Monday, January 28, 2008

JAN BOOK TOUR: Nathasha Brooks-Harris


Nathasha Brooks-Harris

Nathasha Brooks-Harris is the co-author of the Kimani Books (Harlequin Books) anthology, Can I Get An Amen Again, for which she developed the concept. It is the sequel to the ever-popular, Can I Get An Amen. In addition, she currently has a short story in the anthology, Erogenous Zone, and an essay in Gumbo For The Soul anthology. Her debut novel, Panache, earned her an Emma Award as Best New Author in 2002. She is the former editor of Black Romance and Bronze Thrills Magazine and the Associate Editor of True Confessions Magazine at Dorchester Media, and she edits independently under her company, NBH Literary Services. She is also a Contributing Editor at Today's Black Woman Magazine and freelances for several other publications. In her spare time, this Brooklyn-born and bred author and editor creates cloth dolls and quilts under her recently-created Studio 447.

Can I Get An Amen Again?

When Dr. Gabrielle Talbot arrives in Red Oaks, Georgia, the last thing she has on her mind is romance--that is until she meets Marcus Danforth. But will he break her heart like her ex-fiance, or will he find a way to win her trust? From Nathasha Brooks-Harris's "A Change is Gonna Come" in the anthology Can I Get An Amen Again?


What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned that life can throw you some serious curves and setbacks. I learned that when they come about, you must be strong and deal with them head-on. I also learned that whatever doesn’t kill you, fattens you, or makes you stronger, whichever comes first. I learned that even when the words wouldn’t come, a quick prayer got me back on track and writing again.

How much marketing do you do? What have you found that particularly works well for you?

Truthfully, I didn’t do any marketing of this book. I was the sole caretaker of my mother. She was ill and couldn’t be left alone. Help from family members was non-existent, so book marketing was the last thing on my mind. She was all I had left and she came first. I left it in God’s hand and just said that if it was His will, this book would do well. I let the other three co-authors know that I couldn’t do anything because her care was critical and she demanded all of my time when I wasn’t at work. I told them that it was on them and that they should do whatever they could to help move this book.

In the past, though, I found that getting out meeting the readers and fans worked best. They were able to put a face to the name and I began to develop relationships and connections with them. Speaking at conferences and teaching workshops helped me as well. I love doing that and giving back some of what I’ve learned. Romance Slam Jam has helped me in a major way. Those readers are phenomenal! They are serious about their romance-reading and are very loyal. They make authors feel like a five-pound box of new money in hundred-dollar bills! That’s pretty damn good.

What should a new writer know about the publishing business?

Very simply, writers should realize that the publishing business is about the bottom line: can their book sell? Publishers are concerned about sales and profits. No sales or profits, no book! It’s a very simple and uncomplicated concept. If a writer wants to write, she needs to go into it with the mindset that all a publisher is obligated to do once the contract is signed is to publish the book. The publisher is not obligated to push it and give the book much (if any) promotion. If the company does that, it’s a gift with a big red bow on the package. It is up to the author to push the book and make it sell. That’s where things get real interesting. From what I’ve seen, so many authors aren’t willing to do that. They sit around and complain about what the publisher is not doing to promote the book. The bottom line is this: if an author gets out there and hustles and really pushes a book and it does well, the publisher is more inclined to help with promotions for the next book or somewhere down the line.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

I wish that non-writers would understand that writing is what a serious writer does. When a non-writer calls a serious writer up and starts talking about their man problems or baby daddy drama, if a writer says I’m writing, call back later! At least, ask the writer when’s the best time to call so they can chat! That doesn’t happen. You say you’re writing and the call goes forth as if the caller is saying, So what? You’re just writing. Surely I’m more important. They just have no clue what it means to put butt in chair and write until it hurts. They see it as a joke or a hobby or something!

When it comes to writing, what do you know for sure?

When it comes to writing, I know for sure that if you don’t begin, the book won’t get written. A book begins with a single word and the determination to keep writing no matter what happens.

How can readers contact you?

Readers can contact me at:
Nathasha Brooks-Harris
P.O. Box 150232
Brooklyn, NY 11215-0232
Or by e-mail at: nabrooks@aol.com or writernbh@yahoo.com.

My website is currently under construction at www.nathashabrooksharris.com. It will be live very soon.

I love to hear from readers and fans. Please do contact me.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you via this book tour. Thanks for taking the time to read this and learn more about me and my writing. Be blessed and always remember: “To whom much is given, much is required!”

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello Readers,

Good day, afternoon or evening to you. I was asked to write a little something as we kick off my online blog tour. I’ve been on traditional book tours before, but this is my first time ever hearing about a blog tour on the Internet. Who knew what an author could do in terms of promotion online? I would like to invite you to get comfortable, pull up a chair, and stay awhile. Please check out my tour and let me know what you think. As I type this, the words of Marvin Sapp’s song play in my head: “I never could have made it without You.” You means God. Never were any words truer than those. 2007 was the worst year of my life! I never thought I would get past it. The pain in my heart was so deep that nothing I did or said could have expressed it. I didn’t know how I would go on after I lost my dear mother, or if I even wanted to. I was in a terrible place and didn’t know what to do or how I would come out. But you know what? Through the pain, the tears, and the loneliness I felt, I made it! And I know it was because of God’s love, grace, and tender mercies that I made it. Continuing in the words of Marvin Sapp’s song, I’m stronger and wiser. In the Bible, seven is a year of completion, and at 12:01 a.m. on December 31, 2007, I felt as if the storm in my life was lifted. I felt calm and at peace for the first time in a long time. Eight is the number of new beginnings, and I’ve adopted a new mantra: “Getting It Straight In 2008.” God sent me a special word and wisdom through my pastor’s sermon at Watch Night service. I knew He was speaking directly to me through my pastor. So to Rev. Clinton M. Miller, I say thank you! I am now writing again and working on the third Amen novella. What began as a single title is turning into a series. There’s obviously someone who needs the messages brought forth in our book. I’ve also gotten an acceptance for my first mainstream novel. I’m excited because it’s the first time I was able to write a book without a love scene just an engaging plot with rich characters that reads just as well without it. Yesterday, I also submitted my materials for review for a special exhibition of dolls in a trendy new gallery in Brooklyn . I like the concept of the exhibition and would love to have my art exposed on that level. As you can see, I’ve come a long way from the depression I found myself in to becoming a creative person again. My mother was one of my biggest fans and she would want me to continue writing and creating my art. Again, I would like to thank you for taking the time to share this tour with me and for reading my book. If you’ve haven’t read it, I invite you to pick it up at your favorite traditional or online bookseller. I would like to say a special thank you to the Brown Memorial Baptist Church and my church family there. My church played a vital role in helping me to come back to life and out of the darkness that was enveloping me. Happy reading, all, and be blessed.

Peace and love,
Nathasha Brooks-Harris

Vanessa A. Johnson said...

Great advice, Nathasha. We met briefly at Essence in '05. Continued success on all of your literary endeavors.

Love & Peace,
VeeJay

Dee said...

Hi Nathasa,

It's a pleasure to meet you via this blog tour. Your comments were inspirational and practical as well.

Peace,
Dee

LaShaunda said...

Nathasha was one of the first aspiring writers I met when I came online in 1999, she joined the writer’s group I started and we became fast friends. It’s been a pleasure watching her career grow. She’s had a few storms, but she refuses to let them stop her dreams. She’s an inspiration to us all. Keep your dreams alive.

It’s my pleasure to start her book tour. I hope you enjoy meeting Nathasha and pick up her books.

BiblioScribe.com said...

Nathasha - here is an additional source to help with your book marketing and announcing tours via press releases, free article submissions, and free blogs. BiblioScribe.com provides a free online service where authors and publishers can still market their book in the same place that it can be purchased. BiblioScribe.com allows members to use free article and Press release tools that embed their book as part of the article. Readers then have the opportunity of locating and buying the subject book directly from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, as well as corresponding UK and Canadian online booksellers right from the article page. Additionally, the BiblioScribe.com members’ public profile provides links to multiple books specified by the member as well as a link back to the member's website.

Patricia W. said...

Hi Nathasha!

I loved the first book and look forward to reading the second and third in the series. Don't know if I need but I sure do enjoy them! LOL!

Marvin Sapp's song is meaningful for me too. Last year was rough financially for my family, on the heels of the death of my 40 yo niece. But God's got a way of cradling those broken pieces so that none are lost and putting them back together so that they're stronger than ever. Glad to hear you're soldiering on. We miss you over at Truewriters. Pop in and give everyone an update to promote your new book!

Patricia