Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Remaining 2012 GA Peach Author Tour Dates

Saturday, September 1, 2012
5:30 - 6:15 p.m. (GA Peach organizer/Marissa Monteilh)
Guest author - Miranda Parker
Featured Authors - 7th Annual AJC Decatur Book Festival
Location: Decatur Conference Center Auditorium - Courtyard Marriott Hotel
130 Clairemont Avenue
Phone: 404-371-0204
Decatur, GA 30030
Panel: The Housewives of Literature: Atlanta
Topic: Drama
Panel discussion - Q&A - all 5 GA Peach Authors' books will be available for purchase
(Jean Holloway, Gail McFarland, Marissa Monteilh, Miranda Parker, Electa Rome Parks)

Sunday, September 16, 2012
12:00 - 2:00 p.m. (GA Peach organizer/Electa Rome Parks)
V-103 - For Sister's Only: Sip and Sign
GA Peach Authors Q&A, signing, mix and mingle
Location: The Georgia World Congress Center
Atlanta, GA

Saturday, October 6, 2012
Time: TBA (GA Peach organizer/Gail McFarland)
Atlanta Black Theatre Festival
Author's Alley
GA Peach Authors' Writing Workshop
Location: Loews Atlanta Hotel (Midtown)
Atlanta, GA

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The GA Peach Authors are proud to be featured presenters at the 2012 Decatur Book Festival (Atlanta, GA)

Please click here for more information on the GA Peach Authors's appearance at the Decatur Book Festival - Sat. 9/1/12 @ 5:30 p.m.

The Housewives of Literature: Atlanta

Decatur Conference Center Auditorium Saturday, 5:30 pm - 6:15 pm
Georgia Peach authors gather and engage in a conversation about being Georgia writers, women, and friends.


Gail McFarland, Author
Electa Parks, Author
Jean Holloway, Author
Marissa Monteilh, Author
Miranda Parker, Author

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Getting to know GA Peach Author - Electa Rome Parks

Getting to know GA Peach Author
Electa Rome Parks
When did you start writing?I have been writing for as long as I can remember; writing and reading have always defined who and what I am as a person. Writing is the love affair of my life. From a professional standpoint, I started writing and penned my first novel, The Ties That Bind in 2001.

How, why and when did you decide you wanted to be a published writer? How did you go about it? What did you do to achieve this end?For me, becoming a published writer was a natural progression. Friends and family who knew me back in the day, they can all testify to the fact that I was always writing something (a short story, a poem, a play) or had my head buried in a book, usually mystery or supernatural. Being a quiet, shy child, writing was a means for me to express myself, non-verbally. Later, I realized I had a voice that needed to be heard (read). And reading was my escape to meeting other people and worlds that I could only imagine.

I went about accomplishing my goal by researching, networking and finding mentors in my genre. I lived and breathed the literary industry. Eventually I published via print on demand, then traditionally self-published and eventually went mainstream after being picked up by a major publishing house. I achieved this by hustling. . . attending every conference, literary event, signing, book club meeting, etc., that I could. I made it my mission to network with creative, like-minded people in the industry and to get the word out about my book and myself. Passion, persistence and perservance paid off when a literary agent contacted me and within 30 days had inked a 3-book deal with a major publishing house.

How would you describe the writing you are doing?I write contemporary and erotic fiction. I’ve also been classified as a women’s fiction author.

Who is your target audience? What motivated you to start writing for this audience?My target audience is anyone who enjoys a good book! Primarily, African-American women and a small percentage of men tend to purchase my novels. I don’t know if I was motivated to start writing for this audience as opposed to this audience is who I am. I am an African-American woman; however my storylines tend to stem from life experiences, lessons, and situations that are universal.

In the writing you are doing, which authors influenced you most? Why did they have this influence?
I absolutely adore contemporary fiction authors and my greatest influence was, hands down, author Terry McMillian. I witnessed and applauded the commercial successful she achieved with her books, from them being New Times Bestselling novels to being adapted to movies for the big screen. Her books, especially Disappearing Acts, was the first book that spoke to me as I saw myself and others in the storyline. I could relate. I laughed out loud, I cried and I didn’t want that book to end. I wanted to savor each page, digest it and breathe it in. There was such a connection that it left an impact that inspired me to reach for my dream.

How have your own personal experiences influenced your writing? I’m sure in many ways that I haven’t even though about. I write from the heart about many topical issues prevalent in our communities. I’ve touched upon domestic abuse, molestation, friendship, dysfunctional relationships, stalking, mental illness and the list goes on. My characters aren’t perfect and my storylines don’t necessarily have happily ever after endings. However, they are much like real life. I share life lessons and give readers imperfect characters they can embrace, whether they choose to love or hate them.

What are your main concerns as a writer? How do you deal with these concerns? My main concern as a writer is the constantly changing literary climate. I know of many talented authors who have lost book deals and can’t appear to get another one. I hate the fact that the industry is all about sales and the bottom line. There doesn’t appear to be an appreciation for the craft or an internal mentoring process for the author anymore.

I deal with these concerns by accepting the fact that what’s going to be is going to be. What’s meant for me is for me. I simply can’t sweat the small stuff so to speak. I have to continue to write my stories and be true to myself. How the changes pan out remains to be seen.

What are the biggest challenges that you face? And, how do you deal with these challenges?I think I answered this in the previous question. Staying abreast of the changing industry and remaining relevant are two big challenges for me. I deal with them by doing what I love to do, which is to write. I simply can’t allow myself to worry about things which are not within my control.

Do you write every day? How does each session start? How do you proceed? How, where and why does it end? When I first started my professional literary career, I did write every single day. However, with my life evolving, that has changed. I simply don’t have the time to write every single day. My session usually starts with me writing long-hand and simply doing a free flow style. I let the characters speak and tell their story. So, you will never see me with a detailed outline that some authors utilize. Later, I transpose my notes to my computer and tighten the prose up a bit. Typically, by the end of the session, I end up with a good first draft that later will be rewritten several times and edited.

How many books have you written so far? (Please include titles, publisher, date of publication and a brief description of the book/books. I have written eight books, with a 9th book,When Baldwin Loved Brenden, dropping January 2013. A brief description of each novel can be found at my website, Please stop by and check them out!

The Stalker Chronicles (Kensington/Urban Books, 2012)
True Confessions (Kensington/Urban Books, 2010)
Diary of a Stalker (Kensington/Urban Books, 2009)
These Are My Confessions (HarperCollins/Avon Red, 2007)
Ladies' Night Out (Penguin Group/NAL, 2007)
Almost Doesn't Count (Penguin Group/NAL, 2005)
Loose Ends (Penguin Group/NAL, 2004)
The Ties That Bind (Penguin Group/NAL, 2004)

What is your latest book about?The Stalker Chronicles - She's back, and this time it's all about revenge.

Tall, dark, and handsome bestselling male author Xavier Preston thought his nightmare—in the form of Pilar, a fanatical stalker/fan—had finally ended. Little does he know it’s only beginning. When Xavier met Pilar, he got much more than he bargained for. What started out as an erotic one-night stand quickly turned into a dangerous game of obsession and pain, with both parties playing to win. Then she simply disappeared.

Stunning Pilar hasn't gone away, though. In fact, she has been very near, watching his every move and patiently waiting for him to realize they were meant to be together forever. She still believes they’re soul mates, and the only option for her is “Until death do us part.” If she can't have Xavier, then no one can. Now no one is safe—not his friends, and definitely not him.

Revenge can be a real killer.

How long did it take you to write the book? It took approximately 4 months to write the novel. This timeframe didn’t include rewrites and edits.

Where and when was it published?It was published in January 2012 by Kensington/Urban Books.

How did you chose a publisher for the book? Why this publisher? What advantages and/or disadvantages has this presented? How are you dealing with these?My recent novel was part of a second, two-book deal with this particular publishing house.

Which aspects of the work you put into the book did you find most difficult? Why do you think this was so? How did you deal with these?At this point in my career, I pretty much have a system or rhythm when it comes to my writing. Once I have my storyline and the characters are speaking to me, it’s on. LOL. As strange as it may sound, I almost see the various scenes played out in my mind like a movie. I hear my characters voices as clear as I can hear yours.

I can’t really describe any difficulties I had with my previous project. It was a much-anticipated, much-requested sequel and the characters hadn’t left me. In fact, their voices were as strong as ever. So, it was like revisiting old friends, playing catch-up and putting it all on paper.

Which aspects of the work did you enjoy most? Why is this?I enjoyed revisiting old friends in The Stalker Chronicles, which is the sequel to Diary of a Stalker. I had missed my characters and it was refreshing to find out what was going on in their lives and to speak with them again.

What sets the book apart from the other things you've written?This was only my second attempt at an erotic thriller. So the genre was a little different from what I typically write.

In what way is it similar to the others? It was similar in that it incorporated my trademark style of writing that I have become known for: it was drama-filled, spicy, relationship-based, fast paced with imperfect characters and with a twist to the storyline.

What will your next book be about?My next book is titled, When Baldwin Loved Brenden.
Fair-weather friends come and go, but true friendship lasts a lifetime. Same goes for true love.
Ten years is a long time. Much can change in ten years, an entire decade. That’s how many years have passed when a former close-knit group of college friends, Baldwin, Brenden, Bria and Christopher, self-proclaimed The Group, are tragically reunited to attend the funeral of one of their own in a small North Carolina town.

The Group hasn’t seen or spoken to one another since an unfortunate set of circumstances placed their friendship in jeopardy ten years earlier. After graduation, everyone went their separate ways and never looked back, until now. The past has a way of catching up with you, sooner or later. Baldwin, the romantic, Brenden, the do-gooder, Bria, the wildchild, Christopher, the pretty boy, are all about to discover the truth in that.

Rihanna was once dubbed the peacemaker of the group. Her death reunites them for an unforgettable, poignant and life changing few days. Each friend will confront their own internal demons and leave a changed person. Secrets are revealed, hurts exposed, tears shed and laugher shared, all in the name of friendship and love.

Can anything truly tear real friendship and love apart?

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?I would say my most significant achievement has been just that. . . the fact that I am a published author. It’s not a dream anymore, it’s a reality. I have a voice. Readers embrace my books and enjoy them. I’m doing something I love and that I’m passionate about. It doesn’t get any better than that. Priceless.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

TOMORROW: Please join the GA Peach Authors on BAN radio - Wed. 8/8/12!

Please join the GA Peach Authors, Electa Rome Parks, Gail McFarland, Jean Holloway, and Marissa Monteilh as we have a sweet literary discussion with Ella Curry on her popular Blogtalk show, BAN Radio, the Black Author Network. We'll discuss our recent stage play vignettes, our titles, tour, writing, what it's like working together in a group, our upcoming plans, and we might even share a tad bit of personal information that you may find interesting, plus we'll answer your questions and read from our latest titles. It'll be a blast!

Join us tomorrow, Wed. 8/8/12 from 8-10 p.m. EST - please listen in, log in, call in, chat with us!!

It's ladies's night! Wednesday, 8/8/12, from 8-10 p.m. EST - call in # (646) 200-0402


Monday, August 6, 2012

My Writing Life: A Review To Remember!

I just got a really amazing review from a GoodReads reader, and I thought I would share.  Wow, and thank you, Vivian!
A first reads winner.

Wealthy Loi Cramer recalls the life she began with her late husband, Alex Cramer. It is your typical poor, down on her luck girl meets wealthy man who sweeps her off her feet story but with a twist. She meets him while she's employed at his house while caring for his ailing wife. An affair begins. Gossip spreads. Loi begins to wonder if the mistress ever becomes the wife.

Then the story really begins. Cannot possibly add more details without spoiling the book. You are just going to have to trust me. It gets better with each turn of the page. I completed this novel in the matter of hours. A really great read. 

When's the Best Time of Year to Release a Book?

I had a recent conversation with a fellow author about the best time of year to release a book. Years ago, I remember thinking in terms of specific times of year, but stopped focusing on that and simply went along with the dates that my publishers had set. But because I'm re-releasing titles and debuting a few ebook novellas, lately I have found this conversation to be very interesting.

I was told that the summer months are not as good for sales, as a lot of people are going on vacation, attending weddings and family reunions, putting kids in summer camp - thus there are tighter reins on finances during the summer months. Also, December can be a concern because readers are spending money on Christmas, though there is a tendency for readers to buy books as gifts, so it's a toss up.

An editor told me that the best times of year are fall and spring. Also, specifically February and March work well. Plus if the weather is bad, more readers tend to shut-in with a good book,whatever month that might end up being.

I suppose it just depends on the title and how bad a reader wants to buy it. I have author friends whose books came out this summer, and are doing very well, and some who always have January releases that do well, too. I have titles pubbing in December 2012, February 2013, and May 2013. In the ten years that I've contracted with various mainstream publishers, none of them have ever scheduled my book releases in the summer months (perhaps just a coincidence). Publishers do try and stick with a specific release month for each author, and readers seem to make note of that particular month when it comes to their favorite writers.

Do you consider the time of year as it relates to your book releases? Which time of year works best for you as far as sales, or does it not seem to matter one bit? Right now with ebooks, I think a lot of self-pubbed authors are posting their titles as soon as the books are done.

I know that publishers put a lot of thought into the subject, though I'm not certain the time of year matters as much as a reader's burning desire for the title. Interesting though!

Write on!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My Writing Life: Glad to see "Us" making a connection

This just in, thanks to author Ava Bleu's Romance Noire group post ... 

Troy Johnson, founder of the  African American Literature Book Club (AALBC) has created a search site featuring books by authors from within the black community.  This is especially important because our books are often lost and disconnected from the authors in the larger search engines that focus on books produced by larger traditional publishers. 

You can check out the site today at   If you'd like to know more about the motivation behind the site, take a moment to visit Troy's blog at  The entry is listed on the Founder's Blog, under Book Info.

Happy Reading!!