Tag Archives: Guest Post

Flashlight Moments In the Dark Presents: Melinda Michelle

Hey y’all! Happy Valentines Day. It’s another Tuesday and today I welcome Melinda Michelle. She is known for her stories of warfare but that wasn’t what I got to know her for. No sir! I got to know her for her famous #GMMERants. Chile, they are off the chain. Here is an example…

#GMMERant: This one goes out to all the fast food restaurants that UNDER condiment! Listen…listen…listen. First of all…I’m a grown behind woman! What am I supposed to do with three ketchup packets? Really?! Like really?! It was your bright idea to have grown up fries, not mine. You could’ve had shoe strings, but you wanna be all fancy with crinkles and seasoned salt which requires EXTRA ketchup, cuz that ain’t regular salt! Then if I think, oh let me use the other sauce I got, that ain’t enough cuz you only give one of them then you want to charge for extra as if y’all ain’t high enough!!!! Listen, I know the struggle is real for everybody but the money y’all save on soda cuz of all the ice you use, you need to invest in ketchup packets!!! And for all of you that say, oh all you have to do is ask for more…LIES! When you ask for more they look at you like you have to pull out a birth certificate and a passport to prove you’re a US citizen and must pledge allegiance to their red, white and blue ketchup packet (yes Zaxby’s I’m throwing shade!) Anyways…just STINGY! I’m moving on with my life now, but all crew members expect a side eye!

Signed,
Choking on Potatoes

#TheyStingy #WhatHappenedToSharingIsCaring #IsntMyKetchupInThatOneCentExtraTaxIVotedFor #YallPlayTooMuch #UseShoeStringFriesIfYallGonBeCheap

I remember drinking a soda and aimlessly scrolling Facebook when I came across a #GMMERant. I chocked on my drink. She now does them few and far in between but when she does, I know she is thinking about me because she knows I love them. 😉

I have the pleasure of interviewing her today so lets get right to it.

Unoma: Who is Melinda Michelle?

Melinda: A woman that likes to laugh, wants to please God and trying to stay sane in an insane world.

Unoma: Yea we all need to laugh. It relieves a lot of stress and you really know how to make people do it too.In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your purpose journey?

Melinda: “My yes to God is one scary thing I’d repeat.”

Unoma: Oh wow! Now that’s a lot packed into that one sentence. Saying yes to Him is so scary. Sometimes I ask, “Are you sure God?” What would you say is the driving force in your life?

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Melinda: Fulfilling my Kingdom Purpose and missing no soul attached to my assignment.

Unoma : Yes I love that. Contrary to the popular belief, kingdom business comes with serious trials. So, fulfilling it is not for the faint at heart. Which is why I’m passionate about championing others through the dark places. You know those places of uncertainty. My next question is, how do you balance family, faith and your passion/business?

Melinda: Right now, it’s just me, but it still has its challenges. Every season I go to God and ask Him for a plan to organize my life. I follow it and it still leaves room for me to live life which makes the hard work worth it.

Unoma :I love it. A common mistake those that are still single make it not utilizing the season they are in. Trust me I know…LOL. Okay now let’s get into the deep stuff.What was the single most devastating experience/challenge in your life and how did you overcome it?

Melinda : When my pastor/spiritual father died unexpectedly. I accepted God’s sovereign will and remembered everything he taught me then applied it. Turns out, his wisdom is immortal.

Unoma: Wow, that must have been hard. That I’m sure must have been a dark moment for you. How do you build confident expectations in your dark moments?

Melinda:Reflecting on what God had already brought me through. Remembering those times that seemed impossible and now I laugh about them. I know He’s the same God.

Unoma : That right there is really the key. I talk about that a lot in my upcoming book In The Dark Remembering keeps us anchored and it gives us hope to push through.How does your understanding of the future give you hope for the present?

Melinda: That God cannot lie and no matter what I face, His promises are real and I can trust it, if I just hold on and faint not.

Unoma: Yes girl! Even when we are faithless, He remains faithful.His promises are sure because of who He is and not anything we have done. My next question is, what does it look like practically for you to “turn to the cross” in your business/ministry?

Melinda:Run to my prayer closet, throw my tantrum so that I’m honest and vulnerable with God, then repent for complaining. Once I get rid of the emotions, then I can hear Him clearly. I apply what He speaks and it’s all good.

Unoma: I’m glad somebody else cries. I breakout the ugly tantrum cry just to clear my chest. You’d think I was a child. Speaking of, what advice would you give your younger self?

Melinda : If you obey God the first time what you think you’ll miss out on you’ll find isn’t even worth it.

Unoma: Sage words. Aww, can’t be believe, we’re almost done. So what’s next for you?

Melinda: Quite a few things, • Next book in my love series – Breach of Faith – Book II
• Next book in my war series – My Brother’s Daughter – Book 8 • Speaking engagements
• Creating personal warfare strategies for people to overcome specific obstacles in their lives (Spiritual Life Coach)

Unoma: That’s a lot and I will be praying for you.Okay so tell the readers hoe they can keep in touch.

Melinda :FB – Melinda Michelle. IG – TheMelindaMichelle. TW – MelindaMichell  Email website

Unoma: Thank you.

I hope you enjoyed Melinda’s interview. Here is her official bio: Melinda Michelle is a Florida native. She was born in Jacksonville and raised in Sanford. Reading has been a part of her life from a very young age. Growing up in a family of avid readers exposed her to various genres of writing creating an eclectic taste in books. She is the author of 14 published works in the genre of Christian fiction in the areas of suspense, romance and thrillers.

I’m having so much fun and I hope you are being encouraged. You are never alone. We all go through life’s dark moments, how we manage them often determines the outcome. Being intentional about reminding ourselves of, and being confident of God’s promises helps a lot.Light Pearls in the Dark, my Confident Expectation Prayer Journal does just that for you. It is FREE with your pre order of In The Dark

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Oh before you go, can you do me a favor and fill out this short survey?

Blessings

Unoma.

Guest Feature~Publishing Horror Story By Michelle Stimpson

Publishing Horror Story

Well, by this point, I’ve been published by 2 mainstream publishers, 3 smaller publishers, and I’ve also self-published. I’ve sold books with and without an agent, and I’ve published short stories for myself and others (www.WeGottaRead.com).

For the most part, I have had good experiences with publishers. One can imagine, however, that there have been a few hiccups along the way. My worst publishing experience came when a company held onto my book for 3 years while they went through a bankruptcy. Because my contract was so imprecise, I could do nothing to get my book out of their hands. That’s the horrible part.

But what I’d like to focus on is how to avoid a publishing horror story.

First let me say that I’m not an attorney, so I cannot give you legal advice. But as an author whose book is still tied up with a publisher who wasn’t able to put any money behind promoting that book and (to this day) won’t return the rights until the last 600 books sitting in their warehouse sell, I’ve learned a few things to look out for in contracts.

No Linking Royalties

In a multi-book contract, make sure the royalties will be paid separately. Reason being: If you have three books and the third one doesn’t do so well, you don’t want the publisher to subtract from your royalties on the first two, which have earned over and above their advance. Everyone (including you) is taking a risk with every single book, so let each book’s royalties stand alone.

  1. Reversion of Rights Policy

Make sure that there is a very specific way to know when you can get your copyright back. In a bad contract, the publisher will give the rights back whenever they’re no longer making a profit. A profit might be one book sold in a year’s time…who knows? Basically, they’ll give the rights back whenever they get good and ready. In the past, publishers might have been compelled to return rights once they ran out of books. But now, with e-books, they have no physical inventory to store, thus there’s nothing to lose by keeping the rights forever. If one e-book sells, they make a little. If nothing sells, they haven’t lost anything. You, however, might want to take that book, make some changes, re-release it as an e-book, give it a new cover and some new life, re-sell the mass market right to another publisher..the options are endless. But you can’t exercise any of those if you don’t have the rights.

In a decent contract, you can request the rights after two or three consecutive royalty statements falling below a certain amount of money. Whatever you negotiate, don’t leave your rights out of your reach forever.

  1. Movie rights

Keep them for yourself if at all possible. If it’s in the contract, just cross it out and write your initials. Talk about or negotiate it later–only if the publisher questions it.

  1. Specify genre and word length for First Right of Refusal

In just about every contract, the publisher will include a clause that says you have to show them your next book first so they can decide if they want to publish it. They have a certain amount of time (weeks or a few months) to let you know if they wish to publish it. This makes good sense for everyone, especially if you’d like to do a series.

You want to make sure, however, that you’re very specific about the genre represented in this clause. If you’re publishing a full-length Christian fiction novel with this company, you may not want to publish a memoir with this same publisher. If you have to submit it to them first, you may waste a few months in your submission process. Also, if you want to write a novella in this same genre and self-publish it as an e-book or submit it to another publisher, you want to be free and clear to do this. The way to protect yourself is to make sure this clause doesn’t say you have to submit your next “book” to the publisher. “Book” is too generic. This clause should be genre and word-count specific, i.e. “full-length (85,000+ word) African American Christian Novel.”

You can also specify which type of work you want your agent to represent, if you wish to limit your agent’s involvement.

  1. Exclusivity

If you would like to write for more than one publishing house, you need to make sure you secure the right to do so in your contract. Once secured, work with both publishers to make sure that your release dates don’t compete.

Well, that’s all that comes to mind now. If you have anything else to add, feel free to leave your contribution in the comments.

Be blessed!

Michelle