Imani Wisdom's brainchild -- Pink Noire Publications -- has been known for her unpredictable style of storytelling. Now its founder is expanding the "pink and black" brand to shine on prolific artists. From the inspirationalist, Danica Worthy to bestselling author, Stacy Deanne, Pink Noire understand these talented individuals know how to express their craft through words, song, dance, and stroke of a brush.

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Barbara Joe Williams is an Amazon bestselling author, indie publisher, and a motivational speaker living in Tallahassee, Florida. She is a Navy veteran, a graduate of Tallahassee Community College, and Florida A & M University. She is the owner of Amani Publishing, LLC, and the co-founder of the Tallahassee Authors Network (TAN).

She has published a variety of books for other authors and the following titles for herself: A Cup of Barbara Joe, Holiday Hotel: A sexy short story, Forgive Us This Day (Anniversary Edition) featured in USA Today, First Class Love, You Don't Even Know My Name (novella), A Writer's Guide to Publishing & Marketing (Volume 2), Double Proposal, Losing My Soul, A Man of My Own, The 21 Lives of Lisette Donavan (Anthology), Moving the Furniture: 52 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Fresh, How I Met My Sweetheart (Anthology), Courtney's Collage, Falling for Lies, Dancing with Temptation, and Forgive Us This Day.

Forgive Us This Day (Anniversary Edition) is a rewritten version of the original title released in November 2004. She has added more background on the main character and more drama for your reading pleasure. 

Imani: Pink Noire is please to welcome bestselling author, Barbara Joe Williams to The Lounge. First off, I'm honored you've taken the time to join me. So, Ms. Barbara, I've read somewhere you began your writing career in your forties. What made you decide to finally pursue this dream?

Barbara: At the age of 42, I experienced a mid-life crisis which caused me to re-examine my life. Basically, I had accomplished all my adult goals except for writing a book. Notice that I said write, not publish. Anyway, I prayed about it that night and the next morning when I woke up, I started typing out all the ideas I had for this story centered around a married couple. Two months later, I had over 200 pages which I shared with only ten close friends. To my amazement, they all read the manuscript in less than two weeks and wanted to buy it...

Prior to your writing career, you've achieved a lot of life experiences through the military and a teaching career, and family. Have that part of your journey inspired you to create story ideas?

Yes, everything that I have experienced in life, military, teaching, and family has prepared me for my writing career. I have used all the things I've learned to bring a heavy dose of reality to my fictional characters. I even set my novel, First Class Love, in the eighties during the time that I was enlisted in the U. S. Navy to keep it authentic. 

Are you more character or plot-driven, and why?

I think my romances are more plot driven because as much as I profile the characters, it's the plot that keeps me writing. The characters can be fully developed, but there has to be an interesting plot to keep the story moving.

What's your writing process? Do you outline by chapter, or go with the flow?

When I wrote my first two novels, I went by a strict outline. But now, I usually come up with a story idea and just start writing. At some point, I might stop and jot down some details or key elements, but it's not the same as outlining. 

You have two new releases, one is titled "A Cup of Barbara Joe", and the second one is a great resource for entrepreneurs titled, "A-Z Marketing Tips: A Motivational Guide to Selling Your Products". Tell us more about these books.

A Cup of Barbara Joe is a collection of things I've learned about life, marriage, motherhood, and people from over fifty years of living. It's basically my take on quotes I've heard in the past and some I've created on my own. The A-Z Marketing Tips was written as a guide to help motivate entrepreneurs to implement a marketing plan. I think a lot of business people have great marketing ideas, but they lack the motivation it takes to get them done. So this book looks at the psychology behind selling your products, it gets you motivated to get up and do something.

Were there any challenges writing both books?

My biggest challenge with writing a book is always time. With my busy family life, I'm constantly on the run. And with my extensive literary catalog, I'm constantly in marketing mode which makes it a challenge to find time to write new material.

We all have started as a novice, feeling that anticipation of our work being seen by the world but to discover the other responsibilities that comes with it. Why wearing an "author hat" isn't enough to be successful in this business?

This is my philosophy: Writing is a hobby, but publishing is a business. Once you're published, you're a literary entrepreneur, and you need to learn the business side to be successful. That means you have to do some research. Whether you read my publishing guidebook or not, you need to research what's happening in the publishing industry.

I've noticed for quite sometime your interaction with readers are amazing. I can tell this is your favorite part being an author. Do you agree?

Yes, it is. Writing is a solitary sport. Publishing is a solitary event. But marketing is a public celebration of your accomplishments! 

What words of advice do you have for up and coming authors?

I would advise new authors to keep promoting their work. A good book today will be a good book ten years from today, but it has to be promoted properly to stay alive.

Finally, I love asking this question to my guests because it conveys a story within a story. So who's your inspiration that help shaped your craft, and if they were here right now, what would you say them?

I love Maya Angelou and applaud all the books that she has published. But Terry McMillan is really the one who inspired me to become a fiction writer. Waiting to Exhale is the first novel that I can remember reading by an African-American female. Terry showed me that we could be authors and make money from our stories. If she was here right now, I would say, "Thank you for paving the way for so many AA authors."

Thank you, Ms. Barbara! This has been an awesome interview. If anyone would like to purchase your work or to find you online, where should they go?

On Sale Now

 Amazon page:
 Barnes & Noble page:
 Facebook page:



Barbara Joe Speaks said...

Thanks a million for having me on your blog today. It was a pleasure being interviewed by you and getting to know you better. I appreciate all you have done by introducing me to new readers.

Imani Wisdom said...

You're welcome, Ms. Barbara! I want to thank you and your efforts during the ebook fair. It would not have been a success without you.