Monday, February 22, 2010

Fifteen Years Blog Tour - Day One


Fifteen Years Blog Tour
KENDRA NORMAN-BELLAMY is a national best-selling author and the founder of KNB Publications LLC. She is the organizer of Visions in Print, an Atlanta-based national organization for faith-based writers, and The Writer’s Hut, an online fellowship for African American Writers. She is the founder of Cruisin’ For Christ, a groundbreaking at-sea ministry that celebrates writing, gospel music and other God-glorifying arts, and also serves as a motivational speaker.
A native of West Palm Beach, Florida, Kendra currently resides in Stone Mountain, George with her family. For more information, visit www.knb-publications.com.
Kendra, list your published books.

To date, my published titles are: For Love & Grace, A Love So Strong, Crossing Jhordan’s River, Because of Grace, Thicker Than Water (anthology), More Than Grace, One Prayer Away, The Midnight Clear (anthology), In Greene Pastures, Three Fifty-Seven A.M., This Far By Faith (anthology), Battle of Jericho, The Lyons Den, The Morning After, and Fifteen Years.

Which book did you find the hardest to birth? 
It wasn’t hard to write, but In Greene Pastures was probably my most challenging simply because I made the birthing process longer than it had to be. It was my first time tackling a faith based mystery, and I was procrastinating getting started on it. Fear of the unknown, I guess. It was unchartered territory for me, and in my mind, I made the process a lot more difficult than it ended up being. Once I sat down to really start writing it, God showed me who was really in charge, and it flowed.

Which book is your current favorite? 
I’m in the middle of writing my favorite now. I Shall Not Die (release date: October 2010) will be my first nonfiction/ministerial book and much of it is a testimony of my own life experiences. I have countless emails from people who have told me that they were blessed by my fictional novels, but I know that it’s going to be a blessing to others on an entirely different level. I Shall Not Die is much more than a book; it is a motivational ministry that God has assigned to my hands. Knowing the powerful and positive impact that it will have on the lives of those that He is having me write it for is what makes it my favorite.

How would you describe your writing style?
By industry identification, I’m a seat of the pants writer, meaning that I don’t write drafts or chapter outlines prior to launching full speed into crafting the story. By no means is there anything wrong with doing that; it’s just not my personal style. I sit at the computer and type out the story as it comes to me. I equate that to being led of God. I invite and implore Him to give me what to say in the stories so that they will ultimately not only entertain the reader, but minister to him/her in some small way as well. I want God to be glorified in everything that I write, so it’s important to me to seek His direction before writing even the first word.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind? 
Often times I do. The nature of the music is largely based upon what type scene(s) I’m working on at the time. Gospel music fuels some settings, love songs stimulate others, and jazz music or neo soul might be the order of the day for others. I tend to migrate to whatever propels me the most in that moment.

Tell us anything about you as a writer that you think might be interesting or unusual.  I write best when I’m chewing gum. I won’t try to explain the reason for that because quite honestly, I don’t understand it myself. All I know is that the thoughts seem to flow more smoothly when I’m chewing Extra sugarfree gum (preferably the winterfresh flavor). Based upon how the creativity is flowing, I have been known to chew up to 15 sticks a day.


What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Prayer, Patience, and Perseverance.  That’s always my answer to a question such as this. Aspiring writers, in my humble opinion, need to have all three. I advise prayer because everybody needs God whether they recognize it or not. He’s there to help them over the hurdles and through the mazes that can present themselves along the way. I advise patience because writing isn’t a get rich quick scheme and most of us don’t become overnight successes. It takes time, and the waiting game can be disheartening; especially to a person who thought the journey would be a sprint rather than a relay. I advise perseverance because when you have that, you’ll stick it out even when the times get rougher than rough. Discouragements will come along the journey, but prayer, patience, and perseverance will combine to make you an overcomer every time. 


Writers are often encouraged to write what they know. Have you found that to be the case with your writing?
Not necessarily. I’ve tackled subjects in my writing that I have no personal knowledge about or experience regarding. Sometimes the subjects I write about require that I to do online research or talk to those who may have some experience in that particular area. I’m certain that it is easier to write what you know, but I don’t know if I’d encourage anyone to box themselves into a place where they only stick to those subject matters that they are personally familiar with. Instead of saying “Write what you know,” I’d rather tell an author to “Know what you write.” In other words, educate yourself about whatever you’re going to write about before you do it. That way, it’s accurate, and when people read it, it’s not obvious to them that you have no personal knowledge about the subject matter or situation.
About the Book
Josiah Tucker, the son of a substance dependent and neglectful mother, spent most of his childhood years in the custody of the State, living in foster homes throughout Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of fourteen, he was taken from  the foster family that he had grown to love, the Smiths, and returned to his negligent birth mother. Enduring the hardships faced while living with his birth mother JT manages to makes something of his life.  However, fifteen years after being taken from the Smiths and at the peak of success, he finds himself feeling empty and at his lowest.  When he decides to reconnect with the Smiths, JT finds his faith in God renewed and discovers his attraction to his foster sister.
View the blog tour schedule and read an excerpt at http://bit.ly/FifteenYearsBlogTour.

4 comments:

Ty said...

Thank you for hosting the Fifteen Years Blog Tour today!

Shelia E. Lipsey said...

Hi Kendra, sorry about giving you a shout out so late. Time got away from me today, but I still wanted to send out my congratulations to you on your release. I pray that you will continue to be chased down by God's blessings in your life and most of all that you will remember to Keep God First!

Sharon Ball said...

Kendra, thank you for the advice for aspiring writers. Prayer, patience, and perseverance...I'll have to keep reminding myself of this.

Kendra Norman-Bellamy said...

I appreciate the shout-out, Shelia. It's never too late :-).

Sharon, I am hopeful that the advice is as effective for you as it has been to me over the years.

Thanks for the blog feature, Rhonda. Blessings to you and Urban Christian Fiction Today.