Bookish News, Guest Posts

A Letter to My Readers : The Real MVP’s

THE REAL MVPS

A Letter to My Readers by Stacy Campbell

Where would an author be without readers? Alone and stuck with manuscripts and ideas, that’s where. Before putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, I was an avid reader. There is something about an author’s ability to tell a story, transport the reader to a new world, or give pause about taboo or foreign topics that still blows my mind. With social media interaction and more stories being turned into movies, readers are able to reach out to their favorite authors and tell them how they feel about their literary offerings, sprinkle them with words of encouragement, or sneak in story ideas on the low.

Alex Haley encouraged me to write years ago. Mr. Haley, the guest speaker at an Arts lecture at Albany State College, mesmerized the crowd of students as he shared how he’d “scrunch down” on the front porch of his family’s Henning, Tennessee, home and listen to his elders spin yarns about the past and his lineage. He shared how long it took to write Roots. As he named his elders one by one, I felt a kinship with him; I recalled my elders telling their tales of triumphs and woes. After receiving his autograph, I told him how much I enjoyed his writing and that I hoped to write a book someday. After scribbling his autograph in one of my composition notebooks, he said, “Keep at it and don’t give up. You’ll write that book someday.” I heard him, but I didn’t believe him. After all, the discipline it took to write seemed as distant to me as riding to the moon on a Harley. Wasn’t gonna happen.

Over time, I’d write ideas on napkins, handwrite a few chapters, formulate a plot or two, but fear and negative self-talk convinced me I didn’t have the stamina to write books. I told myself being a reader was good enough and I could support authors who were doing their thing.

Fast forward to 2002. I set sail on a ship with other avid readers for the Summit At Sea. Terry McMillan’s Waiting To Exhale had broken publishing records, received numerous awards and ushered in a magnificent wave of African-American authors who garnered contracts, movie deals, and represented a new platform that chronicled our stories. I buzzed around the ship with the likes of Trisha R. Thomas, Timmothy McCann, Travis Hunter, Tracy Price-Thompson, and Valerie Rose to name a few. Notably, Trisha R. Thomas had gotten word that Halle Berry optioned the rights to her novel, Nappily Ever After. Every writer I met thanked me for reading their work and encouraged me to tell the stories inside me. When I made it back to land in Florida, I decided I’d write or die trying.

It took eleven years after the cruise for my first book, Dream Girl Awakened, to be published, and I can say hands down my readers keep me going. They are the real MVPs. Whether it’s someone reaching out to me to say they could identify with a character or that they saw relatives or friends in my work, or that they flat-out hated what they read, my readers prop me up when I’m stuck, when my characters don’t want to talk, or negative self-talk rears its vicious tongue in my head. There are millions of books on the planet! Readers have unlimited options to entertain themselves. I swell with gratitude and appreciation each time someone tells me they’ve read my work. I do the Snoopy dance when someone tells me they spread the word about one of my books. I’m still growing on this journey, but it didn’t take long to recognize if no one reads your work, you’re in for a lonely ride. To the MVPs, I salute, value, and treasure you!

Love,

Stacy Campbell

stacy-campbell

Reviews

Authors & Readers Book Corner’s Top Ten Books of 2015

Consequences DirtyLittleSecrets Wouldnt change a thing Zora AccidentalBestSeller1 Hostile Fall of the littlemercies Night-Sister by the time

The year is coming to an end and I have read some wonderful books in two thousand fifteen. This year I want to list my ten of my favorite books. In two thousand sixteen, you may want to take your chance on them.  I am checking my To Be Read list to get started on books for two thousand sixteen. Here are my favorites from two thousand fifteen:

  1. Consequences by Aleatha Romig-has been the best psychological thriller I have read that had me rooting for both victim and victimizer.
  2. Dirty Little Secrets by Liliana Hart-a mystery that will keep you turning the pages and then shock you in the end.
  3. Wouldn’t Change A Thing by Stacy Campbell-this book pulled at my heartstrings. I was set on falling in love with Antoinette’s character but it was her mother, Greta who stole my heart.
  4. The Mistreatment of Zora Langston by Lisa W. Tetting-I am proud to have read this book because Zora is stronger than a lot of adults that I know.
  5. The Accidental Bestseller by Wendy Wax- this was about truly have your friends back when she really needed it even if it is possible that it may backfire.
  6. Hostile Eyewitness by Tyora Moody- nothing like a good mystery to get your investigative juices flowing.
  7. The Fall of Prodigal by Michelle Lindo-Rice-isn’t it funny how you always have to go back to the ones you hurt for help.
  8. Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf-this was a suspenseful book about a social worker getting a test of what her clients go through when it is her under the microscope.
  9. The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon-a bond between sisters and a family secret makes for an intense journey when one sister finds out how truly different she is from the others.
  10. By the Time You Read This by Lola Jaye-this book is a tear-jerker about a father bonding with his daughter through a journal he left for her.
Reviews

Book Review: Wouldn’t Change A Thing by Stacy Campbell

wouldnt

Purchase at Amazon.com

Wouldn’t Change A Thing

Stacy Campbell

Publication Date: July 14, 2015

5 Stars=Non-Stop Page Turner

A person cannot help the family their born into and this is true in Wouldn’t Change a Thing by Stacy Campbell. Antoinette Williamson is set to marry the man of her dreams until he decides to humiliate her at their engagement party. Lamonte Dunlap tells Antoinette he is calling off the wedding due to the recent news of her family’s mental issues. What started as a wonderful day turns into a nightmare Antoinette wants to forget.

After the news comes out about Antoinette’s family, she decides to go back to the beginning. When Antoinette returns to Sparta, Georgia to face her mother, whom she denies exist and face her other family members, Antoinette has to confess acknowledging the shame she feels of her family. Antoinette soon realizes that home is where the heart is even though her mother’s illness is beyond her abilities.

Wouldn’t Change a Thing is about redemption, family and knowing when to go home. This was a compelling story laced with secrets, mental illness and deception. The author does a wonderful job capturing the reader’s attention through colorful characters. I could not stop from wanting to help Greta as she dealt with wanting to reunite with her daughters. Greta is aware that it isn’t safe to be around her but she understands the meaning of family.

I could also relate to Antoinette wanting to leave her past in Georgia and not acknowledge her family’s issues. The story really displays how far that decision got her. This was a well-researched book and it shows in every page. I applaud Stacy for writing about a hidden topic in a way that will bring awareness. I definitely recommend Wouldn’t Change a Thing to others.

This book was provided by the author for review purposes only.

Reviewed by Teresa Beasley