could do it, I definitely was not going to wimp out. I actually pretty good though I am a little upset with the sound quality on my mic. I swear I was right up on it. And speaking loudly. But for some reason, I was recorded very low. Nevertheless, I wanted to share my first radio interview with you all. I was unable to edit it so the entire radio segment is on this recording, including the second interview with an up and coming singer also from Philly as well as some hot music that was played. I hope you enjoy! Peace!

Click here to listen!

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A Thug’s Redemption has a new cover!!!

March 2, 2013 A Thug's Redemption  No comments

I recently did a literary consultation call with the fabulous Dawn Michelle Hardy from Dream Relations PR and Literary Consultation company and it was indeed insightful and very informative. For those who are not familiar with who Dawn Michelle Hardy is, she is the former Publicist for Teri Woods, also an author from Philly who is known for her page turning novels, the Dutch Series, True to The Game and many more. Check out the awesome site Here. I urge any author who is looking for some direction in guidance with their journey in being a self-published author to seek out her services. Her consultation calls are on point! Prior to doing the consultation call with Ms. Hardy, I was telling a friend of mine that I was seriously thinking about changing the cover to A Thug's Redemption. When it was first done for me, I was so excited. But after a while, the excitement wore off. It seemed as though something was missing from the cover. It didn't grab me. And if it didn't grab me, it possibly wasn't grabbing others either. Don't get me wrong, I think the young lady who designed the cover for me did a remarkable job. But let's be honest; people DO judge a book by its cover. Ms. Hardy agreed with me and suggested that I give A Thug's Redemption a cover make-over. Add some color to it and make it POP because Urban Fiction novels are all about grabbing a reader with a catching title for the book as well as a spicy and decorative cover. Check out the new cover for A Thug's Redemption below A Thug's Redemption, Urban Fiction, Street Literature, Urban Books, Black Female AuthorI am truly looking forward to the next series of books that are printed with this cover attached. For those who have A Thug's Redemption with the original cover, hold onto it because it is sure to be a collectors item very soon. Thanks for checking out my blog! Peace!

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Hottest Urban Fiction Reviews by Ericka Strafford Reviews A Thug’s Redemption

February 13, 2013 A Thug's RedemptionPhilly Support PhillyRespect  No comments

Hottest Urban Fiction Reviews by Ericka Strafford

The flavorful blog, Hottest Urban Fiction Reviews by Ericka Strafford was kind enough to publish a review for my novel A Thug's Redemption. To read her review in its entirety, Click Here It's always an honor to have someone share their views and enthusiasm about my work as well as help spread the word about this awesome story. Ericka was also kind enough to do an interview with me as well. Read her Author Spotlight on Yani by Clicking Here. Insightful and probing. Her style is indeed refreshing. Thanks so much for the opportunity, Ericka! Peace!

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Book Signing at Horizon Books in The Gallery-SUCCESS!

February 9, 2013 A Thug's RedemptionPhilly Support Philly  No comments

Young Black Female Urban Fiction Author, Philly Native, Urban Literature, A Thug's Redemption, Anitbeet Productions, Yani, The Author Yani

Hello readers! Recently, I had a book signing at Horizon Books in The Gallery Market East in Center City Philadelphia and I must say it was a FREAKING SUCCESS! I actually almost sold out of all of the copies that I brought with me. I will say though I normally have a flamboyant and live personality, I am not used to approaching strangers even to thell them I am a new author from Philly with a hot new novel. But after a few tips from the young lady who works at the store, I slowly but surely opened up and began approaching people as they passed by and the sales began rolling in. I even had a few of my friends from middle school, Jessica Isom, who is a RN at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Shawn Pendleton, (who I used to have a MAJOR crush on in high-school (shhhhh) stop by to show support. I must say, I was extremely amazed with how the book signing turned out and cannot wait for the next one. Here are a few pictures below of some of the people who purchased A Thug's  Redemption and showed that Philly can indeed support Philly. I seriously cannot wait to do another book signing in the Gallery or anywhere else. Thanks so much for your support! Peace!


Mecca's Unisex Salon and Barber shop's own Shawn "Shizz" Pendleton

A Thug's Redemption Philly Support Philly Urban Fiction Street Lit Black Female Author

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And the winners of the Goodreads Book Giveaway are…

January 15, 2013 A Thug's Redemption  No comments


Goodreads have picked the winners of my book giveaway for A Thug's Redemption. I first want to thank everyone who was interested enough in my book to join in and I wish I could have made more available. Congratulations to...(drum roll)Shaina Gallaway, Mike J Gardner, Heather Polk, Michelle Lewis Carpenter, and Todd Burns! The books will be sent out before the end of this week. I hope you enjoy reading my novel as much as I enjoyed writing it! I look forward to your reviews.
As I mentioned before, I have finished the sequel to A Thug's Redemption and I am getting a lot of positive feedback from it. I've been told that the sequel is indeed better than the first which is what I ultimately was trying to achieve. I wasn't going to release it until possibly late July, early August, but my readers are insisting that I release it sooner. I still want to make sure that A Thug's Redemption reaches a broad audience not just in Philly, New Jersey or Delaware, but all over the country. But I have picked a release date which will be June 10th 2013! Right now I am working on the book cover and making some edits. As soon as I have decided on a cover, I will broadcast it so my readers can let me know what they think.


Again, I want to thank all those who continue to support  my work as well as the people who entered the book reads giveaway and stop by daily to read my blog as well as the excerpts from my books. I will be posting a new preview from a new novel I am working on currently entitled "Ebony Femme Fatale". This book is definitely going to rock. Thanks for stopping by! Peace!

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Book Trailer for A Thug’s Redemption-Auditions

January 6, 2013 A Thug's Redemption  No comments

One of things I wanted to do is create a book trailer for A Thug's Redemption. I can see it so clearly in my mind's eye because as I was writing this book when I was a teenager, I always envisioned it as a movie. Being able to see my book as a film has helped me visualize the trailer. Some of the book trailers I have seen were impressive and others were...not so impressive to say the least. I think it is important that an author puts themselves in their audience's shoes and try to see their work from the audience's point of view. What would the book trailer have to include that would grab a readers attention? What should the book trailer show that would be so compelling, readers run out and snatch the book from shelves as quickly as possible?

The last couple of days, I have been in contact with one of the entities from my favorite dynamic duo, Mr. & Mrs Q of Q-Touch Photography, Tyisha Quattlebaum. I went over the idea that I have for my book trailer and it was so awesome being able to have her see my idea as I explained it to her while hearing her excitement match my own. Afterwards, I wrote out the details as to how I wanted the book trailer to play as well as the character descriptions and script. Now here comes the fun part!

I am now auditioning for parts to be played in the book trailer for A Thug's Redemption. These will be small parts and will be NON PAID however, anyone who is chosen for a part will be able to add this to their resume in the event they are pursuing an acting career. I am also working on turning A Thug's Redemption into a mini series on YouTube and those who have been chosen for the book trailer will be considered to reprise their role in the webisodes.

So how do you audition? Simply download this A Thug's Redemption Auditions file which gives the information behind auditioning for the book trailer as well as the character descriptions along with the lines you will need to recite. The auditions need to be recorded in a short video no more than three minutes long with you introducing yourself and stating the role you are auditioning for. Email your video clip to yani@anitbeetproductions.net and include your name and daytime phone number so if you are chosen for the part you are auditioning for, I can contact you.

This is going to be a fun project and I can't wait to get started. Also, if there are any people who want their music included in this book trailer, submit the songs of your choice to yani@anitbeetproductions.net. Thanks for reading! Peace!!

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Black Women and How They Are Portrayed in Street Literature

December 18, 2012 A Thug's RedemptionRespect  No comments


I have noticed a trend with a lot of street fiction that is becoming appalling to me when it comes to portraying Black women. In too many of these stories, the roles are always the same; Black women who are trying to get ahead in life so they link up with the most successful hustler or baller so they can be taken care of; Black women who are setting our black men up for failure or to be killed; Black women who are struggling to survive and think the only way out is to either fuck their way to the top, strip or hustle. I once was told that literature is about writing what you know. But is that all that a lot of these authors know? Is that all that Black women in inner cities are seen as? Is that really what the imagination of a lot of authors have been limited to? Or is it a way to cash in on the drama and foolishness seen every day on Jerry Springer, Maury Povich and Cheaters? Whatever the reason is, I find it appalling and disgusting.


Black women are so much more than that. As I was going over my character details in all three of my books, "A Thug's Redemption", "A Thug's Redemption 2: Jamal's Return", and "Obsessive Intimacies", I was happy to see that I did not write my leading women in an exploitative fashion. Each and every one of the Black women in my novels were strong individuals with goals. They aspired for greatness and set out for such. They weren't the Ms. Independent that is misconstrued in today's society who believe they can make it without a man and spent their time tearing down the self-esteem of Black men while emasculating them, yet they did not allow themselves to be at their mercy either. They stood behind their men in my stories, had their backs, supported them and uplifted them as a Black woman should when it comes to sustaining a healthy relationship with a Black man. Some may say, "That's not realistic". I beg to differ. I have quite a few female friends who demonstrate these characteristics and that is the reason why their relationship will stand the tests of times. Kudos to Mrs. Quattlebaum.

I hope that my stories can motivate young Black women and show them that there are greater ways to get ahead in life and experience the finer things. I will never portray a Black woman in my stories as a needy, clingy chick with devious scandals and scams to get over in life (unless she learns the follies of her ways and turns her life around in the story and even then...probably not). There will never be a female in my story portrayed in any fashion as I described above because I know Black Women are so much better than that. If that is what readers are looking for, you have been forewarned that you will not find that kind of foolery in my books.

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Book Signing at Black & Nobel

December 15, 2012 A Thug's RedemptionPhilly Support Philly  No comments


Yesterday was such an awesome day for me!! I did a book signing at Black & Nobel and though it was a small crowd, I am grateful for those who came out to support. I'm mostly grateful to my older sister, Sharmon, who has come out and shown support throughout the most part of this process. Since I have first started on this self-published journey, I am beginning to see who is supportive of me accomplishing my goals and realizing my dreams and who is not. I do not let it bother me because I know sometimes that is just the way it is. When a dream is only a dream and briefly talked about, some people only talk with you but don't really believe in the dream as you do. When plans are put into motion to realize that dream, the "crabs in a barrel" mindset comes out in full effect. But when the dream is realized and becomes more than a dream but a beautiful reality, the band wagon hoppers quickly try to climb aboard. I'm only interested in those who genuinely support me and those wish me nothing but good things. With that said...


I have been doing a lot of networking for my book. While some choose to promote in clubs, parties and social gatherings, I know with my lifestyle it is just not possible for me to go that route. So I chose another route. I reached out to a few authors, bloggers, editorial journalists etc and imagine my surprise when Omar Tyree (author of the best selling novel, Flyy Girl and For the Love of Money) responded to an email requesting a copy of my debut novel, "A Thug's Redemption" so that he could give me a review! I could not contain my excitement when I saw his email in my inbox this morning after taking my math final. When I say I was a HUGE fan of his as an adolescent, I am NOT lying. I saved his email of course. Getting a reply from him meant more to me than anyone could possibly imagine.


I also received a response to my press release from an editor at BlackNews.com who read the prologue and chapter one to "A Thug's Redemption" and LOVED IT! Here is what he had to say

Yani, I have downloaded what you sent, and just scanning through it I like it. So much so, that I will publish the first chapter in four parts in Black News... I see great potential in you as a storyteller. You go, girl!

I could not contain my excitement! There was one more response that I received that contained the biggest news and proposition for my book. Though I want so badly to reveal exactly what that is, I must remain quiet until all of the details are worked out. But this is just letting me know that I am moving in the right direction and 2013 is going to be a GREAT year for me!


Lastly, I finished "A Thug's Redemption 2: Jamal's Return last Thursday. Let me just say for those who have read the first one, you are in for one hell of a ride with this one. Non-stop action, plot twists at every turn and an ending that will have you holding your breath until the very last sentence. I'm normally not a fan of sequels because too many have been disappointments such as "Terminator 2: Judgment Day", "Nightmare on Elm Street 2", "Halloween 2". "The Crow: City of Angels". The only exceptions that I can think of is "Aliens" and "The Godfather 2". My take on sequels is; if you cannot out do the first one, then don't do it at all. If you cannot leave your target audience totally satisfied, then you are not doing it right. For those who are yearning to know what is next for Jamal, here is a sneak preview of A Thug's Redemption 2: Jamal's Return


That is all for now. Thanks so much for reading! Peace!

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Check out my YouTube Channel

December 5, 2012 A Thug's Redemption  No comments


Hey everyone! I know it has been awhile since I've posted a blog entry but I have been so busy with school and book shipments along with promotions and PR work. I will try to do better at updating this blog more frequently. Since my last blog entry, I recently decided to utilize my YouTube Channel at the suggestion of a good friend of mine. I've had this YouTube channel since September 2011 but never really put it to use until today. I had been racking my brain for so long as to what I could put up. I didn't want to do the typical "comedy" rants on YouTube because that is being done to death in some of the most tasteless manners. I do have a special project in mind for my YouTube Channel this upcoming year but for right now, I am mostly using it for my poetry and the occasional snippets and teasers that I post for my book. So earlier today, I uploaded a recording of myself reciting a poem that I did in high school entitled "Why Tyrone Can't Read". I swear, this poem is going down in history LOL! I can't believe 13 years later, people still remember that poem and recognize me as the girl who did it. I still remember the moment I recited it. I was so nervous and so scared, but when I heard my friends cheering for me, it was on and popping from there. Here is the video:

I will be posting more videos of myself reciting some of my other poems as well as a few videos reading snippets from my debut novel, A Thug's Redemption as well as the sequel A Thug's Redemption 2: Jamal's Return. I hope everyone enjoys. Don't forget to subscribe, click the like button, leave comments, questions or suggestions. Here is the link to my Youtube Channel Click Here


Reminder

My book signing is next Friday, December 14, 2012 at Black & Nobel located at Broad and Erie. It will start at 4pm and end at 7pm. Come out and support. I'll be taking pictures of my readers also!

That's that ish I don't like

I am naturally the kind of person that likes to help others whether if it's giving directions to someone who is lost, extending a kind word to lift someone's spirits, coming on the run when family needs me, etc. I've been getting requests from people wanting me to help them write a book and I am all for that. I love being able to point hopeful writers in the right directions and help them tap into their creativity so they can put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). I've even been contacted to help with a possible local movie script for an up and coming director. However, what I don't like is people contacting me and wanting me to write the book for them and they reap the rewards. Who does that? Anything that I write will have my name attached to it and I will hold all rights. There is no room for negotiation. The last person who contacted me actually had the nerve to say "I think you have talent outside of that Thug shit you wrote..." #PAUSE. Wait, this person wants me to collaborate with them but insults my work? That Thug Shit?? So I asked, "Did you read it?" They said "no". I said "okay...did you at least read the synopsis?" They said "no". I asked, "Do you have any idea what the book is about or all you just going off of the title and automatically assuming that it is the typical hood story about Thug Willy, Pooky and Black standing on the corner, pushing dope, smoking dope, killing their rivals while fucking a few bitches in between?" They had no response. I'm not expecting everyone to like my book. That would be unrealistic. But if my work or talent is going to be slandered, at least take the time out to READ it before you call it "Thug Shit". So yeah, they can toss the idea of us ever collaborating together out of the window. So for future reference, before you come for me, make sure you read the book. And then when you read the book and still feel a need to come for me, make sure you come correct. I can humbly pick a person apart...with a smile. :-)


Speaking of which. I recently received a review for my book on amazon. I'm surprised that Amazon posted it because I've been having trouble with my reviews being deleted. But this is what the young lady Tierra had to say:

OMG!!! I purchased this book last month for my everyday 5hr commute to and from work and I must say this book is a serious mouth opener!!!! I freaking loved it from cover to cover! Towards the end I found myself almost in tears on the train! The characters were so easy to relate to! I'm desperately waiting for a sequel!!! This is definitely a must read!!! Go cop up people!!!! Yani you did great!!!!
When she texted me last night, I could feel how much she enjoyed my book just by how her text messages came through. That is why I write. I love entertaining my readers and pulling them in so deeply that they fall in love with the characters, and become enthralled with the story. Thanks so much Tierra!

Okay this was a very long blog post. LOL! Sorry guys! I just had so much to say. But real quick before I go; I have been working dilligently on the sequel A Thug's Redemption 2" and I must say, I amaze myself. This story is more ruthless than the first and all bets are off. I don't want to release it too soon because I want the first one to marinate and leave a lasting impression. But I am having so much fun writing it. Okay, that's all for now. Thanks for reading! PEACE!!

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Upcoming Book Signing 11/10/12

November 9, 2012 A Thug's RedemptionPhilly Support Philly  No comments

A Thug's Redemption Author, Yani

Hello Readers! I know many of you are wondering when I am going to start doing Feature Friday again. I will start again very soon, I've just been a bit busy with promoting my book, spreading the word about my book and scheduling book signings. I miss doing the interviews and talking with people about their work. It's fun for me so I will be doing it again soon. Stay Tuned!!


I am so excited to be doing my very first book signing which will be tomorrow at The Marie Dendy Recreation Center in the North Philly section of the city. It is located at 1oth & Oxford streets and is an event that was created by an old childhood classmate of mine, Janelle Wright who was kind enough to invite me out to do the book signing. I'll have my camera with me and would love to take pictures with my current readers as well as my new readers. Though the event starts at 10am and is until 3pm, I will not be arriving until 12:30pm as I have class that morning. For those of you who ordered my book and would like for me to sign it, stop by and I will be happy to autograph it for you. And for readers who have not gotten the book yet, stop by and get your copy tomorrow.


For the most part, I have been pushing the Kindle version of my book as well as the other ebook formats, with the way technology has advanced over the last few years. I know for some, it is more convenient to read an ebook on their iphone, ipad, Android phone or tablet, Macbook or Laptop. I also am aware of people who are still like me and enjoy the feel of a book in their hands and would rather have the page turning experience verses the electronic one. You have not been forgotten about. A Thug's Redemption will be in Black & Nobel on Broad & Erie Avenues as well as Horizon Book Store in the Gallery Market East. You can also order directly through me using the paypal option on the purchase page to my website (shipping is free through that option). And if you would like the copy you order to be autograph, just send me a message through the contact form with what you would like me to say, and it will be done.


Most of you know I am working on sooo much right now. I've designed this website, I've been promoting my book on social networks, doing interviews and working on getting the word out about my book. I am also currently writing two other books at the same time and (dramatic pause) I'm working on launching my own PR business. I've had some very...strange experiences dealing with PR companies and I don't quite feel as though my needs were met. As the saying goes, when you want something done right you must do it yourself. So far it has been very fun speaking with people from different African American Magazines and newspapers such as Birmingham Times and Atlanta Voice and other places across the country and mostly all of the responses have been positive. Though there is a lot of hard work involved, I'm truly enjoying this experience and I'm very thankful to all of those who has been supporting me from when A Thug's Redemption was just a handwritten juvenile fantasy all the way up to now. PEACE! 

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