Tag Archives: African American communities

Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES?”

Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a book shelf.  A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories.  Here on this “SHELF,”  we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask.  We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them.  WE get personal!  Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF,” YOU are an open book!

Today we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us.  Joy is one of our VIP members, that means she’s UBER-SUPPORTIVE, and if you’re a VIP, you get invited to our exclusive VIP Lounge.  Once a month, a random VIP member receives a special gift from the club, and since Joy sent me a letter explaining why she should be a guest on THE SHELF, what better gift to give her! (If you’d like to be a guest on THE SHELF, email me at RaveReviewsPresident@gmail.com and tell me why you should be).

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NJ:  Before we get started, how does the “shelf” feel to you?  Is it comfy?

Joy:  Very comfy. Thank you Nonnie. I had to move to the hard seat, best for my back.

NJ:  That’s fine.  I want you to be comfortable.  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

Joy:  My author name is a combination of my maiden name and my married name. That is why it is that long. It could be longer, but I have omitted a couple more names. The full name would be Joy Ifeoma Nroli Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko.

NJ:  Well, Joy, let me be the first to thank you for shortening that looooooooooooooong name!  Tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Joy:  I was born, and grew up in Enugu, Nigeria, a beautiful town on the foot of the hill, even though the name implies that the town is on top of the hill.  At 18, I left Enugu for Rome, Italy, and spent ten years in Rome, studying and waiting out the end of the then civil war in Nigeria. I returned to Lagos, Nigeria, in 1972, and spent three years working as a Radio producer, and twenty-three years as a university teacher. I migrated to New Jersey, USA  in 1996, and taught K-12 for ten years. I retired in 2008 and since then have  lived between Lagos, New Jersey and Los Angeles, USA.

NJ:  WOW!  You’ve lived all over the world, literally….and you know what, you look like a school teacher!  So, tell us, are you married or single?

Joy:  Fortunately separated for over twenty years. My husband, a Moslem refused to divorce me, and I, a Catholic, refused to take the initiative. So we have an impasse.

NJ:  You said Moslem, I do know that you guys use that version in Nigeria as opposed to Muslim.  Hmmmm…interesting fact.  Now back to this husband situation, so you’re still married then?  Now, Joy…I don’t want to see you on any internet dating sites, OK? You look mighty comfy and happy behind that Apple keyboard up there.  Kids or no?  If yes, how many?  Sons or Daughters?

Joy:  I always tell people that I have three kids, and I do. One, my daughter, is biological, and the others, a boy and a girl were inherited. In my culture, we can inherit orphaned kids from within the family. This is how I came to inherit my late brother’s son, and my late sister’s daughter.

NJ:  Now, I like that about your culture.  That is wonderful.  Do you have a favorite child?  And be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview…

Joy:  I will not lie. I love them all, but I have a special spot for my biological daughter.

NJ:  FINALLY!  Somebody up on this darned shelf, speaks the truth!!!!!!  Thanks for that, Joy…but even though I loved you speaking the truth, you are not supposed to have any favorites being a mommy, but since the others are really your niece and nephew, you’re OK with that truth.

NJ:  Pets?  What kind?

Joy:  I am a cat lover, being a Leo. The last time I can remember, I had three of them named, Calico, Frisky, and Wolverine respectively. I don’t keep pets anymore, because of my moving around so often.

NJ:  Why do you move around so often, Joy.

Joy:  I am just a restless soul, Nonnie.  I started travelling when I was quite young and I’m still travelling.

NJ:  Well, I guess the good thing about that is, it lets everyone know you’re not dead, right?  When you get older and you sit still for so long, that’s how people tend to think of you…as a breathing corpse.  Good for you!  We want to know all about you so now we’re getting really (randomly) personal.  You can learn a lot about someone just knowing their favorite food, so what’s yours?

Joy:  When I want to give myself a treat, I go for Fufu. Fufu is made from all kinds of flour paste: rice, semolina, wheat, corn, or oats, and eaten with a variety of soups. I like oat fufu with egusi or okra soup best.

NJ:  OK, you’re throwing out some words and names of stuff that I’m not going to even BEGIN to ask what they are.  We know you have a favorite color and judging from the pics on the wall behind you, and the darling babies in those pics, all in red and black, I’m going to shoot for the combo of red and black.  Am I right?

Joy: Nope.  It’s Blue. It is so calming

NJ:  {Clearly uncomfortable because Joy proved her wrong PUBLICLY}.  Uh, Joy…the next time I’m wrong about something, i’m gonna need you to pretend as if I’m right.  Just in public, you know…I have a reputation for NEVER being wrong and for being one of the smartest folks around. I guess my people didn’t send you THAT memo before you made it to the shelf.  Heads will roll when this interview is over.   Joy, if you’re done correcting me, would you like to share your favorite sport with us?

Joy:  I love taking long walks very early in the mornings. I like inhaling that early morning breeze, and feeling it on my face. Very refreshing.

NJ:  {Here we go again.  Another guest who isn’t listening to me.  Well, she seems to be in her own world with that response, so I’m going to let it go.  Maybe I’ll get down from this shelf early today}.  What’s your favorite TV Show?

Joy:  Downton Abbey for sure.  I am waiting for the new season of the Downton Abbey to begin in January. I love other shows too, which I will not mention because you asked for one, but my favorites are usually English dramas.

NJ:  Thanks for following THAT one question rule, Joy, and for the record, I like English reality.  I can’t have it in my real world, all the catty-ness and fighting and backstabbing, so I have to get it somewhere.  Actually, I’m trying to hurry through this interview so I can watch a replay of one of my Housewives shows AND catch SCANDAL right after.  Do you have a favorite Actress/Actor?

Joy:  George Clooney was my favorite, but he is now taken.  Still, I like the man, his suaveness, and kind heart.

NJ:  I loved him, too!  I was highly disappointed to find out that he would no longer be able to serve as the lover in my dreams, and honey, I loved that man in my dreams!  His new wife better watch her back!  Couch potato or workout nut? Be honest ☺

Joy:  I would say couch potato. After my walks in the mornings, I sit a lot working on my lap top. My doctor tells me that I must sit less, as if I don’t know that.

NJ:  Joy, listen to the doctor, please.  When we are writers, sitting is the worst part of the job, so we must make it a priority to get up off our tushes and exercise more.  It keeps us healthy.  That, and the fact that it keeps our butts from spreading, too. Share with us your biggest pet peeve that makes you want to stomach-punch somebody?: (For the record, NJ does not condone violence but she does believe in being honest so she has to admit that there are times when she feels like some friendly stomach-punching is a little necessary).

Joy:  I cannot stand discrimination of any type. I come from a culture where women are relegated to the background, and I have spent my life fighting it.

NJ:   I’m with you there.  Joy, I must admit, I wouldn’t last one day in your culture.  My hubby always says that if we’re ever on a plane and it’s hi-jacked, I’m gonna be the first one to get hit in the mouth with the barrel of the hi-jacker’s gun.  I don’t know when to be quiet but I surely won’t have a man telling me when I should be.  It’s that confrontational bone I inherited from my grandmother, I suppose.  Don’t like anyone bossing me around.  So, are you neat or messy?

Joy:  I am neat. I do not like clutter.

NJ:  Joy, I knew there was some reason I liked you!  Me, too!  I think that all messy folks (including my hubby and oldest daughter) should be relegated to their own island with no way to get off!  Facebook or Twitter?

Joy:  I prefer Twitter, it is easier to use. I find FaceBook very invasive.

NJ:  I find Facebook to be “something.”  And I have another name for it, but I’m not gonna say it here, because all my church-going friends read my interviews sometimes.  Name two of the most supportive people you’ve met on either Facebook or Twitter? Hurry and tell us so we can become their friend.

Joy:  I have two friends on FB. Enitan Doherty-Mason follows my blogs and reacts to them regularly. Pete Vanlaw and I read and comment on one another’s FB posts.

NJ:  Oh, OK.  They are names I’m not familiar with so you must invite them to join us here.  Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest ☺

Joy:  You really want to know?!  You of course, Nonnie. You were right, you are Wonderwoman.

NJ:  Well, Joy, in all honesty, I’m not the one who refers to me as Wonderwoman, it’s that Team of mine, but thank you so much for being so kind. My Team is the  WonderTeam!  Let’s move on.  Joy, everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King, but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor

Joy:  The Indie authors I know are the ones I met through our great #RRBC.  I have met quite a few, but you said to name only two, so here goes. For now, Rhani D’Chae, and Tamie Dearan.

NJ:  Oh, I’m so glad they’re from the club!  We do have awesome members, don’t we?  And I must say, that I am in love with SHADOW OF THE DRILL!  That Rhani D’Chae is a phenomenal storyteller!  Why don’t you tell us what it is about them that you’ve come to like…

Joy:  Rhani blew my mind with her “Shadow of the Drill” story, and the beauty of the story telling, and Tamie wrote a very entertaining romance. I love romances, and that was the best I have read so far.

NJ:  OK, I’m glad you got to experience what I did with the SHADOW!  Now, name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read and enjoyed.

Joy:  Apart from the two I have already mentioned, I will not forget the deliciously good story of “Jazz Baby” by Beem Weeks, and the wickedly horrifying story of “Daydreams Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend” by Nonnie Jules.

NJ:  I speak for myself and Beem in thanking you for saying to the world that you took the time to read and also enjoyed our books.  THANK YOU!  Joy, you’re doing pretty good in sticking to just my questions, so name one good INDIE book you read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it.

Joy:  Of all the ones I have already mentioned, I will root for “Shadow of the Drill.”

NJ:  {You know that uncomfortable moment when you are nominated for an award but your best friend gets it instead?  I’m feeling that right now since she had the nerve to not name MY book, right here in my face!  She’s about to get “accidentally”  bumped a little closer to the edge of this shelf}.  What was so great about THAT book?

Joy:  It was just so well written,  and the story gave an insight into the dark side of our world, which we hear about, but which we know very little about.

NJ:  You know, Joy…even though you didn’t name MY book, I’m going to have to agree with you about SHADOW OF THE DRILL and that’s because, you are so on the mark about that book. IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST WELL-WRITTEN BOOKS I’VE EVER READ!  After you read books, do you post reviews?

Joy:  I do now, since I started publishing my own books. I have since gone back and started reviewing books I read before which I did not review.

NJ:  That is very kind of you.  I think there are quite a few of us who had never written a review before we became authors and once we realized the importance of them, we changed our habits.  I’m hoping now that you’ve shared what you’ve done, others will follow your lead and go back and post reviews on past books they’ve read.  What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

Joy:  I like a good and entertaining story, told well. My limits for typos or errors in a story is usually three, beyond that, I will still enjoy a good story, but will penalize it in my rating for the many typos or errors.

NJ:  Oh my, I thought I was a harsh critic!  Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?

Joy:  Not at all. I will always give a hint in my reviews if I find something wrong with the read. Those hints usually determine the way I rate the books. I always try to find something good to say about any book I read whether I rate them high or not.

NJ:  Have you read any poorly written books lately?

Joy:  Unfortunately yes. One in particular was so full of errors, I nearly did not finish it.

NJ:   Where’s your review so I can go and check it out?  LOL.  No, seriously.

Joy:      Like I said, I still tried to find something good to say about the book after my grouse with the errors I found. I would rather give you a link to one of my good reviews. 

NJ:  {NJ:  When I saw that link, for a minute there I thought Joy had REALLY given me a link to a bad review!  LOL}  How long have you been writing?

Joy:  I wrote and published my first two books in the Italian language when I was in Italy. That was over forty years ago. Back in Nigeria, I wrote regularly for newspapers and magazines. I started writing again in earnest, with my first book in English in 2008. I have not stopped writing since then.

NJ:  What books have you written?

Joy:  My Italian books are not available here, and they are actually out of print, but one of them is now being re-printed. Apart from those two, I have two more books; “Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies,” and “Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women.”

Legend of the Walking Dead by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

Mirror of Our Lives by Joy Lo-Bamijoko

NJ:  I love those titles.  Which one do you think is the best?

Joy:  The two books are in two different genres, and I like them both.

NJ:  Well, it seems the books fared better than your “favorite” kid question.  HaHaHa!  Do you have a blog or website?

Joy:  Yes, I always invite guests to visit my blog at: jinlobify.com, and my websites are:

http://sbprabooks.com/JoyNwosuLoBamijoko/

http://sbpra.com/joylobamijoko/

NJ:  We will have to go check those out and Follow your blogs and sites.  Name three great online resources or organizations that every author should belong to

Joy:  Rave Reviews Book Club of course. I am also a member of the GR, (I better abbreviate it), but I haven’t seen the benefits yet.

NJ:  I’m glad you only used the initials.  Someone obviously sent you that memo on how I feel about that site.  You say you haven’t seen the benefits yet?  Well, have you noticed any profanity, book/author bashing, incredible vileness over there?  Well, you’ve seen the benefits.  Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

Joy:  Again, Rave Review Book Club, no other

NJ:  So happy to hear you say that.  I’m sure my Team appreciates it.  How is RRBC helping you?

Joy:  To begin with, since I joined #RRBC, my followers have increased on Twitter, as well as on all other online social sites. And here I am sitting on the shelf!   My blog has also been visited several times even by non members of our club. The support I receive has been awesome! Do I continue?

NJ:  No, I think we get the gist of what you’re trying to say.  You absolutely LOVE Rave Reviews Book Club!  Now tell us in one word what you really think of the club…

Joy:  Fantastico!

NJ:  Have you come across any other online entities like it?

Joy:  Nada!

NJ:  Would you recommend RRBC to your friends and family?

Joy:  Yes. I don’t have friends or family members who are authors, but when I do, I will enlist them into our #RRBC.

NJ:  Oh, Joy…they don’t have to be Authors to belong to this club.  Our membership is open to anyone willing to adhere to the Policies and Procedures of the club.  So, keep that in mind and refer your friends who are readers!  This shelf is getting hard on my hiney now, so we’re going to wrap this interview up.  Any final words?

Joy:  Just a few words. This experience, of sitting on the shelf, has been extraordinary for me.  #RRBC has a way of making members feel real good. Moreover, the way it allows members to participate in every activity, gives one a sense of belonging, and the shelf is a wonderful avenue for getting to know ourselves better. Thank you, Nonnie for giving me this opportunity, and thank you great members of our great #RRBC for allowing me to share more of me with you today. May more of us have a chance to sit on it, too, so that we can get to know more of us better. Thank you.

NJ:  Thank you so much for hanging out on THE SHELF with us today, Joy!  You are truly a joy to know.  You have made our interview on the SHELF today pretty interesting…I’m glad you didn’t, you know, accidentally fall off or bump your head against the tree branch or anything like that.  To my guests, please pick up a copy of one of Joy’s books to show her how happy we are that she took the time to share with us today {even though she liked Rhani D’Chae’s book better than mine!…but that’s OK…..*Smiles*}

Have you joined Rave Reviews Book Club yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And since Joy was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.  Make it a great day, my friends, or not.  The choice is yours!   We’ll see you next week, right here on the SHELF” with a ANOTHER INTERESTING GUEST!!

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Shirley Slaughter in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES?”

Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, we had to offer something that included a book shelf.  A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories.  Here on this “SHELF,”  we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask.  We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them.  WE get personal!  Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF”, YOU are an open book!

Today I have with me on the “SHELF” our Current “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Mrs. Shirley Harris Slaughter!

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NJ:  Welcome, Shirley and before we really get started, how does the “SHELF” feel to you?  Is it comfy?

Shirley:  YES! Very comfy and cozy. I cannot believe I’m actually here getting all this attention.

NJ:  Yes, I see that you’re getting a lot of attention this week.  You’re obviously a STAR!  So, how about we start by confirming whether or not the name we know you as, is your birth name or a pen name?

Shirley:  My author name is a pen name. It’s just slightly different from my legal name. I tried a pen name that was totally different from my own once but it didn’t stick and I couldn’t get used to it so I ditched it in favor of what I am using now. I use the middle name “Harris” in recognition of my son’s heritage; and Slaughter which is my present name. You know we women have all kinds of aliases.

NJ:  Tell us where you were born.  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Shirley:  I was born in Detroit, Michigan and I live just north of it at the West Eight Mile Road boundary in a small bedroom community called Oak Park. It sits right next door to the community I grew up in – Royal Oak Township. Oak Park is a diverse city of Jews, Chaldeans, Caucasians, Blacks and Asians. There are small ranch style homes and large colonial homes depending on what your level of income is. All the streets are closed off. I always say it would be hard for criminals to orchestrate an escape here because the streets are so complicated.

NJ:  Married or single?

Shirley:  I am married to my husband Langston going on 31 years. When they say opposites attract they were not lying. He’s a homebody and quiet. I am on-the-go doing this and that. He has to rein me in sometimes when I get totally out of control.

NJ:  Do you have kids?  If so, how many?  Sons or daughters?

Shirley:  I have a son and my husband has a daughter. We are a blended family which makes for a rockier boat but by the grace of God, somehow we weathered the storms. It wasn’t easy. I think the reason we lasted is because my husband does not allow children to dictate his relationships and he was not letting anyone come between us. Now that’s a determined person and I respect him for knowing where his priorities lie. I have seen examples of that not happening and marriages breaking up because of it. My mother raised us single-handedly and I remember how awful I was to her significant other. Let me stop because I’m going into another realm.

NJ:  Favorite child (and be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview)…

Shirley:  While I love all my children my son is the light of my life and not because he’s mine but because he has always been an amazing child. He was always a hit with other parents so that by the time I came around I felt like a celebrity. But alas, they do grow up and the innocence with them. He turned into a fantastic dad imitating the things he saw me and my husband do.
My step grandchild holds a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s because I always made sure he was included in family get-togethers. That little bit of attention from me has made all the difference to him. He’s 18 now and our bond is stronger than ever. I get a big hug from him every time he sees me. He’s very talented as are all the grandchildren. I am very proud and love each and every one of them. They each have a little bit of our son in them.

NJ:  I think it’s awesome that you can refer to a child you didn’t bear as “my child.” There are so many step-parents who have a hard time doing that so I applaud you for it.   Any pets running around?  If so, what kind?

Shirley:  Don’t have a pet now. I get too emotionally attached and it’s hard when they are gone to let go. I was given a newborn German Shepherd female as a gift and it grew up with my son. When he (Princess) got sick and had to be euthanized, I was devastated and cried like a baby at my job. I actually had to go home. I vowed to never get attached like that again and so I don’t keep pets anymore. Now if my life were to change then I might look into owning one again, but it will be a toy dog that’s well trained.

NJ:  OK, so we’d like to know your favorite food.  You’ve shared with me that you’re a pretty healthy eater.

Shirley:  My husband makes the best homemade spaghetti with meat sauce,,,guaranteed to put on the pounds. I was described once as tiny and cute. Never again will I hear those words. He makes the best chili, mouth-watering beef stews…all those comfort fattening foods. He knows how to blend those flavors. Mmmmm Good! I have no control over the portions. That’s why I got on Weight Watchers. (don’t laugh). Sorry if I got carried away. I love good food and my husband’s company.

NJ:  (Long pause)  Oh, I’m sorry, I was just looking through my notes for the question that I asked about whether or not you enjoy your husband’s company…OHHHHH, there isn’t one, so let’s stay on track here, Mrs. S. Harris Laughter  (LOL) OK, so, we’re going to dig a little deeper here.  What’s your favorite color?

Shirley:  I love warm colors in the brown family. It can make for some interesting outcomes and combinations. I used this color theme in my master bathroom – absolutely gorgeous outcome. My main bathroom was designed using custom made cabinets that were a dark wood finish. So I came up with a rose look by accident. The paint was a light rose so the rugs are rosy with browns and greens in the curtains. I have a white tub I didn’t want and somehow the look came out beautifully. The rosiness of the room reflects off the tub giving it an off rose color look. I was like WOW! How did I do that? I’m a multi-dimensional person so I don’t have just one favorite color. I could name some more.

NJ:  Please don’t.  Let’s move on to your favorite sport…

Shirley:  I used to love the Detroit Pistons but only when they were winning. I’m a fly-by-night kind of fan. I’m not really into sports overall. My mother loved football. Watching football with a can of beer was her idea of heaven. My younger sister loves football too. So does Langston and some of our children. I don’t like it, never have and never will. I don’t get all that violence and I have a problem keeping up with what’s going on. That and playing cards are not my forte. I don’t have a quick wit when it comes to playing cards or watching football. It’s like I’m brain dead or bored out of my mind until there’s a touchdown, and then I wake up.

NJ:  I’m brain-dead and bored with them, too, until a some physical action breaks out (punching, head-butting, etc..LOL).  Then I’m all EYES, “sssshhhhhhing” everyone around.  It’s comical how that physical action can just draw me in.  Just like a well-written book.  What’s your favorite TV show?

Shirley:  I’m a political junkie and I love nature and documentaries. I love Wendy Williams because she knows how to gossip. I love dramatic movies. My attention span is short nowadays for most sitcoms.

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor…

Shirley:  I used to love Halle Berry and anything she played in. I love Tia and Tamara, the twins. I loved the actress Melissa Gilbert and watched just about anything she was featured in. There are no real favorites now. It depends on the movie and how the actor/actress comes across. I fell in love with Jamie Foxx when he did Ray. I thought his acting was superb. So was Kerry Washington’s performance. I appreciate a good movie.

NJ:  I appreciate well-written movies.  When I see otherwise, my daughter and I look at each other and say “low budget” and then burst into hysterics laughing.  So, are you a couch potato or a workout nut?  Be honest…

Shirley:  I guess you can throw me in the couch potato crowd when I’m not busy running around. I don’t like to work out so I do stretches and that has helped me tremendously in getting some exercise time in. It’s amazing what a little stretch can do.

NJ:  Shirley, what’s your biggest pet peeve that makes you want to stomach-punch somebody?  (For the record, NJ does not condone violence but she does believe in being honest so she has to admit that there are times when she feels like some friendly stomach-punching is a little necessary.  She also feels she is not alone in these feelings).

Shirley:  I am in 100% agreement with you on this. Sometimes I feel like punching out some lights when I am watching politics play out. It is just awful. It makes me want to throw something at the screen when I see how crazy some people really are. Langston (my husband) tells me to stop watching it. But ignorance is not bliss anymore. It’s a necessity to know what is going on in the world and to exercise your constitutional right to vote and not allow anybody to take that right from you. That right is under attack right now.

NJ:  Uh, OK….calm down a little.  It seems when politics are mentioned, your feathers get a little ruffled.  We’re too high up for that, unless you believe you can fly.  Now, which is your favorite, Facebook or Twitter?

Shirley:  I use both Facebook and Twitter. Although I must say, I am now a total Twitter fan after having found new friends who have helped me learn how to actually use it. And I’m still learning. I wouldn’t be on this shelf if it weren’t for Twitter and meeting so many nice people.

NJ:  Name two of the most supportive people you’ve met on either Facebook or Twitter? Hurry and tell us so we can become their friend.

Shirley:  I know a couple: My cousin Keita Walker on Facebook who just published a book of poems. Unfortunately none of the other relatives have supported me. My good friend Monika Uriel has supported at all of my book events. And she’s not an author. The Board of Rave Reviews Book Club is the only other support system that has gone all out for me and I appreciate that so much.

NJ:  Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman?  Be honest now…

Shirley:  Oh please! You of course! Who else was I going to name? You’re not going to throw daggers at me. Wonder Woman is a close second. Oh, that’s you too!!

NJ:  Everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor…

Shirley:  I favor my dear friend and fellow author Mamie Smith (RRBC Member) who wrote a wonderful book on coping with the loss of her daughter. I love the way she writes! I was impressed with her world travels and the fascinating life she’s led. She’s got a great sense of humor which I love and it was nice to know that we had things in common, too.

I was impressed with the fact that Nonnie Jules got into this business for such a short time and managed to sell her newly published books and market them in a way that has really pushed her into the forefront of this crowded field and helped to propel Indie Authors in the process. She is mentioned now everywhere we look. She had a vision and exercised it. I admire that. Everybody is not qualified or capable of pulling off something like a RRBC.  Oh, I’m talking about you!!

NJ:  Why, thank you, Ms. Shirley!  So, what is it about these authors that you’ve come to like?

Shirley:  Mamie is doing an online radio show and is an accomplished retired music teacher who resides in Troy, Michigan. Her husband passed away recently and so she has kept herself busy and active. She has always been supportive of me and followed me to the Detroit Writers Guild, where we served together and left together. We became partners in crime. She has a great sense of humor which makes it easy to be around her.

You, Ms. Nonnie, go after what you want and do not take no for an answer. I love your drive and stamina and your energy. You energize me!  I’m getting tired just thinking about it. And you are funny with a quick wit. You’re also such a sweetheart and you grow on people. I’m just along for the ride because I don’t know where you’re going next and I’m too nosy to get off at the next stop.
Both you and Mamie are go-getters.

NJ:  Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read…

Shirley“Titanium Chronicles” by Liesl Kaberry (RRBC member) and your book, “Daydreams Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend.”
I was shocked that I actually liked Liesl’s book because I was not a fantasy reader, until now. I’m waiting for her next book and I think I have inspired her to finally finish it.

I must say that your book was not my taste as well. But you wrote it so well that I got drawn into it and am actually looking forward to the sequel because you left me hanging and I don’t like hanging.

NJ:  ONE good INDIE book you read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it…

Shirley:  I don’t remember the title, but I do remember the author, Donald Goines. He wrote a book so good that I was crying and laughing hysterically all at once; like a crazy person. I was so hysterical with the way he was describing the dogs coming after him. He was running through the woods and they got closer, and closer. You could see and feel the whole scene. Suddenly, everything went dark denoting that he had been killed. I started crying and was so out of control that I dropped the book on the floor and continued to cry. I was never so inconsolable in my life. But that book did it to me.  I don’t know if he would have been called an Indie author since his book came out around the sixties.

NJ:  What a great story.  I must remember to shake you so that you can remember the title and he probably would not have been Indie about that time, Shirley. I could be wrong, but I doubt that the term had even been coined at that time.  So, after you read books, do you post reviews?

Shirley:  All the time!

NJ:  Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?

Shirley:  When I have a situation where I have reservations about posting a review, I will try to have a conversation with the writer to express what my concerns are. I think when we have conversations about a current read the pros should be discussed as well as the cons. Even a bad review is a good review because you will not please everybody and the book is still generating a conversation. And frankly, I am a little concerned if everybody gives high marks and no one has a negative remark in the bunch. Sometimes I feel like they didn’t really read it themselves and giving 5 stars based on other people’s reviews. I know my book is a bit controversial and people are shy about controversy. I get that but I don’t like it.  This is why I appreciate your review so much because you approached it from an angle no one else would touch. It let me know you actually sat down and read the book. I love that. Any author would love that.

NJ:  Well, I know that you’re an author so we all would like to know how long have you’ve been writing?  You sound very experienced.

Shirley:  Officially I have been writing since my book launched in 2007.

NJ:  What’s the name of your book?

ShirleyOur Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African-American Catholic Community. I severed ties with my publisher and re-published with Createspace in May of 2014. It’s a great book.  And I didn’t say that, you did!

NJ:  Yes, I did and we all know by now how much I like great, well-written books!  I gave it 5 stars!  Do you have a blog or website?

Shirley:  Why yes I do…here it is: http://shirleyslaughterblog.wordpress.com/

NJ:  Name three great online resources or organizations that every author should belong to.

Shirley: RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (of course), Motown Writers Network and Detroit Writers Guild.

NJ:  Which online resource or organization has helped you the most?

ShirleyRave Reviews Book Club, where I am now and it keeps me on my toes. You don’t come into this organization to sit down. You come to serve. That’s what I like about RRBC.

NJ:  Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a Rave Reviews Book Club member, so what do you think of the club?

Shirley:  Well, where do I start? There is so much about Rave Reviews Book Club to talk about. Like I mentioned, you have to come in ready to serve. That’s the only route to being served. It’s not a new concept, but RRBC has taken it to a higher level. RRBC saved me because I was just about to get off the train and take a nice long rest. It started from a vison – yours. Nobody else thought it up. You are the brains behind this operation and I’m giving credit where credit is due. I would not be in here if not for knowing you.
This club offers something for everyone. There are current reads of author’s books; Spotlights and reviews, various promotions like #PUSHTUESDAY; using the #RaveReviewsBookClub – hashtag gets you noticed and propelled like nobody’s business (but please only use it if you’re a member), with more ideas coming all the time. It’s wonderful! I have had my book looked at and reviewed where it never would have gotten a second look. And I know there is more to come. I am around beautiful people who care about each other and I haven’t seen another organization that gives the support this club offers. You can’t buy it.

NJ:  Have you come across any other online entities like it?

Shirley:  I can’t say that I have. That’s because no other entity is offering this. But don’t think there won’t be copycats trying to duplicate what you’ve created with RRBC.

NJ:  This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up. Any final words?

Shirley: I want to thank you for putting me on the shelf. It’s nice up here. Didn’t think I could climb this high up but look at me now!  I love it!   At RRBC I learn something new everyday. Especially if I take the time to read the website which has a wealth of information. I was just poring through it and stumbled across something that I should have known about but was always out of the loop on somehow. Oh well, better late than never I always say. I’m not the fastest engine in town but I get there. RRBC will get you there if you stick around awhile.

Thank you so much Nonnie for inviting me here. I appreciate you and this club so much. I haven’t had time to catch my breath since joining and now I have the opportunity to be featured and presented to the world.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

NJ:  Thank you so much, Shirley!  That was an awesome interview (you were a little long-winded but that’s OK).  You have made our 3rd day on the SHELF, a most pleasant one!  To my guests, please support Shirley by picking up a copy of her book OUR LADY OF VICTORY:  THE SAGA OF AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY  and by visiting her blog stops on her tour which ends on Saturday.  You can find the tour line up here.  Have you joined Rave Reviews Book Club yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And since Shirley was on the “SHELF” today, tell them he sent you! Make it a great day, my friends.  We’ll see you next week, right here on the “SHELF”!!

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