Tag Archive | books

Women’s History Month – Kate’s Influence

Meet Kate Policani – Author, Writer, Blogger, Journalist and More

Kate Policani

In the spirit of Women’s History Month, I asked Kate to share a little something about the woman writer who influenced her most, and below is her offering. Fascinating! Read on…

“When considering my favorite women authors, Jane Austen is the first name that comes to mind and one of my favorite authors of all time. She is a classic author holding the status of a staple of English literature. But her writing means more to me than just classics that we all read and metaphorically dissect in high school English class. Her books, and not just the ones made into movies, provided me with a wealth lacking in my culture.

Austen’s work has a wealth of culture. When I first read them in my teen years they supplied me with rich, mature subjects at a time when I was surrounded by shallow media. The stories brim with dynamic relationships and overflow with emotional intelligence. I loved, and still love, the simplicity coupled with the complexity of life. They were the opposites of my full, loud, busy life with scant substance.

My love for Austen’s books and the modesty of the period spurred me to seek other authors from her era. Bronte, Burney, and others provided me with entertaining stories as well as insight into my own culture’s downfalls and virtues. I lived in a culture where I had to cling to and protect my own innocence from intruding media filled with pornography and violence. It seems life is more violent and explicit now, at least in public, than it was through their eyes.

Austen and her contemporaries struggled with life as second-class beings, dependent on their fathers and husbands for freedoms most of us take for granted these days. Their culture was very different but their desires were the same: to be loved, to be respected, to protect those they loved, and to succeed in life. All this, Austen conveyed through story and character in a way that brought the struggles to life. As women who can own property, can be educated equally with men, and can make legal decisions ourselves, we can learn a lot from Austen’s work about strength and resourcefulness. We can remember that the freedoms we have aren’t something that women have always enjoyed, and we can be grateful to those who won those freedoms for us.”

Thank you Kate for sharing your thoughts about the woman writer who influenced you. You are not alone; there are many Jane Austen fans, and isn’t it wonderful to know that even generations later, she is still shaping lives with her masterfully crafted words.

To learn more about Kate’s wonderful collection of books and writings (and purchase a copy or two), visit her at:
Kate Policani.com
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Twitter
Goodreads

Women’s History Month – The Influence of Women Writers

During March, we take the opportunity to highlight the accomplishments that women have made to this country. I, too, want to recognize Women’s History Month by celebrating a variety of women writers; many who have influenced me. I encourage you to make a special effort this month to read works by the talented women writers I have chosen to spotlight below. In addition, I invited four of my contemporaries (Kate Policani, Pari Danian, Simone da Costa, and Sean Wright) to share their thoughts on the women writers who influenced them. They graciously accepted my invitation and their posts will appear every Friday this month on my web site. So join me and my guest writers in this month-long celebration of the women writers we love.

Ann Petry was the first black woman author to top sales of over one million copies for her novel, The Street (1946). She also wrote short stories and children’s books.

Elizabeth George is an American who writes mysteries set in England. Her popular Inspector Lynley Mysteries have been adapted for TV by the BBC.

Helene Johnson’s poems are considered a model for aspiring poets. Her best known work, Poem, is still celebrated today for its simple majesty. She died in 1995 at age 89.

Susan L. Taylor served as editor-in-chief for Essence magazine for almost twenty years. In the Spirit is a collection of her inspirational columns from that magazine.

Anita Shreve has written more than a dozen novels, several of which have been adapted to the big screen. Early in her writing career, she won an O. Henry prize for short fiction.

Tina McElroy Ansa is known as a novelist but her talents extend to journalism, screenwriting, publishing and more. Her novels have held spots on many national bestseller lists.

Bebe Moore Campbell was a best-selling, award-winning author whose works dealt heavily with race relations, social causes and effects, and socio-economic gaps. She died at age 56, a treasured legend.

Alice Dunbar-Nelson published her first book, Violets and Other Tales in 1895. However, she achieved success with The Goodness of St. Rocque, which showed blacks in roles other than as slaves or minstrels.

Margaret Atwood won the Booker Prize, an international prize for fiction, in 2000. Her works have been translated into more than forty languages.

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper published her first volume of poetry at age twenty in 1845. Her writings tackled the tough issues of her time such as abolition, human rights and equality.

Jamaica Kincaid immigrated to the U. S. at age 16. She was a staff writer for The New Yorker and authored many short stories, articles, essays, as well as novels.

Sandra Brown has published more than seventy novels in the romance and other genres. Her works appear regularly on the New York Times bestseller list, and have shattered worldwide sales records.

Valerie Wilson Wesley writes children’s books (Willimena Rules), mysteries (Tamara Hayle Mysteries), and novels. Many of her works have achieved bestseller status and won awards.

Nora Ephron turned to screen and novel writing after a successful career as a journalist. Her works have been published in Esquire, New York Times magazine, and other notable publications. Later in life, she became a film director and producer.

Diane McKinney-Whetstone’s novels have captured many awards including the Black Caucus Literary Award for Fiction — twice! She also writes short works which have appeared in magazines and anthologies.

Anne Rice has written more than 28 novels, several of which were made into movies. Later in her writing career, she turned to Christian writing.

Sandra Cisneros’ collections of stories have appeared on bookshelves since the eighties. Few American writers have achieved the international success that she enjoys; this, a testimony to the universal messages embedded in her works.

Jan Karon started writing at ten years old and won her first writing competition at that age. She is the award-winning, bestselling author of the Mitford series and Father Tim novels.

Connie Briscoe’s works have made frequent appearances on bestseller lists nationwide. She has penned novels, a novella and non-fiction works.

Eudora Welty is an American literary icon, who, upon her death in 2001, left the home where she lived and wrote her fiction and essays to the state of Mississippi.

My Valentine’s Gift to You

I am tickled pink to send you love and blessings on this recognized day of love. And in honor of Valentine’s Day, I want to give you a gift to show you how much I appreciate your loving support, likes, and comments. So here’s my Valentine’s gift to you…

First peek at my new book cover…

Just click above on the “What’s New?” tab and take a look. I am so excited that the book (my first major publication since 2006) is almost here and so glad you’re taking this journey with me.

Have a love-ly day and I’m off to go find chocolate-covered strawberries. Yum!

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

A number of authors are participating in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. What’s that, you ask? It’s an opportunity for readers to learn about an author’s next big thing–a book, movie, research trip, conference, etc. by hopping from blog to blog. On participating sites, readers, writers or literary followers can read interviews, book excerpts, interesting facts, and more. Join the blog hop by reading my comments below concerning my next big thing, Fuller’s Curse, which will be published in April 2013. Then, blog hop by clicking on the other author links that I have presented below. At their site, you can learn about their next big thing.

What is the title of your next book? Fuller’s Curse

Where did the idea come from for the book? Fuller’s Curse is a fictional horror story based on the Biblical scripture about generational curses and blessings. At the time that that scripture was floating around in my head (July 1999), John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s plane went down and I remember asking myself, Are they cursed? And that was the start of Fuller’s Curse. But let me be clear. I am NOT saying the Kennedys are cursed. I wouldn’t presume to label any family as cursed or blessed. All I’m saying is those two incidences converged to form the idea for the story.

What genre does your book fall under? Horror, which I never thought I would write in a million years even though I am a Stephen King fan. Actually, I thought Fuller’s Curse was a mainstream or literary story but the market dictated otherwise.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? What a fun thing to think about… I think the young actress Keke Palmer would do a bang-up job as Hope. I really love her work. She’s dynamic. I would choose Alfre Woodard as Deborah. She’s another actress who always shines and turns in outstanding performances. Louis Gossett, Jr. as Governor is a must. I think his body build and demeanor is so Governor. And for Mattie…well, I have no idea. How about a casting call for an elderly, small, short, feisty African American woman?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A mother discovers her family is cursed and must commit the ultimate sacrifice to rid the family of the curse.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Fuller’s Curse is published by A New Thing Publishing, my publishing company, which is another thing I thought I would never do–form and run a publishing company. But, I am learning through maturity to never say never.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? The first draft took eleven months to write. I started the book at a writer’s retreat in Hawaii in the fall of 2000 and finished it the following summer after unplugging the phone, disconnecting the doorbell and parking the car in the garage. I told my family and friends I was dead so don’t call or visit. That’s the only way I was able to finally finish the first draft. The second draft, which I thought would be the final draft, took five months to complete and I tell you by the end of that draft I didn’t want to write anything else about the Fuller family. But then, we made some book cover decisions which forced me to re-write a few scenes. Aaaauuuugggghhhh! I thought I was going to lose my mind. But luckily those rewrites only took a few weeks. I am currently reviewing the ARC (Advanced Reading Copy), looking for typos and any glaring errors. The ebook will be available to readers April 23, 2013; the print/hard copy version a month later.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? My first thought is I haven’t a clue, but as I think a bit more, I’d have to say The Living Blood by Tananarive Due. She is a master story teller and an excellent writer. I wouldn’t mind being compared to her (smile!).

Who or what inspired you to write this book? The short answer is the Bible and the Kennedys. The long answer is presented above under the question, “Where did the idea come from for the book?”

What else about your book might pique the reader interest? For those who refuse to read books with violence or stories set in Dallas, don’t buy or read this book. For everybody else, regardless of whether you read horror or not, buy and read this psychological and emotional thriller that follows Deborah Fuller-King as she tries to discover why so many of her family members are dying accidentally. She’s heard rumors of a curse but really that’s just her crazy cousin talking, isn’t it? Besides curses aren’t real, right? At least that’s what she thinks until another family member comes up dead.

Ready to blog hop? Here are a few authors with big things to read about.
www.goldiebrowning.com
www.kat-smith.com
www.nikkicoe.com

By the way, if you don’t have time to blog hop now, come back later. We’ll be here!

Turning the Page!

Welcome!

In 1995, my first book After Hours was published. Since then, my writing career has been as unpredictable as the weather. I thought I would continue in the romance genre forever, but four romance novels and one novella later (all written under my pen name of Anna Larence) I found myself wanting to stretch as a writer.

I turned down a publishing contract so I could focus on learning the mechanics of prose fiction, script and non-fiction writing. I took so many classes at community colleges, universities and through writers groups that if I added all the class hours I would have another degree.

To apply my new knowledge, I switched my professional career from telecommunications to corporate communications, taking on such roles as staff writer, associate editor, public relations specialist and marketing manager. While I enjoyed these positions, something was still missing, and I realized that if I wanted to be authentic and truly happy, I needed to be a full-time fiction writer. So I quit, walked away from corporate (a second time) to write the stories that were simmering in my heart and mind.

Regardless of whether I am crafting a short story, novel, article, novella, essay or script, I am happy and fulfilled. And because I know firsthand from my work in communications the influence and power the written word has in effecting people, I take time and care with my words more so than in the past.

Lovers of words, word crafters, and fans of great storytelling…you’re all invited to join me in this world that I love—the world of books, words, reading and writing.