Saturday, August 1, 2020

THE FIRST TO LIE

I won this contest about two weeks ago and was ecstatic! 

I didn't see it until the last day of the contest and was the last entry. 

Wouldn't you know I won! 

I had a fan girl moment! Hank Phillippi Ryan is one of those authors that I would follow around the country on her book tour. Not like a stalker, mind you, but like a true super fan!

So to win an advanced copy of her latest novel, BEFORE it hit the bookshelves was an honor and a privilege. 

The First To Lie is one of those; I think I know who is lying but then it turns out not to be who you thought it was! 

The saying, Liar, liar pants on fire; truly applies to this novel.

Ryan has twisted the story so much that you get lost in the characters and lost down the rabbit hole and you then start to question whether you would lie to get what you wanted. Or have you lied to get what you have?

This novel leaves you guessing, guessing and then gasping when the truth is finally unearthed.

You better grab this novel quick but don't plan on getting any rest. This novel will keep your mind racing until the end and then it will jolt you the conclusion.

Pick up your copy today. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

8 MINUTES AND 46 SECONDS

No one knew exactly how long that was until George Floyd was murdered.

Eight minutes and 46 seconds. 

Have you sat for that long? Have you timed it?

I did.

It's a helluva a long time.

It is almost 4 commercial radio songs. 

It is 8 commercials on TV. 

It is 16  thirty second commercials on TV.  

It is half of a quarter of football. 

It is almost a full quarter in basketball.

It is microwaving 3 bags of popcorn. 

It is how long pasta needs to cook to be al dente.

That is a long time to kneel.

I tried that as well. I could barely get up after kneeling for that long.

If you haven't sat still and timed it; I challenge you to do it now.

Eight minutes and 46 seconds it how long it took for someone to take a life.

Think about that the next time we are standing in line for two minutes. Think about that when we are waiting for that latte at Starbucks. Think about that when that red light catches us.

Eight minutes and 46 seconds is how long it took for George Floyd to lose his life.

Everything else doesn't seem that important now, does it?

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

I CAN'T BREATH

That's what  he was saying before he died.

That is what we all have been saying as a country this week.

That is what we shall continue to say for months and years to come.

The question I have...How long will the protests go on? How long with this be the ''in'' protest? How long will our young people raise up their voices?

For so long, the pandemic took control of our lives, our media and our social networks. 

Now this has our attention, but for how long?

This type of brutality happens almost weekly and yet we are not out marching and raising our voices.

This type of brutality happens in the black community daily. It may not lead to murder but it leads to false arrests, it leads to broken bones or fractured nerves. It leads to black men and black women being afraid to leave their homes and cross paths with certain officers.

Black lives matter but so do the brown lives, the homeless lives and all lives.

We, Black Americans, have become used to treatment like this. Which is so sad. 

The difference is; now there are camera's to record what we have been saying for years. 

That we are treated differently than our white neighbors, friends and sometimes white family members.

When will America listen?

The protests are NOT just about George Floyd. It is about the human rights of Black Americans.

The civil rights of black Americans have always been of concern.

Now you have the military involved. Look at pictures from the 60's, are these the times we are about to experience? 

I surely hope not.

We have much to do on this issue and being silent is no longer an option.

Monday, May 18, 2020

AUTHORS DURING THE PANDEMIC

For the last three Fridays, I have been going to a bar.

I have listened to some amazing authors read from their works or read from short stories that they have written.

All of this would not be possible if not for the ingenuous or maybe it's just crazy, mind of  +EdAymer. 

He is the mastermind behind Noir At The Bar. Something he has done for a while and what used to be hosted at a bar in DC.

Well since the pandemic and ''stay at  home'' orders were issued, he has still hosted his events at the bar.

Well, virtual bar that is.

He has had an INCREDIBLE line up of authors.

He even has a pianist and mixologist.

Every Friday, ranging from 8pm to 9pm, there have been at least six authors reading.

Everything from thriller to mysteries.

At it's peak there have been over 200 people at this virtual Noir At The Bar.

Where else can you interact with other people, listen to great readings and enjoy leaning how to make new drinks and hear some amazing music.

Who says you have to go out to enjoy every luxury that your local bar can give you?

If you aren't doing anything on Friday, why not join us for Episode 4 of  +NoirAtTheBar at 8pm. There will be more authors, more fun and you never know what can happen. Join us and see just how much fun we are having while still staying home.

Social Distance? Sure, we can handle that hand's down. Check out some of the authors that have attended and read for us.

+AustinCamacho +MattIden +ZackPowers +RoseSolari +TaraCampbell +JohnCopenhaver all joined us; just to name a few.









Wednesday, May 13, 2020

READING EVERYTHING

I have taken to reading everything that I can.

I am now reading a murder thriller that has me sleepless at night. Why do I continue reading it?  Because the author has done a great job of keeping me interested in the story with the action and the suspense.

What are you doing during your time at home and in between working from home and being a full time teacher to your kids. (if you have some)

If you haven't checked out my latest books; here is a great time to do it.

I am on Amazon and my e-books are everywhere.

What books are you reading? Let me know on my author page on Facebook. 

Monday, April 20, 2020

STAY AT HOME AND DO WHAT

For an author this is the best time to get some major writing done.

We normally have so many things going on that we have to "schedule" time to do what we love.

Now because of the pandemic, we are getting as much time as we need to, to write.

Are you using this time to write? or do you still need some motivation?

I have found that this is the perfect time for me. What else could be better for a setting than staying in your house, trying not to kill your husband and children.

This is the perfect time to come up with a murder mystery. How could you kill them and get away with it during this time? How could you use this time to wisely?

Well first you have to go back into that writing room that you set up a year ago with the intention of writing every day.

Then you have to sit there and dream up of so many scenarios that you have to have a white board to keep up with the ideas.

Next, call up Staples and have them send over ink and paper because the words will be flowing out of you at a fast pace.

Ok, so that may not actually work but now is the perfect time to stir up those creative juices and get to writing that next installment or new novel. 

How are you spending this time during the pandemic? 

Are you writing or still find an excuse not to write?

Let me know on my FB author page, Author B Swangin Webster.

As for me, I am still editing but I have a new novel in my head and as soon as these edits are finished, that new novel is already written. All I have to do is put it on paper.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

DIVERSITY VS SEGREGATION

I had an interesting conversation with a fellow author about segregation and diversity.

An an African American author; I would hope that I am being diverse in my writing. I have "black" characters but I also have characters that I have not 'colorized' and hope that people read into it what they want. 

One of my favorite authors, writes an action thriller novel and I always thought his character was black. When I asked him about it, he says. "His character is whomever you want him to be. People have told me that they thought he was white. Others have said they thought he was black. But I purposefully didn't give him a distinct ethnic background. I want my readers to be diverse and telling them the color would not make me diverse."

I found that very interesting.

Talking to other African American authors, they don't seem to know the difference. They want to "write for the black readers." 

That's the difference with me. 

I want to write for ALL readers. I want my audience to be diverse and not segregated. Take for instance a group on FB that is called Mystery Writers of Color. They welcome all people of color. Black, Hispanic, Italian, Indian, etc. 

Imagine what kind of backlash this group would get if it was called the Mystery Writers of White People. They would only welcome white authors. 

Would we (people of color) be offended? Would we demand that they "include" us? Would we ban together and demand that FB delete that account? Would we begin posting that people shouldn't buy their novels because they are segregating other authors from their group?

Is this segregation or diversity? Is it diversity when we create groups for ONLY people of color. What about being called Mystery Writers of FB. How about that? 

Another interesting comment was made to me. Some think that people of color should be given discounted rates for attending conferences because we are "people of color" and might not be able to afford to attend. This same person said that Thrillerfest is mostly white and I pointed out that although it is mostly attended by white authors. They pay their money just like me to attend. Well what about the white authors that attend the same conference and have to pay full price for attending. Should they get a discount as well? 

I asked E. Jerome Dickey why he never attended Thrillerfest. A conference for thriller writers. His words, "they need to reach out to me to attend." 

In what world! I wanted to scream. No one there is big enough to have Thrillerfest reach out to them. Mostly everyone pays for attending that conference. Only NY Times best sellers have publicists that tell them to attend this conference. They push their author out there. Even NY Times best sellers have to pay for a hotel; just like me. Unless their have a mega contract and their publisher decides to pay for their hotel. 

You would be surprised in the amount of times that actually happens. Most of the time, they have to pay for their food. Just like me. Why is he different? Because he's black? Get out of here! If he paid for that conference and the people that run it, do their homework like they always do, then they would reach out to him. 

He is a big name in the African American community but no where else. Why is that? I am not sure why. 

I'm confused. We (people of color) want to be noticed for our writing yet some of us only write to a black audience. 

The very first speaking engagement I had was to a room full of white women for the Chamber of Commerce where I was residing at the time. They were welcoming and very entertained by my novel. Although my novel had main characters that were black, the problems that they encountered were problems that everyone has. Money issues, cheating in a marriage, business issues and wayward teenagers. They didn't see the characters as just black, they saw them as people and that is what I wanted.

My next novel doesn't describe the characters as either black or white. They are simply twins, living their lives and trying to find love. 

What do you think? Are authors of color trying to be diverse or are they segregating themselves by only writing and attending "people of color" events?