Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Perhaps fall is one of my favorite seasons, because it kicks off thoughts of family, fun, and having an overall sense of gratitude.

I’m reminded often that, I should live in the moment, savoring the sweetness of my days no matter how simplistic, since there are people who'd give anything to walk in a park unassisted, enjoy a hot meal regularly, or delight in the fact a friend stopped by to chat about nothing of relevance.

This season, between the servings of turkey and dressing, the apple pie and the cobbler, I want to admonish everyone to have a bigger heart and smile into the eyes of a stranger when you're out and about, help pay it forward in some manner! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 14, 2019


You don’t have to spot author Denise Wheatley walking down the street or dining out to get wind of her insatiable and infectiously upbeat spirit. That comes through simply viewing her social media sites. Her persona leaps off the page, and if that doesn’t get you, her deep dimples will!

But, make no mistake, author Wheatley is more than a pretty face. She’s published several books and novellas with Simon & Schuster, Red Sage Publishing, and eXtasy Books/Devine Destinies, and has also written screenplays and ghostwritten for several publishers.

I had the opportunity to read her most recent book, Wards of the Women, which I describe as, “roll on the floor with laughter” good! Wheatley masterfully weaves in sistah-girl humor so thick, you feel you know these endearing ladies personally. I highly recommend this book!

Wheatley, born and raised in Chicago, has plenty to write about based on her surroundings there as well as Los Angeles, her favorite city which she frequents often. Writing at a very young age, her literary talents have garnered celebrity acquaintances and opportunities with some of the entertainment industry's elite.

Needless to say, I was thrilled to interview the author and hip-hop music lover.

What are your biggest challenges as an author?

As an author, my biggest challenge is oftentimes the editing process. I love creating stories, building worlds, and bringing plotlines together, etc. But once the book is written and it’s time to read it, then reread it, then reread it again, I find myself becoming burned out. And I tend to be a perfectionist, so combing through each page in search of errors can be quite daunting. Remaining motivated while writing a book can also be challenging. Once I’ve penned my outline, I’m excited to begin introducing the characters and setting up the plot. But when I reach the middle of the manuscript, and it’s time to execute the plot and subplots then tie the storylines together, that process can be overwhelming/draining. 

Where do you draw inspiration for your stories and characters?

When it comes to my writing, I am oftentimes inspired by everyday sightings, stories I’ve heard from family and friends, and various things I have personally experienced. I also adore the city of Los Angeles and all things Hollywood, so several of my books are inspired by that. My novel THE ROAD TO BLISS is about a small town woman who falls in love with a movie star. THE HOLIDAY CHRONICLES series follows an A-list publicist and her fiery, complicated relationship with a bad boy celebrity client. The influence of LA is apparent throughout all of those stories.

Do you find it easier to be part of the traditional publishing house or is it simpler to be an indie author?

At this point in my career, I find it easier to be a part of the traditional publishing houses. I’ve self-published in the past, and there’s definitely an advantage to having full control over every aspect of your projects. But there is a lot of work and responsibility that goes into indie publishing, so having a publisher that can take on the bulk of that work is advantageous.  I’m lucky in that I’ve worked with editors and graphic designers who have taken my thoughts, ideas, and opinions into consideration during the production process. So bringing my books to life has been a collaborative team effort.

What advice would you give fledgling writers on rejection?

My best advice is to always remember that creativity is subjective. We cannot expect everyone to love our work, and throughout this literary journey, we’ll probably receive more “no’s” than “yes’s.” However, that should never be a deterrent. We write because we love to do so, and it’s our passion.  Focusing on the enjoyment of the process, improving our craft, and creating good work should always be in the forefront, as well as never giving up. If we stick with our goals and remain consistent, the positive results will come.

For book purchases and staying connected to this author, check out the following links:

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