Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Step into the Literary Cafe with L.A. Banks

The Forbidden by L.A. Banks

Internationally recognized author of over 20 novels and novellas, L.A. Banks, releases – THE FORBIDDEN -- her fifth book in The Vampire Huntress Legends Series, published by St. Martin’s Press, NYC.

Banks, a unique renaissance woman who built her stellar career out of the ashes of a personal tragedy, has won the hearts and minds of fans in the US, as well as readers in Canada, Japan, Australia, The Netherlands, London, Scotland, and Russia—where the first book in the series, Minion, just sold for translation into that foreign language.

Her works, which have been consistently rooted in positive messages read by thousands, have expanded to include another first in African American fiction--namely, a Vampire Huntress Legend. From her socially relevant themes in women's fiction, Ms. Banks went even further to develop an urban legend aimed at youth, with heavy social messages within her female empowered Vampire Huntress Legend series (see more details enclosed.) Using the insidious nature of the music industry, gansta rap, and the lore of drug/street life as a backdrop for demonic activity, Ms. Banks created a successful, nine book urban legend whereby a multicultural family fights against the odds of evil and wins! Woven throughout the tale are historical facts, economics, global politics, and science.

>>So it was right after work - left a little early in anticipation - and I was at home, logged on and no L.A Banks. I had sent a friendly email reminder. She responsed, just as friendly. Looked at my buddy list. No L.A. So I called and she was right there, bubbly and waiting on me! It boiled down to technical difficulitles that were quickly straightened out. I settled back in the couch with my laptop propped on my knees, took a sip of my diet Sunkist orange pop and started typing. I invited L.A. into the literary cafe ...... <<

"L.A Banks" [11:15 A.M.]: Hey, lady!

"NikkiWoods" [11:15 A.M.]: OK! We have contact!

"L.A Banks" [11:16 A.M.]: YO!

"NikkiWoods" [11:16 A.M.]: LOL! You are too funny.

"L.A Banks"
[11:16 A.M.]: LOL

"NikkiWoods" [11:16 A.M.]: So--just so you know--we are now going on the record!

"L.A Banks" [11:16 A.M.]: COOL!

"NikkiWoods" [11:16 A.M.]: So why don't we start by you telling me how you first got
started with your writing.

"L.A Banks" [11:18 A.M.]: Oh, my goodness... that's a LONG story--but suffice to say that, Divine Intervention got me started. My daughter, who was six months old at the time, pulled an iron down on herself at a day care lady's home. My day job had been a sales exec for a major Fortune 100 high tech firm, and I was traveling 60% of the time. When this happened, I was laid off, came home to help her recover through 17 surgeries for the burns, whereby she lost 3 fingers... it was a nightmare. Then, I was also going through a divorce. Everything was coming down on me at once--no money, no job, hurt child, and a short story contest for Essence Mag came in the door. Ten pages for $2,500. I was on it!
... 3 days later I had 75 pages. I gave it to girlfriends to help me edit it down so I could submit it. They said, "No, chile! We HAVE to find out what's gonna happen to Victor and Liza!" LOL! I gave up the contest idea and kept writing, because it was keeping me sane, whew! No medical and dental meant forget therapy... this was cheap therapy, ha ha ha. When I was done, they said I had a book, I was like, "Yeah right, I need a job with flex hours." They believed in me when I didn't believe in myself and started mailing out the manuscript to all of creation--and I started getting rejection letters in from everywhere... but one editor bit--BIG SMILE. She called with a two book deal from Arabesque, and the rest is history!

"NikkiWoods" [11:23 A.M.]: Now here we are 20 books later.

"L.A Banks" [11:23 A.M.]: Yes... hard to believe, but true--which is why I have Divine Intervention in every book I do :)

"NikkiWoods" [11:24 A.M.]: You write under three different pseudonyms. Is it hard to keep the personas straight?

"L.A Banks" [11:25 A.M.]: YES! LOL! But it was necessary because folks who like romance don't necessarily want to read about more gritty stuff, and folks who read crime thrillers aren't always into fantasy, and the folks who read fantasy want what they want--so it's a necessary thing.

"NikkiWoods" [11:25 A.M.]: Which one do you prefer--if that is even a fair question? ......

"L.A Banks" [11:27 A.M.]: Oh, it's a very fair question. I LOVE the Vampire Huntress Legend series the best (shush, don't tell my publishers, LOL)... only because I can do ALL genres in one. Romance, action-adventure, crime stuff, plus I can create universes within universes within that tale, and bring in all the old prayer warrior basics that I was raised with, cultural identifiers, etc. It's the whole thing in one genre!

"NikkiWoods" [11:27 A.M.]: Have you been interested in Vampires all your life? Your books are VERY detailed .... I can only imagine the time the research took.

"L.A Banks" [11:29 A.M.]: NO, LOL! Sure, as a kid, I'd watch "Creature Double Feature" or "Dark Shadows" (mess like that), but as an "interest" no. Actually, the idea came from watching the nightly news... people were and are preying on each other--literally sucking the life blood out of communities--which is what made me go, "AH HA!" The detail and research is just my crazy way that I had to really get in-depth, and I did it for all my books really, because I want the characters and situations to literally walk off the page. If it's a love scene, I want you to smell it, taste it, feel it, hear it, LOL.. if I'm trying to scare you, I want you to jump when your phone rings. Research is the foundation.

"NikkiWoods" [11:31 A.M.]: I know when I first picked up your book, I immediately put it down because I tend to stray away from the darker side of things, but in The Vampire Huntress Legends Series you really base everything on very positive messages. So, I certainly commend you for that.

"L.A Banks"
[11:32 A.M.]: Thanks, Nikki... that's the general preconception when folks pick up the books--but my goal is to show how The Light conquers the darkness.

"NikkiWoods" [11:32 A.M.]: You have just released the fifth book in the series ... tell us a little bit about "The Forbidden".

"L.A Banks" [11:33 A.M.]: Yes... “The Forbidden”, but let me say that, it is really an epic love story about a family with trials and tribulations, a HOT romance between the hero and heroine, and the love that all of them have for their community--the world community. In The Forbidden, we see the characters go up against a very old demon, Lilith. But to really understand what's going on, readers should start with "Minion," book 1 in the series and they can see snippets of all the books as the saga progresses at My characters are working on the side of The Light.

"NikkiWoods" [11:35 A.M.]: I am back reading. Meaning, I started at the fifth book and working my way back.

"L.A Banks" [11:35 A.M.]: LOL!

"NikkiWoods" [11:35 A.M.]: I am now a fan and will be looking for more of your other works, but I do want to finish with this series first. I think my favorite theme is "knowing." Can you talk a little bit about that and what message you would like your readers to walk away with?

"L.A Banks" [11:36 A.M.]: That's the crazy part; I am concurrently working in three genres. I write at least 2 romances annually, a crime thriller, plus two of the vamp legend books. Ah... “knowing”... This entire Vampire Huntress Legends series is about "knowing" -- how knowledge is power, and how what you don't know can and will hurt you, affect you, have bearing on your life whether you are ignorant of what's going on, or not. Each character has to come into "knowing," and once they know, they can never go back. Throughout the series, they experience exponential growth... learning themselves, others, the supernatural realms, and knowing their role in the world--each person, each soul being vitally important to the struggle between good versus evil. Yeah... it's ALL about knowing, and I infuse a LOT of history, science, economics and politics into this legend. Global economics, and all that through metaphor.

"NikkiWoods" [11:40 A.M.]: Which is what makes it so brilliant. I apologize for jumping around a bit, but there is so much depth to you that I want to try and touch on a little of everything.

"L.A Banks" [11:40 A.M.]: That's quite all right :)

"NikkiWoods" [11:40 A.M.]: You mentioned that you are concurrently writing in three different genres. How do you structure your writing schedule?

"L.A Banks" [11:43 A.M.]: LAWDY.... ha ha ha! Okay, here's how it goes daily. Get the kids and husband out of the house to work and school, grab a cup of coffee, and get to work at 8 am without fail, clear out e-mails from fans, etc., and then by 9-9:30 am, I begin on a book, or a chapter. I stay with that same book to get my rhythm in the story and follow it through until folks start coming home. I break, fix dinner, and after dinner, address e-mails... the next morning, I clean my palate, and work on another book. Whichever story I'm feeling, is what I write that day, but I stay there for the day with the goal to do 20-25 pages, or a whole chapter per book, each day.

"NikkiWoods" [11:44 A.M.]: So it is like a 9 to 5 for you. I think there tends to be the mis-conception with non-writers that you just kinda write when you feel like it.

"L.A Banks" [11:45 A.M.]: Pulleaaaase, LOL. No. It's a JOB, a profession, as well as a craft, and you have to work just like you were going to meet the man. 9-5, M-F, 8 to 10 hours a day. Yep, that's what's real.

"NikkiWoods" [11:45 A.M.]: So do you ever face writer's block? And if so, how do you overcome it?

"L.A Banks" [11:46 A.M.]: No, LOL! Girl, I ain't got time to bleed, ha ha ha! I have 2-3 different editors at any given time who ain't trying to hear about my Muse being fickle. If I can't think of a good passage, I get down and research, but I work every day :) Each time you research, it lifts any block, because your mind absorbs new information, new concepts, new ways of looking at a problem--and ANYTHING can be research... a news story, a commercial for a location, a book, an internet site, whatever.

"NikkiWoods" [11:48 A.M.]: Fascinating. Who do you read? When you are not working, that is! :)

"L.A Banks" [11:50 A.M.]: Hmmm... good question--because nowadays, I have so little time, and reading while writing is impossible for me. But during down time: Tanarive Due, Diane McKinney Whetstone, Tina McElroy Ansa (LOVED "The Hand I Fan With!), uhmmm... plus a lot of biographies and non-fiction--Yvonne Latty's, "We Were There" on Blacks in the military, a must for your shelves. Colin Channer, the brother can WRITE a sensual scene, LOL.

"NikkiWoods" [11:51 A.M.]: I love Colin Channer!

"L.A Banks" [11:51 A.M.]: YEP, he's DA Bomb!

"NikkiWoods" [11:52 A.M.]: What is your take on the direction that African American literature is going in?

"L.A Banks" [11:53 A.M.]: I, sigh. I am very glad that more authors are writing in different genres, glad that more of us are in print during this boom period, but I am sooo sad that a lot of it is the rehashed ghetto struggle tale. I wish we'd branch out more into areas that we haven't touched, or barely skimmed... Here's an example: When I began in romance, early 90's, there were MAYBE 10 African American authors in that genre... in an industry segment that was over 50% of ALL paperbacks sold in the US, and where the readers were one-third African American and Latina. We just weren't given access, and as black women, we'd put the big non-African American romance writers in their limos and Rolls Royces--aka, Daniel Steele. Now, we have like 85+ African American female romance writers... but in the area of crime, there's only a few. In horror, less than ten, and I'm one of them. In sci-fi, we have the grand diva, Octavia Butler, and about 5-7 more, but that's it. Do you see what I mean? We have non-fiction on lock, as the kids say. But where are we in other areas? We have maybe 50 general fiction writers, but in the various niches, we are severely under represented... and this whole Street fiction boom concerns me. We live very different lives than that (only), and have more tales to tell beyond that--only... It makes me weary, truthfully.

"NikkiWoods" [11:59 A.M.]: Well, I am going to leave the sci-fi to you! LOL ....

"L.A Banks" [11:59 A.M.]: LOL!

"NikkiWoods" [11:59 A.M.]: I think with anything, if it looks like it could potentially be prosperous then people jump on it. The stars in every genre will always shine through. I am sure you are always asked what advice you would give writers trying to get that coveted publishing deal ....

"L.A Banks" [12:01 P.M.]: Smile... yes, the stars do shine through, and in that way, what is happening in African American literature, is like what's going on in the music industry--which is why I HAD to take a pot shot at it in the legend, smile! But, as to advice... I say, write what you know as an axiom, but expand your mind so you can KNOW more and therefore write outside the box. People have gone through their "phase" when urban lit was red hot, now they are getting bored. So, if you want to get published, bring something new to the game, a different twist a fresh perspective. You don't have to abandon the hip hop sound, but give it a lil' somthin' somthin' different.

"L.A Banks" [12:04 P.M.]: But nothing beats the basics--like good craftsmanship, quality research, decent grammar, a well structured story, characters with depth and development. As the market becomes more sophisticated, you've gotta bring your best game. A lot of folks "rode in" on the wave, and yeah, they got phat-paid. But like all trends, that will not last, good, solid writing does.

"NikkiWoods" [12:05 P.M.]: I want you to be my writing Mommy! I just love you .....

"L.A Banks" [12:05 P.M.]: LOL--consider it done :)

"NikkiWoods" [12:05 P.M.]: And I can only hope that every one of your fans get to meet you in person

"L.A Banks" [12:05 P.M.]: Bless you!

[12:05 P.M.]: You really have a spirit about you that is warm and engaging and you are honestly just a whole lot of fun .... .

"L.A Banks" [12:06 P.M.]: I LOVE meeting fans, talking with them, hearing what they think of the stories and characters... that is FUN, the best part of it all!

"NikkiWoods" [12:06 P.M.]: and for the record I am a witness to you going above and beyond the call of duty to make things happen for your readers .....

"L.A Banks" [12:06 P.M.]: Aw... lady, thank you!

"NikkiWoods" [12:06 P.M.]: I know your time is valuable and I so appreciate you taking the time to talk ......

"L.A Banks" [12:06 P.M.]: Any time, hon... any time, for real!

>>After finishing the interviewing and sending some more internet hugs, I had some follow up questions that were not touched on in the interview.<<

"NikkiWoods": I also wanted you to mention your film options. How has that been for you? What stage of the process are you in? What role will you play? Who do you see acting in the roles of your characters?

"L.A Banks": Oh, wow... the whole film option thing is a TRIP! Here's how it works, they first just option your film--which is an agreement which takes it off the market for any other production company, and gives the production company 18 months to develop a script (from which a budget can be developed--as the studios have to know how many actors to be paid, scenes set where, things blowing up, special FX, etc.) Once they have a script and a budget, a "package that can be shopped," they then go solicit the studios--and only once a deal is "greenlighted" do you move forward to the "it's definitely gonna be a movie stage." That's where I am now, waiting for the final budget and shop action to occur, biting my nails and praying that it gets sufficient budget to be done right.

As far as involvement, on this maiden voyage into Hollywood, I was told to "stand down." As the writer, I don't have a single thing to do with casting, cannot be in it (LOL), or any of that. But next venture, I'll want consulting rights to be able to weigh in on the script, at least (wink!)

"NikkiWoods": And finally how do you deal with differences with editors? You said you can have up to three at a time.

"L.A Banks": But each editor is like having different bosses, each with their own personality and style. Crazy at times, but I've been blessed with good ones--praise God, so there isn't any struggle. I just have to be honest when we go to contract and establish what I already have on my docket so they know when I can realistically deliver their project to them.

I hope this helps! BIG HUG and thanks again soooo much!

Now you see why I am one of her biggest fans ……

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I've been blogged!

I never thought I would become a blogger. So Lord knows when I became a blogger that had been blogged by another blogger, it was nothing short of a mind blowing discovery.

Here is what I discovered on the website of a Chicago Highschool student:

Saturday, July 02, 2005 :

Nikki Woods Has a Blogger Account?

Nikki Woods Writes

I seriously wouldn't have seen this coming. I know of Nikki through the morning radio playing that my grandmother does while she drove me to school, but who knew she has a weblog?

Actually, I shouldn't even be surprised. Blogging is mainstream. Everyone has one. But you know, it was a nice surprise seeing a Chicagoland radio personality posting little innocent things on the internet.

Her response was to the post about my grandmother.

SimpleKiwi said... If this isn't the most loving thing I've read to date, I don't know what is. :) This seriously made my day.

I think I've arrived (very tongue in cheek)! Thanks Shara! BLOG .... you're it!

You can look Shara's blog up on line at:

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My first interview - I just had to share!

Easier Said Than Done - Cover

Author Spotlight: April 22, 2005 with Nikki Woods

Keith Lee Johnson: Tell us about your debut novel, Easier Said Than Done.

Nikki Woods: Easier Said Than Done is a novel that is set in Chicago and Jamaica. It is about a woman, Kingston, that has experienced some terrible tragedies in life. Despite that she has become a successful entertainment executive in Chicago. But then her grandmother dies and she has to go back to Jamaica for the funeral. It is then that she is forced to deal with the issues of her past.

Keith Lee Johnson: People who don't write have said an author's first novel is autobiographical. Is this true in your case?

Nikki Woods: It is not autobiographical but I have definitely drawn upon experiences from my life. For example, I work in the entertainment industry and my mother is Jamaican. Those are probably the two biggest correlations between the book and my life.

Keith Lee Johnson: And how long did it take you to write this one?
Nikki Woods: It took me probably about four years. I started this book right before I met my husband. We got married and I had two babies so the book got placed on the back burner. My oldest son is now three and I finished the book right before his third birthday. I am just finishing up my second book that only took six months but I was on a strict writing schedule.

Keith Lee Johnson: How long have you been writing?

Nikki Woods: Ever since I could. I have books that I 'published' in fourth grade. It was about the hamster I got for Christmas. I have always written but it is just recently that I have actively decided to publish my work.

Keith Lee Johnson: What made you decide to publish now?

Nikki Woods: When I first started writing Easier Said Than Done I would share it with a friend of mine almost daily. She would always push me to publish. Then a mentor of mine from work read some of what I had written and she pushed me to publish. Both were phenomenal women and both died within a year of each other in the prime of their lives. There was no way I couldn't publish this book.

Keith Lee Johnson: Wow! So does any of the novel pertain to your to wonderful friends?

Nikki Woods: Not really. That book is in the works. This novel does speak to the strength of friendship and family. Both of these women not only were mentors and friends but they paved the way in this business. They knew about dreams and going after them no matter what others had to say. This book symbolizes that to me...going after your dream.

Keith Lee Johnson: By this business, I take it you mean the radio business of which you are a celebrity in Chicago?

Nikki Woods: Yes to the radio part. I'll get back to you on celebrity. (Laugh)

Keith Lee Johnson: Easier Said Than Done has been described as a cross between Terry McMillian and Kimberla Lawson Roby. Tell us what that means as some of the readers may not have reader their work.

Nikki Woods: That description was probably made by my mother. I hope what it means that I can relate a good story to the reader. Terry McMillan and Kimberla Lawson Roby are at the top of this game. They can tell extraordinary stories about ordinary people. It is flattering to even read my name along side theirs. But, I have a long way to go.

Keith Lee Johnson: What's your favorite reading genre?

Nikki Woods: That is a tough one. I think like most people, a lot of times it depends on my mood. I love crime/suspense and romance. I am also a big fan of historical pieces. Then you throw Tananarive Due and Octavia Butler in...I love a good story no matter the genre.

Keith Lee Johnson: Okay, well, perhaps you can tell us who some of your favorite authors are and which of their books you found particularly memorable.

Nikki Woods: My favorite authors include but are not limited to: Bernice McFadden, Terry McMillan, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Yolanda Joe, Nora Roberts, James Patterson, Maya Angelou, J. California Cooper the list goes on and on and I am discovering new authors that I enjoy as well such as Tayari Jones. I am a fan of words and how words are put together. Everyone does it differently.

Keith Lee Johnson: Getting publishing is very difficult. How did you accomplish it and how long did it take?

Nikki Woods: It didn't take that long. I emailed part of the manuscript to an acquaintance of mine that I knew was involved in literary circles. I just wanted the opinion of a 'professional'. She emailed back and wanted to know who had written it and when I told her me, she was floored. She loved it and little did I know she owned a publishing company right here in Chicago.

Keith Lee Johnson: Ahh, see, now some of the readers are going to be jealous! LOL! Most of us get turned down many times before we get a break through. And here you come knowing people in the biz, which leads me to my next question. How do you like the biz so far and the politics of it?

Nikki Woods: Now comes the hard questions. Before I decided to publish, I thought writing the book was the difficult part. Little did I know! Don't get me wrong, writing anything ain't no easy thing so big props to those who have written anything be it a book, poem or song. But this publishing thing is no picnic. From edits to rewrites, it is a challenge. And then yes, there is a political aspect to this game as well. If I had to self-publish I would have said forget it a long time ago but thanks to Cheryl at EbonyEnergy for holding my hand and walking me through it. But I have met a lot of great people -- such as yourself -- that has been willing to share their knowledge with me.

Keith Lee Johnson: Can you elaborate on the politics aspect without mentioning specific names, places, and dates?

Nikki Woods: Wow! Put on the spot!

Keith Lee Johnson: Yes. I tend to do that.

Nikki Woods: Writing is a business just like any other and unfortunately there is a competitive aspect to it that I was naive enough to be unaware of. Just as I said, many people have opened their arms but there are others that don't seem quite as excited about it for whatever reason. But I think you find that in anything. Being in radio -- another aspect of the entertainment business for more than ten years has toughened my skin a bit so it doesn't bother me anymore. Well, not that much! :)

Keith Lee Johnson: Okay, let's shift gears a bit. What are your thoughts on the state of affairs in the black community? For example, Comedian Bill Cosby mentioned the seventy percent dropout rate months ago. What are your thoughts on this?

Nikki Woods: I think that we are at a critical time in black communities. I think that the dropout rate is too high for the year to be 2005. We have college graduates that can't find a job in their chosen field. People with master and doctorate degrees that are unemployed. Imagine the pressure of trying to get a decent paying job as a high school drop out. Can it be done? Sure but it just puts you ten steps behind your counterparts. But what do we do about it? It's overwhelming to think of all the work that needs to be done to turn things around and the majority of the people that I talk to are reluctant to get involved because they think that there's nothing they can do that will make a difference. The village is falling apart.

Keith Lee Johnson: The question that begs to be asked is, why? Why is the village falling apart?

Nikki Woods: That is the question, isn't it? I think there are a multitude of reasons. Lack of education, lack of role models, the prevalence of drugs in our communities, complacency. When you look at the big picture it can be overwhelming. I don't have the answer. I wish I did. For me, it has been to start at home. Make a difference in my church, in my community and hope it translates to the bigger picture.

Keith Lee Johnson: It seems as if the lack of education, role models/parenting, and drugs are tied together. Would you agree with that?

Nikki Woods: I agree. It's cliché to say but it's a vicious circle. But you gotta start somewhere. You can't be afraid to just start. How does the saying go, "A journey of one thousand miles starts with just one step?"

Keith Lee Johnson: What then is the first step?

Nikki Woods: I think it is different for everyone. And the degree of the step may be different, if you know what I mean. Education is my passion so that is where I started. Talking to young people about staying in school is what I'm good at. I can tell you to stay off drugs but it may have more of an impact from someone that has been there and experienced that.

Keith Lee Johnson: As far as drugs are concerned, how about this: Let's make parents more accountable to some higher authority, forcing them to be the role models that they ought to be without a law enforcement agency's involvement. For example, why do we have to have a government agency to make men financially support the children they sired?

Nikki Woods: Because some men don't. Just because people should do something doesn't mean they will. Just like some women don't take care of their children. It's unfortunate but it's true. Statistics show that the number one reason minorities are fired from their job is because they don't make it to work on time. Says a lot about priorities.

Keith Lee Johnson: My point is, if we're willing to create an agency to force men to pay what they owe, why not expand it further and make parents rear their children with some measure of self-respect or face jail time.

Nikki Woods: Who is going to determine the criteria for how to raise a child? It's a fine line. A fine political line. I am sure how I raise my son is a lot different than how President Bush raised his daughters. Obviously there are guidelines for gross abuse and mistreatment ...

Keith Lee Johnson: Perhaps we should adopt some of the methods that worked in the past. It worked for me and it obviously worked for you. Someone came along about 40 years ago and said those people were wrong and now look where we are. Not only is the black community in trouble, but the United States is in serious decline, much like their Roman and Greek predecessors.

Nikki Woods: Yes, we are in serious decline. But will what worked back then work now? I don't know. For example: when I was growing up, I couldn't do anything on the block and get away with it. My neighbors had full rights to spank, chastise, whatever they deemed necessary when my parents weren't around. So did I act crazy? No because I was scared of the repercussions. Not three months ago I said something to a teenage boy that lives around my house about using foul language when my three year old is outside playing. His mother had a problem with that. So now who do I go to?

Keith Lee Johnson: That's just it, Nikki! When I was growing it was the same thing. Everybody told me what to do. And I wouldn't dare tell my mom about it, knowing I would get another beating. And people call that abuse today. But, it kept me out of jail and I was reared in a Toledo Ghetto. I guess we would have to get the majority of parents to remember how things were done back then and how we didn't have to worry about the children coming to school killing one another. Well this has been nice. Is there anything else you'd like to say that I have not covered?

Nikki Woods: Keith, you're making my blood pressure go up! (Laugh)

Keith Lee Johnson: I'll leave that alone.

Nikki Woods: I think we have covered a lot and I have enjoyed it! It will take conversations like this one to get the ball moving in the right direction. Thank you for having me.

Keith Lee Johnson: So no questions for me?

Nikki Woods: Uh, just one. When are you going to satisfy your readers with a sequel to Little Black Girl Lost! You left us with Johnnie Wise still at sixteen. I want to know what happens to her...

Keith Lee Johnson: Well, funny you should ask as I have spoken with Carl Weber who publishes that line of books and we're looking at next February. However, keep in mind that Johnnie is only sixteen. She has a lot of growing up to do. But...if you gotta know how her life ended up, buy Fate's Redemption as she is in that book. The book isn't about here, but she's like 65. But know that you won't see how everything happens until I write her novels.

Nikki Woods: Alright, guess I'm gonna be hitting Border's today. Thanks for all that you do, Keith.

Keith Lee Johnson: It came out May 17. Before I let you go, tell us where we can get your book? What's the ISBN?

Nikki Woods: You can look me up on line at You can pre-order through the website and if you do that - you will get an autographed copy. Everything is posted there. The ISBN number for Easier Said Than Done is 0-9755092-6-8. I look forward to hearing what everyone thinks about it! You can order it by the ISBN at any bookstore and on-line at or

Keith Lee Johnson: Great! Thanks so much for your valuable time. My readers will enjoy you, I'm sure. Best wishes in all things good.

Nikki Woods: Same to you, Keith. Look forward to meeting you in person.

Keith Lee Johnson: Are you going to be at any of the events I'm going to be at?

Nikki Woods: I'm not sure as yet. I hope so because you've been great!