Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Okeoma Moronu Schreiner

Okeoma Moronu Schreiner is an attorney, wife, mother, and host of the nationally recognized, Happy Lawyer Project podcast. Now as an author, her goal is to guide parents in helping their children navigate the seemingly stressful wide world of money. The inspiration for her new children’s series, Money Monsters, stems from her own experience as a struggling young lawyer who had seen first-hand the difficult situations created by financial problems. Schreiner is an advocate for early education of finances and wants parents to instill comfort and confidence in their children regarding money issues.

What inspired you to write a book series for children to help them
understand the concept of money?

I developed an interest in personal finance while paying off multiple six-figures of student loans and during that time I also had the pleasure of becoming a mother twice over. Like most mothers, I suppose I wanted to find a way to share my interests with my little ones and quickly learned there aren’t a ton of age-appropriate picture books that tackle modern money concepts. It’s, of course, important to just learn the basics of earning or saving money, but I wanted books that were set in a more modern context with banking apps, credit cards and online banks. Basically, I wanted to create a book that would help children understand the concept of money in a way that reflected the world in which they would be growing up.

The books are beautifully illustrated. Why was it important for this to be a picture book?

As a mother of two little ones, ages 3 and 5, there is nothing more precious and impactful than those moments spent together lost in the pages of beautifully illustrated picture book. I firmly believe that it is never too early to start introducing these basic money concepts but I wanted to do it in a way that would engage and capture little imaginations.

How did financial literacy for young people become a passion of
yours?

Before I was a personal finance junkie, I was an elementary school teacher. I
guess you could say that I’ve always had a passion for translating seemingly
complex concepts into fun, educational content.

What advice do you have for parents interested in starting these financial
discussions with their children?

Do it early and often.

Why is it important to start these money talks with your children at a young
age?

The earlier you start these conversations the more comfortable you’ll be having them throughout the many seasons of parenthood. Truth is that the
conversations will only get tougher and tougher as your children get older so you want to develop the language and comfort before it’s too late. Your children are internalizing “stories” and beliefs about money that may not be true and have the potential of impacting their financial lives forever. If we, as parents, don’t help shape those stories and beliefs, our children will create their own.

What are some concrete steps parents can take while their children are young to start their children out on the right financial path?

Take the time to involve them in your everyday money decisions. Whether it’s choosing between two products at the grocery store or choosing not to spend on something in order to save for a bigger goal, children will benefit from understanding how money decisions are made in everyday situations.
Speak to them about in values, not figures. In our house, our kids know that the environment is very important to us so we’ll pay more for a product that is
more sustainable and/or eco-friendly. Help your little ones understand your family’s values and how your money supports and reflects those values. Teach them contentment. This is a hard lesson that can take a lifetime to learn. In order to get your little one off on the right foot you can lead by example, help your children practice gratitude and teach them the value of giving.

What are some of the financial terms that you encourage parents to teach
their children?

The first five basic terms that little ones should understand are:
• Earn – Discuss that money is earned through an exchange of goods and services. Sometimes when we’re out and about we’ll play a game called “who
is at work?”, where my children try to point out people who are “at work” and try to guess how they earn their money.
• Save – Explain why it is important to save towards larger goals instead of spending money as quickly as it comes in. I would recommend using a clear money jar so little ones can see a visual representation of their money growing.
• Spend – Spending wisely means not just spending within your means but spending in alignment with your values. Teaching your kids about spending
is a lesson in understanding what matters and making intentional decisions.
• Give – Help your little one develop a charitable heart and discourage a scarcity mindset. It’s also crucial to teach your little one how to let go and
get rid of things they no longer need or value.
• Invest –This is the one most people struggle with the most but little ones should be introduced to the idea that there are things you can do with your
money that can put more money back in your pocket!

How do you think being confident with money at a young age helps children
as they grow into adulthood?

For me confidence doesn’t mean knowing all the answers. Confidence means believing that you can tackle any challenges that come along the way. By
instilling in your child a sense of confidence around money topics, your little one will grow up to be someone who will explore money topics with a confidence that they are able to learn what they need to know to build a financial abundant future.

The book also highlights a diverse group of characters. Why was that an
important focus for you as well?

We all know there is still a lack of diversity in children’s literature. As a woman of color raising biracial children, I wanted to create characters that reflected their reality. All children and families deserve to have access to books in which they are represented. It is also an opportunity for all children regardless of race to see examples of people of color managing money and doing it well. There was no way that I could write a book without this being a priority!

Ultimately, what do you hope parents and children take away from the Money
Monsters series?

That money conversations don’t have to be scary!

Social link: Author’s Instagram: @finkidlit

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Missing Money is the first picture book in a new series aimed at inspiring young children to learn basic financial terms in a fun and age-appropriate way. The book follows Kai, a young boy on his way to the bank to deposit his newly earned money. While at the bank, a big scary ATM machine eats all of his money! Kai struggles to understand where his money went and creates an elaborate plan to get it back.

Just before attempting to break his money out, his parents sit him down to explain this confusing turn of events and help put his mind at ease. He
discovers the basics of modern saving, such as how money goes from dollar bills to numbers on a banking app. Finances can be a difficult task
to navigate, even as an adult, so these books are meant to aid young children through the puzzling world of money.

The series, all first three of which are set to publish within the year, emphasizes the idea that you are never too young to tackle your money fears head on!

Purchase  at Amazon.com  

Meet The Author

Meet The Authors: Interview with Clark Rich & Leah Dee Burbidge

 

Clark and Leah live in the high mountain valleys of the Rockies where they enjoy their ever-expanding blended family of ten children and six grandchildren. They enjoy travel, hiking, road and mountain biking, and serving in their community and church. Clark received a BS in Finance from the University of Utah and an MBA from the University of Southern California and spent 35 years traveling the world as an investment banker, banker, and Chief Financial Officer. Leah earned an Associate Degree from Ricks College and what arguably could be considered a doctoral-level experience in blended families. Clark and Leah treasure their blended wild ride of 14 years together, firmly believing that any challenge is manageable when you have someone you love to walk beside.Clark and Leah live in the high mountain valleys of the Rockies where they enjoy their ever-expanding blended family of ten children and six grandchildren. They enjoy travel, hiking, road and mountain biking, and serving in their community and church. Clark received a BS in Finance from the University of Utah and an MBA from the University of Southern California and spent 35 years traveling the world as an investment banker, banker, and Chief Financial Officer. Leah earned an Associate Degree from Ricks College and what arguably could be considered a doctoral-level experience in blended families. Clark and Leah treasure their blended wild ride of 14 years together, firmly believing that any challenge is manageable when you have someone you love to walk beside.

Q & A with the Burbidges

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or what first inspired you to write?

Leah: I never really intended to write a book. But over the years of Clark’s writing I became familiar with the process. We discussed many times the lack of practical ‘How To’ instruction for Blended Families. These discussions evolved into a ‘Let’s write a book on the subject’ decision. So, we kind of fell into this book together out of a desire to pass on our insights and learning. We worked on the stories, examples and the principles extensively and reviewed and edited in general. Although most of the actual writing was done by Clark the development, review and editing were definitely a team effort.

Clark: I have always been a storyteller and enjoyed making up stories, poems and tall tales for my children growing up. I especially liked the bedtime stories I’d make up on the fly because it really challenged me to produce something that would keep a child’s attention. I had different ones for each child. I thought a lot about various stories for years and always had ideas. But it wasn’t until 2010 when I was in between jobs that I decided to try my hand at getting something published. The first year I completed a non-fiction book for 20 and 30 somethings and a Christmas/Holiday book. I also had a fictional fantasy short story prepared that has since become a three-book trilogy. One never knows when you step on the path, as Bilbo Baggins once said, where that will lead. I have had a wonderful experience writing and have loved doing a book together with my sweetheart, Leah. Our collaborative effort turned out to be way beyond our expectations. We are so excited to have this book available for blended families, those thinking about jumping into the blender and single parents. Even though it is focused on these types of families, every family will benefit from attempting to apply the principles we included in our book. This book with Leah marks my 9th book and the last 8 have all been Gold Medal award winners as best in their category.

Where/When do you best like to write?

Leah: If something is important you make time to get it done. Being a parent doesn’t really get easier or less time consuming just because your children are adults, out of the house or married. The questions and dilemmas change but the demands and responsibility do not.

Clark: I have a schedule where I rise early in the morning and prefer to write from about 7:00 am to about 10:00 am. But writing can happen at any time during the day or night when a thought, a new plot twist or idea strikes. Many nights I will sit up in bed knowing that sleep will not come again until I get it recorded. Writers see the world differently than other people. The wonder of a moment or a particular picture painted before your eyes by nature or humankind unexpectedly captures your imagination. One entire trilogy came from a moment when I walked into the house of one of our sons and his little family while they unboxed a tree-topper ornament and put it on the tree. I knew immediately it was a vision that would take me places I’d never been before…and so it did in the award winning StarPassage trilogy.

Do you have any interesting writing habits or superstitions?

Leah: Not for me, that would be a question for someone who has written a number of books.

Clark: Not really habits or superstitions but more of style. I do not prepare an extensive outline or flow for the book and there is no formula. I enjoy climbing into the story with the characters much like my readers do. I have no idea where the story is going to go next and get ideas along the way. I may round a corner and discover a new character. I need to determine if it is friend or foe and where that new character will move the story to next. Then I often discover the character’s back story and need to go back and write it in and deal with the impact it has on the story almost like real life. This means that I get as excited about getting back to writing after a break as a reader does when reading the story.

What do you think makes a good story?

Leah: Something that engages and is interesting. That varies with each reader. I especially enjoy reading about real people and their life experiences.

Clark: The same things that makes any good story or movie. There is too much emphasis on special effects and wiz-bang flashiness in both. Readers are engaged by a good story, the development of solid, relatable characters and the interaction of characters, motives, paths and process as the story develops. This has been forgotten by much of the industry. The roller-coaster ride of adventure and danger must be present but cannot be all there is. This does not engage as well as having relatable characters, development and a great story. Then the reader is pulled in and stops reading but has an experience walking with the characters. Every reader deserves to be rewarded by such an experience. This is why gratuitous effects, violence, language, immorality, etc. are so negative for movies and books. These words, scenes and sights rip the reader or viewer out of the experience they are having by distracting them from the story and character development that is captivating them and taking them on a journey. Anything that makes you sit back and mentally say, what was that, pulls you out of the movie or book and detracts from the experience. Another thing is something I learned from reading Tolkien. It is that he had mastered the art of getting the reader to turn the page or jump into the next chapter. This is what I try to do especially with my teen and young adult fiction writing.

What inspired your story?

Leah: Our children and our real-life experiences. We recognized that there wasn’t a lot of information out there to help Blended Families and felt a need to provide a practical guide to fill the void.

Clark: This story is a true one which was forged in the furnace of experience over our combined 68 years of Blended Family experiences and especially our 14 years together. When we started this process, we found a near absence of hands-on experience that provided practical ‘How To’ advice for regular people. The souls of individuals and entire families are dying out there every day because they can’t find simple answers and guidance. Many of the family train wrecks we see break our hearts because they are so easily avoided by consistently applying a few simple standards and rules. If implemented from the beginning it works. But if delayed the burdens can spin quickly out of control into serious individual and family strife that tear at the seams of what might have been an otherwise beautiful story. Our burning desire to help others find peace, joy and true love in blended family life and our own experience with such beauty in the midst of a messy world both inspired and motivated us to write this combination autobiographical and ‘How To’ guide.

Is there a message/theme in your book that you want readers to grasp?

Leah & Clark: Absolutely. It is that single parents, blended families and any family are good enough to be successful. You have the knowledge and skills if you choose to use them. Anybody can create a happy and fulfilling environment of love, selflessness and compassion. Of course, it takes work and an absence of selfish pursuits, it takes firm commitment as a couple, standards and values and a consistent example to prove that what you are teaching your children works for everyone. You can do it. You really can.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Leah & Clark: Interwoven in our ten principles is the dramatic need of the children involved. One great learning that we were reminded of is that we need to start from where each child is. Parents cannot start from where a child is supposed to be or expected to be or even where they were before the dislocating events swept them up and brought about single parenthood or blended family life. If you try to start where your children are not, then every day is a disappointment or failure. When you start from where your children actually are, then every day can be a step forward…a success. Children, both minors and adults, desperately need to feel success once again in their lives and they will glow and blossom as that experience becomes regular. Our book is about allowing each individual to become their best self…even when we feel we have fallen short.

Social media handles:

Blended family issues impact the vast majority of Americans. Yet, even so, society often sidesteps the topic, while literature leaves a bleak landscape nearly void of practical advice from those who have lived in the trenches.

With over 68 combined years of direct blended family experience, including 14 years with their own family of 10 children, authors Clark and Leah Burbidge are uniquely qualified to fill this void. Their combined ‘Autobiographical/How-To’ guidebook weaves a humorous, tender, uplifting, and critically insightful fabric of 10 foundational principles upon which any family may confidently build. Every blended family can have happier, more fulfilling lives where disruption, disorientation, and contention are replaced by teamwork, progress, and overcoming-oriented achievement.

Living in the Family Blender provides practical guidance upon which any family may build better relationships and a life filled with joy and purpose. Join them on their personal journey and discover glorious possibilities in your own family.

Buy links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Living-Family-Blender-Principles-Successful/dp/1632695057/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1562010654&sr=8-1

 

B&N:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/living-in-the-family-blender-clark-rich-burbidge/1130393301?ean=9781632695055

Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Sheila L. Jackson

 

Contemporary Christian Romance and Suspense writer, Sheila L. Jackson grew up reading different genres and styles of writing. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine one day of becoming a writer herself. Years later, she decided it was time to take a leap of faith and put her pen into action.  Her passion is to write fictional stories that tackle real life issues.

When Sheila is not writing, you can find her at the movies. She is a huge fan of the Marvel/DC Cinematic Universe and action/thriller/suspense movies.

Sheila has penned many articles, such as: Only the Strong Survive, Count it all Joy, Suffering in Silence, and The World of Sports-When the Glitz and Glamour Ends, which all appeared in Dream Magazine. Sheila also wrote: Voting Booths -Speak now or forever hold your peace (during the 2008 presidential election) for the Shreveport Times

Mrs. Jackson has appeared on KTBS-TV, Comcast Cable Station, and KOKA with Barbara Norton (State Representative) & Curtis Wright, 1340 Super-Talk, KMJJ, and From Bondage to Freedom radio/studio broadcasts. Along with her media and radio appearances/interviews, she has also appeared in The Forum, SB Magazine, Dream Magazine, Urban Faith Magazine and The Shreveport Times.

Get To Know Author Sheila L. Jackson:

How does your faith fit into your books? 

There is no way that I could write Christian Fiction if my faith didn’t play a huge part in it. I have faced many obstacles in my life and it shows through my writing. The characters I created each have to face some type of difficulties in their lives, but it is their faith that brings them through.

What is your favorite positive saying or motivational phrase? 

 I coined this one myself years ago to help keep me inspired, “I want more out of life than just to exist.”

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes. Never allow anyone to extinguish your dreams. God anointed you with the gift, not others.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in your book? 

 A lot, some are lovable, witty, corny, dramatic, and aggressive. I have all these characteristics rolled up in one body, each shows up in my life when needed.

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?

For me, when readers express how my stories helped them through difficult situations in their lives.  It’s a sign of validation, knowing that the words God has inspired me to write is reaching and helping others.

What do you like the most about being an author?

Knowing that lives are changed and life lessons are learned through the stories that I tell, is a blessing as well as rewarding. Whenever I want to give up on writing, there is always a reader that will send me a letter about how my books have changed his or her life. It fuels my spirit to continue on this uncertain journey as a writer.

Why did you write, Chasing A Dream?

For others to know that there is no age limit when wanting to start on a new career path. When God gives you the vision, it’s for you. Stop looking for validation from those who cannot see it.

Where to Find The Author and The Book:

Social Media||

https://www.facebook.com/sheilalj

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheila4343

https://twitter.com/sheilaljackson

Email||

www.sheilaljackson2.com

A family…a career…a dream…can a woman really have it all?

Florence Kinkaid is content as a small town clothing designer and seamstress. Married to her high school sweetheart and the mother of two sets of twins, she’s certain her life is complete. But deep in her heart a forgotten dream waits. A dream she tries to ignore. When a noted fashion mogul undertakes a nationwide contest to discover America’s next fashion designer, Flo wonders…what if?

Flo secretly enters the contest and is thrilled when she is named one of the top five finalists. When she tells her husband William, she’s shocked to find opposition in her own home. William wants things to stay as they are and does his best to discourage her from leaving. He calls her opportunity a pipe dream. Hurt, but determined to get a second chance at her dream, Flo decides to prove her husband wrong and follow her heart. But in doing so, will it cost her more than she’s willing to pay?

Excerpt:

“William, we need to get away, just the two of us,” she said, seductively, staring at him chomping down on his food. He never looked up at her, making her feel some type of way. “There is a life outside of Gomer, you know.”

Chewing in rapid motion, he commented, “People are going crazy with these mass shootings and driving trucks with bombs into crowds, baby. We need to wait until things get better, then we’ll see the world.”

She rolled her eyes, tired of hearing the same old yadda, yadda.

“And besides, we can’t afford it right now.” He pushed his plate forward, sucked his teeth, and said, “Are you going through…um, what they call it?”

She cut her eyes over at him, annoyed, knowing what he was about to say.

“A mid-life crisis.”

“Are you serious, Will? It’s been years since the two of us have gone anywhere alone. And no, I’m not going through a mid-life crisis. I’m tired of coming in last place in this house.”

She stood from her seat, hands on hip, continuing her complaint.

“It’s bad enough that I’ve had to put my dreams on hold. And so have you.” She didn’t mean for that to slip out, but his cheapskate ways made her lash out and say what she’d been holding in.

“Look, I have to go.” He pushed from the table, wiping his mouth.  He tried leaning in to kiss her goodbye.

She winced, turning her face away from him.

He tried once more to touch her but she remained stiff as a board. “Flo, we’re not kids anymore and we’re certainly not getting any younger. It’s time we let go of these pipe dreams.”

Purchase Link||

https://amzn.to/2UYGMw6

 

Meet The Author

Meet the Author: Interview with Jonas Brinkley

Currently an independent author, Jonas Brinkley was born in Georgia and was raised by his mother in Tift County. His writing talent manifested from his teen years and by the encouragement from his relatives and friends, he developed it by taking the relevant college courses that honed not only his writing skills but also knowledge on various fields like theosophy and business. He founded (Voice of My Ancestors) Voma Publications LLC. J. Brinkley’s unconventional philosophies about life and love are a gift that ought to be shared with the world via writing.

Most authors have a writing process, can you share yours with us?

A chapter is between 1,500 to 2,500 words. I usually write two to three chapters a day.

How important is your writing process in getting your books completed?

It’s very important. The only way to complete a task is to work on it daily.

Your latest book is O’shay and Sanaa, tell us what inspired you to write their story?

This book is really based on a true story. I wanted to show people that people are unpredictable creatures. Aside from that, I knew the two people who shared this horrific event.

Tell us about O’shay London?

O’shay was a native of Florida and went to school to be a pilot. He landed a private company transporting cargo. He was tall, handsome and intelligent.

Tell us about Sanaa Holland?

Sanna was born and raised in Orlando Florida. She went to college to be a prosecutor but end up becoming a defense attorney. She was young, beautiful, smart, compassionate about life and people.

Why are you drawn to life and social issues in your novels?

I think life is beautiful but it is people ideologies that bring forth the chaos in life. I use my novels to express my truest thoughts and feelings about political and social issues. There will be people who i will reach and there will be people who i miss. Either way the objective is to paint the picture with my words and let people see the world through my eyes.

What advice would you give an aspiring author who is struggling with character development?

Make the character real like a person by giving him or her an age, date of birth, complexion, height, weight, unique facial express, a voice when speaking, occupation, living condition etc.

Tell us the meaning behind your publishing company name, Voma Publications, LLC.

( Voice Of My Ancestors ) I’m only sharing my voice and knowledge to the people via books.

As an author and publisher, what has been your biggest challenge?

Marketing. Writing a book is easy to me now. You need money and genuine people who has your best interest to help you market a book. There’s no cheap route in this game. You must invest in your product to expand or your book (s) will sit on the shelf and collect dust.

You have several titles out now,what motivates you to keep going?

I’m not where i want to be financially but in my mind each book is a brick to my home. Each book is a personal success and a step towards building my legacy.

Where can readers find you?

I have a lot of links, so feel free to visit my website to follow my other social media accounts. http://www.vomapublications.com

About The Book


When O’shay London met Sanaa Holland, it was an instant attraction. They dated for a while and found themselves in love with each other. Finalizing their romance by tying the knot, O’shay and Sanaa found things between them starting to fall apart soon enough – happiness and fulfillment were replaced by grief and bitterness. As the couple grapples with the circumstances that change their lives forever, the question of what truly bonded them arose… LOVE, LUST or OBSESSION?

EXCERPT

Sanaa sat in the dressing room of the breathtakingly beautiful Crystal Ballroom in Metro
West, Orlando, Florida. The wedding area was adorned with eighteen dimming chandeliers, pipe and drape backdrops with up lights, Silver Chiavari chairs, high top tables, ivory linens, gorgeous aqua and silver floral arrangements, aqua candles, candelabras, and ceiling drapery. She still couldn’t believe her wedding day had finally arrived. She had told her bridesmaids and her maid of honor to give her a minute to herself. Lana, Tasha, Renee, Niki, and her best friend, Bria, had been her girls since their early college days. She couldn’t imagine this day without them. After Bria had finished applying the finishing touches to Sanaa’s make-up, the ladies left the room and quietly closed the door behind them.

Sanaa stared at her reflection in the mirror as she reminisced about first meeting O’shay. They were both college students at the time. He was studying at the University of Central Florida, working towards a degree in Aircraft Engineering. He had wanted to someday become a pilot and Sanaa was studying Criminal Justice at Keiser University. She aspired to be a criminal defense attorney. They were at Starbucks, both of them cramming for midterms. Sanaa tried not to stare when he walked through the door, but he was so handsome, he literally took her breath away. She noticed him watching her too. He appeared to be somewhat shy, and that’s always a turn-on.

After a while, they both got up to leave at the same time and as fate would have it, they bumped into one another. They struck up a conversation and before parting, exchanged phone numbers and made plans to hook up. They were inseparable from that day forward. Now five years later, they both have promising careers and big dreams for their future. They were about to become husband and wife.

Barnes & Noble Kindle: http://bit.ly/2NuOsmA

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