Sunday, November 1, 2015

My Time At Crown Plaza in Elizabeth, New Jersey For An Independent Author Book Expo Last Weekend!

Hello Everyone! I am happy that I joined the group of 34 fellow independent authors at the 2nd annual Independent Author Book Expo in Elizabeth, New Jersey. I got to meet Renaee Smith. She is a fellow author and organizer of the event. As a way of paying it forward, I am going to list the names and contact info of those who joined me for the event. The event was busy, at different times, during the event. I must say I as happy to hear that not only these people were authors, they had other achievements under their belt. I usually am not intimidated by an audience. I must say that I got really nervous speaking to the group. I was going to read an exerpt from my book but forgot to do so. I was disappointed with that. I saw the facial expressions of the people as I walked up to speak. It seemed they were rather skeptical as to who I am and what I am about. It gave me a little anxiety. I knew I was attempting to tap into a new market. The majority of the audience was African American as well as from different islands in the Caribbean. While that was exciting to speak to a different group of readers, I was nervous of not being received correctly. I was afraid of saying something that I would perceive as funny and it could be taken the wrong way. My fiance is of African American and Native American descent. I was initially hoping he would come with me. I believe my initial fear was I would be viewed as an annoying outsider. Probably the same feelings I used to have on a jobsite as an apprentice. It was a fear that I had to push out of me. I develop a stubbornness to not allow anyone to intimidate me or push me away. After awhile, I pushed away the nervousness and said what needed to be said. Overall, I think I walked away with some future readers of my book. People know it exists and will tell others about it at the very least! I pushed my edited version of the book for younger readers. I talked about the need for young people to push for what they want to do and not give up. My story can align itself with minorities since I had to work hard to develop a good reputation amongst people who doubted my ability. This doubt was from nothing more than my gender. I know what it feels like to have people discount you just based upon an initial glance. I must say I will never know the plight of a minoriy. I have only an 8 hour a day sense of what it is like to be discounted for no other reason than my gender. It has definitely given me a different perspective on life and what people must go through 24/7 in their lives. My fiance, Curt, and I have many discussions on the topic. The best compliment I ever received was that I "work like a man". That and people have told me that they forgot I was a woman. It means I have blurred the lines in the sand in their mind. Perhaps the next woman that comes around will get a better chance at acceptannce and not total doubt. I look forward to talking to Renaee about developing an Independent Author union in the future shopping for publishers. I also look forward to next year's event! Check out the website for info on the group I am a part of now. Here is the line-up: Aaron Southerland- A.D.- Athena Dent- Bayyinah Monk-Nduaka- Candice Nicole Werts- Chris Avery- Christopher Signil- Christian Writers Ministry- Denise Bolds- John D. King- Josuanne Denis-Frasier- Keli Matthews- Latisha Marie- Leslie M Jasper- www.lesliemjasper.comm LSO- Melica Niccole- Nichole Nunes- Nigeria Lockley- Oumar Hill- Phillip Fusaro- Rashaun Allen- Se'Quince Aiken- Shani McIlwain- Sudha Ramaswami- Sonya Felice Jenkins- T.C. Spellen- Tamara Brown- Teresa Marita McGuire- Theresa Campbell- Vanessa Santiago-Jerman- Yara Kaleemah- Yolanda Ceasar- Zakiyyah Madyun- Iris Dudley- 347-351-4796 Michelle Drummond Cheers! Leslie M Jasper (future Stakley)

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