Get To Know Trae Ferguson!

tracy

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Tracey Delisa also known as Trae Ferguson is a native of Baltimore, Maryland who found her love for reading at an early age. She started writing poems and stories as a teen, but always dreamed of one day writing a novel. In 2011, Trae made her dream a reality with the release of her jaw dropping debut novel, Sweet 16 that will open your eyes to sexual and physical abuse. She took a softer yet straight forward approach in 2012 with her book of short stories, which was written for teens, about teens titled Run, Tell That! In 2014 she continued to address real life issues in her most controversial book thus far, Two Face, Things Aren’t Always What They Seem, which takes you on a journey through the eyes of a 5 year boy who is diagnosed with gender identity disorder and In 2016 created her first teen magazine also titled Run,Tell That! Which was designed to encourage and inspire other teens. Trae invites you all to join her in her efforts to bring awareness and break the silence of abuse.

mag runtt runtt2sweet 16

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1. When did you decide to become a writer?
Becoming a writer was never a decision I made, it was something I was born to do. I have been writing since I was a child. It started off as poetry and short stories, but  always knew one day I would write a book and in 2009 I did just that. I just started writing this story one day and six months later I had finished my first novel, Sweet 16.
2. Why do you write?
I write a lot of stories about abuse to be a voice for those to afraid to speak for themselves. I want victims of abuse to know they are not alone, it is not their fault. I want to bring awareness, encourage and inspire through the written word.
3. Which writers inspire you and why?
The three authors that have inspired me the most is Nisha Pettiford with her willingness to help and inspire others. She is such a beautiful person inside and out and then there’s Loretta Walls and Nikkea Sharee’ , they inspire me with they drive, dedication and determination and I am so proud of them both and a fan of their work.
4. What is your favorite book and why?
My favorite book is The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah. This book grabbed my attention and didn’t let me go from start to finish. I feel as if I was apart of the story and it was very well written with a great storyline.
5. Of all of the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
My favorite character to date is Jovon Taylor of my debut novel Sweet 16, I see myself in this charactor as we share the keep it real attitude and the ability to accept the conquences of our actions. We don’t play the victim but revengeance will be ours.
6. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Yes I read my reviews and I admit I didn’t handle it well in the beginning but then I realized it was helping become a better writer. My advice is DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL!!
7. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I think I have evolved creatively because of the fearlessness I have in my subject matter. I like writing outside the lines and I won’t to be different. I don’t want to be like everyone else in the industry.
8. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
This is a hard one, I gotta think about this some more.
9. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
My advice to aspiring authors would be to do your research, make make Google your best friend. Build your library with books on editing, publishing,promoting and marketing. LEARN YOUR CRAFT AND INVEST IN IT.
10. Why do you think so many well-written books don’t sell?
.I think a lot of well written books don’t sell due to poor promotion and marketing, which I myself am guilty of. The easy part was writing the book, the hard work begins once it’s finished.
11. Where do you see publishing going in the future? How do you think we can promote and increase diversity within the literary industry?
I have no idea where publishing will be in the future because it changes every day.
12. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
My future ambitions for my writing career would be to transform my debut novel Sweet 16 into a movie, that has been my dream from day one.
13. How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Facebook: Author Tracey Delisa
Instagram: trae_mac69
Twitter: @TraeFerguson or @TraeyDelisa
14. Are there any final words for the readers of Reading in Black & White?
I would like to thank Reading in Black & White to introduce myself to our readers and I hope you will join me on my mission to promote positivity, uplift and encourage our youth to make this world a better place.
two face
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Diane and Kristopher Michaels had been happily married for over five years when they were blessed with their first born son, Kristopher Jr. They thought this day would never come after two devastating miscarriages. Kristopher Jr. was a dream come true for the proud father, but his dream would soon turn into a nightmare. At the age of five Kristopher Jr. is diagnosed with gender identity disorder which leaves him feeling trapped in the wrong body. Kristopher Jr. faces heartache and constant rejection from his family and friends as he transforms into the beautiful Krisette. Krisette finally finds happiness and true love when she marries her high school sweetheart Derek McQueen, but what should be a happily ever after turns into a situation of deadly consequences once her secret is revealed.
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“Because I am a girl on the inside, but I look like a boy on the outside,” K.J. explained.
Yes, this book went there!! Two Face is the story of a boy who at a very young age knew he was in the wrong body and was supposed to be a girl. It not only explores his journey but that of his parents and how they dealt with it.
“I thought God didn’t make mistakes; well what in the hell do you call this? All I ever wanted was a son to carry on the Michaels name and now that I have one, he wants to be my daughter.”
It was quite interesting to read K.J.’s transformation from being a little boy into a young woman. I haven’t personally known anyone that has went through this so it was hard for me to have a connection with the main character. But, his parents were another story. One parent was accepting and the other couldn’t handle it. The parent’s reactions were mixed and I found that to be quite believable. I think the dad went to the extreme, but some folks do that and you will have to read the book to see what I am talking about. This book makes you ponder when you say you love someone unconditionally, do you really mean it or only when they fit into your image of them.

Two Face is a one of a kind book! It is unique in the subject matter and quite risky. This served as a wake up call to me because while I am friends with several homosexuals I have never met anyone that has surgically changed their gender. The experiences and events throughout the book were eye-opening.

I was fully into the book until K.J. received the actual surgery. From here, it seemed rushed and not as well-developed as the book up to this point. For this reason I dropped my rating from a four to a three. In conclusion, I applaud Trae Ferguson for being bold enough to write this book!!!

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Get To Know Nikki-Michelle!

Today I am honored to have Nikki-Michelle on the blog. She has contributed to several anthologies and is the author of several novels including the recently released, Bi-Satisifed. Check out our little chat!!

  1. When did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve always written. As a child, I used writing as a way to escape. I could create any made up land and just get away from it all. But my first published work didn’t hit the shelves until 2011.

  1. Why do you write?

I don’t know if I have one solid answer for this one. The main reason I write is because I love it. There is nothing like sitting down and creating a whole world where you have control of all the characters. You can give them a happily ever after or you can choose to make their lives a living hell. I also write, hopefully, to give someone else a way to escape as well. Or maybe to help someone heal. Maybe they will see themselves in one of my characters and start a journey to self-reflection. So many reasons, not enough time to explain them all. LOL

  1. Which writers inspire you and why?

Brenda Hampton because she has to be one of the most selfless people I know. She showed me how to remain humble all the while appreciating every step of my journey as a writer. Also, her Naughty Series taught me that there was no one way to love. Eric Jerome Dickey because, well, Eric Jerome Dickey. LOL. Mr. Dickey knows his way around a book. He has the ability to get you so caught up in a story that by the time you’re finished, you’re pondering on things that you’ve never thought about before. Brenda Jackson because she taught there was a such thing as a happily every after for Black love without all the unnecessary drama. She showed me Black love in such a positive light that she will forever be in my heart as a fave. Beverly Jenkins because she showed me historical Black love. My first time reading her books sent me over the top. I spent a good portion of my paychecks from Walmart buying her books. LOL I was just recently introduced to Mr. Older’s work. His Bone Street Rumba Series took me on a wild ride. His characters are so diverse and not just in race, but religion, creed, and sexual orientation.

  1. What is your favorite book and why?

Wow. Well this is a hard one. But I’ll just go with a book I recently read which is The Blackbirds by Eric Jerome Dickey. This book showed Black women in every walk of life; the good, the bad, the ugly, and the downright disgraceful. I appreciated that a Black man could write about such a diverse cast of Black women friends and not one was a backbiter. These Black women had one another’s back like none I’d ever seen.

  1. Of all of the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?

I have two actually. I’m going to go with David and Summer from Bi-Satisfied. They took me out of my comfort zone. In the end, I think it made me a better writer.

  1. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I do read all my reviews. I will never respond to a review, good, bad, or other. There is no need for me to respond as every reader is entitled to their opinions. Do some of the bad ones’ sting? Of course they do. Some readers can be very blunt. But once the emotions wear off, you will find that some of those bad reviews can be very helpful. As far as advice, get out your feelings first. LOL Then go back and read the review without your emotions involved. I promise, as long as the reader is not attacking you personally, you’re going to find a hidden gem inside of that review.

  1. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

Before, I would limit myself on what I thought I could or couldn’t write. Now, I feel there is no genre I can’t tackle. Also, I read a lot more now than I ever did before and my reading list is becoming a bit more diverse. Any writer worth their salt will tell you that reading across genres and authors will definitely help your artistry to evolve.

  1. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

Roots because I don’t know where my family came from. I know as far as my great-grandmother. That’s it. So, definitely I would pick Roots.

  1. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Find a mentor who has been writing for a long time. I mean one from back when publishing was about molding good authors and their craft. One who was an author before the age of Amazon only publishing. Or one who, although only became popular because of Amazon, knows the importance of editing one’s work, positive social media presence, and how to respect others’ craft. Also, read. Never stop reading. It is how you will grow as a writer.

  1. Why do you think so many well-written books don’t sell?

Amazon has made it easy for the not so well-crafted book to sell in droves while those who have been crafted well get shafted. If you notice, a lot of the “best sellers” on Amazon cater to a specific market. They are speaking those readers’ language. It’s a sad state of affairs, but that’s where we are right now.

  1. Where do you see publishing going in the future? How do you think we can promote and increase diversity within the literary industry?

I’m going to be optimistic and say, hopefully, publishing will get bigger and better. Those who are serious about honing their crafts will be able to find stable footing in a saturated market. To be honest, I think Black authors and readers have always been inclusive as far as diversity is concerned. More Black readers will read across genres and authors than the other way around. Also, you will find that Black authors will more than likely write diversity into their stories as well. We’ve been on the outside yelling inside like, “Hey! We’re here. Open up and let us in!” The diversity thing is a sensitive topic. However, we can’t fix it if we only keep talking about it amongst one another. We need the publishing houses to hear us, feel us, understand us, and then do something about it.

  1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I want to leave a positive impact on the world through my writing. I keep trying to write the perfect book (if there is even a such thing). I haven’t gotten there, but I’ll keep writing until I make history. I have to leave something substantial behind for my children.

  1. How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Website: nikki-michelle.com

Blog: nikki-michelle.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nikkiblac

Instagram: NikkiMichelle1984

Twitter: @NikkiMichelle84

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Nikki-Michelle/e/B007KP337K

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4884914.Nikki_Michelle

  1. Are there any final words for the readers of Reading in Black & White?

First, I’d like to thank you for having me. The questions were thought provoking and required me to think before answering. That is very much appreciated. To your readers, read what you like. Read what you love. I don’t care what you read, as long as you’re reading. In the words of Edmund Wilson, “no two persons will ever read the same book.”

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nikki michelle

Nikki-Michelle resides in Metro- Atlanta, Georgia by way of Lexington, Mississippi. Carried by her love of reading, she began writing at the early age of twelve and has been on a journey of “trying” to pen the perfect novel ever since (she’s still working on that). Her love of writing and wanting to create stories with true to life situations are what inspire her to continue to write stories readers will enjoy with characters they can relate to. You can catch her works in the previously released anthologies ‘If Only For One Night 1&2,’ ‘Full Figured 3’, and ‘Girls From Da Hood 7’. Her full-length works include ‘Tell Me No Secrets’ and ‘Tell Me No Lies’ and the critically acclaimed, Bi-Satisfied.

 

bi satisfied cover

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Summer Kennedy is a power player in Atlanta, GA. She has been on a journey of self-discovery since she was old enough to remember. From love to the identity of her real parents to her openly brazen sexuality, she has always felt something was missing.  Working side by side with powerhouse lawyer and best friend David Hall, an openly bi-sexual black male, Summer feels a spark with David that dares to challenge the laws of attraction. Can Summer lose herself in David’s erotic call?When Michael, David’s friend and ex-lover, comes into town, the game of cat and mouse between two friends changes everything for Summer. Michael is aware of her sexual desires, and he uses her in his plot against the man who did something so unforgivable that ten years later, Michael is still looking to make him pay. In order to understand the method to Michael’s madness, you’ll have to take a walk on the wild side. Take a journey of learning to accept what society deems as unacceptable. Find out what happens when you mix sex, half-truths, and hidden agendas with burning lust and sexual curiosity.

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 Click here to buy the book an Amazon!!