Yves Brown McClain: Literary Fierceness

Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Let the transition begin…

Posted by Dahlia on November 21, 2011

FALL TREE © Richard Mcguirk | Dreamstime.com

My last post was about how I was at a point in my writing where I needed to get a clear direction. I haven’t euthanized my WIP, by the way. There are elements to the story that I wish to keep, and I do believe the story is still entertaining, but I may have to gut it (again) so that it becomes the story it was meant to be.

As far as blogging goes, I’ve decided to launch a new blog, with a new URL. This is for a few reasons: Instead of revamping this blog, I created a new URL under my name because it is keeping with the branding that I’m trying to build. Who’s going to buy a book by ybmauthoress? Exactly.

The new blog will allow me to be a bit more personal, but be in line with the common themes I’ve picked up on in my writing and will also (hopefully) do the things I wanted my writing to do. You can find it under www.yvesbrownmcclain.wordpress.com. There are some things I’ve written here that will fit in well with the new blog, so you may see a few older posts on the new blog. I hope you all head over there and check it out.  If you like what’s there, please follow it and leave lots of comments!

As for Literary Fierceness, as of right now, I’m not shutting it down. But the posts here will be more sporadic. Thank you all so much for the support you’ve shown me for the past ten months. It truly has been a learning experience.

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Writer Promo: Check out this Live Internet Radio Interview

Posted by Dahlia on October 31, 2011

Just wanted to take a few moments and promote a good friend of mine who is doing her first live internet radio interview today at 12 noon. Yolanda Washington is a Science-Fiction writer and poet who is working on her first novel (one of her characters bears a striking resemblance to Idris Elba, so I’m already sold 🙂 ) and one of the posts on her blog, From Laser Beams to Sociology, caught the attention of another writer, Quinn Barrett, the author of Invisible Snow. Quinn will be interviewing Yolanda to discuss the connections between science fiction and sociology. Here is the link to the show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wisebearbooks

If you’ve been following for a while, you know that Yolanda is a regular on my blog with her comments and encouraging words. She has even guest-posted for me. We connected through LinkedIn several months ago and since then, she’s become my critique partner, a cheerleader on this writing path, and overall,  a really great friend. So, if you’re free at noon, please check out the Internet interview. You can even listen to it later if you’re not able to catch it live.

Congrats, Yolanda! You’re movin’ on up like The Jeffersons, lady!

Posted in Announcements, Author Interview | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Blog Interview with Morgen Bailey featuring…moi!

Posted by Dahlia on August 30, 2011

Hi! Today’s post will be very brief. I just wanted to announce that I’m being featured over at Morgen Bailey’s blog today. My first interview…woot-woot!

Let me give you a little information about Morgen Bailey. She is a fiction writer out of the UK (so this means I just went international…BOOM!) Her blog is full of great information, such as blog interviews (such as the one I’m being featured on), author spotlights, guest posts, podcasts, writing tips, as well as her own work as a writer. Her blog interviews are open to any blogger/writer in any genre, so if you’d like to subscribe or even be featured on her blog, check out her Blog Interview page.

So, to check out my interview, please click here to go over to her page. Let me know what you think!

Peace & Blessings

Posted in Announcements, Author Interview, Marketing & Promoting | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Change the Game

Posted by Dahlia on July 28, 2011

Lately, I have been thinking of ways to expand my platform to get more readers. Like I mentioned before, I love the writers who follow me. Great relationships have been formed because of it, and while I know writers read, I really wanted to reach out to that reader that I’m writing for. And the majority of my posts haven’t been for the reader.

I subscribe to Kristen Lamb’s blog and get her updates in my email. For those who don’t know who this fabulous lady is, she is considered a social media expert. She has written a book titled We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and it’s all about platform building to attract a following of you guessed it, readers. Not even halfway (I was at about 22%) through her book, I saw that my strategy was wrong and I needed an overhaul of my blog. Simply put, with the imminent publication of my novella with a full novel to follow, I’ve got to change my game. However, I don’t want to lose the writers that have hopped on this journey with me. Supporting each other is
still important to me. At the same time, books generally don’t sell themselves,
especially if you’re going the independent route like I am. So, I’ve got to
reach my target audience and change the way I’ve been approaching social
networking.

So, here are the changes that I’m going to incorporate. **drumroll, please and thank you**

1. Blog title change

You may have already noticed this. I feel the new title is more inclusive of
not only this writing process but the content relevant to my genre and my style
of writing.

2. More frequent updates

No, I’m not going back to daily. I’m a writer who blogs, not a blogger who writes. I am pushing for three days a week. I want to dedicate my Wednesdays to my writer followers that have been hanging out with me since February. And since I like alliteration like that, Writer Wednesday is for you! Smooches!  :X

3. More reader friendly content

I write fiction. Specifically women’s fiction. Even more specifically chick-lit (and the occasional drama). My characters are predominantly African-American. So, my niche is African-American Chick Lit. So, I need to talk about things related to what someone reading African-American Chick Lit would read in a book: relationships (not just the romantic ones but the ones between parents and children, siblings, etc.), love, friendships, fashion, socializing, and maybe a little bit of drinking. Also included in this would be interviews from authors similar to me, book reviews of books in the same genre, etc.

4. A slight Twitter change

My original twitter handle was already ok. It was @ycbmcclain, but I felt
it was better to use my full professional name. It’s a part of branding. Unfortunately
@yvesbrownmcclain was too long, so I settled for @yvesbmcclain

I would HIGHLY recommend Kristen’s book to any writer trying to navigate the internet and all these social networking sites to engage readers. It can get overwhelming and time-consuming. The tips just make good common sense and can help you from spamming away your network. This is only the beginning of the revamp of my platform and I am very excited. You can get either the print or the electronic version. It’s so worth the investment in yourself, your brand, and your product.

Posted in Announcements, Marketing & Promoting, Publishing, Purpose, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

As much as we think we do, we don’t know everything…

Posted by Dahlia on March 12, 2011

I have mentioned before that I’m taking a college course in creative writing. I’m taking it because I wanted to learn some of the mechanics behind the writing and go beyond my own creativity with actual training. Don’t get me wrong, gut instinct is very good when it comes to writing, but sometimes we could use a course or two to learn about voice, point of view, hooks, etc.

The wonderful thing about the internet is now you may not necessarily have to register for college courses to learn these things, unless your end goal is a degree. You can find some great online classes or workshops on these same topics. Lynette Labelle is a certified copyeditor and proofreader with over 10 years experience. She understands the craft of writing and offers classes that can help new writers avoid the pitfalls that may either delay or prevent publication. In April, she is offering a relatively inexpensive course entitled Hook, Line, and Sinker: How to Hook Readers and Reel Them In.

Lynette is also holding an awesome follower contest. The prize is an opportunity to have either a critique of your first 500 words of your manuscript or your query letter. Head on over to her blog, Lynette Labelle, for more details about entering the contest. However, you’d have to sign up by Sunday, March 13 (tomorrow). Her blog also has great information about her classes.

Posted in Announcements, Contests, Writing, Writing Exercises | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Take it down a notch…

Posted by Dahlia on March 6, 2011

When I first started this blog, I wasn’t really sure of what to do with it. I wanted to promote my book, but I didn’t want it to be a continuous marketing vehicle of the book. You can only push the product so far before folks get annoyed. So, I decided to document my process to getting published as well as promote the book. Then, I happened upon the Crusade. It sounded like a great opportunity to network with people just like me. I have to say that participating in this initiative has been a very positive experience. I have had many days with 100+ views, my twitter follows have nearly tripled, and my Fan page is showing an increase. Who knew all these people wanted to hear me ramble on about beta readers, dashboards, and getting over WIP-sharing fears? Certainly not me. I also didn’t know I had this much to discuss until I made a commitment to it. The thing about blogging is that content is king, so I would brainstorm over topics or just put together a post about something I’ve experienced. In the midst of beefing up my blog, I started to neglect the very thing that I created the blog for: my book.

I’ve shared that Wild Oats has been a years-long process. That’s mainly due to the fact that I would work at it, then stop for a while, life would present something to me (i.e. getting married, moving to a new state, job-searching, a baby) and I wouldn’t be able to put as much work on the book as I wanted, then I would start back at it again and then the cycle would repeat itself. Last year (shortly after my 30th birthday), I committed to finishing my novel and I started finding ways to get some writing done – early in the morning, late at night, on breaks, during lunch, when my son takes his nap, etc. There’s something about when you turn 30 that sparks a fire under your butt. Makes you realize that now is the time to start walking in your purpose and your gift. At least that’s what turning 30 did for me. I did not want my story to be a perpetual WIP that’s often talked about, but never finished.

So, in order to finally move this story of mine out of WIP to published novel, I’ll have to scale back on my blog posts. I have to in order to finish this novel, start on the next one, and maintain some semblance of balance in my life. However, I want to maintain a schedule so that there’s order. Therefore, this post will be the last of my daily posts and starting Monday, March 7, I will post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. As I get guest bloggers, I will try to schedule them in on days I don’t post. So, expect at least three new updates a week.

Thank you to all my new followers for staying on this journey with me. Your support is awesome. And for anyone that I’ve helped (or perhaps entertained) with my posts, I hope I can continue to do so.

Peace & Blessings, YBM

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Oh, you fancy huh?

Posted by Dahlia on February 27, 2011

In the past week I have given you my two cents on pen names and sharing WIPs, lied to you, made you guess the driver of a VW Beetle, signed up for another blogfest (I get the feeling blogfests are like tattoos – once you get one, it can be hard to stop getting them) and shared my love of Girl Scout Cookies. And lookie here – I got an award for it! The Stylish Blogger award was bestowed to me by Cleveland Dietz II. There are, of course, conditions of acceptance: seven random facts and a list of other bloggers I’ve recently come across that I feel are worthy of this award. I don’t mind sharing the love, so here we go.

1. I have lived in seven different cities. Most moves were related to work or school. A few were related to lack of work. Here’s the breakdown:  Detroit, MI; Washington, DC ; Oxon Hill, MD; Fort Wayne, IN ; Manchester, CT; Indianapolis, IN ; Tampa, FL. I’ve been in Tampa for over three years now, so it’s looking pretty good that it’s where I’ll be for a while.

2. I used to be a flight attendant. I worked for a regional airline for roughly 18 months. I was also the “valedictorian” of my F/A training class. I enjoyed doing it, but it had its moments when it was very frustrating, such as when I couldn’t get a flight back home after a trip and was unable to spend my anniversary with hubby. Or the time I got stuck in Cincinnati due to snow. Or the time I got to the hotel the night before one of my trips and encountered a drunken, bleeding man in the lobby. Never stayed there again.

3. I majored in information systems and analysis in college. I picked it because I had always been fairly good with computers and thought I would make a good career in IT. It wasn’t until my senior year I realized that I had no desire for the field. However, I only had three courses left in the major and changing programs that late in the game would have extended my college stay. I didn’t want to be a super senior  and the degree was a BBA, so I had a good foundation. I went on and graduated on time.

4. I want a MFA. I’ve always wanted a master’s and I figure I might as well get one in an area I’m passionate about, so why not creative writing? I haven’t applied to any programs yet, but I see it happening in the future.

5. I am severely allergic to cats. I did not know this until I was an adult, though. I had a cat for eight years when I was a child and was always suffering from bronchitis or asthma issues. The cat went away and I no longer got sick. People have tried to vacuum, dust, lock away their kitties for me before I come over. However, I can always tell there’s a cat in the house. Runny nose, itchy eyes, shortness of breath, and my voice dropping lower than Barry White’s always gives it away.

6. I Love shoes. I have two shoe-related fantasy splurges: A pair of Manolo Blahniks and a pair of Christian Louboutins. And I want to pay for them in cash.

7. I love ultra fine-point colored sharpies. Why? As a writer, I can’t stand it when anything written has numerous typos and grammatical errors. I tend to look at everything on paper or PowerPoint as if I’m going to edit it. And I usually do. Which is why I need the sharpies. Spell check only gets you so far, print it out and read it aloud to make sure it is right…and yes, I am especially hard on myself when I make a typo or grammar error.

So, there you have it…more random factoids about me. I am now passing the torch to the following bloggers I think are pretty fancy:

1. Y.I. Washington

2. Susan Fields

3. Pam Parker

4. L. Marie

5. Gina Blechman

6. RichBrand

Stay fancy & stylish, bloggers!

Posted in Announcements | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

A New Direction…

Posted by Dahlia on February 5, 2011

I’ve been working on my debut novel for quite some time. (Only a select few know just how long). I am pleased to announce that my novel, Wild Oats, is nearing its debut into the literary world! **claps hands excitedly** My original plan was to publish under my own publishing company and make it available for purchase online, at events, and a few independent bookstores. However, the saying is true…the best way to make God laugh is to make plans, that is plans of your own without including Him in the process.

When the New Year rolled around and I still hadn’t published, I took a step back and was convicted that my approach was wrong. Therefore, I prayed, fasted, and studied, asking God to lead me in all areas of my life, including with this book that I have worked so diligently over. The last thing I wanted was to put this piece of me out there and have it fail miserably. And for all of January, I was still. I didn’t post on the fan page, didn’t tweet about the book, didn’t even update my blog – a major don’t if you want a popular blog. I was still. I waited. I wanted to be sure I was headed in the right direction. The only book related thing I did was attend the monthly writer’s networking meeting that I’m a member of. But again, for the most part, I was still.

Recently, I was given direction. I admit that I didn’t recognize it at first. It came in pieces. Tweets that caught my attention, emails my Godmother (who is also a writer) would send me, and just a whisper at my spirit to do something that, based on my knowledge of book publishing, didn’t make sense and can be a bit risky. At first, I resisted, thinking “it doesn’t make sense” or “that’s something I can do after I print” or even “that’s not the way it’s supposed to be done”. I tend to be very logical like that. But every time I resisted, that whisper got a little louder until finally I realized it was the direction I had been praying for all last month and even right until today.

Therefore, Wild Oats will be released exclusively as an e-book in March 2011. There will be a print version, but that will come at a later time that hasn’t been determined yet. The book will be available on as many platforms as I can get them on by that date to accommodate the various e-readers available (Kindle, Nook, iPad, Sony, etc.) It will also be available for download on your computer, tablet, or Smartphone (Teams BlackBerry, Android, and iPhone). For those of you who still like the feel, look, smell of a real book between your hands, don’t worry. I got you and I understand because I love books, too. When the print version is ready to launch, I will let you know.

However, I need your support. If you haven’t already done so, go to the Wild Oats Fan Page and become a fan – www.facebook.com/wildoatsnovel. If you’re on twitter, follow me @ycbmcclain. Sign up on the mail list for this blog. Don’t just sign up, check the blog out and leave a comment or several. These are the places you want to be tuned into as the release date nears for the latest information. There will also be giveaways and discounts. Also, help me spread the word. Tweeps, you can retweet my book-related tweets (even the random ones if they’re funny) and use #WW (Writer Wednesday and #FF (Follow Friday) features/hashtags. FB Fam, ask the people in your friend list that you know love to read to become a fan. You can do this by going to the fan page and clicking on “Suggest to Friends” on the left side of the page.  Read the excerpts and leave a comment on the fan page. This is my appeal. It won’t cost you anything but a little time.

I am so excited, yet at the same time, anxious. This has been a long journey and I’m just getting started!

Posted in Announcements | 2 Comments »