~~Author J'son M. Lee~~
Good morning world ! Please join me in getting to know more about Author J'son Lee. Sometimes a person can be around you,meaning in your social network and you don't know a thing about them or what they have gone through. Take the time to get to know someone else, broaden friendship circle and give someone a chance. I am ready to get to know J'son, are you? Take a look at our interview and learn something new, about someone new=)=)
Author’s Interview Questions
1. What is the title of you first published book? What was the release date?
Just Tryin’ To Be Loved is the title of my first book. The book was originally published in 2006, and after learning a lot about the industry, I re-published it in 2012. I chose to write this book to release a lot of the pain and disappointment I experienced in my own life as it relates to acceptance, love and relationships. There is a lot of similarity between me and the main character, Mark Harris. Mark’s views on love, and life in general, mirror my own. Despite everything that’s happened in my life, I am still a hopeless romantic. I hope this book makes people believe in themselves and believe in love.
2. What inspired you to become a Writer? Why?
I think I’ve always been a writer. I just didn’t know it. I remember winning my first “award” for writing in high school. As many of us were preparing for our first job, our assignment was to create a fictitious resume for a chance at a fictitious job. Based on the merits of the resume, our teacher would choose someone for the job. Well, I got the job! I think that’s when I knew I had a talent. At the time, I just didn’t know what to do with it.
3. In the Writing Industry, is there anyone that you idolize? Why?
There is no one I idolize per se, but there are many in the industry that I admire and respect. For example, I admire and respect well known authors such as Zane who has built nothing short of a literary empire. Her empire hinges on her passion for writing. I also admire and respect newcomers like Deidra DS Green. I have never personally experienced a writer who writes with such tenacity and commitment. Mark my words – If she continues at this pace, she will be a household name.
4. Since you became a writer, what have you experienced as far as the negative side of it all? Positive Side?
I actually stopped writing for several years due to my disenchantment with the industry. I later realized I was only hurting myself by not channeling my creativity. So I put myself back in the game. I now own my own publishing and editing firm called Sweet Georgia Press (www.sweetgeorgiapress.com).
The most negative thing I’ve experienced is the treatment of independent authors by bookstores. Literally I’ve been robbed and disrespected by many of these retailers. There seems to be this “code of silence” in the literary community when it comes to this. That’s not how I operate. If you screw me, people will know. Whether they take heed or not is up to them.
On the flip side, I’ve come in contact with some really wonderful people (personally and virtually) who keep it real – people like Deatri King-Bey, Shelia M. Goss, Michelle Cuttino, Cyrus Webb, Treasure Blue and Kisha Green. These industry leaders have been a wealth of knowledge and likely saved me a great deal of headache.
5. Is writing something you plan to do for a lifetime? .... Is it your passion?
Yes, I plan to write for a lifetime. It is one of my passions. I think it’s my job to “tell our stories.” I hope my writing teaches tolerance. You don’t have to like what I do, nor do I have to like what you do. At a minimum, we should be able to respect each others differences.
As I endeavor to make my name in this industry, I’ve found that one of my greatest passions is helping other writers discover and solidify their gifts. I am able to best satisfy this passion through editing. For a while I did this underground, but realized I had a lot to offer; hence, the formation of Sweet Georgia Press. I also offer no-cost review services for those who want an unbiased, professional review of their work.
6. If you don’t see writing as a life -long project, what else sparks your interest?
Answered in #5
7. Have you traveled to different states to promote your work?
Yes, I have traveled to other states to promote my work. For a while, I was traveling monthly to book signings, etc. You have to look at the financial ramifications of events. For me, it was not fiscally smart. As such, I had to cut back on travel.
8. What are your marketing techniques? Why do these things work best for you?
I have a number of marketing techniques:
1) Utilize social media to its fullest capacity, but recognize its limitations. Facebook, Twitter and the like shouldn’t be your only means of marketing.
2) Make sure you have a professional website. Whenever possible, drive readers to your site for purchases.
3) Seek out reviews from people whom you admire and respect in the industry. Sometimes those opinions are the ones that carry the most weight.
4) When doing interviews, look at the interviewer’s following. Sometimes interviews can be counterproductive if the interviewer does not have a good following.
5) Market your book to your target audience. Recognize that sometimes it’s not about your work, but rather about the audience you are marketing to.
9. Do you have a lot of family/friend support? How does that motivate you?
Actually I do not have a lot of family/friend support. The bright side of this is that the support I do have is quality support. I’m a big proponent of quality vs. quantity.
10. What advice would you give to other Authors BESIDES doing research?
I have a few pieces of advice.
1) Only do consignment if you are being paid up front.
2) If you are considering events, weigh the financial ramifications. Many authors get caught up in the “fame” of being an author and don’t approach signings, events, etc. with a sound financial mind. If it’s not making dollars, it likely doesn’t make sense. There are exceptions of course, but make sure the benefits outweigh the risks.
3) Get your work professionally edited! If you can’t afford to edit, do not release
your work until you can afford it.
IF THERE IS ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE, PLEASE DO SO. For example where your books can be purchased and social media connections. You can also share more background information if you would like, this is your interview, make it count=)=)
J'son M. Lee, though born in Brooklyn, NY, is essentially a North Carolinian. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill earning a degree in Speech Communication with a concentration in Performance Studies. Lee is 43 years old and resides in Baltimore, MD. He is the President and Owner of Sweet Georgia Press, a small publishing and editing firm. Lee is the author of Just Tryin' To Be Loved, Best Friends (short story), More Than Friends (short story), love One (short story) and co-authored the multiple award-winning book, How could my husband be GAY?, with Ondrea L. Davis.
In addition to books, Lee wrote, produced and starred in his own one-man show entitled One Family's AIDS. This one-man show, told from four different perspectives, is the story of Gene Alexander McCoy - a young, educated African-American man who finds himself in a race for time to make peace with his family and with God upon being diagnosed with HIV. The play chronicles Gene's life as he confronts such issues as HIV/AIDS, family, abandonment and homophobia. With the help of his over-bearing mother, a nurturing grandmother, and an uncle who doesn't really feel comfortable talking about Gene's sexuality or disease, we learn the complexities of love and relationships, the damaging results of fear and shame, and how the relentless quest for the truth ultimately leads us back to each other.
For more information or to make a purchase, please visit the author’s website at: www.jmccoylee.com.