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:
P.O. Box 150232
Brooklyn, NY 11215-0232
Or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.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!”