Archive for the ‘writing life’ Category

Feeling Friendly… Deal News!

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

I’ve been holding on to this news for a little while and I’m so happy to now be able to share it far and wide (social media pun totally intended). I’ve been signed on to write a novella called FRIENDING THE FASHIONISTA for Samhain Publishing under the fabulous executive editor Latoya Smith who I adore and have been wanting to work with for so long. FRIENDING will be the first in my Flirty Fashionista series, marrying my love of fashion and romance.

Samhain PM announcement

 

I can’t thank Latoya enough for taking me on and my fantastic agent Rachel Brooks from the L. Perkins Agency for making it all happen. Thank you ladies for helping to make my publishing dreams come true.

 

Now let me get to writing… after a dance just a little but more.

#WeNeedDiverseRomance

 

All the best,

Kwana

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Hello May!

Friday, May 1st, 2015

So it’s officially May and I can’t quite wrap my head around it. But time and desperate circumstances require that I do.

I have to admit that though I’ve been what I think is incredibly busy these last few months (delusional much?), I have not been anywhere near as productive as I’d like to have been and now, once again, I’m feeling backed against the wall to get pretty much EVERYTHING done within the next few weeks before school is done for my twins and summer officially starts.

Oh and while I’m at it can I possibly write a story of two too?

So with that said

Welcome MAY! Good Times ahead.

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Tell me are you, like me, feeling the pre-summer crunch or are you sailing easy into the new season?

All the best,

KMJ

P.S. 

Thanks for all your support of the #WeNeedDiverseRomance  Tee campaign. I have started it up again for new orders so those who didn’t get in on the 1st round can still order and get a tee before Nationals this summer.

Click below to place your orders:

White:  http://bit.ly/1DEVNZl

Black:  http://bit.ly/1GYWvjq

BTW I’m wearing my shirt to RWA Nationals on Thursday, July 23rd which is the day of my workshop. Feel free to join me and wear yours that day too!

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Stay Writing… always

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

The other day, while procrastinating on Twitter, as I’m often found doing, I saw a tweet go by from the amazing director of Selma, Ava DuVernay. It said that she was participating in a talk this past Wednesday for the Tribeca Film Festival. Now I was instantly intrigued and knew I wanted to be there. But me being me I had to go to my usual second guessing and I got to thinking if I really wanted to take the trip down to the city, take on driving and parking and oh who am I fooling, it all came down to if I really wanted to get dressed and put on real pants and shoes and go out.

Well, I’m so happy the pants and better sense won out. It was my dear son’s day off from classes so he was more than happy to go as my “date” and he even urged me to bring along a copy of one of my books and some postcards (I guess paying for all those business classes isn’t for nothing).

The two of us headed down to the west side of 23rd street and upon our arrival we were greeted with a long but patient and enthusiastic line of what seemed to be mostly were writers and film students. And to the horror of my poor DS I went to snapping pics as if I didn’t grow up in the city and attend college at FIT right up the street. Who knows? Maybe I’ve been in the burbs a little too long, but whatevs. They don’t put cameras on these phones for nothing.

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Once we were inside there was a short delay as we waited for Ms. DuVernay to make it in from the airport and her red-eye flight. The delay was no big deal to us as we were inside and comfortable and the room was full of fans of her work.

When Ms. DuVernay arrived along with the immensely talented, Q-Tip who was her interviewer for the hour, there was little doubt that the wait was well worth it. Q-Tip was a well prepared and through interviewer asking many of the questions that we all wanted answers to and Ms. DuVernay was just wonderful. She was friendly, thoughtful and candid with her answers. As well as generous with sharing her opinions and advice.

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Here are just a few of her insightful words that resonated most with me:

Her mission: “To magnify the magnificence of black people.”

Wow! I could just stop with there. Isn’t that just beautiful?  I just about gasped in my seat. With all the negative images we have been bombarded with for so long and the awful injustices that have been brought to life recently thanks to social media this just makes me want to stand up and cheer.

But I’ll keep going. She also spoke about her work and her responsibility to it saying, that it’s no one else’s responsibility to make the things she wants to see. Which also spoke to me and the stories I tell. Yes, I write for my readers and my fans, but ultimately these are the stories that speak to me and the ones I want to tell. If I’m not filling my own well then this is all for nothing.

Getting to Ms. DuVernay’s process: I was only too selfishly happy to hear that a genius such as herself also struggles with writer’s block as I do. Now I know there are those that say there is no such thing as writer’s block and try as I might I’ve tried really hard to embrace that philosophy (mostly by searching out articles over the internet when I should be writing) but I just can’t. She also has accepted procrastination as part of her process and recognizes that she is fueled by the deadline crunch. Something else I can definitely get behind and see in myself.

On working and ‘making it’ in a white male dominated profession: I loved Ms. DuVernay’s strong opinion and slightly ‘what of it’ attitude to it all. It is what it is and how we should just do what we do and go for it. She spoke about women too often asking for permission for things we don’t need permission for. I’ll just leave that right here with an amen.

 

Lastly, she spoke about her motto which is “Stay Shooting.” Which means to work your creative muscle. Don’t take breaks and don’t get stagnant or stale by being stuck in one box. Very good advice. I think I’ll take up a version of that and tack onto my bulletin board:

“STAY WRITING.”

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Thank you, Ms. DuVernay for sharing a wonderful hour with us!

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Lets not talk about my closed eyes on this pic. Ava is holding BOUNCE here and  that’s all that matters.

#WeNeedDiverseRomance

 

 

All the best,

KMJ

Diversify… Now!

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Happy Valentine’s Weekend!

I hope you are having a wonderful one filled with plenty of sweets and your favorite sweetheart :-)

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You all know that I’m a big advocate for diversity in romance and to speak to that I’m proud to have been invited to participate in a Romance Writer Chat  #RWChat on twitter this Sunday 2/15 with the fantastic Alisha Rai to talk about diversity in the romance industry. If you are around at 7PM EST please hop on Twitter and join in as we’d love to have you. You know my motto: #WeNeedDiverseRomance Hope to see you there!

 

diverse chat

 

All the best,

KMJ

All Day Err’re day…

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

This for sure.

No, I’m not doing NanoWrimo but I need to do my own form of some sort of marathon/ get it together writing sprint.

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You see I’ve been in a fog and a funk, but it’s time I clawed my way back to the light before the hole sinks too deep for me to come out of. My lists of potential projects is starting to feel like it’s getting bigger then my actual potential so instead of dreaming about new ideas I’d better get to actually finishing up some of the old ones. If I don’t, this rambling mind of mine won’t get a bit of peace and right now that’s what I need most.

Peace.

Wishing you all a wonderful and productive week.

 

All the best,

KMJ

 

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Wishing, Dreaming, and Feeling Golden… plus a winner announced!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

 

I don’t do well when confronted with myself. Ultra critical, when I look in the mirror it’s the faults I see first, though I’m probably not all that special in that regard. But wait, it goes further. So cringe worthy is my self-reflection, that I find the sound of my own voice, intolerable and I won’t even do the recording on our home’s answering machine. That said, you can imagine how I feel about doing public readings or private ones for that matter, as I loathe the sound of my own voice even more when it’s chiming my own words back at me. Taking every flaw that was a mere whisper in my mind and scraping it out, long and slow like nails shimmying then quick skipping along a chalk board.

All that said, still, many months ago I went and entered my self-published book BOUNCE in the New Jersey Romance Writer’s Golden Leaf contest. The contest where the winner is announced in a crowded ballroom, full of edge of their seat romance writers waiting with baited breath to  hear the winners words being read by the iconic, Anne Frazier Walradt. Why would I do such a thing? Me, a person with severe stage phobia who also doesn’t like to hear her own stories read aloud? It makes no sense.

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Well, the answer isn’t all that deep. You see, I’d been the New Jersey Romance writer’s conference many times before and like so many others I always wished I was one of ‘the ones’. Those chosen special few who for that year got to get the applause, but more than anything got to have their work read so beautify by Anne. Each passage a perfect literary triumph. So I entered, and this is where it gets a little confusing, because if truth be told,  I’m sure I entered, despite my phobias because I well and truly never expected my entry to get very far. You see I entered expecting to lose. I’m a wisher in the worst sense of the word. I make my wish and instantly negate it with a ‘and that will never happen’ on the back end on the wish.

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So long story short I entered. I entered and I made a halfhearted wish upon my entry, I’m sure backing it up with my seal of doubt and then I let it go. But then, way later, a strange thing happened. I got a call that I, me, well someone by the name of K.M. Jackson had finaled in the contest. It was a total OMG, Snoopy dance and then what in the world can this really be real moment. The Universe must surly be playing a joke on me.  Someone had took my wish and broken the seal of doubt. My system was good and truly wrecked.

But I went with it. And pulling up my big girl pants I, for the most part, slipped it to the back of my mind, telling myself that I was a not one of ‘The Ones’. That this was great and great was as good as it was gonna get so just roll with that and be happy. When friends told me to prepare an acceptance speech I laughed at them, saying what was the point. Preparing a speech took my wish and edged to closer to the dream category and dreams have a way of wiggling under your skin, making you put work behind them as you think they could possibly come true and I wasn’t ready to let that happen. Remember my phobias and I was fine with wishing ThankYouVeryMuch.  So while I was wishing I was mentally working on my perfect Oscar clap and smile for the real winner for when I didn’t hear my words read by Anne.

Finally, it was the big moment. I was sitting with my friends, trying my best to look cool as we were waiting for my category to be called. I had it all together in my head and if things would go according to my fool proof unscientific calculations there was no possible way I could be the winner. I had my clap and smile ready and waiting. The Wisher was firmly in her lane. But then it happened. Anne walked up to the podium and I heard the first few words …

“Sean reaches over and pulls my body in close to his, cradling my backside into his groin. He’s sleeping soundly, but his erection is strong and wide-awake.”

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Holy crap, she was reading from BOUNCE! I inwardly groan with embarrassment as my inner critic raised her hand to poke me in the ribs (who in the world opens a book like that?!) while at the same time my heart leaped with joyous pride. This was it. This is not my wish moment but my dream coming true. There were cameras and eyes turned my way but all I could hear was my own voice telling myself to focus. Just listen to Anne. Hear the words that I wrote. And you know what? They never sounded so good.

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Thank you to Anne Frazier Walradt and the New Jersey Romance Writers for a night I will cherish forever.

And for making a Dream come true.

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All the best,

KMJ

 

P.S. Thank you to all who entered. The Winner of my Creative Hearts Giveaway is Jackie Roberts! Congratulations Jackie. Please email me at kwanawrites @ Yahoo. Com with your information so that I can send you your gift card.

A Golden Night

Friday, September 19th, 2014

It was truly the most Golden of nights. I can’t thank my fabulous RWA/NYC chapter enough for honoring me with this year’s Golden Apple award for Author of The Year. An award so amazing that I’m sure I’ll spend the rest of my life writing to feel like I’ve actually earned it. But hey, it’s in my house now and it has my name on it so I’m not giving it back. I’m going to write on, inspired by of the glow of this magical Golden Apple.

Maybe I’ll stop sleeping with it and let the DH back into bed in a week or two? Maybe…

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 Thanks once again to my RWA/NYC chaptermates and congrats to all the winners!

 

All the best,

KMJ

Who, what, where?

Monday, August 18th, 2014

This… is so true in in my line of work and in life.

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I’ve always been a curious. As a child my family will tell you that I was constantly questioning how things worked and why things happened they way they did. A conversation with me was never a short one as there was always and extra “but why?” to follow what probably should have been the end of a conversation. This practice has continued into my adult life (I’m sure to the joy of dear DH) and served me well as a writer and as the parent of young adults. I am always questioning and digging a little deeper to find out why people think and act the way they do as I come up with new characters and plots.

Tell me are you the curious sort? Do you enjoy digging a little deeper into a good mystery? What are some of your favorite whodunits?

Wishing you a great week ahead.

 

All the best,

KMJ

Time won’t give me time…

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Ain’t that the truth? Thanks for the wisdom Culture Club.

In my ever quest at somehow getting my uncontainable life contained and in some semblance of control, I spent the better part of the weekend reading a fantastic book called Write Every Day by Cathy Yardley. Now you think writing everyday would be easy since I’m a writer and it’s my job… and all.

But hold it there, Sparky, it’s not as easy as one would assume when you’ve got the husband, kids, Facebook, The blog,  laundry, Twitter, dishes, The dog, The grocery store, The bank, Twitter, Cleaning well, everything, dinner, pick-ups, errands, family runs, did I say twitter?, oh and the dog needs to run out again all pulling for your attension just because you’re the one there and the one designed to be in charge of all the domestic stuff. Somehow it’s way too easy for the job of writing, that really is your J-O-B to get pushed to the bottom of the list when it should be at the very top. Especially if you want to make a living… and all.

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In Write Every Day, Cathy suggests tracking your time for a week to see where what you’re really spending your time on in order to see where you can find more time to write. The challenge is on! It’s time to take a brutal look at how much time I really spend going in circles and clicking on links that have nothing to do with my WIP under the guise of research.

Tell me do you know how you’re really spending your time? Would you want to track your time for a week to see what your biggest time sucks are? As you think it over join me in a little Culture Club. I can’t seem to get this song out of my head now.

 

 

All the best,

KMJ

Feeding the Beast aka Distraction Jackson

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Happy Monday!  Time to get the grind on, as if the grind ever stops when you’re in the creative arts. But honestly, I’m starting to feel the pressure as the words have not been flowing at a rate that I feel they should be, so grinding right now is what I need to do. Take what I can get and worry about it later. Just get something on the page. Everyday. Don’t overthink. Besides, all that can come later along with the internal editor.  She loves that job any way, so why should I deprive her of it?

The problem is it would seem that at this point I’d rather do just about anything but grind it out as I need to and get the words on the page. And to feed the beast of procrastination my good friend, Laura Curtis, was kind enough to gift me with some amazing needlepoint patterns and one of them just so happened to be a perfect match for my very own Jack. Isn’t it amazing? I’m finding it so hard to think of anything else right now but running to the store and getting thread to start on this project. Tell me what are ways that you procrastinate or ways that you don’t? Hmm… yeah, maybe I should start there. LOL

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All the best,

KMJ