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Dr. Maxine Thompson Live Internet Radio Shows

This Week’s Guest – Monday, August 28, 2017


Maxine Thompson

Dr. Maxine Thompson,
Publisher, Literary Agent, Author, Host of Internet Show is cross-referenced to her other businesses

Dr. Maxine ThompsonArtist First Internet Radio


Dr. Maxine invites you to join her this week on her various shows where she will be speaking with some interesting people.


August 28, 2017


9:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

This Week’s Dr. Maxine Thompson will be the Guest – Monday, August 28, 2017

Email dj@artistfirst.com with questions for the host or Dr. Maxine Thompson


August 28, 2017


August 28, 2017


D. Watkins
Author of

The Cook Up
A Crack Rock Memoir



Listen to Archives: Replay

Sponsored by:


EXECUTIVE SPONSORS:

January 4, 2010

Dr. Maxine Thompson

Author of
Hostage of Lies

Voted A Best Book of 2009

EDC Creations
Black Pearl Magazine

Black Butterfly Press

If you are interested in becoming a guest and/or a sponsor you may visit:

www.maxinethompson.com
,

www.maxinethompson.com/artistfirst.html for available dates
or via e-mail: maxtho@aol.com

>Home

This press

release may be viewed with links at www.maxinethompson.com/pressrelease.html

<

Dr. Maxine Thompson
http://www.maxinethompson.com
http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com

Using Research to Find Topics for Your Stories


Through research you can find topics, subjects and ‘seeds’ for stories. Pick five different topics that interest you, and research them on the Internet, or through your local library. These topics can be virtually anything, as long as they interest you, and the information is available. Write brief summaries of specific pieces of information that you come across—seeds that could become the basis for future stories. After the summary, list things you’ve learned or thoughts that could form the basis of future stories.

Examples:

Through my research, I discovered old-fashioned practices for abortions, birth control and other home remedies during and after slavery. The deeper level of meaning was that life was almost so unbearable for Black women at that point in history that some women would rather abort using primitive methods and risk her life than bring another child into the world. There were even plantations where it appeared the women were barren, and that was not the case. They even knew how to use herbs to abort. I used the idea of old-fashioned, illegal abortion in The Ebony Tree. In my novel, Hostage of Lies, the blacksmith who was not branded because of his ability to work with horses, later exemplified a black man whose soul could not be branded, chained, or enslaved.

Topics I am currently researching: The North Carolina Sea Islands where the culture is similar to after slavery. The slave castles on the West Coast of Africa. Children who are reared in foster care, and its after effects. (This was the seed for my novels, LA Blues, LA Blues 2, LA Blues 3.) The coming of a military state or concentration camps in the United States.

Sometimes you can combine different story ideas for an interesting story.


Where Can You Begin?

Know your idea. Start with a “What if” premise. For instance, what if there was a secret conspiracy to put African Americans in concentration camps? (Author, John A. Williams, The Man Who Cried I am.)

You might bring a moment in history alive through weaving fact, poetic license and fancy. Use old newspapers to find out how people viewed the world in a different era. You can find these on microfiche at the library. Look for subjects of your interest such as animals such as ferrets, computer dating, the criminal justice system, the mass incarceration of Black men, mass shootings, ISIS, terrorists, serial killers, (particularly if you’re a mystery writer.) Go on field trips in your local area to add local color to your book. Go to travel agencies to get information for different locales your book, if you can’t visit a location. Or you can use mind mapping to use a non-linear approach to outlining your book’s significant details.

For mind mapping for subject ideas, you can find software at www.mindjet.com.

Therefore, there is never a shortage of ideas for your stories. When you hit a brick wall in your writing, you might just need to do more research.

Sign up for the free newsletter at http://www.maxinethompson.com or http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com.

About the Blogger: Dr. Maxine Thompson is a novelist, poet, columnist, short story writer, book reviewer, blogger, an editor, ghostwriter, Internet Radio Show Host, and a Literary Agent. As an editor, she has edited/ghostwritten numerous best-selling books (Including New York Times Best Selling books), for African Americans, including many books for men and women who are incarcerated in the prison system. In a down economy, as a literary agent, she has negotiated over 100 book deals for African Americans. She is the author of Novels, The Ebony Tree, Hostage of Lies, LA Blues, LA Blues 2, and LA Blues 3, A Place Called Home (A Short Story Collection), a contributor to bestselling anthologies, Secret Lovers, (A Black Expression Bestseller) All in The Family, and Never Knew Love Like This Before, (Also a Black Expression Book Club best-seller, and Kindle Bestseller).

She is also an ebook author of The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell 1, 2, The Hush Hush Secrets of Making Money as a Writer, The Hush Hush Secrets of Creating a Life You Love, Novellas, The Katrina Blues, and Capri’s Second Chance, contributor to anthology,Proverbs for the People, and Editor/Contributor to anthology, Saturday Morning.

Her novels, The Ebony Tree, (Won a small Pen Award in 1997), Hostage of Lies, (Voted a Best Book of 2009), LA Blues, (2011), and LA Blues II, (2012), which were featured in Black Expressions’ Catalog in August 2012. LA Blues 3 was published in August 2013.




Dr. Maxine Thompson Live Internet Radio Shows
This Week’s Guest – Monday, June 27, 2016


Maxine Thompson

Dr. Maxine Thompson,
Publisher, Literary Agent, Author, Host of Internet Show is cross-referenced to her other businesses

Dr. Maxine ThompsonArtist First Internet Radio


Dr. Maxine invites you to join her this week on her various shows where she will be speaking with some interesting people.


June 27, 2016


9:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

This Week’s Guest – Monday, June 27, 2016

Email dj@artistfirst.com with questions for the author or Dr. Maxine Thompson


June 27, 2016


Jewell Parker Rhodes, Children’s Books
Author of
Towers Falling

Jewell Parker Rhodes
Adult Books


Listen to Archives: Replay

Sponsored by:


EXECUTIVE SPONSORS:

January 4, 2010

Dr. Maxine Thompson

Author of
Hostage of Lies

Voted A Best Book of 2009

EDC Creations
Black Pearl Magazine

Black Butterfly Press

If you are interested in becoming a guest and/or a sponsor you may visit:

www.maxinethompson.com
,

www.maxinethompson.com/artistfirst.html for available dates
or via e-mail: maxtho@aol.com

>Home

This press release may be viewed with links at www.maxinethompson.com/pressrelease.html


Blog: The Importance of Black Literature (Originally published in 2000)

Taken from The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sells

By Dr. Maxine Thompson

http://www.maxinethompson.com
http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com

http://amzn.to/1S2yid7

Although this is officially African American Music Appreciation month, I’d like to address something of equal importance—Black Literature. As an African American literary agent of over 13 years, and an editor of numerous bestselling Black novels and nonfiction for almost twenty years, I’m seeing a slowing of sales of Black books, which concerns me.

As authors of the African Diaspora, we can never get complacent. We need to continue to find ways to gain discoverability of our books. With the closing of Black book stores, the end of The Black Expressions Book Club (which was the Black equivalent of the Doubleday Book Club,) the rise of social media, and many other factors which have impacted our book sales, we have to continue to be creative. As African Americans, there is a reason we need to continue to write. Literature is a repository of our culture.

When I indie published my first novel, The Ebony Tree, in 1995, I’ll never forget how I found out later that my then, 23-year-old niece ran through the house and screamed with laughter, after she read the book. Now mind you, my niece had always been an avid reader of white romance novels since her early teens, but reading my book was like landing on Mars for her. She reportedly asked her mother, “Mama, did Aunt Maxine make this up? Did you guys actually ‘play white’?”

My sister-in-law told her, “Not only did we play white, we dreamed in white. All we ever saw in the books or on TV were white characters. It seemed like they had all the fun.”

Typically, most African Americans who grew up in the 50’s had pictures on the wall of white Jesus, white Santa Claus and even white angels. There was nothing in the media or in books that reflected the beauty of blackness. Needless to say, if there were any books beside the Bible, they were not Black books. It sent a silent message that Black was ugly and white was beautiful. This was as negative of an experience as when reading was forbidden to slaves.

Fast forward almost half a century. I know from rearing my children, who are now adults, that having had African American books and paintings in the home was, and remains, a good influence on their self-esteem and confidence. When a person sees himself reflected in the literature he or she reads, it indirectly helps build a better self-image. For in literature, we find our role models, our archetypes from which we can learn life lessons.

More specifically, in African American literature, the stories are relevant to the Black experience in this country. These experiences range from people coming from different socio-economic classes, from varying urban to country regions, to different professions. We often get the Alger Horatio rags-to-riches story to its reversal, the riches-to-rags story. Most of these stories make social commentaries on how we all play a part in the symphony of the American Dream.

“Black Writers on The Rise,” the headlines screamed and I believed them. At the time, we had a few growing websites, such as AALBC.com, and Black literature magazines such as Black Issues (now defunct, where my publishing company was featured in the July-August 2000 issue; then, in April 2001, my eBook company was featured in Black Enterprises), so I was encouraged.

After all, seeing the different genres of African American books in the local, predominantly Black book stores scattered throughout the LA area, (now, many of which have closed), when I attended my first Book Expo of America (formerly the Book Association of America) held in Los Angeles, California in late April 1999, I thought we had arrived. But I was in for a rude awakening. I had been lulled into a false sense of complacency that we, as African American writers, were being published at the same rate as mainstream books.

To say the least, I was disillusioned. Yes, The Book Expo of 1999 was a big eye-opener. The bad news was this: Our problems (as African American writers) were far from over. When I compared the books represented by the major publishers, I saw that the percentage of Black books was infinitesimally small compared to that of other races.

Not one to be a soothsayer, but I felt the number of African American books could disappear like they did after the Harlem Renaissance, after the late 40’s, and after the Revolutionary 60’s, if we didn’t take control of our own written words.

To that end, I launched the Maxine Thompson Literary Services in late 1998, where I began to edit African American literature. In 2002, I began hosting an Internet radio show for authors, which I have continued down to this day on Artistfirst.com. In 2003, I launched Maxine Thompson Literary Agency.

Even then, I saw the good news was this. The increase in the number of African American books could be attributed, by and large, not only to more Black publishing companies, Black editors and literary agents, but to indie-published books. Given the advent of desktop publishing, the Internet, more Black book clubs, then later, eBooks, IPhone, social media, many writers were taking control of our destines and empowering ourselves by publishing our own stories.

So consider these questions. What are other ways having more Black books have helped? Is it easier to get published by mainstream in 2016? Have things improved for us as Black writers, since the late 1980’s?

From the standpoint of a literary agent, I must say this.The picture is not as bright as things were before the recession of 2008.

Therefore, I’m coming up with new ways to market in a tight publishing market. But my answer is “Never give up.”

Why is indie-publishing so important, particularly for Black writers, if you can’t get your books published by mainstream?

To encourage other writers to pen their stories, here are some of the good things Black literature has brought to this country.

1. Salvation. We can redeem ourselves if we know enough about others who have gone through the fire.

2. Continuity with your ancestors. We have something no other nationality or race in America has—a history of slavery. This impacts our writing as does racism, discrimination, and third-class citizenship.

3. A reading audience who is eager to see stories that reflect their reality.

4. A way of restoring history which was not allowed to be written down in the past.

5. A way of lifting up the next generation through the printed word, in addition to our oral tradition, which is reflected in rap, Hip Hop, and Poetry.

6. A way of promoting racial understanding for other ethnic groups. Personally, I learn
a lot about other parts of the Diaspora when I read books by Haitian Americans, (Farming of the Bones, Edwidge Danticat) or when I read Chinese American literature, (Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan) or any other culture’s literature. (Remember I wrote this around 2000.)

Once, a teacher told me at a book signing, that a study was done at her school. It was found that all the little Black girls said that their image of beauty was still a blond, blue-eyed child or doll. Imagine! This was December 1999! (Sad to say, I understand things have not changed much since then, almost 20 years later.)

It reminded me of the tragic tale in Toni Morrison’s book, The Bluest Eye, where the scourged Black child, Pecola, went insane, all because she wanted blue eyes. This book’s setting was circa 1940.

My point is this. If we keep writing our stories down, we, as African American writers, may not ever have parity in the world of books. But, at the same time, we won’t have another generation of little Black girls playing white, like my friends and I did, with scarves and towels draped over our hair, which we felt wasn’t beautiful enough. Or perhaps, we won’t have little girls going crazy like the fictional Pecola did.

About the blogger:

Dr. Maxine Thompson is a novelist, poet, columnist, short story writer, book reviewer, an editor, ghostwriter, Internet Radio Show Host, and a Literary Agent. She is the author of Novels, The Ebony Tree, Hostage of Lies, LA Blues, LA Blues 2, and LA Blues 3, A Place Called Home (A Short Story Collection), The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell, a contributor to bestselling anthologies Secret Lovers, (A Black Expression Bestseller) All in The Family, and Never Knew Love Like This Before, (Also a Black Expression Book Club, and Kindle Bestseller).

She is also an ebook author of The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell 1, 2, The Hush Hush Secrets of Making Money as a Writer, The Hush Hush Secrets of Creating a Life You Love, a contributor to bestselling anthologies Secret Lovers, All in The Family, and Never Knew Love Like This Before, (Also a Kindle Bestseller). Proverbs for the People, and Editor/Contributor to anthology, Saturday Morning.

Her novels, The Ebony Tree, (Won a Pen Award in 1997), Hostage of Lies, (Voted a Best Book of 2009), LA Blues, (2011), and LA Blues II, (2012), which were featured in Black Expressions’ Catalog in August 2012.

Character Development Exercises For Fiction Writers

By Dr. Maxine Thompson

http://www.maxinethompson.com

http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com

Taken from my book, The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sells

http://amzn.to/1S2yid7

As a fiction writer, you should create strong characters who will hold a reader’s interest for 300-400 pages, whether the character is a good person or a bad person. Who the character is will determine what he wants.

One tip: Make your character act in a courageous way that readers will admire. Test your character. Will he steal $50 if he finds it lying around?

In one of the first writing classes I taught, as an icebreaker, we played a game called ―Two Truths and a Lie.

Each attendee told two truths about himself and one lie. Surprisingly, no one ever guessed the correct answer for any of the participants. For instance, one workshop student said that he had been on Oprah’s show, had six children, and had been to prison. Everyone thought that the statement that he had been to prison was the lie. The truth was the student had been on Oprah’s and had been to prison. He also was a minister with five, not six, children.

Remember, people are full of contradictions. We used the game to show that you can’t judge people by only one aspect of their lives. This not only showed the different parts of people, it showed how a person’s behavior can change over the years.

In writing, the best characters do change and grow or fail to grow. They are also conflicted.

Another exercise we did showed the difference between stereotypes and rounded characters. We used a stereotype that has been used to death in literature and movies, for example—“the red-necked sheriff.”

We shifted the archetype and the situation. What if the character was a white law man with a conscience when a lynching took place during the Depression? Now there’s a story that goes against type and goes against the grain. (Of course, this is reminiscent of the wise father/attorney, Atticus Finch, in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, who defended an innocent Black man in the South during one of the most segregated periods of time, during the Depression.) No wonder this book won a Pulitzer Prize and the movie version won an Academy Award.

Another powerful method for bringing characters to life is The Konstantin Stanislavski acting method. What would you do if you were in that character’s shoes? Act out each character’s role and put yourself in the middle of the story. One exercise was used to show the shifts in power in relationships from scene to scene. This is where you learn to use reversals such as from dominating to dominated.

In the exercise using the Rogerian theory, an attendee was assigned to interview people unlike themselves to understand their characters. This is crucial when you’re writing about a despicable character, such as a child molester (Vladimir Nabokov did this in the famous classic novel, Lolita,) or a serial killer, the infamous character, Hannibal Lecter, (from novel, Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris.)

The Carl Rogers theory was used to develop communications between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Its purpose is to have each person understand someone who holds a polar opposite point of view.

If someone asked you to describe a certain person, how would you do it?

Exercise: Write character sketches and descriptions for five different characters. Be sure to include important details about their history, personality, and context (setting—time and place). Then pick the character who interests you the most, and write a brief scene putting that character into a conflict in an imagined setting (time and place.) The critical part of this is to think, in advance, how you would describe someone to a friend if he asks you what you think of a certain person. This simple method is the single fastest, most “telling” way of getting at character that I know of.

The other key to creating interesting characters with built-in conflict is to bring together characters from different backgrounds. Your characters should come from disparate lifestyles, different classes, different races. How do they connect? Disconnect? Put together your characters and look at ways to derive built-in conflict, such as the old HBO special, ―“Oz,” where men of different backgrounds find themselves in prison.

How to Build Your Character’s Personality


1. If your character applied for a job, what would they put on the

application?

2. What is your character’s religious background?

3. How does your character’s physical appearance affect his self-esteem?

4. What are some of your character’s mannerisms?

5. Is your character urban-bred or country bred?

6. What is your character’s social or economic class?

7. How many family members are there and what birth order was she born in?

8. Where does she live? In a house or in an apartment?

9. What kind of work skills does she have and how does this affect her
role in the story?

10. How is your character different from others and how does that affect

the story?

11. Is your character married or single? Any children?

12. Any physical handicaps? Speech impediments? Quirks?

13. What makes your character an outsider from the norm in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, or ability?

14. In what ways is your character conflicted?

15. What is your character’s deepest secret?

16. Outline your major scenes and use index cards for each character.

17. Ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen to my character?

18. How can it get even worse? I call it the “Throw-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-at-your character” technique.

19. Who is going to solve this problem? Your hero or heroine or a helper? (Preferably your protagonist will work out his own problems.) In Winston Groom’s novel, Forrest Gump, the main character, Forrest, with his 70 IQ, was such an innocent, loving person, that he became the agent of change, or catalyst character, who changed his love interest, Jenny Curran, for the better and the world around him.

20. Is your narrator just an onlooker, observing the agent of change, the person who affects everyone around him? In The Great Gatsby, the narrator, Nick Carraway, relates the story as he watches the main character, Gatsby, as he self-destructs.

Remember. Characters are what make your story. People might not remember all the plot, but they will remember an intriguing character long after they close the pages of a book.

Big Read Community Conversation Hosted LP Book Fair 4-2-16

As a part of our Kick Off “Community Forum Series” to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Leimet Park Book Fair, we are hosting a Big Read Community Conversation and Panel Discussion on Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451″

Our panel discussion will include book burning, censorship, and preservation of the written word. Confirmed Panelists: Dr. Wiliam Allen, Moderator; Chela Mezger, Department Head- UCLA Library Conversation Center; Sean Dempsey, S.J. Ph.D.- Jesuit Priest of the California Province; Andrea Vuleta, Executive Director – Southern California Independent Booksellers Association (SCIBA); and Dr. Maxine Thompson, Author and Publisher.

In our High Tech society today with the proliferation of digital medias — “books on tape” and Kindle readers — IS the written word in danger of extinction? Have paper books become obsolete? And can the written word be preserved?

Join us as we discuss these issues and more THIS Saturday, April 2, 2016 (11:00 am – 1:00 pm) at the Washington Irving Library. (http://www.lapl.org/…/events/community-conversation-and-rea…).
Here is a link to the library’s home page, which includes a map of its location:http://www.lapl.org/branches/washington-irving.

This event is co partnered with the Washington Irving Public Library, City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs and National Endowment for the Arts/Mid West.

Hope you can join us.

When:


Sat Apr 2, 2016 11am – 1:30pm Pacific Time

Where

4117 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018, USA (map)

Publication_BIg_Read_Flyer.pdf

  
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