Category Archives: Interviews and Guest Bloggers

Women Making History Month!

Whew! It’s been a year already since our first Women Making History Month salute. I know it’s Woman In History Month but there are so many dynamic women who are making things happen today that are impacting our future that I have to acknowledge them.

First, I want to recap the fierce women that we honored in 2015!  I am re-posting their interviews and recordings. Women like Toni Simmons Henson from the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, award-winning author Stacy Hawkins Adams, entrepreneur and publisher Elissa Gabrielle, author and business promotion guru LaShaunda Hoffman,  visionary Tia Ross and solopreneur, community activist Damita Shanklin. I will post several more tomorrow but this is a good start…

.Toni Simmons Henson and Woodie King, Jr.                 Stacy Hawkins Adams                  Elissa Gabrielle

LaShaunda Hoffman                 Tia Ross                  Damita Shanklin

Search through our site and take a few moments to check these dynamic women out while we get ready for our 2016 team of Women Making History!

We are doing things!!!

 

LASHAUNDA HOFFMAN-Update!

hoffman

LASHAUNDA HOFFMAN

{LaShaunda has a new book out on how to  promote your business online

‘Building Online Relationships’ is available at SORMAG 

 LaShaunda Hoffman has been on fire for the last few months, forging new paths! Let’s talk about her journey!!

 

SORMAG has become a very recognizable name in the online promotion field? Tell us how you started and what has sustained you on this journey?

I started SORMAG – Shades Of Romance Magazine as a tribute to my favorite African American romance authors. I honestly didn’t think it would last as long as it has. We celebrate 15 years this September.

I wanted a place where readers could stop by and learn about the latest books and meet the writers who write them.   I decided an online magazine would be the perfect avenue for my dream. Inside the magazine we feature books, author interviews, and articles about the craft and business of writing. We have a little bit for the readers and those who write books.

My love of books and promoting them has been the driving force behind SORMAG. I truly believe there is a book for everyone and I’m making it my business to introduce readers to their book.

SORMAG is free digital magazine I invite you to become a subscriber.

http://bit.ly/1zudAdC

We also offer it in print format for a small fee. http://www.magcloud.com/user/sormag

LASHAUNDA HOFFMAN AND  BRENDA JACKSON

Tell us about Virtual Tea with LaShaunda? It sounds so inviting!

Online book promoting can be overwhelming at times. Virtual Tea with LaShaunda is my way to help writers in their book promoting journey. I offer private one on one session, or group sessions.

These are hands on training and you do a lot of work each week. Together we create a promotion plan that will help you reach new readers online.

If you would like to learn more about Virtual Tea with LaShaunda

http://conta.cc/1LMZP1P

A large part of promotion seems to include being an encourager, getting people to believe in themselves and their work. What are 3 tips you can give.

LASHAUNDA TEE C AND CURTIS BUNN

My first tip – Get Passed The Fear – Fear can stop you from doing a lot of things, writing, promoting, selling. It stopped me for years, until I realized I wasn’t doing what I loved. I was hiding behind the fear and not going after my dreams.

My second tip – Believe in your dream. Write it down, create a plan and do the work. Dreams can’t come true if you don’t do the work.

My third tip – Promote your book . No one can buy your book if they don’t know it exist. Don’t be afraid to tell people about your book.

 

Your hard work has made you promotion royalty. What advice do you have for people who are struggling with not becoming an immediate success?

Success takes time. Yes there are a few who have instant success, but for those who want to make a career of this. It takes time. Create a plan for your career. Know what success looks to you. What it looks like to someone else might not be the same for you. I had a hard time with that because I was looking at other’s success compared to mine. However God showed me the amazing things I’d done and I was a success because I was still here helping others. It was never about the money.

If success means lots of money for you, be prepared to do a lot more work to get to it. Remember that plan I was talking about. Set your money goals and work toward them. Don’t talk about it, DO IT.

LASHAUNDA BANNER

You will be joining the ranks of a published author soon. Tell us about your book. How does it feel to be on the other side of the promotion table?

Building Online Relationships – One Reader At A Time is my gift to writers who are struggling with their online promotion. These are the lessons I’ve learned while building SORMAG and my online presence. Each chapter is a lesson to help writers build a promotion plan to reach new readers daily.

I told you how I let fear stop me for many years. My dream has always been to be a published author. I’ve written a few fiction books, but the fear kept them in my closet. I started this book in 2011 and put it aside for a little while. My mother’s death reminded me that I wasn’t living my dream of being a published writer. She was my number one fan and I’d let fear keep me from letting her see my name in print. I promised myself that I would finish this book and kick fear in the butt.

I will admit I’m a nervous wreck about being on the side of promoting my own book, but I have my lessons and I’m doing them one at a time and I’m reminding myself daily that is dream I want and I have to do the work to see it come true.

Thank you Jeanette for this opportunity to share my experiences, if anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me – http://lashaundahoffman.com

LASHAUNDA HOFFMAN BONDING THRU BOOKS

LaShaunda C. Hoffman took her love for books and turned it into an award winning online magazine, Shades of Romance Magazine. Her mission in life is to introduce as many books as she can to readers. She’s happily married mother of three who believes in dreams and working hard to achieve them.

Catch her online: lchwriter@gmail.com SORMAG – http://sormag.blogspot.com, See Ya On The Net, her personal site – http://lashaundahoffman.com , Facebook -facebook.com/lashaunda.hoffman or Twitter – lashaundaH.

CARLA NICKERSON – Creative Artist Extraordinaire Update

 

Carla Nickerson

Carla Nickerson inhales oxygen and exhales energy!!! Always on the go, I’m glad she took a moment to share with us!

 

2015 has been a very busy year for Carla…

 

Carla Nickerson Mockingbird 1

   Carla with St. Edward’s University drama students in To Kill a MockingBird Nov. 2015

 

Carla Nickerson Griot Design

(Griot Style) Designed this dress and hat for the cover of Occhio Appela Magazine, October 2015 issue

 

Carla in Satchel Paige & Kansas City Swing at Austin Playhouse (Feb/Mar) Carla Nickerson

 

Carla Nickerson Griot Melba MooreCarla’s (Griot Style) design for Melba Moore’s Listening Debut Party

 

You move seamlessly from acting to singing to painting to fashion. Are your skills in these various areas natural or nurtured talent?

I think “seamlessly” is very generous. I don’t really give either art form the focus I’d like to. Visual art is the discipline that comes most easily followed by acting, fashion design and singing, in that order. I have to work hardest at singing.

CARLA ARTIST 2

Looking at the difficult task of developing a sustainable career in the Arts, how have you managed to maintain your artistic level of excellence?

Austin is touted as some creative Mecca, but few Artists here earn a living wage by solely creating their own art. The hype is so persistent that I routinely have people say to me: “Hey, I’vm thinking about doing what you do (painting, acting, designing). I need contact info for people who hire you and when can I come check out how you do it?”

I get to create to my own level of standards by having a “day” job and working autonomously other than theatre/film. I love Austin, but no longer attempt to cultivate a market for my work in this town beyond (for the time being) performance.

 

 CARLA NICKERSON AS A COPYou have a very interesting background, can you tell  our readers what your previous career was? How  did you transition from that to what you do now?  How has it helped?

That question is usually comes when people hear about my career as a police officer. I was a sworn peace officer in Austin for seven years patrolling the streets and helping people in various ways including taking them to jail. The real ‘transition’ was going from Artist to cop–it took everyone by surprise and I can’t easily explain why I was so drawn to that line of work. Likewise, having been an actress and portrait artist made me a better cop. There were countless times when my well-honed observation skills saved the day and maybe my life a few times. I never drew my gun, never had a fight–other than ducking a fist once–in all those years. It also helped me tremendously working undercover sting assignments.

CARLA DEATH AND KINGS HORSEMEN

You are an equity actor. Can you explain to our readers what being an equity actor means? Its benefits and its challenges?

It means that you work for (at least a semblance of) a living wage and that you pay into a pension fund and earn social security and health insurance; it protects you from having to work overtime without pay; It also means especially in Texas that the roles are few and far between. I don’t recommend it in Austin until you’re WELL seasoned and not needing to accumulate more experience. I worked free and for very little for decades before joining equity. I’m comfortable with being labeled difficult to afford.

CARLA NICKERSON AND ME AT ABTF 2013 copyYou have won multiple awards for your talent. In deciding what roles to accept what do you consider the most important detail?

There’s not just one. Who’s producing it? What’s the storyline? Will it fit into my current time constraints? Is it something new, capable of stretching me into unexplored territory?

You currently hold the position of Program Coordinator at the City Of Austin’s Office of Arts & Cultural Resources. How do you manage to so many different projects/businesses and maintain a ˜day job?’

I’ll answer that if I ever figure it out. It can be difficult, but what a rewarding burden to bear!

CARLA IN GHANA

What would you consider your dream role?

One that required me to travel to Cuba or Ghana/Anywhere in Africa or Asia. Short of that, my dream role is always the next one.

 What is next for Carla Nickerson in 2015?

I’m excited about playing the lead role in The Story of Six Tusks, a feature film being shot this summer. Besides that, have a book illustration project that will continue at least another three months, and I’m in talks about a small role in a film being shot this fall. I’ll also be working in behind-the-scenes roles with Spectrum Theatre Company, which I co-founded.

 

CARLA NICKERSON ART JPEG_Page_1
Mountaintop Marc Pouhe and Carla Nickerson