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Saturday, 12 April 2008
Democrats and the Black Vote
Topic: Blog Tours
  Today we finish up our visit with Earl Hutchinson and his book, The Ethnic Presidency.  There Has been a lot posted this week to think about and consider.  I'm sure Mr. Hutchinson would love to hear your thoughts on his book.

Democrats and the Black Vote

There was irony and even a little history making in the events that unfolded during the weekend festival in Selma, Alabama the first week of March 2007. Forty years earlier the shocking and brutal attack by wildly swinging baton -welding Alabama state
troopers on hundreds of black and white civil rights marchers sent shock waves through the nation. It spurred an angry Lyndon Johnson to go on national TV and virtually order Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act. Now forty years later, there were thousands of black elected officials in the South and the nation. In Alabama blacks made up a significant number of state legislators, and held hundreds of local and state officers.

There was also Obama. He was the first African-American presidential candidate who appeared to have a real shot at the Democratic presidential nomination. He was in Selma that weekend at the invitation of black Alabama Congressman Arthur Davis. Davis asked him to deliver the keynote address at the historic and legendary Brown Chapel that Sunday. The famed chapel was the launch point for the civil rights marchers.

Obama, though, wasn't the only mainline Democratic presidential contender in Selma that weekend for the commemoration. Hillary was there too. She had accepted an invitation to speak at the First Baptist Church. The dueling commemorative civil rights speeches by Obama and Clinton were more than just their tribute to a profound event that marked a racial turning point in American politics. The top contenders were dueling to establish their civil rights credentials. The big prize was the black vote. Their Selma speeches sent an electric signal that they wanted and needed the black vote to win in 2008 and they would do everything within their power to get it.

For much more information about Earl Ofari Hutchinson and The Ethnic Presidency: How Race Affects the Race to the White House, visit his blog blitz homepage - To order your copy of the Ethnic Presidency, visit or

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:34 AM EDT
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Friday, 11 April 2008
Democrats, GOP and Asian Voters
Topic: Blog Tours

Probably no one was redder faced at what happened during a fund raising luncheon in San Francisco in February 2007 then Hillary Clinton. Reporters from Sing Tao Daily, World Journal and China Press were summarily turned away at the door with the lame excuse they represented the "foreign press" and the event was only open to local reporters. The three publications are highly respected and read intensely by legions of Asian-Americans in the Bay Area and beyond. They routinely cover a range of local and national issues. Clinton realized the goof. A spokesperson apologized, and a month later she hustled back to the Bay Area and met with nearly every Asian reporter she could lay her hands on at a special meeting.

She had little choice. The new political reality is that Asian-voters can help make or break a candidate, even a presidential campaign. The A-Team Democratic and Republican presidential candidates now know this. They did something in 2007 that would have been unthinkable a couple of presidential elections back. They worked extra hard to woo Asian-American voters. That was a stunning reversal of the past. A decade ago, Asian-American voters were concentrated mostly in California, Hawaii and New York. Nationally, they were a speck on the political chart and a bare afterthought to the top presidential contenders.

But in 2006, Asian-Americans numbered close to 15 million nationally. More than 70 percent were either American-born or naturalized citizens. The majority is English speaking, a significant percentage are college educated, business and professional persons. They are more likely to vote than Latinos. They make up an important voting bloc in a dozen states which include the battleground states of Missouri, Illinois, and Florida. The number of Asian-American registered voters has jumped in Nevada, Arizona, and California. These states are among the first to hold their primaries. A big win in any of them propels a presidential candidate onto the fast track to their party's nomination.

This didn't escape Obama. He didn't shirk from blatantly playing the Asian card. Within days after Clinton's meeting with Asian-American journalists, Obama issued a statement in which he gushed over Asian-American and Pacific Islander contributions to American society. He reminded them that they could consider him an Asian since he lived in Hawaii and Indonesia as a child. It played well. Obama almost certainly would play up his Pacific Islander childhood in campaign stump speeches during the campaign. His message was clear: Asian-Americans should back me because I'm the only candidate who is one with, if not, of you.

For much more information about Earl Ofari Hutchinson and The Ethnic Presidency: How Race Affects the Race to the White House, visit his blog blitz homepage - To order your copy of the Ethnic Presidency, visit or

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:59 AM EDT
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Thursday, 10 April 2008
Obama and the X-Factor of Race
Topic: Blog Tours

We continue our look ino the words of Earl Hutchinson.  This exerpt is from the book The Ethnic Presidency.  Comments anyone??  Opinions?

Obama and the X-Factor of Race

Despite Obama's brash talk about not running from his racial heritage, that history loomed as the X factor in his campaign. It had to be overcome for him to have any real shot at the big prize. One small but troubling sign that race wouldn't magically disappear was the personal death threats that flooded in to his campaign. Obama had the dubious distinction of being the earliest presidential contender to be assigned secret service protection on the campaign trail. Still, there were hopeful signs that public attitudes might be changing. In an early cover story on him months before he declared his candidacy, Time Magazine in October 2006 anointed him as the new face of the Democrats. It was a good label. Obama was telegenic, articulate, and a good campaigner who could easily raise millions of dollars.

Yet, the near unanimous backing that whites gave to the notion of voting for a black candidate for president also deserved to be put to a political polygraph test to see how much truth there was to it. There were outsized doubts about it.

Start with the question: "Would you vote for a black candidate for president?" It's a direct question, and to flatly say no to it makes one sound like a bigot, and in the era of verbal racial correctness (ask Don Imus), it's simply not fashionable to come off to pollsters sounding like one. That's hardly the only measure of a respondent's veracity. In a 2006 study in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, a Yale political economist found that white Republicans are 25 percentage points more likely to cross over and vote for a Democratic senatorial candidate against a black Republican foe. The study also found that in the near twenty year stretch from 1982 to 2000, when the GOP candidate was black, the greater majority of white independent voters backed the white candidate.

Republicans and independents weren't the only ones guilty of dubious Election Day color-blindness. Many Democrats were too. In House races, the study found that Democrats were nearly 40 percent less likely to back a black Democratic candidate than a white Democrat.

For much more information about Earl Ofari Hutchinson and The Ethnic Presidency: How Race Affects the Race to the White House, visit his blog blitz homepage - To order your copy of the Ethnic Presidency, visit or

Posted by joyceanthony at 1:50 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 9 April 2008
President Reagan and Race
Topic: Blog Tours

Reagan's frontal attack on big government, social programs and civil rights further insured Republican wins in national elections and tightened the Republican Party's cast iron-grip on the South. Bush in 2000 and again in 2004 benefited mightily from Reagan's Southern and forgotten man strategy. In both presidential elections, he hauled in the electoral votes of the Old Confederate states, and the Border States with the exception of Maryland and its disproportionate number of black voters, and secured the granite like backing of America's heartland.

Civil rights, civil liberties, women's groups, and liberal Democrats still regard the Reagan years as the most disastrous in modern times for civil rights and social programs and that didn't change even as the nation lionized Reagan after his death in June 2004. GOP conservatives revel in the era and aura of their beloved icon. They should. His Southern Strategy, forgotten man pitch, and happy style of politics, put Republican presidents squarely in the national driver's seat.

John McCain's stay the course talk on Iraq, terrorism, taxes and curbing federal spending were pages straight from Reagan's playbook aimed at shoring up any wavering GOP backing in the white South. They invoked Reagan's patented God, country, and patriotic themes in debates through 2007. The Reagan imitators hoped that Reagan's legacy will do the same for them.

For much more information about Earl Ofari Hutchinson and The Ethnic Presidency: How Race Affects the Race to the White House, visit his blog blitz homepage - To order your copy of the Ethnic Presidency, visit or

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:05 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 8 April 2008
The Hillary Obama Roadshow
Topic: Blog Tours

Today we take a deeper look into The Ethnic Presidency by Earl Hutchinson.  Feel free to leave a comment, folks.  This is politics--you can't say you don't have an opinion!


The ethic jockeying of Clinton and Obama was really only a side show in the Democratic primaries. If either one of them got the nomination, they had a lock on the black vote, perhaps even a record turnout and vote of blacks. The Latino and Asian vote was another matter. It was very much in play both in the Democratic primaries, and possibly in the general election as well. The dash to La Raza's convention by Obama and Clinton, and to just about any other major Latino or Asian political or voter forum nationally was a mandatory stop that both had to make.

The scramble for leading endorsements from top Latino elected officials was vital.For the moment though, Clinton had the political juice to get the biggest of the big names among Latino politicians in her camp. She also showed that she was adept at thinking on her feet to head off a potential public relations disaster with Asian-American supporters. When several Asian foreign language reporters were blocked from entering a Clinton townhall event in San Francisco in February 2007, Hillary rushed back to the city to hold a special session with Asian journalists there and that prominently included the journalists snubbed earlier.

The trek to Miami and other Latino conferences, and rallies, was only part of Obama's plan to stay in the hunt with Hillary for the Latino vote. In a campaign stop in San Antonio, Texas, in July, Obama brashly attempted to wrap himself in the mantle of Cesar Chavez, the revered 1960s Latino labor leader and civil rights icon. Being an unknown political quantity among Latinos was only one problem for Obama. The other was the latent tensions and at times low intensity warfare that raged between blacks and Latinos in some cities such as Los Angeles over jobs, and immigration, and at times exploded in gang and prison violence. This could severely damage Obama's court of Latino voters in the nation's biggest delegate state, California. In Los Angeles County, Latinos made up nearly one-third of the voters.

For much more information about Earl Ofari Hutchinson and The Ethnic Presidency: How Race Affects the Race to the White House, visit his blog blitz homepage - To order your copy of the Ethnic Presidency, visit or


Posted by joyceanthony at 1:36 AM EDT
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Monday, 7 April 2008
A Look Inside The Ethnic Presidency
Topic: Blog Tours

Today we will explore the Table of Contents and Introduction to Earl Hutchinson's The Ethnic Presidency. 



It was both a glorious and daunting moment for President Lyndon Baines Johnson in June 1964. Following months of bitter Congressional floor fights, fire eating speeches, and threats of a Congressional walk-out by Southern Democrats, Johnson got what he jawboned, prodded, pleaded and cajoled Congress for weeks to do. It passed the 1964 Civil Rights Bill. The bill marked the official end of legal segregation in America. It also spelled the end of the near century long political dominance of the Democrats in the South. Johnson, the ever pragmatic politician that he was, knew his civil rights victory came with a steep price.

The price was that race would play a colossal role both overtly and covertly in massaging and shaping American politics for years to come. In a memorable and visionary quote that would ring true for the coming decades, Johnson told an aide after he signed the bill, "I think we delivered the South to the Republican Party for your lifetime and mine." In the five decades before Johnson's smash victory over Republican presidential candidate Goldwater in November 1964, the Democrats had carried Southern states more than 90 percent of the time in presidential elections. After his election, and for the next three decades, it was almost the exact opposite. They lost the South more than 70 percent of the time.

Johnson need look no further than his own landslide election victory in November 1964 for proof of the dramatic reversal of political fortunes for the Democrats in the South. Of the six states that Goldwater won, five were in the South. In Mississippi the vote against Johnson was even more lopsided than his national wipe-out of Goldwater. The GOP candidate got seven times more votes than Johnson in the state as late as 1964. They were all white votes. Most blacks were still barred from the polls in the state. They were also GOP votes. In reality they were white protest votes. The protest was against Johnson's tout of civil rights. Race mattered a lot to white Mississippians and other white Southerners. In fact, it appeared that it was the only thing they cared about.

Johnson was undaunted by the rise of the GOP and the racial polarization that figured so heavily in that surge. He continued to push Congress on civil rights. It passed the voting rights act in 1965, and, stirred in part by the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., passed another civil rights bill in 1968. He prodded Congress to earmark millions of dollars to fight a war on poverty. Many Southern whites and conservatives saw it as a massive government giveaway of their tax dollars to subsidize undeserving poor blacks and Latinos.

The rage of white Southerners and conservatives over the perceived giveaway to the poor, the expansion of government bureaucracy, the urban riots that rocked America's big cities and black militant protests prompted an even bigger exodus of whites to the GOP in the late 1960s. Nixon, and later Reagan and Bush Sr. masterfully tweaked, honed, and fine-tuned a public weariness over civil rights concessions, righteous indignation over big government, and rampant government spending on social programs, into a coherent political strategy to attack the Democrats. That further shaped and defined the national political debate.

They also coined well-crafted code words, euphemisms, smear attacks on special interests, and the Democrats. That transformed the GOP into the emerging GOP majority. The Democrats were clueless at how to counter the GOP racial endgame. They fought back with a weak and hapless defense of government social programs, lapsed into silence, or tried vainly to mimic the GOP on racial matters. That played into the GOP's hands and further guaranteed its political dominance for the decade of the 1980s.

Clinton read the political leafs and figured out that to beat the GOP he'd have to rip big pages from their playbook. He openly admitted that he had to lop off a big segment of the suburban middle-class to win. Clinton deftly repackaged Nixon's angry and alienated forgotten Americans who were always a euphemism for white workers, ethnics, and the middle-class, into the abandoned middle-class. He twisted Nixon's cry for law and order into a demand for thousands more cops, tougher laws, and an expanded death penalty. Clinton transformed Reagan's blister of welfare queens into a call to mend a broken welfare system. He redefined Regan's trickle down economics into a call for a third path on economic restructuring and fiscal conservatism.

Yet despite the naked co-opt of the GOP's best political lines, he was still a Democrat and there were stylistic differences in how Democrats and Republicans approached their constituencies and who their constituencies were. In the case of the Democrats they still had to pay lip service to civil rights and social programs. Clinton parlayed his gift for gab, personal charm and infectious charisma, not to mention the ravenous hunger of blacks to get a Democrat back in the White House after the Reagan and Bush years, into a political swoon for him among blacks. His political one-upmanship of the GOP earned him the eternal hatred of Republicans who perceived that he was beating them at their own game.

By the end of the Clinton White House years in 1992, Bush Jr. realized that racial issues, subtle and overt, were still a powerful, defining force in American politics. The Southern Strategy was still the GOP's political ace in winning the White House. But the changing ethnic demographics in America, along with more blacks expressing anger and disgust at abortion, gay marriage, and crime, as well as the surge in Latino voters opened up fresh political possibilities for the GOP.

The GOP could even have it both ways. They could employ the Southern Strategy to maintain the firm backing of Southern white males. At the same time, they could court blacks and Latinos. They'd make their standard religious and moral values appeal to Southern whites and conservatives while subtly playing on their unease and fear over welfare, crime, affirmative action, and black political control. It could flip the political card and make the same religious and moral values pitch to conservative blacks and Latinos, as well as pump small business, homeownership and promise to increase the number of black and Latino appointments. This would marginally increase its black and Latino support.

The GOP further outflanked the Democrats by punching emotional hot buttons with code words, and terms, and by turning personal vilification into a political fine art. The Democrats finally wised up and realized they could no longer waltz through losing election after losing election ignoring the potency and volatility of race and ethnicity.

In June 2007 the top Democratic presidential contenders did something that Democratic candidates hadn't done for years, they came out swinging on racial matters. The occasion was the presidential debate at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The flashpoint issue was the U.S. Supreme Court's narrow five to four ruling that tossed aside racial integration plans in play in the Seattle and Louisville school districts. The candidates thundered that the decision rolled backed the Supreme Court's Brown 1954 school integration decision and was a dangerous retreat to racial isolationism. In attacking the court decision, the Democrats had come full circle. Four decades earlier, Southern Democrats savagely berated the High Court for the Brown decision. For the next decade, they mounted massive court and street resistance to integration. The irony was that Supreme Court chief justice Earl Warren, the architect of the Brown decision, was a Republican appointed by a Republican president.

That twist of history was now long forgotten at the Howard University debate. Top Democrats were in a sense liberated from their party's racist past and could freely talk about race and poverty. The subjects might not yet dominate the national political debate, but they were no longer taboo subjects.
The Democrats didn't stop there. When the GOP presidential candidates all ducked invitations to speak at the NAACP, National Urban League, National Council of La Raza and National Association of Latino Elected Officials conventions during the spring and summer of 2007, the Democratic National Committee pounced on them. They issued outraged press statements. They charged that since the GOP ignored blacks and Latinos, they in turn should ignore the GOP come Election Day 2008.

The GOP candidates ignored the Democratic taunt. They had returned to the pre-Bush GOP game plan of saying and doing as little about civil rights and race as possible, while shoring up their traditional conservative and Southern voter base. It made little difference whether Democrats deliberately played up race and ethnic politics, and the Republicans deliberately downplayed both. In 2008, they emerged as the always volatile issues that could decide the race to the White House.

These are the remaining chapter headings in The Ethnic Presidency.

Introduction 1
Chapter 1 - Obama and the X Factor of Race
Chapter 2 - The Hillary and Obama Roadshow
Chapter 3 - Edwards Made Poverty No Longer a Dirty Word in The Democrat's Mouths
Chapter 4 - Between Worlds: President Richardson or Latino President Richardson?
Chapter 5 - Democrats Take the Black Vote off the Plantation
Chapter 6 - Reagan, Race, and His Would Imitators
Chapter 7 - Inclusion is Still the GOP's Dilemma
Chapter 8 - Republicans Rethink Race--Momentarily
Chapter 9 - The GOP's Immigration Wall
Chapter 10 - Presidential Candidates Discover the Model Minority
Chapter 11 - Blacks Helped Elect Bush
Chapter 12 - Latinos Helped Elect Bush Too
A Postscript

For much more information about Earl Hutchinson and how the information in The Ethnic Presidency will affect every American, visit -


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:20 AM EDT
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Sunday, 6 April 2008
The Ethnic Presidency: How Race Decides the Race to the White House
Topic: Blog Tours

The Ethnic Presidency: How Race Decides the Race to the White House is an explosive look at how racial and ethnic conflict has openly and covertly played a crucial role the past three decades in influencing, shaping and ultimately deciding who bags the world’s biggest political prize, the White House. It tells how racial politics will play an even bigger role in the 2008 presidential election and future elections.It examines Obamamania, the Hillary and Bill factor, the soaring Latino vote, the silent but potent Asian-American vote, the immigration wars, the GOP’s love-hate relationship with black and Latino America, and Bush’s effort to recast the GOP from a clubby, ole white guys party to a party of racial diversity. The first primary is January 29.Here is a sampling of questions The Ethnic Presidency asks and answers:

Will America accept a black president? Can Obama be that president?

Will America accept a woman president? Can Hillary be that president?

Will America accept a Latino president? Can Bill Richardson be that president?

Will America accept a Mormon president? Can Mitt Romney be that president?

How the GOP played the Southern Strategy through Presidents Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. to repeatedly win the White House. Can and will they abandon it in 2008?

Did blacks and Latinos elect Bush?

Have the Democrats taken the black and Latino vote for granted?

Why have Presidential candidates other than John Edwards avoided making poverty an issue?

Why immigration will be a stealth factor in the 2008 campaign. And did it help or hurt John McCain?

Will Rudolph Giuliani’s contentious relations with blacks as New York mayor hurt or help his White House bid?

For more information, visit this visit to order your copy.


Tomorrow we begin our look inside the book!

Posted by joyceanthony at 3:48 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 6 April 2008 4:03 AM EDT
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Saturday, 5 April 2008
A Week With Earl Hutchinson
Topic: Blog Tours

I have a real treat for you guys this week.  All week long, we will be visiting with Earl Hutchinson, a political writer with many credits to his name.  With this year's election, we are seeing history in the making.  How important is the issue of race in this year's Presidential election?  Is race even an issue?  Today, I'd like to introduce you to Earl.  Please stop by all week long for excerpts from his wonderful book, The Ethnic Presidency: How Race Decides the Race to the White House.



Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author, syndicated columnist, political analyst and commentator.

He has been a frequent guest on Hannity and Colmes, The O'Reilly Factor, The Big Story, EXTRA, and numerous CNN News and Talk Shows.

He was a regular commentator on CNBC's The Dennis Miller Show.

He has been a guest on the Today Show, Dateline, The Lehrer Hour, and BET News, America's Black Forum. He is a frequent commentator for the American Urban Broadcast Network and Ed Gordon's News and Notes on NPR

He is a featured columnist for,, and

He is associate editor of New America Media
His op-ed columns appear in the Baltimore Sun,L.A. Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Christian Science Monitor, and other major newspapers.
He is the author of nine books that include:

Black and Reds: Race and Class in Conflict, 1919-1990 (Michigan State University Press, 1995)
Betrayed: A History of Presidential Failure to Protect Black Lives (Westview Press, 1996)
The Assassination of the Black Male Image (Simon & Schuster, 1996).
Beyond O.J.: Race, Sex and Class Lessons For America (Middle Passage Press)
The Crisis in Black and Black (Middle Passage Press, 1998)
The Disappearance of Black Leadership (Middle Passage Press, 2000)

For more information, visit this link

or visit to order your copy.

Posted by joyceanthony at 8:57 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 2 April 2008
Getting to Know Jerri Ledford
Topic: Author Interview
Jerri Ledford the person:

1.   What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Christian, Caring, and Determined

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

Gullible.  Really. I'll believe just about anything.  Oh, and they'd tell you I'm a serious cook!  I love cooking (and eating) food.  And it's most enjoyable when I'm cooking for other people.

3.  Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

God first.  He's my foundation.  And my children next.  My friends.  Everything that I care about outside of writing is people (and food) related.  Because those are the things that matter most.

4.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

Trixie is my 35 rottie-look-alike.  She's a cool, and high strung dog.  I got when she was a very small puppy, thinking she'd be 20 lbs tops.  Boy was I wrong!  But that's okay, I love her almost like one of my kids.  I told a boyfriend one time that he would go before the dog did.  He did.

5.  What is your most precious memory?

The birth of my children.  I have two.  A boy and a girl.  And those are some crazy memories.  Both instances were strange, but the end result was the kids that help make my life complete these days.  I love this guys and I am so very thankful that I was chosen to be their mom.

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

Which one?  There's the time that I tuned out in the middle of a conversation, only to be drug back into it (in a group of people) completely unaware that I was the butt of the joke.  That happens a lot.  I'm a bit of a geek/nerd.  I get picked on a lot.  Still.  You think you grow out of that stuff when you get out of school?  It doesn't happen.  Adults are just much more skilled at hiding the teasing behind other words and actions.

7.    If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I have no idea.  I'm not a corporate person, so I guess it would have to be something with food.  Probably a personal chef or a chef in an upscale restaurant.  Food is my other passion outside of God and family, that makes it my first choice for an alternate career.

8.      In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

She lived a good live but she's dead.  Now learn from this and go live your life well.

Jerri Ledford the writer:

9.  Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

It's terrible, but I really can't.  I've always been a writer, I've always wanted to be a writer.  I fell victim to the naysayers ("You can't be a writer, that's not a real job!" "Writers are always broke.") for a while, but I couldn't NOT write.  Even then I filled boxes with stories, poems and scribbling.  I've always been a real writer.  It just took a few years to become a published writer!

10.  What is going on with your writing these days?

I'm currently finishing up a book in the For Dummies line.  And I'm working on proposal for a secular, but non-technical book and a Christian lifestyle book.  I also have a few regular gigs like teaching technology courses online and writing technology reports that I keep up.  I'm also working on another project that I pray will become a regular gig, but I can't share too much about it until I finish the training and find out if I'm the chosen lead or not.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

My goals are two-fold.  I want to transition my writing from business technology to Christian non-fiction, and I want to get my fiction career off the ground.  Both of these goals require a gradual, but major shift in how I work.  But it seems to be coming together.  I'm working on a novel in my spare time (whatever!) and I've recently had a request for a full proposal on a Christian non-fiction book that I truly believe will sell.  So, these to me are more than just goals.  This is my future.  It's all about taking the steps to realize that future.

12.   Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

No.  I'm only half kidding.  I don't know what typical is.  Some days work the same, other days are all over the place.  When my machine is working well, I usually get up at six in the morning and get my daughter off to school, then I'll crawl back in bed until around 9 or 10.  I get up, work until around 3 or 4, working in household stuff and general personal recycling (showering, etc.) into short break periods. 

After 3 or 4 I spend a few hours with the kid.  She and I will have dinner, run our errands, visit with friends, go to church, whatever is going on in our life at the time, and then I go back to work between 9 and 10 when she goes to bed.  I'll work until 2 or 3 am and start it all over the next day. 

On average, I put in about 10 hours a day writing.  Unless it's crunch time, then I might put in 16.  And if I don't have anything going on I might not work more than a few hours on the details of the business like proposals or query letters. 

But keep in mind that this is a flexible schedule.  I've been known to go days without writing anything at all.  I think a writer's brain (and body) need a break just like every other profession out there.  If you're always writing, you'll eventually burn out.  I know.  I have.

13.  Why do you write?

Because I don't have a choice.  Even when I wasn't a "writer" (as in published and making a living solely from my writing) I wrote.  Letters, stories, poems, books, whatever.  I have more notebooks with snippets of this, that, and the other that I've written over the years.  God made me a writer.  And he won't allow me not to use the gift.  So I write.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

I'm sure this is not a popular answer, but there is no single writer.  I wasn't exposed to the classics :::gasp::: like most kids were in school.  I read some, but there are many that I never have.  I have favorites (like Nathaniel Hawthorne) but only because I love their stories.  They're not so much inspirations to me, as they are examples of what works-and what doesn't-in storytelling or other types of writing.

My inspiration comes from the world around me.  LIFE is what inspires me.  I'm dangerously curious, and my brain is always in "what if" mode.  It takes the smallest detail to set off a chain of events in my brain that lead to stories, article ideas, and even non-fiction books. 

 15.  How do you define your writing?

Quick and dirty.  J  No, I'm kidding.  I don't write dirty stuff, unless you happen to be the editor that's cleaning up my work.  I'm the first to say I'm a writer, not an editor, and I thank God for editors, because I'd never be able to do their jobs.

My writing is about helping other people understand something better or do something better.  I'm a teacher.  I just don't have a classroom, I have pages and pictures.  And I try to share with others how they can do this or that better, faster, more efficiently.

Even in my fiction work, there's a story, but there's also a lesson.  It doesn't define the story...the story defines the lesson and the characters must learn it to accomplish their goals.  But it's still all about the teaching/learning formula. 

And honestly, I think all writing is about that.  All writers are teachers and storytellers.  (And remember that storytellers were the original teachers.)

16.  In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

I remember this book that I read when I was 25; I loved it so much I've read it every year since then.

Jerri Ledford the details:

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?

This one's tough, because I'm in this transition period right now so the only website or blog that I have going is  And I honestly don't update it regularly.  Once I get through the last few chapters of this For Dummies book, though, I'll be rebuilding my personal site (, so I hope that in a few weeks I'll be able to point visitors in that direction with a whole new look and feel.

18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?

Email is always best:

19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

Do you really want to put your readers to sleep?  Okay.  Here goes:

-Web Services: Understanding Service Level Management

-The Rational Guide to Preventing Identity Theft

-The Gadget Geeks Guide to Your Sony PSP

-The Personal Cybersecurity Bible

-Cut the Cord! The Consumer's Guide to VoIP

-25 Home Automation Projects for the Evil Genius

-PC Magazine Office 2007 Solutions (As a co-author)

-Google Powered

-Google Analytics (With Mary Tyler)

-Google Analytics 2.0 (With Mary Tyler)

-Brilliant Office 2007 Pocketbook (With Rebecca Freshour)

-Brilliant Windows Vista Pocketbook (With Rebecca Freshour)

-The SEO Bible

-Google AdSense for Dummies

20.  For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

All of these are technology books.  If you want to know how something works, that's what you'll find in my books.  I explain things clearly and give you only the background necessary to help you do what you want to do.  Oh, and I try to keep it light so you're not completely bored out of your mind.

For books that I'll have upcoming in the future, expect to learn hard truths, and read great, entertaining, suspenseful stories.

In conclusion:

21.  Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

I'm not sure there's much more to know.  It took a long time to get here-like almost two decades.  I nearly walked away a few times, but like I said earlier, I couldn't.  Writing is who I am.

So, I guess if I could say one thing to you it would be find who you are.  And then pursue that with all of your strength.  The rewards?  Amazing.  And I don't mean financially.  Accomplishing something that you're passionate about is a feeling that you'll never capture in any other way.

Posted by joyceanthony at 3:21 AM EDT
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Monday, 31 March 2008
Cruel Past by Starr Reina--A Review
Topic: Book Review

ISBN:  1-4241-4105-2

 Cruel Past is the second book in a series that started with Cruel Whispers.  The book stands by itself, however, and readers who have not read the first book will find it easy to know what is happening.  This is categorized as simply Mystery; however, I would further categorize Cruel Past as a Psychological Thriller

From the start of this book, you will have a doubt in your mind as to who is the real criminal.  Why does Salina, the main character find it necessary to hide her identity and befriend troubled teenagers online?  What are her motives?  Is she killing these children she has gathered around her?  Is one of the troubled children to blame for the murders?  Who is the mysterious character that seems to be lurking in the area and what is his/her plans?  Is this the real murderer or is it the friendly neighbor who seems to pop up consistently?  You will never be quite sure until you reach the final pages.

This is mystery writing at its best.  You are drawn into the story quickly and it holds you captive until the final pages.  I would have like to see the characters developed a bit more, but I was able to use my imagination to fill in the blanks and this did not deter from my enjoyment of the book.

Starr Reina has taken the realities of today's world and woven them into a captivating psychological thriller that will keep you guessing to the very end.  I suggest you make a point of purchasing the first book in the series as well, as you will find yourself wanting to read more of Ms. Reina's work.

Posted by joyceanthony at 5:22 AM EDT
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